Now you can get hands-free metronome features while you practice and play – without worrying about privacy or needing signal.
Hands-free music makes sense. If you’re an instrumentalist, it means the ability to use your music gadgets along with your instrument, without taking your hands off the keys, string, bow, and so on.
But there are some issues with the way major tech providers generally provide voice recognition.
Big corporate Internet-powered online assistants pose some real privacy risks. For just one example, The Guardian surveyed the use of human contractors and other privacy worries around big five Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft – with a particular focus on Amazon. That may not be a big priority for musicians. But as I wrote when Roland adopted some (otherwise very cool) Amazon Alexa features on its digital pianos, those consumer concerns will bleed over in music manufacturing as the two industries partner.
Oh, yeah, and another problem – what if you don’t have any signal in your studio? Lots of musicians practice when touring, or in basements without cell phone reception or wifi.
Audiokit, the makers of friendly and open-source developer tools for music and audio, have a solution. Their app ‘Hey Metronome’ uses voice recognition that works on the device, rather than connecting to the cloud. And given you’re using simple commands, that makes sense. You can set meter and tempo or even tempo and range simply by saying “Hey metronome, set tempo to allegro” or whatever bpm or time signature you want.
For musician users, you get a one-buck music app that’s likely a must-have. For developers, the code is open source – and if you’re learning how to develop apps, it also represents a simple app you can use to learn to code. (Audiokit promise a “free coding tutorial series, teaching students and enthusiasts how to build their own music app.” Looking forward to that!)
Synthtopia gets the first scoop on this, and say that the developers plan more voice-controlled music applications in the future. That’s thanks to a partnership with speech recognition experts KeenASR Research.
By the way, if you’re a developer, KeenASR has an on-device voice control SDK (it’s also right on GitHub). It works on Android as well as iOS; Audiokit is focused exclusively on Apple platforms (iOS, macOS, tvOS, and Apple Watch).
Here’s Roger Linn playing with it:
And here’s the app being used to control another app (AUM):
Grab the app on the App Store, of course:
AudioKit Hey Metronome [iOS App Store]
Or check its product page: