Hearandplay Song Robot Review

Hearandplay Song Robot Review

Hearandplay Song Robot Review

This is an updated review of HearandPlay’s Song Robot reflecting the last 9 updates that it has undergone since the first release. If you had read my original article about Song Robot, I was not entirely excited, but as an avid fan and member of HearandPlay’s GMTC I had a hunch things would get better. They certainly have. For me it was a rough road getting there so I don’t completely discard what I wrote before, but I can now honestly say that Song Robot is a great piece of musical training software. I highly recommend it now.

http://www.hearandplay.com/main/what-if-a-robot-could-teach-you-songs

Here is a list of the latest updates which I think have really been fantastic. Off the top of my head, I think there have been about 3 or 4 releases since the very first one. The update below give you a brief idea about what has been added. All are great additions and have really improved the Song Robot software immensely.

Update #1 – Note names show up above the keys now. Left hand note names show up in blue. Right hand note names show up in red. Note names can be defaulted to the key you’re in or you can choose to only show flats or only showsharps.

Update #2 – The current key of the song now showsup above the keyboard display.

Update #3 – When you transpose to a new key, the area that shows the current key dynamically adjusts to
tell you what new key you’re in so you’re never lost!

Update #4 – Help buttons added, which link to a tutorial
section that will continue to grow with helpful information.

Update #5 – An adjustable split color feature has been added. The right hand will light in red and the left
hand in blue. You can adjust the split point, which is set at middle C (“C4) by default.

Update #6 – An incredible LOOPING feature has been added. You simply press the button to set your end point. Then, simply press ACTIVATION button to start the loop feature and it will repeat at your selected speed and key until you deactivate. Nice!

Update #7 – We’ve now added the ability to slow down a song to 10%… that’s 5 times slower than the first version of SR.

Update #8 – Press either on Play or Pause or the Space bar of your keyboard will switch between play/pause.

Update #9 – You can also use your mouse wheel to control any sliders (volume, pitch, tempo). Lastly, the scrub bar is 100% precise now and will allow you to go to any point of the song you want.

Plus new midi files have been update and made available with the latest release!

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24 thoughts on “Hearandplay Song Robot Review

  1. Here is a list of MIDI files that are in the “Robot Song” package. These are the same as in the GMTC “Gospel Musician Training Center”.

    Anointing1.mid
    Anointing2.mid
    answer1.mid
    answer2.mid
    asthedeer1.mid
    asthedeer2.mid
    battlefield1.mid
    battlefield2.mid
    blessedassurance1.mid
    blessedassurance2.mid
    godisagoodgod1.mid
    godisagoodgod2.mid
    hallelujah1.mid
    hallelujah2.mid
    holyholyholy1.mid
    holyholyholy2.mid
    igetjoy1.mid
    igetjoy2.mid
    iloveyou1.mid
    iloveyou2.mid
    jesusonmainline1.mid
    jesusonmainline2.mid
    jesusyourthecenter1.mid
    jesusyourthecenter2.mid
    lifteveryvoice1.mid
    lifteveryvoice2.mid
    ohholynight1.mid
    ohholynight2.mid
    preacherchords1.mid
    preacherchords2.mid
    preaching1.mid
    preaching2.mid
    preciousjesus1.mid
    preciousjesus2.mid
    silentnight1.mid
    silentnight2.mid
    thankyoulord1.mid
    thankyoulord2.mid
    theblood1.mid
    theblood2.mid
    walkwithme1.mid
    walkwithme2.mid
    wefalldown1.mid
    wefalldown2.mid

  2. Hi everyone. I just wrote Jermaine an email.

    Hello Jermaine. I just bought the Song Robot Software with MIDI files and I honestly must say that I am disappointed in the product. The reason is two fold. First I already have a MIDI file player called vanBasco MIDI player that to me is actually better than Song Robot and it’s free. It does everything that HearandPlay claims is new. That’s perhaps my mistake in that I should have known better so I can’t blame HearandPlay.

