Tag: iOS App

Our favourite Frequently  Asked  Questions  (F.A.Q.)

IllustrationPianoPlayerAtStrangeAngle

Hear are some of our favourite F.A.Q.s we’ve hand-picked –


Why do these Song Rhythm Tracks sound so great?

They do, don’t they! And for a number of reasons:
  1. Great Recordings of Great Drummers – Song Rhythm Tracks are arranged from careful studio recordings of excellent drummers.  They are not constructed from midi files fitting together “samples” from single drum hits to form a mechanical style but rather multiple longer-form full recordings by top studio drummers, lasting from up to 8 bars at a time where you hear subtle drum rolls, variations in ride cymbal taps, complex fills and more.  The rhythmic style comes from talented drummers that are very experienced in that particular style be it Reggae, Salsa, Bossa, Rumba, Tango, Rock, Country, Jazz, Pop, Celtic, Praise & Worship, Blues, and lots more!
  2. There is natural variety promoted over the repeats.  That is a number of recordings of, say, a fill or shot are taken and selectively chosen while sequencing and engineering the final audio.  This provides the natural variety one gets with drummers.  It helps prevent the drumming becoming monotonous and repetitive.
  3. The drummer is spelling out many aspects of the song’s form as (s)he plays.  This might have a larger contributor than one might imagine.  It is what real drummers do, but drumming software rarely does.   The drumming is indicating
    1. When you are returning to the ‘top of the form’ again
    2. When your sections are ending and starting again
    3. When you are starting or finishing a bridge section
    4. Whether you are playing a middle section or, alternatively, the first or last sections.   This not only helps you keep place while you are playing but it makes the whole experience so much more enjoyable to listen to, or play along with, as well.
All this takes a lot of careful preparation and curation, huge storage, and sophisticated algorithms.   We feel this cannot be achieved on mobile devices themselves which is why our solution involves cloud services working with the mobile App.

Could you give me some examples of Song Forms?

Song Forms for a number of songs are here

Your drumming is dry! Will Alive Drumming, or can I, add reverb?

Alive Drumming’s Song Rhythm Tracks  are supplied without reverb (aka “dry”).
We are endeavouring to make our iOS app Apple inter-app audio (IAA) compliant.  When it is, you will be able to use other, 3rd party app’s to add reverb to the audio.  See this youtube video for some of them in action.

Is Alive Drumming supporting my country or region?

We aim to cover all regions, countries, languages, and cultures, embracing a wide diversity of rhythms is what we are all about.  If we haven’t adopted yours yet, we almost certainly aim to in the future.  If you want yours to be supported now, why not contact us at marketing@alive-dumming.org

What song forms does Alive Drumming support?

We support all the popular, essential song forms by name – 12 bar blues, 16 bar tunes, 32-bar A1A2 and 32-bar AABA, and about 30 other less common also by name.    The list is increasing!  We also support identifying these same song forms using stick notation.  This simply specifies section lengths in bars, for example, ‘8|8/8|8’, where ‘bridge‘ sections are preceded by a ‘/’ instead of ‘|’.
Additionally, we support user-defined song forms using stick notation, repeats, and concatenation of up to four (4) parts.  This allows for a truly huge flexibility when coupled with the facility to add an introduction and ending section.   See this user guide for more information,  SongForm Rhythm Tracks.

What rhythms are available for Song Rhythm Tracks?

The app currently supports about 60 different distinct rhythm categories, which includes about 250 distinct rhythms.  Of these, most are available with differing instrumentation such as ‘rim’ shots or, say, wooden blocks, and many at multiple tempos.  In all over 3,700 different rhythm track renderings are available that can be applied to a song form.   The app makes selection easy by providing filtering on a musical meter (say 4/4 or 3/4 time), and feel (even or straight, 8th or 16th notes) and provides a two-tier categorization for selection.
Here is a tiny sample of the styles represented:
  • Jazz, swing, straight 8th, modern, sophisticated, old-time
  • American Country styles, including Nashville
  • American Blues, shuffles, hard shuffles, old-time, slow, fast
  • Salsa, Samba
  • Bossa, Jazz Bossa Brushes, Latin Bossa, bongos, percussion
  • Techno, various forms
  • Rock, hard rock, heavy
  • Pop, straight 8th, straight 16th, slow, medium, fast
For a full list of all rhythms and sub-rhythms see the page catalog-rhythmic-styles.

