The Big Update: Almost Here!
If you use Rhythm Lab, or have used it on the past, you will soon have access to a major update to the app which is the biggest single update I’ve ever made. Every aspect of the app has been reworked. This has been a major, time-consuming effort, but I am very excited about the results and I’m looking forward to having the updated version available on the App Store very soon.
It all started with the need to create a more adaptive layout. When I first developed Rhythm Lab, there were basically two screen sizes: regular and mini. Since then, the iPad has morphed into a device with a variety of screen sizes and configurations. Moving to the adaptive layout has proven to be a worthwhile but time-consuming effort. Not only does the Rhythm Lab interface now respond to different screen sizes, but it also responds to device orientation changes. Older versions only worked in landscape orientation; the new version works in both landscape and portrait mode. This is especially nice when working on worksheets; you can see a larger portion of the worksheet in portrait mode.
Other new features include the following:
- Better Soundfont with higher audio quality. Rhythm Lab is now using the Fluid R3 GM (General MIDI) soundfont.
- Apple Pencil / Freehand drawing. Rhythm Lab now provides the standard Apple Pencil interface (PencilKit) so that you can draw and make annotations on the tap screen and on worksheet pages. This feature is available for any iPad running at least iPadOS 14.
- Expanded and improved file handling. Import and export JSON files. This allows for direct editing of pattern files; I plan to provide documentation for the format and content for these files here on the rhythmlab-app.com website. There is also the ability to import MusicXML files, so you can adapt files created in any music notation program that supports MusicXML (Finale, Sibelius, Dorico, Notion, NoteFlight, MuseScore, etc) and use them as rhythm patterns in Rhythm Lab.
- Single Draft files. You can now create custom patterns and save them as drafts, to be edited and changed later before adding them to a custom pattern set.
- Easy-access Volume and Sound Controls. The Rhythm Lab interface now separates various settings options into locations that make sense for the user. Volume controls and sound selection options are available immediately next to the corresponding tap pads. Metronome controls are available near the metronome section.
- Tabs. Navigate quickly to recently-used patterns by using the tab bar at the top of the pattern screen.
- Custom Measure Editing. A new feature in the custom creation section is a measure editing tool that allows you to quickly and easily add or delete entire measures, change the time signature for any given measure, and cut/copy/paste entire measures.
- Mixed Time Signatures. Rhythm Lab now allows separate time signatures for any or all measures. Time signatures also can have up to three numerators.
- Nested Tuplets. For users looking for more advanced features, you can now create tuplets within tuplets.
- Configurable Looping. Looping is now configurable to include any number of measures, from a single measure up to the entire exercise. Rhythm Lab also now gives immediate feedback in the form of basic stats to show how well you did after tapping a looped pattern.
- Much More! There are many other new features. I cannot wait to get this thing up on the App Store so everyone can see all the neat new changes and features.