Creating Music Where Ever You Are

So this weekend we went camping. While my wife enjoyed her time floating on her tube with her nieces in the lake, watching the little kids play on the big blow up lake toys…. I enjoyed a bit of toying around making music. It’s a ton of fun making music by the campfire sitting at the picnic table.

I used my ROLI SeaBoard Blocks and Roli’s Noise app. I am not comfortable with the whole loop based recording scene so I made myself use it.

I love the expressiveness and response you get from both the Blocks – the keyboard looking one and the new square Block. I like the touch and the feel of the little square Block but the lights need to be brighter!

Once done I had a bit of trouble figuring out how to share my creativity…. the Noise app doesn’t play well with others. No way to create a song besides tapping individual loops and “performing” the whole song live. I can not preset a sequence of the loops and then export and audio file. I could export all the loops into another app as individual recordings but I wanted one final mixdown of “The Song”. I couldn’t even use Noise in conjunction with another app to accomplish this. I ended up using the headphone out jack and my handheld recorder. That meant I had to wait until I got home to do anything else with the final recording because iOS doesn’t let you import audio from an SD card!

At home I opened the card on my laptop, imported the file, then AirDropped it back to the iPad. It felt like cheating… APPLE – you need to fix this issue!

Then I used Wizbel to dump some photos and effects on top of the audio. The photos are all from our summer trips. I wish I could put more photos in. The song is kind of long so the exporting from Wizbel takes a LONG time! In fact I typed all of this post up to here, on my iPhone while waiting for the export and it STILL was only part way done as you can see below….

In the Noise App you get a ton of different sounds that are created for the Blocks. You only get to use four per project though so that’s a bit of a bummer.

The other issue ROLI needs to fix is there is no way to edit your mistakes after recording. I KNOW the MIDI is there so how hard can it be ROLI to simply add a piano roll editor?

But… hey that fits my motto… play, create, share. Too many people worry about getting EVERY single detail right. Too clinical and too much time. I want to explore and I want to be realistic about what my students would end up doing too. Get them creating and then encourage them to share. Even if the final song is a “bit rough around the edges”.

I did discover that the Noise app is synced between your devices! So when I opened my iPhone up I had to download a sound or two before my project would open but there it was! Allowing me to work with either my iPad OR my iPhone! Nice touch ROLI!

So anyways… the final version of the song is both on my YouTube as well as on my SoundCloud. (Or it WILL BE once Wizibel gets done exporting!)

Here’s where the export process is at now….

Don’t expect to use this app in a classroom setting at the end of a class period. That should be understood for the processing of any video file though! Video takes awhile! I’m even using the first gen iPadPro 12.? Inch iPad so it’s a pretty decent processor!

So let’s talk about sharing your content…. did I mention that this entire blog post is being created and shared from my iPhone…. for free? Your students can do the same! Of course the final recording and video are NOT get hosted here on WordPress but instead I am using YouTube and SoundCloud for those items. So if you are not willing to mash up a few services then you would have to pay.

Here ya go….

SoundCloud – Rainy Lake of Dreams

YouTube Link –

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