User manual for the Play-By-Ear-Game


User manual ...


What do the various widgets mean?

Which hardware do I need for the game?

How does the game work exactly?

What is the "Test" button good for?

How does the "Test" button work?

Which notes are used by the game?

What is the difference between the various levels?

How should I play into the micro?

Which pitch is used for getting the instrument tuning?

Which is the lowest recognized note?

I have there another question/idea/complaint ...


Errors in general ...


The layout of the game applet looks somehow broken

Using the mouse piano or the midi keyboard: it lasts a long while until the sound is heard

Apparently the applet does not hear, what I play


Errors with the Midi keyboard ...


Midi-Input: what means: "Midi input not available - used by other?" ?

"Test" platform: what means "Could not hear any note (Midi)"

"Test" platform: what means "Unclear transposition (Midi)"

"Test" platform: what means "Hardware problem? (Midi)"

Midi hardware problems


Errors with the microphone ...


Mikro input: what means: "Microphone not available" ?

"Test" platform: what means: "Could not hear any note (Micro)"

"Test" platform: what means "Only one note heared"

"Test"-Plattform: what means "Micro rather quiet"

"Test" platform: what means "Unclear transposition"

"Test" platform: what means "Hardware problem? (Micro)"

When I play: shortly after each input I hear the error bleep

Regardless, what I play: after a while I hear the error bleep

Mikrophone hardware problems




User manual ...


What do the various widgets mean?


The most widgets are self-explanatory.
At "number of notes" you can set, how many notes a task contains.
At "note visibility" you can set, which notes are shown or hidden.


up

Which hardware do I need for the game?


This depends on which note input you want to use:
- for the mouse piano: a working mouse
- for the midi keyboard: a "midi master keyboard" without own sound generation will do
- for microphone input: any working micro or a cheap headset. Working means, that the input level can be adjusted to a reasonable value. On my own pc it was not possible to change the level of the micro with the onboard sound chip.


up

How does the game work exactly?


When you have done all settings, you have to click the "Test" button (see below). If you are only using the mouse piano, there is no test needed.
If the test was successful, you can click the "Start" button. The applet will then play a task, this means, as many notes as you have chosen. If you don't hear a task, perhaps the speaker is switched off.
Now you have to replay the notes (on the right instrument!). If the applet hears an error (or, for some time, nothing), there will be a short repeated bleep. Then the task will be repeated. If everything was ok, the next task is played.
In the gray fields you see the successful and the failed trials.


up

What is the "Test" button good for?


There are 2 questions to be answered:
- do you perhaps have a transposing instrument? Even a guitar transposes one octave down, a soprano recorder transposes one octave up. Also when a keyboard is used, the applet must know, in which octave you are playing.
- if you use a micro: how loud is it adjusted?


up

How does the "Test" button work?


You just have to play the low and the high note several times. The applet recognizes then, if and how your instrument transposes, and how loud the micro ist adjusted. If there is a problem, you will see an error message.
Look below in section: "Errors with ..." for a more detailed description of the possible problems.


up

Which notes are used by the game?


When you have entered some notes you can play under "Note selection" (in the main menu on the left side), then these notes are used.
If you have nothing entered, the notes C through G in the key of C-major are used.
If you enter other notes, please note, that the game has to be restarted (the page must be updated) to make the change valid.
Currently only notes are used, that are in the key you have chosen.


up

What is the difference between the various levels?


The levels of the tasks vary in the frequency of occurrence. In level 1 only the most common sequences are used. In level 2 you will get more sequences, that are not so commen and so on.
If you have only a few notes, the difference is not big.


up

How should I play into the micro?


It is not so very easy to recognize, which note was played. So
- you should absolutely leave a short pause after the last note was played by the applet
- you should play rather clearly
- the micro should be near the instrument
- there should not be much background noise in your room
- you should not play faster than the applet plays.


up

Which pitch is used for getting the instrument tuning?


The applet uses the standard pitch for a = 440 Hz.
It is possible, that your instrument is out of tune. Please note, that for wind instruments the pitch can depend on the used air pressure. For example it is easy to slip one half note lower on a recorder, just by blowing a bit weaker.
If you have the suspicion, that there is a tuning problem, please start the tuning applet and check the tuning with it.


up

Which is the lowest recognized note?


The lowest note that is recognized by the applet is the low E of the guitar. This means, the lowest E that is used in the melodies, transposed lower by one octave.
I do not know exactly for now the highest recognized note.


up

I have there another question/idea/complaint ...


Please send me a mail.


up

Errors in general ...


