An application that helps you learn and practice Ocarina
An application that helps you learn and practice Ocarina
OCWALK will be a fully free online application that allows you to learn, practice Ocarina and discover new songs and music to learn. It will feature a project library, pre-filled with Ocarina pieces, four different practice modes and an additional "Watch" mode to preview the songs.
You will be able to run OCWALK in any modern browser from your computer. Mobile and tablet support is planned, but not within the first release.
The story of OCWALK
When I first started to learn piano by myself, I stumbled upon application called Synthesia, which gamifies the learning and practice experience. It works by importing midi files and tracking which keys you press on your midi keyboard connected to the computer. This simple concept turned out to be so powerful and very easy to pick up for self-taught piano players, which made Synthesia very popular till the present time.
Since I got my first Ocarina, I was always contemplating if there is a way to create Synthesia experience but for Ocarina. Of course, I cannot just connect my Ocarina to midi port, so eventually I came up with an idea of using microphone and pitch detection algorithms to read which note you are playing on the instrument. This is when the first proof-of-concept for OCWALK - sound spectrum was born.
After the successful proof-of-concept, I came up with four practice modes that I can build on top of the sound spectrum. These four modes will be the core of what OCWALK does.
This mode allows you to learn the music piece step by step at your own pace. Every time melody reaches the next note, OCWALK will pause until you play it on your Ocarina. If you make a mistake and play a different note, the song is not advanced, giving you time to correct the mistake.
In this mode OCWALK will not pause on notes, and your goal will be to play the whole piece at a certain tempo. You can slow the song down to 20% of original speed, practice it, then gradually increase the speed until you are happy with the results at 100% tempo.
This mode is all about accuracy: OCWALK will pause on any new note until you play it with a precise pitch for the full duration. I often find myself deviating from perfect pitches when I play Ocarina due to the natural curve that the instrument has. Learning to play precisely is a difficult but very rewarding process, and this mode is designed to help you out.
This is the grand finale for your practice. OCWALK does not stop on notes, playback speed is locked at 100%. This is your time to perform the song all the way through without any pauses.
In addition to four practice modes, this mode simply displays how the song is played. It is useful to preview the upcoming work, so it can help you to find the piece that is not overwhelming to learn at your current level.
Future OCWALK roadmap (outside of this campaign)
Ultimately, I want OCWALK to be a powerful tool for creating and sharing Ocarina music.
I find it tedious to create Ocarina covers for the music that I love. Music sheets are often outside of ocarina ranges or use scales that are awkward to play on the instrument. Piano sheets contain chords and features that have to be converted into single notes for Ocarina. OCWALK will provide a toolset created specifically to address these issues.
I would also love to see OCWALK being a place where you can share your music with friends and community. A global project library with many search options will let you easily discover Ocarina covers for the music you want to learn.
Additionally, I want OCWALK to display music sheets during practice. It will allow you to print or export tabs and sheets and a mix of both for any song. It will record your practice so you can download and use the audio.
There is also a potential to create courses within OCWALK. They will teach Ocarina basics, how to read music sheets, or even how to play by ear.
At last, OCWALK is not strictly limited to Ocarina instruments. It can support any instrument that plays one note at a time and can be picked up by pitch detection. For example, you could totally record Kalimba sounds, create tabs and use OCWALK to practice Kalimba music in four already existing modes.
About the author
I am Leo, I live in US, I am currently a Scala developer and I professionally create web applications. I learned to play piano and Ocarina, and since then music has become one of my biggest hobbies.
During my time off I've been working on a few art-related projects. I've created app that pixelizes images using your palette of colors, app that produces scanimation grid and body from imported frames, and app that converts midi files into printable Ocarina tabs. I have participated in a couple of Ocarina collabs by David Erick Ramos, and it's been a blast!
With the OCWALK project I hope to create a valuable tool for the Ocarina community. My goal is to make searching for new songs, practicing the instrument and creating Ocarina covers simple to everybody.
Music from https://filmmusic.io - "Midnight Tale" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) - License: CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Risks and challenges
There are a few challenges and risks for this project.
One of the challenges is that I cannot develop OCWALK full-time, because I need to have a full-time job to sustain my life in US, which leads to a broad project timeline. I would be so happy to only work on OCWALK, but I don't think it's possible in my current position.
It's very hard to come up with rewards list for a free application, so there is a risk coming from project rewards: if I get a ton of backers requesting songs for OCWALK, there might be a lack of time to complete all of the requests by the first release. If that happens, I will look to hire another person to help me out with the song requests. If that does not work, I will have to shift the deadline for completing some of the song requests to future releases.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)