Vandit Khamker, Rohit Kadam, Vikrant Verma, Nabajyoti Patowary, Daniel Kernicky
As hip-hop and electronic music have developed into global culture, there is a growing need for resources, education and software to help youth express themselves in these genres. The Beat Making Lab was started by Music Producer Stephen Levitin and musician Pierce Freelon at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to foster music creation in communities internationally. It is an electronic music studio which teaches music composition using Laptops. By doing this, the lab aims to eliminate expensive Music Production equipment and give everyone the opportunity to make beats.
The Beat Making App aims to take this idea further. A kit for beat making using Laptops currently costs around $1500. Moreover, the laptop doesn’t have unbounded portability. By facilitating beat making on Mobile devices, the student of the lab has access to the beat making facilities everywhere, anytime and would complement the training given on Laptops.
Our beat making app enables users to create Electronic Music on their Android devices. The user can compose a Track made up of up to 4 Patterns using the “Tracks” screen which allows the user to add/remove patterns to/from the Track.
The Patterns can be recorded using the Drum Machine. A Drum Machine is a 4x4 Grid of cells (Pads) each of which represents a Sound Sample. The Drum machine has a default set of assigned sounds and new sounds can be assigned to the pads via the edit drum machine screen. During a pattern's playback, a metronome sound will play to help the user keep track of the beats per minute. The pattern will continue looping until the stop button is pressed. During playback the user may play beats by touching one of the 16 pads on the screen. The beat gets recorded and added to the pattern only if the record button is pressed. The recorded beat will then be included in the playback. Pads will be lit up as the corresponding sounds are played during playback.
We took special care to make the User Interface intuitive and responsive without compromising on the features. This will enable the student to focus on learning how to compose beats rather than trying to learn the technicalities of our App.
We are thankful to Professor Benjamin Watson, our clients and Mobi-Class(Spring’13) students for their valuable feedback on it. We welcome you to explore the resources we have created here and contribute to the Open Source beat making community.
[Reference: Beat Making Lab]