RLS User Guide: Mobile and Chromebook
This page will serve as a complete guide to the user interface and functionality of the mobile version of Rehearsal Live Share (RLS). This version is utilized on iOS devices, Android devices, and Chromebook.
How Mobile RLS Differs From The Desktop Version
It is important to first clarify key differences between the mobile version of RLS and the desktop version. The mobile version is different in the following ways:
Only participants may use the mobile version of RLS. To direct a live share session, a user must use the desktop version.
Recorded files may not be revealed or accessed on mobile. They may only be played back from within the RLS app interface. To access files recorded on mobile, they must first be transferred to a desktop running RLS via the share feature.
While there are many similarities, the mobile version of RLS has a different appearance and design, and employs a different approach for many of its interactions. This is necessary to accommodate RLS's many features on the smaller screens that mobile devices have.
The mobile version of RLS may be used in portrait or landscape mode on mobile devices. However, it is important to note that some aspects of the interface will only be visible in landscape mode. For that reason, this manual will be focused on that orientation. When the mobile version of RLS is opened, you will first see the navigation view.
This view displays the transport controls, timeline, songs, markers, and other buttons for general functionality. This view (when used outside of a live share session) allows the user to navigate to different parts of a show, as well as control playback and recording (when recording is armed). This window is broken into a few subsections, allowing you quick and easy access to your entire show. Note that users of the RLS mobile app will have full control over the navigation view when using the app on own's own. However, if the user is participating in a live share session, only the director may control navigation and playback.
On the left is the list of all the songs in your show, in performance order. You can select a specific song by tapping the song you wish to choose. The currently selected song will be highlighted in blue.
On the right side of the navigation window is a list of markers for the currently selected song. By tapping on a marker, you will immediately jump to that part of the song. You can also see the approximate placement of markers within a song as red lines within the timeline.
The transport bar is found below the transport. From left to right, the buttons have the following functionality:
toggle visual/audio metronome
rewind to beginning of song / previous song
rewind by one measure
fast forward by one measure
fast forward to next song
RLS has a metronome feature to assist in your learning and rehearsal process. When you click the metronome button in the transport, it will activate both an audio as well as a visual click. (the visual click has its own view). To change the volume of the click, double click the master fader pan pot (the one on the far right) in the output mixer view.
RLS has built-in capabilities to handle vamping within songs. This functionality pertains to RMS prepared Broadway musical shows, or shows that have been exported from RMS Coach to RLS, and is not currently supported for original shows created in Rehearsal Live Share. When your RLS show includes a vamp section, playback will keep repeating that section of music indefinitely until you press the "exit vamp" button. Once pressed, the program will finish its current playthrough of the vamp and proceed to the next section of music. If you would like a vamp to be programmed to play a specific number of times on every playthrough, simply click-and-hold (or tap and hold) on the vamp icon when it is lit up for that particular vamp. Select the number of times you would like it to play and RLS will use that for all future playthroughs. This finite number of repeats is recommended if you wish to create recordings in RLS.
The Mixer views function is to allow control over the show's underlying guide tracks. They are also used for changing audio output settings, reverb, and metronome volume settings, as well as mixing recordings. There are 3 different mixer views: parts mixer view, output mixer view, and live share mixer view.
Parts Mixer View
The parts mixer view may be found by cycling through the different views. In it you will find channel strips for predefined tracks that were configured upon creation of the show. This view allows you to easily adjust the overall mix of your show's guide tracks.
The main slider controls the overall volume of that track. Below that is a knob icon that may be tapped twice to reveal panning and mute controls.
Output Mixer View
This gives you control for the overall output level of the application, as well as reverb.. The reverb settings here are applied to the backing tracks, as well as recorded files that being played back.
The master fader on the right controls the overall sound output level of of the guide tracks in RLS . Please note that this is independent of your system's volume controls. By double tapping on the knob icons on the bottom of each strip, you can enter a series of screens which allows for fine control of the settings. Clicking the arrows at the top will allow you to cycle through the different settings.
The sliders pictured above control the volume level for that fader, as well as the reverb send for the A stereo channels. When using an audio interface with multiple outputs, those extra output pair channels will appear as B, C, D . . c etc.