How can I use the Song Rhythm Tracks? What’s my licence?

Alive Drumming grants license to remix its tracks.  That is, you can take the Song Rhythm Tracks audio, mix with your own content, and sell that mix as your own work without paying a fee to Alive Drumming.
Alive Drumming prohibits resale or redistribution of its un-mixed, original Song Rhythm Tracks.  You cannot sell or give away these tracks unless you mix them into a new creative piece of work.
Alive Drumming appreciates artistic attribution but does not require attribution in your remixed works.  You do not need to attribute Alive Drumming for the rhythm track in your remixed original work but if you wish to please add, “rhythm track supplied by Alive Drumming (c)” and include a reference to this website.

How can I get these Song Rhythm Tracks? Are they available on Amazon or iTunes?

The tracks are available via Apple iOS mobile App and will later be available via an Android mobile app.
The huge permutations of song forms and rhythms available means the traditional audio file distribution channels of iTunes and Amazon do not fit this new medium of Song Rhythm Tracks.
In particular, Amazon and iTunes do not accommodate the additional assistance that is required for musician’s to select the appropriate track.
Alive Drumming has no plans to market these tracks on legacy media such as Audio CDs or DAT tape.

Who is Song Rhythm Tracks for?

All Musicians!   New Musicians;    Experienced Musicians;     Great Musicians;
Really, any musician including Pianists, Guitarists, Horn Players, Singers and even Drummers.
The tracks can be used for practice, performance and cutting a release.
To learn more about their benefit in practice, using the Song Rhythm Tracks app, see the news article, “The primacy of rhythm in popular music”.

Would Alive Drumming include this extra rhythm?

If we don’t already include a particular rhythm, we would like to work with a drummer to include it.  This involves making high-quality audio recordings of the drumming at multiple tempos including multiple shots and fills used in turnarounds.   The audio recording will be analysed to identify where the various aspects occur and the preference level of each occurrence.   This is the basis for Alive Drumming to incorporate additional rhythms into their Song Rhythm Tracks.    If you are a drummer and have a rhythm you’d like to be represented please email feedback@alive-drumming.org

What’s Alive Drumming’s policy on privacy?

Alive Drumming takes personal privacy very seriously.  We are committed to proactively protecting the privacy of our customers by not storing any personal information unless it is absolutely required, and should that be the case, it will always be protected by strong encryption.  We will never sell or otherwise disclose any personal, private or confidential information we hold on others.

How can I learn about song form?

Song form is based on the concept that every song has been composed around a musical form or structure.   Popular song often chooses simple forms as a basis for a song but forms can be more complex as well.
A good reference on song form (structure) is the Wikipedia article,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Song_structure
Alive Drumming wants to provide you with the easiest and most reliable methods to describe song form and uses the term, “Song Form” for the approach that it takes in identifying and using song forms.
Song Form allows for selection using both (i) traditional names such as ’16-bar Tune’, or (ii) the  ‘stick notation’ equivalent of ‘4|4|4|4’ if that is what you prefer.
For full information on Alive Drumming’s Song Rhythm Tracks mobile app and it’s flexibility in identifying Song Forms see the page, Song Rhythm Tracks
Your options include, (i) describing just about any Song Form you are likely to want to use with “user-defined” Song Forms in the mobile app, and (ii) for popular tunes, searching for a user-contributed Song Form for that song, again within the mobile app.   There are now tens of thousands of these being shared.

