Gear Review – Boss DB-30 Metronome

As drummers, we are always on the lookout for useful, effective tools to help our practicing more efficient and enjoyable.  One of the most basic tools for our practice sessions is the metronome.  So for review I bring you the Boss DB-30 metronome from the folks over at Roland.

Ultimately, we all need a metronome to simply give us a reliable click to help us monitor our own sense of timing.  Even the cheapest, credit card style of metronomes do this rather well.  However, it’s when we look into more deeper functions of a metronome that usually sends the purchase of a certain model out of our price range.  Functions like multi-beat meter counting, various rhythmic subdivisions, tap tempo, and stereo headphone jacks are usually reserved for the top of the line timekeepers.  Luckily the folks from Boss (read: Roland) have brought us the most portable and most inexpensive Dr. Beat.

This small metronome features some of the more advanced features found in the bigger offerings from Boss, but with a cost of around $30, it cannot be beat (no pun intended).  The belt clip is handy, and the click is plenty loud to hear with headphones – even while playing kit.  It addition to having 8th, triplet, 16th, and offbeat subdivisions, it also has 2-3 and 3-2 Clave patterns built in.

The thing is also rugged, with solid-feeling, rubber buttons that are responsive and quick.  THe LCD needle and LED light gives visual feedback to the click for those silent situations.

From the Boss website:

Choose Your Pattern
Pick from a menu of nine rhythm types and 24 beat variations, including combinations of odd-time signatures and clave patterns for practicing Latin rhythms. Who says practice has to be painful? Put some extra spice and groove into your next practice session with the DB-30!

The DB-30 adds value with its smooth-flowing LCD needle for visual tempo assistance, and two bright LED lights that visually assist your practice. Other helpful functions include Tap Tempo for finding the right pulse fast, internal reference tones (12 semitones), Auto Power Off for optimizing battery life, and headphones jack so you won’t miss a beat, even in noisy environments.

Some of the features missing from more advanced metronome models are the ability to store click settings, vibration feedback (like in the Yamaha Click Station), the ability to mix subdivisions (like a 3 against 4 feel), and different click sounds to choose from, but at 1/3 of the cost of a Tama’s Rhythm Watch, this little guy is hands down the best metronome for the money.  I wholeheartedly give it a full 5 mics!

P.S. If I had to find something wrong with this metronome, it would be that it seems to chew up batteries, but that may just be because I practice so gosh-darn much!!  😉

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