Version 4.7, June 16th 2017 - Bounce Metronome Pro

I've decided to call this version 4.7, as a result of many updates with new features since version 4.6. It's a bit hard to know what to focus on in this summary as there were no really major new features. It's more to do with details and making it more polished in how it works.

So first of all, for those who use it as a practice metronome, made it easier to use the arrow keys to adjust tempo globally (actually was meant to work like that originally but had some bugs now fixed). Also added a new window to make it easy to double or halve the tempo or select from preset tempi you set up in advance. Added a new window to show the bounce rhythms as music notation (even if not made originally using music notation). For those of you who work with DAWs, added a feature that helps the exported midi file to align the notes in your DAW so that they all have the same number of midi ticks. I've also added in several windows for transforming fractal tunes from Tune Smithy which work fine in Bounce Metronome.

Also added a new option to simplify the menu, and a + drop menu with extra options specific to that window. It now highlights the buttons that open new windows and the More and Less buttons. Many other minor tweaks and bug fixes.

For details see Change Log for 16th June 2017. To download go to the download page.

I haven't yet updated the Mac beta. For now, you can do that manually and I'll do the upload soon, today or tomorrow.

In more detail:


First, this is a bug fix but one I'd like to highlight as fixing it makes it easier for those of you who use Bounce Metronome as a practice metronome, The way it should work is that the up and down arrow keys work almost everywhere in bounce to increase or decrease the tempo by one notch, and the left and right arrow keys to change tempo by one bpm, unless

  • You have actually started editing a number (disables use of left / right arrow keys to change tempo by 1 bpm).
  • You are editing multiline text (disables use of up and down arrow keys to change by one notch, because keyboard users will use the arrow keys to move from one line to the next)

Also there's an option Alt + any arrow key which switches on the arrow keys globally even if you are editing text (you will then no longer be able to use them to move around in the text without changing the tempo). The same shortcut, Alt + any arrow key switches this option off again.

This wasn't working as intended - you needed to click on the tempo dial for instance, and then could use the arrow keys. But those bugs are fixed now, which should make use of the arrow keys to change tempo much more intuitive, and it will "just work" globally.

For those who use Bounce Metronome as your metronome to practice with, it's got a new window Tempo Multiplier and Preset Tempi (Ctrl + 297) with buttons that make it easy to double or halve the tempo or set the tempo from several preset tempi you can set up in advance. Also fixed a techy issue that lead to notes getting misaligned if you export them from Bounce and import them into a DAW.

I've also added new ways to make it easy to move your lists of tempi and rhythms in between the various windows that use them. So, Automatic Tempo and Rhythm Changes (Ctrl + 245) and Speed drills (simpler version) (Ctrl + 280) in the Most version has a new button "Make Into:" and a droplist with the options:

  • Tempo Dial Options for UP or DOWN ARROWS
  • Rhythm Cycle
  • Tempo Zones
  • Script

The last two were there already as separate buttons now put into a drop down and the first two are new, before you would have needed to copy / past by hand into Tempo Dial - Preferences (Ctrl + 223) and Rhythm cycles, Morphing Polyrhythms - and fast numerical entry for rhythms (Ctrl + 89)  This just saves a few clicks for anyone who wants to do it.

Also added those options to the right click menu for the edit areas in the window. Have added a similar "Make into" button to the Most version of Tempo Dial - Preferences (Ctrl + 223) and again added them as options to the right click menu - this time for the text box with the list of tempi, and the list of rhythms. Right click on those and you'll see options to make them into a list of automatic tempo and rhythm changes and to make into a rhythm cycle. Doesn't have the option to make into zones or a script but that is easy to do now as a two step process via Automatic Tempo and Rhythm Changes (Ctrl + 245).

Also done the same with Rhythm cycles, Morphing Polyrhythms - and fast numerical entry for rhythms (Ctrl + 89). But I didn't think it was necessary to add a "Make Into" button here, as it would take up extra screen space for a rarely needed feature. Instead, I've just added the two options to the right click menu for the rhythms edit field.


Now for some minor but useful tweaks. I've labeled the More and Less buttons as "Most" or "Least" if they lead you to the most or least version of the window, so that you know you can't click to expand it any more. Also now you can use Shift + More or Shift + Less to go to the Most or Least versions.

I've added a new + drop menu which shows window specific options for windows that have them (e.g. the Bounce windows), such as to Hide the bouncing balls - this expands the blocks below the bouncing balls to fill the window. I've added closely related windows to theis menu, e.g. all the Skin windows link to each other there, also all the ones to do with automatic tempo changing.