    However, what I’m perhaps more disappointed in is that the MIDI files look like they are straight out of GMTC which I’m currently a member of. Did I just purchase MIDI files that are from GMTC? Now I haven’t compared them yet, but I do have both and will check out whether they are the same or newly edited files. I got caught up in all the hype and now I feel really let down by Hearandplay. I’ve been a big fan, but now I’m starting to wonder what’s happening. I absolutely LOVE GMTC and what you guys are doing, but to me “Song Robot” is completely redundant and I feel I just threw $47 bucks out the window. My apologies for the negative email here. I guess live and learn, but I thought I should say something as it just didn’t seem right to me. Much appreciated.

    Is this not the same or similar MIDI file player as “Song Robot”?
    Free vanBasco MIDI file player
    http://www.vanbasco.com/

  3. Jim, I saw your complaint on Jermaine’s blog earlier today. Now I see it’s been deleted.

    I’ve been a fan of Jermaine until now, too. I don’t even know what to think.

    Another freebie app with better midi-features (including left/right hand separation) is Brothersoft’s MidiPiano.

    Did you verify that the midi’s Jermaine is trying to sell are identical to the ones given away for free by GMTC? If so, you have every right to demand a refund!

    • Hello CMJ,

      Thanks for the comment and visiting my blog. I didn’t know that Jermaine deleted my comment, but I was actually expecting it. I understand completely that he might not want a competing product such as vanBasco MIDI file player being displayed on his blog. He also may not want the Gospel MIDI file link either which I understand although I thought that those were pretty good MIDI files for users who purchase the Song Robot Software. Again I am not offended by the post being deleted as I knew any blog owner would probably have done that.

      Yes, so far I have found that the MIDI files are the same as those found in GMTC. For example, As the Deer is the same as Take 1 and Take 2. Jermaine in his email reply earlier today did not confirm or deny that the MIDI files were the same, but I can confirm that so far the ones I’ve compared are identical.

      I must say Jermaine’s reply was very sincere and he understood the situation. He did proceed with a refund, but mentioned that future additions to the “Song Robot” software would separate it more from other applications namely the vanBasco MIDI player. I didn’t know about the Brothersoft MidiPiano, but it looks like another example of something similar. I know there are quite a few out there. Thanks for that info.

      Jermaine also tried to differentiate the “Song Robot” software from vanBasco by saying it could also be applied to MP3s. There is another application called Amazing Slow Downer that has been out on the market for sometime that is very popular too. http://www.ronimusic.com/

      There’s obviously room for “Song Robot” but I really don’t think it’s all that unique to tell the truth. It might be in the Gospel community, but certainly not in the MIDI world.

      Although I continue to recommend practically all other Hearandplay products, especially GMTC, I still cannot recommend “Song Robot” yet. I think it’s redundant and the MIDI files already exist if you are a GMTC member.

      Furthermore, Jermaine mentioned that there is also a loop feature coming THIS week. I didn’t think van basco let you pinpoint 2 points in a song and repeat as much as you want back to back in any tempo/key. This is coming along with a host of other options (recording midi / band in a box features/ teacher edition, etc). Free upgrades for life as well.

      Thanks!

      Jim

      • Thanks so much for the reply. I noticed on his blog, Jermaine has now announced that he’s recorded a bunch of unique midi files, and hopes they’ll be available soon (dealing with licensing issues, I imagine). Sounds like he may have just put this product out on the market a bit prematurely. I’m reassured that his intention was not to mislead. I appreciate your follow-up and glad to hear you were contacted personally and issued a refund.

  4. I have been going through all of the MIDI files for I received from GMTC and they are the same as the ones found in the “Song Robot” package. HearandPlay GMTC members please beware!! You are buying the same product again.

  5. Here a few updates regarding the HearandPlay “Song Robot”.

    1. The latest version, now slows down your songs to 10% of actual speed!

    2. James Wrubel from Jazz 101 and Jazz 201 made 10 new jazz midi song files.

    3. COMING SOON – “Loop Feature”… You’ll be able to
    pick two points in the song and have the software
    repeat that small selection over and over again…
    as slow as you want (tempo), and in any key you
    want (pitch).

    4. Song Robot comes with lifetime updates.

    It seems like Jermaine at Hearandplay is really committed to making the Song Robot a great product. Awesome!

    Jim

  6. Here is another great solution called MIDI KEYZ
    http://midikeyz.com/home.html

    “The Split Key feature allows you you split the keyboard colors. As keyboard players ourselves, we know how important it is to decipher between what is played in the right and left hands. The Split Key feature gives you a “relative” idea of what each hand is playing by allowing different colors of the keyboard to light up per your choosing. For teachers this is even more important, as you can use it as a guide when teaching your students.”

