Posts Tagged ‘Pendulum’


Metronomes: 10 of the best

February 10, 2009


A metronome is any device that produces a regulated aural, visual or tactile pulse to establish a steady tempo in the performance of music. It is a useful practice tool for musicians that dates back to the early 19th century.

The word metronome first appeared in English c.1815 and is Greek in origin:

metron = measure, nomos = regulating

Ludwig van Beethoven was the first notable composer to indicate specific metronome markings in his music, in 1817.

Mechanical metronomes

One common type of metronome is the mechanical metronome which uses an adjustable weight on the end of a pendulum (also known as a double-weighted pendulum) rod to control the tempo: The weight is slid up the pendulum rod to decrease tempo, or down to increase tempo. The pendulum swings back and forth in tempo, while a mechanism inside the metronome produce a clicking sound with each oscillation.

Electronic metronomes

Electronic metronome, Wittner model

Most modern metronomes are electronic and use a quartz crystal to maintain accuracy, comparable to those used in wristwatches. The simplest electronic metronomes have a dial or buttons to control the tempo; some also produce tuning notes, usually around the range of A440 (440 hertz). Sophisticated metronomes can produce two or more distinct sounds. Tones can differ in pitch, volume, and/or timbre to demarcate downbeats from other beats, as well as compound and complex time signatures.

Many electronic musical keyboards have built-in metronome functions.

Software metronomes

Metronomes now exist in software form, either as stand alone applications or often in music sequencing and audio multitrack software packages. In recording studio applications, such as film scoring, a software metronome is often used to generate a click track to synchronize musicians.

10 of the best:

Wittner MT41 Digital Metronome

Digital Credit Card / Digital Metronome Features Convenient take-along credit card size Visual LCD Simple 4-button operation Tempo Range: 30 – 250 times/min. 10 visual and audible beat settings Reference Note: A–440Hz for tuning Earphonek: Monophonic, 2.5mm (0.1″) plug (earphone not included) Memory of last setting Accuracy Metronome: ±0.03% …

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Wittner Metronome – Mahogany-coloured, matte – With Bell

Wittner Metronome – Mahogany-coloured, matte – With Bell Christmas Stocking Filler Gift Ideas Mahogany coloured matt silk finish. With bell.

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Wittner Traditional Maelzel Pyramid Metronome – Plastic Case – With Bell – Black

Plastic Case Traditional Shape Wind Up Mechanism Swinging Pendulum Tempo Range 40 – 208 BPM Audible Click (with bell – 4 beat settings) Dimensions 117 x 220 x 117mm

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Wittner Metronome Mälzel – Walnut-coloured, Matte – With Bell

Wittner Metronome Mälzel – Walnut-coloured, Matte – With Bell Caring for the Exterior of Your Instrument       Make sure to use a polishing cloth  to remove dust and fingerprints after…

Seiko SQ50V

A quartz metronome with built in tone generator, features two tempo sounds & a dynamic speaker for high quality sound. Tempo: 40-208 Tone Generator: A4, Bb Pitch Shift: A4=440Hz Beat: 0, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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Seiko DM70

A pocket-sized digital metronome with built in clock. Also features a tone generator. Tempo: 30-250 Tone Generator: C4-B4 Pitch Shift: A4=440Hz Beat: 0, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

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Seiko DM50 – Silver

Christmas Stocking Filler Gift Ideas A clip-style compact digital metronome with built in clock. Tempo: 30-250 Beat: 0, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 Other: 4 levels of volume Silver finish

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Wittner Maelzel System Quartz Metronome – Mahogany

Specifications Quartz Metronome Wooden Case Traditional Shape Tempo Range 40 – 208 BPM Visual Pulse Signal Audible Click Volume Control

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Wittner Taktell Classic Metronome – Black/Silver

Modern Classic Styling Silver or Gilded Facia, Pendulum and Winder Tempo Range 40 – 208 BPM Audible Click Dimensions 85 x 155 x 50mm Weight 177g

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A metronomical performance is certainly tiresome and nonsensical; time and rhythm must be adapted to and identified with the melody, the harmony, the accent and the poetry…..—Franz Liszt


Artist Profile: Pendulum, studio to live.

December 23, 2008


Pendulum are an Australian drum and bass group originally from Perth, Australia. In 2003, they relocated to the United Kingdom.

