Backbeater (Product Review)

Hi folks, something different here. A non-profit organization called Makers4Good contacted me, asked me to review their new product called Backbeater, launched with a Kickstarter campaign on August 14.

As described by Makers4Good:

“Backbeater is the world’s most advanced
metronome for drummers. With the
Backbeater Sensor, it knows the tempo you’re
playing.
Backbeater allows drummers to monitor their
tempo: either freestyle or with a reference
tempo. The Backbeater metronome can be
set to your rhythm. It can discreetly tell you a
tempo you tap out, and it can store lists of
tempos, for when you’re playing live”.

 

DSC_5973.jpg

The package includes a snare drum mounted sensor (the sensor plugs into your smartphone/tablet and it attaches to your snare drum under a lug), a headphone splitter and a mounting bracket (not included in the version tested). Linked with the Backbeater app available for iPhone/Android, this product is an accuracy metronome with interesting functions.

The classic metronome function only works in a range between 20-220 bpm, you can save tempos for specific songs. You can choose also the sound of the metronome that you prefer.

app_in_action_2_makers4good_backbeater.jpg

A red dot spin counterclockwise (this is weird) crossing a drum icon at the 12 o’clock position on every beat. With this interesting function, you can focus not only on the number of the bpm but especially on the (circularity) red dot, improving your sense of time and accuracy… certainly a useful tool.
More function would more useful to me: the possibility to change the subdivisions, the possibility to program rhythm and to silence the measure.

When you turned off the metronome the app detect your tempo, calculated from the spacing of your snare drum hits. You can change the sensitivity of the device settings two parameters:

Window calculate how many snare drum hits the app uses to calculate your tempo, with a number from 2 to 5;
Beat corrects the rate of drum hits with a scale from 1 to 4.

app_screenshot_makers4good_backbeater.png

I tried this function in different contexts, is an excellent tool to develop your groove but when you play a fill or add some ghost notes the device goes weird showing the word “MAX” for a moment, returning at the original tempo after a few measures. The same thing when you displace the backbeat… this could be a problem, I hope Makers4Good correct this lack because this is a useful tool to develop your timing.

The product is interesting, especially when the app detects your tempo/groove, this is a great tool for teachers and rock/pop player. If you are interested I suggest donating to their Kickstarter campaign.

 

If you have noticed, the blog has a personal domain now 🙂 I’ll continue to share my works with great attitude and passion.

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