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10 of 10 found the following review helpful:
What a wonderful product Oct 05, 2007
By Lawrence T. Salzman
I had heard a lot about the Beatnik from reviews in magazines, online reviews, word of mouth etc. Finally I had a chance to try one out. I was amazed at how user friendly it was, very simple to operate. There are so many possibilites with the unit, a simple written review does not do the product much justice. Now for the interesting part which is the accuracy measuring. This thing lets you know EXACTLY whats going on tempo wise, accuracy wise, and how well you control your dynamics. On the expert level it rounds up or down to the nearest 512th note, if you think about that its pretty amazing. If you happen to play on top or way ahead of the beat you will soon learn out just how ahead you are. If you play behind you will be given the same information. The bottom line with this product is it measures pretty much everything and you can learn a lot about yourself in a short amount of time. The only down fall is the head phones that come with it, use the onboard speaker or some better fitting headphones.
9 of 10 found the following review helpful:
Does What It Says Nov 29, 2010
By Greg Tomkins
I have been drumming on an acoustic kit for about a year and wanted a way to practice increasing tempo that would measure accuracy electronically. I got my Beatnik a couple of weeks ago and have been using it every chance I get. I basically love it. Plusses:
1. It does exactly what I hoped it would and it is about as fun as something that lacks the pizazz of playing alongside a real song can have. It is pretty addictive, actually.
2. It is simple enough to use and provides direct, immediate, useful feedback.
3. Physically, the unit seems very solid, with a nice heavy feel to it. I am expecting it to last a while.
4. The instructions are short and to the point.
Well, nothing is perfect, here are my negatives:
1. The AC adapter is sold separately! WTF?
2. In 'Novice' (Low Skill) mode, at a mere 40 BPM, it is, for me at least, impossible to get a perfect score. I finally settled on 97% being good enough. OK, OK, I am a crappy drummer. But this is novice mode at a very low tempo with no 'complications' like accents. I am not THAT bad! I mean to say, I think their definition of 'Low Skill' is a little harsh ;)
3. In 'Groove' mode, I have the opposite problem: I can get perfect scores in 'Expert' mode, no problem. Yes, I understand that they measure different things. It doesn't seem quite right that the degree of difficulty is so different, though.
4. Every 10-15 minutes the unit makes a very loud scratch noise (kind of like a needle being pulled across an old-style LP, if you know what that is...) for no apparent reason. No, I am not moving the jack or doing anything like that. It seems like some random electronic flaw. Not a big deal, though.
5. The number of modes and views and analyzers is a bit overcomplicated for a casual user guy like me; I'd be fine with just one of each. I found out after I bought this unit that the company sells a scaled down version directly, but their products are much, much cheaper through Amazon.
To sum up: if you're interested in improving accuracy, I'd recommend it, for sure.
4 of 4 found the following review helpful:
Great product and delivery was as promised May 14, 2010
By M. Carver
I was skeptical at first whether this product would be worth the price I paid, but after owning it for only a week, my drum instructor and myself have seen a drastic imporvement in my timing. It is also fun to get instant feedback when striking the pad. I have a tendency to rush my weak hand. The Beatnik has helped me identify my problem and make the necessary corrections. I didn't realize my timing was off when I was playing only to the metronome. I am also very impressed with the lifetime guarantee, which you rarely see come with any electronic device. I also bought the AC adaptor to minimize the number of batteries I have to buy. It is nice to have the battery feature when an outlet is not readily available.
3 of 3 found the following review helpful:
ADHD Alternative Treatment: Mimic Interactive Metronome Therapies Oct 22, 2012
By W. Battalora
My 4th grader has always struggled with attention and focus. The awful pediatrician was quick to prescribe Ritalin and other medications, but we sought alternative treatment with occupational therapy (developing core muscle strength) and with 15 sessions of Interactive Metronome. You can read up on IM on the internet yourself; IM has helped many people with developing timing precision for doing sports as well as improving ADHD symptoms. After 15 sessions of IM for my child, I really wanted to maintain the practice of beating to a drumbeat of 54 beats per minute. 54 bpm is what Interactive Metronome's program uses. It is just long enough between beats that one can't so easily predict the coming of the next beat without a lot of repetition to internalize the rhythm. Anyhow, the IM sessions has established rhythm and focus and concentration in my son.
We are keeping up the therapy regiment at home with this Beatnik RA1200p Rhythmic Analyzer. It is what I have found that best mimics what Interactive Metronome does. On this instrument, one can set the quarter note to 54 bpm. I also set the Analyzer=Dynamic, Views=History2, Skill=L. We bought a pair of drum sticks. On the History2 view, one gets instant live visual feedback for whether he is hitting the drum ahead or behind the metronome. The visual feedback is what we are after. Unfortunately, unlike the Interactive Metronome setup, there is no audio feedback. But we will just have to live without it. IM charges $600 for the machine and $200 for the license (if I am not mistaken).
