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Dr Rhythm Interface Explained

23 Dec

Here’s a diagram that explains all the buttons on the Dr Rhythm main music screen. Hopefully most of the buttons are self explanatory, but just in case here they are all labelled.

There are only simple music editing capabilities. You can delete the last entered note/rest or you can clear the whole of the current sequence.

Access to saved patterns is through the Stop button when the current music pattern is stopped. The button will display three horizontal black lines when access is available. This is the same method used by Apples built-in audio notes recorder.

The information button provides access to the sound picker, sound level mixer, help and support links.

 
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Music Rhythm Notation App – Dr Rhythm

21 Dec

I’m pleased to announce the arrival of a new iPhone App – Dr Rhythm, available in iTunes now. Dr Rhythm allows you to hear and see the rhythm of written music. Tap in music from sheet music or score and watch Dr Rhythm show you the currently playing note or rest and hear the rhythm at the same time.

Main Dr Rhythm music screen


As your pattern is being played and you hear the rhythm, Dr Rhythm allows you to follow the current note or rest by highlighting it on the display so that you can see its contribution to the rhythm.

Change playback speed, time signature and playback instrument as the pattern plays. Playing with the app builds a solid sound memory for music notation patterns, increasing your sight reading abilities as you play and have fun!

Use Dr Rhythm as a sophisticated music notation based metronome – you can program exactly the rhythmic sequence you wish. Drummers and percussionists can produce music notation based ‘click tracks’.

Come across a tricky rhythm in a bar as you’re reading some music? Let Dr Rhythm show you how it’s supposed to sound. Tap it in, listen and then play along! Hear and see how the rhythm of written sheet or score music should sound.

Have fun building your own rhythmic patterns, this will rapidly increase your music sight reading skills.

Feature List:
. Enter note and rest values from half note (minim) to thirty-second note (demisemiquaver).
. Enter triplets, dotted and tied notes.
. Display music on a neutral stave/staff or a percussion line.
. Music auto scrolls during playback.
. Playback speed is from 0 to 299 Beats per Minute (BPM).
. Time Signature supports beats per bar from 2 to 16 and beat values from 2 (half note/minim) to 16 (thirty-second note/demisemiquaver).
. Sound Picker – Choose from dozens of sounds to assign to the metronome and pattern playback.
. Sound Mixer – Pattern, metronome ticks and accents and phone volume controls.
. Play patterns through Apple TV via AirPlay!
. Patterns can be saved for later playback.
. Patterns are saved in MIDI file format for import into Sequencers and other music applications.
. Share your patterns via iTunes file sharing, email or a web browser as Dr Rhythm has a built-in web server.

. Hear how the rhythm of written sheet or score music should sound. Tap it in and listen!
. Sophisticated music notation based metronome – you can program exactly the rhythmic sequence you wish.
. Rhythm designer – percussionists can create new patterns while on the go.
. Have fun building your own rhythmic patterns.

 
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Midi recording With Magic Stave

16 Sep

One of the features that Magic Stave has is the ability to record what you play and turn it into a midi file. This is useful for a number of reasons. Import the file into a music sequencer such as Logic and you’ll be able to:

  • Display the file in many formats – piano roll, music notation etc
  • Play the file back on an instrument of your choice. So, for example, sing a guitar riff into Magic Stave, import the resulting midi file into Logic and then play back the file with your favourite guitar sound. In this way you could sing all the parts for a complete composition! Perhaps not the drums though! :-)

Now, I know quite a few of you will know what a midi file is, but I’m guessing that quite a few won’t so just in case you were wondering… A midi (stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface) file is a recording of your performance rather than the sound you generate from an instrument. So, for example, in Magic Stave, for a piano it is recording what note you played, when you pressed and released a key.

Below is a link to a YouTube video of Magic Stave recording some midi and it being displayed in Logic:

 
 

mi light LED flashlight for iPhone 4

14 Jul

I’ve developed a free new App called “mi light” that turns the iPhone 4 LED into a handy flashlight. It’s super easy to use. The whole screen is the button that controls the light (except an area at the top where the iAds appear). In this way if you’re in the dark before the light is on its super easy to activate. There’s three modes to control the light. The first mode is Tap where tapping the screen switches the light on/off. The second mode is Press where the light is only on where a finger is pressed on the screen, lift your finger and the light is off and the third is Strobe, very cool :-). The strobe has a maximum frequency of 10Hz. Here’s some screenshots:

 
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New Version of “mi mic audio recorder” available

26 Jun

After a long gestation period, extended by iOS 4 and iPhone 4 arrivals our audio recording App ‘mi mic’ is finally available. This is a major upgrade to the App that includes the following new features:

  • iOS Support, both play and record audio in the background
  • Headset control of playback – play/pause and next/prev track the same as iPod music controls
  • iTunes file sharing
  • Send recordings via FTP
  • Vibration feedback for start/stop and pause/resume
  • New suite of graphical configuration settings screens
  • Retina Display high resolution image support

iOS background execution support means that mi mic can now provide the same recording and playback functionality that Apples built-in recorder does. Start playing your recording then switch to Mail or Safari and continue to listen to it. Similarly with recording, start to record then switch to other apps as required and then back to mi mic to save it.

iTunes file sharing brings a really simple way to get your recordings off the iPhone if you’re running version 3.2 or higher. When your iPhone is connected to iTunes via its cable click on your phones icon in the iTunes sidebar and then the App tab. Underneath the Apps configuration dialogue is a section that lists all of your Apps that share their files via iTunes and mi mic will appear there. Simply select the files you want to transfer and click the save as… button to store on your mac or PC.

mi mic can now FTP your recordings to a remote FTP Server if required. This is useful in quite a few situations including corporate environments. FTP Server settings are configured through the iPhone Settings App and they appear beneath the existing email settings.

