I have just embarked on creating a new accredited course for accessible singing leaders. This exciting new venture aims to
formalise, formally recognise & quality assure Accessible Singing Leaders’ training & development
afford more in depth training than Drake Music is currently able to offer
boost the reputation and ‘standing’ of Accessible Singing
enable Drake Music to attract more people to Accessible Singing & spread good practise more widely
Looking into creating the course has led me to revisit the fact that I am yet to find the ideal iPad app for use in accessible singing. The ideal app would allow you to:
- record/import a sound and play it back using the touchscreen
- save the sound(s) for use next time
- store and play back more than one sound (the more the better)
And hopefully enables you to:
- play / make music with the biggest possible area of the touchscreen
- change the look of the ‘buttons’ containing the sounds e.g. change colour / add text / add pic or symbol
- configure the interface i.e. change the size of the buttons which contain the sounds, change how many sounds are on a page etc a bit like Touch OSC. This aspect is key to the accessibility of the app and is so far the hardest box to tick
- send audio not only out of the built in speakers on the iPad but also via bluetooth (good for wirelessly connecting the iPad to an amplifier for better sound quality – not essential).
I have found a few apps which tick some of these boxes:
iMaschine allows you to input your own sounds and recall them next time but has a complex grid of 16 buttons which are always orange and set in size and shape
Touch OSC The interface is completely configurable which is amazing, but you need to use Touch OSC by connecting the iPad to a computer via a wifi network. I have used this with a mac running Ableton Live. However, we need a ‘stand alone’ app which we can recommend to schools and which will be easy to use for school staff
Garageband has a built in sampler which can playback one sound. Only a small proportion of the screen is ‘playable’
Any suggestions? The best option might not be for music – it could be for communication or something else. Many sampler apps I have found only play back one sound and it’s often hard to play them in their original ‘unwarped’ state which is what we would need most of the time. I guess the answer ight be like a combination of the adaptable interface of Touch OSC Editor and the audio playback of iMaschine (but with bluetooth capability).
Any help much appreciated, please pass this on to anyone who might have a suggestion!