Here are the answers to some of your questions –

Why do these Song Rhythm Tracks sound so great?

Hands on drums
Hands-on drums

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?

writing on a score
writing on a score

Song Forms for a number of songs are here

Which app should I get, Song Rhythm Tracks or one of the Sampler apps?

Short answer – Any will do just fine!.

Same Functionality

They all have exactly the same functionalitySong Rhythm Tracks app tends to be the first when a new release comes out but the Sampler apps follow shortly afterwards.

Everything described on the website, in the videos, tutorials and user guides applies equally to the Song Rhythm Tracks app and the Sampler apps.

Choose your factory tracks

Each of the apps comes with a different set of inbuilt factory tracks.

Song Rhythm Tracks has about 5 tracks.  This helps new users immediately get the idea of the app.  They can easily be deleted by swiping each left one at a time and there are only about 5 of them.

Sampler apps have more inbuilt factory tracks, about 20.  These are in the genre of the Sampler.  There is not much additional cost for these tracks but the tracks might not be the ones you want to play anyway.  The idea is that you can ‘sample’ these tracks using the app. You get to appreciate both the sound quality of the tracks and the advantages of playing the tracks using the app.  Again, delete the ones you do not want.

Factory tracks sets now available as shared setlists

Each set of Sampler’s factory tracks are now available for download as a shared setlist.  To do this

1. Create a new (empty) setlist – press the blue ‘+‘ button.

2. Configure the setlist – press the blue pencil-in-a-box button

3. Name the setlist the name of the Sampler whose tracks you wish to retrieve, either

  • Jazz and Blues
  • Classic Country Music
  • Afro-Cuban Salsa

3. Press the blue hourglass button to search for the named setlist.  After a few seconds, your new setlist should get populated with the 20+ tracks of the Sampler by the same name and you will see a confirmation message.

4. Press the blue floppy-disk-button to save the setlist.

You now will have the 20+ arrangements in that new setlist.  You can repeat this for each of the Sampler app factory tracks if you wish, using a new setlist for each.  There is no cost for downloading track definitions like this.  Your allocation of downloads is only decremented when you download the tracks audio by pressing its download button.

Allocation of Download Tracks

The Song Rhythm Tracks app comes with an allocation of 20 tracks before you need to purchase more allocation using in-app-purchasing with the pink shopping trolley button. The sampler apps come with only 4.  This allows the sampler apps to be much less expensive.  There is no difference between the in-app-purchasing of the different apps.  They function identically.

Comparison Table

 

Download iCon App US$ Cost Track Download Allocation Inbuilt (factory) Tracks
 

 

Classic Country Music Sampler
Classic Country Music Sampler
 

Classic Country
Music Sampler

 

$ 2.00

 

4

 

20+

 

 

Afro-Cuban Salsa Sampler
Afro-Cuban Salsa Sampler
 

Afro-Cuban
Salsa Sampler

 

$ 2.00

 

4

 

20+

 

 

Jazz and Blues Sampler
Jazz and Blues Sampler
 

Jazz and
Blues Sampler

 

$ 2.00

 

4

 

20+

 

 

Song Rhythm Tracks
Song Rhythm Tracks
 

Song Rhythm Tracks

 

$ 5.00

 

20

 

5

 

 

Song Rhythm Tracks audio is dry! Will Alive Drumming, or can I, add reverb?

Alive Drumming’s Song Rhythm Tracks are supplied without reverb’ (aka “dry”).

We are working on making our iOS app Apple inter-app audio (IAA) compliant.  When ready, 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?

Alive Drumming aims to cover all regions, countries, languages, and cultures.  Embracing a wide diversity of rhythms is what Alive Drumming is all about.  If we haven’t adopted yours yet, we aim to in the future.  If you want yours to be supported now, why not contact us at [email protected]

 

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.

Arranging


Each track you arrange includes repeats of the song form preceded by an ‘intro’ section and followed by an ‘ending’ section. User-defined song forms allow for a much more complex structure, making possible any section based arrangement. In addition, the user-defined song form includes the ability to add whole-bar ‘stops’ to the arrangement where the drumming stops for a bar. This is achieved by the Alive Drumming smart servers selecting a recording of a ‘stop’ by the drummer and incorporating it into the arrangement. This ‘stop’ will be in the idiom of the style being performed. Also a more advanced feature is to add a ‘push’ at any bar-beat-subdivision position in the user-defined song form, where the drummer adds an additional drum hit slightly ahead of the position to push the rhythm along. This is not required to achieve a wonderfully natural rhythm but where song arrangements benefit from a special emphasis.

What rhythms are available for Song Rhythm Tracks?

The Song Rhythm Tracks service currently supports about 60 different distinct rhythm categories, which includes about 250 distinct rhythm types.  Most of these are available with differing instrumentations such as ‘rim’ shots or, say, wooden blocks, and many are available at multiple tempos.   Each variation may be considered a unique rhythm option.   In all over 3,700 different rhythm options 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 rhythm categories and rhythm types available, 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?

illustration LouisArmstrong
illustration Louis Armstrong

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 are 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, jamming, gigging and cutting a release.

They cover a wide selection of musical genres with 1000’s of rhythms available.

They are best for musicians who play songs or ‘numbers’  and wish to have an inspiring rhythmic accompaniment that fits the song they are playing, both rhythmically and the musical form.

They are particularly useful for music teachers and students as the App is quick and easy to use with inspiring Alive Drumming!

To learn more about their benefit in practice, using the Song Rhythm Tracks app, see the news articles, “The primacy of rhythm in popular music”,    “How to Practice, then how to Jam“,   “When to work on your Rhythm

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 analyzed 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 [email protected]

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.

Our mobile Apps do not pass any information to our servers other than the (i) details of the audio track when requested, and (ii) the rhythm, and form of a song shared by pressing ‘share’.

How can I learn about song form?

Song form is the concept that every song has been composed around a musical form or structure.   Popular song often chooses simple forms as a basis 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 aims to provide you with the easiest and most reliable methods to select or describe song form.

Song Form may be selected using either (i) traditional names such as ’16-bar Tune’, or if you prefer, (ii) ‘stick notation‘ such as ‘4|4|4|4‘  – note – The equivalent of ’16-bar Tune’ is  ‘4|4|4|4’.

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

If your form isn’t available for selection, one can use stick-notation to enter it as a “user-defined” form.

Of course, when you look up a user-contributed arrangement using Song Sharing, you don’t need to either select or enter a song form. There are now thousands of these being shared.


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