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A Day of Discovery For Beat This

A Day of Discovery For Beat This

It was on an increasingly yellow/brown Thursday morning that 3 members of the Beat This team set out for the respectable city of Norwich as delegates attending the annual Music Technology Conference, hosted by Music Leader.

Our mission: To find out how and what technology can be utilised in different and innovative ways to help children and young people discover and create music themselves, and to see some of the wonderful new technology that is available today.

The day comprised of an introductory session, with some enlightening presentations and a group panel discussion with some of the region’s most active Community Musicians and leading specialists.  We were then treated to an afternoon of active workshops which included jamming wirelessly with iPads, making squeaks and bleeps on machines and using a Kinect Controller for the XBox to control music applications and instruments.

Using KiNectar for live performance

I thought that I would share some links to some of the exiting new technology available:

MadPad - www.smule.com/madpad

GarageBand for iPad – The application bundled with every Macintosh computer, now available for ipad.  You can jam wirelessly which was the thing that impressed me the most www.apple.com/apps/garageband/

Kaoscillator – Like Korg Kaos pad, but for the ipad, great fun! www.korg.co.uk/products/software_controllers/ikaossilator/sc_ikaossilator.php

Beatwave – A very visual and colourful way to explore sound and composition www.youtube.com/watch?v=At3yRAgPLYU

Impaktor – A tabletop drum application, brilliant! www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8UBMPm1RAs

Kinect controller for making music (kindly put up on his blog by Simon of Noise Solution) – This can be used with most audio sequencer programs such as Reaper or Ableton Live noisesolutionblog.tumblr.com/

Reaper – A really low cost Digital Audio Workststation (DAW) with bags of features www.reaper.fm/

What I was most impressed with was that all, yeah pretty much all of this new fangled technology is really easily obtainable because it’s cheap!  Most young people have access to smart-phone’s these days, and for as little as 69p they can buy a program like MadPad to create music video’s; they no longer need to look for £5,000 to hire a video production suite for a day.

The other advantage is that it is relatively easy to use too.  It seems even the most self confessed techno-illiterate can work these very visual and colourful applications. Plus there are always video tutorials available which I think is a great way to learn because personally, I find it better to watch and have something visual to latch onto.

Overall the Music Technology Convention was  greatly received and I think that we were all encouraged and inspired by what we saw and who we met on the day.  Thanks to Music Leader, Norwich Sound and Vision and the Garage for hosting the event.

The rise of the machines is gaining momentum, but in a good way of course!

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