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Author Topic: Metronome not keeping time  (Read 11100 times)

AThomsen

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Metronome not keeping time
« on: May 02, 2016, 12:56:37 pm »
The metronome is not very precise at all. I compared it to a hardware metronome and a stopwatch. At 60 BPM it is behind about one beat in a minute. Drifting is a less annoying thing. It's worse when the ticks are off beat by some msecs.

Android, Sony XPeria Tablet Z and LG G2 (happens on both).

My drumming may be bad, but not that bad :-)

arlo

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Re: Metronome not keeping time
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2016, 06:53:20 pm »
Do you notice the problem when you are playing to it, or only when you measure it against other hardware?

AThomsen

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Re: Metronome not keeping time
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2016, 07:47:44 am »
A metronome should be a rock you can lean on. It's no use if you don't trust it :-)

I have the feeling that it's not just drifting but also a little "jumpy". Almost always when starting the metronome the first few beats are way off.

How is it implemented? It it's just a "PlaySound(); Sleep(60000/bpm);" in a loop you're going to have a bad time (keeping)  :-)

arlo

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Re: Metronome not keeping time
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2016, 02:34:27 pm »
With performance issues, I tend to think more in practical than in absolute terms. I think it is possible to have a tool that is useful even if it is not perfect. Since the metronome function in BandHelper is one of a great many features, if it doesn't meet your standards, it would be better to use a specialized metronome app whose developer is focused solely on that function.

That said, I would be curious to hear your experience with other Android metronome apps on your devices, since your hardware will make a difference, and Android is generally less predictable with timing and syncing than iOS.

Pongo

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Re: Metronome not keeping time
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2016, 03:36:06 pm »
A metronome that is not accurate, would not be a useful tool at all for me. :)

arlo

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Re: Metronome not keeping time
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2016, 10:24:02 pm »
How accurate is accurate? A variance of one millisecond, a half millisecond, a hundredth of a millisecond? This is not a black or white thing, that's my point.

AThomsen

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Re: Metronome not keeping time
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2016, 10:33:06 pm »
Let's just say is shouldn't drift a whole beat in a minute at 60 bpm :-)

I understand about being pragmatic, but a metronome should be precise.

An example of a metronome that works is this: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=pntanasis.android.metronome&hl=da#details-reviews
Source can be found here: https://github.com/MasterEx/BeatKeeper

The trick is, I believe, to dynamically create an audio stream and rely on Android's sound playing capabilities (which is probably hw-supported) to make sure the audio is in time.

This also allows the metronome to run in the background. This would be useful to me if I need to switch to my mixer-app to adjust some setting on the monitors.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2016, 10:34:28 pm by AThomsen »

arlo

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Re: Metronome not keeping time
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2016, 11:39:09 pm »
To clarify, when you say "works" do you mean "plays noticeably more accurately than my app on the same device"?

Also, are you using audio clicks or just background flashes in my app?

arlo

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Re: Metronome not keeping time
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2016, 11:04:35 am »
Please give this a try in the upcoming Android version 2.0, which should be more accurate. This will be available for download when Apple approves the corresponding iOS version, hopefully in the next 48 hours.

More info about the new version is here:

http://forum.arlomedia.com/index.php/topic,1347.0.html

Tasten-Bert

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Re: Metronome not keeping time
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2016, 02:28:42 am »
Hi folks,
I'm having a short break and can take a bit of time to add my thoughts to this subject. It feels as if you are talking about a problem which is one for only a very small minority of users. What is it like in reality? If you make music on a semi-pro or amateur level, isn't it the normal case that somebody counts in - based on a more or less accurate metronome - and then the band plays. Please show me the one band that is able to keep timing with less than one bpm variations!
For me the metronome works fine. Okay, maybe because it's an iPad, but I feel that it was the same as long as I used my Samsung Galaxy tab with Android.
Let's keep making good music, guys.
Sunny regards from Germay

Awash (drums)

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Re: Metronome not keeping time
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2016, 12:55:01 pm »
Hi,

As a drummer I agree with Tasten-Bert.
Nobody will notice, including the drummer 😉.
In a dj-setting or midi-setting I can understand the problem.

But Arlo answered that the metronome would be more accurate after the update.
The update is availeble and I hope that Athomsen can report if the metronome is more accurate now.
I'm just curious.

Another thing with the metronome.
It starts when releasing the button.
Arlo was very helpfull with testing possibility starting the metronome by hitting the button.
There is a little issue with some latency, and Arlo has put it on the things to do list.
So, the metronome function in BH and SLM will be improved step by step.
I understand Arlo has to make priorities, and the metronome functions good for common purpose.
For some of us, who uses the metronome in a more complex way (not only start at the beginning and stop at the end), have to be patience 👍.

Greatings

AThomsen

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Re: Metronome not keeping time
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2016, 03:20:01 am »
In a practice situation, a precise metronome is required to have an idea about your current sense of rhythm. The problem with the old implementation was not that is was off by a beat or two per minute, but that it was "jumpy". This makes you feel like having a bad sense of rhythm when your not, leading to insecurity.

There are wrong and right ways of implementing things like metronomes. Relying on timers is hard to get right.

That said, in the new version it's much better and stable. There are some bugs when navigating however, I've tried to illustrate here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3DkyknWLsI

Display-flashing is not in sync with the click. This is less import for me though :-)

Awash (drums)

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Re: Metronome not keeping time
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2016, 12:43:58 pm »
Excuse for my late response. I saw the video and I understand your problem. It seems if the light flashes at some kind of afterbeat (wrong word, but I think you understand).

I don't use the flash, so its not a problem for me. I have a problem that the metronome starts after relaesing the button in stead of hitting - like any other metronome. The ownly thing i.can figure out of loosing this problem is by connecting an boss db90 via Midi, so the time is set via BandHelper, and the metronome can be started with de boss metronome. But I don't want extra gear. I love bandhelper, but only the metronome is not functioning for me, as a drummer, as I would like and expect how a metronome functions.

Hope Arlo can solve this in time.

AThomsen

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Re: Metronome not keeping time
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2017, 05:34:07 am »
Trying out the metronome again after some tome.

On my old Xperia Z tablet I can provoke the metronome to have the Click-sound slightly off beat with the Downbeat. Seems like they have separate timers - not sure if this is a good idea...

See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdULA1uHilI

Awash (drums)

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Re: Metronome not keeping time
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2017, 03:02:22 pm »
Hi Arlo. With the new update my issue with starting the metronome by hitting is fully functional. It acts accurate for me. Thanks, and wonderful work you did with the update.

 

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