This is Fantastic! Fantastical is 50% off Currently!

If you have never heard of Fantastical 2 for iPad/iPhone/Mac then you really need to go take a look at how much easier you life could be! Back in April, I wrote about Fantastical when it was updated to Version 2. There were some great features that increased the versatility of the app then and today it gets bumped to V2.1 PLUS it goes on 50% sale!

I think all of us use our calendars on our devices as a way to stay on top of our busy schedules. That means adding events left and right, which means doing a whole bunch of tap-tap-tap and digging through menus to find that setting we need changed. Fantastical 2 has the aim of making this process so much faster! Fantastical uses natural language input – Simply type in “Lunch next Wednesday with Ron Smith at Hotel Doherty” and your event is created on the correct day, with the correct time at the right location with the right person!

The only downside to this app is that you have to buy the iPad version separate from the iPhone version. Since the apps are on sale though…. you should just go buy both of them!

Of course, using Fantastical 2 on the Mac really makes the process of managing our calendars even easier because Fantastical lives up in the menu bar. You can check your calendar, create events and even work though your Reminders all without actually opening an app!

IF you are still using the stock, Apple Calendar and Reminders then this is your special day!

Fantastical Small IconFantastical 2 for iPad - $4.99

Fantastical Small IconFantastical 2 for iPhone - $4.99

Fantastical 2 for Mac Small IconFantastical 2 for Mac - $9.99

Exciting News – Notion Music Notation App is bumped up to Version 5!

notion 5PreSonus has been busy, busy, busy! Not only did they release a new DAW for iPad called Capture Small Icon Presonus Capture, to use in conjunction with StudioOne but now Notion for the desktop has been updated to version 5!

Notion is PreSonus’s notation app that is truly cross platform – they have a version for Mac, Windows and iPad! Notion is probably your best choice for an all around music notation program because of that reason along with a few other details. Finale and Sibelius both have apps for the iPad that allow you to view notation files on the iPad but those iPad apps do not allow you to create and edit those notation files. IF you have Sibelius or Finale you should absolutely own those iPad apps though! For Sibelius users you should download Avid Scorch Small IconScorch. Finale users should download Finale SongBook Small IconFinale SongBook. They are both free and add an amazing level of access to those music notation files on your iPad!

Back to Notion V5….

You can go visit the Notion website to read everything but let me tell you why I believe this is a huge move for PreSonus/Notion. One of the new capabilities in Notion is that is is gaining some of the functionalities of StudioOne along with the look of StudioOne. What does that mean? That means that this nice notation app is gaining full-fledged DAW capabilities! New mixer, new plug-inslike Compressor/Limiter/EQ and by using Re-Wire you can even run a music notation file in Notion right alongside a recording project in StudioOne!

Do not underestimate the importance of this integration!

Another item that caught my eye is that Notion allows you to perform you Notion files live – adjusting tempo and volume to stay with the live performance simply by tapping along on a MIDI keyboard. PLUS Notion allows you to import audio files as a part of the project too! Of course one of the big new features is the ability to work with movies now. Sibelius of course has been able to work with video for quite a while now.

The price of Notion has gone up to $150, it used to be $100. If you have version’s 3 or 4 you can upgrade for $50. Now that $150 is the FULL price not an upgrade!

Compare that to the cost of Sibelius full price being $599 with upgrades costing from $50-$100 depending on which version you are running.

Compared to the cost of Finale full price being $600 with an upgrade costing you $140.

Just which version do you think students are going to be able to afford? Now, to be fair Finale does offer several slimed down versions of Final for $50-$120 and Sibelius offers a slimmed down version for $120. Both of those apps also offer educational pricing too.

Confused yet?

One more reason to like Notion – simple and straightforward and affordable!

These apps are going to cost you some hard drive space on your computer!

Notion – around 8GB
Sibelius – around 36GB
Finale – around 2.5GB

CHOICES: There used to be two main choices for music notation – Sibelius or Finale. Now we have a bunch of options! Some apps run on desktop as well as on iPad. Then we have some other options that are iPad only now. Here’s the run-down.
Notion – Desktop and Notion Small IconiPad version – $
Sibelius – Desktop version with Avid Scorch Small IconScorch (an iPad viewer) – $$
Finale – Desktop version with Finale SongBook Small IconFinale SongBook (an iPad viewer) – $$$
NoteFlight – works on desktop or iPad through a web browser – FREE!
MuseScore – Desktop version (FREE) with an iPad viewer $

SymphonyPro Small IconSymphonyPro – iPad app $
Tabular iOS Small IconTabular – iPad app $
NotateMe Icon SmallNotateMe – iPad app $ (Handwritten music PLUS amazing music scanning plugin – $)
SmartScore NoteReader – iPad app music scanning app (read about it here on Chris Russell’s website -
Sonja Small IconSonja – iPad app free


If you only own an iPad and want a music notation app – Get Notion IF YOU HAVE SPACE – or SymphonyPro. You can NOT go wrong with either app!

