The 2013 season is nearly here, and for indoor marching performers around the world, the rehearsal process is about to get a lot more intense. What’s a good way to give yourself a break while still honing the kinds of skills that you’ll be demonstrating in front of event judges? Look no further than the smartphone and tablet apps that are taking the activity by storm.
The WGI app
Certainly you’ve heard of the WGI app by now (which allows you to access schedules and info for all WGI events, see scores as they’re posted, read the latest headlines from wgi.org, watch your favorite videos, and much more), but did you know there is a completely new system for iPhone users. Your current app will ask you to download the new version, and then you’ll want to delete the old app. Now iPhone 5 users are able to take advantage of the larger screen size!
For those who already have the Andoid app, all you need to do is update it to see all the new benefits. Unfortunately the app does not “officially” support Android tablets, and it may display errors. However the tablet will run the app because it will run any android app. We hope to develop a clean set up for Android tablets in the future.
For the first time ever, we’re also able to provide the WGI app for the Windows phone!
You may already be familiar with CompetitionSuite, the website that provides scores, recaps, and judges’ comments for competitive events like the WGI Regionals and World Championships. The service will be debuting a mobile app this season that will support the ability to download conmmentary files to your device. Find out more at competitionsuite.com.
Find the Competition Suite app on itune here.
With the Coach’s Eye app, you can record or import a video of any activity on your iOS or Android device and analyze it in slow motion, calling out specific areas with lines and shapes. Great for directors and performers alike, the app can be used for in-person review or for sharing both original and analysis videos through email, text, Facebook, Twitter, and more. You can find further information at coachseye.com.
Find Coach’s Eye on itunes here.
SongMarker was specifically designed to aid color guard instructors in locating and looping specific set points in a track of music. App developer, John Best, watched too many instructors fumble around with their iPod to try to start a section of music and thought “I can make a better way to rehearse like this!” It also works great for choreographers as they write because you can loop a specific marker region over and over and try out different ideas.
There is also a notepad that changes text “Karaoke-style” at each marker point, so an instructor can prepare notes ahead of time about what to address at specific sets in the show to maximize rehearsal effectiveness. There is also a fine tuner for pinpointing the exact start time for each marker, and the app saves your markers for each song so that they will be available the next time you choose that song.
Find SongMarker on itunes here.
For color guard members, taking William McCune’s free Rifle Toss app for a spin is sure to amuse. This game allows you to toss a virtual rifle with the flick of a finger, then tells you if the toss was good enough to be caught. It’s debatable whether this will improve your actual tossing technique, but it may lead you to think about it from a new perspective. Currently the app was only available on Android phones, but an iOS-compatible version has existed in the recent past and should be available again soon. Go to rifletoss.crabapple.us for more details.
ClickDesigner, was designed as app developer, John Best, watched countless marching rehearsals struggle to nail metronome tempo changes, accelerandos, or ritardandos. Fortunately, ClickDesigner provides an extremely accurate metronome that can quickly and easily be programmed to handle all your rehearsal tempo needs, and provide a “Set A to Set B” rehearsal structure.
User-generated content can easily be shared via email or even uploaded to DropBox so students and directors can share the prepared click track file so everyone is on the same page.
Find Click Designer on itunes here.
iDrumTune is touted as the first system to help with drum tuning by analyzing sound; if you hold your device over the center of a drum while striking it, the app will tell you which frequencies are most prominent and relate them to musical notes.
Drum tuning isn’t easy, and drums don’t respond exactly the same way every time you hit them. For that reason it’s valuable to know a little about the science of drum tuning. iDrumTune includes a comprehensive text on the science of drums and drum tuning in order to help you get the best of the app and to become an expert drum tuner!
Find iDrumTune on itunes, or visit idrumtune.com
Backbeater is a monitoring app that “listens” to your playing and lets you know whether you’re—so to speak—up to speed. The app boasts a built-in metronome, adjustable sensitivity, and iPod library support so you can play along with your music.
Find Backbeater on Itunes, or visit backbeater.com