Archive for the ‘Feature Announcements’ Category

Visual Salsa: A new way of feeling the Rhythm

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Do you like Salsa music?

Would you want to understand it better, truly express it in your dancing,
feeling the rhythm just like a native born dancer, without having to think about it all the time?

We hope you do, and are working on making it possible for you. We want you to be a part of a new, online Salsa Rhythm course we are creating, experimenting with new ways of rapidly mastering Salsa music. You will help us to custom tailor the course in the way which will work best for you.

Starting small, with a simple widget that will take you through a Salsa song and show you the basic footsteps (whether you are On-1 dancer, On-2 dancer, or interested in both), synchronized with the music and following it. The idea behind this method is to present the sense of repetitive musical patterns in a way other than simply counting numbers. Maybe it will work better for you, who knows? Let’s try!

Go ahead, Try it

The song you will begin with is called “Viva La Esperanza” from “Salsa Kids”. To start, simply hit the blue “play” button on the widget below:

Did you like this widget? Did you find it fun?

We love to hear your feedback. We will be creating additional widgets and similar content in the coming days, and publish them here, in our blog. Please, do leave your feedback – whether positive, negative, or any questions you may have – we want to learn from you what works best, improve and build the most effective Salsa Rhythm course for you.

You can either leave a comment below, use our Facebook page or send us a mail to support@salsarhythmsoftware.com if you wish. We read and answer every mail!

Special thanks to Gadi Evron and John “salseroblanko” for their ideas of creating this widget and publishing it in this blog.

If you would like to help too, contact us and we will give you the complete instructions how you can embed this HTML widget in your own website :) Happy dancing!

Salsa Beat Machine Widget in your Website

Friday, November 18th, 2011

We are excited to announce the new Salsa Beat Machine Widget. This brand new version allows Salsa studios, dance teachers, music professors and professionals to put the Salsa Beat Machine directly in their web sites. Imagine offering all the great functionality of the Salsa Beat Machine to your visitors directly from your website, having them experiment with Salsa music and different rhythm patterns directly from within your webpages. Well, now it is possible.

Some websites are already using the Salsa Beat Machine widget in their pages, and we have several outstanding requests from others. You can see it live in the following pages:

Live Demo

Get it now

Inserting the Salsa Beat Machine widget to your webpage is as easy as pasting 2 lines of HTML code into your website. We can also provide detailed, step-by-step instructions for users of the WordPress publishing system (using a custom plugin).

We give a free usage license for the Salsa Beat Machine widget to all users who donate $20 USD or more. All donors also get their personal copy of the Salsa Rhythm Software for running on their PCs.
Upon completing your donation, just drop us a word to beatmachine@salsa4fun.co.il and let us know that you are interested in using the Salsa Beat Machine widget in your website. We will create a license key for you and send you the HTML codes for embedding the widget.

Other licensing options are also available, including custom branding and special/extended functionality version. For non-standard licensing, you will need a custom widget contract. Please contact us to for a quote.

We would love to get your feedback on the new widget and hope many web masters will find it useful.

3 New Piano Patterns, 1 New Bass Pattern

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

We have just added 3 new Piano patterns, contributed by Tyrone Collis from Germany. While at it, we also added a new Bass pattern that matches the existing I-IV-V-IV piano pattern, suggested by the trumpet player Pete Nater from New York. Finally, we added some new percussion patterns contributed by Jürgen Messerer from Switzerland. Jürgen is currently working on creating additional bongo patterns for us, so expect another update soon.

Here is the list of the new Salsa music patterns:

Piano

  • Montuno I-V-V-I + Passing Tones
  • Montuno i-V-V-i (minor)
  • Montuno V-V-I-I

Bass

The new bass pattern is called “Tumbao I-IV-V-IV”. It matches the first two piano patterns, “Montuno I-IV-V-IV” and “Montuno I-IV-V-IV + arpg. + passtone”, as well as the minor variation “Montuno i-iv-V-iv” and the ‘light’ variation “Montuno I-IV-V-IV Triads”.

