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3-against-24-against-36-against-48-against-6TribalGroovySwingyRestlessRejoice10/10Shaman CallShamansWar DrumExtremes Surprise!

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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.

Published by Stéphane on October 11th, 2013

User Stories

Write your own here. Click the blue bulletsto load associated settings.

  Funke beat: 2:3:4:5:6:8

  1-4-6 is what is used by Shamans in West Nepal and Tibet. Epic trance.

  This sounds pretty cool, like an intense beat for action movies!

  Kinda sounds like a tribal beat mixed with rain on a car??

  The 12345678910 polyrhythm sounds like a pendulum w/10 strings

  1 at full volume, 2 at -15dB, 4 at -2dB, 5 at -1dB and 10 at full volume is pure action music.

  This makes me angry without any reason.

  3:5:7:8 so fast

  This one is so energetic.

  1 and 6 all the way up and 5 at -16 dbfs sound like entering a enemy territory as captured spies.

  Again, 4 with 5 with 10 sounds great, like a chase scene, but add just ONE other beat and it hurts my ears.

  7:10, I’ve never heard this polyrhythm before.

  1, 3, and 7 all the way up and 2 and 5 halfway. Has a nice-ish noise/sound.

  2, 5 all the way up, 10 half way up has a good energy to it.

  1, 3, and 9 all the way up and 2 and 4 halfway up.

  Just 3:4. That's all. I would add 12 if they had that.

  5 at a quarter way through 6 at halfway 7 at three quarter way and 8, 9, and 10 at full volume sounds like a crowd clapping.

  The first 4 prime numbers, so no 2 sounds play at once.

  1-3-6-9 sounds like it'd be played in the background of a fire dance.

  When played at the right volumes, 1:-:10 sound amazing.

  It sounds like fireworks on the 4th of July.

  1-3-4-5-7-8-10 sounds like Someone On a Mission to Rob Something.

  A Subway Train passing over jointed track.

  Roblox characters running on metal 5-6-7

  1-2-3-9 Is fire...

  2:3:6:9 is very nice

  This is amazing! Great mechanics. This makes me think about boss battles in games.

  2:8, is like an adofai theme.

  The sense of the primitive, of senses numbed through the milennia, of what can be communicated through a simple or complex rhythm. The steady and relentless supporting the synchopated subdivisions. I'm not a drummer, but after 30 sesconds of this my body has at least 4 rhythms going on. Head, shoulders, torso, and legs. Hope you like.

  6:9 should be used in a chased scene.

  1:2:4:5:10 have some spaces where it sometimes almost plays 2 at once. is the new official sound that will play if a predator is near you.

  4, 5, 10 is an intense chase scene

  Pop music for when you are a witch brewing a potion and solution for a nasty curse someone put on you.

  Music for when a T-Rex is hunting you.

  1, 2, 4, 10 sounds like a great background beat for an intense fighting scene.

  4:6 sounds like Carol of the Bells but it's played by drums

  5-9 is legit fire

  All off them together is madness.

  1:3:6:8 sounds like running on drums

  Fibonacci is Everywhere

  4:10 is awesome

  This is calming and also intense at the same time.

  This is simply insane :)

  The 3:5:7:8 polyrhythm sounds like running away from a monster 10x larger than you in a dark hallway.

  7:10 is strangely terrifying.

  1-2-3-4-6. This in-between beat is invokes at once feelings of deep focus and suspense.

  Do 3:4:6 for Spain moment.

  Is it me or 1:3:5 kinda has a nice reggae vibe?

  2:3:9 sounds cool

  Love this! 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, 10 in a gradual volume curve

  4:3 sounds like spanish leitmotif and it's absolutely AMAZING!

  1:2:3:7 sounds cool

  Inspirational tool. Now I want to create a hardware version for modular synths!

  7 against 3 in 7/8


  2:3:6:9 tribal sound

  1:2:4:5:10 a faster paced tribal sound

  2:3:5:7 is the best in tribes, in my opinion. Very good.

  4:9 is used in Lunar Abyss by Lavchasse. Very good polyrhythm in my opinion ;)

  3:5:10 sounds very intense, like you're running away from something.

  2, 5 and 6 sounds like a epic boss battle

  1, 6, and 8 all at the loudest, 3 halfway, and 10 about 1/4 volume sounds really good.

  If you set all of the sliders to 0, you get a famous piece.

  This is very helpful when doing polyrhythms.

  1:2:3:4:5:6:7:8:9:10 sounds like falling down a staircase ;)

  1 as the loudest, 2 in middle, 5 in middle, 9 same as 2 and 5 and 10 the loudest gives like the Brazilian tampano's.

