Tag Archives: music technology

Xtractor 5.1/XtractorSynth (Low Latency) released

XtractorSynth May 2012 CTP

XtractorSynth combines a MIDI SoundFont engine, with a MIDI loop device. It is intended to be a low latency replacement for the Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth that is included in Windows.

This allows Xtractor to be used with controller keyboards and other MIDI devices without a built in hardware synth, such as some drum machines and guitar controllers without the latency that has previously been a big problem for these devices and Xtractor.

The problem:

Windows PCs come with a software synth (MS GM Wavetable) that produces unusable latency when used with a MIDI instrument connected to the computer.

Gigajam have recommended using GM Keyboards, Drum kits and Guitars, which contain their own sound cards, therefore eliminating latency and providing a good performance and experience.

If you have a controller keyboard, or drum kit, which has no internal sounds, or if it does have sounds, but does n’t have a MIDI in port, then you need a software synth on your computer that performs better than the MS Wavetable.

Gigajam have been developing one and are releasing their CTP Xtractor software synth to see if this is a distributable option. Testing has been successful

The solution:

We have developed a software synthesizer that enables users to trigger sounds from their computer with indiscernible latency. This is ideal when using Gigajam’s Xtractor software to record and analyse exercises.

You will need to download and install our software, then do a very simple one time configuration to optimise your latency for your computer, following our instructions.

Watch our video below, then go to http://gigajamvle.com/download/ctp  and freely download and install our software and installation guide.

For support contact: support@gigajam.com

Arc School pupils become recording artists!

Arc School (formerly known as The Old School), became Gigajam clients at the begining of the 2011 academic year. They are an independent DCFS approved specialist resource offering day schooling for boys and girls aged 7 to 16 who have complex presentations of socially disadvantaging behaviours and often associated learning difficulties. They wanted Gigajam to support their delivery of an active musical curriculum.

Gigajam were delighted to hear from their teacher of  music, Patrick Jackson, that pupils learning with Gigajam have had a chance to record music together. Patrick  wrote, “Just a brief update; thanks to skills acquired through Gigajam, I have recently taken my first band to a recording studio where we have recorded our version of ‘Livin On A Prayer’ – so many thanks.”

Brian Greene, Gigajam director said, “Pupils do well at school because of  great teaching and learning, facilitated by great teachers. If we can help support that in any way then it is hugely gratifying. Our job is to work with our client schools to ensure our products and services evolve and continue to deliver the best outcomes, with ever increasing ease of use and access. It is wonderful to get such great feedback and I am grateful to Patrick, his pupils and the Arc School for choosing to work with us.”

Gigajam endeavour to maintain close links with its clients. Here are a selection of testimonials from client schools and music professionals who are intimately involved with Gigajam. http://schools.gigajam.com/testimonials.aspx

For more general information on Gigajam please feel free to contact us:

Brian Greene

T: 01494 534880

M: 07976 208859

E: brian.greene@gigajam.com


Gigajam at Buckinghamshire CC ICT Conference

Gigajam has been invited to run two workshops at the Bucks ICT Conference on the 28th June 2012 at Green Park, Aston Clinton.

Gigajam Online Music School is available freely to all schools in Buckinghamshire via the Bucks Grid for Learning. All teachers and students can login at www.bucksgfl.org.uk  or go straight to http://gigajamprem.bucksgfl.org.uk  from school and at home and learn to play guitar, bass, keyboard and drums.

The first part of the workshop will cover how the Online Music School works and how schools and students can access and interact with the lessons, software and resources. Videos of Gigajam in action will be presented to demonstrate the wide and varied use being made in schools across the UK.

The second part will be a hands on demonstration of the latest version of Gigajam VLE, which includes an e-Portfolio that automatically scores and stores students’ performances, as well as provide house points and the automatic production of lesson completion certificates. Teachers are also able to view and comment on students’ progress.

If you want a quick overview then visit our page on 6 simple steps to learning an instrument.   http://schools.gigajam.com/6steps.aspx

For more information on Gigajam in Bucks then please contact Brian Greene

T:01494 534880

M:07976 208859


Music Education Hub Partner – 10 reasons for choosing Gigajam

Gigajam can help your Hub meet the aims of the National Music Plan  

Here are just 10 reasons why Gigajam is an ideal Hub Partner



1. More for Less – Harnessing technology to increase scale & reach: – Gigajam is available anytime, anywhere, helping music services significantly increase their current offer to schools and complementing existing activities.


2. Available to ALL: –  Gigajam can be made available to all schools and all their students, in school and at home, giving every child, irrespective of their needs or background, the chance to learn a musical instrument in class and online for free.


3. Large Savings to Hubs: – Gigajam will be heavily discounted to Hubs, in return for a single licence, making it genuinely inexpensive to provide a Hub wide licence that includes each and every school and educational establishment within the Hub area.


5. Affordable, Sustainable & Flexible: – Gigajam Hub charging model is calculated at a rate of 1.5% of formula, so the price is linked to available funding.  The cost of a licence will therefore reduce as funding reduces, making it truly sustainable. Gigajam will also be happy to negotiate fees according to local context.


6. Accreditation: – Gigajam has a programme of study that enables students to achieve a Level 1 Arts Award and has plans to make a Level 2 certificate available, equivalent to Grade 5, by September 2012


7. Supporting & Reaching Secondary Schools: – Gigajam will increase a Hubs reach into schools, in particular secondary schools, to support the delivery of music, technology and the creative curriculum at KS3 & 4


8. Progression, Transition and Sustainable Pathways: – Gigajam can help bridge  Wider Opportunities Programmes into a more sustainable offer for all pupils that can take learners up to a standard equivalent to Grade 5


9. Increase Demand for Music Lessons: – Gigajam will help increase the numbers of pupils choosing to learn an instrument with music service teachers.


10. Fun, Engaging and Rewarding:- Gigajam provides real instrumental skills through interactive eLearning, enabling students to develop tangible and transferable skills  so  they can engage fully in a wider music curriculum and be able to join in a broad range of ensemble opportunities.

You can see Gigajam in action in our case study pages here: http://schools.gigajam.com/CaseStudies.aspx

And a few of our many testimonials can be read here: http://schools.gigajam.com/Testimonials.aspx


For more information and help with Maximising your Hub Bid, simply contact:-

Brian Greene


| T: 01494 534880 | M: 07976 208859, | E:  brian.greene@gigajam.com



Making Even More of Music

Technology helps you make more of skills based music making in the classroom 

It is widely recognised that learning to play an instrument has huge musical and educational benefits for students, although providing every child with the opportunity to do so remains one of the greatest challenges in music education.

As Ofsted reported in 2009:

“The provision for music was good or outstanding in around half the schools visited. However, the quality and range of the provision for music varied too much. While  many pupils were benefiting considerably, others were missing out.”

There is much that is more than good in music education in the UK, but Ofsted’s  findings included concerns around; assessment, progress and progression, quality, duration of Study, KS4 and under use of ICT. We have mapped Gigajam’s main benefits and features against those areas in a short online which can be viewed online.

Gigajam would like all children to have the chance to learn to play a musical instrument   and we have a licensing model and special deals that will make Gigajam affordable.  Gigajam is just £1 per pupil per annum, but see what other special deals are available.

For more information, or if you have any questions visit our website or give us a call on 01494 534880.

You can also email any questions directly to Brian Greene.