Pendulum’s second album, ‘In Silico’ (Ear Storm/Atlantic, 2008), has little in common with its predecessor ‘Hold Your Colour’. Dense, industrial and precise, the intention is to retain the uncompromising aspect of drum ‘n’ bass while making a heavy rock record. To this end and to avoid getting caught up in concerns of quality, Swire mocks up demos using Commodore 64 and Nintendo emulators, and low-end synthesizer sounds. Then, taking their live musicians — who are also part of the Pendulum performance experience — to various studios, the band records acoustic drums, guitars, bass and vocals.

“We set up drums outside of the drum kit and put mics on them to record the resonance,” Swire recounts, referencing Led Zeppelin more than a few times. “We built a mountain out of snare drums and put a mic in the middle. We had the mic to record the drums around [Kodish, the drummer’s] neck, or we chucked the mic behind him. The less mics we used in the mix, the more it sounded like that old drum sound we were trying to get.”

For every track, the band recorded the kick, snare, cymbals and toms separately at different volumes. From that, they created sample packs to load in Native Instruments Kontakt. They then laid out the sounds on a keyboard sampler, so if something didn’t sound right, Swire would play the part himself and then switch back to the sampled drums, as heard on “Different.” Once they had the drum sounds assembled, they’d dissect them, rearrange like breakbeats and combine them with the hits Swire created using an Alesis Andromeda synth or HR-16 drum machine.


Mixing goes down in groups — one for each type of drum sound — with the normal and sampled drums coming in together. That way, they have the heaviness of the sampled drums and the largeness of the acoustic drums, which is best heard on “Showdown.”

That type of recording is also applied to the guitars, where a separate microphone records just the sound of the pick. Using a Shure SM57 on phase amplifiers, the guitars go through Avalon VT-737sp or API 3124 preamps. And the guys use Beat Detective in Pro Tools to break everything into separate hits so changes can be made, with the ability to go back to the way the instrument was originally played.

For vocals, Swire uses a Brauner VMA mic and the API 3124, starting with a clean sound and ending up dirty. “The cool thing is it’s got two capsules,” he says. “One sounds like a warm, vintage Neumann U 47; the other sounds like the original traditional, accurate, ultraclear Brauner VM1. The top end is amazing. It affects vocal performances because you can hear everything you’re doing and you’re working to that.”

Balancing technology with live, Pendulum treats In Silico as a drum ‘n’ bass record. Comparing their material to heavier sounds, such as Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song,” if they feel what they are doing has no value, they go back to find out what is wrong. To make this work, Pendulum concentrates on the mix, relying on Tube-Tech CM 1A and SMC 2B compressors, two Empirical Labs Distressors and Roll Music Super Stereo compressor, plus a great deal of freeware from db audioware and Sinus. Being Steinberg Nuendo-based, they also depend heavily on plug-ins from Sony/Sonnox Oxford and Waves — particularly the Waves C1 Comp-SC compressor with sidechain compression.


“Because our sound has always been so focused on tight and heavy, the concern we had was making things more live might lose an element of that,” Swire says. “We wanted the sound to be raw, but we didn’t want the playing to sound sloppy. If you’re going to be making this sort of music, you have to combine the writing and technical. No one is as interested in getting the sound in your head as you are. As long as you’re willing to sit there and get it, it’s going to be okay.”

Shure SM57

The Shure SM57 unidirectional dynamic microphone is exceptional for musical instrument pickup or for vocals. With its bright, clean sound and carefully contoured presence rise, the SM57 is ideal for live sound reinforcement and recording. It has an extremely effective cardioid pickup pattern which isolates the main sound source while minimizing background noise. In the studio, it is excellent…

Native Instruments Kontakt 3 CROSSGRADE

The Native Instruments Kontakt 3 Virtual Instrument Software: Sampler. The ultimate software sampler for serious musicians and producers. Now in its third incarnation, Native Instruments KONTAKT 3 builds on its reputation as the industry standard for professional sampling. The outstanding audio engine – combined with KONTAKT 3’s state-of-the-art modular architecture – provides unlimited sonic potential for your music. Universal file…

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Alesis SR-18 Professional Drum Machine


Alesis knows drums. The legendary SR-16 ignited the drum-machine market in 1990 and has remained a classic ever since. The SR-18 is designed to meet the demands of today’s musicians.

Introducing the SR-18. Following in the tradition of its ancestor, the SR-18 is loaded with cutting-edge…

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Waves Platinum Native Bundle

Platinum is an extraordinary collection of signal processing tools. From dynamics, equalization, and reverb to pitch correction, spatial imaging, and beyond, Platinum is ideal for tracking, mixing, mastering, and sound design. With a total of 33 essential processors now including Waves Tune LT, L3 Ultramaximizer™, L3-LL Ultramaximizer, and IR-L Convolution Reverb as well as all the plug-ins found in…

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