Percussion

  • Bongos – Martillo Var1
  • Bongos – Martillo Var2
  • Bongos – Martillo para clave
  • Cowbell – Every Beat
  • Güiro – Güiro Danzón
  • Maracas – Maracas Son
  • Maracas – Maracas Son Montuno
  • Maracas – Maracas Son Montuno 2

iPhone version updated

Yesterday we also released a new version of Salsa Rhythm for iPhone. The Salsa Rhythm application version 1.7 now includes all the new patterns mentioned above, along with a new Rhythm & Timing videos page providing direct access to our online Salsa Rhythm & Timing video collection.

Salsa Rhythm app on the iTunes AppStore

Downloadable version

All registered members can download an updated version with all the new patterns. To download the new version, please follow this link: http://www.salsabeatmachine.org/download.html.

If you want to become a registered member, you may consider donating to support the project.

Eddie Palmieri, a famous Latin Pianist

Merengue Machine finally gets a Guira

Friday, March 4th, 2011

It’s been more than a year since the initial release of the Merengue Beat Machine, and we have finally added the last ingredient missing in the Caribbean sauce – The Güira.

The Güira is a metallic percussion instrument from the Dominican Republic. It resembles a cheese grater, and sounds similar to the maraca. You can find a Güira in almost any Merengue arrangement, along with an additional percussion instrument called “The Tambora“.

The Güira

Up to now we have used the Maraca in place of the Güira as we did not have any satisfactory audio samples of the Güira. Last week, one of our users, nick-named “El Conguero”, sent us some quality recordings of his personal Güira, so now we are finally able to include this fascinating instrument in the Merengue Machine arrangement.

We have included 5 different patterns for the Güira instrument, going from simple downbeat-only patterns to more syncopated and engaging patterns. But why write so much when you can simply click and try it yourself?

http://www.salsabeatmachine.org/merengue-rhythm.html

 

French Salsa Beat Machine

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

We have just added French language support for the online Salsa Beat Machine version.

You can find detailed instructions how to switch the counting language on our previous blog post,
The Salsa Beat Machine goes international

We are now working on adding additional languages, including Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Italian and others. Feel free to make your requests by leaving a comment below…

Salsa Rhythm 1.2 now Available !

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Apple has just approved the new version of the Salsa Rhythm App for iOS and you can now get it on appstore.

This new version includes a feature requested by many users since the initial release of the Salsa Rhythm App: the ability to switch between Clave 2-3 and Clave 3-2 modes. This new feature is accessible from the Settings tab under the info window, as you can see in the following screen shot:

An additional feature you can see in the above screen shot is the new “Reset to Factory Settings” button that restores the default setup that was shipped with the Salsa Rhythm app.

Upgrading to the new version is free for all the existing users of the previous app version, and can be easily done from the appstore on your device.

Finally, Salsa Rhythm v1.3 is already coming along the way, and it is going to include new piano/bass patterns. More on this in the following days…

New Piano Patterns – “El Preso”

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

We have just rolled out a small update to the Salsa Beat Machine, adding new patterns from the salsa song “El Preso” from Fruko y Sus Tesos.

Despite what many beginners think, not all Salsa song are romantic songs that talk about “corazón”, “flores” and “amor”. “El Preso” serves as a great example: It’s an excellent Sasla tune, with a driving music and rhythm that makes you want to move your feet and start dancing. However, once you listen to the lyrics, you realize it’s actually a very sad piece with a really melancholic theme.

The song tells the story of a prisoner who is condemned to spend the rest of his life in a small prison cell, has nobody left in the world and has been left alone with his pain. The only thing that holds him alive is the eternal memory of his mother, and being totally hopeless he is just waiting for the day of his death, the day when he can finally join his mother.

We have translated the coro of the song for you, so you can get a feeling of what it goes like:

Ay, que solo estoy
Solo me espera la muerte
Ay, que solo estoy
¿Cuando cambiará mi suetre?

Solo, con mi pena
Solo, en mi condena

Ay, how lonely I am
Only death waits for me
Ay, how lonely I am
When will my luck change?

Alone, with my pain
Alone, with my condemnation

As you can see, this piece is one of the few songs that does it so well telling pain in music. Apart from the melancholic theme, there is also a musically interesting phenomenon in this track: Just after the coro, the piano begins to play a pattern similar to the timbalero’s cáscara. We have put this pattern in the new Salsa Beat Machine and you can look it up under the name El Preso – “Piano Cáscara” in the piano pattern list.

