The finest in writing, since 1989.

  • Fakebook goes Pro

    Faster and better than ever, Fakebook 2.0 is the professional choice. Great new features and 400 more songs...

    Read More
  • The Rude Practice Pad

    The Rude Practice Pad is the perfect training tool for drum set players, percussionists, marching bands and drum lines. From student to pro, there is always something you can work on in this selection of drum rudiments and hybrid rhythms....

    Read More
  • Fakebook Pro - the Real Book

    The Fakebook Pro sheet music reader is preloaded with chord progressions for 400 rock and pop songs as well as 1200 classic jazz standards. Instantly transpose the collection or individual chord charts to suit the soloist or singer....

    Read More
  • An Actually Free Andronome+

    Thousands of pro musicians' gig go-to app! Accurate and transposable chord charts, PDF sheet music, ChordPro, ABC and lyrics; this app handles them all...

    Read More
  • Fakebook Pro Sheet Music Reader

    Thousands of pro musicians' gig go-to app! Accurate and transposable chord charts, PDF sheet music, ChordPro, ABC and lyrics; this app handles them all...

    Read More

20110318

Nostalgia at it's finest -- presenting the VL-Tone synth

Come on, just admit it! You are a little nostalgic and fondly remember the good old days when a man was a man, a mouse a mouse and a synth ... well, when a synth was a pocket calculator or the other way around.

Casios strange VL-1 instrument sold 1,000,000 units between 1979 and 1984. Trio, the German band, used it to record their huge hit "DaDaDa", and bands like Human League, Devo, The Cars followed suit. And 30 years later it is still backing tracks by Moby and Fergie.

But you don't have to search Ebay to enjoy playing the "Fantasy" sound over a nice "Rock-2" blip. Now you can have the "Unterlanders Heimweh" demo tune right there when you need it, feeling a little lowlandish homesick. The VL-Tone app contain the factory presets and rhythm patterns in all their distorted and noisy glory, carefully sampled from an original Casio VL-1. Never have so few bits been sampled by so many for so little, to paraphrase Churchill.

So, download and enjoy! But note that this software is still a beta. It is tested on a few phones, so it should work quite well, but don't hesitate to contact me via software(at)skrivarna.com if something seems strange. I will do my best to fix bugs quickly!

Currently known limitations:
* ADSR. This version of the app is a sample player, not an emulator. This makes it more or less impossible to program your own sounds. Maybe emulation for ADSR programming will be included in a later version. Maybe not.
* The sustain and decay of the samples are currently a bit rough (to say the least). Will be fixed when I get the time.
* The sequencer is not included right now. If enough people encourage me to implement the step sequencer in the next version I will.* The LCD display is not of much use.
* The samples contain all the noise and distorsion from my original instrument. And I suppose this is the way it will be, at least for the sounds. But maybe the demo and the rhythm pauses could be cleaned up a little by adding a noise gate. Also, the s/n ratio could be increased with some gentle compression.
* Would it be interesting to have a choice between the lined samples presented here, and some captured with the internal speaker and a mic? I suppose that would add more character to some of the sounds. Let me know!

Now go out and play!

Facts, figures and video for VL-Tone

20110310

Rude drum training

In the eternal quest for world domination and software monopoly, following the instant success of GoodVibrations, Skrivarna Software proudly presents the Rude drum rudiments trainer.
Well, to be honest, this app is rude in more than the obvious, the-name-sounds-like-rudiment way. This is beta software, and I need your help with testing it. I will state it again and again, this is a beta version.

However, what it does is this:
  • Show notation of all 40 official rudiments, with name and number according to PAS.
  • Visually indicate where you are in the pattern, synchronized with the built-in metronome.
  • Allow tempo adjustments between 20 and 240 BPM.
  • Navigate quickly and intuitively between rudiments and tempos, with support for most input methods (including media buttons and screen swipes).
  • Link to textual descriptions and instructional videos showing all the patterns individually, on pad and examples applied to drum set. The videos and examples are published at rude.skrivarna.com.
What it doesn't do:
  • It does not attempt to play the rudiments with the built-in midi sounds. No offense, but in this case your phone sucks. Rather than trying to program a midi sequence to faithfully reproduce a buzz roll or flam, the app opens videos of professional performances with a single click.
  • Everything might not work correctly on all platforms. It is a beta. Maybe I said that already?
You'll find the app on the Android market.


Note that this is a beta version (I did point that out, didn't I?), released in public to get some feedback and help with testing. I have only a few real phones to test on, so I would really appreciate comments on how this small app behaves, looks and performs on different Android versions and hardware models. If you mail me at software (at) skrivarna.com I can get back with updated versions or questions and answers if needed.

Of course, any suggestions on additional features, improvements and corrections of the actual contents are very welcome. Use the software (at) skrivarna.com mail for this as well. I have tried to proofread the rudiments against the sources available to me, but I have most probably made a a lot of mistakes. Please help me to correct them. This is also true for the examples at rude.skrivarna.com, please send me a mail with any comments.

And yes, I am aware that some of the rudiments, official or not, have different possible interpretations in how they are played and notated. In most cases I have used the most common form (as far as I understand), but there is also a trade-off in making the notation viewable on a small screen and making the underlying code somewhat maintainable. If you have a strong opinion on this and think I have made the wrong choice, don't hesitate to contact me. I will do my best to be as correct as possible.

Rude users guide

To suit the many different users and androids out there, Rude can be controlled in a few different ways. See which ones you like the best.


The obvious one
Use the menu button and press play (to play/pause), reverse (to change rudiment to the previous) or forward (to change to the next). Tempo is adjusted via a slider control and examples are opened at the touch of a button.
Some settings are also available only using this menu.


The iWay
Use the touch screen and swipe up to increase tempo, down to decrease it. The change is proportional to the velocity of the swipe. Swipe left to go to the next rudiment (like if you are paging through a book). Right will page you back to the previous one.
A quick tap on the screen starts the metronome, tap again to stop it. Long press opens the browser with the examples of this rudiment.


The convenient control
If you have a headset with media control the play, reverse and forward buttons will work as expected. They will play and move you to the previous or next rudiment. If the headset has a volume control, this will work too.


The hard way
Phone with real hardware buttons are supported like this:
Up/down will change the tempo.
Left/right will change the rudiment.
Middle button plays and pauses.