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African Trance
Polyrhythm Beat Generator
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Their Secret? Polyrhythms.

A rhythm is the reoccurrence of a beat, and a polyrhythm is the combination of two or more rhythms. But here is the clever bit: in a polyrhythm, one reoccurring rhythm should not derive from the other! For example, 3 evenly-spaced beats against 2, 4-against-3, and 5-against-3 are common polyrhythms, but 4-against-2 is not, because two divides four.

Assuming each individual drummer plays a simple reoccurring beat, a complex polyrhythmic pattern will emerge from the group as a whole. This is what our generator simulates online.

Polyrhythms are the generating principle behind many sub-Saharan African music styles. By constantly balancing the listener's attention between the individual beats and the ever-changing resulting pattern, polyrhythms offer a strong hypnotic character and can induce a trance after a prolonged period of listening.

Testimonials - write yours here

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  Wow. I'm sick at home but listening to this with Distant Thunder makes me feel like I could do anything.

  I can hear the 3, 5, or 7 subdivision in this setting. It mainly sounds like a groove in 5 to my ear.

  I play this one with Didgeridrone when I need to actively focus on something for an extended time. Highly recommend!

  1 2 3 and Azerbaijan + Australia from Planet earth give perfect sound kit for a tribal ritual.

  I feel this one makes me happy, and in general sounds real good :)

  This is a great tool to help practice with playing polyrhythms! 5 4 3 has been giving me a lot of trouble, but now with this, I can hear and play the rhythms clearly!

  Shamanic ritual & war dance vibes. Badass groove for fighting spirits.

  Powerful and strangely erotic.

  I use this one when playing Chivalry on Steam... This beat keeps me amped.

  Animated, this swings through several beautiful, driving rhythms alternating with calm meditative ones. I've been using it in conjunction with RPG Elements. It is truly amazing how much the texture changes as the five rhythms ebb and flow. I have been using it as a background for writing, for working out, and for meditating, and somehow works well for all those disparate things.

  Reading the end of David Lindsay's A Voyage to Arcturus, I thought how fitting it would be if I listened to 4 and 2 on this generator to mimic Surtur's drumlike beat. It added a pounding severity to the experience of that imaginative and revelatory ending.

  Very nice beat going on here. Sounds like an fight or chase scene.

  1+2+9 with the Folk Tradition Flutes, particularly with the FT set to vary over time, it just transports me to another place entirely! -E-

  A lot of the recommended settings talk about battle music, if you want to hear real battle music use this and do the heavieness setting on Electric Guitar Mashup. Add Siren song and turn up slider 7 to add some epic fantasy vocals!

  I really like this tribal beat...

  1+2+4+5+10 with a little 8 is great! I've probably spent too much time here... back to work! Thanks.

  I can use this for compositional ideas!

  ← I just like the way this set talks like it needs 90 seconds to tell the story.

  This setting combined with Isochronic Brainwave Generator set to 'relaxed' creates a fantastic platform for out of the box percussion practice - I play and teach percussion and hand drumming and the many colliding rhythms paradoxically sets me free of rhythmical constraints and enables a really liberated practice - Like a rhythmical meditation with the brain and hands set free to wander and create.

  1-(2)-3-(4)-(6) is really nice and interesting :)

  Oh my goodness, this is PERFECT for my trance journey and meditation needs! I must share this! -E-

  Haha, this is a fun one! Feels like going on a dangerous hunt with this preset...

  This blends with all other sound generators nicely. What a way to induce trance! Absolutely love it.

  Wow I love this one. <3. I suggest 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 all together at the same volume.

  This sounds almost like a bodhran doing a 4/4.

  So here I am, studying for my accounting final... at the same time here I am facing my own mind in glorious battle. That should keep the ADD busy while I study... Paired with Tibetan Sprit (Low in Altitude).

  Playing this with the Shepard rising tone is a great way to build up tension, infinitely...

  Basically, the African Trance is the perfect backbeat for any of the other sounds on this site. It makes any other soundscape ten times more intense and powerful, instantly.

  Now this is a BEAT so energetic and exciting; my BRAIN is DANCING!

  Intense enough to keep you calm, yet energetic and focused.

  I can't believe how amazingly it works together with circular breeze. Because both are very different soundscapes, but amazingly they help me focus in way that I have never been able to do before. Its insanely amazing.

  This rhthym sounds like war has begun. Helps me be more focused.

  Play this with Himalayan Voices, Tibetan Choir, and Temple Bells, and you will forget where you are.

  Very energetic for me, keeps focus.

  Makes me feel that I am escaping a village and into the jungle!

  The fight has begun.

  Sounds like a hunt is on.

  Polyrhythm with Didgeridrone on animate creates a energetic combination!

  Most of the time when I'm trying to concentrate on math, noise generators of any kind drive me crazy. But this one is really helpful; something about the intensity keeps up with my mood when I feel frustrated, and keeping it on animate keeps it from getting to repetitive--there's always a slightly different rhythm rising to the top. Thank you very much for this!

  10/10, animate, plus the Tibetan Choir drone generator.. A feast for the ears! Very inspiring when I need something dynamic and primal to fuel me.

  I want this to be played at my funeral so no one has the chance to be sad.

  This is really intense! LOVE IT.

  Takes me back to my days of djembe drumming in a circle. There was always a certain point in drumming where you almost left your sense of a body behind as you became ingrained into the rhythm. The tricky part was that as soon you became aware of this, the rhythm completely left you! Djembe drumming is so much more than just hitting a drum.

  It sounds like a tribal festival and it's super relaxing! Love it!