New option in the new + drop menu for any window: "Hide Extra Controls" - This hides all the controls in the window which are new compared to the lesser version of it - this can help you to see which extra controls get added as you go to the More versions of a window.

I've also added a new option for those of you who like your screen with minimal "clutter", Win >> Simplify Menu. This simplifies the menu for that window to Win, m, ? and + (if present). You can use SHIFT + CLICK on this option in any of the windows to simplify all the menus except the main window menu, and SHIFT + CLICK on the m on any simplified menu to reshow the complete menu for all the windows. I've also added an option to remove the menu from any window, temporarily or permanently, again in the Win drop menu (this is from Tune Smithy).

Then another minor tweak. The idea is that it would be useful to be able to see at a glance whether a button does something within the window or opens a new window. So, I've added, a new option in Skin Buttons (Ctrl + 240) - new option to outline buttons that bring up new windows. It also outlines the More and Less buttons. The buttons are outlined anyway of course, but this adds a thicker outline, and you can choose the width and what colour to use. I've also updated all the skins that come with Bounce by default to outline the buttons in this way. It doesn't outline buttons that just bring up Open or Save As dialogs or messages asking you questions such as "Do you really want to switch on this advanced feature, Yes, No?"

Main window droplist "Pro Presets" renamed to "Featured Setups" and this is used throughout the help.

Minor improvements in text for messages, layout of some of the windows etc. Also, 3D Bounce (Ctrl + 224) now defaults to the preset "Detailed Scene with Textured Sea" as used in many of the online videos instead of the "Fast Scene". I made that change because with modern computers with the 3D graphics capabilities just about everyone now has by default, it's just as fast to show the scene like that as with the "Fast Scene". For instance, it's just as easy to display a sphere as a disk on a modern computer, though on an older one a sphere is more computationally intensive - it's because the graphics cards and chips do a lot more of the computing for the scenes internally nowadays and it doesn't have to be done in software any more, which is what used to slow down this sort of animation. You would need to have a very old computer now to notice a difference in speed. The Fast scene is still there if you do have an old computer.


I've also added several windows from Tune Smithy which may be useful for fractal tunes, for instance, if you choose the Fractal Tunes featured setup. They get, added to the Seeds drop menu.


I've also added a new window Bounce Rhythm as Music Notation (experimental) (Ctrl + 295). Shows the current Bounce rhythm in musical symbols - note - this is EXPERIMENTAL. You can make rhythms with Bounce rather easily which are hard to notate. I've done an automatic translator that can translate these to music notation which works most of the time but it is not guaranteed to always work. It should work fine for ordinary easy to notate rhythms, e.g. rhythms based on a single time signature should be fine and it should work fine for additive rhythms too. The translator may be confused by some polyrhythms, polymeters, polytempi and slipping rhythms, polymetric polyrhythms, and fragmentary tuplets. It is not coded at all for the script based additive polyrhythms in Rhythm cycles, Morphing Polyrhythms - and fast numerical entry for rhythms (Ctrl + 89) - for those it just shows notation for each one in turn as it is played. You can test it by remaking the rhythm from auto generated music notation - if the rhythm doesn't change, that means the translator got it right, though it may sometimes notate it in a more complex way than is necessary. I hope to extend the translator to work with more and more rhythms eventually.

This next update is for those of you who need to search and replace the music notation - or indeed other text, in Bounce Metronome. That could be because you want to transform a rhythm originally made with music notation, e.g. replace all quarter notes with some rhythmic pattern. Another reason would be to convert the rhythm into special symbols to use to label the bouncing balls. I've made umprovements in Multi Search and Replace (Ctrl + 287) which should be a lot easier to use, together with a new options window Multi Search and Replace Options (Ctrl + 296)  with a droplist you can use to choose between

  • Search and replace MUSIC NOTATION
  • NOTE SYMBOLS as bounce LABELS (if you want to show the musical notes themselves as bouncing notes and labels)
  • SPECIAL SYMBOLS as bounce LABELS (if you want to do a search and replace to convert notes into special symbols as visual clues to the player, e.g. printers' dingbats)
  • and then if you set it up yourself it shows as "(custom, can't select here)""

Then in the original window Dance rhythms - or any other rhythms with skipped beats (Ctrl + 228) there's a new minor option, that makes it easier to combine to gether different rhythms in the list. You can hold down the CONTROL (Ctrl) key as you select a rhythm from the droplist of presets, it adds it to the end of the current rhythm instead of replacing it. If the rhythms are of differing lengths, you can then use the options in that window to play the two rhtyhms together polyrhythmically, polymeterically or pad out the shorter rhythm to the same length as the longer one.

