The Backbeater Tempo Monitoring System is the result of a recurring fight between members of James Flynn’s band. The guitarist was a perfectionist when it came to tempo and James boasted machine-like precision behind the drumkit (or so he says). Yet the pair disagreed every time they took to the stage, Joe accusing James of speeding up the chorus when his nerves got the better of him.
James insisted Joe was delusional and sought to highlight his bandmate’s state of mind using technology — and to settle the argument once and for all. When he started out on his quest to monitor his drumming, however, James found the current market of tempo-monitoring devices to be either too clunky to use with an acoustic kit, of poor quality or far too expensive. So Backbeater was born.
Beatbeater is a mobile app available on iOS devices — for now — with Android on the horizon. It is a user-friendly drum tempo monitoring system that helps users keep on beat and in time, every time.
The peripheral hardware is designed to give drummers accuracy and clarity while playing. Unlike the metronome, which keeps a strict tempo that one plays along with, Backbeater analyzes the each drumming stroke and provides immediate feedback to the player. Flynn describes it himself as a “speedometer for drums – easy to read, easy to use but stays well out of the way.”
The four parts to the Backbeater system include the iPhone app, snare drum sensor, headphone splitter and hi-hat mount. It is designed to work in the studio, practice space or on stage. The sensor feeds data to the app, which drummers can then watch as they play, or they can use the headphone splitter to listen to the metronome. The app has built-in metronome, adjustable sensitivity, four time siganture settings and adjustable tempo averaging window (Nostalgia).
Through Backbeater, James wants to empower every drummer to know their playing consistency, and to learn how to monitor their drumming in all performing situations. You know, so they may never suffer the humiliation, as he did, of being proven wrong by an ego-maniacal guitarist.