Indispensable app for Music Teachers?

I have in the last year used an app called AnyTune when I have needed to learn a song for which there is no sheet music. I found this app because I needed an app that allowed me to slow down the music as well as create looped sections to repeat. I’m not sure how I found the app in the first place because if you do a Google search for “apps to slow down music” AnyTune does not come up. I have enjoyed using this app in its free version at first and then I paid the $1.99 to remove the ads. Then last night the developer contacted me and offered a promo code for the HQ version. I took him up on his offer. After using AnyTune HQ it becomes very apparent why we should be paying a little bit more for some of these apps. Let’s talk about what AnyTune does…

  • Slow down music, without changing pitch unless….
  • Adjust to pitch of a song without distorting the sound
  • Loops sections of the song
  • Name hit points in the song – like rehearsal numbers from a score or sections like Verse or Chorus
  • Use their Fine Touch EQ to do things like highlight a specific instrument or vocal
  • Plug your instrument into a USB audio interface and play along with the recording [from AnyTune's website-(Use LiveMix together with Anytune’s FineTouch equalizer to pull out frequencies of a particular instrument. Then use LiveMix to insert yourself into the music while reducing the song’s original instrument! LiveMix and FineTouch EQ really help you to feel like you’re playing in the band.)]

Using just the basic version I did feel limited by the restrictions of that version. With the full version I am no longer feeling restricted. Things like being able to get music in to the app is easy. Being able to set up a bunch of hit points per song is easy. Being able to quickly jump back and forth in my loops is easy. I can quickly adjust the start and stop points of my loop point. I can even share all of the marks/hitpoints and settings for all of my songs that I import into AnyTune. The sound quality is wonderful and type of files AnyTune can handle is great.

GETTING MUISC INTO ANYTUNE:

  1. Access my iPad music library – not DRM files or iTunes Matched songs that are not downloaded to my device
  2. Use DropBox
  3. Use Wi-Fi
  4. Use the Open-In Menu (Which reminds me that I will be very glad to see iOS 6 which will allow us to see more than 10 apps in this menu)

MARKS/HITPOINTS:

  1. Each song imported into AnyTune will have it’s own list of Marks
  2. Select the Marks icon to see all of the Songs Marks
  3. Touch a Mark and the song jumps to that spot in the song. (Marching season just got a lot better! Now we can rehearse any given section of a song as many times as we want. The 16 count drill at Measure 30 need more work? No problem, open AnyTune, tap the Meas. 30 mark, set the loop points and 10 seconds later you are running that drill music for the band to practice marching to!
  4. Use Marks to quickly set loop points

VISUAL:

  1. The display of AnyTune is beautifully done. What you see is very appealing.
  2. You see a waveform of the song that allows you to visually see what the music doing.
  3. Use that waveform to easily set your Marks and Loops
  4. It is easy to figure out what is one the screen for most options. Some icons are not that easy to guess BUT…
  5. Tap the ? icon if you are not sure what an icon is and orange boxes appear and clearly tell you what everything is that you may be confused about.
  6. The help screen is nicely done and again is visually appealing!

AUDIO:

  1. I should have started with this because it is the most important but they do say “Save the best for last!”
  2. The HQ version of this app has wonderful sound quality.
  3. Even when you slow down the music all the way, .10x’s, the music sounds great! The app will go down to .05x but I’m not sure I would describe that as sounding GREAT. I would say that it still sounds good though.
  4. Even when you transpose music up or down by semi tones the sound is amazing. I had the music transposed up/down 12 semi tones and it was very much something that a person could use. Of course a Tuba part lowered by 12 semi tones is a bit strange! In my messing around though I had the music transposed more than a 1/2 octave and got distracted by other settings. I actually forgot it was transposed!
  5. You can even use the transpose and speed functions at the same time!

USES:

  1. Loop a section of a song and slow it down to learn it by ear. We should be learning music by ear all the time.
  2. Using Marks/Hitpoints on the Marching Band field to practice marching drill to a specific section of your show that needs work. Even if that section is in the middle of the song. With Marks you will be right at the exact spot you want everytime! You can even loop it so the kids can march back and forth without stopping to save time and keep focus heightened.
  3. Slow down a recording that is being struggled with and then play along with it. In fact there is a feature that allows you to loop a section 10x’s with each time being gradually faster until you arrive at the original tempo!
  4. Slow down a recording so that you can hear all the intricate details and give your ears time to pick up on it! Like those fast quad fills and mallet runs.
  5. Use the FineTouch EQ to bring out your part more, like a Bass guitar part.
  6. Use the FineTouch EQ to take your part out so you can play along with it kind of like a music minus 1 track
  7. Add lyrics into the Lyrics tool so you can sing along with it and not mess up the lyrics!
  8. Use this in Choir to rehearse with as it allows you to quickly jump to a specific part in your music. For instance if you only need to rehearse the Bridge of a song then you have no problem immediately jumping to the correct spot in the recording. In the old days you would have had to guess and we know where that gets you when your are in a room of middle school students!
  9. Use the app to adjust the key of a song for a particular singer until you find the exact key that works for that student.
  10. Set everything up for your tunes on your iPad and then email the Marks to your section leaders so that they can use them on their iPhones in AnyTune
  11. Sing Karaoke with this app as it allows you to quickly change the pitch of songs, jump between songs and use the LiveMix feature. Now if they would only add some effects to apply to your voice. This could be fun!

