During a performance a band is completely reliant on its drummer for setting the rhythm, but what about during rehearsal when a musician is practicing alone? Or when a musical group doesn't have a drummer? That's where this new wearable comes in. It doesn't tell time, it doesn't have notifications, and it can't run apps. All it does is precisely keep the beat using strong but silent vibrations.
In theory an app running on a smartphone in a musician's pocket could do the same thing, but think of how many times you've missed a call because you didn't feel your phone's wimpy vibrations. The vibrating mechanism in the Soundbrenner Pulse is six times stronger than your smartphone's, so when it's worn on an arm or ankle to keep it out of the way, a musician will always be able to feel and follow along to the beat. Even in a loud venue.
The Pulse's BPM can be set or changed on the fly in many different ways. The wearable connects to an accompanying app on a smartphone over Bluetooth that allows the user to set a specific BPM with a touchscreen. The app can also be used to set the colour of the Pulse's flashing light, or turn it off completely, and it even allows the wearer to customise the intensity of the wearable's vibrations.
Alternately, the BPM can be increased or decreased by simply turning the large white dial on the Soundbrenner Pulse while it's vibrating, allowing musicians to subtly slow or speed up the beat -- up to 300 BPM -- in the middle of a performance. And finally, if the wearer has a beat going in their head they can program the Soundbrenner Pulse to match it by either physically tapping it out on the wearable, or tapping it out on their phone's touchscreen within the app.
One of the most important ways musicians will use the Soundbrenner Pulse is to ensure that everyone on stage during a performance is synced to the same rhythm. So through the Pulse's wireless app up to ten of the wearables can be perfectly synced to vibrate all at the same time. The creators of the Soundbrenner Pulse claim it's far easier to setup and tweak than in-ear monitors, and less obtrusive since it can be hidden beneath the musician's clothing.
The creators of the Soundbrenner Pulse are going the crowdfunding route to help raise enough money through Indiegogo -- some $US75,000 -- to finalise the wearable's design and put it into production. During the first 24 hours the Pulse can be pre-ordered with a donation of just $US115, but after that you're looking at $US129 to reserve one. And if you'd rather play it safe and wait until November to pick one up, assuming it's successfully in production by then, the Soundbrenner Pulse will retail for $US149 outside of Indiegogo. [Indiegogo - Soundbrenner]