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> Introducing The Most Advanced Web Metronome!, ...or what it aspires to be
Wyverex
post Aug 30 2016, 12:53 PM
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Hey guys!

As we talked about metronomes here: https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=57359 I was tempted to write a metronome that has all the features I really wanted but never found for free on the internet, ready to use, no installs. So, I locked myself in over the weekend and here it is! biggrin.gif

http://metronome.wyverex-cave.net (better domain name will follow)

So far it allows creating different configurations that are played one after another, including features like accenting the first beat, having silent bars, playing for a specific amount of time/repetitions and changing speed relative to the previous configuration (by fixed increment/decrement or percentage). You can also bookmark a link that will recreate your current settings next time.

One non-obvious thing: There are some hotkeys:
A/Q - Dec/Inc speed by 1
S/W - Dec/Inc speed by 5
D/E - Dec/Inc speed by 10
Spacebar - Start/Stop
With the number keys 0-9 you can quickly cycle between speeds. E.g. when you press 5, you will cycle between 50, 150, 250 etc.

Known issues
  • - The sound output and the visual countdown can sometimes get out of sync, e.g. if you have a very small browser window and need to scroll while the metronome is running. This is not trivially fixed but the upshot is that the sound playback speed is very stable! I haven't found any more glitches in rhythm so far.
  • - Sorry Internet Explorer users. No web audio support. No metronome
  • - When in infinite mode, the elapsed time will change when you change the metronome's speed. This should obviously just keep counting up!
  • - On Chrome, the name for a config sometimes changes size erratically


Things to do
In more or less random order
  • - Nesting configurations arbitrarily (so you can for example configure something like 3 bars with sound, 1 bar without and repeat that whole thing as many times as you want)
  • - Sub-divisions! Why content ourselves with 4 beats per bar if we can have arbitrary sub-divisions? cool.gif
  • - Mobile/Touch screen optimization. It's a bit tricky to change settings on a smartphone, this needs to improve


Please let me know if this is useful to you and if you find bugs. And please share suggestions and comments! So far I've only tested on Chrome, Firefox and Opera. If you find bugs, please also post your browser version number!

Let's make this the most useful metronome on the internet! smile.gif

Cheers
Andy

This post has been edited by Wyverex: Sep 15 2016, 03:07 PM
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Kristofer Dahl
post Aug 30 2016, 01:20 PM
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First impression on Chrome/mac - this looks extremely promising!

Here is what I tried with: http://screencast.com/t/Dey4qzYj6f

So far the only problem I have encountered is entering the bpm for each block - I never really understood how to. I did a lot of clicking back and forth and eventually it worked. I will get back when I have a more specific report.

edit: what key should I use to save the bpm value for a block, after I have entered it?


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Wyverex
post Aug 30 2016, 01:27 PM
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Thanks!

I agree, that this might not be as intuitive as I like it to be yet. Basically it works as follows:

You set a master speed with the controls on top.
Now for each config/block (I need a handy name for that happy.gif, let's stay with block for now) you can choose whether you:
- want to set a fixed increment or decrement in relation to the block before (or the master time if it's the first block) by having the +- icon activated. So if you enter 20 here, it will be 20 beats faster than the block before
- want a percentage of the previous block. Obviously you select the % icon here
- want to break the relation and continue with a fixed speed from this block on. In this case you just disable both icons and set a specific speed

Please share suggestions on how to make this more intuitive!