Why do these Song Rhythm Tracks sound so totally great?

drummer AJAZZGO2017

They do, don’t they!  This question is one of the most frequent I get from people using this App.  It often comes as surprise, perhaps because of the widespread familiarity folk have with ‘Midi Drum Machines‘ which don’t satisfy in the same way as Song Rhythm TracksMidi Drum Machines and Song Rhythm Tracks are two very different products; their differences are summarized in the table below.

The Song Rhythm Tracks Way

Here are the three top reasons why we believe these tracks are so great to jam to, to gig to, and to cut records to.

  1. Great Recordings of Great Drummers – Song Rhythm Tracks are arranged from careful studio recordings of excellent drummers.  They are not constructed from midi files fitting together “samples” from single drum hits to form a mechanical style but rather multiple longer-form full recordings by top studio drummers, lasting from up to 8 bars at a time where you hear subtle drum rolls, variations in ride cymbal taps, complex fills and more.  The rhythmic style comes from talented drummers that are very experienced in that particular style be it Reggae, Salsa, Bossa, Rumba, Tango, Rock, Country, Jazz, Pop, Celtic, Praise & Worship, Blues, and lots more!
  2. There is natural variety promoted over the repeats.  That is a number of recordings of, all aspects of playing, fills, post-fills, shots and more are taken and selectively chosen while sequencing and engineering the final audio.  This provides the natural variety one gets with drummers.  It helps prevent the drumming becoming monotonous and repetitive.
  3. The arrangement is spelling out many aspects of the song’s form.  This might have a larger contribution than one might imagine.  It is what real drummers do, but drumming software rarely does.   The drumming is indicating
    1. When you are returning to the ‘top of the form’ again
    2. When your sections are ending and starting again
    3. When you are playing a bridge section
    4. Whether you are playing a middle chorus or, alternatively, the first or last chorus.   This not only helps you keep place while you are playing but it makes the whole experience so much more enjoyable to listen to, or play along with, as well.

All this takes a lot of careful preparation and curation, huge storage, and sophisticated algorithms.   We feel this cannot be achieved on mobile devices themselves which is why our solution involves cloud services working with the mobile App.

Comparison – Midi Drum Machines and Song Rhythm Tracks

Midi Drum Machines Song Rhythm Tracks
Audio is generated from the machine ‘playing’ together individual drum ‘hits’ at varying intensities.  The machine is effectively taking the place of the drums and, to some extent, the drummer. Audio is generated from multiple long recordings of talented artists.  These recordings can be as much as 8-bars long with repeats using alternate recordings to provide variety.
Each rhythm comes from an algorithm specifying which drums are hit when within the bar.  Each rhythm can be parameterized by the tempo, linearly increasing and decreasing with ease. Even so, the mechanical sounding rhythm sounds less and natural as the tempo varies further from the norm for the rhythm. Each rhythm comes from long-form recordings.  Each of these is recorded at multiple tempos where the drummer naturally changes the style of the drumming to suit the tempo, varying the intensity and placement of the hits within the bar to suit the tempo and the style. Effectively, each tempo recording is a unique rhythm, albeit stylistically related to those at the other tempos.
The machine generates the drumming audio in real-time. Many machines allow for an audio track to be generated but rarely do they provide good setlist facilities for these audio files, as that is not their focus. Alive Drumming supplies high-quality MP3 audio files that are catalogued and managed from within mobile apps with good setlist facilities and provide a good musician’s player.
Only a small amount of computer memory is required to hold the audio of the drum hits which are often efficiently compressed;  The Apps generally have a small memory footprint as well. The source audio recordings are large requiring much storage space.  Also, there are a many of them.  Alive Drumming stores these within Cloud Servers where sophisticated programs generate the  Song Rhythm Tracks, delivering them to the mobile apps.
Midi Drum Machines are preferred by those affirming the mechanical, highly regular sounding drums.  This sound has spawned new genres of music. Song Rhythm Tracks are preferred by those who like the sound of real-life drummers drumming on drums and the artistry achieved by these musicians using authentic percussion and drums.
Users of Midi Drum Machines often affirm the visual beauty of the machine themselves and the ‘drumming’ facilities they have.  The machines become a ‘new type of drum to play‘, and they love their machines as much as any instrumentalists. Users of Song Rhythm Tracks are not interested in playing Midi Drum Machines, or probably real drums either.  They want to benefit from great sounding rhythmic backing tracks that fit the songs they play and with a minimum of effort.   They generally would prefer an understated device that works reliably, efficiently and with great ergonomics, particularly during playing.  They want the best quality, performance-ready backing tracks.
Users of Midi Drum Machines often use it as an ‘advanced metronome‘ and improvise along to a 4-bar endless loop. 4-bar and sometime 8-bar phrases are often displayed visually within the Machine with facilities to play and loop alternative phrases. Song Rhythm Tracks are backing music for the practice and performance of fully-arranged Songs (vocal or instrumental).  They partly sound so great because you hear the form of the song in the rhythmic backing, just like you do with real drummers.  This is not only a longer-form than a 4-bar loop, but it has more structure as well, with arrangements including introduction sections, middle choruses, bridges and more.  The arrangement is always visible – particularly during playing where you might need a reminder.
There are many Midi Drum Machines available on mobile and desktop platforms and dedicated physical machines, with various facilities, often specializing in particularly rhythmic styles. There’s the one Song Rhythm Tracks Service which provides all the various rhythms and arranging smarts.  Currently, apps are only available on the Apple iOS platform but Android and Web platforms will be delivered.  All iOS Apps have exactly the same facilities and can access the full Alive Drumming catalog.

