Every drummer is familiar with the horn loudspeaker, instrument cable, and metronome set up. This provides a percussion ensemble with an audible, recognizable, and short metronome beep for reference. What the Digimet 4 does is combine all three of those elements into one rugged box. This, along with the internal, rechargeable battery makes for a simple solution.
The D4 however, provides a percussion ensemble and its staff with one additional feature. A good percussion instructor will tell you that metronome placement is key. In order to create a consistent listening environment from rehearsal to performance, the metronome should be placed in the back of the ensemble. In a 'traditional' set up, this creates a problem: who controls the met? Well in a marching band or drum corps setting this is often done by a drum major, assistant drum major, or instructor. In an indoor marching ensemble the job falls on an instructor. In both settings, someone must leave their fundamental roll in the group to control the met.
The Digimet III and D4 provide a simple solution. The metronome itself is housed in the unit, but a remote control runs all of its features. To make it even easier, the Digimet 4 comes equipped with an RF remote extending the range and maneuverability of the person running the met.
At Rhythm X we've been passing the D4 around the ensemble using it in battery sectionals, battery rehearsal, pit rehearsal, staging, and of course, full ensemble. It is most useful in full ensemble where the staff member running the rehearsal can control the volume, tempo, and subdivision of the met right from his spot in the box. The Digimet also has a system for saving tempi and rehearsal markers. With a little work it can even perform accelerandos and ritards.
Lastly, Jerry West at Digimet also provided us with a Digimet II to experiment with. This is a much smaller version of the metronome designed to be used in a concert setting. It also has a wireless remote control but it must be plugged in at all times. It has proved to be useful in front ensemble sub-sectionals, staging rehearsals, and front ensemble rehearsals.
Like any metronome, the Digimet products can sometimes be tricky. Once and a while the remote has trouble communicating or the batteries die. The Rhythm X staff have all been taking time to become acquainted with the new set up and I'm sure after a season of practice we will have most of the kinks out.
If you're interested in learning more about Digimet and their products visit digimetmetronomes.com.