Sing and See: Pitch Matching Practice Tool

Sing and See: Pitch Matching Practice Tool

equipping vocal students with an effective practice tool I was recently engaged to teach vocals / singing to three fabulous pre-adolescent kids. At our first lesson, I was primarily interested in assessing what needed work. Emerging quickly as the front runner was pitch matching (the ability to hear a note and then sing it accurately). As I sat at the piano and played note after note, asking them to reproduce it, my students responded well to my feedback – “up a couple notes, down a couple… bring that up just a bit…” but I worried. All a teacher can do is show you what to learn and how to learn it – a student ultimately teaches themselves. How on earth could they practice effectively without me there to tell them how their pitch was doing? So I went home and did some searching, hoping to find an application that could help. Enter Sing and See – at $49 USD. It provides a window with real time pitch placement feedback, a keyboard for playing tones and a record and playback feature that works with any standard computer microphone. In the weeks since I’ve assigned my students practice work with Sing and See – move up and down the scale, move in semi-tones, play a note and sing it… and they have applied themselves diligently with admirable results. I highly recommend this application if you’ve got students (or yourself) with this...
Alesis Controlpad–Hooray for Christmas!

Alesis Controlpad–Hooray for Christmas!

music gear for electronic drumming One opportunity / challenge when you’re kitting out in the autumn on a hobby project is that you can ask for stuff for Christmas. IF you can find stuff that has a gift sized price tag, that is. That IF is the challenge. The only likely candidate on my wish list was the Alesis Controlpad, with hi-hat and kick pedal triggers can be added to it. I started looking for compatibility specs on hi-hat and kick triggers. There’s nothing mentioned on the Alesis site regarding interoperability. I could hope ANY apparently correct trigger might work but I’ve been around tech for 25 years and I know such an assumption is a dangerous one. I start looking around to try to find out how electronic drum triggers work, only to discover that such information is not clearly explained. After a consult with a local music vendor electronic drums expert, it does turn out that pedal triggers all run to the same interface. I ended up going with the Roland FD-8 hi-hat pedal trigger, but the fun was in the bass drum trigger. I choose a low profile unit, the Roland KD-7, which had a low profile (perfect for my office recording setup) and just hooks up to any standard bass drum pedal. Choose one that suits your taste (the Pearl P-120 was my choice). I’d like to think the trip to the music store to pick all this stuff up was fun for my wife, kids and other relatives who went in to make it happen. P.S. The Controlpad included BFD Lite, a great software...