 

“Afro-Cuban Salsa” Sampler iOS App released by Alive Drumming

PaintingCoupleDancing

Afro-Cuban Salsa Sampler is the new Song Rhythm Tracks sampler App from Alive Drumming providing the same great rhythm tracks arranger with 20+ included sample arrangement tracks of Afro-Cuban Salsa staples.

Afro-Cuban Salsa Sampler has the same facilities as the standard Song Rhythm Tracks App but comes pre-installed with 20+ Afro-Cuban Salsa arrangements and an allocation of 4 downloads for your own arrangements (with more are available via In-App Purchasing).  What an opportunity to sample some arrangements of these great Afro-Cuban rhythms before using the App for your own arrangements!   It’s the same Song Rhythm Tracks App with all the latest facilities.

Launch Special – Price Reduced to Minimal for a limited time!

en US iPhone 8 Plus 03 MainTableScreen framed
en US iPhone 8 Plus 03 MainTableScreen framed

Alive Drumming have reduced this App’s price to a minimal level for a limited time after which it returns to full pricing.  This is a great opportunity to try out this heralded rhythm track arranger at no cost and get into creating your own arrangements of the world’s greatest Song Rhythm Tracks, using Alive Drumming’s vast library of artist’s authentic interpretations.  Try the Afro-Cuban Salsa standards and arrange some more tracks for whatever tunes you are currently playing.  There’s a vast selection of authentic rhythms from talented artists across many genres in addition to Afro-Cuban Salsa.

The Tracks


La Gloria eres tu” – A single chorus of a user-defined form (as 4|8|8|8|12 bars) with no intro’ or ending sections and using a Bolero rhythm at 105 bpm

Samba For Carmen”2 choruses of a user-defined form (as 16|16|8 bars) with an 8-bar intro’ and a 6-bar ending, using a Samba rhythm with both drums and percussion at 190 bpm

Chucho” – 3 choruses of 24-bar A1A2 form (as 12|12) with a 2-bar intro’ and a 4-bar ending, using a Mambo Latin Jazz rhythm at 190 bpm

El que Siembra su maiz” – A single chorus of a user-defined form (as 20|20/8|13/8|13/8|13 bars) with no intro’ or ending sections, using a Son Montuno 32 rhythm at 170 bpm

El arroyo que murmura” – 2 choruses of a user-defined form (as 12|12|6 bars) with no intro’ or ending sections, using a folk Afro-Cuban 6/8 rhythm at 114 bpm

