Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Technology Tuesday

This week’s Technology Tuesday is another installation of Chris’s Corner, brought to us by Imagine! Technology Specialist Chris Baumgart. We’ve already shared ways that Imagine! is using technology to help individuals we serve make beautiful music on their own. Today, Chris talks about the next step he’s exploring: how to use multiple iPads to make the experience of creating music more interactive among several musicians. 

Chris’s Corner 

Welcome back, fellow Corner-ians! At the beginning of the year, we showed you some of the amazing adaptations you can make to an orchestral setting using MIDI technology. If you missed that post, have no fear! You can simply check it out here!

Not to give too much away, but we’re just now beginning to take this one step further. By capturing MIDI signals sent over a WiFi network, we are now turning iPads into accessible musical instruments. Depicted below, you will see a couple of participants, including our good friend Robert, using iPads as instruments that feed into the live mix.

The app depicted above is a free app (Fiddlewax Blue) which allows individuals to either play the instrument locally (choosing from all types of instruments, guitar, piano, etc.), or to enable MIDI output so that the user can play as a member of a group (band, orchestra, jam session, etc.). But this app also has its limitations. The layout can’t be changed, and for some users, there may simply be too many options. We started working with a different paid app (Beatsurfing) which allows us a fully customizable layout (pictured below).
Now, instruments can range anywhere from the simple:

To the slightly more complex:

To the outright chaotic:

Quickly and easily depending on each individual’s needs, target skills, and/or preferences. Haven’t seen enough yet? Check out this demo video! (Please note: If you must critique on the musical content of the video, please do so gently, for I do not consider myself a musician by any means). Enjoy! And, as always, stay tuned for more to come!

Can’t see the video? Click here.

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