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Finger Paint with Your Voice
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Tips & Tricks

You can just go ahead and use Singing Fingers without any detailed instruction. But if you get stuck, or just want to fine tune your expertise, see this small list of tips:
  1. Start on white and smear your finger around while making noise to record
    If you start with your finger on a color it won't go into record mode. But once you start on white you can record over other drawings as long as you're making enough noise to power the brush.

  2. Start on colors and move your finger to play back and remix the audio
    If you start on white instead of color it might record over your sound-drawing. This happens sometimes when you want to swipe across a line of color, but you start too early behind the color. Once you've started on the color you can go anywhere and keep playing back, with as many fingers as you like (up to 5).

  3. Be aware of where the microphone is
    On the iPad it's on the top left right next to the headphone jack. On the iPhone it's on the bottom. Try talking right into the mic (while drawing), or try holding your mouth far away. Notice the difference.

  4. Loud sounds give a bigger brush, and often also more saturated colors
    Quiet sounds on the other hand give a smaller brush, and since quiet also means there will be more noise, sometimes quieter sounds are less saturated. You can change the color of the brush by singing in a different pitch.

  5. Don't hold your finger still when recording sounds you'd like to play back later
    The problem is you'll be recording over and over your own recording if you hold your finger in just one place. It's typically better to smear the recording across the screen instead of holding your finger still. That is, if you want to be able to play the sounds back out. There are some exceptions to this rule, like if you're trying to find a certain color before you start drawing, or if you just want to draw dots. But the common mistake is to hold in one place and make a whole sound, then when you go to play it back it only sounds like one little bleep because you've recorded over most of it.

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By Eric Rosenbaum and Jay Silver of Beginners' Mind. Support from MIT Media Lab's LLK. Made with OpenFrameworks. Some inspiration from a brainstorm with Josh Gordonson and Amos Blanton. Concept collaborators include Amos Blanton and his early work on "Sing Painter."

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"Simple, fun as hell."
"...let your imagination play..."
~iPad Creative
"Mind? Blown"
~Fast Company's Co. Design
"It seems totally mad, 'til you see the video."
~Fast Company's Co. Design
"Think of all the awesome stuff you could do with this."
~Fast Company's Co. Design
" a sort of voluntary synesthesia."
~Design Boom
"DJs could make -- and scratch -- their own iPad records."
~Fast Company's Co. Design
"Singing Fingers has a dead simple interface"
~Design Boom