If you want a great music notation app and you own an iPad plus you want to be able to work on notation files from the laptop as well as the iPad…. get Notion.

If you already own Sibelius and are as worried as I am about the future of Sibelius… (Heck, I haven’t even upgraded to version 7 yet let alone 7.5!) Notion is still going to be a great addition to having Sibelius. Especially since all three apps are Music XML compatible so you can transfer files back and forth easily!

Finale users are not worried a bit about the future of Sibelius but again Notion just might be a nice addition, especially the iPad version of Notion!

iPad Music Making Apps On Sale Right Now

If you don’t have these apps this is the perfect time to buy them at a reduced price and get creative!

I do not write about apps on my blog that I either don’t already own and use or plan on buying. All the apps I talk about here are useful to any teacher or musician. There are so many junk apps on the app store that it is hard to wade through them all. That’s why I share what I find useful in the hopes that I can save someone else the hassle of trying to guess about it’s usefulness.

Here is what is on sale right now…. (These are amazing deal! Especially the last one on the list. If you have to pick just ONE of these then get Audio Mastering. If you already have that one then get either SunRizer or Magellan!)

  • iGrand icon smalliGrand Piano $11.99 [The In-App-Purchases are also on sale right now!] (down from $19.99) – one of the best sounding piano sounds you will hear coming out of an iPad!
  • iLectric icon smalliLectric Piano $11.99 [The In-App-Purchases are also on sale right now!] (down from $19.99) – great sounding electric piano sounds you will hear coming out of an iPad!


Developer, Igor, has just released his newest effects app and has lowered the price on all of his apps. I totally consider these first two as essential in my workflow when ever I am working with my own compositions or performances from my bands at school.

  • AltiSpace Small IconAltiSpace – $5.99 – SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY PRICING/ JUST RELEASED - realistic sound of famous reverb equipment for your iPad and iPhone! The FX you will get out of this app are so tasty you will want to start using it every time you perform or record!
  • Audio Mastering Small IconAudio Mastering $6.99 (down from $12.99) – Every time you record a performance of one of your groups the last step should be to run those recordings through this app! The difference is astounding! Adjust EQ, Compression, Dynamics, Stereo Imaging and more. If you know what you are doing with this app you could get even better results that what I do but even with my limited knowledge about Mastering the difference is amazing!
  • Master FX Small IconMaster FX $5.99 (down from $11.99) – from the same developer who wrote Audio Mastering - Master FX is intended for real-time processing of sound from one or two external instruments or microphones separately while playing or singing. It can also mix instrument sound or voice with pre-recorded audio tracks.
  • Master Record Small Icon Master Record $4.99 - Easy to use recording application with convenient controls


For the Synth and drum people


For Guitar and Bass Players:

  • JamUp Pro Small iconJamUp Pro $9.99 (50% off for limited time) – The tagline on their page says “JamUp is the world’s best Guitar/Bass Multi-Effects Processor for iPad and iPhone.” but the competition is tough with this next app that is also on sale…
  • Bias - Amps Small Icon Bias – Amps Designer and Modeler – $9.99 (50% off for limited time – Their tagline says “Amp Designer, Modeler and Processor for iPad. It’s warm, accurate and more versatile than any other modeler, processor in hardware or software ever created.” so you pick which is best!


AND THE BEST DEAL OF ALL – For those of us who DON’T play guitar but wish we did (well….   OK, you people that do play guitar are still going to like this one!)


BONUS – I’ve got to mention this one again – it is a Mac App.

For those of us who need to create programs, posters, logos and all sorts of graphics work….

Pixelmator Small IconPixelmator is the best alternative to PhotoShop for a much better price and currently it is on a 50% sale for $15.99!



Remember - if you are inspired to purchase apps because of my blog, please click on the links in this post and help give back to my efforts here. Each link is an affiliate link and gives me a small percentage of Apple’s profit on each app. The developer still gets their full profit.



Pixelmator – Graphics App to Rival PhotoShop (at a fraction of the cost!)

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 1.57.26 PMIt’s not often that I talk about non-music apps here on my blog. If I do it’s probably because it’s an organizational tool, like calendars/databases/To-Do Lists.

Today though I can not miss the opportunity to let you know that Pixelmator Small IconPixelmator is on a 50% sale in the Mac App Store. This is an app for you desktop/laptop that takes the place of Adobe PhotoShop, which I’m sure you all recognize.

PhotoShop is “the” app for anyone who wishes to do anything with pictures on a computer. The problem is the price! Go ahead, check it out. Ridiculous!

Pixelmator is on sale for a little while longer for $15.99 which is a price that even I am willing to spend. The program cover for the next concert is going to look a WHOLE lot better this year!

Layers, Shapes, Healing Brushes, Text to Shape – good stuff for a great price!

