WARNING: TRICKY STUFF HERE! NOT NEEDED by CALLERS!
The Caller user setting hides two features SCHEMES, and BEATS. The default end user doesn't need them to create call sequences.
If you want to explore or create these features... here's some starter information.
User = Wizard
First, just go to the top Nav bar, and click on User. One of the choices is Wizard, the other one is Caller. Click on the Wizard option.
You will see a new tab becomes available, hidden from the Caller user (the default).
The MOVES TAB allows you to edit the moves that make up the current Scheme. See below about creating your own scheme... we'll deal first with the the Beats (and Gears) on the Songs tab.
ALSO... On the SONGS TAB ... you will see there are new view options... the Beats option appears - and the Gears option appears. The third option is just the default view, the one seen by the Caller user.
- BEATS: The Beats option allows you to record "beats" for new songs, which can then be shared with anyone.
For dance purposes, typical rueda music has 8 counts per measure. You should be able to identify the 1-beat of every measure. And as you play the music, be able to hit the space bar to record a beat.
So hit the Record new beats... and start tapping! Yes... all through the song! Every dance measure is only known to the program by having a beat recorded for it. Try stepping as you tap... I like the al Medio step... or whatever step suits!
When the song is complete, you get an option to save the beats file.
From then on, you can assign MOVES to the song (using the Caller option). And you can share the beats file (via the RM website for example) with Caller users. Technical note: your beats file will be found on your hard drive, at My Documents/RuedaMaticEditor/compases_para_canciones. As said, even people using different schemes can use your beats file. When they download, or update, any scheme, the latest collection of beats is downloaded too.
- GEARS: After you've saved the beats for a song, you can assign GEARS. These allow you to characterize what the music is doing. These hints can be seen by the Caller user as he listens to the song and decides what move to call here or there.
BEATS - more:
Be prepared to spend some time getting the beats right. The program will warn you if your "space bar clicks" don't seem to have a regular tempo. That shows up as different color rectangles in the grid display. You can elect to just quit and start over, if you see the colors showing up as you tap.
The ideal outcome would be, that you hit every beat perfectly, first time you try. But RM Editor can help if you make small mistakes. At the end, you can click Autofix. The program may suggest you do that if it detects possible issues.
E.G. mistakes we can recover from: If you miss a beat (... or two or three in a row!) we can fill it in by averaging. If you mistakenly hit an extra beat between 1-counts, we can remove that mistake.
Also, by clicking on each beat button on the Songs tab, you have a few editing options (try it).
IRREGULAR BEAT INTENDED:
RM Editor doesn't know if your song actually DOES have an irregular rhythm.
Feel free to ignore warnings if you actually want the dancers to slow down, or speed up for example. Or if the clave switches during the song (see below!)
After you record beats, you can test them by clicking PLAY. The waveform background changes color at each 1-count that you recorded.
Now... ideally... the color change comes on the 1-count. Exactly... precisely... beautifully... on the 1-count.
BUT... maybe not. Not YET anyway...
It's expected that the beats you record WILL come out slightly delayed... due to keyboard mechanics and processing delays. Often hitting the "-" nudge button 2 or 3 times will correct all the beats to perfection.
And if you over-correct... fix using the "+" button. Soon, the color changes happen right on the beat where they should!
GEARS - more:
The 2nd Wizard option on the Songs tab, is GEARS. You need the BEATS to be complete before assigning GEARS. (because a GEAR is actually saved inside the BEATS data)
You can select different "gears" from our short dropdown list... taking into account the "gears" the musicians are going through in the song.
Those gear changes are one of the signatures of Cuban timba music... the exciting phases the music... and the dancer... should express together. Read more on timba.com!
Who are the best dancers of timba music?
Don't look far... they are usually right at the front of the stage... yes, the suelta dancers! Watch them respond to the gear changes and you'll know what we mean. Kevin Moore of timba.com has some interesting material about how the dancers and the band work together as a song arrangement develops... week after week... over at Salon Rosado (La Tropical) in Havana.
Up til now, it's been considered pretty impossible for rueda callers to respond to that... anyway NOT as well as suelta dancers.
We are here to change that!
If the gear names we use are helpful, enjoy! If not, just consider the colours of each gear as clues to the caller, to pay attention and repect something the band is doing!
And record comments with the Gear... they can be seen by the Caller composing the call sequence.
According to Kevin Moore (timba.com!)... something like 40% of timba music has clave changes built-in to the music. Often, it's another Timba feature... that is often not recognized in rueda dancing.
