I have been using this software for a while now but his new upgrade made it really useful.The “monkey machine” has been updated and is now the perfect online drum machine for music educators. The interface is simple and perfect for teaching music notation and drum rhythms. The timeline is divided up into squares, each representing a sixteenth note subdivision and of course there are sixteen of them to create a visual bar of 4/4 common time. This visual breakdown and subdivision is extremely useful when students are trying to figure out note values because they can visually see that there are four sixteenth notes in one quarter note etc.
This makes it extremely easy for inputting rock drum beats for a song. Just printout or post the drum figures you want students to input and let them program the machine to play them. A good place to get beats is out of a drum method book or from the set part of the jazz band arrangements.
This is a great process to teach not only how to create drum patterns and how rhythms fit together but you could also go further and give rhythm dictation and have them input what is being performed. The student can then listen to it and write in down using music notation, thus connecting the audio and visual examples together.
Another way a drum machine like this can be used is to illustrate how a drummer builds on a beat or rhythm throughout a song and how things change a little in the chorus and verse. You can also program drum fills or drum solos.
The Monkey Machine also lets you chose between two dynamic ranges for each individual note value. This is a good way to illustrate how dynamics can make a performance sound more natural and give the music a pulse. It is what a drummer does when they play.
The BEST thing about Monkey Machine is that you can SAVE AND EXPORT AS A MIDI FILE. This is an element many drum machine do not include. What this enables the student to do is program a drum beat with dynamics and form the patterns before exporting the performance into a DAW software like GarageBand, Protools, or Sebelius. Check it out online at Monkey Machine.