Metronomica App

A pattern-memorizing metronome, and custom music player tailored for dance instructors and choreographers

Thank you for your interest in Metronomica, please read on for a description of all its features.

This information is for the iPad, all the features work in the same exact manner as they do for the iPhone/iPod touch version.

Table of Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Custom Music Player
  3. Pattern-Memorizing Metronome
  4. Advanced Warning

Overview

When you first launch the app you should see something like the image below. Upon starting, Metronomica will load the contents of the playlist in your library named "Metronomica", so if you have a collection of songs that you will want to use you can avoid the hassle of manually loading them from your library by making such a playlist.

The opening screen of Metronomic App

The left hand side of the screen is the custom music player, the right hand side is the pattern-memorizing metronome. Let's start with the music player.

Annotated opening screen

Custom Music Player

The elements of the music player are labelled and described below:

Annotated music panel

Repeat Bars

Repeat bars allow you to choose a specific segment of a song to be played in repeat. This is most useful for working on choreography, but it is also nice for teaching classes if there is a specific segment of a song that works well for your students.

The image below shows the repeat bars in action, they can only be accessed when the repeat mode is set to one.

Repeat Bars

Initally the repeat bars will appear at the far ends of the playhead slider, you can drag them to whatever points you want in the song. While dragging them a time will appear above them, this time is the repeat bars position in the song. The time displayed to the side of the repeat bar gives the position of the playhead relative to the repeat bar.

Music Player Controls

The player controls are labelled and described below.

Music Player Controls
  1. Skip to beginning of track, or previous track.
  2. Skip backward by the playtime.
  3. Play for indeterminate amount of time. When music is playing this buttons switches to a Pause button: Pause Button.
  4. Play for playtime. When pressed this button will make the music play for the time defined by the Playtime Selection Button. While the playtimer is running the button will change to look like this: Add Time to playtimer Button, pressing this button will add the playtime to the playtimer.
  5. Advance the track by playtime.
  6. Advance to next track.

Stop At End Selector

The purpose of this button is to prevent the music player from advancing tracks. When the button shows a red stop sign (left image of the graphic below) the track will not advance, when it shows a green octagon (right) the tracks will play in succession.

Stop At End Selector

Music Selection Button

This button will bring up a panel to make your musical selections, you are allowed to pick as many songs as you would like. Unfortunately, this standard Apple provided panel is only available in portrait mode. Releasing this panel will sometimes make your interface invert. I'm working to fix this, look for updates in the future.

Playtime Selection Button

Tapping this button will bring up a popover panel like the one below. The button shows the playtime, the playtime is stored as a user preference so, you shouldn't have to muck around in this panel too often.

Playtime Selection Popover Panel

Now let's turn our attention to the Pattern-Memorizing Metronome.

Pattern-Memorizing Metronome

Let's have a look at the Pattern panel. Below is a breakdown of all the elements in the metronome.

The Pattern-Memorizing Metronome

Tapping a Pattern

As soon as you start tapping on the three colored panels the pattern memorizer springs into action and tries to find a pattern, it will doggedly search for a pattern for as long as you tap. Hitting the 'Reset Pattern' button clears the queue of past taps and will permit you to tap a different pattern. In the course of tapping your pattern the 'Pattern Found' indicator should pop up as soon as you have completed the pattern twice, this means that a pattern has been recognized but is not yet confirmed. Once you repeat the pattern a third time the green indicator pip will appear and the metronome will take over. You can continue tapping on the panels, but any further taps will not be incorportated into the repeating pattern.

Due to the way memory caches on iOS devices sometimes the first tap will register late, if you notice a delay between hitting the button and the sound playing then you have experienced this issue. This usually happens if you let the metronome sit idle for an extended period of time, I'm working to prevent this from happening in future updates. To mitigate this issue, just hit the reset button and start the pattern again.

Let's say we want to enter a waltz pattern with an accentuated first beat, this pattern would be comprised of a tap on the top button (tap 1) once then the left button (tap 2) twice with even spacing. To input this pattern we would start tapping away: 1,2,2; we would continue to tap: 1,2,2; the next time we hit the tap 1 button the pattern should register: 1,2,2. This marks the third measure of the pattern, but the pattern recognition requires us to tap the first beat of the fourth measure as well (this gives the actual time that the third measure ends. See below.

Pattern Recognition Mode

There are two modes of pattern recognition, simple and advanced. Simple pattern recognition only measures the length of time between taps, if they fall within a tolerable threshold (and the tap types match) then the pattern works. When you move the slider to 'Advanced' the following image should appear on the Pattern-Memorizing Metronome panel.

Advanced Pattern Recognition Panel

Advanced pattern recognition attempts to determine where your beats should be falling in the measure. For instance a Waltz should be comprised of three quarter notes, and an American Foxtrot of one half and two quarter notes. The advanced pattern recognizer tries to determine what you intend and provides a more precise output than your input. In light of this it can be a little more difficult to use, but worth the effort. The advanced pattern recognition also requires some extra information from you, namely the number of beats that exist in your desired pattern. For a waltz you would set the indicator to 3 Beats Per Measure, for a Foxtrot 4 Beats Per Measure, for a swing step 6 beats per measure (1-uh-2 3-uh-4 5 6). The BPM indicator tells you how many beats will elapse in one minute.

Toggling the Pattern Recognition Mode Slider will reset any pattern you might have had stored.

Voice Selection Panel

Each of the three tap areas in the Pattern Tap Panel can deliver an independent sound, and several different sounds are available, tapping on the icon at the bottom-right of the screen will bring up a panel allowing you to select from the provided sounds.

Voice Selection Popover

Advanced Warning

Most music isn't made with strict adherance to a metronome, as such the tempo of a song can and will vary from verse to verse. This can make keeping the Pattern-Memorizing Metronome perfectly synced with music difficult. It will work beautifully with the right songs, but it will haunt your nightmares on some songs.