This user guide explains how to use the Metronome Beats Android app developed by Stonekick. It starts by covering the features which are common to both the free and pro versions of the app. To read about the extra features in Metronome Beats Pro skip to the last section.
Metronome Beats works like a traditional metronome marking each beat in time to a given tempo. You can set to either hear each beat or mute the sound and use the visual cues. Tempo is measured in terms of Beats Per Minute.
You can choose to keep the metronome beat playing when you exit the app allowing you to open other apps such as a piece of music or score at the same time.
Although Metronome Beats has primarily been designed to help musicians keep time when practising and playing, you can also use it for other activities including:
Running - Improve your stride technique by running in time to the metronome (see running with a metronome)
Golf - Use Metronome Beats in your practice sessions to ensure you have an even golf swing (see Using a metronome to improve your golf).
The majority of Metronome Beats features can be accessed from the main screen which loads when you open the app.
Use the tempo controls to set your required BPM. You can also tap on the "tap tempo" area to set the BPM to a piece of music.
Press on the numbers under "beats per bar" and "clicks per beat" to set these. You can find advice on the best settings to use in the blog article Metronome Beats - inputting the correct time signature/beat combinations.
The top of the screen has visual cues. There is a light representing each beat in the bar and an animation of each beat. You can tap on any of these lights to emphasise a particular beat.
You will find icons on the main screen to toggle on/off the following settings:
Change volume or turn sound off if you would rather use the visual cues.
Stop the metronome after a set number of bars. You can input the number of bars in the pop up screen which comes up when you press this icon.
Speed Trainer. Set the metrononome to incremently increase/decrease tempo after a set number of bars or time period.
Once you press play the beat and bar settings are replaced with % buttons which allow you to set the tempo to a % of its original speed. This is useful for practising harder sections of music where you might want to slow the tempo. You can also swipe left or right to toggle between the beat/bar settings and % buttons.
The preferences menu has the following options
Preset sounds. Here you can choose from a variety of preset sound setups
Custom sounds. Create your own custom sound setups. You can change the pitch of the beats/subdivisions and length of sound
Hide beat animation. Hide the beat animation above a certain BPM (use the slider to choose this)
Stop on screen lock. When this is unticked the metronome will keep playing even when your phone screen locks
Keep screen unlocked. When this is ticked your device's screen will remain unlocked while the metronome is playing.
Ignore audio focus. If you tick this option the metronome will keep playing even when other apps on your device make a sound.
Tablet options. This allows you to switch between portrait and landscape modes on Tablets.
These can be accessed from the preferences menu. Use them to set counters showing which beat of the bar you are on and how many bars you have played through. You can choose to reset the bar counter after a set number of bars.
Metronome Beats Pro allows you to save your settings as presets for later use. You can then combine presets together to form songs or organise them into setlists which play one preset/song after another. On smaller devices use the icons on the main screen to save and load your presets, setlists, and songs. On larger devices the setlists panel will automatically appear on the main screen.
On smaller devices access your setlists and songs by pressing the load icon. On larger devices the Setlist Panel will automatically appear on the main screen.
In the songs tab you can combine presets together. When you click to edit a song you choose presets to include, how long they will play for, and in which order. For example you might set 4 bars at 60BPM, then 8 bars at 120BPM.
When you click to edit a setlist you can choose presets/songs to include, and how to order them in the setlist. To open a setlist in "Live Mode" click on its name.
In Live Mode you can step through the songs in your setlist one by one using the back and forward buttons. This is ideal for group practice sessions or playing live on stage.
You can export any setlists and presets you have created in Metronome Beats Pro and send them to another device.
This is done by clicking on "Export" in the main app menu. You then select the items you want to share, click "Export" and choose an option for sending them.
For more information on the options available see Exporting setlists and presets
You have probably turned on the metronome timer. To access the controls for this press on the icon towards the bottom of the screen which looks like an hourglass.
You can input almost any time signature into the metronome. See the following blog article for advice on this - Metronome Beats - inputting the correct time signature/beat combinations.
The rhythm won't change unless you alter the tempo (the number of beats per minute) or you change the number of beat subdivisions (to have a different number of clicks per beat). You will only notice the difference when you change the beats per bar if you have first beat emphasis turned on.
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