Drumline Apps by Telephonic Amusements!

This is the information site and blog for Drumline Apps – a suite of mobile apps for marching musicians and enthusiasts to create beats, exercises, and licks from their iPhones & iPads:


Ensemble Composer

Tenorline Composer

About the Makers:

Nicholas and David marched at Mizzou, in drum corps including Sky Ryders and the Velvet Knights, and at the University of North Texas, in finals and at PASIC. Before Nick started coding and Dave started designing, they were both marching drummers first.

187 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. Hello
    We’ve just released a website about all music Apps from the App Store…
    If you want to see your App posted in priority you could send us a Promo Code!
    We also organize little Contests with developers who offer their Apps to our visitors, if you are interested, please check out our Contest page and let us know.
    If you have any informations on your next updates or new apps in the works, could you let us know. If your next apps possess a large sound bank, could you list them as right now we don’t have the resources to add all the sounds that are currently available to our Posts… even with an OCR.
    For more informations about our Contest, Special Contest & Ads, please use this link:

  2. Hey

    The app looks cool!

    http://www.zaxism.com reviews music apps to a very large and eclectic audience..

    I have been promoting apps for over three years

    Yes..another promocode request I’m afraid, us bloggers are volunteer slaves that help develops make money 🙂


  3. Hi
    No prob!
    Thanks a lot to create you App…
    We bought your Apps!
    But we just want to let you know, that we really appreciate all the works made by all the developers around the world, Apps4iDevices is made by 3 musicians fond of Apple, we don’t owned money with our website… we bought all the Apps released everyday… ( it’s a lot of money from 3 years)
    This is the reason why we ask for promo codes.

  4. By and large this is a really good app. Unfortunately it currently only does 4/4. I’m writing parts to “Hey Ya” by Outcast. 3 bars of 4, one bar of 2, and two bars of 4, for a 6 bar phrase. I can’t do it – bummer.

    If you had at least 2/4, 3/4, and 6/8 as well as 4/4 you would be covering 95% of what people need. It would also be nice if time Sigs were assignable to each individual bar (back to the Hey Ya reference).

    Thanks for making this. If you keep working on it it’s going to be great.

    • Thanks for the great comments. We’re working on the time signature thing – we want it to be more intuitive and quick to apply than you usually find in music apps. It should be out in the next update or two.

      Thanks again for the feedback!

      • Just got Ensemble, been waiting over a year. It’s EXCELLENT!!! Took all my compositions for this years show, all cadences, and a pile of exercises and put them in. It’s remarkably fast. The “copy previous bar” feature is way handy. The sounds are very good. Thank you sooooo much for making this app.

        Some items for your developers:

        I don’t know why, but I can’t press directly on any menu items. I have to press what seems to be below each word in the menu bar rather than on the Center of each word. Thisnisnirritating as I have to press the item sever times to find the actual spot. Any chance of adjusting that?

        Also, If I need an accent, to change dynamic on a particular partial, or want one of the note effects listed on the bottom of the composing page, I MUST use split, as there is currently no way to use multi tap in the default screen and assign it to one particular tap. This becomes problematic if I want duple and triple partials in the same bar. My current work around, assuming I am in 4 and have two sets of 6’s with varied accents followed by a set of 16th with varied diddles, ending with a triplet on four would be this:

        A bar of 2 using a split of 6 giving me control over each individual note within each sixtuplet, followed by a bar of 1 with a split of 4 using multi tap within the split to give me the individual diddles, followed by a final bar of one with a split of 3 giving me control of each note of the triplet.

        There’s got to be a better way.

        But all in all this app is AMAZING. Your price point is steep if the phone and iPad versions are in fact separate purchases. Still, it is a piece of productivity software done very well and is VERY useful.

        Question: I want to creat an audio file for distribution. At this point I’ll settle for either a file playable on iTunes or a file workable in GarageBand. As the app is so new, there’s nothing on line yet about how to share. Perhaps this feature does not yet work. I suppose I can play the file and send the audio into GB on my Mac.

        Again, fabulous job. Thanks so much for this. Best $10 I’ve spent in a long time. Totally looking forward to further developments!

      • Thanks for the excellent comments, Shawn. I’ve forwarded this to our technical side to address your feedback more specifically, but I wanted to chime in and say thanks for the constructive criticism.

