[Doggiebox] iDrum's swing thing

Dan Costello stellaswindow at earthlink.net
Thu Jun 10 04:20:39 EDT 2004

Mike (and all)--

I just re-read this before sending, and it may sound a bit abrasive or 
unappreciative... On the contrary, if I didn't think DoggieBox was one 
of THE BEST pieces of music software the Mac has EVER seen, I wouldn't 
have bothered to write.  Keep up the fantastic work-- DB is a dream 
come true for me and my musical endeavors.
Now, on to my frustration... ;-)

Concerning the swing setting for iDrum, it's most likely a "stretcher" 
of the off-beat eighth notes in a pattern, which is a very valuable 
feature.  I've wanted to ask about this topic for a while now.

The concept is: straight eighths (all 8 of 'em in a 4/4 measure, 
normally on a hi-hat in a rock or latin pattern) occur precisely on, 
and precisely half-way between, each beat. (ONE AND / TWO AND /  THREE 

A heavy swing pattern would have the hi-hat or ride cymbal off-beat 
eighth notes (ex. the 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th ones in a 4/4 measure) 
feeling like triplet eighths. (ONE and A /  TWO and A /  THREE and A /  
FOUR and A)  The total time of the overall measure, however, and the 
timing of the main beats, would be exactly the same as a rock or latin 
measure at the same tempo.

If I want a more subtle swing, I would play those off-beats somewhere 
in between straight and tripletted. (Whoa, now I'm makin' up words. 
Gettin' fired up here.)

So... Solution 1:  if I have a "swing" setting like iDrum's, I could 
adjust the timing of the off-beats across the entire pattern (or, 
ideally, any section of the pattern I choose) with a simple change of a 
single setting.
Solution 2:  If I want to do this in DoggieBox... Do I stretch out the 
view of every measure so I can manually place each off-beat cymbal hit 
(or "swung" hit on whatever drum) a hemi-demi-semiquaver or two late? 
This will not only take an unreasonable amount of time and effort, but 
it will also make for an extremely messy DB-to-MIDI-to-sheet music 
conversion, with lots of flags and double-dotted notes... most written 
"swing" patterns display the 8th notes straight, and indicate the swing 
feel at the top or at each swung section. (light/med/heavy swing, up by 
the tempo)
Or Solution 3:  Do I record my own custom cymbal (or whatever drum) 
sound with half a triplet's worth of extra space in front of it, so 
when it triggers precisely on the beat, it doesn't actually make the 
sound until a half-triplet later? This would work for a "strictly 
swing" kit... But many jazz charts flip-flop back and forth between 
straight 8ths and swung 8ths... now I need a bigger kit to include both 
recorded sounds...? What if I don't want a full hard swing? Now I need 
ANOTHER recording of those sounds that are only SLIGHTLY late?  Ugh...

Anyone else working with swing patterns have a more practical solution 
to this?

Dan Costello

Re: excerpt from DBDigest Vol.12 issue 5
> 3) There are some cool things present in the iDrum UI such as the
> "swing" level selection. I'm not sure what this does, but it seems to
> introduce a bit of timing randomness within the pattern itself, while
> retaining the overall timing from pattern start to pattern end. (Huh?
> Even I'm having trouble understanding my own sentence).

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