What next for DrumBurp?

DrumBurp is getting to the stage now where it does the vast majority of what I want it to do. Aside from minor bug fixes, like a couple I’ve done today, I’m not really sure where to go next with it. This post is some thinking-out-loud about where DrumBurp is going.

The major feature that I’m most seriously considering adding is the ability to import tab, so that you can quickly get something from the internet (like from ttabs.com) and start working with it in DB straight away. For example, you could use DrumBurp’s Lilypond export to produce good-looking notation from a tab, maybe just  fix up a fill that’s a bit off, or listen to it being played through DrumBurp’s MIDI capabilities so you have an idea of what it sounds like. These all seem like helpful use cases to me, and I can think of many times that I’ve been in these situations. However, the standard of most internet tab out there is – to put it generously – variable. It’s often difficult to interpret as a human; the algorithms for recognising what various tabs mean will be quite complex. Adding this feature to DrumBurp is quite a daunting task.

Another idea is to change the main display somewhat so that what you see looks more like notation than tab. In other words, get DrumBurp to draw out the standard notation instead of tab – of course, I’d keep the old interface as an option for those users who preferred it. Again, this is a pretty big job! Lilypond has been developed for many years by lots of people; I’m not sure I could replicate such impressive results on my own.

I’ve often considered the idea of integrating an MP3 player with DrumBurp so that you can easily control the music you’re trying to transcribe without having to keep switching programs. This would probably be based on my Listen, Learn, Play project – something I wrote to be able to easily control an MP3 player with a MIDI control surface. Integrating something like that into DrumBurp would be interesting, and since I’ve already written a lot of the code I’d expect it to be somewhat straightforward.

Perhaps I should just continue to make incremental changes instead of looking for grand new features to add? Things like crescendo markers, inter-system text, that kind of thing. I’ve not felt the lack of those things, but perhaps some of you have?

If anyone out there has any opinions on things they’d like DrumBurp to do, please get in touch. I love hearing from DB users, and I’m usually so pleased to get some feedback that I add whatever feature they ask for! Drop me a line 🙂

5 thoughts on “What next for DrumBurp?”

  1. I was going to mention the whole idea of importing existing tabs as most tabs are in some semblance of a standard format. There might be issues in terms of notation differences etc. but perhaps through some simple mapping mechanism it should be possible.

  2. Alex, I totally agree. I’ve actually been thinking about this quite a lot recently, and I’ve got some ideas on how to make it work. Now I just need to find the time to get it done…

  3. i just started using drumburp, but i would like to be able to leave comments in the tab without having to use section titles. say you wanted to repeat verse 1 and the chorus, before going on to the bridge.


    repeat verse 1, chorus


  4. Oops, I already mailed it to you, but I’ll point out my requests/thoughts here as well:

    1) import functionality, but you mentioned it yourself already;

    2) changing bpm per section, I have some song wich vary in speed and I would like to hear what is sounds like in drums;

    3) double strokes in the playback. I use the ‘d’ for it, but in playback it makes no difference. So in order to get the playback right, I have to edit the measures in 32nds instead of in 16ths.


  5. Any thoughts on adding lyrics? I hand-write them in, but it would be nice to have them in the brp file so if I make a change to the tab and reprint, I don’t have to rewrite.

    Excellent job on this. It is quick and easy to develop tabs and integrates nicely with Lilypond.

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