Custom Pattern File Management
Custom Pattern Formats
- MusicXML. MusicXML has become a standard format for exchanging music notation data between music notation programs. All major music scoring programs (Sibelius, Finale, Dorico, Notion, MuseScore, etc.) can export and import MusicXML files. Rhythm Lab can import files in MusicXML format (with either .xml or .musicxml file extension). There are some limitations: Rhythm Lab attempts to grab a maximum of two voices (either by staff if more than one staff exists, or within a single staff). Rhythm Lab grabs a maximum of eight measures, beginning with the first measure. Rhythm Lab does not export MusicXML files currently.
- RLPF / RLDF. Rhythm Lab Pattern File (RLPF) is used for custom pattern sets. This is a proprietary binary format based on Apple’s binary property list archiving format. Rhythm Lab Draft File is also a proprietary format used exclusively for draft custom patterns.
Custom Pattern File Design
- Custom Draft Patterns. Custom patterns created and edited on the custom screen begin as draft patterns. These draft patterns can be saved, exported, and imported for future editing, but they cannot be used on the Tap Screen.
- Custom Pattern Sets. In order to use a custom pattern, you must add it to a Custom Pattern Set.
Saving Custom Patterns
- Save Image for Worksheet. This option saves the current pattern into an image that can be used on a worksheet. You can hide time signatures, barlines, and spacers using the appropriate tools in the Editing Tools section.
- Save Draft Pattern. This option saves your current pattern as a draft in Rhythm Lab’s local file directory. The file is given an extension of “.rldf” and is available immediately using the “Open / Open Local Draft Pattern” dialogue window.
- Add Pattern to New Pattern Set. All new Custom Pattern Sets are created using this option. Pattern Sets are organized into four different categories: Single, Double, Drumline, and Drumkit. You cannot mix different pattern categories in one pattern set. When creating a new pattern set, you are given the opportunity to create the name for the set, and you can also change the name of the pattern being added to the set.
- Add Pattern to Existing Pattern Set. This function only works if a custom pattern set matching the category of the pattern already exists.
Managing Custom Patterns
The “folder” icon on the top right navigation bar presents a menu of options for managing custom patterns and pattern sets.
- Save Image for Worksheet. This function is identical to the Save Image function provided by the Save button (see above).
- Save Draft Pattern. Also identical to function provided by the Save button (see above).
- Add Pattern to New Set, and Add Pattern to Existing Set. Same as Save button (see above).
- Edit Custom Pattern Set. This option allows you to edit custom pattern sets in a number of ways. You can change the name of the set, delete the set, change the name of individual patterns within the set, change the order of patterns within the set, and delete individual patterns within a set.
Export Custom Patterns
- Export Draft Pattern. Export a copy of the current custom pattern to an external location. You can export the file in two different formats: JSON, a standard file format commonly used for data storage and transfer on the web; and RLDF (Rhythm Lab Draft File), a binary data format used only by Rhythm Lab. This function works by providing the standard iOS file browser.
- Export Custom Pattern Set. Custom Pattern Sets can be exported in one of two formats: RLPF (rhythm Lab Pattern File), a binary format specific to Rhythm Lab, or JSON, a standard format for sharing data. Pattern sets can be exported to a file using the standard iOS file browser, or can be uploaded to the Rhythm Lab website. The uploaded patterns can then be shared using Universal links.
Export to the Web
- Custom Pattern Sets can be uploaded to the Rhythm Lab website, where pattern sets are linked and organized by category: Single, Double, Drumline, and Drumkit. Once uploaded, the link can be used as a “universal link” which will automatically open inside Rhythm Lab on an iPad if accessed outside of Rhythm Lab.
- Custom Pattern Sets that have been uploaded to the web are available for download directly into Rhythm Lab, using the “Web” option on the Tap Screen Custom Patterns menu.