Playing Drum-Rolls, and Fast-Repeated Notes

We put in a new feature in version 1.47 (published June 12, 2020), allowing you to easily play drum-rolls, and fast-repeated notes.

Drum-Rolls

Drum-rolls are super easy. In the “Drums” performance-pane, simply set the “ASSIGNABLE” drop-box to “206-Repeated-Notes Delay”, as in the screen-shot below. Then, set its slider to a value of about 32 (about a third of the way from left to the right ), as shown below:

A screenshot of the Drums pane, with the Assignable drop-box set to 206-Repeated-Notes Delay, its slider set a third the way from left to right, and with the 32-Acoustic Snare note (the V-Key) held down, playing a drum-roll.
With it set this way, when you press and hold one of the snare-drum keys (such as the ‘V’ key), it will play a drum-roll.

This also works if you are using a MIDI drum-pad, or MIDI keyboard for playing percussion.

As long as the assignable slider’s drop-box is set to “206-Repeated-Notes Delay”, its slider value is greater than zero, and you hold down a note (for any of the percussion instruments) longer than the delay time, that note will be repeated for as long as you hold it down.

You can adjust the speed of the drum-roll as it plays, by tapping the Up-Arrow Key, which increases the delay, thereby slowing down the speed, or by tapping the Down-Arrow Key, which decreases the delay, thereby increasing the speed.

For percussion instrument sounds you don’t want to be repeated, briefly tap the note-key, without holding it down.

You can hear an example of a marching-band style percussion section sound (using snare-drum drumrolls) by clicking the link below. Use your browser’s back-button to return to this article:

Marching-Band Drum Section Example

Fast-Repeated Notes

There’s an easy way of playing fast, repeated notes (such as with a Balalaika, or in a drum-roll).

Fast-repeated notes are often used in Greek music, and once the control is set to play them, all you have to do, is hold down the note (or notes) you want repeated, and it will repeat them for as long as you hold down the note key(s).

In a performance pane using a guitar sound, simply set the “ASSIGNABLE” drop-box to “206-Repeated-Notes Delay”, as in the screen-shot below. Then, set its slider to a value of about 64 (about a half of the way across the slider), as shown below:

A screen-shot of the F4 pane, with the Assignable drop-box set to 206-Repeated-Notes Delay, its slider set about half the way from left to right, and with the E-note (the P-Key) held down, playing a repeated note.
Here, I’m using using a Mandolin sound, ond the “Bank” and “Instrument” drop-boxes show you how to access it, using the FluidR3_GM sound-font.

With it set this way, when you press and hold-down a note key, it will play a repeated mandolin note, sounding like a Balalaika.

If the repeated-note speed is too fast, press the up-arrow key (as it plays) to make it slower. Similarly, if it’s too slow, press the down-arrow key (which decreases the delay-value) to speed it up. Click the “Save” button (or press Shift-Enter) to save it when you get it just right.

Alternatively, you can set the ASSIGNABLE slider value to zero (all the way to the left), and save that. With it set at zero you only get single hits of each note. But when you want a section of repeated notes, hit the Up-Arrow key about 8 times, and it will then do repeated-notes the next time you press (and hold) a note key.

Where the zero value is saved as the in-memory default, you can return to single notes simply by hitting the Home-Key.

You can adjust the speed with which notes are repeated, even while playing, by tapping the Up-Arrow or Down-Arrow keys.

With repeated notes set, try the following key-sequence (if you’re using a U.S. 101 Qwerty (Z) keyboard), and you’ll get a theme from the movie “The Godfather”:

P \ = backspace \ = \ backspace \ [ ] P

You can hear an example of what this might sound like, by clicking the link below:

Repeated-Notes Example

Finally, here is an example of me improvising using the repeated-notes feature. I’m using the F3 performance pane (with the Legend Electric Piano 2 sound), set up like the screen-shot below:

A screenshot of the F3 pane, with the Assignable slider set slightly past half-way from left to right, and five notes being held down, causing all of them to be repeated.
I’m using the electronic piano sound, but I’m also using composite voices, where a wordless choir backs-up the piano sound. This shows that repeated-notes also work with advanced KMK capabilities.

If you listen carefully to the first half of the piece, you will hear me varying the speed of the repeated notes, by tapping the Up-Arrow and Down-Arrow keys. In the last half of the piece, I’m using both hands on the melody section of the keyboard, showing that the feature works on however many melody notes you hold down. You can hear this example by clicking the link below:

Imrovisation Using Repeated Notes

So give this a try – it adds a lot of capability to what you can play on the KeyMusician Keyboard, with a minimal amount of setup, allowing you to do it.



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