Finally, we are going to show you to set up the Beat Machine to play the patterns like they are in the original song:

Step 1 – Set the master key to “C” and the tempo to 220 BPM:

Step 2 – Choose “El Preso – Bassline” in the bass pattern list:

Step 3 – Choose one of the new piano patterns for “El Preso”:

And you are ready to go! You can also experiment with turning on/off the clave, timbales, guiro and other instruments. By cycling between the 3 different piano patterns and playing with other instrument settings, you can actually create a neat salsa piece of your own…

I invite you to experiment and create your own machine setting, then save it using the blue save button (it’s on the top panel, near the “Tempo” box), and post here the link to your machines. Enjoy the music!

iPhone 4 Retina Crisp Graphics

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

We have been working for about a month on a new version of the Salsa Rhythm iPhone Application. Our focus was to create a better user experience by improving the graphics and sound sample quality.

One of the main features that will be visible for all the iPhone 4 users is the new Retina resolution graphics we have included. The instrument icons will suddenly look much sharper and crispier on your mobile device screen, along with new glyphs for the Piano, the bass and the conga drums.

To see how big the difference is, I have prepared an illustration, containing real graphics from the application. In this illustration, you can see the low resolution graphics and the Retina resolution graphics side-by-side, so you can get a good feeling of what it looks like:

Salsa Rhythm App 1.1 Graphics

The pixelated image on the left is what you see in the old app version. However, after you upgrade to the new version you will see the high resolution image on the right (you must have iPhone 4).

There are even additional improvements waiting for you in version 1.1 of the Salsa Rhythm App for iPhone, and it has just been dispatched to the Appstore approval process, meaning it will be available within a few days.

You can sign-up to our mailing list and get updates about the new version, also a chance to win a free copy.
Join here:  http://www.salsarhythmsoftware.com/iPhone/

New version of the Online Salsa Beat Machine

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

The new version of the Salsa Beat Machine is finally ready!

Some of the major changes in this version include:

  1. Unified Mixer interface that replaces the old Instruments tab
  2. New “Visualizer” display, displaying the beat count along with animated congas and claves that move along with the music
  3. New sound sample for the Clave instrument
  4. Improved sound engine, with much more accurate beat display
  5. Play/Pause button, as requested by many users, and buttons to mute/unmute all instruments at once
  6. Popup menu for controlling instrument properties and changing patterns

You can view the new version immediately by going to our homepage, http://www.SalsaBeatMachine.org/, and clicking the big blue “Start the Beat Machine” button.

Users of the standalone version can also download an update for free, using our download portal page at http://www.SalsaBeatMachine.org/download.html.

We hope you enjoy this new release and looking forward to hearing your feedback, comments and suggestions.

The new visualizer tab

The new "Visualizer" tab

Fresh User Interface – What’s coming

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

After releasing the iPhone version to the appstore, and creating the free downloadable Salsa Rhythm Application for the PC, I have finally found some time to improve the original Salsa Beat Machine.

Select all/none, clave orientation buttons

Inspired by continuous feedback from instructor Eric Freeman and a our user-manual author Daniel Suchman, I have decided to refresh the user interface and add some long-desired features. The main changes are:

  1. New play/pause button, finally!
  2. Merged the functionality of the Instruments tab into the Mixer tab, no more duplicate functionality.
  3. Mute/unmute instruments simply by clicking on them.
  4. Visual indication for muted instruments – gray fill with a red X over them.
  5. New buttons to select / deselect all instruments at once.
  6. New Play/Pause button

  7. New button to switch between 2-3 and 3-2 clave.
  8. Eliminate the key selection dropdown, use the new know to switch keys.
  9. New popup window to change instrument programs and settings.
  10. New splash screen (standalone version only).

Instrument options menu

Users of the standalone version can already see these changes by getting the latest version. Go to http://www.salsabeatmachine.org/download.html and enter your email address. The online version of the Salsa Beat Machine will also be updated in a few days, so the rest of the users can enjoy these refreshing changes as well.

Finally, there is another big change coming, both in the SBM and in the iPhone application. We are going to make the BPM counting of the rhythm easier for dancers by counting the beats the same way as dancers does. This change will be explained in an upcoming blog post, stay tuned…

The new Splash screen