Discuss gear and techniques for recording and stage performance
User avatar
By michi
Hi, I'm looking for a comparison of Yankadi and Percussion Studio. Anyone around with experience with both?

I've used Percussion Studio a fair bit. One thing I find really inconvenient is that, as a rhythm gets longer, it gets really hard to navigate around because everything is just a long linear sequence. It's easy to get lost in the fairly narrow scrolling window because there isn't enough context. Some way to set markers and to break a long rhythm into something like pages would be nice. Is Yankadi better in that regard?

Another issue with Percussion Studio is that the micro-timing adjustments are a bit coarse so, when I want to add feel to a rhythm, moving a note by the smallest possible increment is often too much, and things sound wrong.

Any opinion appreciated!


User avatar
By Dennis103
Yep, I have experience in both, I'm the programmer of Yankadi :-)

As you may know, the program has not been updated and is no longer under development. You can still download the shareware and use that.
It had some unique features such as the introduction of 'swing' during playback, normal music notation, a layout that was geared towards printed music instead of the piano-roll that Percussion Studio has. But I also ran into technical problems with playback since I had to rely on Microsoft's DirectX engines, and micro-positioning of notes was not possible.

Percussion Studio has drawbacks too, although I use it from time to time. PS would benefit greatly from improved freedom to position notes, from improved keyboard control, and from some sort of 'overview' window (or a zoom function) so you can see where you are without having the large notation scroll away all the time. I've approached Henry Kellner for this in the past without any results.

My own efforts at the moment, in notation, are purely towards font development for djembe notation. I have one font that is inspired by the font in Mamady Keita's book, and I am currently developing a font that is inspired by Percussion Studio, which would make for a more condensed notation that you can still read from a fair distance, allowing for cheat sheets on the floor for example.

See my site www.yankadi.silvercircle.org for all this stuff. Well, the new font isn't there yet of course but the other one IS there, and is also being used by various djembe book authors.
User avatar
By michi
Thanks for the info Dennis! I might download a copy and have a play. So, by your description, the lack of micro-positioning of notes really is a DirectX limitation that affects both Yankadi and PS?

I would love to have something that allows me to accurately capture the feel of a rhythm. Do you know whether Reason is any better with respect to micro-positioning? I've never used the program and, looking at the UI, it certainly looks like it has a steep learning curve. But I'd put in the effort if the results are worth it...


User avatar
By Dennis103
PS has its own playback module and does not rely on DirectX as far as I know. I used DirectX. DirectX (Yankadi) had the problem of playing back irregularly if the computer was busy elsewhere, I have no idea if those issues are solved in DirectX by now. PS did not have that problem because of its own engine.

PS as far as I can tell from the program itself, is mostly meant as a playback program.
Yankadi started out as a notation program, playback was secondary.

PS has only limited positions where you can put a note so is limited in microtiming options.
Yankadi has no options in this respect other than setting swing percentages for the complete music.

Microtiming should be no problem to incorporate from a programmers persepective, other than that you get to do a lot of calculations real time. The problem is one of interface - finding a way to let the user adjust note positions, indicate such changes in the notation etc. and in general providing the options in the first place, which lead to a lot of calculations to get the sounds to play at the right time.

As for the use of microtiming in a notation and playback program, hmmm, I agree that for the most accurate capturing of a rhythm this is important, but for the bulk of the students exact timing is THE challenge. Without very exact timing, microtiming makes no sense. So microtiming is a bonus for the very advanced players and I would call it a hindrance to learn precise timing for all beginners and intermediate students.
By bubudi
Dennis103 wrote:microtiming is a bonus for the very advanced players and I would call it a hindrance to learn precise timing for all beginners and intermediate students.
are you still talking about a notation/playback program or for learning in general? i would agree that microtiming in a notation/playback program would be beyond beginners (although they could simply get by without using such a feature). intermediates should have developed their timing and awareness of swing so that playing with microtiming may even add to their understanding of the swing of accompaniments.

from a teaching/learning perspective, i think that swing should be stressed to all students. but that is a topic for the teachers corner.