Metronomics Manual

Welcome to the Metronomics! This manual details many of the features available in the app. If you would prefer to learn via watching rather than reading, please visit the Metronomics YouTube channel.

Contents

  1. About Metronomics
  2. Starting/stopping the metronome
  3. Metronome controls
  4. Subdivisions
  5. Saved metronomes
  6. Playlists
  7. Inspector mode
  8. Settings
    • Upgrade/subscriptions
    • Ableton Link
    • Usage
    • Theme
    • Downbeat settings
    • Export
  9. AUv3 support
  10. Metronomics watchOS app
  11. Metronomics Pro
  12. Learn more

About Metronomics

I created Metronomics out of necessity. The metronome I was using was functional, but it let me be complacent about time — I became reliant on it to tell me where the time was instead of helping me build my own sense of rhythm. The features in Metronomics are all built with the goal of helping musicians develop a good sense of time and rhythmic security, without leaning on a constantly-clicking metronome as a crutch.

- John Nastos
Saxophonist, creator and programmer of Metronomics

Starting and stopping the metronome

The metronome can be started and stopped using the button near the bottom of the main metronome screen. When playing in the background, the metronome can also be started and stopped using the on-screen "Now playing" controls on the lock screen of your device.

Metronome controls

Near the top of the screen, just below the "visual metronome" that displays the time signature in a series of blue boxes, is Metronomics' control row. This is a series of controls, each made up of up and down arrow buttons, plus a label in the middle. Each of these controls can be manipulated by the up/down arrow buttons as well as by tapping the middle label, which opens up a dialog box allowing you to type in a value. Certain controls also have other methods of manipulation, like the tempo control, which will also respond to the up/down arrows being held down in a long press.

It is important to note that only two controls are displayed on the screen at any one time, but more can be revealed by swiping left/right on the control row. The "page indicator" dots below the row give a visual cue as to what page of controls you are currently on.

Tempo control

Tapping the up/down arrows on the tempo control increases or decreases the tempo by 1 bpm. Tapping and holding those buttons increments the tempo by +/- 10 bpm.

Tap and hold the tempo control label (the tempo number between the up/down arrows) to open a dialog box that will allow you to type in a tempo.

By tapping the tempo control label repeatedly, you can enable the "tap tempo feature." Metronomics will translate the tempo that you tap into a bpm value for the metronome.

Time signature control

Tapping the up/down arrows on the time signature control increases or decreases the time signature by 1 beat.

Tap and hold the time signature control label to open a dialog box that will allow you to type in a time signature.

Tap the time signature label once (do not hold) to bring up the time signature control window. Here, you can choose from common time signatures or a custom time signature.

Time Signatures

Compound meters can be created by combining "segments" (eg. 4/4 + 3/8 + 3/4). Segments can be added, deleted, and rearranged using this control.

Downbeat control

This control determines how often the "downbeat" (eg. beat 1) is played by the metronome. For example, a value of 1 will make the metronome play the downbeat sound every bar. 0 will not play the downbeat at all and 2 will make the downbeat play every other bar.

Repeat bar control

When a subdivision has a probability other than 100%, the pattern that is played in each bar is determined randomly by the metronome. Using this control, you can have that pattern repeated. Be aware that if the subdivision has a sequence length that isn't equal to the length of the bar, this feature may behave in unexpected ways.

Audibility controls

The "Audible for __ bars" and "Inaudible for __ bars" controls work together to determine which bars of a metronome are played and which are silenced. The default is to have "All" bars audible and 0 bars inaudible. Setting both of these controls to 1 would make the metronome alternate between audible and silent bars.

Tap and hold either of these controls to enable random audility. In this mode, the chances that a bar is audible is determined by a % probability, much like the subdivisions' probabilities.

Tempo alteration controls

Using these controls, you can have the metronome speed up or slow down by X bpm every Y bars.

Count off control

Use this control to have the metronome play a countoff before the main pattern begins. The countoff is played with only the downbeat sound and is displayed overlayed on the normal metronome screen while in progress.

Timer control

Using this control, you can set Metronomics to play for a certain amount of minutes and seconds before ending automatically. While enabled and playing, this control will display the remaining duration on the timer.

