General

A platform to share your percussion rhythms

With a background in web development and digital media, I like to work on digital projects for capoeira. I’ve hosted a lyrics website, an event calendar, and several content websites and there’s still a lot I want to create.

For example, I’ve had this awesome idea for years to build some sort of online platform / community where people could create and share percussion rhythms. It would be the place to discover and invent capoeira rhythms for the berimbau, pandeiro and atabaque. Going further, it would be possible to do the same for samba and other Afro Brazilian music styles. Unfortunately, I’ve never had the time to develop it as a project.

DrumAp

Last week, I was attending an online music class by Mestre Ferradura (Músicapoeira, more on that soon!) where he invited Raul to talk about his project. I was very pleasantly surprised to learn that Raul had actually built the exact thing I imagined so long ago!

The project is called DrumAp and is available as a freemium Android and IOS app. Here’s a teaser video:

The app is still very much in development, but already offers great functionality and works well. Without any knowledge of writing music scores, you can create a rhythm in just a few taps. I tried it out and made a simple bateria with a berimbau, pandeiro and hand clapping in 5 minutes.

DrumAp is so intuitive it almost feels like a game you’re playing. You can browse existing creations and edit them on the fly or create your own. When creating a new rhythm, it’s as easy as choosing your instruments and placing dots (which specific sounds per instrument) on the timeline. You can add bars, change the tempo, choose a time signature, split beats and create loops. People have already created complex samba-reggae and batucada scores which almost sound like they were professionally recorded.

As the app applies the freemium model, most of the features are free to use while some need to be unlocked by acquiring the pro version. One of the features is the ability to create private rhythms. In the free version, your creations are always public.

As it’s still a work in progress, some features could use some explanation or an improved user experience. And not everything is available yet. For example, copy/pasting a bar isn’t possible right now. As I’m playing around with the app, I’m writing down some feedback (here’s where my expertise as a web architect / analyst comes in handy) to pass to the development team. I really hope they keep working on the app as I think there is a lot of potential. One thing I miss now is a web based version for example.

I suggest you go ahead and download the app, so we can all share our capoeira rhythms! Also, don’t forget to leave a rating in the app stores.

— Vinho

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