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Drumstick metronome

Play a beat and it will keep clicking it
  [vote for,

This is a metronome with a novel interface. It takes the form of a drumstick, with an LED and a speaker in its side to click the beat. To start it, you stike two beats, and it continues in tempo.

If the tempo changes or pauses during the piece, you can set the metronome to the new standard with two more beats.

The device would have an arbitrarily chosen minimum tempo, say 30 per minute. Setting a tempo slower than this would turn it off.

This minimum-tempo rule imples that, once a tempo has been in effect for at least two seconds, a single tap turns the device off. Thus tapping would be the sole input; it would need no buttons or switches. This simplicity accounts for much of the design's appeal.

The stick should have a hexagonal cross-section so you could put it down to play with the sound holes straight up, or angled toward you, and it would stay that way.

It could have a liquid-crystal display that shows the tempo you've selected (e.g. "121 Allegro").

John I, Feb 15 2007

anatomy of a drumstick http://www.xs4all.n...rcz/Stix.html#Parts
Referring to this description of drumstick nomenclature, it would have a hexagonal shaft tapering toward a round or oval tip. To be precise, the shaft would be a truncated hexagonal pyramid, with a spherical or ellipsoidal tip mounted at the point of truncation. [John I, Feb 18 2007]

metronome article at wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metronome
In-depth article discusses the history of metronomes and their extensive modern variety. Answers in passing the question "why would a musician want a device that makes a ticking sound?" [John I, Feb 18 2007]


daseva, Feb 15 2007

       Do you mean, "why do people use metronomes?" There's a pretty thorough Wikipedia article about them, but basically they're used to keep a beat.
John I, Feb 15 2007

       [John I], i don't think he was asking why do people use metronomes, but rather why they would use this. a question i second by the way.
tcarson, Feb 15 2007

       Right, thanks [tcarson]. Why would a drummer want his sticks making sounds other than those he intends?   

       Drummers make enough sound that if they are in need of time keeping, they most often use visual cues. Maybe have the sticks flash or something, but I'm afraid the sound would be unheard/unwanted. I could be convinced otherwise, but it may take more than four lines of text.   

       Wikipedia has articles about stuff???
daseva, Feb 15 2007

       Where does the sound come from? Will it be the same as the drum that the stick was used to hit? If so, how? If not, it's just a rhythm machine. I have several devices which can do this, and I'm not even a drummer.
angel, Feb 15 2007

       Oh, and here I was picturing a turkey drumstick waving back and forth...
xandram, Feb 15 2007

       [tcarson], thanks for the clarification. The answer is that it's a different (and, to my mind, much simpler) interface to initialize the metronome by striking the beat rather than moving a slide. I have updated the description to try to make this clearer.   

       One of the many great things about halfbakery.com is that it reminds you how much less clear one's descriptions are to others than they are to oneself.
John I, Feb 15 2007

       what do you call someone that hangs about with musicians?
po, Feb 15 2007

       A groupee?
Jinbish, Feb 15 2007

       A drummer.   

       I can see that the idea description still isn't (even half) baked. You wouldn't hit it with a drumstick, you'd hold it like a drumstick and hit something. It's OK to hit it three times; the second and third describe the tempo and it goes from there (a hit after a long delay is what stops it).
John I, Feb 15 2007

       a Looser?
jhomrighaus, Feb 15 2007


       welcome to the hb, is that [John I]?
po, Feb 15 2007

       If you're playing drums, you'd swap to a real drumstick to play.   

       This would only be useful in a context where a metronome is wanted. Example: two people playing a piece in 4/4 on a piano together want a metronome to define a tempo neutrally, so they don't have to negotiate. They could have one of them set a conventional metronome and say, "one, two, ready go" as it clicked the first four beats. This device provides an alternative: pick it up and hit it against, say, the top of the piano while saying "one, two", then put it down while saying "ready, go"; it will click twice as you do that, and continue defining the beat.   

       This may not be any more convenient (although it might be a novelty), but the real benefit would be seen if you want to stop and start a lot or change the tempo.   

       There are other scenarios, but the key is that it's a metronome, so it's only possible to imagine its use if you can imagine using a metronome.
John I, Feb 15 2007

       instead of just using the last two beats to set the tempo, it should use the average tempo of all the beats since the last pause. so if you hit something 6 times, you get a tempo closer to what you want than if you just hit it twice (because there's no way you're going to get the exact bpm you want with just two hits, people aren't that accurate).
carpeliam, Feb 15 2007

       Your idea of averaging a series of beats is intriguing, [carpeliam], but there would be pitfalls to avoid.   

       What should the device do with the input, "one, two, three-and-four-and" (i.e. two quarter notes followed by four eight notes)? If the quarter notes last a second, you'd have four seconds divided into five periods. Averaging all six note would result in a 1.2 second period, for a frequency of 50 bpm. Taking just the last two would continue the 120 bpm that the rhythm ends in.   

       Maybe multiple-beat-averaging should be extended back only as long as the beats were within some range of the final rhythm? So that, for the example, the two quarter notes would be thrown out and the four eighth notes kept.   

       This is an embedded-software issue; those can be worked out during the development phase. I envision a development platform in which the electroncs is external to the stick. The software could be developed on this while the hardware is built.   

       Like the final embedded electronics package, the development kit would have five external connections: tip sensor, speaker, LED, LCD, and power. They'd just be longer wires in the development kit, dangling out of the butt of the stick.
John I, Feb 18 2007


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