Feature demos! + PayPal option
Thus far, I've made several demonstrations of imitone which emphasized its accuracy and responsiveness. Today, I'm going to focus on features instead. imitone is capable of tracking variations in your voice at the millisecond level. The modes below let you leverage this power for more expressive music-making.
All of the demos in this post are un-edited and stereo, with voice on the left and instrument on the right. You can listen to one or the other with a pair of headphones.
This essential feature tells imitone to pick from a certain set of musical notes, reducing errors when you don't sing in perfect tune. For instance, you might tell it to snap to C major -- that is, the white keys on a piano. imitone will feature a bank of common musical scales and keys, and a manual mode where you may set up a custom scale.
Since we've (almost) hit our $30,000 stretch goal, the program will also include an automatic scale detection mechanism which will guess your scale based on a few seconds of singing -- perfect for those of us who don't know music theory.
This mode lets you control the power of your instruments, allowing sounds to swell, tremble, and fade away with your voice. This is appropriate for instruments which are blown (like flutes) or bowed (like violins). Expression is precise and can be tricky to control, but offers a depth of expression that normal MIDI keyboards cannot.
There's a second volume control mode I haven't implemented yet, called "velocity control". This mode will measure loudness only at the beginning of a note, like a traditional MIDI keyboard, and will be more appropriate for instruments which are stricken (like a piano) or plucked (like a guitar).
I describe this as a "strange and powerful feature". It does precisely the opposite of scale snapping, making imitone send the precise pitch of your voice rather than musical notes. It's a sensible choice for sliding instruments like the trombone. To use this feature musically requires careful control over your voice. But it has lots of other uses too... For instance, this is what happens when you lower the pitch by three octaves and play a tuba with pitch-bend:
...I call it "motorcycle mode". This is just one of many ways to creatively "mis-use" imitone.
Vibrato Depth Control
This control measures the amount of vibrato in your voice and uses it to modulate an instrument. If you're capable of controlling your vibrato -- it takes some learning -- this can be a deeply expressive control.
There's actually a second method for controlling instrument vibrato -- turn tone stabilization off, and turn pitch bend on. This method transmits not just the depth of your vibrato but its precise inflections of pitch, and demands even more precision from your vocal abilities and the digital instrument being used.
Scale correction will be an essential feature for all users of imitone. The other modes each afford greater control while increasing the challenge of using the program. If you like, think of them as challenges you can take on one by one -- do you have what it takes to become an imitone master? :)
A final note: I've added a PayPal option for backers who are unable to use Amazon Payments to pledge -- this is an immediate charge which will result in the same rewards, but is separate from Kickstarter.
Thanks for all your support. I couldn't do this without you.