    PLUS

    “When an audio, MIDI or LMS file is playing, you have the ability to change the tempo and of each file type. Yes, that means that you can change the tempo and/or key of an audio file as well. This is the most amazing feature of MIDIKeyz. Not only do you get an amazing MIDI file player and viewer, but you have an audio transcribing software that will allow you to slow down audio, MIDI, and LMS files. Most software packages only achieve one or the other, but MIDIKeyz is designed to be the ultimate learning tool for teachers and students with no limitations.”

    KEY HIGHLIGHTS AND FEATURES
    MIDI Player
    Multi-track MIDI file select
    Change Key
    Change Tempo
    Pull key from MIDI file
    Pull tempo from MIDI file
    Ability to set key
    Audio Player (AIF, WAV, MP3)
    Slow Down Audio and keep the same key/pitch
    Change Key of Audio without changing tempo
    Play MIDI with Audio file. No need for audio inputs to practice
    Large keyboard display (61, 76, 88 Key versions)
    Note Names Above Keys
    Ability to choose all flats or sharps
    LMS Lessons (Audio and Video Sync) with slow-down function for both simultaneously.
    Mixer with Mute and Solo Options
    Play keys with QWERTY Keyboard
    Transmit MIDI with QWERTY keyboard and record to your DAW without needing a musical keyboard.
    Full MIDI Transmit and Receive Controls
    Octave Controls
    Sustain pedal view
    Play keys with your computer keyboard
    Pitch bend and mod wheel view
    Solfège Notation for International Customers
    Left-Hand Right-Hand view in different colors
    Transport controls
    OSX and Windows (XP/Vista/Windows 7)
    ASIO and Core Audio Compatibility

    • Hi Jim,

      Nice reviews. Just to add few details :
      Hear and Play Song Robot is capable of transposing and slow down/speed up audio files as well as midi file. Plus it has a feature to reduce vocals from an audio file, which can be interesting for making “karaoke” versions of your favorite songs.

      • Thanks for commenting David. HearandPlay’s Song Robot has improved greatly since it’s first release and my initial comments. It definitely is fun to work with now.

        Jim

  7. That’s a tempting piece of software! Thanks for this, and for all your music instruction product reviews. I can tell reading your blog is going to cost me money. ;-)

    • Hi CMJ! Yes, I completely forgot about MIDIKEYZ. I just posted an article with some additional links. There are quite a few videos about it on Youtube you can checkout. I think most “Gospel and Jazz Keyboard” instruction videos are starting to use this software to highlight the keys. What I particularly like about it is the fact that you can split the left and right keys with different colors. Plus the name of the key is also shown like Db in the video above.

      All of the Song Robot and GMTC MIDI files work perfectly in MIDIKEYZ as you can see by the photo in my most recent article that I posted. I know Jermaine and Jamal know each other quite well, so it’s interesting both have MIDI Player solutions now. I like the looks of MIDI KEYZ, but I’m sure Song Robot will get better over time. Jamal doesn’t seem to support MIDI KEYZ that much and this could be the big difference with Song Robot. Hearandplay has really good support.

      http://jimatwood.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/midikeyz-instructional-keyboard-software-review/

  8. Here the latest update info for Song Robot by HearandPlay.

    Latest Updates In Version 2:

    Update #1 (LATEST!!!) – We’ve added an
    adjustable split color feature. The right
    hand will light in red and the left hand
    in blue. You can adjust the split point,
    which is set at middle C (“C4) by default.

    Update #2 (LATEST!!!) – We’ve added an
    incredible LOOPING feature. You simply
    press the button label to set your end point. Then,
    simply press the LOOP button to activate
    the loop feature and it will repeat at
    your selected speed and key until you
    deactivate. Nice!

    Update #3 (LATEST!!!) – Press either on
    Play or Pause or the Space bar of your
    keyboard will switch between play/pause.

    Update #4 – We’ve now added the ability
    to slow down a song to 10%… that’s 5
    times slower than the first version of SR.

    Update #5 – You can also use your mouse
    wheel to control any sliders (volume,
    pitch, tempo). Lastly, the scrub bar
    is 100% precise now and will allow you
    to go to any point of the song you want.

