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The Giant Panda, “User-Requests” Release – 3.0
The community asked; Alive Drumming listened.
- SetList Sharing – Share your setlists in a similar way to sharing tracks
- Search for SetLists – Download an entire album of tracks shared by others. Very handy for your rehearsals.
- All samplers now can be downloaded as setlists. Simply perform a setlist search for any of these names, “Afro-Cuban Salsa”, “Jazz and Blues”, and “Classic Country Music”. You will then receive all the track definitions (in the “deferred” state) where you can then choose, at any time, to download any of the tracks.
- Reworked Search – More stable + Allows for more functions during a search, such as duplication + Auto-browse to last track accessed at the conclusion of the search.
- Introducing Holds and Pushes – This release adds options for holds and pushes to your arrangements, accessible via the user-defined arrangements page.
- Updated On-line Guides – in all supported languages
- Stability improvements.
– Your arrangements, in your language, designed for your device.
– Free Audio samples available on our website and YouTube
Alive Drumming Continues To Innovate
This is a significant release for Song Rhythm Tracks, bringing much more functionality and more stability. Search has really matured allowing for track duplication during search and, on search completion, auto-browse to last track accessed. These two features really assist those with large collections of tracks in a very common use-case – searching for a song by name, playing it, and then deciding to create a duplicate and edit the duplicate for an alternative arrangement.
Drumming Holds – or breaks – is where the drumming stops for a bar. It adds drama to a drum arrangement and some songs have very characteristic breaks – “Song For My Father” and “I Get A Kick Out of You” come to mind. It’s now possible to add these holds to your arrangements as part of a user-defined arrangement. The screen-shot shows three holds added to an arrangement of “Song For My Father” providing the characteristic holds for this song. These bars will start with a drum hit and hold off playing until the next bar is started. They will do that at the selected bars, 6, 14, and 22, for each chorus of the song.
Pushes are where an extra drum hit is added, slightly earlier than expected, to push along the rhythm. Their selection works in a similar manner to holds. Select the location and press the pink “+” button to add it to the table. Entries may be removed from the table by swiping left. The selected location will receive an extra drum hit, an 8th-note early to push the rhythm along. The location of pushes may use bar-numbers, in the same way as holds, but also beat numbers and sub-divisions.
The Focus Remains on a Simple Arrangement Philosophy
It is pleasing to note that Alive Drumming is in no way moving away from their original philosophy of a truly simple arrangement interface – where a description is preferred over users needing to prescribe each step of the arrangement process. We describe what holds and where they are to occur, and that’s it. We keep it as simple as possible. This is not going to change. Song Rhythm Tracks are arranged for their users by Alive Drumming who anticipate their users “just want to play their songs” and don’t want to play the drums. Users simply want to benefit from great drumming.
Setlist Sharing Facilities
A great new feature for the Giant Panda, also requested by users, is the Setlist Sharing Facilities. They work in a similar manner to track sharing. Users may share their setlists by name by pressing the share button once a setlist list name has been entered. This is accessible on the setlist configuration page, which is where you name setlists. Once shared, that setlist can be searched for and retrieved by any Song Rhythm Tracks user, and when found the setlist gets populated with all the tracks in the shared setlist. Again, it is the name of the setlist that is the key to both sharing and searching for setlists, and this name must be an exact match (other than upper and lower case). The tracks are populated into your device’s setlist in the ‘deferred‘ state, meaning that the definition of the track is complete but it has not yet been requested for download. The track-lists of all the existing ‘Sampler’ iOS apps have been shared as setlists making it so convenient to retrieve a list and then select the particular track you wish to download.
We would love you to review this App – If you are interested please email email@example.com
What’s meant by Smart Music Creation?
Smart often means that technology has been added to something that previously had not had it.
With ‘music’, the term ‘digital‘ has been used for the distribution of consumer music in a ‘digital form‘ – Audio-CD, mini-discs, DAT and later the revolution of online distribution through the iTunes Music Store.
‘Smart Music Creation‘ could perhaps be considered to be where computerized devices help with the creation of music – the synthesizer, the drum machine, and MIDI generally. Drum Machines and Synthesizers are really new musical instruments lending themselves to new musical sounds and therefore new genres of music. That’s not smart really, it is just a different type of instrument.