Cemento, Ladrillo y Arena” – 4 choruses of a user-defined form (as 8|16/8 bars) with an 8-bar intro’ and no ending, using a Son Montuno 32 rhythm at 170 bpm

Lamento Esclavo” – A single chorus of 32-bar A1A2 (as 16|16) with a 4-bar intro’ and a 2-bar ending, using a Tango rhythm at 120 bpm

Mambo Inn” – 3 choruses of 32-bar AABA (as 8|8/8|8 bars) with an 8-bar intro’ and no ending, using a Mambo Latin Jazz rhythm at 190 bpm

Maria Cristina” – 3 choruses of a user-defined form (as 18|18/8/8 bars ) with a 2-bar intro’ and no ending, using a Son Medium rhythm at 140 bpm

Lagrimas Negras” – 2 choruses of a user-defined form (as 18|18/8/8 bars) with a 2-bar intro and no ending, using a Son Medium rhythm at 140 bpm

Pare Cochero” – 2 choruses of a user-defined form (as 8|10|8|10/4/4 bars) with no intro’ or ending sections, using a Cha Cha Cha rhythm at 120 bpm

Yo no Quiero Piedra en me Camino” – 6 choruses of a 16-bar Tune (as 8|8 bars) with an 8-bar intro’ and a 10-bar ending, using a Guaracha 32 rhythm at 180 bpm

El Bodeguero” – 3 choruses of 32-bar A1A2 form (as 16|16 bars) with a 4-bar intro’ and an 8-bar ending, using a Cuban Mozambique rhythm at 118 bpm

El Jamaiquino” – 3 choruses of 24-bar AAB form (as 8|8/8 bars) with an 8-bar intro’ and no ending, using a Guaracha 32 rhythm at 180 bpm

El Guararey de Pastora” – 2 choruses of a user-defined form (as 8|8/10/10 bars) with no intro and an 8-bar ending, using a Songo rhythm at 210 bpm

Calculadoro” – 2 choruses of a user-defined form (as 20|8/8 bars) with no intro’ or ending sections, using a Cha Cha Cha Latin Jazz rhythm at 135 bpm

La Enganadora” – A single chorus of a user-defined form (as 16|10|7 bars) with a 2-bar intro’ and no ending, using a New York Mozambique rhythm at 118 bpm

Me recordaras” – 2 choruses of a 32-bar AABA form (as 8|8/8|8 bars) with a 2-bar intro’ and no ending, using a Songo rhythm at 210 bpm

Mujer ardiente” – 5 choruses of 32-bar A1A2 form (as 16|16 bars) with a 16-bar intro’ and no ending, using a very sparse Gypsy Latin rhythm at 110 bpm

Song For Maura” – 5 choruses of 32-bar A1A2 form (as 16|16 bars) with an 8-bar intro’ and a 4-bar ending, using a Mambo rhythm at 150 bpm

Guarina” – 3 choruses of 40-bar A1A2 form (as 20|20 bars) with a 2-bar intro’ and no ending, using a modern Afro-Cuban 6/8 rhythm at 114 bpm

Longina” – 2 choruses of a user-defined form (as 4|13|20 bars) with a 4-bar intro’ and no ending, using a modern slow Merengue rhythm at 112 bpm

For more on song form – see this page

For a list of our rhythms – see this page

Audio Samples

Alive Drumming hosts some sample Song Rhythm Tracks and a user-contributed mixes group at HearThisAt, the audio hosting service providing great user and social facilities. Please contribute your own mixes to the Song Rhythm Tracks User Group at HearThisAt.

Hear this set of sample Afro-Cuban Salsa Song Rhythm Tracks at HearThisAt

iOS App, Song Rhythm Tracks, now available on the Apple App Store.

Bop Jazz Drummer B&W

 

Alive Drumming has released it’s Apple iOS app, Song Rhythm Tracks.  It is now available in the Apple App Store at

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/songform-rhythm-tracks/id1254346877?ls=1&mt=8

If you are interested in reviewing this app please email reviews@alive-drumming.org

 

Translate »