- Managing Tracks
- Playing Tracks
- Number of Downloads
- Creating Your Tracks
- Selecting the Rhythm
- Selecting the SongForm
- User-defined SongForm
- Searching for a Song’s Form
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 or change a track by touching on the wording of the track.
Flick the track left to delete it or change the order of the tracks using the ‘Edit‘ button and dragging the table entry to a new position.
The table is grouped into ‘SetLists’. These are an ordered list of tracks. Use SetLists for the different situations where you play your tracks, perhaps practising with different groups, or for performances. The SetList is headed by an area showing its name and some buttons. The tracks can be reorganised within the SetList by using the ‘Edit‘ button and dragging. Press ‘Play‘ to play the entire SetList together with a 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‘.
Tracks are duplicated by pressing the Duplicate button (two overlapping rectangles). The duplicate appears immediately next to the original. This 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 (the square with an upwards pointing arrow). This copies it’s name and configuration to our servers to be used by others searching for that same name to retrieve its definition.
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 muted background to avoid glare when you are practising 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 a ‘>‘. The choruses are identified as ‘1‘ for First, ‘M‘ for Middle and ‘U‘ for Last.
Number of Downloads
Alive Drumming supplies your bespoke Song Rhythm Tracks via download. The number of tracks that can be downloaded is limited to an allocation provided with the app purchased, which can be topped up later via In-App Purchases by pressing the TopUp button (a shopping trolley icon). The number of downloads remaining is shown at the bottom of each SetList table. The number is decremented for each successful download. When this value reaches zero (0) further downloads will not complete and their status instead will be shown as ‘Deferred‘.
Creating Your Tracks
When you either create a new or replace an existing, track you are presented with the above page to select both
- A rhythm to be used for your track, and
- A SongForm to be used.
Selecting the Rhythm
To select the rhythm, first select its meter, for example, 4/4, then its 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.
Selecting the SongForm
Four aspects of your song’s overall musical form are selected,
- first, the underlying 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,
- 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,
- third, the number of repeats of the chorus, meaning repeats of the underlying SongForm (here 32.A1A2), for example, ‘3‘,
- 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.
As an alternative to selecting from the list of underlying SongForms, one can create one’s own user-defined underlying SongForm 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 SongForm can be entered, each with their own number of repeats (left-hand-side box on each line). Each of the four parts is defined by a list of numbers each indicating the number of bars in a section. These numbers are separated by either the ‘|’ or ‘/’ symbol. ‘/’ precedes a bridge section. This 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.
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 track definition, it will be found and your page updated with it.
- This User Guide in all supported languages
- Alive Drumming website at http://alivedrumming.com
- Alive Drumming Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) at https://alivedrumming.com/faq
- Alive Drumming’s, Song Rhythm Tracks product page, including videos at https://alivedrumming.com/songform-rhythm-tracks/
- Forums for the app at http://forums.alive-drumming.org