Tempo Dial with Unlimited Range

Youtube Video

Tempo Dial Demo
This dial is simple to use - yet carefully designed for all your needs.

What is it?

A dial to set the tempo for your rhythms.  It is especially designed for musicians, with many extra features to make your practise sessions easier, as you can see in the video.

What does it do?

Easy and intuitive, just click to set the tempo pointer. You can also type in any number as your new tempo. This lets you have fractional BPM - and means you have no limit at all on the tempo range.

With a touch on the arrow keys on your keyboard you can step up or down in tempo. This is really useful during practice. There is no need to put down your musical instrument to adjust the dial, you just need one hand free to touch the keys. You can step up or down by one BPM or notch at a time.

You can also use arrow keys to step through a list of preset tempi, e.g. all the ones you need for your session. You can set it to step through the rhythms you need, as well, automatically, at the same time as the tempo changes.

Where is it?

Where do I find it in Bounce Metronome after I install the program?

It's in the main window, in the sky for the 3D bounce and as a separate Tempo dial.

Here is a screen shot of the separate tempo dial window:

All the features described on this page are available in the free taster. The Basic or Pro metronomes are required for some of the other features such as Go Silent Briefly and Gradually Faster or Slower.

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Flexible & easy

First - many dials are limited to a range of 24 to 208 bpm, and you have to enter tempo as a whole number of BPM.

With this one you can click to set the pointer as usual - but if you want a tempo outside the range of the dial - just type it into the text field in the centre of the dial.

You can have fractional BPM such as 60.5 bpm - this for instance is useful when you want to set a slightly higher tempo for speed drills.

Often you may want to change the tempo while playing a musical instrument, and increase or decrease by 1 BPM or notch.

No need to put down your instrument. Just use the arrow keys. It's left or right arrow to increase or decrease by 1 BPM and up or down arrow to increase or decrease by one notch.

The notch size increases gradually from 2 to 8 bpm at the high end of the tempo range as is traditional with a metronome

However everything here is customisable. You can set your own range for the tempo dial if you need a wider or narrower range. You can vary the notch size. You can also change the tempo names shown and configure it for your special requirements. See Design your own dial.

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Step through

You can set up a list of tempi and step through them with the Up / Down arrow. So - you can set it up with all the tempi for your practise session or a piece of music and quickly step through them as you play.

You can set up different rhythms as well for the arrow keys - so that with one click of up or down arrow you step through to the next rhythm and tempo all in one go.

This feature is available in all the rhythm views including the free taster.

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Design your own

You can design your own tempo dial as desired.

  • Set the tempo range for the dial with anything you like as the slowest and fastest tempo to show on the dial
  • Set your own tempo names and set the exact tempo range you want to use for each of the names
  • Set the notch sizes exactly as you like them, including uneven notches (usually further apart for higher tempi)
  • Customize the visuals to suit your vision or musical requirements including colours, pointer width, text size, and other details of the design
  • Includes Black on White and White on Black presets if you find the screen hard to read and need a little help.
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If you are new to metronome markings, then it may help to relate these numbers to heart rates, which are also measured in beats per minute.

The resting heartrate of a healthy adult can easily vary from well below 50 to well above 80, depending. Those who exercise a lot tend to have slower heart rates, also older people tend to have faster heart rates.

See the wikipedia entry about Heart Rate.

Your heart might reach a tempo of Allegro during brisk exercise such as running or cycling or the like.

You might have a heart rate of Presto after very heavy exercise or weight lifting.

So this is a rough guide because it is all very variable depending on the person, condition, what type of exercise you do and so on. But it gives some idea to get you started, some idea of what the numbers mean.

Another connection is that a tempo of 60 is 60 beats per minute or one a second, so the tempo of a ticking clock. So, a clock tick is at a Larghetto tempo, corresponding to music with a somewhat slower feel to it.

Typical tempo ranges for a modern metronome

The tempo ranges shown on the dial are typical of modern metronomes.

The tempo ranges used were:

Over 200 Prestissimo

168 to 200 Presto
120 to 168 Allegro
108 to 120 Moderato
76 to 108 Andante
66 to 76 Adagio

60 to 66 Larghetto
40 to 60 Largo
Below 40 Larghissimo

Obviously some users will want to customise this, or add more tempo names, and you can do this

To get an idea of typical values, see:

Tempo names are often more to do with the feel of the music than anything you can measure in beats per minute

This is another page with a list of many examples of tempo indications in BPM for the different tempo markings. It gives an idea of how variable they can be

Indeed, the tempo names are often more to do with the feel of the music than anything you can measure exactly in beats per minute. So it wouldn't be wrong to play these tempi outside the range given on the metronome, e.g. an Andante below 76, or above 108.

Andante in particular has an association with walking, sometimes translated as "at a walking pace", though if you look at the article, there is more to it than that, anyway the range of tempi for Andante is roughly the same as normal walking tempi, from well over one beat a second to well under two beats a second (beyond that it is more like running).

Here is the interesting article by Charles Rosen on Andante which is quoted in that dolmetsch article:

CHARLES ROSEN ON ANDANTE (in the WayBack machine - original website has gone)

In modern music if an exact tempo in beats per minute is required, then normally the desired BPM figure will be written in the score, maybe in addition to a tempo name for a guide to the "feel" of the piece.

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