Dr. Betotte: A Look at the Metronome/Beat-Box App for iOS Devices
I have tried every metronome on the market (app store market that is) and, while “Metronome Plus” is my favorite when all I need is a quick, clean way to keep time, Dr. Betotte is hands down the best metronome for odd meters, trickier functions and as a practice tool.
I believe that this is actually based off of the old “Dr. Beat” metronomes from decades back. I had one of these big-box metronomes with a giant tempo dial and sliders for the different subdivisions. It was a great practice tool and I’d been missing it for years until I came across this app.
I primarily use it because it allows me to pick some nice sounds and set up grooves of up to 16 beats, with any subdivisions I want, swung or straight. My tune, “Fif” was actually born of this app. I had set up a quarter note in 5/4 time and had a shaker playing quarter-note triplets against it while practicing. This app very much inspired that groove.
While there are many more functions that one might even need here, it does not feel cluttered once you understand the layout. You can also save any settings you like. I’ve amassed quite a list of instantly recallable metronome settings that I love to practice to. You can also program Dr. Betotte to slowly ramp up tempos by set increments, to help you work tricky passages (ie: start slowly and follow the metronome as it gradually ramps up the speed).
I recommend this metronome to anyone who wants to explore compound meters or “odd” time signatures at all. If you just need something to click along a quarter note, this may be over-kill but if you want to really explore sub-divisions and compound meters, there is no equal in the app store.
Dr. Betotte features:
- Multi divisions metronome program.
- 5 volume sliders and mute buttons to control quarter, 8th, 16th, triplet and beat note sounds.
- Tap tempo.
- Halftime feel
- Adjustable swing feel functions
- Multi beat mode. (you can set up to 16 beats per cycle with the beat sound on any desired beats to create complicated rhythms).
- All your settings ,including tempo, can be saved for later recall.
- Alarm timer that syncs with the metronome.
- Quarter note triplet.
- Coach functions. (Gradual up/down tempo, step up/down tempo and Quiet Count)
- Works fine on both 1st & 2nd generations iPod touch.
While this app will run on an iPad, it does so in iPhone layout (requiring you to use the 2x feature to see it full screen, which isn’t optimal for clarity).
For those with different needs as far as metronomes go, I’ll include two honorable mentions in the metronome app market:
Metronome Plus: This is a great metronome with a beautiful interface and streamlined functionality. Very clean, very well done and very inexpensive.
Metronomics – This one is not the prettiest in the game, but it does something no other metronome app does and that is beat randomization. It also allows for pretty controlled randomization which can lead to practicing over some pretty interesting rhythms. Pretty cool.