The settings pictured above control the volume for the master channel, arrows that take you to more detailed settings for reverb and metronome click, as well as a toggle for marker information to pop up if crossed during playback.
The click settings allow you to change the volume of the click, as well as the subchannel it is assigned to (when using a multi-output audio interface).
Live Share View
Tapping the change views icon several times will bring the user to the Live Share View. This window is the main UI element for Rehearsal Live Share sessions with others, but also has functionality when using RLS independently.
This view displays channels with sound controls and recording assignments that may be adjusted independently. There is also a channel for the backing accompaniment. When using the mobile version of RLS, participants will only see the director and their own fader until the sharing of individual recorded tracks has occurred. The sound settings and recording assignments made here are unique to each user in a Rehearsal Live Share session, so everyone in a session may adjust them independently to meet their needs.
Using Rehearsal Live Share
Rehearsal Live Share may be utilized on own's own, or with other musicians. When RLS is used without connecting to others, it may be referred to as "Personal Live Share", or "PLS". When you use RLS to connect with others over the internet, it is a "Live Share Session" The next section will explore using RLS as both Personal Live Share, as well as when connecting with others in a Live Share session.
Personal Live Share (PLS)
There are several uses to the PLS window on the mobile version of RLS:
confirming mic, camera, and headphone sound settings
practicing with recordings made in previous Live Share sessions.
Confirming Equipment in a PLS window
The PLS window serves as a great place to check and make sure that your camera, microphone, and headphones are working properly. For more information on how to confirm settings in the PLS window, check out our Pre-session Check Tutorial Page.
Practicing in a PLS window
If you have already been involved in a live share session with others that involved recording, the PLS window may be used to continue to rehearse with those recordings on one's own. For example, if you were in a live share session where the director recorded individual tracks, and then shared them back with all participants, every participant will have every other participant's recorded performance saved as files on their device. Those files will remain, and can be played back even after the aforementioned live share session is over. Recording assignments work exactly the same in a PLS window as they do in a live share session, and may be uniquely set and saved for every user. For more information about recording assignments, see that section below.
Live Share Sessions
The Live Share session is the main feature of Rehearsal Live Share, which allows a group of musicians to collaborate on music projects remotely. This feature requires 2 or more users who are each running Rehearsal Live Share on their respective devices, are logged into unique accounts, and have the same show open at the same time. For details on the setup of RLS, see our Getting Started page.
Roles: Director and Participants
In a Live Share session, there are 2 roles: Director and Participant.
The director leads an RLS session, is seen and heard at all times, and has exclusive control over navigation, playback, recording, and "sharing" (collecting and distributing the recordings made in a Live Share session). While the director controls many functions of a live share session, all users have unique control over their sound controls, and may change them individually to fit their preference. The director role is automatically assigned to the user who initiates the Live Share session. Any user can direct a live share session, provided their account has a subscription.
The participants are the singers or instrumentalists, and perform music for the director. The participant role is automatically assigned to users who accept an invitation to join a live share session. The participant role is also assigned to those who request to join a Live Share session that is already in progress.
Show Version Mismatch
Because it is possible for directors and participants to have different versions of the same show, and because a mismatch can lead to issues in a live share session, we have added a prompt that helps to correct the mismatch easily. When a director invites a participant who has an older version of the show, both the director and participant will receive a prompt informing them of the mismatch, as well as provide steps to rectify the mismatch immediately. The prompt that both the director and participant receive will read as such:
The director needs only to close the dialog box with this message. Only the participant will see the "update show" button, and should click it to update to the latest version of the show.
Joining A Live Share Session As Participant:
There are two ways that participants may join a live share session.
Invitation from the director:
Participants may join a live share session by being directly invited by the director. This requires only that the participant have the app open, and have the same show open as the director. When the director invites a participant, the participant will receive notification that the director is inviting them to join a live share session. This invitation comes in the form of a small dialog box that pops up, accompanied by a piano ringtone. The dialog offers the user the ability to accept or decline the invitation. When the user accepts the invitation, they will immediately be connected with the director in the live share session.