I will keep you updated on how I use this in class and how well it works when I actually have students in the room! In fact I will be using this tonight at DrumLine rehearsal! I already have my marching band show music loaded and all the rehearsal marks Marked out! There are some nice comparison charts on their website so you can see exactly the difference between the three versions of AnyTune. They also compare AnyTune to another app that has the same idea in mind.

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13 Responses to “Indispensable app for Music Teachers?”

  1. Kevin Gilpatrick Says:

    Thanks very much for this, I went to the app store as soon as I saw your review. This indeed will be a tremendous help during marching band this year. Already have show tunes entered and working on markers. Now my recommendation, if you don’t have it already is an app called TE Tuner or Total Energy Tuner…it is a lot like a Harmony Director but in an app, very impressive and not very expensive AND it is used by bands that have been recent state marching champs.

  2. Paul Shimmons Says:

    I’m glad you thought that AnyTune would be useful too!

    It’s interesting that you bring up TE Tuner – I already bought it last fall because of a recommendation by another Band Director here! The really interesting comment though is that TE is like a Harmony Director. I have heard about a Harmony Director but have not been able to really figure it out. How is TE like HD? How are you using it in class?

    • Kevin Gilpatrick Says:

      You can use TE Tuner as a tuner of course, with just or equal tuning for tuning notes of a chord, it has a nice happy face when the kid is in tune (and they try to keep the smile going). It has a tone generator with sounds for all instruments and transposition Here you can play and sustain chords, again in either equal or just tuning so kids can hear the difference. It will show a waveform so kids can “see” what their sound looks like, very useful when working on tonguing when the kid can see what his attack and release look like….now let’s make it look like this…one good idea is to use it when practicing flute vibrato and the kid can see the pulses in their waveform, are the pulses equal, are any higher (louder) than the others…it also includes a metronome…and all of this can be projected on the projector screen for the whole class. I use it almost every day but especially with beginners and junior high students.

    • Kevin Gilpatrick Says:

      Please visit http://tonalenergy.com for a complete overview and user guide for TE Tuner.

  3. practiceapps Says:

    Reblogged this on practiceapps and commented:
    Really like this app a lot. Better than most of the others out there.

  4. iPad and Technology in Music Education - Anytune | Anytune Says:

    [...] Paul started a great blog discussing his integration of technology into music education, with a specific focus on the iPad. He discovered Anytune when looking for a music slow downer app for the iPad. We gave him a promo code and he thinks he found some new ways to help at band rehearsal. Check it out at ipadmusiced.wordpress.com. [...]

  5. sheets piano Says:

    I savour, lead to I found exactly what I was looking for. You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

    • Paul Shimmons Says:

      Glad you found it useful! That’s one of the reason I keep this blog… It’s hard to find great apps!

      I’ve been using this app all week at Band camp and it is great, especially on the iPad. On the smaller screens it’s a bit tricky to find the right controls.

      Thanks for the comment!

  6. Brad Says:

    WOW! what a great post! Thanks for the follow on Twitter!.. I am currently launching my own technology platform/blog for teachers.. I am looking to make connections with other teachers who are excited about technology in their classrooms… if you dont mind, I would love to link to this article and talk about what you are doing? let me know.. cheers mate

  7. Paul Shimmons Says:

    Brad… would love to have you link to this post, absolutely. It only bothers me when someone takes my post and puts it on their website and it looks like it is theirs or that I write for them – but I know you wouldn’t do that!

    I love making connections and sharing ideas with others. So the more connections the better. I loved the fact that as I ran across your Twitter I found you talking with Jeff from PlanBook! That’s one of the ways I re-affirm that I am finding and using great apps… when people are talking about the app you know there’s possibly something great there to look at!

    Link away… I look forward to watching your site develop.

    • Brad Says:

      Thanks Paul! cheers.. Thats why I am so enthusiastic about using technology.. because it makes connections so easily.. I’ll let you know about the post when its done. Have a great one mate!
      -Brad

  8. Best iPad apps for piano teachers « Tim Topham Says:

    [...] AnyTune – an app that takes any recording from your library or dropbox and allows you to slow it down or speed it up without changing the pitch. Also has easy looping, editing, etc. Fantasic app which you can trial for free, but the full version will cost you $15. Money well spent. Here’s one of my blogging friends demo about AnyTune. And another good article about AnyTune is here. [...]

  9. AnyTune Pro+ Christmas Give Away Contest for iPad/Mac Musicians! | iPad and Technology in Music Education Says:

    […] If you want to read the review I did awhile back –  Indispensable app for Music Teachers? […]


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