I've also aded a new option to permit dotted notes for autobeaming. It's not a new feature, but a more intuitive way to set the auto beaming for rhythms like 6/8. In that case you can now set it to auto beam to dotted quarter notes which as the same effect as auto beaming in groups of three eighth notes, which it could already do.

Then, if you use tuplets then you may be interested in a new option in the MMost version of Dance rhythms - or any other rhythms with skipped beats (Ctrl + 228)"Reduce number of skips for some rhythms using tuplets - default ON". This reduces the numbers of skipped bests used to construct complex rhythms involving tuplets. This makes them easier to work with and indeed also makes it easier to understand how they work, and generally is a more efficient way of doing it.

TECHY DETAILS: Bounce makes tuplets using skipped beats. Example, to mix triplets with plain eighth notes it divides them both into 24th notes, so that an eighth note is made up of three 24th notes and a triplet eighth note is made up of two of them. This is what makes it so easy to use fragmentary tuplets, for instance to have a single note of a triplet, followed by the remaining notes later in the measure after other notes have been played. However, if a part consists entirely of triplets, there is no need to divide them into smaller pieces. In more complex situations, combining tuplets of different types for instance, Bounce Metronome used to divide the notes up into much smaller pieces than it needed to. This option divides the rhythm into larger pieces, making them only as small as is needed to construct the rhythm.

WHEN THIS OPTION IS SWITCHED OFF - the main advantage is that it gives more possibilities for creating new sizes of notes by skipping and playing beats with a click on Beats volumes and times (Ctrl + 76). For instance, with that tuplets example, you could make eighth notes by hand by skipping every third of the smaller notes that make up the notated notes, even if the rhythm doesn't have any eighth notes yet.. However, I expect it to be rarely used now that Bounce Metronome has this new more efficient way of dividing up the notes - if you want to mix eighth notes with tuplets, either unselect this option, or just make the rhythm using music notation.


This next update is rather techy. It's a new feature to help with those of you who export midi files from Bounce to import into a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and it will help with alignment of the notes if you want to edit those tracks in your DAW. You may have noticed that for many tempi the notes exported from Bounce are not always the same length in midi ticks. Every so often the beat is one tick longer than usual, even when Bounce is playing a steady tempo. Why can't it save the notes as an exact number of ticks? This new option in More Midi File Options. (Ctrl + 107) fixes that issue.

You only see this if you go to Opts >> Advanced Mode from Bounce Metronome Professional. You then have to go to Opts >> More Windows and Features. Then, you needt to switch on "Auto generate midi file TEMPO", and choose how you want to generate the tempo, e..g "Same as Tempo Dial", or "Note Value". Then make sure you have "Adjust saved note times to match midi file tempo" switched on.

Now if you set the tempo dial to a tempo like, say, 68 to take an example, you will see that it says "..., gains one millisecond every 4 hours 10 minutes 0.0000079 secs, 0.24 ms per hour, one tick every 14 hours 42 minutes 21.18 secs and 0.068 ticks per hour". This then should fix the problem. Notes played at a steady tempo at 68 bpm will all be exactly the same number of ticks long in your exported midi file. So what is going on there?

Tthe thing is that tempi are saved to midi files in a complex format which describes the length of the note. But musicians are used to tempi in beats per minute. So a tempo such as 68 bpm requries each note to be 60/68 seconds long. I.e. 15/17ths of a second. That just can't be expressed exactly in the midi file ticks format. Up to now, Bounce Metronome dealt with that by saving the best approximation to the tempo it can do, and play the notes at the exact tempo. It does that by inserting an extra tick from time to time to make sure that even 14 hours later, your note will be played at eactly the right time, to the nearest tick, for your desired tempo.

As it turns out, the DAWs seem to use a different system. They just save a tempo that is as close as possible to the one set by the musician on their tempo dial. If you set it to 68 bpm, they will set each note to be 882353 microseconds long (say). Beat in seconds: 0.882353, beats per sec: 1.1333333, bpm to save: 67.9999955. The problem is the 1.1333333 there - it should be 1.1333333333333333... recurring but you can't seave a midi note of that exact length to the midi file. This is all because of that decision long ago to define the midi ticks in terms of milliseconds instead of beats per minute, but the result is there is no way to save such notes to a midi file exactly.

So, by slightly adjusting the tempo, all the notes are exactly the same number of ticks, and even if the musician plays at that tempo for hours on end, it's only going to be out by milliseconds from the exact time. Seems they think that it's better to have all the notes exactly the same number of ticks, which makes it much easier to work with them in DAWs.


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