Song Rhythm Tracks — Users’ Testimonials

We canvassed some opinions from social media. It is always interesting to see how others view Song Rhythm Tracks. See what you think.

№1 for Musician’s Usability

Ethan — Kyoto, Japan. Sax player. Plays pop, rock, blues, jazz, bop, ballads, everything really

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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 the 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.

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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. True innovation for the musician.

Drum Machines don’t work end-to-end. They’re not performance-ready

Eloa — Brazil. Guitar, sings. Loves conga, timbales, bongos and claves. Plays and sings bossa nova, jazz samba, merengue, lambada

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LOVE THIS APP!! Never seen anything like it. Drum machines don’t cut it, even ones with some good sounding rhythms. Nothing else works well end-to-end in providing rhythmic backing tracks to your song list. The closest thing I’ve seen to this App are those apps that have the full sheet music, backing tracks and are song based. You buy the sheet-music and backing music for a song. They are OK, a bit expensive and don’t always have your song, or the arrangement of your song, that you’d like to use. They can be a bit clunky as well and the rhythms tend not to be very good by themselves. This App is so much better for me because (i) the rhythms are fantastic, (ii) it doesn’t matter if they don’t have your song, you can arrange it yourself, simply, and (iii) the tracks start cheap and get cheaper the more you use the App. How come? I’ve found I often use the same rhythms and song forms. When I select exactly the same combination for a new song the App recognises it has that already and doesn’t download it again. It’s a different track name in the App with a different title but the App must know it can use the same audio file. Smart. It is also performance-ready as far as the setlists and player go. So I just use this one App and it’s fast and reliable for me during performance. Totally love this app.

A unique arranger provides a lot of rhythmic support for little cost

Hilly — Tokyo for now. Plays guitar and piano and sings. Likes latin and classic rock and pop

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HUNDREDS OF GREAT RHYTHMS. I find this app pretty unique in its approach to arranging. It’s not the most comprehensive arranger available but it’s unique in its simplicity. It really does allow for some pretty easy ways to arrange a track from simply matching on track title to selecting a well-known song form. You can even enter song forms using “stick notation” (see their website or the inbuilt help screens). You then get an arrangement based on the sectional structure of the song with options for intros and endings as well. This works surprisingly well providing a track that really outlines the sections of the song including bridges and middle choruses as well. That’s a lot of rhythm support for very little effort and cost. They sound very good as well. For a lot of tunes, that’s all you need but for some tunes you might also want drum breaks or different styles of drumming throughout the song. That’s not what Song Rhythm Tracks does — not yet anyway. I’ve heard they are working on introducing breaks right now (now delivered in release 3.0). Still, there’s never been a simpler or faster drum rhythm arranger as this and the player and setlists make it more useable than anything else. I love the hundreds of great rhythms.

Professional quality results, a simple approach with portable convenience

Ron — LA, USA. Plays guitar, mouth organ, piano and drums. Likes country, rock, jazz and blues

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PROFESSIONAL AND USABLE. This App is incredible. I totally underestimated how good it is. The quality of the backing tracks are truly professional — professional, talented drumming, professional audio, professional arrangements. Coupled with that, I’ve never had an app like this before where is works so well keeping all the tracks in a table and being able to organise them into play-lists. You can even play the entire list of tracks with one key press. Incredible. I still can’t get over that there isn’t anything else left to do. It just works great! There are 4 included “factory” tracks that are OK. The Jazz and Blues Sampler app has 23 decent tunes included. These are good to evaluate the app but the real power comes with using it to arrange your own songs / tracks. There’s nothing simpler than this. You won’t believe it. I’ve created some of my own arrangements with 10+ choruses which is how our group plays. I carry it around with me on my iPhone, and have it on an old iPad as well, which is good for our jamming. Still works on the old iPad. No problem with speed. Just start with the [ Jazz and Blues Sampler ] app and then add any tracks you want later. There are 1000s of rhythms to choose from — good ones too. There is nothing else out there anything like this App — it’s nothing like the silly MIDI *dumb* machines. It’s real quality, professional, and useable. Recommended.

An understated wonder is a wolf in sheep’s clothing with ultimate usability

Wendy — Florence, Italy. Plays guitar, and clarinet. Likes classical music and classic popular, folk, latin, jazz and blues, particularly on the clarinet!

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WOLF IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING. My experience is similar to the other poster. This App, at first glance seems bland and uninspiring, but its a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s the very essence of UNDERSTATEMENT — like Braun or B&O. No flashing lights. No gimmicks. Just GREAT DESIGN and a TOTAL RETHINK as regards USABILITY. The backing tracks are the best imaginable and ready in no time at all. They really do sound like a drummer is playing the ACTUAL SONG. I don’t know how they achieve that without knowing everything about the song. It’s uncanny.

