Are you a singer or instrumentalist who would like to play accompaniments/ backing tracks on your iPad but don’t know where to start? If so, fear not because here are some simple free, or low cost, apps to get you started:
Many music books now come with audio cds of performance and accompaniment tracks but more and more we are finding that we want to make music away from the home audio system and the iPad has the potential to be a great music player. As a teacher, I’ve noticed that most pupils never use the cds that came with their books. Apart from the inconvenience of needing access to the audio system, I think this is generally because the playback is too fast. With the apps I introduce here it is simple to change the speed, or key, of a piece. There are also more sophisticated ways to personalise playback but I will leave those to a future post.
The simplest way of controlling accompaniment recordings has to be Jam Player from Positive Grid.
What you see here is exactly what you get – wheels to control pitch, speed and volume and create a simple loop to repeat a section.
Another great player for the novice is AudioStretch from Cognosonic Pte Ltd The free Lite version has some limitations – pitch can only be shifted -2 to +2 steps and tempo control is from 60% to 100%. In other respects, it functions in just the same way as the full version. Again, the controls are very clearly set out:
Either of these apps will load music from your i-Tunes library. You can also use the ‘Open In’ option for Safari downloads or Mail to import files into AudioStretch.
“But, how do I get the music from my CD into i-Tunes on the i-Pad?” you may well ask. This ridiculous process is a source of great frustration to me, too! I will cover it in my next post.