I Need a Device to measure my tempo while playing

BigDinSD

Gold Member
I need a device that will monitor my tempo while playing with other musicians. I'd like to also use it for practice to keep my tempo steady. I don't have an iPhone so an app would not work.

I've done some searches on the forum and have come across the "tempo ref", beat bug, drumometer.

I'm a bit clueless on these devices so your help and feedback would be greatly appreciated.
 

Longfuse

Senior Member
My suggestion would be any metronome that has a flashing LED and where the sound can be disabled (even if it's just a dummy plug into the headphone jack). Stick it where the WHOLE group can see it. Drummers aren't the only ones responsible for time-keeping.

I only use the LED function on my metronome. Allows me to focus on what I'm playing rather than listening out for an annoying click/beep.
 

BigDinSD

Gold Member
My suggestion would be any metronome that has a flashing LED and where the sound can be disabled (even if it's just a dummy plug into the headphone jack). Stick it where the WHOLE group can see it. Drummers aren't the only ones responsible for time-keeping.

I only use the LED function on my metronome. Allows me to focus on what I'm playing rather than listening out for an annoying click/beep.
Yeah, that's a good idea. The former bass player was the only one that paid attention, but all should know what's going on.

It's also going to be a training tool I can use on my own during practice.
 

kettles

Gold Member
Found an old thread where I shared some of my thoughts:
http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=93310

In short, if most of your set is below about 200bpm - you will benefit from it. It's not so useful for faster music, especially double time punk/metal type grooves, and the reason is tricky to explain, but it's not the device's fault (it's the drummers :p). The reason is that at higher tempos your snare needs to be unrealistically accurate for the Beat Bug to give you a steady reading. The Beat Bug doesn't have any kind of averaging or tolerance feature, it just gives you raw measurement between two consecutive notes.

Here's a review of the Tempo Ref
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YFybJwEVKg

When he plays the 200bpm groove starting at 6:00, it gives a fairly steady reading, but when he goes into double time you see the numbers bouncing all over the show.

The included trigger works fine, but it doesn't come with a proper way to attach it to the snare. I've been told that any acoustic trigger would work with the unit, so if you wanted to 'upgrade' you could just pick up a trigger from Roland, ddrum, or the like. The unit also doesn't have it's own mount - I'm keeping an eye out for a clip on mobile phone or iPod holder that can hold it.

I believe this thing is homemade, by the inventor himself, probably in his house. While that may sound like an overflowing bucket of reliability hell, I have had mine over a year and it still works fine and the benefits of having it have more than outweighed the cost. If it broke I would buy another one straight away.

And I chose the Beat Bug over the Tempo Ref because I did not need the extra functions of the Ref. The Ref's auto power on/off sounded a little fishy too, based on what the reviewer in the video above says about it.

Any more questions just ask :)
 

BigDinSD

Gold Member
Found an old thread where I shared some of my thoughts:
http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=93310

In short, if most of your set is below about 200bpm - you will benefit from it. It's not so useful for faster music, especially double time punk/metal type grooves, and the reason is tricky to explain, but it's not the device's fault (it's the drummers :p). The reason is that at higher tempos your snare needs to be unrealistically accurate for the Beat Bug to give you a steady reading. The Beat Bug doesn't have any kind of averaging or tolerance feature, it just gives you raw measurement between two consecutive notes.

Here's a review of the Tempo Ref
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YFybJwEVKg

When he plays the 200bpm groove starting at 6:00, it gives a fairly steady reading, but when he goes into double time you see the numbers bouncing all over the show.

The included trigger works fine, but it doesn't come with a proper way to attach it to the snare. I've been told that any acoustic trigger would work with the unit, so if you wanted to 'upgrade' you could just pick up a trigger from Roland, ddrum, or the like. The unit also doesn't have it's own mount - I'm keeping an eye out for a clip on mobile phone or iPod holder that can hold it.

I believe this thing is homemade, by the inventor himself, probably in his house. While that may sound like an overflowing bucket of reliability hell, I have had mine over a year and it still works fine and the benefits of having it have more than outweighed the cost. If it broke I would buy another one straight away.

And I chose the Beat Bug over the Tempo Ref because I did not need the extra functions of the Ref. The Ref's auto power on/off sounded a little fishy too, based on what the reviewer in the video above says about it.

Any more questions just ask :)
Thanks brother- I appreciate the input.
It does look like it's between the Beat Bug and Tempo Ref.
 

NC68

Senior Member
You need a metronome.
+1

Working on your sense of time by practicing with a metronome would provide the most effective results. Also as Kettles pointed out the Beat Bug and similar devices can only provide a raw measurement between two consecutive notes so if you are playing anything other than say quarter notes on the snare it may only provide short time periods of useable feedback.
 

kettles

Gold Member
+1

Working on your sense of time by practicing with a metronome would provide the most effective results. Also as Kettles pointed out the Beat Bug and similar devices can only provide a raw measurement between two consecutive notes so if you are playing anything other than say quarter notes on the snare it may only provide short time periods of useable feedback.
That's not really the case. The beat bug gives you useful feedback whenever you're playing 2&4 on the snare, which for me is 80% of the gig. I don't stare at it the whole time, but just glance over occasionally to see where we're at.

You can also attach the trigger to your bottom hi hat which of course can be played at half or quarter notes.

Of course practicing with a click in your own time is essential, but having tempo feedback on the gig is really valuable.

It's not without it's flaws (what is?) and you have to work with it and just use it in your own way. Above anything else it allows me more confidence.
 

BigDinSD

Gold Member
+1

Working on your sense of time by practicing with a metronome would provide the most effective results. Also as Kettles pointed out the Beat Bug and similar devices can only provide a raw measurement between two consecutive notes so if you are playing anything other than say quarter notes on the snare it may only provide short time periods of useable feedback.
Agreed. Much of my practice each day IS with a metronome. I replace batteries every 45 days. As you mentioned, it is the "raw measurement" that I actually want to check. Short periods of usable feedback are adequate. I'll be jamming with others so it gives us/me a monitor of our tempo.

The metronome suggestion is well taken, but I am looking particularly for a tempo monitor.
 
Didn't someone come on here with a simple iPhone app that used the internal microphone?
Yes, I'm the developer of liveBPM which is available for both iPhone and Android:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/livebpm-beat-detector/id554766778
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.DanielBach.liveBPM

It does work great with the internal microphone, but you might as well connect better (positioned) sensors/microphones if you want to get the best possible performance out of the app.
 
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