Meet SmartMusic Engineer Mike Anderson

Mike Anderson is a software engineer at MakeMusic where he works his programming magic on both the SmartMusic application and the SmartMusic websites. In addition to being an experienced programmer, Mike brings a deep music background and a great sense of humor to work every day.

James Lund: What instruments do you play?

Nostalgia, SmartMusic, and the Recorder

Who hasn’t wanted to get in touch with their childhood roots and re-connect with the recorder?

Not you? Well, okay. Nevertheless it’s a portable and versatile instrument with a rich history in many cultures. What’s more, recorders are relatively inexpensive and a great introduction to the world of written music.

Meet J.G., here for you in SmartMusic Customer Support

The second installment of our wildly popular “Meet the CS team” series introduces us to another James – “J. G.,” our evening shift supervisor for SmartMusic support. We get many calls from students and parents after 5:00 p.m. Central time, and they all appreciate J.G.’s calming manner, especially when that grade-crucial assignment is due.

Meet Travis, here for you in SmartMusic Customer Support

The SmartMusic Customer Support team is made up of a great variety of musicians. Among our ranks are guitarists, percussionists, singers, and brass and woodwind players. We have degrees in audio production, music composition, music performance, music education, and more.

Supporting SmartMusic and Finale requires a broad skill set well beyond expertise in SmartMusic and Finale.

Previewing Exercises and Method Books in SmartMusic

SmartMusic includes thousands of pre-written technical exercises. On the Find Music screen, under Exercises, you’ll see the eight different types of exercises listed:

Select one of the eight by clicking on it, you’ll see a different view of the program:

On the left side is a descriptive “file tree” view of the exercises, organized by type.

Hidden Treasure in SmartMusic

Here are four lesser-known aspects of SmartMusic I thought you might enjoy:

Reverb
Not everyone knows that SmartMusic has reverb controls! To access them, select the “Settings” tab and click on “Advanced Settings.” Press the play button to hear a sample piece play while you adjust the room type and amount of reverb SmartMusic will include with your performances.

I am a Terrible Jazz Pianist

I am a terrible jazz pianist. It is true, I’m the second to admit it. The first would be my jazz piano teacher from college. Well, maybe him, then the jazz ensemble director – well, and the other students in the rhythm section. The more I think of it, pretty much everyone who hears my ham-fisted chord voicings says “ouch.”

Help is at hand, in the form of the Wynton Marsalis tunes in the Jazz Improvisation section of SmartMusic.

New Ideas for SmartMusic?

Last week I described how to submit SmartMusic repertoire suggestions. I’ve since had folks ask if there was a place where they could pass along their ideas for features or new directions with the SmartMusic program.

The answer is yes! We log and track feature requests through our online knowledge base.

Getting SmartMusic Repertoire Faster

Among many other improvements, SmartMusic 2010 speeds up the file retrieval process and makes files easier to manage. Today SmartMusic grabs content à la carte – as you pick each piece, rather than requiring you to slowly download one very large (+800MB) block of files as it did in the past.