Recording Rhythms in Storyline

Aug 06, 2014

Hello fellow E-Learning folks,

For a kids project I was asked a question that I didn't know how to answer directly so I'd love your help,

that is:

Is there a function, or one that can be made in Storyline that would allow a user to use their keyboard (or touch screen) to tap a rhythm out which gets captured by Storyline and can then be compared to other pre-generated rhythms?

They do have website tools and apps (rhythm sheep for example) which do this, but if I wanted to keep everything in one lesson without going to an external site, it would be great to keep this in storyline somehow.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

6 Replies
Kristian Chartier

It would be really tedious and not terribly exact, but you could accomplish this using time-based triggers. In the attached example, I have 120 offscreen shapes, each of which displays for 1 second. I use these to trigger time-based actions. For example, if I wanted an object to appear exactly 16 seconds into the timeline, I would create a trigger that says "Unhide OBJECT When SHAPE16 is NORMAL".

You could take this a step further by creating a timeline on your slide that is actually composed of many small rectangles. Each rectangle would represent a beat. Then you would create triggers that change the colour a rectangle when the user clicks a button depending on which of the offscreen shapes is visible. The coloured rectangles could then be compared to other patterns.

It would be hugely time consuming, but do-able.

Darren D

Thanks Kristian,

I believe I get the concept you are talking about. That is very creative.

I downloaded your sample to see where you are coming from. By any chance would you be able to demonstrate the concept in a slide with only 1 or 2 objects using those triggers?
Admitidly I get a bit confused when many variables/triggers come into play at once.

Thanks again for your help!

Harri S

Hi Darren,

Kristian's method will work but it's an awful lot of work.

I've mocked up a cleaner version that uses a variable to count the time, I've assumed you'd want to count in seconds but you can alter the length of time by altering the length of the timeline on the layers. You could also set up layers with different timelines to create a rhythm.

This sounds like an interesting project, it would be great to see what you come up with.

Hope this helps

Cheryl Melfi

It looks like both Kristian's and Harri's methods would work, but it seems to me that any method that relies on the Storyline timeline would be limited to rhythms that occur at multiples of a quarter of a second (the smallest interval of time that is available on the timeline). This would mean that you could do rhythms in simple meter at 60 beats per minute (or 120 or 30 . . . ), or in compound meter at 80 beats per minute (or 40), but you would not be able to do anything more complex than a first- or second-level division of the beat, and you couldn't do anything like tuplets or tempo changes. Am I right about this?

I would think that would still give you lots of flexibility for working with kids--there's a lot you can do at quarter note = 60--but as I think about it I'm more and more curious about whether the timeline can be manipulated in such a way that you can get things to happen using intervals other than a quarter of a second.

Darren D

Great replies everyone, thank you so much!

@ Harri, I'm giving your demo a shot now and will get back to everyone after a day of tinkering to see where I'm at.

@ Bruce, I'm also checking into the click tracks, thanks for sharing that info with us!

Please keep the wheels turning, I think we are onto something good here.

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