Thursday, February 27, 2014

Have You Ever Wished For Musical Slow Motion?

I was listening to some student assignments that were in my SmartMusic in box.  I had one that was tricky to diagnose what was happening and I was wishing I had slow motion to sort it out.  I saved it for later and went on.

A short while later I was looking in SBO Magazine and reading through the article on "Power User Synthesis."  It's a great article and worth the read, especially if you are stumped about how to get your repertoire into SmartMusic.   In the article there was discussion about scanning and notation software.  After some discussion about Finale, Sibelius and MusicXML the article talked about creating SmartMusic files and uses for those... including listening to the recording at slower speed.

Then it hit me that SmartMusic could do the slow motion trick I needed.  No, I couldn't just slow the tempo of a recording down and listen to it that way.  But with a little file magic, I found a way to do just that.

Here's how.  First, export your audio file as an .mp3 file.  Then go to SmartMusic's MP3 Audio Files link.  Import the file you just created.  You can now listen to the performance slower or faster.  All you have to do is adjust the tempo (it is listed by a percentage.)

The slower listen uses are pretty obvious.  You can slow things down to hear what really happened.

The faster uses might not be so obvious.  How about checking to see if that faster tempo really works musically?  Here is a chance to try some things without the whole band waiting for you to do that, just take care of that in your score study time.  Or show your students how they could sound.

Take a read through the SBO article for more ideas.  If the ideas don't save your time, they will help you do a higher quality job.  Worth the read.

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