BeatMirror updated – Ten Kettles’ tempo-testing app gets new features

Download from iTunes App StoreI reviewed Ten Kettles latest app – BeatMirror – a few weeks ago here on the Music App Blog. The app falls into the ‘musical eduction’ category and is aimed primarily at drummers. And, as discussed in the review, while the app is extremely simple to use (although there are a bunch of new features on the development list apparently), in this case, ‘simple’ most certainly doesn’t mean the same as ‘not useful’.

BeatMirror’s function is quite straightforward; it gives you feedback on your ability to hold a specific tempo. The app uses your iPhone or iPad microphone to monitor the sound close by and, if that contains a strong rhythmic element (such as from a drum kit!), it will display the tempo (averaged over a short time period to smooth things out a little). You can set a target tempo – and there is a small, flashing, virtual LED that matches that target tempo as a guide –  but, in terms of app settings, that’s pretty much it :-)

So, if your drumming has a tendency to drift, or you are just looking for a new practice tool to test yourself against, BeatMirror is worth a look….

Anyway, v.2.0.0 arrived on the App Store yesterday and, as Ten Kettles had promised, they are starting to expand the feature set. The major change here is both an obvious and very welcome one; BeatMirror now shows you a graph of your tempo over time and that updates in real-time.

BeatMirror now offers a very useful tempo graph to assist in your drumming practice.

This is very cool as a practice tool for drummers…. but, if you are geeky enough about your favourite music and what elements give it some magic, play the app some of your favourite tunes via another device and see what (if anything) your favourite artists do with tempo in their songs. With so much stuff recorded to a click these days, tempos can be pretty rigid….  but find some tracks recorded ‘live’ as a full band in the studio – and with the drummer allowed to drive things to suit the musical mood – and BeatMirror will soon spot (and allow you to analyse) how tempo is used to add excitement and variety….  It’s a magical thing…..  :-)

BeatMirror is a neat little utility that will, I’m sure, appeal to drummers looking to work on their ‘tempo lock’ skills. It works great for practice and would, I’m sure, also be quite a neat tool to have at your side during a gig (providing your iPhone’s mic doesn’t get overwhelmed by the on-stage sound levels) if you need to keep yourself on (tempo) track.

I can easily imagine Ten Kettles adding further new features to the app over time (as they have done with hearEQ and Waay). Anyway, a simple app that does it’s one job with a minimum of fuss  – the kind of software the App Store can excels at – and sensibly priced. If your time keeping needs some work, BeatMirror might be just the utility app to help you along the way. Check out the original BeatMirror review, then hit the App Store download button to find out more….


Download from iTunes App Store
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