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A New app For Teaching Online!! perfect sound+dynamics+articulation (Read 474 times)

Offline itai.street

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Hi everyone, i'm happy to introduce you a new app that streams midi from students to teachers. It's called MIDIator.
My name its Itai, and i'm from Israel. I teach many years and recently i tried to teach using Zoom and Whatsapp, but the sound quality was terrible!
I real feel unprofessional when i use it.
So i decide to write an app that can stream the midi from one keyboard to the other.

When using MIDIator- the Students play on their own keyboard and the teachers hear them on their Electric piano's speaker!

You can adjust latency, and even trigger a metronome on your student's device.

Feel free to check it out, it's totally free for limited time (and we'd love to get feedback on your experience).
Here is the link, IOS version will be released next week.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=il.co.mitug.midichat&gl=IL

Offline keypeg

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Re: A New app For Teaching Online!! perfect sound+dynamics+articulation
«Reply #1 on: October 12, 2020, 03:46:18 PM »
This was also posted on another site, and a lot of missing information was worked out.  One question over there remains ----- IS THIS ONLY FOR A PHONE?  (Can a laptop be used?)

What I have gathered from the other conversation is:

- Both users must have digital pianos that have the capabilities (please name which).
- The piano sends signals to (only a phone?  a phone or laptop?)
- So you need a cable which apparently has a square end, and a little USB end which is the same as the port (not socket) which a phone has - the one where you plug in the charging cable for charging your phone.  We know that same port is used for transferring info between phone and computer, so that makes sense.
- My piano has a little white square port, and I'm thinking this might be what "it" plugs into.  "It" being whatever cable type one must buy to connect the piano to the device.

None of this information is contained in the opening post, nor the linked site.  I've provided it here.

Potentially it can solve a problem for remote piano lessons: namely, when the student plays,  the teacher gets a distorted sound at his end, because it is sound that is transmitted and distorted through algorithms and other interferences.  Some homes and locations are worse than others.  With the OP's system, the data is sent from one piano, to another piano. When the student plays, the teacher hears his own piano playing the music, without distortion.

"Latency" .... what this means is timing between what you see and what you hear.  If your student presses the piano key, releases the key, and you hear the "bing" of the notes after release, you can't teach.  The software allows you to adjust that.  Whether any of us has the know-how and patience to adjust this - and do this 7 students in a row, every time - is another question.

Atm, my teacher cannot hear what I do accurately.  Sustained notes come out staccato, and "original sound" (Zoom) is only a partial fix.  Some of his students have perfect transmission, others don't.  Mine's the worst.  I'm also the only one in a different country.

added:
I believe the piano port is the one circled in white (given that a square end was described for the cable)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/n9xbrh3rr1y10n3/midi-port.jpg?dl=0

OP, can you confirm?

Offline ranjit

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Re: A New app For Teaching Online!! perfect sound+dynamics+articulation
«Reply #2 on: October 12, 2020, 05:31:39 PM »
The cable with the square pin is a USB type A cable which can be used for transmitting MIDI data. In order to transfer the original sound, you need a 3.5/6.5mm jack and a device to translate analog signal to digital.

In order to transmit high quality audio with imperceptible lag, you need a very fast internet connection and the distance between the people on the call matters as well.

As it stands, I think these would be desired features for long-distance lessons:
1. The audio and video MUST be in sync. This is even more important than improving latency. This is because the teacher can see what the student is doing in the first place.
2. Audio quality needs to be good, and appropriate for the musical instruments. Typically, a flat frequency spectrum is desirable since instruments run the range of the human audible spectrum, especially once you account for overtones and harmonics. You seriously need to weigh the pros and cons of different kinds of compression algorithms.
3. Reducing latency while maintaining acceptable audio quality and bare-minimum video quality.

I also heard about the PianoDisc recording system a few years back, which can be used for acoustic pianos. I don't know if it's gained traction.

Offline ranjit

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Re: A New app For Teaching Online!! perfect sound+dynamics+articulation
«Reply #3 on: October 12, 2020, 05:36:00 PM »
Also OP -- you will need to add laptop functionality. It's a pain in the neck to get MIDI data onto your phone. You will need a USB type A cable, and then another cable which connects USB -> microUSB/USB-C. Which will also not let you charge your phone btw.

Offline itai.street

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Re: A New app For Teaching Online!! perfect sound+dynamics+articulation
«Reply #4 on: October 12, 2020, 08:29:05 PM »
Hi Ranji and keystring.
I'll try to do my best explaining everything :

1. keystring, I will make a video/document explaining everything, and your port picture is correct!

2. ranji, we don't stream audio, we stream only midi. The midi signal is sent from one piano and the other piano receives it and plays it. That is why it is has 100% perfect pitch/length/dynamics. We don't rely on audio at all.
3. When you start a lesson there's a slider allowing you to adjust the latency(since it varies from one network to the other) and sync it to the video.
4. We will definitely have a laptop version soon, we are working on it. you are right about adapters and cables complications , keep in mind that laptops are not always available for everyone. But again as i wrote, it's on it's way..


Offline keypeg

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Re: A New app For Teaching Online!! perfect sound+dynamics+articulation
«Reply #5 on: October 12, 2020, 08:42:08 PM »
keep in mind that laptops are not always available for everyone. But again as i wrote, it's on it's way.
I see your initial thinking.  In this case, however, you need awareness of teaching.  Teachers will want to see how their students are playing, and this is essential.  So at least one of the parties (the teacher) will have a laptop or PC. Getting this out would seem important.