Looking for some kind of visual metronome slave unit

jedijunk

Junior Member
Hi all... first post here. Seemed like this would be the place to find someone who might be able to point me in the right direction!

I'm looking for some kind of simple LED unit that accepts an audio metronome signal from a metronome, detects the beat, and flashes the LED to match. I'm picturing running a standard 1/8" stereo audio cable from the headphone jack on my Boss DB-90 to a matching 1/8" input jack on this slave unit which would be placed to be visible to everyone on stage.

The reason, as you can probably guess, is that the musicians in our band are on in-ears but the singers are not. A visual flashing metronome that is visible to the whole stage but controllable from the drum cage would give the singers another reference point to keep them on beat.

Any thoughts? I've found some LED controllers for LED strip lights that accept an audio input (like this one on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C17KWZ8/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=G4ZOCXUX3FCR&coliid=I3VK2UILH1HVDT) , but they're designed for club music and it's uncertain whether they would work for the fast/short pulses of a metronome.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
In theory, it sounds like a sensible idea. But with vocalists, who tend to slide a little in terms of timekeeping - and that's fine... - introducing a visual reference while they're singing and following the band, is a recipe for disaster. They'll be so occupied with watching the flash, it will disrupt how they perform. Now, if you could get them to go in-ear, that would probably solve whatever problems exist.

It's much easier to hear a tempo than to see it, the exception being a conductor or metronome's baton, where you can see the beat coming, and exactly where it lands. Compare that to waiting for a light to flash, and not really knowing where it's at until it does. Very distracting and occupying, when music/vocals should simply flow.

Bermuda
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
It's much easier to hear a tempo than to see it, the exception being a conductor or metronome's baton, where you can see the beat coming, and exactly where it lands. Compare that to waiting for a light to flash, and not really knowing where it's at until it does. Very distracting and occupying, when music/vocals should simply flow.

Bermuda
Exactly my experience with metronomes with LEDs, which leads me to agree that you will probably be creating a train wreck. Even when using the audio output of my Yamaha Clickstation, I have to use the subdivisions to keep me on track. The LED visual cue is useless. I concur with John that you need to go in another direction.

GeeDeeEmm
 

jedijunk

Junior Member
Thanks to both of you for your replies... clearly some experience speaking there! :)

So here's my issue. Our vocalists don't want to go in-ear because they really feed off the live energy of the crowd (and I get that because I miss that now that I'm on IEM's). And right now we don't really have the money to get the wireless equipment we'd need for them anyway (the musicians are all using the Behringer P16 wired IEM system).

But we're doing live recordings with studio overdubs afterward, so it's essential that we all stick to the click to prevent insanity in the studio later. And some of our music breaks down to keys/pads only with no other rhythm. Those are the sections where the vocalists are getting off from the click.

If it isn't too expensive, I'd like to give the visual metronome a try anyway. But assuming you're right that it won't solve the problem, is there another inexpensive way to do it? Putting click in the vocalists wedges isn't an option...

Thanks for sharing your experience!
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Is it essential that the band/you be on a click? If there's a track, it's obviously necessary, but is the click being used just to regulate the tempo? That's primarily your job, and in sections where there are just keys and vocals, it just has to flow. maybe some of the players/singers need a little tempo training.

Tempos don't have to be perfect, except where the music dictates that (EDM, etc.) Sometimes attempting to correct the tempo creates a more obvious feel problem than just going natural.

Bermuda
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
But we're doing live recordings with studio overdubs afterward, so it's essential that we all stick to the click to prevent insanity in the studio later. And some of our music breaks down to keys/pads only with no other rhythm. Those are the sections where the vocalists are getting off from the click.


Thanks for sharing your experience!

'Studio overdubs' would surely include the vocal tracks right? Let them do the final vocal track in the studio.

Its either/or. Energy from the crowd, they need to get their part(s)/timing right. In the studio give them some crowd noise in the mix if its that big a deal.
 
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