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Warm and Fussy
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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
beats, and it continues in tempo.
If the tempo changes or pauses during
the piece, you can set the metronome to
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.
anatomy of a drumstick
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
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]
||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], i don't think he was asking why do
people use metronomes, but rather why
they would use this. a question i second by
||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???
||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.
||Oh, and here I was picturing a turkey drumstick waving back and forth...
||[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.
||what do you call someone that hangs about with musicians?
||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).
||welcome to the hb, is that [John I]?
||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
||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.
||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).
||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
"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.