        David Croy | Designer | Chicago | Portfolio | Flickr

      • Shawn, this is the lead developer, Nick. Thanks for the feedback and so glad you’re enjoying the apps! Regarding the menus, we totally agree they aren’t aligned properly – it’s a function of the framework we are using, but we’ll look into a fix for that and soon. As far as capturing the audio, we don’t have that feature yet either. Follow your own suggestion of outputting directly to your Mac and capture in GB. We hope to add that as well, but that will require us to change our audio library.

        The way you are describing the Split functionality and the dynamics has us scratching our heads a bit. Could you share your composition with us so we can take a look? drumline.apps@gmail.com

        And thanks again for contacting us! We want to make this the best drumline app out there.

      • Hi John,

        We want you know that were all for Android from a philosophical point-of-view: that both platforms are good and should be developed is something weve believed in from the start. And secondly, we appreciate our Android drummers, too. Converting to Android, however, is a matter of non-trivial amounts of time and money, which we just dont have right this minute. We want to do Android but we just cant. Yet. Id love to tell you that well have Android out in 6 months or a year, but at this point we just dont know. Please trust that we are committed to doing it and well keep you posted. As soon as we know, well make sure you know. Thanks for the interest, and Im sorry that the news couldnt be better or more specific.

        David Croy | Designer | Chicago | Portfolio | Flickr

      • Hi Nick. Thanks for replying. I’m not sure if my issue is a current limitation of the program or a current limitation of my understanding the program. Lets say in the same bar I have a set of sixtuplets on beats 1 and 2 and a set of 16ths on beats 3 and 4, and I want to apply dynamics or effects to various strokes within each:

        ////// ////// //// ////

        When I start a new piece the program defaults to a bar with 8 partials, I.e. 8th notes. If I have no accents, just notes, I press the first partial square and fill it in. I now have an 8th note. If I press the same partial again, I now have 2 16ths in the 8th note partial. Press a 3rd time and I have 3 notes within the 8th note partial. Great, there’s the first half of my first sixtuplet. I go to the 2nd 8th note partial, tap 3 times and I have the back end of my first sixtuplet. I repeat this for the partials of 2 and 2+. For beats 3 and 4 I press each partial only twice giving me my two sets of 16ths on beats 3 and 4. Great. Quick and very intuitive, and allows me to have duples (the 16ths) and triples in the same bar. BUT what do I do if I want to apply accents (applying dynamics to individual strokes) or effects (cross stick, rim shot, what have you) to an individual stroke within a partial? I can’t access the individual strokes to apply effects to them using multi tap on the default page. Solution? The split page.

        I’m in a new or pre existing bar on the default page. I hit “split”, I select “6” for my split because I want sixtuplets. I am now presented with individual partials for each note of the sixtuplet for all counts in the bar. GREAT! I can now apply dynamics and effects to any stroke within the sixtuplet. Excellent! I can even press a partial twice to create a bounced stroke within the sixtuplet. FANTASTIC! And all very easy and intuitive. The overwriting feature if I decide to apply dynamics or effects after the fact is also brilliant.

        OK, this all works great for my sixtuplets on beats 1 and 2. But now I want to work with my 16ths on beats 3 and 4 and apply accents or effects to individual strokes. Hmmmmm, currently I am locked into sixtuplets on beats 3 and 4. How do I get back to 16ths for beats 3 and 4? Perhaps I can figure something out if I add a new bar and mess around there. I press add. Oh, crap, the new bar has come up with the 6 based split from the last bar. I wanted the new added bar to be in the default format so I could work with it.

        So, here’s my issue. As I currently understand the program you can have duples and triples in the same bar using the default page and multi tap. BUT, you cannot apply dynamics or effects to individual strokes using this method. To gain control of individual strokes you must be in the Splits page. BUT, the splits page applies only ONE type of split to an entire bar meaning that when in Splits mode you can NOT have duples and triples in the same bar. This means the writer cannot write duples and triples with dynamics or effects applied to individual strokes within that bar. A full bar of a particular split, yes; a bar of differing partials without accents or effects, yes; a bar of differing partials that are all even with accents or effects, sort of; a bar of differing partials that are all triplet based with accents or effects, sort of; a bar with differing partials that are both duple and triple based with accents and effects, no.

