Bounce on Lyrics

Bounce Metronome Feature:
Pro Version Only

Youtube Video

Shows a ball bouncing on the lyrics of Hush, little baby, as for the Song Car Tunes in early movies.

What is it?

Ball bounces on lyrics Karaoke-style.

What can you do?.

Enter your lyrics and use them with any of the metronome rhythms. The program comes with nursery rhymes (mainly) as examples - because they are public domain, many people know them, and there is a long history of fascination of composers with nursery rhymes.

You can't yet synchronise the visuals with a pre-recorded audio file though. This should be possible in the near future.


Youtube Video

Shows a ball bouncing on the lyrics of Old King Cole, as for the Song Car Tunes in early movies.

More Bounce on Lyrics Videos

Where do I find it in Bounce Metronome:

Pick ‘Bounce on Lyrics’  from the drop-down list in the main window.

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Lyrics for Hush -a -bye, baby.

Hush -a -bye, baby,
On the tree top.
When the wind blows,
The cradle will rock.

When the bough breaks,
The cradle will fall,
Down tumbles baby,
cradle and all.

This is the original version of the song from Mother Goose's Melody.

Here is how you edit them to make the video:

~ ~ 
Hush_-a_-bye, baby,
On _the _tree top.
When_ the_wind blows, _
The cradle__ will rock. 
When_ the_ bough breaks, _
The cradle_ will fall, 
Down_ tumbles baby,
Basically, all you have to do is to put an underscore _ between any words that are sung on the same beat. You use a tilda ~ for beats that aren't sung, so here I have just done a couple of introductory beats to get you started.
So - it is easy to put your own lyrics into the program and get the ball to bounce on them too.
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Song Car Tunes

This technique was used in the "Car tunes" movies in the late 1920s - towards the end of the silent movies era and for the first movies with sound. The ball bouncing on the lyrics helped the audience to sing along with the movie. 

It was first introduced for the song "My bonnie lies over the ocean" in 1925. In the earliest films the ball itself wasn't animated, instead they filmed a ball which was bounced on the lyrics by an assistant in the studio. See Bouncing Ball (wikipedia).

Bounce Metronome has a few extra refinements to help you keep in time

The shadow helps you to anticipate the next beat exactly. The red highlight shows the word to sing right now, and the next word to sing is highlighted in blue.

The metronome plays the beats of the rhythm as the ball bounces. Sadly, it can't yet play the tune, though this is in the wish list for the future.

Background Info on Song Car Tunes

"It's interesting to note that originally this series wasn't animated at all. Instead the words were painted onto a large drum. Standing above the drum with a white ball on a long black stick would be a man who would move the ball over the appropriate word in time with the song. The film would then be processed and reprocessed as a negative image until it appeared as if this ball was bouncing from word to word." Max Fleischer's Achievements (includes section on the Song Car Tunes)

Animated Films Early History (to help put it in context).

Orphan Toon Musings–”Follow The Ball”: Max Fleischer’s Forgotten Sound Cartoons


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You can also add chords to the bounce like this

Youtube Video

Shows a ball bouncing on the lyrics of Greensleeves with chords accompaniment.

You can enter the chords you want to accompany the beats as text using normal chord notation e.g. Am7 or whatever. See Chords


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Who is it for?

Of particular interest to these musicians: Song writers. Anyone who wants to show a ball bouncing on lyrics to help singers sing along with the rhythm.

Because it can't synchronise with pre-recorded music, it is no substitute yet for a karaoke-style software, but watch this space...

What to do if you need the bounce syncrhonised with your singing or music right now

If you want a video of the ball bouncing on lyrics in time with a short recording, and need one soon, I may be able to help.

It is quite a laborious process at the moment, and a bit hard to explain how to do it. So not yet ready for release. But I can do one by hand for about $30 with the beta of the software. 

Or, wait a while and you'll be able to do it yourself with a future update. I know at least some of what needs to be done, and the things I haven't yet worked out seem quite feasible, shouldn't take that much work to make it a fair bit easier to use.

Details of how it will work

Basically what I will do is make it so that you get a display of the audio recording. It is fairly easy to see the start of the notes of interest, and then you click at the start of the word for each word you want the bounce to land on.

That is basically all that the software needs to know - when in the recording to bounce for each beat, to synchronise the sound with the lyrics. For instance with "Hush -a -bye Baby", you will need to do two clicks on the waveform, for each verse of the song, so not really that much work involved in making it, and after that the software will remember where in the recording to do each bounce.

You can do that already in the beta, but need to do various refinements to make the software easier and more straightforward to use. Also with fewer steps or combining steps, and automating anything that can be automated. As it is now in the beta, you have to press quite a few buttons, and click on things, and move between one window and another to do the job.

The upgrade isn't hard really, mainly routine, just takes time and also some time for planning and thinking about it - and I haven't had the time to do it yet.

Do let me know if you are interested in this feature as if there is enough interest, I can prioritise it to complete it more quickly.

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For the future

In the near future I hope to add an option to get the rhythm from a recording by clicking at the start of each beat on the audio presented visually.

You will then be able to show these bounce on lyrics animations with any recording with a bit of preparation going through the recording to click on the start of every word you want to bounce on.

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