MIDI light metronome

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pushin' record
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MIDI light metronome

Post by substitute » Tue Sep 09, 2008 6:26 am

Not sure if this belongs in this forum or not...
I'd like to rig up a light metronome that everyone in my band can see and play to, and it would be great if I could send a tempo signal from logic to a said device.
What do I need to do this?

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Post by Rodgre » Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:55 am

I can't recall who makes it, but I've seen Bjork using just such a device to key her string players for live shows.

Behringer makes a $50 rack tuner with a built-in metronome that does the Knight Rider/Cylon LED sweep back and forth in tempo, but unfortunately, it's not syncable to MIDI, if you need it to slave to a sequencer.

If you're just setting it for a temp and then playing, it might be exactly what you need.



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Post by substitute » Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:03 am

Thanks for the bjork lead, maybe I can research that.
It would be preferable to slave to a sequencer but not really necessary.

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Post by percussion boy » Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:21 pm

To the OP -- There must be midi to light controllers for theater work -- I would call up Full Compass and ask them. I did a quick search over there but too much irrelevant crap popped up.

Hey Rodgre: How hard would it be to diy a light metronome?

Let's say you set up a metronome sound coming out of an audio output from the daw, with no other sound on that out.

From there, you could use the audio signal to turn a light on and off. For example, PAIA makes this.

(Presumably this is not a complicated circuit to make from scratch, although I couldn't design it at the moment. The audio signal could be used as a base voltage for a transistor with the light & its power supply hooked up to the transistor's other two terminals, right? Not sure what else you would need. Basically same concept as an amplifier.)

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Post by ashcat_lt » Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:55 pm

Yeah, it's pretty much like that. You'd likely want to rectify and squarify the audio signal first.
---Edit to add---I'd probably use an LED (or two...) as they are more efficient and a bit faster to respond than an incandescent bulb.

I wonder if you could just send a tuned synth note through the behringer. Does it's tuning detector react fast enough to make a fairly accurate blinky blinky on the beat?

All that said I wonder how effective this is going to be. I can't imagine trying to play to a blinking light. An audible click seems like it would be better, but I guess you're trying to avoid that?

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Post by substitute » Tue Sep 09, 2008 6:45 pm

Too bad the paia kit isn't available, I called a local music store today, they suggested a car audio rig.

-The note to tuner idea is really clever, if I can't find the right thingy then that may be the most straight forward approach.

-The idea for the light metronome came last practice. On one song, the drumer and guitarist (whose finger picking) stray from each other a lot, so we hooked up a little korg metronome to a head phone amp and gave the drummer some headphones. The song was way tighter, but he said he was really looking at the little blinking LCD display more so than listening. So the thought was to sort of increase the scale so to speak.

Please keep the ideas coming these are super helpful.

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Dr Rubberfunk
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Post by Dr Rubberfunk » Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:26 am

I've looked into this in the past, as my guitarist often uses one of the Boss Looping effects pedals, and I sometimes struggle to see the tempo light from behind the drums, so thought about getting some sort of light metronome.

I found this article about a DIY Light Metronome with LEDs - I guess if you were kit minded, you could use a larger or alternate light source

And this looks like a similar project that someone has built for a college project but with added DSP (which is way out of my league! :D )
http://www.me.berkeley.edu/ME235.S2002/ ... ronome.pdf

Another college project here : http://fab.cba.mit.edu/classes/MIT/863. ... oject.html

I also found this flash based visual metronome, but it's really too basic to be much use for anything other than basic practicing - it's just a standalone thing - there are a few of them scattered across the web ...

I don't know much about Max/MSP, but it strikes me you could use something like the Monome http://monome.org/series/ to provide a visual beat - maybe even visualisations of a whole song - using the matrix of lit buttons ...
I'll inquire of some of my AV/VJing chums when I get a chance.

I find playing to a click on headphones harder than playing to a light as when I'm on time with a click I stop being able to hear what I'm playing over - until you're out of time, and then it's too late :D

Playing to a rhythm is much easier - anything other than a basic 4 count - gives you stuff in between the beat to groove with ... in my experience anyway ...

So - in conclusion - gap in the market for a hardware visual metronome box I reckon ...

Oh bugger http://www.freepatentsonline.com/7368651.html :wink:

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Mark Alan Miller
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Post by Mark Alan Miller » Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:23 pm

I met the guy building these a few years ago... nice man.
(EDIT: The site says temporarily out of stock. :( )

I built a simple box myself to flash a lamp when an audio signal (click track) crosses a threshold... basically an SCR/Triac type circuit from a kit (Google "color organ kit" - should options - that PAIA kit looks like the one I used, maybe!) and an LED lamp in a standard base (faster "on" time than an incandescent). It's known here as the 'visi-click' and gets used mostly for acapella groups, but sometimes as a adjunct to an audible click in the headphones - reduces the need to have it super loud on loud rock sessions.
he took a duck in the face at two and hundred fifty knots.

http://www.radio-valkyrie.com/ao/aoindex.htm - download the new record (free is an option!) or get it on CD.

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