Interactive Performance System
This overview focuses on the newest software - KidiPads.
The KidiPads system is designed for young children and students
Musical literacy is promoted through the use of this technology and soundscape/sound effects production in dance and drama is also promoted.
The KidiPads system allows performers to trigger musical notes and sounds by stepping on “Touch Pads” and teaches many musical concepts. Although it is intended that the system use both the KidiPads software and the touch pad hardware it is perfectly useable as a software application alone.
The system consists of:
8 x 30 cm square high impact polystyrene "Touch Pads" with 8 colours to make identification easy on stage
1 x Interface box with 8 RCA sockets for Touch Pads - which plugs into the USB Port on the computer – for Windows 98/ME/2K and XP.
1 x CD with the KidiPads software
The KidiPads USB Interface Box
Using the Software
Mouse over the coloured squares (or numbers 1 to 8 on the computer keyboard) plays notes of a major scale using the instrument shown in the picture box. Higher or lower musical notes can be used by clicking on the Octave Up (or letter u on the keyboard) or Octave Down (or letter d on the keyboard).
To change instruments click on the Next instrument arrows or the Instrument categories buttons. In a typical soundcard this system gives access to 128 instrument sounds and many more drum/percussion sounds. The quality of the midi sounds is dependent on the quality of your computer soundcard.
Clicking on the Audio/wav select buttons brings up a dialogue box where you can find Windows wav files for play back of audio files. There are thousands of wav files available for download on the Internet e.g. try www.findsounds.com
Ideally students will learn to record and edit their own sounds using the free Audacity software that can be found on the KidiPads CD.
The Teacher Menu sets up options for common use of the KidiPads software. The favourite settings can be save by going Save Preferences.
Staff lines can be shown or hidden and this is useful when introducing concepts of traditional music notation.
Treble Clef or Bass Clef can be shown or hidden.
Mouse Click is used when clicking the coloured squares is preferable to using the default setting of Mouse Over to trigger sounds.
The Show Open and Show Save buttons are options that are shown by default but can be hidden if necessary.
As students progress in their use of the KidiPads software showing the Add Audio/Wav buttons allows for loading of sounds in Windows wav format.
Show MidiPads software - as the name suggests this switches to the more complex and sophisticated MidiPads software. The teacher may wish to use this software to gain greater control of sounds including looped playback of wav files etc.By going File...Save the teacher can set up complex control and students can simply open them from within the simple to use KidiPads software.
Control PowerPoint - This switches on the capability for each pad to change to the next or previous slide in a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation (in full screen mode). Used in conjunction with the MidiPads Preferences (i.e. File .... Preferences) each pad can be set up for individual control of next, previous or no control of the Slideshow.To use this feature set up the sounds you want on the MidiPads. Go Options....Control Powerpoint. Now launch your Powerpoint presentation and go into Slideshow....View Show (in Full Screen mode). Stepping on the MidiPads will step you through the presentation.
All Notes Off - it is possible that a stuck note can occur or that audio files that are playing need to be stopped. In these cases use the All Notes Off menu item (or Ctrl+P)
Save Preferences - this will save the current Teacher menu settings.