MECHANICAL

METRONOME

PRODUCT DESIGN

Classroom Project | Solo | Two Months

An exploration of the mechanics of a metronome, this form aims at extending the practice period for each tempo rather than build speed.

THE CHALLENGE

Young musicians tend to focus on playing at rapidly varying & higher tempos rather than perfecting their technique.

THE SOLUTION

The mechanical metronome only permits calculated manual variations in tempo and hence urges the musician to practice at one tempo for longer and build on their technique.

WHAT IS A METRONOME?

A metronome is any device that produces regular, metrical ticks (beats, clicks) settable in beats per minute. These ticks represent a fixed regular aural pulse.

It is available in various forms, both analog and digital. With the simplified versions, like the mobile applications, musicians tend to increase the tempo often without practicing at a slow tempo for longer. This results in lack of consistency & time-keeping, which are both essentially for playing professionally. 

PRODUCT CONCEPT

The vinyl record on the top rotates at a specific speed with a pin on it. This pin collides with the spokes on the wheels to create aural pauses are varied tempos.

A gear and motor mechanism powers the rotation through an extended shaft which also holds and locks the wheels in different permutations to create different tempos.

VINYL RECORD

SPOKES

WHEELS

GEAR BOX

Pin that collides with the spokes to create aural pauses.

ROTATION TEMPO

Motor used: 4.6/5 RPM rotating motor

To obtain a speed of 10 RPM, a gear with double the number of teeth is to be employed engaging with the initial gear which is moving at 5RPM.

Gear 1 teeth: 20
Gear 2 teeth: 10


Combination of gears and motor to rotate the vinyl record.

VARYING THE COUNT

Wheels with calculated positioning of spokes can be superimposed to vary the speed of the pulse produced by the metronome.

 

In wheel 1, there are 8 spokes. A disc moving at 10 RPM will strike the spokes 80 times per minute. Addition and deduction of the wheel will vary the number of spokes and hence the tempo of the metronome.

Diameter: 11 inch

Tempo Permutations:
Wheel 1: 80 BPM
Wheel 2+3: 40 BPM

Wheel 1+2: 120 BPM

Wheel 1+2+3: 160 BPM

SPOKES

LOCK

RESULTS

 

The calculated human effort involved in varying the tempo results in the musician practicing and perfecting their technique in one tempo. This metronome would not only reflect an improvement in time-keeping but also adorn the shelf with its vintage gramophone vibe.