What is Riff Builder and how do I use it?

Riff Builder is the second Riffstation tab. With Riff Builder you can create your own custom jam tracks using the songs you love. Load any song from your music collection and Riff Builder lets you rearrange the beats and chords to create brand new riffs that retain the sound and vibe of the song you used to create your jam. Now you really can have AC/DC as your backing band! Riff Builder also contains a Song Builder, with which you can compile and structure riffs you’ve created into songs.

Riff Builder Example

To use Riff Builder, ensure that the tool is turned on using the power button on the bottom left corner of the tool. This will deactivate the normal playback controls in favour of Riff Builder’s controls. Riff Builder contains 6 riff banks. You will choose a new bank for each riff you wish to create from the song you have loaded. Each riff bank contains 16 programmable steps (numbered 1-16). You can use as many or as few of these steps as you need to create your riffs. Each step will contain one beat of your new riff. Beneath the 16 steps is a loop length selector (orange bar with a little ball at the end). You can use this to change the length of your loop after creating it.

The following step-by-step guide shows you how to place beats and build your own riff.

  1. Click on step number 1 of the 16 steps (or double click anywhere on the waveform). Step 1 should flash red.
  2. Now move the mouse to the waveform viewer and you should see a red block flashing. It will follow the mouse as you move it.
  3. Double click to release the block at the mouse position. This section of audio has now been placed in step 1. ***You can start playback at any time and continue to create and edit your riff in real-time – we recommend this.
  4. You can repeat steps 1-3 to populate other steps. Alternatively, you can autofill consecutive beats by clicking and dragging the loop length selector beneath the steps. This automatically fills the next steps with consecutive beats.
  5. Deleting beats is achieved by pressing ctrl on the keyboard and dragging the loop length selector in the opposite direction.
  6. You will notice a new green block on the waveform viewer for every new beat you add.
  7. Once you have some beat blocks (green or red) on the waveform viewer, you can move them around by clicking and dragging with the mouse. This is the fastest way to edit your riffs and hear different variations since you can create and drag beats even during riff playback. You can drag all the beats simultaneously in your riff by pressing the "Ctrl" key and dragging. This is very useful to try variations on riffs
  8. To play your riff, simply press the play button on the left side of Riff Builder.

To the right of Riff Builder, you will notice a control called Beat Offset. Beat Offset can be used to shift the timing of all stored Riff Builder beats by a very small amount, which can be useful for lining up the beats and getting the smoothest sounding loops. Beat Offset can also be used to shift the timing from – to + a half of a beat. This can be really cool for creating totally different grooves from the riff you have created. Try it! ***It is important to remember that Beat Offset applies to all beats in Riff Builder so you cannot have different offsets for different riffs. Changing the Beat Offset will change the offset for ALL riffs in the current session but you can easily restore it by right clicking on the Beat Offset knob.

Song Builder

Now that you have created some riffs with Riff Builder, you may want to arrange them all into a song. Each of your riffs above is contained in a riff bank identified by letters A to F. You can now place each riff into Song Builder simply by clicking on an empty step and selecting which riff you want from the drop down menu. Alternatively you can use the mouse wheel to scroll through riffs. Use the play button to the left of Song Builder to play your new song. You can continue to edit the song during playback.



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