[Doggiebox] iDrum's swing thing

Carl Edlund Anderson cea at carlaz.com
Thu Jun 10 10:15:42 EDT 2004

Dan Costello wrote:
> 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.

I think I recall some calls for a similar sort of feature in Doggiebox 
... a "percentage ahead or behind the beat" setting that could be 
applied to given pieces of the kit, perhaps on a measure-by-measure 
basis.  Much like your Solution 1:

> 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)

Mmmm, _very_ tedious :)

> 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...

Also, it would break if you changed the tempo, since a given amount of 
delay that is "half a triplet" late will no longer be "half a triplet" 
late if the length of a triplet changes!

IMO, a "percentage ahead or behind the beat" setting that could be 
applied to given pieces of the kit on a selectable-by-measure basis AND 
a "slight randomization" of beat placement and/or velocity would be 
pretty cool features.  Obvious, one can beat a lot of the "sounds like a 
drum machine" problem by manually varying tempo and hit velocity, but 
its very tough to mimic the virtually imperceptible timing imperfections 
that keep even a very good real drummer from sounding like a machine.

I don't know how tricky such features would be to implement!

Carl (who promises to have another go at the MMC MIDI stuff and MIDI 
file export as soon as he can pry the computer away from his wife ;)

Carl Edlund Anderson

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