Subdivisions

Each metronome is made up of a collection of subdivisions, plus a "downbeat" (the downbeat only gets played on beat one of the bar). The subdivisions are represented on the main metronome screen by a collection of columns, each with a circular button with a subdivision icon, a slider, and a knob control.

By default, the slider controls the probability that a subdivision will occur. For example, at full probability, a subdivision will always be played. At half probability, the subdivision will get played roughly 50% of the time.

The knob at the bottom of the screen controls the subdivision's volume by default. However, the role of the slider and knob can be reversed on the settings page.

By tapping the circular icon above the slider, you can enter the subdivision settings page. This page gives you many options to change and refine the behavior of the subdivision.

Adding/removing a subdivision

To add a subdivision, tap the "Add Subdivision" button on the main metronome screen. This brings up a window that allows you to choose from common subdivisions, a collection of preset rhythms (including common clave patterns), and custom subdivisions. You can also choose a sound for the subdivision (which can be later changed in the subdivision's settings window).

Add subdivision

If you have chosen "Custom subdivision," you will be asked to choose a duration for the subdivision. This is in the format numerator/denominator where the numerator is the number of times that a subdivision occurs and the denominator is the number of beats that it takes for the numerator to complete. For example: 1/1 is quarter notes (one subdivision per one beat). 2/1 is eighth notes (two subdivisions per one beat). 3/2 is quarter note triplets (three subdivisions per two beats).

There is also a special subdivision called "Every beat." The subdivision plays on each beat, regardless of the time signature. This is not a traditional subdivision, since it's duration can change depending on the denominator of the time signature. For example, in 4/4, this subdivision will be the equivalent of quarter notes. However, in 4/4 + 3/8, it will be quarter notes for the 4/4 section, then switch to eighth notes for the 3/8 section. Note: these subdivisions cannot be sequenced.

To remove a subdivision, open the subdivision settings window by tapping the subdivision info button (the circle above the slider on the main screen), scroll to the bottom of the table, and choose "Remove subdivision."

Subdivision settings

To access this page, tap the circular icon above the slider for the subdivision on the main metronome screen. Depending on the subdivision, certain options may or may not be displayed. For example, the options for a quarter note subdivision won't include swing, which is only available to subdivisions with even-numbered numerators.

The sequencer

Subdivisions (excluding downbeats and the special "every beat" subdivisions) can be sequenced. This means that a specific pattern can be played using the subdivision. For example, if you wanted to play only beats 2 and 4 in 4/4, you could use quarter notes and then enable the sequencer, choosing only to play beats 2 and 4.

The sequencer view is layed out with three rows of rectangles. The top row represents measures. The middle row represents beats. Finally, the bottom row represents individual subdivisions. The individual subdivisions in the bottom row can be activated so that the metronome plays them by tapping them. Activated subdivisions are red while inactive subdivisions are light gray. By default when the sequencer is first turned on, all individual subdivisions are in an inactive state.

If the metronome is playing while you have the sequencer displayed, the subdivision currently being played will be green, regardless of its active/inactive state.

The sequencer has two options:

The sequence length describes the length of the sequenced pattern, represented in subdivisions. When the sequencer is first turned on, this should be the number of subdivisions that fit into a bar. For example, a sequence of quarter notes that takes up 1 measure of 4/4 should have a sequence length of 4. If you wanted a sequenced pattern that is 8 beats long, but wanted to keep the time signature for the metronome the same, you could change the sequence length to 8. Sequence lengths do not need to divide evenly into the time signature — if they do not divide evenly, their behavior is determined by the next option.

Consider the example of an 8th note subdivision with a sequence length of 5 in a time signature of 4/4. Of course, 5/8 does not evenly fit into 4/4. If the repeat type is set to "No repeat," the sequence will get played once within the bar of 4/4, followed by silence for the rest of the bar. If it is set to "Cutoff," the sequence will be played once in its entirety, plus the first 3 eighth notes of the sequence, filling up the entire bar of 4/4. At that point, the sequence will get reset again, even though it is only part way through its iteration. Finally, if the sequence is set to "Loop," the 5-note sequence will play repeatedly, regardless of where in the bar of 4/4 it lands — the sequence will always play in its entirety.

