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PROS: Great idea, bright display, works on any pedalboard power supply.
The statement “timing is everything” carries more weight in music than anywhere else. DS Guitar Engineering’s Chronograph is a great tool to keep track of time, without a lot of hassles.
It’s a fairly small device, slightly bigger than a business card, but has a large bright green display with a single footswitch. Placing it on a pedal board won’t take up a lot of room, and with a standard 9V power connection, it means it can get juice from any normal pedalboard power supply.
There are three modes: the first is a standard clock, displaying the time. Not a bad thing to have, especially if you want to hold band members to task for not showing up on time! Internally is a watch battery that keeps the time even when there’s no power, so no need to constantly reset the clock. There is a “count up” function, which starts a clock, like a stopwatch. This is great when planning out sets to see how long certain songs may run. Finally, there is a “countdown” mode — set the time, for example 45 minutes, start the clock, and the time ticks away. There is also a “warning” mode that can be set to flash at a specified time (1 minute is the default, but can be changed) giving a visual warning, as well.
Venues, take note. You’ll want to snatch these up to keep sets starting/stopping on time, and bands will like knowing their openers won’t have an excuse to run over their slot.
Yes, most phones have timer apps, or why not a clock in the practice space? With this little device placed on a pedalboard, it’s hard to ignore. There’s no asking, “What time did we start the set?” or forgetting to stop/start an external timer. It’s right there at your feet, and with the bright green display, it’s also in your face and impossible to miss.
For bands worried about getting their set tight, and not running long or short, this is great. The sound guy telling them through the monitors, “You have one more song left,” when you expected to have three more, isn’t fun, and this is a great tool to help plan things out, and also perhaps point out any venue that may have the reputation of cutting band’s sets short (no, that NEVER happens).
With only a single footswitch to control the settings, it can be a little tricky to make sure you’re in the proper menu/mode, but after a few uses, it starts to make sense. It’s one of those great “why hasn’t someone thought of this years ago?” devices. With a $49 street price, this is well worth finding some space on a pedalboard.