I'm also not quite sure yet whether I want this master speed control or whether that speed should just update with speed of the currently playing block. I don't know what's more intuitive for most people.
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yoncopin
post Aug 30 2016, 01:34 PM
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Awesome work! It performs well on Chrome on Windows. I agree with Kris, slap some instructions up there on the bottom. I mostly got it with a bit of experimenting, but I'm probably missing something cool. Nice job smile.gif


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Wyverex
post Aug 30 2016, 01:40 PM
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Thanks, instructions would probably be handy, yes. I just want to avoid a wall of text smile.gif

@Kris: To save the BPM for a block just click anywhere else on the same block (or on a different block). It should update then. The clickable area to just select the current block again without editing something else is a bit small at the moment (that's part of why it's so hard on mobile). I'll definitely need to change something there.
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Caelumamittendum
post Aug 30 2016, 02:35 PM
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Awesome! biggrin.gif This is brilliant and can only get even better smile.gif


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Kristofer Dahl
post Aug 31 2016, 12:12 PM
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QUOTE (Wyverex @ Aug 30 2016, 02:27 PM) *
Thanks!

I agree, that this might not be as intuitive as I like it to be yet. Basically it works as follows:

You set a master speed with the controls on top.
Now for each config/block (I need a handy name for that happy.gif, let's stay with block for now) you can choose whether you:
- want to set a fixed increment or decrement in relation to the block before (or the master time if it's the first block) by having the +- icon activated. So if you enter 20 here, it will be 20 beats faster than the block before
- want a percentage of the previous block. Obviously you select the % icon here
- want to break the relation and continue with a fixed speed from this block on. In this case you just disable both icons and set a specific speed

Please share suggestions on how to make this more intuitive!

I'm also not quite sure yet whether I want this master speed control or whether that speed should just update with speed of the currently playing block. I don't know what's more intuitive for most people.


Ah I see your thought.

I have given it another quick practice test (just 5 minutes) - and here are some more spontaneous thoughts.

* being able to change the volume is a KILLER feature which seems to be lacking on many web based metronomes.

* it would be neat if the "loop" restarted after the last config, my loop was pretty short since each config just had 5 bars each

* It would also be nice if the enter key worked for a config value (but perhaps this would interfere with something else?).

* Personally - since I am not used to practicing with tempo changes - I think it would be helpful if the last two clicks in a config had a slightly different sound/pitch (to give the student a hint that a new tempo is coming). This functionality might make it slightly less friendly though, as some might want to have the option to turn the functionality off.


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Wyverex
post Aug 31 2016, 02:26 PM
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QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Aug 31 2016, 11:12 AM) *
* it would be neat if the "loop" restarted after the last config, my loop was pretty short since each config just had 5 bars each


This will be remedied automatically once you can nest configurations. You could then just create a block that contains all your configured blocks and have it repeat as often as you wish (or infinitely). Already planned cool.gif

Edit: But a general loop function would be handy anyways. Will do smile.gif

QUOTE
* It would also be nice if the enter key worked for a config value (but perhaps this would interfere with something else?).


True! I'll see what I can do there

QUOTE
* Personally - since I am not used to practicing with tempo changes - I think it would be helpful if the last two clicks in a config had a slightly different sound/pitch (to give the student a hint that a new tempo is coming). This functionality might make it slightly less friendly though, as some might want to have the option to turn the functionality off.


Interesting idea! Another probably more general option would be to be able to configure a lead-in for each block. In this case you could choose to have a lead-in for each new tempo or in arbitrary places. A lead-in should probably have a short pause, followed by a standard 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4 drum stick pattern.

This post has been edited by Wyverex: Aug 31 2016, 02:28 PM
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Fran
post Sep 1 2016, 11:49 AM
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Nice, not an expert, just curiouss, which language did you write it with?


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Wyverex
post Sep 1 2016, 12:02 PM
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In your browser it's just Javascript, which generates HTML and CSS.
For development I'm using React JS running on Node JS and Webpack.
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Caelumamittendum
post Sep 1 2016, 02:04 PM
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Just found out how to do the countdown! Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice!


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Sep 1 2016, 02:42 PM
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Hi mate! I think that the initiative is brilliant, and the overall idea and concept of the metronome is very useful and powerful. I love it and I'd love to learn how to use it!

