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  • Beats per minute detector?

    I'm looking for a recommendation for a beats per minute detector? Something we can use/have on during practice and or performance that registers the beats per minute we're playing a song, so that when we do a song at just the right tempo, we can make note of that, and set our click track for that tempo in the future. I don't know if such a gadget or app exists or if it does, what works well for the application.
    I need to catch up with those guys, for I am their leader.

  • #2
    Not what you are asking exactly but I use this a lot to look up a song's BPM:
    https://songbpm.com/

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    • #3
      Any chance your keyboard player has a keyboard with a tap input on the metronome? One of mine does, and that's exactly what I use it for.
      Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?

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      • #4
        Most good metronomes and phone-app metronomes have some kind of tap tempo.

        I played a couple of gigs with a guy who was using a 'beat bug': http://www.luglock.com/beat_bug.htm

        Basically it tells you how fast the snare is played. It seemed to work okay, but I wasn't the one keeping an eye on it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Luckenbacher View Post
          Most good metronomes and phone-app metronomes have some kind of tap tempo.

          I played a couple of gigs with a guy who was using a 'beat bug': http://www.luglock.com/beat_bug.htm

          Basically it tells you how fast the snare is played. It seemed to work okay, but I wasn't the one keeping an eye on it.

          My Yamaha Clickstation will do that...

          -D44

          ************************************************** *********************************

          Old guy, just trying to play through the arthritis...
          - Balance is a virtue; loud for its own sake is not... and loud won't fix bad
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          Assume the requisite list of stuff...

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          • #6
            If you have recording you can use virtual DJ for free and it will tell you the BPM. Probably not easy so easy to do on the fly.
            Dan Snyder is bad Karma

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            • #7
              Thanks all for the advice.

              I've identified an app that looks promising... it's brand name is "liveBPM". Next step is that I need to figure out how to load the app on my smartphone... this will be my first app if I'm successful... I suspect most any 12 yo. could have it downloaded, up and running in two winks of a cat's eye. I'll see if I can figure it out this evening... it's still a couple hours till dinner.
              I need to catch up with those guys, for I am their leader.

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              • #8
                I've used a "beat bug" AKA Tempo ref for years. It's got a transducer (piezo - cheap to replace if you don't mind a little soldering) that hangs on the side of the drum and a sensitivity control. There are some apps that I've seen that work ok but they trigger on a threshold derived from elsewhere in the room. I find them much more finicky than the hardware version. FWIW We don't play to a metronome but rather let the tempo ref let us know how close we are to the best pocket. IMO music should vary by a couple of BMP for expression. It works as a tachometer rather than a governor (much better).
                J.R. Previously jrble

                See my Dog Of The Hair studio at: http://www.dogoth.com/studio/

                Quote from someone: Flat response? Get out the jack and change the tire.
                If you think "power is knowledge", you have it backwards.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Audiopile View Post
                  Thanks all for the advice.

                  I've identified an app that looks promising... it's brand name is "liveBPM". Next step is that I need to figure out how to load the app on my smartphone... this will be my first app if I'm successful... I suspect most any 12 yo. could have it downloaded, up and running in two winks of a cat's eye. I'll see if I can figure it out this evening... it's still a couple hours till dinner.
                  I really try and keep my phone apps to a minimum. Most of them are what my friend calls C rapware. They are poorly written and a general PITA. I feel your pain.
                  J.R. Previously jrble

                  See my Dog Of The Hair studio at: http://www.dogoth.com/studio/

                  Quote from someone: Flat response? Get out the jack and change the tire.
                  If you think "power is knowledge", you have it backwards.

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                  • #10
                    Most digital metronomes have a tap function.

                    It's still tough to nail down a tempo when the rest of the band wants to speed up sections of the song.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dogoth View Post
                      FWIW We don't play to a metronome but rather let the tempo ref let us know how close we are to the best pocket. IMO music should vary by a couple of BMP for expression. It works as a tachometer rather than a governor (much better).
                      Agreed, and that's our goal... I like that term: a "tachometer".

                      At our last practice, I identified and put into words something I've sensed for decades, and that's that the more practiced/polished we (the band) are in general and/or on any given song, the more we'll tend to rush the tempo... I think it's just a natural tendency. Which is likely fine for some tunes and genres, but some or much of our song list and over-all product is rather laid-back, and rushing some songs ruins them... and ruins the over-all texture of the product. At our last practice we were all a bit rusty and physically tired... it had been a couple weeks since our last practice and a month+ since our last performance... winter doldrums. Anyhoo, one of the first songs we played at practice is an old standby (Funk 49), and we generally rush that song, but possibly the combination of rusty fingers and such, for whatever reason, we absolutely nailed the tempo... it's was great. We'd like to identify and "mark that spot" for future reference.

                      I need to catch up with those guys, for I am their leader.

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                      • #12
                        A couple of things I've noticed (having my trusty beat bug to watch)

                        1) We tend to play faster when live due to adrenaline.

                        2) Some songs it doesn't matter as much as long as the meter stays basically solid. Other songs it does matters because they have difficult parts for some players (fast guitar/key riffs or lots of syllables crammed into a short phrase). Playing too slow can make a vocalist run out of breath before a long phrase is over. These songs need to be pretty close to the rehearsed tempo or they don't work as well.

                        Just an added observation
                        J.R. Previously jrble

                        See my Dog Of The Hair studio at: http://www.dogoth.com/studio/

                        Quote from someone: Flat response? Get out the jack and change the tire.
                        If you think "power is knowledge", you have it backwards.

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