Korg MA-1 metronome breaks down the beat

(Dave Molter | Posted 2011-08-25)

Korg MA-1 metronome breaks down the beat

Long before there were electronic tuners, there was rhythm -- even if it was only your own tapping foot. Music teachers will tell you that a metronome is perhaps the essential learning device for music students. And although it would seem that simple wind-up pendulum metronome would be sufficient, it makes sense to take advantage of modern technology to produce metronomes that make concepts like meter subdivision a bit more visual for today's hi-tech music geeks. Enter Korg's new MA-1.

The credit-card size MA-1 refines several already familiar electronic metronome features to make it easier than ever to tell exactly what beat you're on. For example, you may know you're in 4/4 time, but when you're concentrating on a piece of music, a student -- especially a new student -- may not know exactly where in the measure he or she is. With the new Beat-Counting display, the number of triangular icons in the display indicates the specified beat. On each beat, the icon color changes (moving from left to right), indicating the current beat of the measure in a way that's intuitively clear. This provides visual cues as to when measures will change a helpful advance over metronomes that provide only an audible indication. Best of all, it costs only $20.

Versatile Tempo & Rhythm features
The tempo can be set using one of three methods: increase or decrease the tempo using the standard increments familiar from a mechanical metronome (pendulum steps); increase or decrease the tempo in single-step increments over the full range of 30-252 (full steps), or use the Tap Tempo function to enter the tempo by pressing the switch in time with the music. Practice a wide variety of songs by specifying any beat count from 1 to 9, and choose any one of the eight rhythm types: quarter notes, eighth notes, triplets (straight triplets, triplets with inner beat omitted, triplets with the third beat omitted), and sixteenth notes (quadruplets, quadruplets with middle beats omitted, quadruplets with the third and fourth beats omitted).

Doubles as a chromatic tuner
Sound Out mode produces a reference pitch (selectable over an octave C4-B4) that you can use when tuning nearly any instrument. The frequency of the A4 reference pitch (calibration) can be adjusted in 1 Hz steps over the broad range of 410 Hz to 480 Hz.

Earphone jack for personal use
An earphone output is provided for personal use. The earphone volume can be adjusted to suit for any situation; from private practice in your room to group rehearsal in the studio.

Memory backup /auto power-off When you turn off the power, the current tempo, beat, rhythm, calibration, and reference tone settings will be remembered for the next time you use the MA-1. (These settings will be initialized when you replace the batteries.) After 20 minutes of non-use with the power on, the power will automatically turn off to preserve the battery life.

Up to 290 hours of continuous use

The MA-1 is designed for long battery life, with continuous operation of approximately 70 hours when using zinc-carbon batteries, or approximately 290 hours when using alkaline batteries.

MA-1 Highlights

Multi-function compact metronome
Available in two attractive color schemes: blue and black, or black and red
Beat-Counting display makes it easier to practice your rhythm and phrasing
Choose from two types of tempo steps: pendulum steps or full steps
Tap Tempo function lets you quickly set the desired tempo
Beat display offers from 1 to 9 beats, plus 8 rhythm types to practice any style of music
Tune any instrument using the 12 step (C4 B4) chromatic reference pitch
Adjustable calibration setting (410 480 Hz)
Earphone jack with adjustable volume
Memory backup function and auto power-off function
Up to approximately 290 hours of continuous operation

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