Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Technology Tuesday

This week’s Technology Tuesday is another exciting edition of “Chris’s Corner,” featuring a musical update from Chris Baumgart, Imagine!’s Assistive Technology Specialist. 

Chris’s Corner
Down on the corner, out in the street

Welcome back, fellow Corner-ians!

When last we checked in over at Imagine!'s CORE/labor Source department, we were reviewing their MIDI over WiFi setups that allow class participants to use iPads as musical instruments. If you missed any of those previous posts, you can follow up by clicking any of the links below:

Using an iPad to DJ

MIDI over WiFi

MIDI Overview

The newest development in the MIDI over Wifi setup is this: In addition to using iPads as musical instruments, people can also use tablets or their SmartPhones as remotes to control the setup. Essentially, anyone on the Wireless Network has a portable mixer at their fingertips! This is exciting for many reasons, the ‘Wow this is super cool’ factor being just one of them. More than the ‘cool’ factor, this tool also allows instructors to work with participants directly to promote a cooperative experience.

For example, when one participant is really engaged in using an instrument, an instructor can solo that instrument immediately by increasing the volume for that channel, then blending the levels once more when the solo is finished. This also allows instructors to fine tune the mix on-the-fly.

Additionally, if there are multiple instructors using multiple remotes, any changes made by one remote are reflected onto all other remotes on the network simultaneously. The app that makes all of this possible is called TouchOSC, and is available for iOS or Android devices. If you’d like more information on the TouchOSC app, or how to use it, follow this link.

Pictured below are two instructors, each featuring a participant’s solo during an adaptive orchestra class.

Since these original photos were taken, I’ve made a few upgrades to the remote we’re using. Now each remote is equipped with volume faders for up to 7 channels, Equalizer knobs for each channel, master volume, and buttons to transpose all instruments into the same key. The new board looks like this:

Check out this video, which demonstrates all of these tools in action!

Can’t see the video? Click here
And, as always, stay tuned, Corner-ians!

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