BERKELEY, California – September 4, 2009 – Keith McMillen Instruments (KMI) saves time, money, and the environment with Batt-O-Meter, the first battery tester for musicians. Musicians spend precious energy worrying whether their batteries will last to the end of their set, and wasting batteries because they change healthy ones ‘just in case’. Now, they can stop stressing and start saving money by testing the battery life on all their gear without removing the battery, whether it be in a stomp box, hard to reach instrument panel, or simply rolling around the bottom of their gig bag.

Batt-O-Meter tells musicians what they really want to know: how many hours they have left until their battery is going to die. Batt-O-Meter has a gold-plated Power Probe that plugs into most 1/4 inch jacks and can read the battery condition without having to take the battery out. It is also capable of testing lone 1.5, 3, or 9 volt batteries so musicians stop wondering if those loose batteries have 10 minutes or 10 hours of life remaining. A switch selects Alkaline, Rechargable or classic Carbon-Zinc battery chemistries.

Batt-O-Meter is both simple to use and rugged. It’s inventor Keith McMillen says, “There are five levels of electronic reliability: consumer, commercial, military, NASA… and then there’s rock and roll. Nothing goes through abuse like things used on stage.” All his gear is built for intense road use.

McMillen’s own performances have been marred by dead batteries. He lived dangerously by leaving the backs off of his instruments to allow him easy access to the batteries inside. He needed a battery tester but could never find one that worked. So he invented it. The need to end frustration and extend creativity is behind all KMI products. If it doesn’t exist or is deemed technologically impossible, the wheels start turning at KMI.

McMillen opened up the world of electronic music to string players when he invented the Zeta Violin and since has invented the first programmable mixer for Akai, lead the research and development department at Gibson, and brought over 100 cutting edge products to market. Since its inception in 2005, KMI has already created the K-Bow Bluetooth Sensor Bow and StringPort polyphonic string-to-USB 2.0 converter. Touring with clunky gear lead McMillen to the KMI mission of freeing musicians to focus on their performance, not their technology.

“Music has always grown through innovation. I hope that the efforts of KMI and the various organizations we are involved with can create instrumentation and standardization that makes it exciting to write modern music that is playable by others and enjoyable to the listener. Challenging but beautiful. It’s a big project and almost everything we create focuses on accomplishing this,” says McMillen.

His goal is to ignite the spirit of innovation in all musicians. Keep an eye out for other innovations by Keith McMillen Instruments. Profits from KMI support the BEAM Foundation for research and provide commissions for new musical works.