Frequently Asked Questions

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What is ToneTap?

ToneTap is a new breed of MIDI wind controller for woodwind players.

ToneTap gives woodwind players what they have wanted since the advent of synthesizers and MIDI: the chance to expressively control synthesized instruments using a true, acoustic woodwind instrument.

With ToneTap, you play an unmodified woodwind instrument: a flute, saxophone, clarinet, or recorder. With no need for an expensive hardware controller, ToneTap can do what the other controllers cannot by converting the pure sound of a real woodwind into a highly expressive MIDI stream.

ToneTap is made entirely of software. There is nothing to plug in or turn on, except your Mac.

What ToneTap is not:

ToneTap is not like other wind controllers that you may know about, such as the Lyricon, the Yamaha WX series, or the Akai EWI series. And ToneTap with its MIDI effects section offers unique features and playing possibilities.

ToneTap is not a hardware-based wind controller. The hardware-based controllers substitute switches, sensors, electronics, and wires for the acoustic instrument, making them very different from an acoustic woodwind to learn and play.

Does ToneTap work with flute, saxophone, or clarinet?

Yes, all of them. ToneTap Professional Edition now supports all of these instruments. Woodwind input choices are provided which have been crafted specifically to interpret the sound of a particular woodwind instrument. Choose from concert flute, soprano or alto saxophone, Bb clarinet, and soprano or alto recorder.

ToneTap Student Edition at this time is limited to support only the soprano recorder.

Who can use ToneTap?

Anyone from professional musicians to schoolchildren. Anyone who can learn the recorder.

If you can already play a supported woodwind instrument, you are ready to control just about any MIDI synthesizer or music workstation for Mac, including GarageBand, Live, Massive, Reaktor, Logic, Traktion, Cubase, Core, Renoise, Metro...the list goes on.

With a MIDI interface for your computer you can control any MIDI hardware synthesizer you may have, including those great synthesizers that were made for the hardware-based wind controllers.

What do I need to get started?

First you need to be running Mac OS X Leopard or above. Second you need a supported woodwind instrument (flute, alto/soprano saxophone, Bb clarinet, alto/soprano recorder). Third you need a MIDI software synthesizer and a set of headphones.

That's all. Just install
ToneTap from ThingTone Software and you are ready to play.

I want to play recorder, which model should I use?

If you already have a soprano recorder, that is likely all you will need. Otherwise, Yamaha and Jean Baptiste school recorders (Soprano, also called Descant with A=440 using the "English" or "Baroque" fingering) are very playable, have good intonation, and are durable, requiring no maintenance at all. These are the least expensive recorders recommended (at only about $5 USD). Of course, recorders of higher quality will also work well with ToneTap.

Can I get into this without spending a ton of money?

At ThingTone Software we know that the cost of gear is a big factor in what you choose to play. Therefore, in addition to testing our software with the high-end tools of the trade, we have also spent considerable time developing another approach which can keep costs low without compromising the quality of your music.

This begins with taking advantage of the equipment you probably already have (a Mac and GarageBand) and selectively adding on MIDI plug-ins to suit your needs and budget. Our free
Gear Guide has a section on where to find some of the best values.

What are "Professional Edition" and "Student Edition?"

See the details of each product on our
Editions page.

Where can I get your product and what does it cost?

ToneTap is only available online through our website and authorized dealers.