It’s the end of a 20 year era! I have just discontinued my software Rhythm Rascal

The Rhythm Rascal

Rhythm Rascal is a side project I started in 2003. It is a software sampler drum machine. At that time, there were not too many good options for building complex drum patterns, especially for doing mixed meter and tempo changes. So I created it as an excercise in the newly released .NET Framework. My biggest design goal was to make a drum machine which could be used to create patterns of arbitrary tempos, lengths, and subdivisions of the beat. (E.g. you want to make 11 beats, each with quintuplet subdivisions? No problem!)
It may not always be very musical, but the program let you do just about whatever you wanted, as long as the total number of hits stayed within the limits of the underlying data structures.

Initially I wrote the software for myself, then started letting my bandmates use it. Then after a few months, I decided to formalize it and make a shareware project with it. I created a website (this was the early days of the web, so a static website was the norm!), registered a domain, and off we went! Over the span of several years, I made several releases with incremental updates. I acrued several hundred registered users of the software!

Fast forward 20 years and now there are so many great software packages available, RR simply is not the best tool for the job anymore. Additionally, the .NET Framework is no longer getting any active updates, along with some of the other supporting technology, which means further development would require a great deal of effort to port to a new tech stack. It just does not make sense for me to maintain this app any further.

Registered Users

So, new registrations are no longer accepted. Any users who have already registered, feel free to contact me and I will try to help with any issues. However, I am no longer making code changes to the software.

What Drum Software To Use?

I stopped using RR as my go-to beat creator probably around 2018 or 2019.
I have tried a few other packages. Some I like:

What I Gained From Rhythm Rascal

This project was such a journey! Although I never made enough money from it to make a profitable business, that was never the goal. With this side project, I gained experience in the full lifecycle of a software project…. from ideation, requirements, design, coding, testing, maintenance, advertising, website design and administration, domain registration, customer support, and more.
As for the coding, I had to quickly come up to speed on many diverse topics, such as audio signal processing, UI development, Windows API, DirectX, and so many areas I had not previously worked with. I feel that really pushed me forward as a developer, as well as a student of music.

Wrapping Up

It has been a great 20 year long project, but I am ready to let it sail off into the sunset at this point. I plan to keep the website up (sans registration links), and the software downloads will remain available for the remainder of my domain registration and website hosting.

I am quite proud of the ol’ Rascal and will remember it fondly with all the lessons I’ve learned along the way! So many interesting and valuable experiences came from this endeavor.

Farewell Rhythm Rascal!