        So, if I am understanding the program correctly, I cannot currently write a bar with 4 beats in it with sixtuplets on beats 1 and 2 and 16ths on beats 3 and 4, AND apply accents or effects to the individual strokes therein.

        Thus my current work around of one bar of two using a split of 6 and another bar of two using a split of 4. However, Currently I have to create both bars first before entering the 6 based split mode because If I create the first bar only and go into split mode every bar I “add” thereafter will also be in 6 split mode, making it impossible to ever get my 16th notes.

        I hope I have communicated my issue in a way you can understand it. Tell me how to share my composition with you and I will do so. And please, while I find this issue quite irritating and limiting, let me make one thing perfectly clear, THIS APP IS ABSOLUTELY AWESOME!!!!!


        Shawn Bryan

      • Nick, figured out the sharing thing and sent you the file. The composition contained therein is absolutely historic. Bonus points if you can name the corps and year. NB if it sounds a little different then the original it’s because it was originally written for tri’s. I altered it as required to make it for quads. Everything else is historically accurate.

      • Shawn, that was a great synopsis of your concern. Please check your email. I sent you a link to a movie that shows a current feature that I believe will address your needs. Please let me know if it doesn’t.

        We will be posting a youtube video that outlines that feature.

        Hmm, about that composition… I am guessing 80’s Blue Devils…

  5. Had a lot of fun messing around. I like the direction this is going. Here’s some stuff I’d be looking forward to seeing in future updates!

    -option to type in the tempo, instead of a slide bar.
    -Bigger play button
    -Undo button (you can mess up really easy with the slide of a finger)
    -save/open option
    – some text on the left side that explains what each voicing is (flam, buzz, click, etc…)
    -draggable box area for copying a section

    Also thanks for finding me @ DCI Denton for this opportunity to try this out!

  6. Hey the apps are awesome… but can you guys also release for android since not everyone has and apple device anymore. I’m pretty sure many people would love these apps on the android market so please try and get these released for android as quick as possible.

    • Hi Rick,

      Thanks for the feedback – always much appreciated. We’ve definitely got Android on the to-do list, but converting the app over is, shall we say, nontrivial. Under the hood there’s lots of deep code for performance and since Apple and Google don’t play well together, it’s a fairly big job to convert between the two. But it’s great to hear from the Android community, and if we get more comments along this line, we might bump it up the priority list.

      Also, I’ll get in touch with the coders and see if I can get you a rough e.t.a. on this.

      Thanks again!

  7. I was wonder if this app will ever be available on the android market because I just recently lost my ipod in a freak accident and now I cant use this wonderful app any more and I had a lot of time invested into this app

  8. It would be awesome if you guys made an android version of this!! I know its been mentioned before, just thought I’d comment and show more support for the idea.

  9. Hey so I agree with Rick. I have an android and have been waiting for this app! I really want it but I can’t have it! This is really depressing! If possible could you guys bump it up the list! Very much appreciated and you will get a lot of more buyers, I guarantee it! Thanks!

    • Hey John, trust us, we do love our Androidsmen! And please don’t be mad at us – be mad at Apple and Google for not playing nice. That said, we have a plan in place for getting the (ridiculously gigantic amount of) work done to convert the suite over for all y’all. I don’t have a ballpark date set yet, but we should have something concrete to tell you by October.

  10. So I have android and am really hoping for a new update to come soon. What should I do? Like, what do you think the time frame is for it to come out? I would like to know! Thanks guys for making this amazing app!

    • Hi Justin, so here’s where we are: we’ve posted the conversion project to a programming job board, and we’re finishing up the details of getting the coding done. We’ve also just started redoing all of the graphics (which is a huge job) for the various Android resolutions, so they’ll be finished in line with the code. It’s a ton of work, but we’ve at least started to begin on it.

      We don’t as yet have a completion date, which is what you’re asking for, but we should have one soon. Thanks for your interest and for holding our Apple feet to the Android fire.

  11. Hey. So the last post was in September. It’s now November, and we still haven’t heard anything from you guys? Like I don’t understand why there haven’t been updates posted to the community or something like that. Please let me know an e.t.a. Of the release date. Thanks.