  Love seeing how versatile this one is. It can be used for literally any purpose, from the many war drum sounds creating the perfect atmosphere for writing fight scenes, to the single beat that somehow creates more suspense than anything else. Absolutely amazing.

  1-3-6-9, with 1 as the loudest, 6 with a bit over half the volume as 1, and both 3 & 9 a little quieter than 6 sounds like war drums.

  This setting + Anamnesis default setting = A groundbreaking novel / screenplay waiting to be written.

  3-4-6-8, with 4 the loudest, just sounds really intense, like if you're running away in a horror movie.

  2:3:4:5:10, sounds like the ultimate battle.

  2:4:6 sounds very tense and that 'du-da-dun' just ties it together!

  This setting of 1-3-4-6, with 1 louder, makes me feel happy and focused.

  This 1:2:3:5:7 pattern has a really pleasant feel. The 1:2 creates a nice solid foundation whilst the 3:5:7 creates a lovely skipping or running.

  This + 40 hz binaural beats really help me focus on repetitive tasks.

  2/5/9 feels nice. Like those war drums in The Return Of The King but faster.

  Sounds like every battle drum beat but I love it.

  2-3-6-9 makes me feel like I'm being attacked.

  I really like the juxtaposition on 2:3:7:9

  OK but please stop falling down the stairs.

  6/9 is so inspiring.

  4/5/10 is perfect.

  I find the combinations 2-5-10 and 3-5-10 to be pretty nice.

  So wonderful! High intensity. Helps me with schoolwork, especially on these settings or in animation.

  1-2-5, 1-2-7 and 1-2-9 are all good battle noises. Keep the 1 stronger than the other two though.

  5:9 feels really hasty - really fun rhythmic effect :)

  2:3:5 sounds surprisingly simple but is still really dreamy.

  1:3:9 is basically the rhythm cubed, so it creates a very interesting auditory effect.

  4:6:9 is where its at (its two different 2:3 polyrhythms "stacked")

  3-5-7 sounds like something falling down the stairs.

  Love this pattern generator, this setting gives a complex and uplifting rhythm.

  Came here for relaxing, but instead I am dancing.

  Really great interface for experimenting with polyrhythms! Wish I could control accents on the individual drums, as sometimes it is confusing where the 1 is! Thanks for this :-)

  This one is the longest one you can do. It only repeats ever 210 beats.

  1/2/9. This one sounds like something really important is about to happen in a movie.

  2-3-4-5-6 Best one!

  1/4/5/8 sounds awesome.

  Wow! This is very cool. Some of the more complex polyrhythms sound like tabla patterns.

  Great tool to learn more complex rhythms.

  The page is great and really easy to use, would recommend to anyone trying to gain a better understanding of rhythm!

  I'm practicing some Chopin these days, and he puts a 7:6 in a lick, and an extended implied 8:6 in another piece. So this metronome is awesome for getting that engrained in me!

  This is a wonderful tool, thanks for it! I would love a way to change which beats are accented for each number, i.e. you could click on 8 and a popup would appear that allowed you to choose to accent say beats 1 and 5 or 1, 4 and 7. Keep up the good work!

  This one sounds cool to me.

  Totaly honest here, 2 and 5 at max volume, 4 and 10 at about 75% volume. This sounds amazing.

  Lmao the person who said they have a smart child when they literally just put up all the sliders except one.

  I think I'll try to use this rhythm to make a song some time. I really like how simple this website is to use!

  This seems like a war preparation.

  I have a smart child and she made this! It's a 2\3\4\5\6\7\8!

  My only complaint is that I cant make the tempo go extremely high or extremely low but other than that this is perfection.

  2-4-6-8 Which website do we appreciate? myNoise! myNoise! Haha.

  Also useful for practicing on the piano. Like a tier up from a normal metronome.

  Keeps me at a steady pace.

  1 2 4 5 10

  I really like 3/7/10, Really unique feel.

  This generator can also be used for tuplets.

  The sound resembles popcorn popping.

  This is literally rain, try it lol!

  2-5-10 straight up Crash Bandicoot Vibes

  This is very useful for understanding and practicing polyrhythms. The African Trance generator is lovely, but definitely not the same at all; it is possible, with some fiddling, to run them both concurrently, giving a much more drum-based trance experience.

  Try with Canyon Drone. It is beautiful. It has taken me to my tribe again..

  Excellent for picturing signal drums in a story! Recommending especially: 2/3, 2/5, 3/4, 4/6, 6/9

  This sound like a tribal chant!

  Reminds me of knights galloping into battle, with the epic drummers close behind.

  3 5 7


  Bring them up one at a time and it sorta sounds like some sort of build up..

