RockOutLoudLive: My experience with another virtual platform
Having been online for almost a year, I wanted to explore an upcoming virtual platform - RockOutLoudLive (ROLL). I have been using it for 3-4 months now and thought I would share my experience if you are considering trying something new!
Why did I start using RockOutLoudLive (ROLL)?
Does the audio suddenly just dropped and then reappear again? Well, used to happen to me quite a few times. With ROLL, I do not seem to be having that problem at any register on the piano.
Lesson overlap time limit
I usually teach continuously in a day and since there was an overlap of students, the meeting always had to be restarted (due to the 40 min time limit for group meetings in zoom). Even though it might seem like a small issue, I wanted to ensure hassle-free lessons.
What do I like about ROLL?
Better sound (less dips in audio)
As i have mentioned before, the sound is better and clearer. There is also a lesser lag so the conversation can flow easily.
No 40 min limit (with premium)
Students usually overlap and I teach a few groups so I was happy with no time limit. With the premium account (cost given below), there is no limit so I never have to restart my meetings.
Multiple screens and devices
Since there is no time limit, multiple screens can join. Sometimes I have two views of the piano and my students could do the same.
Now I do not have to bother drawing the staff or any other notes! Please look at the pictures below. You can also pull up music on the whiteboard and annotate but I annotate using another application.
Mike Grande (ROLL creator) is so helpful and prompt with any queries or problems. They even have a dedicated Facebook group for this.
Concert mode and Enhanced audio mode
You can check these out on the website but in addition to the regular mode, concert mode is designed for when we have recitals. You can throw confetti (digital) after a student has played - what fun! The enhanced audio mode is quite good as there is a lesser lag.
Library of songs
They have an inbuilt library of songs that you can pull up and use. Great for popular repertoire.
What would I like to see in ROLL in the future?
Annotation for the students
Even though my annotation is easy, I would love that students could annotate too. However, I have found alternatives to this and keep things simple just like we did face-face.
There is not record button but there is a reason for this. It compromises on the audio quality. Oh well, I hope there is a solution to this in the future!
To share audio even if we do not share screen
Even though I am able to share audio when I share a tab, I would like to share audio of anything on my laptop. It doesn't really hinder my teaching because I figure ways around this, but it would be a convenient option.
Seems to work best with laptops
This doesn't affect me, but it seems that the app works best with laptops. I use a laptop but my students use any device (though I prefer laptops or tablets).
How much does it cost?
$9.95 per month which is roughly 740 INR (zoom is 1300 INR)
Is it worth it?
I am grateful that my studio runs at full capacity at the moment. Almost all of my students are online so I definitely find the investment worthwhile! I still use zoom for a few things and might move back once I have lesser students online but right now, ROLL is my regular virtual platform. You can do a 7-day free trial and request for a small session with Mike to make a decision if this app is right for your studio.
Hope you found this information useful :)