No, today it is not about playing 64ths with the precision of an atomic clock. It’s more about time handling during your performances, where Timebirds, the Workout Timer might be helpful.
If you and your band like to perform at band battles, festivals or as support act in front of an audience, you will know the problem. You have a certain guideline how long you can play. And depending on how professional the organizer is in his program, it can happen that you get turned off in the middle of a song. Not a nice ending for a gig.
Now there are of course various ways to keep track of the time played. But most of them are not so optimal during a performance. A wristwatch? You don’t have it in view all the time. Smartphone? Can you step on it or does a beer bottle land on it. Do you rely on the mixer? Optimist. And even if you’ve measured the length of the set in advance, you rarely get it reproduced live… even if you play with a click.
Rock around the clock
So the most elegant solution is a watch that you (and preferably the band members as well) always have in view. A watch that is mounted on the pedal board is just too much. Some boutique-pedal-junkie will object now. Yes, the Chronograph from DS Guitar Engineering is such a candidate. But the current version is sold out, and if you’re precise, they didn’t take accuracy very seriously. Mine loses such a good 4 to 5 minutes a month and regularly forgets to display the time on a 24 hour basis. And if you want to access the settings you have to disconnect it from the power every time. Not very convenient.
But don’t worry, there are alternatives. The Timebirds Workout Timer might be worth a look. Sometimes it is worthwhile to look for solutions in other disciplines as well. The Timebirds is actually meant to be a sports timer, which you can simply hang on a workout machine in the gym to control your exercises better.
This also has advantages for the musician. On the one hand, the Timebird’s display with 155mm x 47mm is much larger than the chronograph, but on the other hand it is still in a region that you can still find it on the pedal board. That the larger display is easier to read is beyond question.
Another advantage is that the Timebirds is equipped with a rechargeable battery. So you save a precious port on your power supply, which you can then use for more useful pedals. The 8 hours you can get by with one charge should be enough for bigger gigs, too.
Also the handling should be much easier than with a chronograph. Timebirds has several buttons that are easy to reach and with which you can set the desired mode. So you don’t have to deal with a tedious 1-button-assignment.
If you don’t have any more space on the pedalboard, that’s no problem either. Since the Timebirds is equipped with magnets, you can hang it up wherever there is some metal. So you can often hang it up in a way that even the drummer can see it. But don’t forget to collect it after the gig.
A question of time
The following modis will master Timebirds:
- Count Up Timer
- Count Up Timer with laps
- Count Down Timer
- Custim Timer for Interval Training
A dedicated quartz crystal is used to ensure that the watch runs precisely. Yes, this has been standard in wristwatches since the 80s, but nowadays it is often omitted. Which probably explains the deviations of several minutes per month. Let’s hope that Timebirds does it better.
With currently 79$ plus the usual additional costs the Timebirds moves in similar regions as the chronograph. Currently December is named as the delivery date. Even if the crowdfunding typical for the Timebirds is still postponed by one or two months, I don’t think that should be a big problem. Before that, due to the corona, you can’t expect a lot of appearance possibilities anyway.
As always, however, one must be aware that there is the usual risk of a crowdfunding crash landing. Whereby I consider the risk here to be manageable. The technology is not too complex and the prototypes shown already look very final. It’s worth a try.