  12. Hey John Paul – you’re right, we haven’t been updating this page as much as we should, thanks for the comment. We’re releasing the Ensemble App soon, and we’ve been very busy with that. Look for updates to this site soon, specifically a status update on Android and a look at Ensemble and some big ideas for the (near) future.

    We also have Twitter and FB accounts, which are updated much more frequently.

    Thanks for your interest, and we really do appreciate the constructive criticism.

  13. Will Ensemble Composer get Audiobus and or IAA support. I am a member of ipad musician FB group. We have about 1000 members consisting of Devs and users. We would like to invite you to the group but need a email address. We also need to know where this app is going. Please email 1 promo code so we can review Ensemble Composer. Thank you.

    • Hi Morris – I’ll talk to the technical side and see what I can learn about Audiobus or IAA. We’ll email you privately with the promo code and more info. Thanks!

  14. I have the ensemble composer app and it’s working fine so far but I only have one question which icon is the accent setting for snare

  15. So, Im having a problem with Ensemble Composer. When it opens on my iPad, it opens very small as if on an iPhone. Is their a way to adjust it to fit the screen? Right now, it defeats the point of using an iPad.

  16. David/Nick:
    Snareline is riding on the rim with the right hand and playing 2&4 on the head with the left hand. I am assuming I am stuck writing a Charlie Watts style beat (never plays the hats and snare at the same time). Is there a way to add two sounds on the same stroke?

  17. David/Nick:
    I want an accelerando feature.

    I create my piece as desired. In the main screen I scroll to the desired bar where I want the accelerando to start. I again enter split screen. However I am not just presented with the numbers and menus currently present, for there is also an Accel menu item. I press Accel. Another overlay of a slightly different color denoting we are on the Accel page lays down. Just as in the “tap & swipe” portion of the splits page, I tap the first stroke of the accel (which will be highlighted with a border around the stroke’s box graphic) and type my beginning tempo into the beginning tempo box. Just as in the “tap & swipe” method of the splits screen, I swipe to select the portion of the piece to be included in the Accel. I swipe to the last stroke of the accel (which will also be highlighted with a border around the stroke’s box graphic). I then type in my ending tempo in the end tempo box (two tempo boxes on the Accel overlay page). On play back the App plays the piece back using the set tempo as normally but then changes the tempo at the beginning of the Accel and calculates a smooth tempo increase over the specified number of beats increasing the tempo of the playback until the play back cursor gets to the determined end stroke of the Accel at the determined tempo. The rest of the piece continues to play at the tempo set at the end of the Accel (until you guys get the beat-by-beat tempo feature figured out).

    The big difference between the tap and swipe of the split screen, and the tap and swipe of the Accel screen is that on the split screen my swipe is limited to the current bar. My Accel swipe must be allowed to scroll over bar lines and bring the new measure into view. The ’83 BD Accel in Paradox was 16 counts of sextuplets, that’s 4 bars in 4/4. My current piece has a 3 bar Accel in it. Is this doable?

  18. David/Nick

    Full tape player shuttle controls please. At the very least a “back to the beginning” button please. A left pointing triangle with a vertical bar. |< It's a pain when you have a 50 bar piece and you need to get to bar 25 (swipe, swipe, swipe, touch, swipe, swipe, swipe) only to find out on playback you accidentally touched something while swiping to the desired spot. Or, you've made an edit in bar 25 and now want the piece to play from the beginning – swipe, swipe, swipe…

    FYI, I don't mean to bother you guys. The app is freaking amazing. Just as I use it I think of stuff so I send you a note.

    • Hey Cease,

      You wanna handle this, or do you want me to? Also, wanna Skype Sat or Sun? Sorry, Ive been really busy at work this week, but we should talk about hiring Paulies dude, and this stuff, and whats next.

      Also – thanks for the shirts! I hope you liked it!

      Best, -D.

      David Croy | Designer | Chicago | Portfolio | Flickr

    • Hi Stefon, thanks for the message and the tip about rim clicks. Yes, we’re working on updates. I don’t have a firm date on the next round but I’ll let you know. It should be a matter of weeks, not months.

