Tempo control with the Soundbrenner Pulse vibrating metronome
A few weeks ago, we received a parcel containing a nicely packaged product, which has been present in the Polish market thanks to the distributor, i.e. the Warsaw-based Pro Drum store. Initially, Pro Drum employed an interesting marketing tactic, which was to send a few pieces of the Soundbrenner Pulse to a number of prominent drummers in Poland for testing. We patiently waited for our turn, of course, asking our colleagues what their opinions were. The opinions were far from unanimous, which made us even more anxious to put the metronome on our “workbench”.
Let us begin with the first impression.
1. The packaging
The product comes in a modern-looking, side-lid box, which allows a prospective buyer to see the device without taking it out. Having taken the contents out, we have at our disposal:
- Water-resistant silicon straps in two lengths for wearing the device on your arm, wrist, thigh, ankle, etc.
- Charging station
- USB charging cable
- Instruction manual in English
- Instruction manual in Polish
- Freebie pack
2. The product
The metronome looks exactly like a wrist watch with a large dial. There are no buttons to be pushed. Switching on and off as well as all the other functions are performed using the dial as a touchpad or twisting it. All the options are signaled by light signs, vibration and the vibrating sound effect we all know from mobile phones, only 7 times more powerful, according to the manufacturer. Activation is very simple and quick. All you need to do is slightly twist the dial and put two fingers on it. Deactivation requires the exact same activities (see our video presentation).
Setting the tempo is equally easy. Just tap on the dial with two fingers three times and the metronome will automatically start measuring the tempo you have just tapped in. It can be adjusted by turning the dial clockwise for increasing or counter-clockwise for decreasing.
Those are all the functions the Soundbrenner Pulse offers as a standalone device. Otherwise, it needs an additional smart phone or tablet app (the apps are described below). We do not think it a disadvantage as this provides the drummer with a simple, intuitive and user-friendly metronome.
3. The app
The metronome is accompanied by an app, which can be downloaded free of charge from Google Play or iStore. The app allows the following:
- Customized time signatures and subdivisions
- Beat tap-in
- Tempo change
- Personal preset editor
- Rhythm playlist editor
- Multi-player synchronization for up to 5 devices
- DAW compatibility
Let us get to the point. The manufacturer’s claim is that the human body consists of water (70%) and matter (30%). Sound travels at the speed of 340 m/sec. in the air, while in water it is 1500 m/sec. Thus, we receive sound with the entire body. Let’s see if the metronome confirms this claim.
We put the device in three locations: wrist, arm and ankle. In all the three cases, the pulse is palpable, however, we think playing is the most comfortable when wearing the device on the ankle. In our opinion, wrists and arms are too busy playing and we felt slightly uncomfortable at the initial stage because we were missing a stable spur, i.e. vibration. Quite possibly, the organism must get accustomed to receiving the impulses in that area. The greatest and undisputable advantage of this way of controlling the tempo is the fact that our hearing is relieved from metronome sound and the player can concentrate on listening to his or her own playing as well as the band’s. We also think the Soundbrenner Pulse is also a good counting-in device for bands which don’t play to the click but want to control the tempos of the songs they play live or at rehearsal.
Distribution in Poland: http://www.soundbrenner.pl
Device sent in by: Sklep Perkusyjny Pro Drum
- Tasteful design
- High quality level
- Multi-player synchronization
- Effectively none