Using the iOS Mobile App – Song Rhythm Tracks

Contents

This user guide in all languages.

Overview

The main screen of the app shows a table of tracks that can be played. When the triangle is green the track may be played by pressing it.  The pink buttons allow you to share the arrangement or create a duplicate track alongside the existing one.

Alive Drumming’s Song Rhythm Tracks are downloaded and played using this app.

Your tracks are presented as a table.  You can define a new track by pressing the + button (at the top-right of the screen) or change a track by touching on the track’s description.

Flick the track left to delete it or change the order of the tracks using the Edit button (at the top left of the screen) and dragging the table entry to a new position.

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SetLists

The table is grouped into ‘SetLists’.  A SetList is an ordered list of tracks.  Use SetLists for the different situations where you play your tracks, perhaps practicing with different groups, or for performances.   The SetList is headed by an area showing its name and some blue buttons.  The tracks can be reorganized within the SetList by again using the Edit button and dragging tracks.   Press ‘Play to play the entire SetList together with an inter-track gap that you assign.  Configure the length of this gap and the SetList name by pressing Configure.   You can delete empty SetLists by pressing Del and create new ones by pressing New.

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Managing Tracks

Tracks are duplicated by pressing Duplicate‘.  The duplicate may then be dragged into another position, perhaps into another SetList.

The track’s definition (its name and configuration) can be shared with the Song Rhythm Tracks community by pressing the Share button.  This copies it’s name and configuration to our servers to be used by others searching for that same name to retrieve its SongForm or full configuration details.

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Playing Tracks

Tracks are ready to play when the status above their name is Ready and the green play triangle symbol is displayed.  Press the green play triangle to play the track.  You will then see a page similar to this one:

The page uses a dimmed background to avoid glare when you are practicing and performing.   There are the usual player controls and also two special aspects:

Speed Control:  The audio may be slowed down slightly, or sped up.  The controls for this are in purple, and the original and adjusted speed is shown.   Audio quality suffers if the speed is slowed down too much so it is limited to 92% of original recorded speed; Audio quality does not suffer much on being sped up to anything up to double the original speed.

Track Progress Bar:  The progress of the audio file is shown as it is played and it is partitioned into sections of introduction, identified with an ‘<‘,  repeating choruses, and an ending, identified with an ‘>‘.  The choruses are identified as ‘1‘ for First, ‘M‘ for Middle and ‘U‘ for Last.

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Number of Downloads

Alive Drumming supplies your Song Rhythm Tracks via download.  The total number of tracks that can be downloaded is limited to an allocation provided with the app purchased.  This can be topped up later via In-App Purchases by pressing TopUp.   The number of downloads remaining is shown in the table at the end of each SetList and gets decremented after each successful download.  When this value reaches zero (0) further downloads will not complete and their status instead will be shown as ‘Deferred‘.

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Creating Your Tracks

When you either create a new or replace an existing track you are presented with this page to select both

  1. A rhythm to be used for your track, and
  2. A SongForm based arrangement to be used.

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Selecting the Rhythm

To aid selection of the rhythm, first select it’s meter, for example, 4/4, then it’s feel, for example, Even8th.  This constrains the list of rhythms displayed to only those having that meter and that feel.  

Then the category of rhythm can be selected, for example, Jazz.  The sub-rhythm now needs to be selected, for example, Jazz Brushes, and then finally the tempo and instrumentation. Let us say, 120 and Brushes-alone, which means brushes only will be used;  “Brushes; Hi-hat” would mean brushes predominates with hi-hats only on the ‘B’ sections.  A short audio sample will be provided of the Jazz Brushes rhythm to aid your selection.

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Selecting the SongForm

Four aspects of your song’s arrangement are selected,

  1. first,      the SongForm, say 32.A1A2 which means a 32-bar form comprising two equal length sections, neither being a bridge;  Alternatively, 24.AAB would mean a 24-bar form comprising of three equal length sections with the third (a ‘bridge’ or ‘B’ section) being different from the first two,
  2. second, the number of bars for an introduction, for example, 8-Bar indicating 8 bars of introduction; Alternatively, None, would indicate no introduction to be played,
  3. third,    the number of repeats of the chorus, meaning repeats of the SongForm (here 32.A1A2), for example, ‘3‘,
  4. fourth,  the number of bars for an ending, for example, 8-Bar, indicating 8 bars of ending; Alternatively, None would indicate no ending to be played.

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User-defined SongForm

As an alternative to selecting from the list of Song Forms names, one can create one’s own user-defined Song Form by pressing the ‘compose’ button (the picture of a box with a pencil in it). This brings up this screen.

Here, four consecutive parts of a user-defined Song Form can be entered, each with their own number of repeats (LHS box on each line).  Each of the four parts is defined by a list of numbers indicating the number of bars in a section.  These numbers are separated by either the ‘|’ or ‘/’ symbol.  ‘/’ precedes a bridge section.   This scheme provides a lot of opportunities to define your own Song Form.  Not all of the four parts need to be used; simply leave blank those not required.

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Searching for a Song

Once you have entered the name of your track, you can search for an existing definition of your song being shared by Alive Drumming under that name by pressing the search (magnifying glass) icon.  If there is either a Song Form definition or an entire arrangement definition, it will be found and your page updated with it.

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Resources

  1. This User Guide in all supported languages
  2. Alive Drumming website at http://alivedrumming.com
  3. Alive Drumming’s, Song Rhythm Tracks product page, including videos at https://alivedrumming.com/song-rhythm-tracks/   
  4. Forums for the app at http://forums.alive-drumming.org

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