MIDI subdivisions

If you have a Metronomics Pro subscription, you can enable MIDI subdivisions. Once a subdivision is set to MIDI rather than sound, you are given three options, allowing you to choose a MIDI destination, channel, and program number. Channel and program number should be self explantory for MIDI users. Destination determines whether the subdivision should be played by the internal MIDI synthesizer within Metronomics or sent to an external app. If you choose to send the signal to an external app, make sure you set up the external app to accept MIDI input from Metronomics' MIDI port.

In MIDI mode, the sequencer turns into a specialized MIDI sequencer. In some ways, it behaves the same as the normal sequencer. However, when you tap on a subdivision, instead of just activating the subdivision, an additional window opens up that allows you to choose what MIDI information is sent. This window has the following controls:

MIDI

Using the on-screen keyboard, you can choose which MIDI notes get sent at that point in the sequence. Multiple notes (chords) can be played simultaneously. Red keys are active and black/white keys are inactive.

Saved metronomes

Saved screen

The saved page (found in the bottom tab bar) provides access to the Default metronome, all of the built-in saved metronomes, your custom saved metronomes, and your playlist collections of metronomes.

The feature you may find yourself using most is the "Default metronome" — this metronome always sits at the top of the Saved page and will allow you to reset Metronomics to the basic settings of one quarter note in 4/4 at 120 bpm. This metronome cannot be renamed or deleted.

Saving a metronome

To save your work, tap the "Save" button in the upper-right corner of the "Saved" page. This button opens a window that allows you to choose a name and location for the metronome. If you stared with the Default metronome, the name field will be blank. If you've been modifying another metronome, it will be prefilled with the metronome's name. If you would like to save your creation as a brand-new metronome, you just need to enter a new name for the metronome. If you choose a name that has already been chosen, you will be asked whether you wish to overwrite the existing metronome when saving.

Metronomics supports organizing your metronomes into folders. You can choose either an existing folder or create a new location. Folders are only one-level deep — multiple levels of nested folders are not supported. To move a metronome to a different folder, load the metronome and then choose "Save" and choose a new location for it. Once you have saved it in the new location, you can delete the original metronome.

Deleting a saved metronome

Delete metronome

To delete a metronome, swipe to the left on the metronome. Then, choose "Delete."

Sharing a metronome

To share a metronome, swipe to the right on the metronome. Three buttons will appear — chose the one labeled "Export." The default iOS share sheet will open, allowing you to export the metronome to Messages, Mail, Files, etc.

Playlists

Metronomics has limited support for building playlists. Metronomics is primarily built as a practice tool, and thus is not necessarily geared towards live-performance use cases. However, it does include the ability to group metronomes together and navigate between them easily.

Accessing playlists

Playlists can be accessed from the "Saved" screen. Near the bottom of the screen, there is a segmented control with two options: metronomes and playlists. Choose "playlists."

Creating a playlist

To create a new playlist, tap the "+" button in the top right corner of the screen. You will be prompted for a name for the new playlist.

Deleting a playlist

To delete a playlist, swipe to the left on the playlist. Then, choose "Delete."

Using a playlist

Tap on a playlist to open it and see the list of included metronomes. To add a new item, tap the "+" button in the top right corner of the screen. This will open a list of currently-saved metronomes. If the metronome is in a folder, it will be listed as "folder_name/metronome_name".

To reorder the items, tap the "Edit" button in the top right corner of the screen. Once in edit mode, you can reorder metronomes by dragging them.

To start playing the metronomes on the playlist, you can use the built-in start/stop button on the playlist screen. You can also use the large up and down arrows to navigate between metronomes. Finally, you can use the on-screen volume control on this screen if you wish to quickly turn up or mute the metronome.

Inspector mode

Inspector

If you have a Metronomics Pro subscription, you have access to "Insector mode." In this mode, Metronomics will display audio data from the microphone on your device along with a graph of the subdivision that Metronomics plays. Using this visual data, you can attempt to see how in time you are playing.

To use Inspector mode, you must start the metronome from the Inspector page. Otherwise, the microphone input will not be captured.

If "show peak lines" on the Settings screen is enabled, after the metronome is stopped, Metronomics will analyze the microphone input and draw red lines on the screen where it finds peaks at the beginnings of notes. You can use this as another tool to guage how in-time your playing is. Keep in mind that this is an imperfect technology and works significantly better with some instruments than others.

Settings screen

Help: Opens this manual

About: Opens the "About" screen for Metronomics. This page includes the version number, which can be helpful during support requests.

