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settable bpm

A walkman that speeds/slows down music to a user-set bpm
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When I go for a run, i like to run to the beat of the music that I listen to, (for example, taking a step for every beat) but sometimes I get really slow music, which doesn't work well if I'm trying to keep to a set pace, or really fast music that I can't keep up with.

So, say I'm training for the Boston Marathon, and I know that I run at 160 steps per minute to reach a 7:15 minute mile. I would set my walkman (actually, MP3 player in my case) to 160 bpm and it would automatically speed or slow down the music so I can run to it. It would need some pitch adjustment, too, so I don't end up listing to the chipmunks.

1/2 or 2x the set bpm would be OK, too. The walkman should decide on a song-by-song basis.

I can imagine that this would be good for people that use stair-stepping and elliptical training machines, too.

harisetty, Feb 12 2004

gyMP3 http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/gyMP3
[Fishrat, Oct 21 2004]

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       Or just tie it in with a pedometer ...
Letsbuildafort, Feb 12 2004
  

       trouble is [harisetty], is that if your music source is analogue, raising the BPM will also make Barry White sound like Michael Mouse. Welcome to the halfbakery.
jonthegeologist, Feb 12 2004
  

       There must a chunk of code that could correct for this....I've heard too many musical collages where the beats all matched and the vocals sounded correct.
normzone, Feb 12 2004
  

       If nothing else this could be done with a bit of dynamic MIDI software.
Worldgineer, Feb 12 2004
  

       I had an idea which kinda bakes this in a different way. Linky.
Fishrat, Feb 12 2004
  

       [jon] and [norm] There are absolutely ways to increase the bpm of a song without changing the pitch. This technique is used by DJ's all the time to meld one song into another while maintaining the same beat. It is also used in television to edit certain things for time, like old reruns that don't have enough room for commercials.
krelnik, Feb 12 2004
  

       I've seen plugins for winamp that do this, could you not strap a laptop to your back? You did say you use MP3's...
silverstormer, Feb 12 2004
  

       [krelnik] think my anno said that pitch and speed are interelated with analogue sources, such as a tape. I think its possible with digital such as mp3.
jonthegeologist, Feb 12 2004
  

       A lot of DJ and MIDI gizmos have a tap tempo thingy.
sufc, Feb 12 2004
  

       I keep thinking that this is some sort of user configurable pacemaker thing.
half, Feb 12 2004
  

       [jonthegeologist] - // think my anno said that pitch and speed are interelated with analogue sources //   

       There's nothing magic about being digital, though. You could digitise the tape recording (and compress to mp3 if you like) and then use pitch-shifting tools.
Moreover, those tools, afaik, merely perform selective frequency adjusting in the frequency domain. Analogue hardware can convert between the time and frequency domains just fine, and do the job without using a bit of digital hardware.
benjamin, Feb 12 2004
  

       Adjusting the tempo and pitch of an audio signal independently is possible, but tricky, to do well; it's easier to do nowadays digitally than with analogue electronics, but neither can be perfect.   

       For example, suppose that there's a piece of music which is at a tempo of 122bpm, and has a low C# and D (one octave below middle C) playing. Playing those two pitches together will produce a very noticeable 8.25Hz beat, which would sound in time with music at 122bpm. Changing the pitches or tempo independently would cause the beats to no longer be in time with the music.
supercat, Feb 12 2004
  

       [benjamin] thanks for putting me straight ... that's why I'm a geologist and not a sound engineer.
jonthegeologist, Feb 13 2004
  
      
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