    Update #6 – The scrubber now allows you
    to move to any point in the song you want.
    It is 100% precise now and doesn’t round
    up to random points.

    P.S. – This is the last update file you’ll
    have to download as the software itself
    will now look for updates and prompt you
    when you open it. So download this last one
    and all future ones will be available directly
    from inside Song Robot.

    P.P.S. – 10 bonus Salsa midi files coming
    in a few days! See digital center if you haven’t
    downloaded the 10 jazz tracks I released last
    week!

  9. Hey Jim, I know you probably noticed this but didn’t really want to say it but as a member of GMTC isn’t it funny that they already offer the vanbasco program as a free download on the site.

    • Hey there,

      With all due respect, there are tens of thousands of people on our list outside GMTC. I said in the video this has been available to my inner circle members. I expected gmtc members to watch 5 minutes and then turn it off saying to themselves “I already have this.” Instead, a few bought it… which baffled me as every other week I talk about the software and how to use the midi files on the Q&A calls. Not sure what I said that made it sound so different but it was the same software demo’d on the video.

      So it shouldn’t be funny that I’ve already given GMTC the world… it should be great because it’s been free to them forever. So whether a gmtc member goes with van basco or our song robot (which is way better, especially considering our 3 updates since Jim wrote this), it doesn’t matter because I’ve never required gmtc members to buy song robot… ever.

      Song Robot will surpass your wildest expectations. It already has. What it started as 2 weeks ago and what it is now is a completely different software. I haven’t even had time to change the sales video yet. And when you see step by step midi keyboard feedback (coming soon… telling you if you’re hitting the right notes, step by step), and audio-midi recording and editing for music teachers… etc etc… you will be blown away.

      So guys, come on… enough already. Any gmtc member who bought this gladly got a refund. But again, if they had the program and clearly used it from day 1, there would have been absolutely NO MISTAKE about it because what I demo’d was what you had. Appreciate you guys as members.

      Thanks guys and keep up the great work,
      JG

      • Hello Jermaine!

        Wow! Thanks for the comment. Much appreciated.

        With regards to Song Robot, I think the latest updates do indeed bring the software up and perhaps beyond what’s out there for sure. I do agree with this. I am a big fan of HearandPlay and I think you and everyone there have done a fabulous job. The changes with Song Robot have been fantastic, especially the split key colors and the naming of the notes!!

        I must say though that my original post applies to the very first release of Song Robot which I do think I had a valid point and concern with. Since then the software has made tremendous leaps and I recommend it absolutely. Case closed on that point and I’ll amend my original post to reflect the new changes.

        My only other concern at the time was that I didn’t think it was that understood as you make it out to be that GMTC members were in any sort of “Inner Circle”. I didn’t see or hear any mention of Song Robot, Midi Files, etc directed towards GMTC members. It was really confusing to me and thus the reason why I questioned the Midi File redundancy and Song Robot availability in the first place. The GMTC Announcements, Newest Site Additions, and Twitter Feeds inside GMTC have not changed since last Spring or Summer. I’m not a big “Chat” user so perhaps that is were all the info is located. I also didn’t hear much spoken about it originally during the Q&A sessions either. I am not sure how I was suppose to know how new releases, products, or info were suppose to effect GMTC members. Perhaps I am the only one who just didn’t “get it”.

        In any event, I will revisit my original post and make some amendments to reflect the fabulous updates for Song Robot. Again, I am a huge fan of yours and HearandPlay.

        Finally, if I may, my only suggestion is to perhaps open a channel to GMTC members with information that can help them understand what it means exactly to be in the “Inner Circle” and how they can benefit when releases happen such as with Song Robot. I would also recommend having an announcement page that maybe is geared more towards providing information to GMTC members if possible. If I originally knew it was available to GMTC members in the first place, I probably wouldn’t have written an article about it the way I did originally. My blog post reflected Song Robot as a product to everyone and not as a GMTC “inner circle” bonus which surely would have made things different.

        All in all, everything is great. I just downloaded the recent update and I have become much happier about my purchase.

        Thanks very much and I appreciate the comment from the guru himself. GMTC is the best!

