- TAP / RESYNC button
To help Pulse find the initial tempo you’ll use the TAP button. The tapped tempo gets applied after a total of five taps. Holding ‘ALT’ changes this to a ‘RESYNC’ button.
- Audio bar
Feedback for the incoming audio volume.
- BPM – Beats per minute
The value of the current BPM.
Feedback on the confidence that Pulse has on being in sync at the current time. Pulses green on every beat according to the current BPM when it’s confident it’s got the correct BPM.
When the edges are pulsing grey, Pulse is not confident that it has locked on to the correct BPM. That said, often it is still either in sync or very close to the current BPM.
Opens the settings menu
To help Pulse find the initial tempo you’ll use the TAP button. The tapped tempo gets applied after a total of five taps. You could either click the button in the interface or press spacebar when Pulse is your current active application.
If Pulse is confident it has found the correct BPM, it will flash green. When confident, Pulse will actively correct the beat position via the Link protocol. You will see the BPM being adjusted by tiny increments, to keep things sync. So don’t worry when the BPM is off by a tiny margin, this is Pulse working its magic for you.
After long breaks in the music where there is no clear rhythm, Pulse may lose track of the beat. If this is the case, it will turn grey instead of green. When not so confident, Pulse will hold the current BPM but temporarily stops correcting the beat position. Then, when percussion comes back in, Pulse will snap back on track.
Pulse is designed to follow a DJ set that stays roughly in the same BPM range. Using it for a DJ set that abruptly changes from EDM to hardstyle to hiphop and back, or just playing a random Spotify playlist, is likely to throw it off. When it’s really lost the beat, just hit Tap a few times. You don’t have to be precise, just get it in the right ballpark. Pulse will take it from there, find the exact BPM and sync everything back up.
If you really need to resync to the first beat (I’ve had some moments where I programmed an envelope to hit on 1 and 3, and it synced to 2 and 4), you can hit TAP while holding down ALT on the keyboard, the button will change to RESYNC and reset the internal measure.
Pulse doesn’t only output a beat clock, its Link output also contains a beat position in 4/4 measure. You will notice the difference only if your connected software actually uses the beat position and not only the beat.
Ableton Link #
Pulse can feed BPM to all applications that support the Ableton Link protocol.
Setup is easy. Just start Pulse, enable Ableton Link in your software or device in which you want the BPM to be driven and you are good to go. This works when running on the same computer, but also for all computers connected to the same network.
On Windows, you’ll want to make sure that Pulse is allowed through the firewall.
More info on Ableton Link can be found here: https://www.ableton.com/en/link/
Pulse has been designed to serve as a subtle visual guide for the BPM that is always visible. That’s why it runs on top of your active applications. You can scale it as small or big as you want so it won’t get in the way of other running interfaces.
… or you could run it fullscreen on a dedicated monitor and flex with your new toy in the FOH for everyone to see, your call.