Walkthrough: Opens the walkthrough that is displayed when Metronomics launches for the first time.

Upgrade/subscription: "Upgrade" brings you to a screen that shows information regarding upgrading to Metronomics Pro. Once you have upgraded, this link changes to "Subscription" which allows you to manage your Metronomics Pro subscription.

Ableton Link: Opens the Ableton Link preference screen, which allows you to enable Ableton Link, which is used to sync music apps together.

Usage: Displays your usage of Metronomics over time.

Theme: switches between light/dark displays for Metronomics (only available in Metronomics Pro).

Disable auto-lock: Disabling auto-lock prevents the screen from darkening or turning off

Play in background: When on, Metronomics will continue to play even if the app is in the background. If the metronome is not playing, it will not consume any battery even if this mode is enabled.

Mix with other audio: Allow Metronomics to mix with other audio sources (note: lock screen playback controls will not be available if this is enabled)

Haptic feedback: Enables haptic feecback for the main screen control row.

Show downbeat: Show a slider/button for the downbeat on the main screen.

Downbeat settings: Open the subdivision settings for the downbeat.

Auto-add 'Every beat': When on, a special 'Every beat' subdivision is automatically added when changing the time signature to something including a denominator other than 4

Sliders: Controls whether the sliders on the main screen control volume or probability. The knob below will do the opposite.

Show peak lines: Show peak lines on Inspector screen once the metronome is stopped.

Peak factor: The multiplication factor that determines a peak. Lower values will tend to find more peaks.

Export

Export metronomes: Exports a package of all of the saved metronomes in one bundle. Useful for backups.

Export audio: Exports an audio file from the current metronome. Time can be chosen in either minutes/seconds or measures. (Only available in Metronomics Pro)

Export MIDI: Exports a MIDI file from the current metronome. (Only available in Metronomics Pro)

AUv3 support

Metronomics has the ability to run as a an AUv3 audio unit inside of a host application. This can be useful for running Metronomics alongside or synced with synthesizers and other audio applications.

Using Metronomics as an Audio Unit

Consult the manual for your host of choice for how to add Metronomics. Metronomics is a "generator" type AUv3 and does not play repsonding to MIDI events, so it may not appear in some hosts (GarageBand for instance). However, other hosts such as AUM are fully compatible with Metronomics.

When a Metronomics AUv3 is opened, by default it opens to the last state of the full application version. Settings can be changed independently within the AUv3 including loading different saved metronomes.

Multiple instances of the Metronomics AUv3 can be run at the same time.

The Settings screen is not available from the AUv3 and must be viewed in the full application. However, the bottom tab bar does include access to the Ableton Link settings within the AUv3.

Metronomics watchOS app

If you have an Apple Watch, you can use it as a remote to control Metronomics on your iOS device. To use it, open Metronomics on both your watch and iOS device. You can control many of the basic features of the app including start/stop, tempo, time signature, audibility, etc.

The tempo can be adjusted not only with the +/- buttons on the main screen, but also via the watch crown.

Note that if the watch app is opened and Metronomics hasn't been opened for a while on your iOS device, it may not respond to start/stop messages until you open Metronomics on your iOS device.

Metronomics Pro

Features

Metronomics Pro enables a number of additional features including:

Each of these features is detailed in a separate section of the manual except for custom subdivision sounds. Once enabled, custom subdivision sounds are available by loading additional audio files into Metronomics.

Audio files of the following types are accepted for import: wav, mp3, mp4, aiff. Open any of these types in Metronomics and they will be automatically imported. For example, if you have an mp3 file attached to an email, hold down on the attached file and choose Open In... Metronomics.

Once imported, the custom sounds will be available at the top of the list of sounds for each subdivision.

How to upgrade

Tap the Upgrade link on the Settings screen. This will present you with upgrade information including pricing.

Managing your subscription

Once subscribed, there will be a "Subscription" link on the Settings screen. Tap this to get access to your subscription information including the ability to cancel your subscription.

Learn more

Metronomes website

You can visit the Metronomics website at metronomicsapp.com

Videos

There are many Metronomics tutorial videos on the Metronomics YouTube channel.

Contact the creator

If you have questions or comments that aren't answered here, please get in contact via email at info@metronomicsapp.com. Support emails will be answered as quickly as possible when the creator has an internet connection (not always the case when on the road...).