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Interview: ChoirMob, Belgian choirs on iPhone

Interview: ChoirMob, Belgian choirs on iPhone

ChoirMob is an application to come on iPhone and iPod, which will offer you to perform real musical works by creating melodies with choirs. The application is developed by a Belgian, Nicolas d'Alessandro, who studied at the University of Mons.

Nicolas d'Alessandro

ChoirMob is a free application that aims to capture the essence of choirs and transcribe it in a fun way on smartphones. In practice, it is possible to animate a multiple choir, as long as you have several iDevices, a main screen to which you can connect and an Internet protocol to synchronize the screen and smartphones. Once all of this is networked, the user can interact with friends and create beautiful melodies using interactive choirs. We owe this unique musical experience to a Belgian, Nicolas d'Alessandro, who has been working on this project for several years.

We were able to contact him to learn more about its application and to discover his little universe, so particular. This is how we learned that the application in question was an integral part of its thesis. "I have been working for almost ten years creating new musical instruments which have the particularity of imitating speech or song. At the end of my doctoral thesis at the Polytechnic of Mons, I already presented a musical instrument in tablet format, the HandSketch. It was when I arrived Magic (UBC, Vancouver) for my postdoc in 2009 that Johnty Wang, my Master student, told me that the iPhone or iPod touch could do a “mini HandSketchHe explains. However, it turns out that the reduced screen size of the device does not cover the entire register of a singer. Nicolas then starts looking for a partner and meets Aura Pon, who works on a large touch screen for the composition and playback of melodies, called Vuzik. The idea that is born is very simple: to control distant devices on iOS in order to "lead" the virtual singers on their respective melodies.

"The ChoirMob application allows you to change the fundamental frequency (that is to say the note sings) and the intensity of singing by a continuous gesture on the touch screen. It gives the musician ChoirMob the opportunity to model all the typical vocal effects, such as vibrato, glissando, crescendo, etc. We can also change the opening of the mouth by tilting the phone, in order to modulate some vowelsExplains his creator. A long-term job that also demonstrates a true passion for the artist. "I myself have a long history with music, since I have been playing different musical instruments for around twenty years. For more than five years, I have been using the instruments I invent in my own musical performances”He tells us.

The project should not end as well since Nicolas plans to continue his work. “The big challenge today is that the synth singing voices speak words, just as interactively. I am in charge of a research team, within the Institutnumediart where we are trying to progress on this subject, in partnership with the Acapela company: the MAGE project. I also continue to develop HandSketch, drawing lessons from ChoirMob and my excursion in “social music”. A new prototype should see the light of day before the end of 2012. ” Best of all, ChoirMob is popular today. "Four musicians, four iOS devices, and the Vuzik system for performing original spices. The concept works, the concerts are multiplying, and today there are three Vox Tactum bands in the world: Vancouver, Calgary and Mons."A success which shows the public interest in this technology which will soon be in their hands.

Thoroughly, the application should land in a few weeks on the App Store. It will be temporarily exclusive to iOS and should land later on Windows Phone 7 also. strangely, Android is overlooked because “the audio responsiveness of the Android system is quite disappointing."Anyway, we will not hesitate to keep you informed of its availability in the coming weeks.

Interview by Etienne Froment for Belgium-iPhone.

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