I find it extremely difficult to understand how to set things. It took me a while to understand the blocks thing, and I still not comfortable setting a bpm number. I'd love to be able to write "120 bpm" and that it sets to "120".

I still couldn''t set different bpms to the blocks, and didn't find some other things that the guys are talking here, like the countdown.

I feel like a dummy trying to make it work. hahahah sad.gif

This definitely will need very clear explanations on the things that it can do and how to do it. But once again, the idea is killer and being able to manage it easily could make this one my main metronome tool.


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Wyverex
post Sep 1 2016, 04:06 PM
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Thanks for the feedback!

I begin to realize now that the whole thing isn't intuitive enough as it stands. I'm already thinking about solutions but since my time is limited this week (more importantly my guitar time as well sad.gif ) I probably won't be able to deliver any updates. Next week for sure smile.gif

Please, keep those suggestions coming though smile.gif
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Sep 1 2016, 07:06 PM
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Awesome! Can't wait to try the update the next week mate! By the way I'm already using is for practice. biggrin.gif


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Phil66
post Sep 1 2016, 07:29 PM
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Really promising, this is something that could prove really useful.

One thing that isn't a major issue but needs tweaking is if you set 120bpm to repeat 120 times, the time box shows 4.066666666666666 wink.gif

Thanks for doing this Wyverex, it's going to be awesome. Are you planning on selling it?

Cheers buddy


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Todd Simpson
post Sep 1 2016, 10:06 PM
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WOW!! This is honestly the best web metronome I"ve ever seen and it's still in beta!! I think it should be included here on GMC just like the scale generator once it is complete. You've done a fine job here. How in the world did you do this? Java? Flash? Python?

One question, could you make a drop down to choose, for example, drum sounds for the tick/tock? So a kick for Tick and snare for Tock?

Todd


QUOTE (Wyverex @ Aug 30 2016, 07:53 AM) *
Hey guys!

As we talked about metronomes here: https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...showtopic=57359 I was tempted to write a metronome that has all the features I really wanted but never found for free on the internet, ready to use, no installs. So, I locked myself in over the weekend and here it is! biggrin.gif

http://metronome.wyverex-cave.net (better domain name will follow)

So far it allows creating different configurations that are played one after another, including features like accenting the first beat, having silent bars, playing for a specific amount of time/repetitions and changing speed relative to the previous configuration (by fixed increment/decrement or percentage).

One non-obvious thing: There are some hotkeys:
A/Q - Dec/Inc speed by 1
S/W - Dec/Inc speed by 5
D/E - Dec/Inc speed by 10
Spacebar - Start/Stop

Known issues
  • - The sound output and the visual countdown can sometimes get out of sync, e.g. if you have a very small browser window and need to scroll while the metronome is running. This is not trivially fixed but the upshot is that the sound playback speed is very stable! I haven't found any more glitches in rhythm so far.
  • - Sorry Internet Explorer users. No web audio support. No metronome
  • - When in infinite mode, the elapsed time will change when you change the metronome's speed. This should obviously just keep counting up!
  • On Chrome, the name for a config sometimes changes size erratically


Things to do
In more or less random order
  • - Show the hotkeys rolleyes.gif
  • - Being able to copy a link that you can bookmark and that re-creates the exact configuration
  • - Nesting configurations arbitrarily (so you can for example configure something like 3 bars with sound, 1 bar without and repeat that whole thing as many times as you want)
  • - Sub-divisions! Why content ourselves with 4 beats per bar if we can have arbitrary sub-divisions? cool.gif
  • - Mobile/Touch screen optimization. It's a bit tricky to change settings on a smartphone, this needs to improve


Please let me know if this is useful to you and if you find bugs. And please share suggestions and comments! So far I've only tested on Chrome, Firefox and Opera. If you find bugs, please also post your browser version number!

Let's make this the most useful metronome on the internet! smile.gif

Cheers
Andy



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Kristofer Dahl
post Sep 2 2016, 07:39 AM
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QUOTE (Wyverex @ Sep 1 2016, 05:06 PM) *
Thanks for the feedback!

