Erols Singers Studio

As a music teacher, it’s a bit embarrassing to admit that my singing voice is most definitely not up to scratch.

In fact ‘scratch’ is probably a fair assessment of the tonal range and pitch qualities!

I’ve tried a few iPad apps in the hope they might – at the very least – provide me with a little more accuracy when singing. Of the several I’ve tested, one stands out from the pack; ‘Erol’s Singers Studio.

Data. data and more data

To improve my singing accuracy I need feedback on how I’m going, and Singers Studio provides that in spades.

Match your pitch to the blue notes.

Match your pitch to the blue notes.

Vocal exercises feature standard music notation plus a ‘piano roll’ style display with a graphed line of your vocal (in realtime) and notes that turn gradually greener according to your accuracy.

Each exercise  ends with a percentage score for each note. Top scores are recorded as a point value: overall percent for an exercise multiplied by the number of octaves covered.

A ‘range’ graph gradually solidifies as you progress with the exercises.

The green 'blob' shows your (hopefully) widening vocal range.

Exercises

A solid range of exercises are included in the app. I started on the ‘Beginner Program 1’ and there was enough material to keep me going for three weeks, until I changed to ‘Beginner Program 2’, an in-app purchase.

By this time I was so enjoying the app I bought all the in-app purchases, which still totalled less than one decent lesson!

It’s worth a hunt through the users manual in the help section, as you’ll probably discover a few things you didn’t realise the app could do, such as being able to slow down exercises, or set a key.

It’s also worth while reading the comments on the different sections from users, which range from ideas for improvements through to questions of technique and progress.

Best of all is reading Erol’s replies; thoughtful, helpful and professional. Just what you need in an app that is a teaching tool.

Singers Studio is brilliant, Erol is brilliant and although my voice isn’t brilliant, it’s not as scratchy as it used to be.

 

Cost

App: $14.99

  1. Ear Training for Singers – $3.99
  2. Beginner 2 – $0.99
  3. Intermediate 2 – $1.99
  4. Advanced 2 – $2.99
  5. Advanced 3 – $2.99

Links

FastEver Snap

FE Snap ScreenshotEach week I take photos of our Primary School merit cards for inclusion in the school newsletter. I usually use my iPhone, but I really don’t need the high resolution the camera provides; 640 x 480 would be more than enough. The iPhone doesn’t provide this ‘downgrading’ of functionality itself, so I’ve been using the nifty ‘FastEver Snap’, a photo app that automatically (well usually automatically) uploads the photos to Evernote, using a resolution I choose. The app is simple and straight forward.

  1. Set a resolution in options.
  2. Link your Evernote account and select a folder.
  3. Take your photos.

To further simplify my workflow I lay the phone in the top drawer of a transparent plastic document box. With the drawer fully extended I can place the student merit cards beneath, then trigger the iPhone camera with my earbuds – less shakes! At home, I open Evernote, sync then select the picture-notes. These are then saved to a folder for placement into the newsletter inDesign file. Quick and easy!

Options

Along with changing the photo resolution you can opt to:

  • save the pictures to the camera roll
  • use a grid
  • reset tags after saving
  • preview
  • upload over wifi only
  • add tags
  • write a title

Problems

Just one; every so often the photos refuse to upload and the counter sits there spinning. Usually a logout / login to Evernote fixes this.

Overall

If you have Evernote, this is one handy tool. If you don’t have Evernote, the ability to select camera resolutions is useful, especially if you don’t want to fill your disk space with high-res photos. FastEver Snap on the iTune Store