Request to join a session in progress:
Participants are also able join a live share session already in progress. This is done by tapping "join" from the live share view. When this is done, a view labeled "join rehearsal" will appear, only showing directors in active session. The user should highlight the director’s name (which will have a red dot, and will say “directing” next to it), and then tap "ok”. The director will then receive a notification that the user in question wishes to join, and may choose to admit or decline the participant.
During The Live Share Session
When a live share session first commences, the default state is that of “conversation mode” where the guide tracks are stopped, and all users may speak to one another. This mode is the only time when participants are able to hear/see one another’s live microphone/camera feed. When a participant speaks, their sound, as well as their video feed is relayed through the director’s channel. The other participants can then hear each through the director channel strip, and see the speaking participant in the upper-left hand corner of the director’s video frame. If multiple participants are speaking, the loudest user is heard in conversation mode. For this reason, it is recommended that participants speak in turns. There are also settings in the live share tab of RLS preferences that allow directors to tweak who is heard when multiple users are speaking in conversation mode.
A note about conversation mode: Technically speaking, live share sessions do not create “peer connections” between every single user in a session, but rather, only between the director and each participant. It’s for this reason that conversation mode works a little differently than programs such as Zoom. Instead of each user communicating and speaking to one another through a direct connection, each participant’s speech is channeled through the director’s channel, then re-broadcasted to all participants. This design choice allowed for much higher efficiency and reliability in RLS’s main function of music making.
Playback In RLS
When using the RLS app as a participant, only the director can control playback or recording. When play is initiated by the director, a timer will immediately begin counting down. This countdown serves as a buffer of time to account for any latency present in the director’s connections to participants. After countdown completes, participants will immediately begin to hear, and perform along with the guide tracks on their respective devices. While participants will not hear each other’s live performances, the director can provide real-time feedback to participants.* During playback, the participants performances are synchronized for the director, who hears everyone performing together with the guide tracks. To stop playback, the director may click on the stop button in the transport of the navigation window.
* If the "director can participate" preference is checked on the director's computer, participants will not hear the director's live microphone feed during playback or recording.
Only the director may initiate recording for participants using the RLS mobile app. When the director arms recording in a live share session, the microphone in the live share view of the RLS mobile app will change to a red color. When the director initiates recording, the guide tracks will play back, and all participants are recorded. The recording process ends when the end of the song is reached, or the director presses stop, at which point the recording files are saved. The files yielded by the recording process depend on which recording option is selected in the director's RLS preferences:
Record Stereo Mix
If "Record stereo mix" is selected as the recording preference by the director, the file created after recording will be saved to the director's computer, and will reflect the sound settings the director had in place during the recording. This includes any backing tracks that were audible by the director during recording. After recording, the stereo audio file is automatically assigned to the director's application channel strip, and may be shared to all users using the share button. After sharing, the recording assignment will appear in the mobile RLS live share view, beneath the application channel. When the director subsequently initiates normal playback, the stereo recording will playback on the mobile RLS app as long the assignment remains. Also note that stereo recordings assigned to the application channel will supplant the playback of the backing tracks until that assignment is unassigned.
Record individual tracks
If "Record individual tracks" was selected as the recording preference by the director, the resulting files will be saved to each participant's device, respectively. Those recorded files will reflect each participant's microphone input only, as a separate audio stem. After recording is complete, the individual track recording is automatically assigned each participant's channel strip. They can then be collected and redistributed by the director to all participants via the share button. Participants are then able to "unassign" their own recording on their channel strip, effectively creating a "mix-minus" playback configuration. Individual track recordings may also be mixed and processed outside of Rehearsal Live Share if desired.
Note that audio files recorded to the mobile version of RLS cannot be accessed outside of the RLS app. If the raw audio files recorded on the mobile version of RLS are needed, they should be shared to the director, and accessed via that desktop machine.
After recordings have been created in a live share session, they can be easily transferred by the director using share button. The share button is a single button that performs many functions, so it is useful to be familiar with it’s behavior in various contexts. This behavior is largely determined by which recording options are selected in the director's live share tab of RLS preferences.
