When we create a new song from the Basic Blues template and reveal the timeline what we get is pretty close to what is shown above. The only difference here is that we played the first chorus and stopped to show the chorus cursor and playback delimiters in the ruler a bit more clearly. Below is a view of just that same timeline ruler all by itself. At the top are numbers and marker to indicate chorus numbers. The time signature is located at the left side (4/4). At the botom towards the left and the right sides are grey flags that are called playback delimiters and the orange chorus cursor is located at chorus 2.
Playback Delimiters are used to set a specific range of choruses to be played and default to the first and the last chorus in the current song chorus settings. These cursors can be moved with the mouse and also with the arrow buttons to the very left and to the very right side of BandMaster's playback controls. In Chorus Loop mode the choruses enclosed by the playback delimiters are going to be looped.
The chorus cursor advances automatically as the song progresses during playback. It cannot be moved with the mouse. On Play it automatically moves to the position of the left chorus delimiter.
The last measure of a song gets special treatment in BandMaster. Last in this regard refers to the last measure played - not the last measure in a songform or loop. The last measure control is fairly small and located in the bottom right corner of the timeline ruler. There are 3 settings: stop abruptly, repeat last measure and go to first measure. The first setting simply ends a song with the last beat of the last measure. The other two options both add one beat at the end with the first chord of either the last measure of the song or the first measure.
The last measure settings are also available via the Song menu.
Note: The last measure setting is not honored when in chorus loop or form loop modes.
Sections are a very unique element in BandMaster and are displayed in the timeline ruler as seen above when activated. There are three types of section: time scale (green), transpose (orange) and trade-fours (purple). Sections may overlap and can be positioned past the song's playback delimiters. Each section has a handle on each side to allow positioning and sizing of the section in the time line ruler. The position of a timeline section is saved even when deactivated in the timeline ruler header. While this is very convenient, it may at times lead to an alert when trying to reduce a song's number of choruses. If for example a Time Scale section covering choruses 3 - 8 exists and one tries to lower the number of choruses to 7, BandMaster will issue an alert even if the section is deactivated. As a visual hint BandMaster displays a grey bar in the playback control section for sections that are configured but deactivated.
The header for the timeline ruler is located to the ruler's left side and houses the Timeline section activation buttons and popup menus. There are three timeline section buttons: Time Scale (green when activated), Transpose (orange when activated) and Trade-Fours (purple when activated). The are popup menus to configure the Time Scale and Transposition sections are activated by clicking under the number located below the button for each of these sections.
Using the Time Scale section it is possible to designate a contiguous stretch of choruses in the current song to play at a different speed. In this setting the base speed of the song as set in the bpm control is multiplied by a factor picked from the Time Scale section's popup menu (s.a.).
Example: We set the time scale for a song with a bpm of 120 to 0.5 and move the time scale section to cover chorusses 2 - 4 of that song. As a result the song will start out at 120 bpm until the end of chorus 1. It will then switch to a bpm of 60 until the end of chorus 4 and revert to its original speed of 120 bpm until the end. If we deactivate the Time Scale section the bpm of the song will not change, however, the setting will be saved. Additionally a grey bar on the right side of the playback controls section will indicate that we did in fact configure one of our playback sections.
Very much like Time Scale sections the Transpose section is also configured via a popup menu activated by clicking the number below the Transpose section button (s.a.). The Transpose section can be configured from -7 to +7 semitones. When activated BandMaster's bass and piano instruments will adjust their playback for the duration of the section and transpose up or down by the number of semitones selected in the Transpose section popup menu.
Example: We create an new Basic Blues via template (application menu: New Song…). This will at first be a Blues in the key of C with 5 choruses. We activate the Transpose Section, configure it to -2 and position the section in the timeline ruler to choruses 2 - 4. As a result the Blues will now start off in the key of C, move to the key of Bb for choruses 2 - 4 and revert back to C for the last chorus.
The Trade Fours section works like the other sections mentioned above. This section does not have any additional configuration options. When activated the Trade Fours section will play and mute the drums instrument in 4 measure increments. This is a great training help for practicing trade fours for ensemble work.
Note: Trade Four sections start out with 4 measures of drums.
Example: We create an new Basic Blues via template (application menu: New Song…). This will at first be a Blues in the key of C with 5 choruses. We activate the Trade Fours section and position it to cover choruses 3 - 4. As a result the first 4 measures of chorus 3 still have drums but the last four measures before chorus 5 do not.
BandMaster's control box displays several section states in the top right corner. If a section has been activated and modified a line in the section's color is shown. If a section has been modified but is deactivated a grey line is shown. To completely deactive a section set it to the first chorus only and deactivate it.