Friday, June 15, 2012

Drummer Apps for Androids

This post is going to pave the way for a short series on tempo and dynamics. I lightly touched upon both in Some Quick Tips (tempos and dynamics), but want to delve deeper. In particular I want to address dynamics, but for now am going to kick off with a very brief discussion of two cool Android applications I have on my Droid X phone.

The first is Tempo (Special Edition), a metronome by a company called Frozen Ape (which also makes an iPhone version. The best way to describe the product is to show this video, which covers it in detail. It is much more than a cheap metronome, as you can see in the video, and at $0.99 is quite the bargain.

Cool, right? If you own a smart phone that runs the Android or iPhone operating system you are fresh out of excuses for not always having a metronome handy.

In this series of posts, though, tempo is going to take a slight back seat to dynamics. The impetus behind this emphasis is a discussion among some drummers titled, Venues with decibel limiters. The subtitle of that discussion was, How much to they suck? I weight in firmly on the side of using decibel limiters. My reasons will be in subsequent posts along with some technical information about sound pressure and other dry, boring stuff that every drummer should know. Believe me, the misconceptions about this (and unwarranted assumptions) are mind-boggling.

That brings me to the second app: Decibel-O-Meter Free. As the name implies, this is a free application that has this screen on your Android phone:

As a prelude to the next post, which will discuss not only this application, but decibels as they relate to sound pressure levels, read these one star reviews of the application, then contrast them with these five star reviews. See the disconnect between informed users and those who downloaded the application without any understanding of decibels as they relate to sound pressure levels? I hope to clear that up, because those physical aspects do have a lot to do with music and drumming. Until the next post, enjoy ...

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