I begin to realize now that the whole thing isn't intuitive enough as it stands. I'm already thinking about solutions but since my time is limited this week (more importantly my guitar time as well sad.gif ) I probably won't be able to deliver any updates. Next week for sure smile.gif

Please, keep those suggestions coming though smile.gif


I don't think you need to worry that much about usability at this point - since you are gathering feedback from users to define the exact functionality. To me it would make sense to first establish exactly what the metronome should do.

When done we can try to figure out how to present it. I find that making something user-friendly is often a case of prioritising.

Exciting stuff!


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Wyverex
post Sep 2 2016, 10:50 AM
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Thanks for all the kind replies, guys, means a lot to me!

QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Sep 1 2016, 06:06 PM) *
[...] By the way I'm already using is for practice. biggrin.gif


Awesome to hear! biggrin.gif

QUOTE (Phil66 @ Sep 1 2016, 06:29 PM) *
[...] Thanks for doing this Wyverex, it's going to be awesome. Are you planning on selling it?


You're welcome! And no, I'm not planning to sell this. I thought about it for a while but adding everything that's required to make it sellable would easily be the same amount of effort going into the metronome itself and even then I'm not convinced that it would sell well. So, it's my contribution to the community of practicing musicians and it will stay free smile.gif


QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Sep 1 2016, 09:06 PM) *
[...] How in the world did you do this? Java? Flash? Python?

One question, could you make a drop down to choose, for example, drum sounds for the tick/tock? So a kick for Tick and snare for Tock?


It's written with Javascript, HTML and CSS.

I've already thought about that, but I'd like to delay that until I implement subdivisions for each bar. My plan was to be able to select from a list of sounds for each beat that you create. Of course there should be some global option then, too.


QUOTE (Kristofer Dahl @ Sep 2 2016, 06:39 AM) *
I don't think you need to worry that much about usability at this point - since you are gathering feedback from users to define the exact functionality. To me it would make sense to first establish exactly what the metronome should do.


True, but I believe that given a certain feature set, those functions should be clear enough themselves. I'd rather not add features after features when there's confusion about what's already there. But I have some ideas already. Stay tuned smile.gif

EDIT:
By the way, I forgot to mention an important set of shortcuts blink.gif

With the number keys 0-9 you can quickly cycle between speeds. E.g. when you press 5, you will cycle between 50, 150, 250 etc.

EDIT2:
It seems I can't edit my first post anymore. Is it possible to enable that again? I'd like to keep the features, todos and known issues updated.

This post has been edited by Wyverex: Sep 2 2016, 10:51 AM
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Kristofer Dahl
post Sep 2 2016, 11:40 AM
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QUOTE (Wyverex @ Sep 2 2016, 11:50 AM) *
EDIT2:
It seems I can't edit my first post anymore. Is it possible to enable that again? I'd like to keep the features, todos and known issues updated.


I have prolonged the edit time to a month, so it should work for you now.

QUOTE (Wyverex @ Sep 2 2016, 11:50 AM) *
True, but I believe that given a certain feature set, those functions should be clear enough themselves. I'd rather not add features after features when there's confusion about what's already there. But I have some ideas already. Stay tuned smile.gif


Good point. And by making it user friendly from start, it is easier to get feedback from non tech-savvy people, which is extremely valuable.


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Wyverex
post Sep 8 2016, 12:00 PM
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I just uploaded an update. You now see a link below your boxes that you can bookmark to recreate your current configuration next time.

I haven't yet gotten around to implement usability features but that will follow soonish. I watched my girlfriend try out the metronome for the first time some days ago and that was quite an eye-opener! It's never safe to assume that stuff is very obvious just because it's obvious in your own head smile.gif

So, updates will follow, but they might take a while, I don't have much time to devote to this project at the moment. Stay tuned!
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