What is Incredibox?
Incredibox is a online music arranging and remixing tool that looks great, is easy to use and is free.
The concept is simple: drag an icon to one of the “dudes” (as I like to call them!) on the screen and he’ll start beatboxing, singing or whistling. You can use 7 dudes at once and with a total of 20 sounds in 5 different categories to choose from, there’s a wide range of combinations possible.
￼Which musical concepts can you do with Incredibox?
- Arranging or remixing skills
- Solo and tutti
- Texture and timbre
- A cappella part-singing and beat boxing
- Conducting skills
Project: create and record an interesting 30-second Incredibox remix
How To Play
First, spend some time experimenting with the sounds available. Drag one of the icons across the bottom of the screen to an empty (undressed!) dude to start playback of a sound. A new dude will appear and you can add another rhythmic or melodic layer by dragging an icon on to the new dude.
You can fit a maximum of 7 dudes on the screen at once. To remove or change one a sound, hover your mouse over the dude and then click on the cross (the other two buttons allow you to mute or solo the dude). That dude will disappear and a new dude will appear at the end of the line.
Spend time listening to different combinations of dudes, then choose 7 sounds that cover a variety of rhythmic and melodic patterns.
This shortlist of 7 will form the basis of your remix recording. You can keep a record of their choices by writing down the sound/icon numbers in each group.
Line up your dudes!
Fill up the Incredibox screen with their 7 chosen sounds. Then experiment with the mute and solo buttons to test out different combinations of dudes in varying-sized groups. Make a note of any effective combinations so that you can remember them easily during the “recording session”.
Arranging skills: plan your remix
Plan your arrangement so that it has a beginning, a middle and an end. Make sure that your remix incorporates some layering, plus the use of solo and tutti. A typical remix might be structured as follows:
- Beginning – use layering to bring in all or some of the parts
- Middle – create some interest by using the solo and/or mute buttons to vary texture
- End – layer the parts out at the end
Rehearse your conducting skills
By clicking on a dude at the right time (ie. on a down-beat) you can bring sounds in and out quite cleanly when performing your remix. Practice clicking on each dude at the right time.
You can also try this: solo one dude by clicking on his headphone icon (all the others will be muted automatically), and then gradually bring in other dudes by clicking on their speaker icons one by one.
Get ready to “perform” your mix
Mute all of the dudes so that they become your silent ensemble waiting to perform. The quickest way is to solo one dude (this mutes all the other dudes) and then click the final dude’s mute button
Record your remix
Hit the record button (top left) and perform your arrangement! Keep an eye on the timeline at the top of the screen and remember that you only have a total of 30 seconds for your performance. Having all the dudes muted to start with gives you control on how you conduct them. You can layer them in any order and solo or mute as you like.
Share your remix
When finished, you can email your arrangement or copy and save link.
In cooking-show style, here’s one I prepared earlier.
Here are a few extra Incredibox tips:
- Double-click on a dude to delete him
- Click once anywhere on a dude to mute him
- Do a long click on a dude to solo him (the solo occurs on release of mouse button)
The above is taken from “Using Incredibox to Introduce Remixing” by Katie Wardrobe. Midnight Music’s trainer Katie Wardrobe helps Australian music teachers understand and integrate technology by providing top-quality professional development and student workshops. Katie runs training sessions in Melbourne (where she is based), regional Victoria and regularly travels to the other states around Australia.
Torrington High School has been featured on Midnight Music’s Website as a resource for Sharing Music Tech Classroom Ideas: Part 2 USA Middle and High School.
Visit Katie’s outstanding website here!