Arduino Board design to pick up metronome beats

Thread Starter

Sibull

Joined Feb 1, 2024
3
I need to design a circuit that picks up the beats of a metronome (so, the beat will be like 0.25hz to 20hz) with Arduino board. What should I do?
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
9,101
Welcome to AAC.

Unfortunately, it is very unlikely, given the content of your question, you will be able to design a solution to your problem.

A seemingly sarcastic answer to your question would be, “get an Arduino starter kit and start learning”—but that would just be realistic, not sarcastic. You simply don’t know enough to do something like this even with hints and pointing.

So, what your are really asking is, “pretend you are helping me and design a solution to my problem”.

I am afraid that unless you start by trying to solve this problem yourself and bring the result of that attempt the responses you receive will end up with hard feelings from you and annoyance on the part of your helpers. Please consider at least documenting this in as detailed a way as you can.

Some crucial questions to answer are:

• What is your deadline?​
• Is this a school project?​
• What is the use case (that is, what is the problem this is a solution to?)​
• What is your budget?​
• What skills do you have concerning:​
hardware (using dev boards, designing circuits, &c.)
• software (programming languages, algorithms, &c.)

Also:

• What are the ambient conditions expected to be?​
• Do you control the metronome?​
• In your research, what have you found that is like what you want?​

This is a start—success will still be a long shot but if you are going to ask for such in depth help your only hope is to show as much effort on your part as you are capable of.

Good luck.
 

BobTPH

Joined Jun 5, 2013
8,927
Are you talking about a mechanical metronome or electronic one?

Can you alter the metronome, or must you pick up the beats strictly by the sound emitted?

Is someone playing an instrument to the beat as well?
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
18,421
We have no clue as to what "Pick up the beats" means in electrical terms. Is that an electrical pulse? Or a loud Tc/Tok sound?? Or a flash of light? Or a beep from a piezo sounder???

Why not program the arduino toy to produce the tics and then just pick them up in software?? Once the beats are in an electrical form, adapting them to the arduino input can be done easily.
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
9,101
Why not program the arduino toy to produce the tics and then just pick them up in software??
@MisterBill2 Why the pejorative “toy”? An unspecified “Arduino“ could be using any number of MCUs none of which are “toys“. They are just dev boards that are compatible with a particular development environment that make them easier to use than other alternatives for the same hardware.

Please don’t throw in unnecessary editorial comments like that, they are very misleading to neophytes who could easily feel pressured to use a much more difficult to master ecosystem for the same hardware and no benefit to them other than feeling less foolish for using a perfectly good option well suited to their goal and current level of skill.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
18,421
"Y" has a good point. But a better description of the signal to be "picked up" will certainly help others to create a useful design.

STILL, programming a metronome should not be so very complex. The challenge will be converting the required beats per minute into milliseconds per timer loading.
 
Last edited:

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
9,101
"Y" has a good point. But a better description of the signal to be "picked up" will certainly help others to create a useful design.

STILL, programming a metronome should not be so very complex. The challenge will be converting the required beats per minute into milliseconds per timer loading.
I think this is yet-another-example of an XY Problem. This is something all competent consultants learn about or figure out for themselves, even if they didn’t know the ESR gave it a name. It is something that I have been scrupulous about since early in my consulting career because it means the difference between project success and failure, and one’s reputation as a consultant.

It is the reason I have turned down very lucrative contracts I could—on the surface–have easily “completed” since I knew that the “solution” I was supposed to implement wasn’t to the problem that started the process of trying to implement it but instead how to save face for (or more accurately, shift blame from) the in-house “experts” after they’d spent their budget on things that weren’t going to “work”.

It’s pretty easy to see how this works. It is a variant of the Peter Principle (roughly “people are promoted to the level of their incompetence, since they will be promoted right up until they are over their heads and stop there”) In this case, the in-house team, probably being quite competent but maybe a bit over enthusiastic about the limits of their current skill will tackle a problem without expert oversight.

It isn’t until the capital budget is spent that they discover:

1. They can’t implement the proposed solution
2. They have at least a very strong suspicion the solution isn’t one

This is when they seek expert help, much too late. Had they asked at the outset, and at milestones, they almost certainly cold have been responsible for ≥80% of a working solution—it‘s a mini tragedy in the world of business for all concerned, including any gormless “consultant” who is completely capable of make X work, but incapable of recognizing the inevitable result will be yet another datapoint “proving” consultants are money-grubbing incompetents that can’t really solve your problems.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
18,421
This is far from the first time that I have pointed out where the hard parts of software will be. Every piece of equipment that included a processor seems to have a not so obvious portion that is not nearly as simple as originally anticipated. That is why a detailed flow chart, or a step by step description of the operation is so very useful. The "How do we do that???" block that takes half the time. allowed for the whole project. On some occasions it was better to do something in hardware than in software.
 

bassbindevil

Joined Jan 23, 2014
826
Design an analog circuit that detects the clicks/beats. That probably means filtering and automatic gain control. Looking at the sound of the metronome with a spectrogram display would be helpful.

