If you are a musician and have a smart phone then you need to own at least one metronome app for your device. The cost of these apps generally ranges from free to a few dollars, while their functionality rivals that of much more expensive stand alone metronomes. Of course, this cost balances out when weighed against the price of the phone itself and monthly service fees, but since you have to pay for those anyway if you own a smart phone you might as well shell out a few more dollars for a great metronome app. There are a number of great products, both free and paid, and it can be a little confusing sifting through the Android or iTunes stores to find something that will do everything you want. Here is a chart which compares the main features of three metronome apps I’ve used extensively. They are all good products, but as you will see looking at the chart they each have their strong points. Briefly, my favorite app for ease of use is Frozen Ape’s Tempo. It looks and sounds great, and is very easy to adjust. The metronome with the most flexibility and potential for customization is Visual Metronome by One More Muse. It has a staggering amount of possible meters and subdivisions, but is a little more difficult to navigate. Tunable by AffinityBlue has the most features. It has a very functional metronome and a great built in tuner, which can be used simultaneously. The record function is also handy if you don’t have a separate digital recorder available. Have a favorite metronome or tuner app that you don’t see here? Feel free to share in the comments section.
*Update. One PSA I forgot to mention is that when using the tuning drone function on a mobile device, I highly recommend plugging it into a set of external speakers. In my experience, using the speakers on your mobile device for tuning drones can completely wreck them.
|Developer||Frozen Ape||One More Muse||AffinityBlue|
|Platform||iOS; Android||iOS||iOS; Android|
|BPM Range||10 – 800||1 – 800||10 – 300|
|Subdivision/Meter||Yes (quarter, eighth, sixteenth, triplet) 1 through 13 beats per measure||Yes (quarter, eighth, sixteenth, thirty-second, sixty-fourth, triplet, quintuplet, sextuplet, septuplet, nontuplet) 1 through 9999 beats per measure||Yes (quarter, eighth, sixteenth, thirty-second, quintuplet, sextuplet, septuplet) 1 through 16 beats per measure|
|Tuning Drone||Yes (one octave chromatic)||Yes ( four octaves chromatic)||Yes (seven octaves chromatic)|
|Presets||Yes||Yes||Yes (but limited)|
|Other Functions||Free “lite” version available||Very flexible customization of subdivisions and meters. Free “lite” version available. BPM can be set to tenths of a beat.||Visual waveform tuner, record function, multiple tempermaents|