I never liked the idea of practicing ʻukulele with a metronome staring at me (or maybe I’m just too cheap to buy one!) and the online metronomes aren’t very convenient when working from a desktop computer, so I found an alternative. Audacity – a free open-source recording program for Windows and Mac – provides a way to create a click track that can be exported to iTunes and to an iPod.
Here are the steps:
- Download Audacity if you don’t already have it. It’s free and works on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
- Open the program and start a new project.
- From the menu bar, click “Generate”>”Click Track…” This pulls up a window with options to change the tempo, beats per measure, and number of measures.
- Drag the tempo slider to select the desired number of beats per minute (you can choose between 30 and 300 BPM).
- Change the number of beats per measure if you are practicing in a time signature other than 4/4.
- Choose the number of measures you want the click track to last for. The higher the BPM, the more measures you will need to compensate for. If you change the number of measures to match the BPM, you will end up with a 4 minute click track.
- Click “OK” to generate the click track.
- To export, click “File”>”Export as MP3? and choose where you want the file to be created (just remember where you put it!). You can then name the “song” and “artist” (I named the tracks I made for the BMP – “120BPM”, etc… and the artist “metronome”). (You might have to download a MP3 encoder (free) before you can use the feature)
- Now you need to locate the file with iTunes (or whatever music player you use). So open iTunes and click “file”>”Add File To Library”. Locate your click track MP3, and select it. It will now be in your iTunes library where you can edit the file info if you like.
- Repeat steps #2-9 for any other BPMs you might want to create a metronome file for.
- Sync the file(s) to your iPod.