The layout of the game applet looks somehow broken


Please try to change the size of the applet. This is done for example with (Ctrl. key and mouse wheel) or in the main menu of the browser under point "View".


up

Using the mouse piano or the midi keyboard: it lasts a long while until the sound is heard


Unfortunately I cannot do anything about it. This problem is known under the name "latency". You can try to make latency of your soundcard smaller, but this is not easy.


up

Apparently the applet does not hear, what I play


Please make sure, that you really play into the input device, that you have set in the applet!


up

Errors with the Midi keyboard ...


Midi-Input: what means: "Midi input not available - used by other?" ?


The applet could not connect to the midi device. There are two possible reasons for that:
- there might be no midi input device connected with your computer, or
- there is a midi device connected, but it is already allocated by another program. This can even happen, when you have opened two browser windows with the play-by-ear-game.


up

"Test" platform: what means "Could not hear any note (Midi)"


This means, that the applet did not hear any note. It could mean the following:
- perhaps you did not play anything, or
- the midi device is not connected properly.
If you are sure, that you played correctly, please see point "Midi hardware problems" below.


up

"Test" platform: what means "Unclear transposition (Midi)"


This means, that the applet could not clarify your transposition. It heard two notes, but they were transposed differently compared to the shown notes.
This normally means the following:
- you really transposed the two notes differently.


up

"Test" platform: what means "Hardware problem? (Midi)"


This means, that the applet has the suspicion after several failed trials, that there might be a hardware problem. You can make some more trials, but if this does not help, you should perhaps try the suggested steps.


up

Midi hardware problems


When there is the suspicion, that there is a midi hardware problem, you can try the following:
- close all browser windows
- close all programs, that might use the midi device
- restart the browser
- if that does not help: reboot the computer
- test, if any other program can access the midi device.
If any other program can access the keyboard, and the game applet cannot, then I have no more idea.


up

Errors with the microphone ...


Mikro input: what means: "Microphone not available" ?


The applet could not access the micro. Please check the micro cable and test, if any other program can use the micro.


up

"Test" platform: what means: "Could not hear any note (Micro)"


This means, that the applet did not hear any note. It could mean the following:
- perhaps you did not play anything, or
- the micro is not connected properly.
- the micro sound level setting is too low.
If you are sure, that you played correctly, please see point "Microphone hardware problems" below.


up

"Test" platform: what means "Only one note heared"


This could mean one of the following:
- perhaps you really played only one note, or
- perhaps you did not play anything, but the applet heard an accidential note, or
- the applet sound level setting is too low, and the applet heard an accidential note.
If you are sure, that you played correctly, please see point "Microphone hardware problems" below.


up

"Test"-Plattform: what means "Micro rather quiet"


Probably your micro sound level is really too low.
On my computer I am not able at all to adjust the micro level. The according widget is grayed out all the time. I own several headsets and only one of them is loud enough. Unfortunately this is just the most expensive one. Normally sound quality is not critical for note recongnition, I even think, that a slightly distorted sound is more easily analyzed.
If you also have this problem, please send me a mail.


up

"Test" platform: what means "Unclear transposition"


This means, that the applet could not clarify your transposition. It heard two notes, but they were transposed differently compared to the shown notes.
This could mean one of the following:
- you really transposed the two notes differently, or
- your instrument is out of tune, or
- you played nothing and the applet has heard two accidential notes, or
- the sound level setting of your micro is too low, and the applet has heard to accidential notes.
If you are sure, that you played correctly, please see point "Microphone hardware problems" below.


up

"Test" platform: what means "Hardware problem? (Micro)"


This means, that the applet has the suspicion after several failed trials, that there might be a hardware problem. You can make some more trials, but if this does not help, you should perhaps try the suggested steps.
You should also try the tuning applet once, to check the micro.
Additionally you should also try to use the micro with any other program.


up

When I play: shortly after each input I hear the error bleep


This means, that the applet hears your input, but thinks, it is wrong. You should
- switch on the display of all notes, so you see the task
- be sure to be using the same transposition as in the test mode
- be sure that your instrument is in tune (use the tuning applet)
- play clearly (see own point in user manual above).


up

Regardless, what I play: after a while I hear the error bleep


Probably there is at the same time a message with orange background: "Please play notes into the microphone". This means, that the applet does not hear your input. You should:
- be sure, that the micro is attached correctly
- be sure, that the input level is high enough
Best would be to use the tuning applet to check the input level.


up

Mikrophone hardware problems


Please check the following:
- is the cable correctly connected with the PC?
- is the input level big enough?
Best would be to use the tuning applet to check the micro.


up