Enter – Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI)
The MIDI platform has been around for 30 years or more and deserves the name ‘Smart’. It automates the playing of the instruments by encoding and reproducing the act of playing
on that instrument
with that intensity
precisely at that time.
That’s not just a new type of instrument, it is a way of codifying the playing of any and all instruments. Complete orchestral scores have been codified and rendered with MIDI. Great performances have been captured using MIDI recording. MIDI doesn’t have to mean sub-standard music – it can, if used with care, mean superb musicianship and great music production. Unfortunately, too many substandard performances have been codified and rendered with MIDI, leading to bad experiences and a bad reputation for the technology.
Enablement versus Truly Smart Music Creation
MIDI is a great enabler.
We shouldn’t blame MIDI for what we have, and haven’t, done with it over the last 3 decades. For truly ‘Smart Music’ what we need is to go further, more intimately marrying technology with music production.
The innovator – Band-In-A-Box
The first, mass-adoption innovation from MIDI was the song-based accompaniment application – PG Music’s “Band-In-A-Box” available on PCs and Macs. This delivered on its promise of providing tailored accompaniment for songs. It helps students understand the form of the songs they play and to provide backing music for enjoying and learning new songs. Importantly, the interface or ‘language’ of the application is that of traditional music notation and concepts. It doesn’t rewrite musical terminology, it adopts it and extends what can be done with it. Band-In-A-Box truly is Smart Music Creation.
These Song Rhythm Tracks do sound totally great, don’t they?
This is one of the most frequent things I hear. The great sound quality often comes as surprise, perhaps because of the widespread familiarity everybody has with ‘Midi Drum Machines‘, which don’t satisfy in the same way as Song Rhythm Tracks. Midi Drum Machines and Song Rhythm Tracks are two very different products; we summarize their differences 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.
One – 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 the particular style be it Reggae, Salsa, Bossa, Rumba, Tango, Rock, Country, Jazz, Pop, Celtic, Praise & Worship, Blues, and lots more!
Two – 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 from becoming monotonous and repetitive.
Three – The arrangement is always spelling out 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
- When you are returning to the ‘top of the form’ again
- When your sections are ending and starting again
- When you are playing a bridge section
- 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, 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.Continue Reading
We canvassed some opinions from social media. It is always interesting to see how others view Song Rhythm Tracks. See what you think.
No.1 for Musician’s Usability
Ethan – Kyoto, Japan. Sax player. Plays pop, rock, blues, jazz, bop, ballads, everything really
IMMEDIATE MUSICIAN’S USABILITY. What’s different about this App is that it makes it feasible for the average guy, with very little effort, to play their songs to very engaging arranged rhythm tracks. I’ve tried lots of them and I haven’t come across any other app that comes close to that. This app combines a musician’s player, a setlist manager and an arranger in one app. It’s really quick to select arrangements and then you can put them into setlists and keep changing and reordering the lists as your set evolves. Now I just grab my sax’ and my mobile phone and either play a setlist or quickly search and find tracks as I go through my books of lead sheets. If I don’t have a track for a tune, a minute later I will have and will probably be playing it. For me, there’s nothing else that has this sort of immediate musician’s usability.
Maverick and a True Innovator for the practical musician
Sandra – Perth, Australia. Plays guitar. Likes folk music.
TRUE INNOVATION. What can I say that hasn’t already been said? Only perhaps that this App is a true innovator. A maverick you might say. It seems to do everything differently. It wasn’t what I was expecting but now everything else I’ve tried seems redundant. What do you really want to do? To play with flashing lights – pretending to be hitting real drums? Or to get an MP3 file which is a professional quality backing track to a song you are playing? That, I think, is the innovation. That’s what you get here. It’s like a cross between the ‘Music’ App and a musician’s backing-track service. You select the track you want and the Alive Drumming servers get you it. Then you have much more musician-friendly setlists and player than you get with the ‘Music’ App. Playing becomes a real joy instead of struggle. It’s what all of us musicians want. We want to play our instruments and have great rhythmic backing with a minimum of fuss and bother. That’s what this App delivers. A true innovation for the musician.Continue Reading