  I personally used the African Trance along side Indian Drone and just set both of them to animate. I really suggest trying to put two Noise Machines together. It's a lot of fun!

  The heart of battle against an admirable foe of logic and ever-changing specifications. This is my war song: keyboard warriors unite! Pair this with Digeridrone and Tibetan Choir for the ultimate in ambiance.

  Makes me feel like I'm about to ride into battle...

  I really like this on animate. The inconsistency helps with my ADHD during really stressful days and gives me something to focus on.

  A variation on the 1-3-6-9 pattern below. While this helps me focus, it's also hard to stop tapping along with my pen/pencil to add additional rhythms over the top.

  Hypnotizing!

  This is great. :D

  Dunno why but makes me think of 'Carol of the Bells'

  10/10 would listen

  Inspiring and majestic

  African Transe drums over Three Friends of Winter somehow reminds me of Firefly's soundtrack - dynamic yet subtle, good for a long day of coding.

  I like how this sounds. I've got it on a Fibonacci sequence of 1, 2, 3, 5, and 8... then animate it! It drowns out the distracting conversations and keeps me from falling asleep as I work :-)

  Jovial but unhurried, drums to add a little dance to your day!

  This is so simple but so gorgeous to listen to.

  This what I listen to to get me in the mood for basketball

  Reminiscent of Halo's combat vibes

  Simply beautiful, it calms me so much when I'm having a stressful day.

  I love to layer this with quiet brook in water stream - makes me think of horses galloping alongside a rushing river.

  I like putting this and Winter Walk (using only the stream and birds) and writing books.

  This polyrhythm is fun because it mixes two different 3-over-2 beats. If you concentrate, you can hear either the slower (6-over-4) or the faster (9-over-6) beat. The challenge is: Can you hear both of them, at the same time?

  &karr; This is what I expected to hear when I clicked on the war drum preset

  This one is my favorite

  ← 2-4-5-10 has a nice groove

  ← This is great; 2 on 3 with a syncopating backbeat.

  This with the binaural beat generator (lethargic 1 hz) setting with volume cranked up to max on the beat is great

  My favorite "incessant and compelling" beat in order to focus - Layering "African Trance" in 2 to 3 separate tabs. Works well (for me) using the same 'Groovy' preset in each tab and setting each tab at a different volume. You can play with the synchronization by restarting one of the players. Note: using Chrome.

  Just the default pattern along with the Canyon Drone and Wind Noise makes me feel like I should be sitting out on the edge of the Grand Canyon watching the clouds roll by.

  Maasai beat that's use in mating ceremonies

  Like fireworks almost.

  This is probably not in the spirit of the generator - it's a 2-4-8 rhythm combination - but I find it grounding and steadying, and it helps put the chaos in my head in order.

  It's like an endless loop out of something you could hear on Battlestar Galactica. Perfect for chilling out or just on the background while playing games or somesuch, gets you in the zone.

  This arrangement sounds amazing! It feels like the pounding of someones footsteps running from something or someone. I can practically see the way the camera zooms up close to the characters face as he bolts through the forest floor.

  African death-robot march :D

  I love this generator! It allows me to create such a vast spectrum of music! This one sounds like hundreds of people slowly marching to battle, or maybe panning around a treacherous terrain that the characters have to cross.

  I think this beat sounds familiar, like a sort of hunting sound.

  You enter the tower and the ages old stone construct smash's threw the wall.. with eyes of flame and claws of gold. Fight for your life.

  Variations of rhythm.

  This sound is catchy.

  Very spirited serious drumming.

  I totally feel the heat of Africa... This is amazing...

 Wow. Just... wow. Catchy and fun

  This really helps bring me back to the present from bad memories and the rhythm keeps me present.

  Epic hunt-like beat - enjoy :P

  Raining drums! Relaxing and exciting at the same time

  ← party crasher because at some point it sounds like it gets dark

  I find this noise particularly relaxing. The interactions between the sounds are so interesting, yet calming.

  Reminding of a horse or tribal judgement. Good for trance too.

  This is a trance beat i did not found on the other presets. Greetings from Brazil. Cool noise generators by the way. I really enjoy this experience.

  Very interesting beat, I like it alot! Very lovely work you've done with this.

  Really great beats! Soothing, simple, but interesting enough to keep my mind occupied, or relaxed, or whatever I need.

  While the settings produce a relatively simple sound, there's something profound about the interaction of the beats -- like the feeling of a storm brewing, or something big about to happen. For so simple a setting, it's remarkably intense.

  Concentration

  A fast, continuous yet somewhat complex beat... instantly brings me into the shoes of a running hunter. Relaxing in a way. -R.A

  Totally reminded me of LOZ!

  When a noise like that start in a video game, you know you're screwd...

  Bongo!

  This setting makes me feel like I running form something really bad. In other words i feel epic

Current Slider Settings

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Clone as Minified Player
Order as an Audio file    

Presets

3-against-2 • 4-against-3 • 6-against-4 • 8-against-6 • Tribal • Groovy • Swingy • Restless • Rejoice • 10/10 • Shaman Call • Shamans • War Drum • Extremes

Random

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Animation Control

Start A B C

Usage

Each slider controls a particular rhythm: the first slider sets the downbeat reference, the second slider plays twice as fast, the third, three times as fast, the fourth, four times, ... up to the last slider, ten times as fast.

Depending upon your browser and computer performance, timing drifts may occur after a while. If you are interested in a perfect recreation of a given polyrhythm over a long period of time, consider purchasing the audio file version made from your own settings (see link on the top of this page).