For those interested in mimicking our at-home therapy without paying $100 per session for some IM therapy, this is what we do:
1) Game of Balance Discs: Buy two Altus Athletic Core Balance Disc (from Amazon) and a water noodle. Set the two balance discs about 5 feet apart. Have two contestants, each standing on a disc on carpet, try to tug or push or whack with the water noodle to get the other guy to fall off the disc. The name of the game is to stay on the disc longer than your opponent. Holding the water noodle is not necessarily an advantage. This is a really fun game.
2) Get on a swing with the stomach on the seat. Then swing and twist on the swing. This is very important for those whose attention and focus problems is related to a poor connection between the brain and the vestibular senses. How can you tell if you have this problem? If you or your child can read in the car or go on spinning rides at an amusement park without getting sick. How it was explained to me is that if you have this vestibular-brain problem, the brain is constantly seeking motion stimulation, and you would wound up with a fidgety child and ADHD symptoms. Ritalin is not going to solve the root cause of this vestibular-brain connection.
3) Play ball. Throw, catch, bat, swing. Whatever. Ball skills reinforce the Interactive Metronome timing and rhythm. Typical ADHD child has problem with sports.
4) Use the Beatnik Rhythmic Analyzer at the setting described above. Set a timer for 10-20 minutes. At Interactive Metronome therapy sessions, the child did up to 25 minutes for the longest stretch of tapping to 54 bpm. At IM therapy sessions, the therapist had used a combination of hand and feet tapping to work on physical coordination. Obviously that can't be done with the Beatnik. However, one can get creative with just drumming with only right hand, only left hand, or both hands. One can also drum with some repetitive toe-tapping or heel-tapping sequence. If you really want to get very advanced, drum with one hand, and use the other hand to do a non-drum related activity on the side like rearranging pieces on a chess board. Try that for a real brain coordination workout.
Beatnik is a good enough alternative to IM At-Home package (which I think is overpriced). I really think that the Interactive Metronome founder can develop an app for the iPhone/iPad. It would be so much cheaper and his impact on the world of ADHD patients would be so much greater. An app can't be that hard to develop as an iphone has a gyroscope and can be shaken like handbell to register a beat. Alternatively, Interactive Metronome can also partner with Wii or other motion sensitive game consoles. Just limiting people to expensive therapies would limit IM's impact on helping those afflicted with ADHD and ADHD-like symptoms.
I hope that this review is useful to some people who are seeking help for their ADHD family members or friends. I know for sure that my son needs ongoing at-home therapy like I described in Steps 1-4. He does regress when he doesn't do those steps at least 2 times a week. He is definitely a much more focused child. He can do homework with less assistance, and he is becoming an avid reader, not just comic books. A development psychologist told me that an ADHD child cannot plow through a thick book like Harry Potter stuff.
We have an improving situation. Hope yours will be, too. The cost on ADHD is too great on our society. I will soon be setting up a blog to share more with what I have learned in our battle against attention/focus impairment.
2 of 2 found the following review helpful:
Great Product: Beatnik Rhythmic Analyzer Model RA1200P, 4.9 Stars! Jan 29, 2011
By Steven G. Brown
I should have bought one years ago! One of my former drum instructors, Erik Truelove in Tucson, AZ, [...] is endorsed by this company (Onboard Research). A few years after I moved, I purchased the Beatnik Rhythmic Analyzer Model RA1200P. The product description of the Beatnik Rhythmic Analyzer is quite accurate. The RA-1200P model is feature-packed, and after only a few practice sessions I seriously think that it will help me improve my drumming.
- All of the features are as listed.
- Meter: Being able to play in odd subdivisions. This is not just 4/4 time! This is not just quarter and sixteenth notes! This product makes all subdivisions from one to eight.
- Dynamics: Provides feedback on loudness/softness of each stroke.
- Phrasing: Write your own phrase to practice - it's not just for playing one steady beat.
- Solid construction with a realistic stick-response.
- It's fun to use! I'm not a gamer, but it does have game-like qualities with all of the video options and scoring available. Ever have trouble getting kids (or yourself!) to practice every day? The more fun it is, the longer people will practice, the better drummer one becomes.... Can't go wrong here.
- Metronome and practice pad in one: you don't have to struggle playing along and wondering how much it helps; you can see/hear feedback as you play and immediately after your session. This is also a consideration when pricing items: metronomes with all of the subdivisions are expensive, then add a separate practice pad.
- Alkaline batteries included. So far, they seem to last a long time; I turn off the back-lighting on the display while playing. You can still see the readout.
- When playing in "History1" view, the display lags slightly which is very distracting. This is not an issue: 1) I just don't watch the screen while playing; or 2) I watch using "History2" view on the display.
- As another reviewer, Greg Tomkins, described, it does occasionally make an unpleasant "scratching" noise. I've noticed this while playing without headphones. If this continues, I might contact the manufacturer: there's a lifetime warranty in the US and Canada.
- Possibly related, the headphone jack doesn't always seat properly. After wiggling it, it works fine and there's no static, but it is a minor annoyance.
- I agree that an AC adapter should be included.
If you play drums, you won't regret purchasing the Model RA-1200P.
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