I’ve had requests to add vibration feedback whenever mi mic pauses or resumes. This has been added in addition to the existing vibration feedback when recording starts and stops. Some users need to know when audio volume rises above a configured level without looking at the iPhone screen. This allows them to monitor how loud a particular environment is (or how loud they are talking) discretely.

The configuration screens have been updated to enable the extended settings to be access without excessive scrolling and to make them more consistent with Apple UI standards. Here’s a small sample of the new look:

mi mic settings

mi mic configuration settings

I hope existing mi mic users find the new feaures useful and recommend to their friends!

 

Automatic Key Signature Detection comes to Magic Stave

02 May

I’ve just uploaded a new version of Magic Stave to Apple that has a nifty new feature – Automatic recognition of key signatures. I’m pleased with this new feature as it allows singers in particular to find out what key they’re singing in. Magic Stave compares all new notes with the current key signature and if the newest note doesn’t match it then it searches all key signatures for the best match (in circle of fifths order – majors then minors). There’s a new switch on the main music display view to toggle this on and off: You can also switch this on/off via the main Key Signatures configuration page. The main music display view had to be slightly reorganised to accommodate the extra switch too:

The new update will probably be approved by Apple within the next few days so watch out for it! Hope you like. I’m going to focus my attention on improving the MIDI recording capability for non-fixed pitch instruments next – singers and guitars will hopefully get more accurate MIDI recordings.

 
 

Note Letters View added to Magic Stave

23 Apr

I’ve added a user requested feature to display note letters rather than just a note symbol on the stave. There’s a switch to flip between symbols and letters on the configuration view (just rotate app to portrait to switch to this view). Now I’ve added it I can’t believe I didn’t add it long ago! It really will help users who’re learning to read music. Thanks to Gwynn for your excellent suggestion! This update is free to all existing Magic Stave owners and will be available shortly once Apple Reviews give the go ahead! This shouldn’t be too long as the review turnaround times have been excellent in recent months. Here’s a screenshot of the letters view:

Magic Stave Note Letters View

 
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Note History comes to Magic Stave

09 Apr

There’s a new version of Magic Stave submitted to Apple that should be available within a few days that displays a history of detected notes. I had to reorganise the screen to increase the space for the Stave to accommodate as many notes as possible. It now looks like this:

The history notes are displayed in grey and the last detected note in black. Oldest notes are on the left with the latest detected note on the far right. There’s a switch on the settings screen (just rotate the app to portrait position) to revert the display to a single note if required. I’ve not gone the ‘whole hog’ and added full musical interpretation of note durations yet as this is a huge amount of work to fully implement and results can be very poor. I’m happy with the current implementation as it’s it’s been relatively straight forward to write and does add quite a bit of value to App. I enjoy seeing note patterns emerging of songs I’m singing or playing. If you change key signature (by tapping its name in the top right corner of the main music display) the notes in the history are all updated to reflect the new key signature. This is useful to find out the key in which your curently singing as you can flick through the keys rapidly and find the one that minimises the number of accidentals on the notes and that’s highly likely to be the key you’re singing in!

 
 

Magic Stave Version 1.1.2 in Review with Apple

31 Mar

Latest version of Magic Stave is with Apple now and should be available within a few days. The two main enhancements are a brand new Cent Tuning Meter. I’ve made the numeric cent value clearer and given the whole meter a more 3 dimensional look making it more consistent with the rest of the buttons and controls.
The second update will only be apparent to owners of first generation iPhones. I’d accidentally introduced a bug that meant that note recognition was either not working at all or very unreliable. The problem is that 1st generation iPhones have reduced hardware sampling capabilities (8Khz) to 3G and 3GS iPhones (44.1KHz) and this needed to be taken into account properly. Anyway all fixed now and the performance of Magic Stave on a 1st generation iPhone is quite comparable to 3G & 3GS phones.
Now back to the prototyping the scrolling stave…

 
 

Magic Stave 1.1.1 Upgrade With Apple Review Team Now

23 Mar

Another upgrade to Magic Stave will be available very shortly. I’ve added a couple of features that users have requested. The first one is a graphical Cent Tuning Meter. Instead of a numeric readout of the current Cent value there’s a simple meter that gives a quick visual indication of how sharp or flat the currently detected note is. I hope folks prefer it.

The second feature upgrade is the ability to access recordings on the phone from a browser on your desktop computer. Depending on your browser and it’s plugins you’ll be able to either just click a recording to hear it via a midi player plugin (QuickTime in Safari for example) or ‘right-click’ it to copy it and play it with your favourite sequencer application that can import midi files. To access this feature go to the midi files list via the Midi Recording recordings list button on the main music display then press the Wifi Sync button in the top right corner of the screen. This will then display a URL that you must type into your browser to access your recordings.

 
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