What’s occurring?

I’ve had a bit of time off from DrumBurp development, due to some family visiting, then a bit of a busy time at work, followed by a much needed vacation with my wife. But now I’m back, and I’ve got a buzz on about improving DrumBurp.

I’m going to pick up the Lilypond Export functionality I was working on back in April/May and try to push out a version with that in it. I don’t think it’s going to be perfect to begin with, but I’d rather get something out for people to use while I work on improving it. I’ve got the basic idea working; some of the more complicated bits are a bit of a headache though. I think getting out something that will work with the majority of songs will be a good start.

There’s also a few minor bugs I’m clearing up: I was really annoyed at myself when I heard from one of you guys that the measure highlighting during MIDI playback isn’t working. Turns out that I managed to bork that just before releasing v0.6, and I obviously didn’t test it sufficiently. I’m quite annoyed about it as that’s one of my favourite things that DrumBurp does! It was a one-line fix in the end, so that will be cleared up in the next release.

As well as the Lilypond functionality and the bug-fixes, there will also be a few minor bits and pieces. One thing that’s been bugging me is that adding non-default note heads sometimes feels a little bit, well, clunky. Given that this is explicitly the sort of thing I said I want to avoid with DrumBurp, it needs some attention. I’ve got an idea that I want to try out, and will probably make it into the next release.

You might notice as well that the user manual is getting fleshed out as well. I’ve been quite strict with myself about finally getting some of those pages written before getting on with writing new code. I like to pretend to myself that DrumBurp is so user-friendly that nobody should need any help, but in the quiet of the night, I know that isn’t so. I’ve written instructions on everything except the Drum Kit so far: I’m intentionally leaving that to the end since some of it may change a little in the next version and I don’t want to have to go through it and re-write it all immediately. In the meantime, if you see anything I’ve missed, or you have any specific questions that the manual doesn’t address, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Finally, I love playing the drums, but I wish it wasn’t so hard to find reliable musicians to play with. Every time I find some folks to play with, it seems to last about 3 weeks before someone drops out for eminently practical but frustrating personal reasons. I dunno, maybe it’s just me… Still, it gives me plenty of time to work on DrumBurp, and my other project Listen, Learn, Play. This is a musicians’ music player, allowing you to set marks in a song and easily play excerpts once over or on a loop (a bit like DrumBurp does!), and to control the playback using  MIDI input. I hook up a Korg Nanokontrol 2 to my laptop, route that through the Aux In of my Yamaha DTXPress III kit and use it to practice. It’s great being able to control the playback with a decent control panel, instead of having to fiddle with an iPod all the time, and being able to focus on individual parts of songs makes it great for practicing those tricky fills. It’s a pretty immature piece of code at the moment, but it’s coming along nicely. I may integrate it, or something like it, into DrumBurp at some point, but that’s a long way down the road yet.

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