Can the metronome get a new lease on life as a smart wearable device?

That’s the gambit of Soundbrenner, a Berlin-based startup that hopes to do for metronomes what the smartwatch and fitness wearables have for those categories.

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The basic draw here is the ability to have a metronome that’s intelligent/connected, and that can use vibration. There’s a wristwatch-style device with both color LED feedback and powerful vibration – the developer say 7x as powerful as the vibration on your phone, though I’d have to try it. That means you can feel the beat rather than listen to that awful click.

Being connected also affords benefits. The app lets you tap in a beat. You can take MIDI input from a DAW. You can even create and share rhythms more complex than a simple beat. And then you can use the wearable with or without the app.

As per usual, this is a crowd-funded campaign for hardware, and the pre-sale is done.

But if you want to try some of this, you can also use just the app on its own without the wearable, free. Here’s that app:

Just as interesting as the product, though, is the story behind it. From Fab Lab Berlin, a hardware development space, violinist Vinh-Nigh Tiet talks about the ideas behind the app and how it came to grow. It’s featured on a series called “How To Make It In.: ____”

To check out the device, head to their site:

http://www.soundbrenner.com

The app is free for both iOS and Android. I haven’t tried enough metronome apps to really judge whether it lives up to their claim of “best” metronome app, but it is awfully nice – and it’s free – and it’s about the best I’ve used, even without the companion hardware.

Metronome app

Let us know what you think of this – and if any of you were backers.

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  • StanleyBrothers

    Build in Ableton Link integration and I know that I would use it.

    • Florian Simmendinger

      We will release Ableton Link Integration in less than 4 weeks

      • Janusz

        This look awesome. Could it work with NI’s Traktor?(traktor has midi clock output) It would make easier to make turntablist routines timing perfect, especially when played live with loud music when traditional metronome isn’t option.

        • Florian Simmendinger

          Yes our plugin takes in MIDI and sends those signals to the Soundbrenner Pulse so it should work with NI Traktor. TBH we haven’t tested with all DAWs yet. Our DAW app is about to be released in a couple of days.

          • Janusz

            Great to hear it. Small question. Would be possible to access discret mode/ etc via Mac app?… i dont have smartphone and if connection is made by blutooth then it should be possible? I would like to control it via computer and not add phone to performance equipment (additional battery to watch etc.).

          • Florian Simmendinger

            Not yet, but it makes totally sense to implement this in the near future. But all settings like this are basically one time settings and will be saved on the device. In other words you use your smartphone once, set everything up and then you basically don’t have to change it anymore. I just sent your suggestion to our CTO regardless and we’ll build in full desktop customization soon.

          • Janusz

            Well basicly… after your responses i’m buying it.

  • Foosnark

    There’s a Pebble app called Wristonome. Granted, it’s extremely minimal — just a straight beat with an adjustable tempo — but there’s not really any reason why a more comprehensive metronome app couldn’t be written for Pebble, Apple Watch, Android Wear, etc. for those who already own smartwatches.

    MIDI clock sync would be a cool trick though. 😀

    • Florian Simmendinger

      Vibration motor in the Pebble is too small and hence too weak. You cant wear it on the arm/ankle which is where most drummers prefer to feel the vibration. Disclosure: Im the CEO of Soundbrenner 😉

      • Foosnark

        Those may be good points. I find the Pebble Time vibration fairly strong when set to maximum, but I haven’t actually tried using it as a metronome in a live situation. It’ll also fit any 22mm wide watch band; the leather NATO band I have isn’t quite big enough to fit around my ankle but there are probably some out there.

        • Florian Simmendinger

          Hehe, yes you can. It’s like reading a book on a computer screen. You can technically read an entire book on a computer screen, but if you care then you’ll buy a Kindle and have the best possible experience. Nothing beats a dedicated device in the thing it was built for! But of course, nothing against Wistronome, its a cool app. Cheers

  • paradiddle

    This looks great for drumming and playing along with sequences without a click in the ear.

    • Gunboat_Diplo

      setting loop lengths too!

  • Jem

    I’ve bought one after seeing this. 🙂

  • Gunboat_Diplo

    looks so promising. will the DAW plugin be OS agnostic? looks like it’s only for Mac at the moment. would be interested to sync with Max without having to have your laptop on stage.

    EDIT: saw it down at the bottom of the page on indiegogo. Mac only for the DAW tool. but I could still use one with the android app. damn.