  19. I saw this app a while ago and thought it was the coolest thing! I got a tablet a couple days ago and I checked back on this to see if Android is supported, but unfortunately not 😦 Is Android stuff still in the works?

    • Still in the works, Sam – thanks for your interest and comments. We’ve got a big meeting coming up in a couple of weeks and we’ll try to hammer out a schedule for Android. Again, the problem isn’t that we don’t dig Android, it’s just a matter of financing. It takes a big pile of hours to make the change, and the hours cost money. But we’re working on it!

  20. Can u guys make a cymbal line composer because I play cymbals and I need help in marching band thanks guys 🙂

    • Hi Cameron,

      This functionality is coming in the next update, along with a better sound engine and some tweaks to the interface. Thanks for the suggestion!

  21. Hello!

    Regarding your Bass Line App that I bought on the App Store; the new update is absolute sick! I’ve been a huge fan of your apps for about a year now. Buuuuut, there seems to be a big bug in the new update. Now, I’m not one to complain, but I literally cannot use the app. It is my favorite one I have and the one I use the most. Only about half of the screen appears on my iPhone, and the rest is just black.
    I understand you are probably busy working out some other things, but if you could fix this bug soon, I would greatly appreciate it!


  22. Hi. These apps are pretty cool. I’ve downloaded Snare Line and Ensemble. Is there an update on the horizon for Ensemble? I really like the way Snare Line is laid out and how responsive it is.

    • Hi Charles, is there anything in particular you like about Snare Line that you’d like to see replicated in Ensemble? Or is it mostly a responsiveness issue? We’ll take a look at the speed things on our technical side, but please feel free to give us your thoughts on the Ensemble layout vs. the Snare layout. Thanks a bunch for reaching out!

      • Hi, sorry for such a delay concerning my reply. I was supposed to get an email when you replied but I didn’t. I like the way Snare Line is laid out in terms of selecting the different strokes, taps, buzzes, etc. And I do feel Snare Line is a bit more responsive than Ensemble. Does Ensemble use the same audio samples as Snare Line?

  23. Hey, guys! First off, thanks for developing such a cool idea for writing marching music on a mobile device! It definitely passes the time writing cool stuff on the go, as well as transcribing other music to play along with. It has been a fun and useful app, gets ideas stirring for sure. I teach in the Omaha and Bellevue Public School district in Nebraska, and have recommended this app to other educators and some students to expand their creativity and to see and feel music in a different way, which I find immensefully helpful. Thanks guys, for creating this! My last update of this app, has unfortunately, developed a crackly, echo-y, sound, and I have had heard from other app users experiencing the same problem. Not sure if we are a select group with crap phone speakers, haha, but just wanted to address that. Thank you very much! Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks for the hype, Eduardo. We appreciate the input from the educational side of things greatly. I’ve forwarded your comments on the sound issue to our coding side and will have more info for you either here or by contacting you directly. Thanks for the report – we really appreciate constructive criticism and bug reports!

  24. I absolutely love the bass drum app. As a WGI and DCI bass drummer I would have to say that it is one of the best apps out there. I do have one very minor issue:

    It seems when I play at faster tempos and more complicated rhythms that there is a sort of clicking sound in the background. I am curious if anyone else has this problem and if there is a fix for it.

    Love this app!!

    • Hey Eric, thanks for the big ups, and the comments. We changed the audio engine for complicated but ultimately good reasons, so we’re really grateful for the feedback. I’ve forwarded this to our coding division – they might be in touch with you if that’s okay. Go Bass!

  25. I purchased all three apps, snare, bass, and tenors. Is there any way I can get the ensemble composer with all three without having to buy it since I already purchased all three.

  26. Guys:

    Bought the app yesterday and re-created some cadences from the old days. Still learning how all the features work. A deeper set of instructions (online guide) would be helpful for old guys like me!!

    My question is: once I have a finished product, I would like to transfer the sound file to my Mac to make ring tones, etc. I am sure you used .dla for a reason. Are you aware of any conversion programs that handle .dla? If not, can I connect my iPhone to my Mac (using something like a lightning digital av adapter) and re-record the file using software on my Mac (e.g. garageband or quicktime)? Please advise.


