AirDrop and Rhythm Lab

I recently received a support request from a teacher who is using Rhythm Lab with multiple students in a school setting. He asked if it was possible to use AirDrop to distribute some custom rhythms he had created to all of the students’ iPads. His school IT director requested that he use AirDrop to transfer the files, which makes sense in a setting where the students’ iPads have restricted email and internet access. The answer was “Yes – you can use AirDrop with Rhythm Lab!”

Using AirDrop to share custom Rhythm Lab patterns with other iPads is a straightforward process, but I thought it might be helpful to go through the steps on this blog, in case the process isn’t immediately apparent to everyone.


In order for the AirDrop procedure to work, both the source and target iPads need to have AirDrop capabilities. This means the iPad must be at least a 4th-generation iPad, and the iOS version must be at least iOS 7.0. All iPad Mini and iPad Pro models have AirDrop capabilities.

If AirDrop is available and enabled on both the source and target iPads the AirDrop transfer should work. Make sure Rhythm Lab is open and running on both the source and target iPads.


This procedure assumes you have already created and saved custom patterns in a custom pattern set. If that is the case, and you want to transfer a set to another iPad running Rhythm Lab, follow these steps.

  1. Go the Custom Screen and tap on the “Share” menu item.
Tap on the “Share” menu item on the top right of the screen (circled).

2. Tap on the “Export Custom Set” menu option.

Tap the “Export Custom Set” option.

3. Tap the appropriate Category option.

4. Tap the name of the set to export.

Tap the name of the set (in this case “Dotted Notes”).

5. Tap the “Export” button.

Tap “Export.”

6. The share dialog will pop up. If AirDrop is available, that option should appear.

7. If the target iPad is nearby with AirDrop enabled, it will show up on this dialog. Make sure Rhythm Lab is open and running on the target iPad, and then tap the AirDrop icon on the source iPad.

8. When the send operation is finished, check the Custom menu items on the Tap screen of the target iPad running Rhythm Lab. The custom set you just sent should appear on that menu.

Tap the AirDrop icon (“JE” in this case).
Check the Custom menu on the Tap screen.
The custom pattern set we sent (“Dotted Notes”) was a Single pattern set, so it shows up on the Single Patterns menu.

Rhythm Lab 3.2.4

I am happy to announce that Rhythm Lab 3.2.4 is available on the App Store. This is a maintenance update, with some small bug fixes, but with one significant new feature: compatibility with Audiobus 3. Users who have Audiobus 3 can use Rhythm Lab as either a MIDI or Audio Sender app. This provides even more flexibility in how Rhythm Lab can be used, and an even broader palette of sounds available through other Audiobus-compatible apps.

Rhythm Lab as MIDI sender, Animoog as MIDI receiver in Audiobus 3

Get Rhythm Lab on the App Store.

Custom Tuplets Tutorial

Recently I’ve received some support emails from users asking about custom triplets and other tuplets. Two things became apparent: 1) The method for creating tuplets is not completely clear for some users; and 2) there were some bugs related to tuplet creation. To address the first point, here is a tutorial which should help clarify the process. To address the second point, an updated version of Rhythm Lab (3.2.2) with bug fixes has been submitted to the App Store for review, and should be available shortly.

Creating Tuplets

1. Upon opening the tuplet dialog, you will see several settings:

a) a numerator field with a +/- stepper control;

b) a denominator field with a +/- stepper control;

c) Cancel and Done buttons.

Important! The denominator value cannot be larger than the currently available space in the measure. For example, if there are only two quarter note beats available in the measure, the largest possible denominator is a half note. In that case, if you select a value larger than a half note, nothing will happen. The dialogue will remain on the screen, waiting for a permissible denominator value.

2. Once the Done button is pressed, the dialog will disappear and the Tuplet Button will be highlighted in blue, displaying the numerator value.

3. With the Tuplet Button highlighted, you may now select a rhythmic value to enter into the tuplet group. Simply select the value you want and tap anywhere in the white pattern region to insert it. Important! If you select a value larger than the denominator value, you will get an error message! For example, if you selected a quarter note as the denominator, and try to enter a half note value into the tuplet group, you will get an error message.

4. Continue to select and enter rhythmic values until the tuplet is finished.

FAQs added to website

Rhythm Lab has a lot of features, and the new FAQ page is meant to help users:

  • Know what options are available and how to access them.
  • Become aware of less-obvious features, like MIDI Send, import and export user groups from/to different iPads, save custom patterns to use on other iPads, select sounds and notes for individual pads.

The FAQs should provide another handy reference for users who want to get the most out of Rhythm Lab, and also provide a quick overview of the main features for new and occasional users.

Rhythm Lab 3.2 is here – with colorful new features!

The newest version of Rhythm Lab –  3.2 –  is now available on the App Store. This update allows users to choose color templates – eight total – to give the app a different look and feel. It also includes a few bug fixes, including the tendency of the app to crash when opening a saved user file.

I’m discovering that one of Rhythm Lab’s most useful features – the ability to save and load user files – is not being utilized as much as it could be by users. There are several ways in which this feature can be very helpful:

  • If you need to remove and reload the app for some reason, saving the user file first allows you to avoid losing all of the user data.
  • If you want to have user data stored on more than one iPad, this feature allows you to do that easily.
  • If you upgrade to a newer iPad, you can save user data and import it once you’ve loaded Rhythm Lab on the new iPad.
  • If you want to save records of previous users (students from previous years or semesters, for example) without taking up space on your current installation, this feature allows you to do that archiving.

Here are some examples of the new color theme feature:

Light blue




Rhythm Lab – Good Mentions

The old Rhythm Lab blog had several posts about good mentions of Rhythm Lab or the Rhythm Lab blog. Here are some of the best:

Grand Piano Passion

Grand Piano Passion is a website for adult piano students which gave Rhythm Lab an excellent review: Internalize Tricky Rhythms with a Tapping App

OKEY Magazine

The German magazine OKEY included Rhythm Lab in its November-December 2016 issue (No. 133) . The “Workshop” section featured an article titled “Die Musikstunde: Spaß und Erfolg im Musikunterricht” (“The Music Lesson: Fun and Success in Music Class”) by Robert Karasek, which included a short review of Rhythm Lab.

Thank you Okey Magazine and Robert Karasek for including Rhythm Lab!

Leila Viss: Rhythm Make It Count

Leila Viss, the author of 88 Creative Keys blog, piano teacher, and blogger, interviewed me about Rhythm Lab as part of her Rhythm Make It Count series.

The video is included on the Videos page (Here to Help Video #3), and can be found on YouTube.

Thank you, Leila!



New website design

The Rhythm Lab blog has moved to a new web hosting service, which brings some good changes. First, the site is more secure by using SSL encryption. Second, many of the various web resources have been consolidated, which should make it easier for me to keep up with blog and website maintenance and updates.