I have tried other music generation programs for getting backing tracks, with very limited success. I always give up with them at the end because they take up so much of your time and don’t sound that inspirational anyway. It’s not like that with these Song Rhythm Tracks. 30 secs tops and they sound just great. No duds. The organisation and playing of tracks isn’t mentioned much but it’s brilliant, and so understated. You don’t need to use another player. The inbuilt player is a ‘musicians’ player — big buttons, quality speed variation which persists to your next play. Here’s another big thing that isn’t mentioned very much. You always can see the arrangement on the screen, so you know what you will be playing along to. And it’s in musician’s language which is just what you want. Great. Most of my tracks I haven’t had to arrange as I’ve found one using the inbuilt search feature. I’ve arranged a couple though and it was so easy. There really isn’t anything else like this. Super simply arranging. Great sound. Total Understatement. I just love it — even on my iPod Touch! I play a lot of Latin Rhythms and they have them all. And they sound so authentic. I totally recommend this App to people who care about music and sound and aren’t looking for a flashing-lights-toy, but rather something that will satisfy for the rest of your life. Real Quality is so rare, but this is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

A musician’s arranger that talks your language

Ele’ — Melbourne, Australia. Plays piano. Like jazz, blues and latin.

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A MUSICIAN’S ARRANGER — That’s what I call this App. Why? Because the problem with everything else I’ve seen is that we musician’s use one language when we speak of our arrangements and the App always speaks another language. When you sit down with your buddy musos and someone calls a tune, what do you say? You might say let’s play this or that tune, and if you’ve all played it together before everyone will know how it is arranged. But if it is not a tune you’ve all played together before, what then? I expect the leader will call the tempo to be used — medium fast say and perhaps the feel also — Bossa or Reggae or whatever and whether there’ll be an intro or you go straight in from the top. You might agree the number of choruses then as well and perhaps the order of solos as well. Well, its that’s sort of language you want from your backing tracks as well. You want to know if there’s an intro and if so how long it is. You want to know the number of choruses, so you decide on the solos etc. and you’ll want to know about the tempo and the rhythmic style. That’s the sort of information you get with this App and it’s how you ‘arrange’ your tracks as well — in musician’s language — not in flashing lights and weird controls — just plain english musician’s arrangement language. As you scroll through the list of tracks, each track has its arrangement spelt out like that, for example — 8-bars intro, 6 choruses of 16-bar tune with a 4-bar ending using this rhythm at that tempo. That makes sense to me and other musicians and is the sort of language that would be used between us as we play together. That’s why I call this App a ‘musicians’ arranger.


Song Rhythm Tracks

Song Rhythm Tracks are a new type of backing track composed entirely of rhythmic backing (no melody or harmony) arranged to the musical form of the song — it’s “songform”. These tracks are complete performances like one gets from a professional drummer. They have a count-in, introduction section, choruses and characteristic endings, framed by fills showing where sections start and end. Even musical bridges and middle choruses have higher intensity where appropriate to the style. Things are kept simple by doing away with the traditional arranger’s interface. One can select a track in under 30 seconds — under 15 seconds once one gets the hang of it.

The App’s player has tempo adjustment and a facility to sequence the tracks for your gig or jam session. It is for musicians of all abilities. New musicians use the App to provide an accompaniment to songs. They get a rhythm that is sympathetic so they learn to keep time, get into the groove and internalise the song’s musical structure — All this while enjoying engaging and inspiring rhythms. Gigging musicians catalogue their backing into setlists and use it to guide performance. Having quality rhythmic backing, with a setlist facility and a musician’s player, all in the one App is so convenient one finds oneself using this rhythmic backing more and more.

Song Rhythm Tracks are truly high-quality rhythmic backing that is convenient to select and play. You are not going to get tired of these backing tracks. You are not going to have to sequence anything. You will find that the player and setlist’s user-interface encourages continued use. You will get to appreciate the form of your songs more and you might include these tracks into your own single and album releases. Don’t be put off by experiences with other mobile drumming Apps. Song Rhythm Tracks are something different.

Whether you are learning a new tune, jamming, gigging or cutting your latest album, this Song Rhythm Tracks provides a solution.

Check out samples of the audio at Alive Drumming’s Samples page

Check out these articles from Alive Drumming that give further insights into the thinking behind the product,

How to practice, then how to jam

When to work on your rhythm?

Why songform with rhythm tracks?

Download the Song Rhythm Tracks App on the Apple App Store

Try Alive Drumming’s sampler apps to sample previously arranged tracks of popular tunes. It is then easy to use the app to adjust these to your practice and performance requirements. All the sampler apps are the same Song Rhythm Tracks app but with the included sample tracks.


Originally published at Alive Drumming.