iRehearse from RJV Media: An App for Musicians

Richard Vivash holds a longtime interest in developing his own applications. He started developing because it was fun to see what he could accomplish. In his early days, developing software for his own use became a hobby and he was constantly creating little utilities to make his life easier.

Back in 2000, in the days before tabbed web browsers were common, he created a freeware tabbed browser called iNet-Tabs. It was essentially a wrapper for IE, written in Visual Basic and he was surprised how popular it became, especially in the skinning community (it had the ability to change and create themes).

Being an editor and director for both corporate video and television, his professional background was in video production. He was working for a small company when it became evident that to survive in the media industry, companies needed to brand out into web and multimedia. It was at this point that his hobby of developing software became part of his professional job.

"Now I am a freelance developer and editor, with the majority of my work being in web development," comments Vivash. "I am, however, trying to increase the number of apps I have available for purchase and want to rebalance my work from web to more app development. Xojo is helping here, and I can’t wait for iOS!"

"I found Xojo because it was the only software that fit my requirements and it quickly became my language of choice," continues Vivash. "I had developed a few little Windows utilities that kept track of time spent on projects, to-do lists and calendar events for the production company I worked for. With a mix of Mac, Linux and Windows machines in the company, I needed a language that I could port these utilities to that would run on all platforms."

Vivash currently has two applications he sells, both of them are musicians' phrase trainer apps. The main feature of a phrase trainer is the ability to slow down music without changing the pitch and/or change the pitch without altering the tempo. Viviash’s iRehearse is a basic phrase trainer application and iRehearse Plus (screenshots below) is the full featured version.

"Perhaps the biggest problem for anyone learning to play a song can be the fact that you often need to slow the music down to hear it properly," Vivash offers. "Or you may find it tricky to play the track at full speed when you are learning it. Normally when you slow a song down it will lower the pitch of the track, meaning that you can’t play along with the slowed down music. Both iRehearse and iRehearse Plus keep the pitch the same when slowing (or speeding up) the song, which means you can play along at any tempo you wish."

Also, if you have an instrument that is in a different tuning track, or the song is normally played with a Capo, for example, iRehearse and iRehearse Plus can retune the song into the tuning you require without altering the tempo.

iRehearse Plus also includes a full EQ and stop band filter that helps to isolate the particular frequencies in a song so you can hear exactly what you need. It also allows exporting of the pitch and tempo shifted music for use on an iPod or iPhone, etc.

"iRehearse started out as another personal utility. I play guitar myself and was looking for software to help me practice. There was only one phrase trainer available for the Mac, which was very simplistic and frankly extortionately priced (in my opinion!), so I knocked together something simple using Xojo for my personal use. It was only after interest from my bandmates and other musicians that I realized there was a gap in the market."

When iRehearse was released there wasn’t really any competition. When Vivash developed the software it was for his own use, so it did what he needed it to do. The main thing he needed was the ability to practice an entire gig’s worth of music, one song after the other. iRehearse’s unique selling proposition was always the playlist feature. The other app on the market only allowed you to work on one song at a time.

iRehearse is currently in use by over 7,000 musicians and is available for purchase in the Mac App Store or directly from RJV Media.