    • Hi Rob, thanks for the heads up. We’ll be working on some more tuts coming up. Glad you found a solution! As far as sharing, audio, etc. – we changed the audio engine in the new version to allow for this stuff in the future. We’re still working on the details, but we’ll keep you posted on developments. Thanks again!

      • Thank you very much, it worked, but in the new version, it seems that the more you put in one creation, some of the sections (mostly basses and cymbals) will fall behind the beat and will not fix back to the correct tempo, just wanted to let you know.

      • Zach, would you please send us the file you had problems with? (drumline.apps@gmail.com) It would really help us trouble shoot this issue.

  27. I tried bass line composer and love the app. The sound quality is truly phenomenal. Question, is there a way to write nonuplets in simple meter, or triplets in a compound meter? Hope that question makes sense.

    • Garrett, have you tried the “split” function? Or perhaps I don’t understand the question.

      Regarding the sharing: currently, you can share only through our .dla extension. We are working on exporting/sharing to MusicXML and to audio.

      Thanks for reaching out to us!

  28. Also I see in the app description here on the website a feature called “sheet music sharing”. Does this mean you can export your creations into a sheet music file outside of the .dla extension that you use within the app? I’m not sure I’ve figured out all the sharing features, just how to e-mail or Facebook the .dla file. Thanks again for the great apps.

  29. Hey, I got to say I love this app!

    I do have one question, however. I know you can share the audio. I’m trying to write an indoor show on GarageBand, which I’ve done in the past, but haven’t been able to make the battery music I wrote till now, thanks to your app!

    But how do I share the song I wrote as an MP3 file to be able to have it on iTunes as a song?

    • Hey Anthony – yes, we’re working on getting different groups to participate. We’ll keep you posted on this as we make some more headway (we’ve got to get agreements, recordings, blah blah blah – it’s not as simple as we’d like). Thanks for the suggestion – good to hear from you guys.

  30. Hey I love the apps and I use them regularly on a daily basis. The only problems I’m finding is that the music I’m writing requires more subdivisions such as a 9-let in one beat and diddle sixtuplets. Also, I would like to see a crescendo and decrescendo. Thanks guys!

    • Hey Jalen, thanks for the comments. Great suggestion on crescendo and decrescendo – we’ll look into adding that for the next update.

      Regarding sub-sub divisions, that’s another thing the R&D lab is looking at. We’ve been attempting to put some of Nick Werth’s Rhythm of Conscience into the app and are discovering just what you’re talking about (check Nick’s page here). Thanks for the request – this one is a little more involved from a ui/ux perspective, but we’re on it.

    • Hey David, we’d love to. What makes it non-trivial is that we’re coding close to the machine (we need deep access to the clock for timing), so we can’t just port it. We’re going to have to re-write it from scratch. It’s definitely on our radar, but it’s also definitely a big job. We’ll keep you posted. Thanks for the note!

  31. Can you see the music as written in notes, or is it just the box things? I want something that I can see what I’ve written and not just hear it. I can’t tell if this does allow that or not.

  32. Can I see what I’ve written in note form, kinda like a score? It looks like you con only hear what you’ve written or just see it with the boxes.

  33. Hello, I have bought the MusicXMLExport, and upon opening a mxl file containing one of my works with musescore, I get an error saying that there are corruptions. After exiting the error notice, musescore proceeds to translate the file into music notation(It eventually works and does it’s job) but there are two major problems that I run into. The first problem is the when ever I click on a note that produces sound(any note that is not a rest), musescore crashes on me. This is a pretty big problem I am not able to make any changes to my work without clicking the notes. The Second problem is the tenors and basses are not being notated across the lines as it shows in the video. Instead, every note from the instruments just get placed onto the top line, and it appears as if it’s a snare drum. The weird thing is musecore recognizes that there are different notes being played on the bass and tenor, because when I play the sound back I can hear different pitched notes, yet all it shows is that everything is being played on note F of the treble clef. In the video, you are using musescore to open the file, so I’m curious as to why I’m experiencing these errors. Could you please help me out? I’ve been using enemble composer to brainstorm cadences for my highschool drumline for a while now, and exporting my works into a notation software would be great in oppose to rewriting the whole cadence. Thanks for reading! (I sent this comment earlier but I didn’t see it go through, so I’m not sure if I’m making a mistake resending.)

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