If you have danced with a good native Cuban rueda caller... he/she usually hears the change quickly, and spontaneously calls "FOTO!". The dancers are supposed to freeze, and pick up the step just when the caller signals.
You will notice that FOTO is one of the gears in RM Editor. We suggest you use that on the appropriate clave change.
EXAMPLE: suppose the clave change is like the one in Sandunguera (by Van Van, or recently, by Manolito y su Trabuco).
Normal clave would be 3-side, 2-side, repeated continually. "1-2-3, 1-2... 1-2-3, 1-2... 1-2-3, 1-2 ..."
Instead, you hear "1-2-3, 1-2... 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2 ..." in that song. That is, A pair of "3-sides" in a row. At the first one, the song goes "Y dicen que!". The second, "Esa muchacha no hay quien ponga freno..."
One way to handle that would prepare for it, calling an in-out solo move... like La Rosa. In the beats, set the interval before the second to just 4 counts - not the usual 8.
Then set the gear FOTO on the first "3-side". The call "FOTO" is set for that beat by the Caller role.
After the short 4-count freeze... a "Sigue" (Continue) could be called... on the second 3-side. From that point on, the dancers continue normally, with full 8-count measures.
OR... some callers just pick songs for rueda that don't have a Clave switch 😉
If you want to add moves to schemes or create your own, please read this IMPORTANT MESSAGE:
...here's where you must know all about the computer files system... if you don't know already.
If you need to... take a short course to discover all about directories, files, file names, using the File Explorer... renaming, copying, moving... what is an MP3 file, using Voice recorder programs like Audacity... converting WAV files to MP3... etc.
If that doesn't sound like your game... just set your nav bar User to Caller... ignore this page... and stick to the fun part. Someone else can do the Wizard work!
So... we'll go ahead assuming you know all this stuff!
Take a look at your "Documents" folder, and find the folder "RuedaMaticEditor". Take a look in there.
One subfolder is "compases_para_canciones". That contains all the beats files for songs. They exist outside the schemes. A beats file is valid for any scheme, so it can be shared across schemes.
The remaining folders all begin with "scheme_". These are the RuedaMatic "schemes" you have on your computer. It may be there's only 1, called "scheme_rueda_basica_normal". Or you might have a "salsa suelta" calls scheme, a "structures" scheme... or any separate set of moves that might be useful to you.
In each "scheme_..." folder, there's a "vueltas" subfolder, containing all the call files used in that scheme.
And along with the call files, a "moves.xml" file. That file contains the data in the "Moves" tab of RuedaMaticEditor.
Also, along with the "vueltas" folder, there's a folder "secuencias_para_canciones" where all the sequences you've made in this scheme are kept. Notice the sequence file names correspond to the music file name while you are at it.
Yes... you CAN start your own scheme folder, located alongside the others in the RuedaMaticEditor main folder. The name of the folder must begin "scheme_...". Fill in the dots with whatever name you like. We may suggest you copy an existing scheme folder... and its subfolders... so you know that you start with a valid file structure.
Use a voice recorder program to make MP3 files with each call in the "vueltas" folder. If your best microphone is on your cell, feel free to use it (probably e-mail the voice files to your PC).
You can convert sound files to MP3 using a free utility program called Audacity (or any other tool).
We suggest making a list of all the calls you want to use. Then start recording them, one after the other, in a single file. Then use a Audacity (or other tool) to break each call into its own file, e.g. "dile que no.mp3". We have a convention of using lower case and spaces for the call files, you will notice.
After you've made an MP3 file for each call, start up RuedaMaticEditor. Select your new scheme on the top nav bar. You will see the Dashboard tab shows a list of calls that haven't been entered into the program. Go to the Moves tab, and start adding each one of them.
Then they are available for all songs in that scheme.
What's so hard about being a Wizard?
It gets trickier when you decide to change things1
Suppose you want to DELETE a move you don't like any more.
You want to delete it on the Moves tab.
But what about songs that are out there already, using that move?
RM Editor does help in one way. It doesn't allow the delete as long as it finds a SEQ file locally using the move.
The program will require you to remove or change that particular call... in all the songs... and THEN you are allowed to delete it.
Still there's a possible concern: if you haven't kept ALL the seq files on your computer, there's no way for RM Editor to fix files that aren't there.
Similarly if you CHANGE a move name...
You will find RM Editor will allow that, as long as the new move name is unique. And it will automatically change the name in any SEQ files in that scheme. As long as they are found on you local computer!