[vimeo 61294390]

I wanted to add another tool to the mobile toolkit I use for multimodal composition in keeping with a prior post, so consider this post more an addendum to that mobile toolkit post. I have been toying a lot recently with audio applications that allow for composition, including

Most of these have recording functions and Garage Band goes so far as to allow for sampling (ie, recording human voices or ambient sounds and using those as the basis for the music). Not being a musician myself, I need something that is relatively easy to use but still powerful enough to compose something worthwhile. I want to compose 1-2 minute segments for video pieces I make, mosaics, or other multimodal compositions. I tend to assume that a little music, if complementary to the images being shown, produces a more palatable aesthetic effect. So I toy whenever possible with mobile applications that allow me to score these compositions. Ideally, I would want to score these from mobile locations: the Tube, the train, or sitting on the front stoop of my wife’s house in Long Island waiting for her to return from a run. Everything in this post was composed in the last locale.

Figure App

The Figure App certainly meets all these requirements. It is intuitive enough for non-musicians (the whole interface just screams out for touching), it has enough export options to be portable, and can then be pulled into iMovie for some quick collaging, editing, and producing to iTunes. All of it via mobile. It is slightly more intuitive than Garage Band, but slightly less powerful and versatile. Which is fine for most of the kinds of projects I am working on. So if you need to score something relatively quickly and painlessly, I recommend it.

The video above was thrown together in about 10 minutes using the audio I generated from Figure (yes, it is an original score) and images I am using and reusing for my thesis in iMovie all via mobile technology.

Using Diptic to make a mosaic from the different interfaces of Figure
Using Diptic to make a mosaic from the different interfaces of Figure

By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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