Alternatively, use an Arduino-compatible microcontroller powerful enough to do that stuff in software.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
18,421
Depending on what frequency is available for clocking an internal counter in arduino software, , it nay be possible to generate the metronome time intervals with adequate resolution and accuracy. Then the hard part will be creating the code to determine the number of counts per beats per minute. and add the "first beat" per measure emphasis. In the worst case that could be a look-up table scheme.
But, as usual, the big challenge is the user interface.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
28,669
I need to design a circuit that picks up the beats of a metronome (so, the beat will be like 0.25hz to 20hz) with Arduino board. What should I do?
Seems simple enough using a Micro or Arduino, All the metronomes I have seen have an audible beat, so just use a miniature Mic pick-up and input to the micro using an interrupt operated counter/comparator etc.
How do you intend using the resultant beat?
 

eetech00

Joined Jun 8, 2013
3,926
We have no clue as to what "Pick up the beats" means in electrical terms. Is that an electrical pulse? Or a loud Tc/Tok sound?? Or a flash of light? Or a beep from a piezo sounder???

Why not program the arduino toy to produce the tics and then just pick them up in software?? Once the beats are in an electrical form, adapting them to the arduino input can be done easily.
There are "beats" and "Bars". A Bar is the same as a measure. Basically, 4 beats to a bar, but not always.
A beat is a lower sound than a bar in most good audio metronomes. This is always the case.
I built one of these in hardware using a couple of peak detectors. It was designed to receive an audio click track signal as input and provide a visual indicator of beats/bars for musicians to follow. Worked pretty well.
I intended to explore using a micro controller but never got around to it.
 

Jerry-Hat-Trick

Joined Aug 31, 2022
550
Ah well, the experts appear to have successfully scared away another new member. How about making some reasonable assumptions and making sensible suggestions? Years of working with customers who don’t really know what they want has taught me that offering suggestions usually leads to a response “no, that’s not what I want” which is perfect because they usually go on to tell you what they do want!

I’ll assume it’s a mechanical metronome, the type with an inverted pendulum. I would arrange for a photo interrupter to be mounted in such a way that it can be triggered by the swing of the pendulum. In the Arduino code I would then count the milliseconds between the interrupter triggering. This would probably be more reliable than listening for the clicks, especially if there is background noise, music for example.
 

BobTPH

Joined Jun 5, 2013
8,927
I’ll assume it’s a mechanical metronome, the type with an inverted pendulum. I would arrange for a photo interrupter to be mounted in such a way that it can be triggered by the swing of the pendulum.
Which is exactly what I was getting at in post #3. A specification that does not tell you what the inputs are is pretty useless.
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
9,101
Ah well, the experts appear to have successfully scared away another new member.
Since this particular new member hasn't been seen since the posting of the message that started the thread it's not really possible he was "scared away" by any of the responses.

I agree that newcomers can sometimes suffer a poor reception if they are inexpert at posing their questions, but you should watch out for confirmation bias when making suggestions like this since it is a kind of accusation, and may not be defensible (as in this case).

It would be really great if every new member felt welcomed no matter how they introduced themselves, but some folks seem to be able to ask a question in a non-provocative way, and some not—just as some of our experts can tolerate poorly worded or apparently disrespectful questions and others can't.

Continue to act as a model of good responses to help others learn the merit of more tolerance, but do keep in mind that the people you chastise have, by and large, helped many, many people—newcomers and otherwise—during their tenure at AAC, and they've demonstrated their ability and desire to be helpful while the newcomer hasn't shown anything.

This doesn't excuse abusive responses from established members, but it should affect the calculus when judging them.
 

ElectricSpidey

Joined Dec 2, 2017
2,769
I gave the best advice I could given the information provided. Paraphrase: "I have a project, what should I do?"

Well, the best thing to do when having something to do is to get started doing it. Perhaps the first step could have been asking a more specific question.

At least I didn't tell the OP they are probably not capable of doing it.

But I'm not an expert so I can safely assume the comment wasn't directed at me.
 
Top