  Sounds jazzy and feels like pop at the same time.

  This sounds like a bunch of professional soldiers ordered to skip-march! Sounds a little silly and serious at the same time.

  These sounds vibrate along my head in a good way :D

  Strong 1 and lower with 7 and 8: seems like the time slows down...

  When I use 3 and 5, what does it sound like? (hint: think of the sounds you remembered as a 90's kid)

  Pair this with Huu Chant and Duduk Song. Makes it sound like an intimidating video game soundtrack.

  This and Implanted Memories together is great for focusing at work! Implanted Memories is calming, and the drums fit in so perfect as a "driving" energy!

  2 3 5 6 and 9 I found interesting

  Very interesting beat, easy to play over once you get 3 over 4 down.

  5 - 6 - 9

  2 on 3 on 5 on 7. Chaotic and solid at the same time.

  This 5 on 7 pattern has a surprisingly unified, easy-to-follow rhythm. Together, they hit almost all of the sixteenth notes!

  4, 5, 10 sounds super dope.

  Try 1, 3, 4, 6 and 8. Sounds good!

  1, 3, 4, 6, sounds nice tbh.

  I use this to practice my drumming. It is like having your drum circle.

  4/5 thing :)

  This one is extremely meditative for me-it fills up my whole head and is very relaxing.

  This one seems simple, but look closer.

  Playing around with the sliders for the 6 7's and 9's I came up with this Driving Rhythm, sounds like your in a Fast paced Race against time. Maybe a good workout tone to try...

  1 4 and 6 sounds like Carol of the Bells :D

  Great when paired w/ the fireplace. Sounds like they're dancing and beating drums around a fire pit.

  1, 3, and 4 -- sounds a little like 'Money' by Pink Floyd lol.

  Came here because Adam Neely, stayed here because of half an hour of uninterrupted fun.

  7:5 sounds nice.

  Try 4, 5, 10.

  1, 3, 5 and 7 go really well together. Must try!

  I like altering the beats until it works for me, catching enough of my 'distraction radar' to stop me form actually being distracted!

  Rush! Three, five and their multiples. This is exciting!

  Decapod Gallop: Frequencies increasing arithmetically by three, gives rise to a galloping 1:4:7:10 polyrhythm that is quite mesmerising. For a less insistent sound, lower the first slider a bit. Helps me focus :-)

  Simple yet addictive. Goes well with pads or melodies.

  This pattern sounds like a 2 against 4 against 8 rhythm, but it has subtleties to make it sound nice. Using this Rhythm with Marimbas helps me focus.

  Listen closely. There's a lot of really cool subtleties going on in this 5-against-2.

  This is ceremonial.

  Three drums, beating in 3, 5 and 7, will keep your hands, head and feet moving independently but together - a lovely way to loosen up :-)

  War Drums!

  It's like happy walking to me.

  When first heard it sounds like a 1 2 & 3 rhythm, but listen closely and there's a whole host of other stuff going on (because of drums 4, 5, 7). Really encourages you to focus!

  This one sounds almost Native American.

  When I need to focus and do really detailed work, I add this to a more "chill" soundscape. It adds some forward motion and changes the mood from "mellow and relaxed" to "do all the things without getting frantic."

  I combine it with Bilateral Harmonics for work and it's very brain stimulating :)

  This is what we used to call 'a long walk'.

  Sounds intense. I'm not sure what situation it fits in, but it's definitely not calm.

  It's like the perfect rhythm for a hunt or chase scene.

  Really useful for song maker. Helps visualize poly-rhythms. This is defs something I am using on my next album.

  This one sounds like an epic movie.

  Twisted dance--helps me to do maths and dance.

  This feels like a chase scene on a nature documentary and it's awesome!

  ← How 'bout this?

  This is one of my all-time faves to combine with any others. Thank you so much for making these available! I will donate again soon. :) Cheers!

  I think this is my favorite, just put in on in the default setting at work or home, keeps me focussed but in a flow. Absolutely gorgeous with singing bowls, sliders on animate.

  Sounds interesting and different from what I usually listened to.

  It feels like I'm running away from something in a suspense-action film.

  This sounds intense!

  Breathe slowly & deeply, while listening.

  This sounds so intense, like running from a wild animal!

  When I have a migraine and regular music feels too strong and high pitched, this quick and simple beat seems to really help relax my mind.

  ← These settings remind me of the march of an army. It feels very active.

  I used one of the presets mentioned here and combined it with Canyon. While Canyon gives peace and cuts out external noise African rhythm doesn't allow me to space out. Perfect for work and helps to avoid overwhelm when I have a pile of things to do! Thanks a lot.

  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.


  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.


  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...


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