        Sincerest regards,

        Jim

  10. Hello everyone,

    HearandPlay has announced some new updates for the Song Robot Software. These are great new additions. If you haven’t picked up this software yet, I recommend checking it out. It’s really much better now.

    http://www.hearandplay.com/main/this-thing-keeps-getting-better-another-song-robot-update

    Update #1 (NEWEST!!!) – Note names show up above the keys now. Left hand note names show up in blue. Right hand note names show up in red. Note names can be defaulted to the key you’re in or you can choose to only show flats or only show sharps.

    Update #2 (NEWEST!!!) – The current key of the song now shows up above the keyboard display.

    Update #3 (NEWEST!!!) – When you transpose to a new key, the area that shows the current key dynamically adjusts to tell you what new key you’re in so you’re never lost! Go up a key and everything dynamically changes… even the note names change to sharps vs flats depending on the key.

    Update #4 – Help buttons added, which link to a tutorial section that will continue to grow with helpful information.

  11. Here is a screenshot showing the new note names above the keys. Left hand note names show up in blue. Right hand note names show up in red. This is a great addition. Thanks HearandPlay!

    HearandPlay Song Robot Note Names above Keys

  12. Hey Jim,

    Thanks for your latest reply.

    Definitely agree with everything you’ve said.

    In My account, we do keep a long archive of e-mails and announcements and that’s where all the bonuses are, including the software and PITCH ear-training (full version). But I can easily see how people can miss this and it’s my full intention to make sure they get all the bonuses WAITING for them… after all, a happy user is a loyal user! So I agree, if you missed those bonuses and you’re pretty savvy, its safe to assume others don’t know they’re there (in addition to free version of Gospelkeys 202, christmaskeys volume 1, pitch software and other recommended tools including van basco.)

    I do appreciate you revising your review. And you’re right, you had full justification for feeling the way you did about version 1, especially considering your circumstances as a current member who already had access to it.

    And to be honest, you alone were a huge catalyst for these updates pushing out. Being the people pleaser I am, I couldn’t live with ONE person writing unfavorably about my new tool so I paid top dollar and got my developer to prioritize these updates even over his own day job (he got paid well!) And these are just the “small updates.”

    The big 3 include connecting midi keyboard and having full interaction with song robot, being able to record audio/midi, edit your audio/midi (taking out mess-ups) and producing a .hp file that is equipped with audio and midi. You could literally create and sell your own audio lesson with interactive midi. You can teach people the 12 bar blues, explain it in your full voice and when they get down to you playing it, it will light up on the screen. They can then change the key, the note names change before their eyes, slow it down (without effecting your voice), and all sorts of things. That is my ultimate vision. Obviously, that opens up the idea of a “teacher’s edition” that will carry a higher price tag but I’m sure this will even be a free update to the early adopters of song robot. ANd lastly, the biggest is a step by step interactive module. That means you will have two arrows that step through a midi file, chord by chord, note by note. If the notes of a chord are sounded relatively at the same time, they will be in one step. If there is a single passing tone melody note in between, it will be next step… and so on. Every rhythm is a new step. With your midi keyboard in hand, you’ll be able to match each step with the computer responding and making sure you’re accurately playing the notes. THe next level up is to make sure you’re playing it in rhythm but that is going to take a lot of development.

    So Jim, thanks for your honesty. We’ve had interaction too and most people who’ve gotten to know someone personally would be a little intimidated to give their true feelings… but you did. Lit a fire under me. And I’m proud song robot is yards ahead of its original version 3 weeks ago. And I’m glad it’s won you over.

    Take care and keep up the great work,
    Jermaine Griggs
    “The Ear Doctor”
    hearandplay.com

  13. There is a new Song Robot update from HearandPlay and it’s quite a good one.

    Now the keys are in HD and can be expanded as big as you want! If you have double monitors, they can span the whole length. Even if you connect to a 50″ plasma tv, it will have the same, crisp, sharp HD look! Note that there is only ONE window even though the keys separate from the main control panel area.

    Watch this video for the details.

    Song Robot Big Keys

    For those who don’t have Song Robot yet. Click here for a free video presentation from HearandPlay.

  14. This all sound great, the only problem is that I’m a Mac owner… Will i have to get a PC or there a similar device out there as good (or at least close) for Mac?

    Would greatly appreciate an answer!

    Kind regards!
    Tim

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