DAY Ten - Soundplant Digital January

Welcome to Day Ten of Digital January - we're half way through our planned 20-day project. If you've got a moment and you're enjoying Digital January - and why wouldn't you - why not give us some feedback on our Feedback Padlet (see Day Three for more about Padlet).

Are you feeling organised? In control of things? Well, you should be after yesterday's excursion into Evernote. Today we're going to go to the other end of the digital spectrum and look at something which might not immediately find a place in your digital world but is fun - and may be a useful too, to harness ingenuity and creativity. Welcome to Soundplant.

What does it do?

There will be very many of you for whom Soundplant will be of little or no interest. It is not a productivity tool nor a way of adding to the many and varied ways to which you use social media to connect with your professional network. No, it is an incredibly easy-to-use application that turns your QWERTY keyboard into a multi-track sample-triggering device and playable musical instrument - and you don't have to be a musician to use it.

When would you use it?

Here we hand over to Derek Robertson from the School of Education & Social Work to tell us how he came to use the Soundplant App with his MA3 Primary Education students who were investigating the design process.

"I first came across Soundplant when I was researching an input for how we could enable music, science and technologies to be explored in an inter-disciplinary fashion. I was using another device called the Makey-Makey as part of this investigation and in my research I found that very many of the online examples were using Soundplant alongside this device to help create some amazing and ingenious installations. The Le Frutophone French café table scene that transforms into a fruit based sampling installation was the very first Soundplant example that I saw and it served to really inspire me. A host of other examples can be seen here.

Ok - so that looks a bit mad...but a basic grounding in electronics (and even music) helps it stand with Lego Technic and the Raspberry Pi DIY computer as a tool to foster creativity while learning about how things work. More from Derek;

"I made an installation based on Destiny’s Child/Beyoncé samples called I Don’t Think You’re Ready For This Jelly using Makey-Makey, Soundplant and an array of coloured jelly moulds to show my students how the three subject areas - music, science and technology - could be explored in a complementary way".

How do you access it?

Soundplant is available for download here and comes with a free non-commercial user licence. If you are downloading this to a University PC note that you may receive a warning from the University network - it may be better to use a personal laptop or PC.

You can use sound files of almost any format with the application so this means that you can either use files that you find or that you make yourself.

Where can you get help to use it?

Derek has made a short video tutorial to show how Soundplant works and how he set it up.

What Digital Literacy skills will Soundplant help you to develop?

The University of Dundee has a Digital Literacies Framework which sets out what sort of digital skills you should have, whether you're a student or a staff member. It's unlikely you'll have all the skills contained in the Framework (yet!), but this project can help you get started in developing some new ones. To see the Framework click here and click on Digital Literacies Framework at Dundee University to download a copy.

Using a creative electronics tool is an aspect of DIMENSION 5 - Collaborate and share digital content as outlined in the Framework.



Created with images by andrewmalone - "One man band" • wstryder - "6 bit R2R ladder DAC" • Noodles and Beef - "Beyonce"

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