Here is the PixelMator website to take an in-depth look at the capabilities in the app.

Even better, take a look at these tutorials to see how easy it is to apply these tools to make your programs/letters/logos/website look so much more professional





As always – the links on my blog are affiliate links. That means if you click on my links because you like my ideas I bring to your attention I get a small profit from Apple’s share of the sales. The Developers keep all of their share. This is just a small way to keep my blog going.

Yamaha Mobile Apps go Free!

Whoa… this is quite the sale on Yamaha Mobile apps. I’ve got to say that I’ve never tried any of these but I had to let you know about the sale at least… Check this post out over at

Capture for iPad Arrives – Drop Dead Simple App to Record With! (UPDATED)

Capture LargePresonus released a new app today that has high potential to make things simpler for us musicians. There are also a few things missing from the app that would make it a home run with everyone.

WHAT CAPTURE IS: The purpose of this app currently is simple – it gives you a super simple way to record with your iPad. This gives you a mobile recording studio that you can then take back to the computer and edit further.

WHAT CAPTURE ISN’T: A stand-alone recording app. It also is NOT a recording app to record from other iPad apps.

The app is Capture and it comes in two flavors – the FREE Version (Capture Duo Small IconPreSonus Capture Duo) and the $9.99 Version (Capture Small IconPresonus Capture). The only difference between the two is how many tracks you can record – free=2 tracks, not free=32 tracks. This is present #1 – by offering you the free version, PreSonus has just given you a way to get those simple, straightforward recordings you need. For instance, Choir Teachers always need accompaniment tracks, Band Directors always need accompaniment tracks and we would all like to be able to record ourselves playing or singing our music. Now we have a simple and mobile solution that is free.

The app is very straightforward to use. Start it up, start a new session, select whether or not you want to monitor what you are recording in the headphones, tap the record button and start the music. Take a look….

Capture1 Capture2

One technique they have used for this app is to make it very easy to select the interface you want to use. the app works with the built-in mic. It also works with audio interfaces like the newly released (but not available yet) PreSonus AudioBox iOne or the iTwo or any other MFi iPad interface. I used it with my Line6 SonicPort just fine. Trying to find this interface selection in other apps and on the desktop is always a huge search, even for me!

For recording it bears mention that I also appreciate the capability to set my input level so easily.

It is also imperative that I was able to adjust my pan settings. It really annoys me when I record my keyboard and it is not in stereo. With the Capture Duo app it was easy, tap the arrow to open the tray, swipe one track hard left and the other hard right. Now my ears were happy!

UPDATED SECTION HERE – Of course then I learned that if you tapped the little dot under the volume slider you can set the track to a stereo track! That means we can record two tracks of stereo! That means I can record in track 1 a piano keyboard part in stereo and then still have track two to record a stereo drum track as well! (Now see, SOME people would call that FOUR tracks!)

Here’s a picture of that….


Adjusting and editing the audio was very easy. Just do what seems to be the right multi-touch gesture and you are probably going to be in business. Tap to select, double tap to bring up a menu to Cut/Copy/Delete/Duplicate/Split at Cursor or tap then hold for a second then drag the audio to a new location.

PreSonus has been very focused with the purpose for this app currently – A mobile recording solution to use in conjunction with their other software that is easy to use. They hit the mark right on.

I’ve got a short video at the end of this post for you to see how easy it is to use this app. First though a couple of observations:

  1. This app HAS to be used with Studio One on a desktop as there is no other way to get your audio out of the app right now. Studio One is free though – PAY ATTENTION ALL OF YOU WHO USE THAT OTHER FREE AUDION RECORDING APP! Go download it, it’s free! BUT this is one extra step.
  2. The app REALLY, REALLY, REALLY needs to get audioBus integration so we can use it to record other iPad apps! This would open up a HUGE door! (I suppose InterApp Audio would help too.) There is a huge number of iPad Musicians who are using the iPad and apps as a very real way of making music! What used to have to be done in professional studios, on equipment that cost thousands of dollars, is now being done with apps and an iPad.
  3. I can not wait to see where this app is a year from now!
  4. If you use one of the new AudioBox Interfaces – the iOne or iTwo you will have to the interface plugged into power.


and now a video to demonstrate…

MultiTrack Recording App For Free Today

So you want to get started in multitrack recording on your iPad and you want tan app that will record both audio as well as MIDI?

What' that? You want the app to be free too?! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha , cough…. Not a chance….

Wait, maybe today is your lucky day!

Try this one…. Pocket Studio. This app used to be called Studio2 and for some reason changed their name today. The app also allows you to work hand in hand with BeatPad

  • 96 track!
  • Audio and MIDI
  • Now you can edit the MIDI notes (curious thing to not have been able to do do from the get go)
  • AudioBus compatable

Here are a few screen shots to entice you to pull out your empty wallet…







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