Sharing when "Record Stereo Mix" is selected
If a recording was made with this option, the recorded file is saved to the director's computer. The presence of a newly recorded stereo file is indicated by a recording assignment beneath the RLS channel strip in the mixer view of the live share window. When the share button is pressed, that recording is transferred to all participants, at which point, the recording assignment will be reflected on each participant's device. Pressing play at this point will allow everyone to hear the just-created and shared stereo recording. This recording will supplant playback of the backing tracks as long as it is assigned to the application channel.
Sharing when "Record Individual Tracks" is selected
If a recording was made with this option, the recorded files are saved to each participants device, respectively. The presence of a newly recorded individual track is indicated by a recording assignment beneath the participant's channel strip in the mixer view of their live share window. When the share button is pressed by the director, those recordings are first transferred to the director. What happens next depends on another setting in the director's live share tab of RLS preferences:
If "Automatically share back new takes" is checked (default setting) - then after the director receives all takes, they will then be automatically redistributed to all participants. This means every participant will have every other participant's individual track recording. This is evident by each each participant having new channel strips for all participants involved. Each channel strip will also have a recording assignment respective to the strip's represented user. If the director then presses play, all participants will hear each other's recordings, and be able to change the mix individually. Sharing individual tracks also presents participants with the option to enable a "mix-minus" listening configuration for future playback or recording. Note that while participants will now be able to see channel strips for one another, they are not expected to see live video feed in the other participants' strips. The new channel strips function only to assign and change the sound settings for individual track recordings made.
If "Automatically share back new takes" is unchecked - The sharing process is complete once the director receives the recordings from each participant. They are not redistributed back to all participants. This option is preferred when the participants do not wish for the other participants to have access to their isolated recordings. However, it also prevents the participants from hearing each other's recorded performances within RLS during subsequent playback, as well as the ability to establish a "mix-minus" configuration.
Sharing when there are no new recordings
If the director presses the share button when there are no new recordings to share, then it performs a different function altogether: rather than transfer files, it pushes the director's current recording assignment configuration on all participants. This allows directors to pick and choose takes for each participant in the session, and then apply those choices to the participants so that all users are hearing them. It also allows directors to quickly unassign all recording assignments for the participants.
Recording assignments allow users to “assign” and hear recordings made in RLS through any of the channel strips found in the live share window. Recording assignment options are only accessible after a recording has been created in the selected song. Recording assignments are made automatically after the director records and shares, but may be changed by anyone at any time. Each user has individual control over all of their recording assignments, but the director's assignment configuration may be imposed upon participants when "share" is pressed, and no new recordings are present. To start working with recording assignments, double tap on the pan knob containing the recording assignment icon.
When a mobile user double taps the pan knob, the channel strip fine controls view will appear. This view allows the user to change volume, panning, mute, and also recording assignments.
Below is the recording assignment dialog, which allows users to select a recording to assign to that channel, or change the recording assignment to "unassigned".
Recording Assignment Behavior
If an individual track recording is assigned to a user channel strip, then when playback is engaged, the recording will also start to play, and the channel strip in question may be used to control the volume, panning, and muting of the assigned recording's playback.
If a stereo recording is assigned to the application channel, then that recording will be heard when playback is engaged, AND it will supplant the playback of the backing tracks. Like user channels, the stereo recording's volume, panning, and muting are controllable by the application channel strip.
Changing a recording assignment to "unassigned" will stop a recording from playing back when applied to a user channel strip, and will restore the playback of the backing tracks when applied to the application channel strip.
Unassigning Recording Assignments
Unassigning a recording assignment on the mobile version of RLS requires that the user navigate to the recording assignment dialog, and then change the selection in the dropdown box to "unassigned". Otherwise, a director may unassign all participants easily using the keystroke/share technique: When the director uses the "unassign all" keyboard shortcut, all channels strips are instantly unassigned. Be aware that a director making such changes will only affect the recording assignments locally, on the computer of whoever made the change. To push that unassignment configuration on all participants, the director must then click the "share" button.
Ending A Live Share Session
Participants may leave at any time without disrupting the live share session by either clicking on the Leave Rehearsal button in the live share view, or simply quitting the RLS mobile app. If a participant leaves a session, they are able to rejoin the session by requesting to join.
The Director may also end rehearsal by either clicking on the End Rehearsal button on their computer, or by quitting RLS. When the director ends an RLS session, it ends for everyone.