Using My iPad as a Teacher for Scheduling – Vital Tool!

Calendars 5 Promo Screen


One of the reasons we buy an iPad is to make our life easier and more efficient…. Ok, you got me…. that’s what we tell our pocket book!


No seriously though, the iPad should be used to make our life better! One of the areas we music teachers have to deal with is scheduling, our personal calendar, our work calendar and our performing group’s calendar. There are several apps to take care of those details. I’m sure we all started with Apple’s Calendar app, it’s right there when we buy the iPad and it’s free! I’m here to tell you though that if you are still using that app alone you need to make a change!

Calendars 5Readdle’s Calendar 5 is an awesome replacement. Here’s one of the reasons why…

As I was talking with my student teacher and trying to come up with words of wisdom, one topic that popped to mind was that we should discuss how I have started scheduling events for work. The biggest one part of that is the trick of using repeating events to my advantage. Many of the events we music teachers do are things that happen year after year or month after month. I started putting these events into my laptop years ago to automatically pop up next year. This way I don’t forget and I don’t even have to take MORE time out of my personal life to think about this stuff. The reminder pops up next year and I take care of it. Simple.


Repeating events are not as easy to handle on the iPad though and I hate having to grab my laptop to create them. Thankfully Readdle’s Calendar 5 came along and made my life easier! I’ve been using that app since it came out as the replacement for Apple’s Calendar – better looking interface, integrated task manager, it has natural language input, plus it easily syncs with Apple’s Reminders/Calendar apps or to my iPhone/Laptop.

The problem I came across this weekend though was that I wanted to schedule an event the last monday of every April. I could not find a way to make it happen! In frustration I used Twitter and tweeted to Tim Cook, Readdle and Flxibits (makers of another fantastic calendar app – Fantastical 2). Out of the three companies I actually received a response back from Readdle! This is another reason I love using the iPad – many of the developers of these apps will contact you personally and help you figure things out. Plus, if the capability is not currently there, many will find a way to integrate in future updates of the app!

So after sending four tweets back and forth – The nice lady helped me realize that there is indeed a way to schedule such an event that occurs on the last monday of April every year! I am so very excited! In fact, so excited that I even made a YouTube video of how to do this….. (See below!)


Use your calendar to your advantage! Don’t continue to “try” to remember what has to be done – use repeating events!


NanoStudio is on sale!

NanoStudio LogoNanoStudio is on sale again at $6.99 (down 50% from $13.99!)

If you have not purchased and used NanoStudio you would be well advised to pull the trigger – it’s one of the easiest ways to get started making music on an iOS device.

The app allows you to record anywhere you want using an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch – It has analogue synths, sample trigger pads, mixer, effects and a comprehensive sequencer that is easy to use. When I say easy to use, I mean it! I love the watt they designed the interface!

I just purchased NanoStudio this year, I have not idea why I waited so long! I think the fact that it came out with an iPad version is what made me but it. I love the sounds and ease of use – This is a great app for us teachers to use and a great app for students to use as it is so easy to get make work!


Here are a few songs I recorded using NanoStudio – Nothing spectacular, just me having some great fun creating music (Isn’t that why we are musicians?)

This first one uses the sample recording capabilities in NanoStudio – I recorded me thumping on an Arizona Iced Tea can a few different ways and then made a song with those samples…


This next one is from Spring Break – Me in the beach house on Th Gulf of Mexico, what more fun could one have? You HAVE to listen to at least the 2:00 section – I was really messing around with the X-Y pads on the effects to get the sounds that I ended up there. I really like that section!

Some great sales on Effects apps for iPad!

I love Easter – I love what God did for us out of His love for us! We are not worthy but He still died for us!

Now if we could only find ways to show our love to Him….

Like making music that is amazing and high quality! In fact, this weekend SugarBytes is having a sale on some of their iPad apps that would step up the level of your music making skills/performances! The only problem here is figuring out which one of these to buy? I know that in our electronic music ensemble there are so many ways in which to utilize these apps!

FIRST UP are two effects generators….

Effectrix Small IconEffectrix $9.99 (down from $17.99!) – “Sugar Bytes’s game-changing tool for creative and efficient music production is now available on the iPad: scatter 14 intelligent effects across a sequencer matrix and create unheard-of sound patterns and cheeky loop collages” An app that allows you to sequence effects! Being able to mess with the effects is one of the reasons I love using Alchemy Synth small iconAlchemy so much!

TurnadoTurnado $9.99 (50% down from $19.99!) – “Turnado is a revolutionary multi-effect tool, crafted especially for massive real-time audio manipulation. It combines unique and dynamic effects with the most intuitive and immediate control you can imagine. Just turn it on and crank it up.” Just imagine running instruments through this app in a live setting, using the X-Y pads start adjusting key parameters with instant access to 8 effects!


NEXT is another effects app with a bit of a different take….

ThesysThesys is $9.99 (33% cut from $14.99)  - “Thesys is an extremely powerful and intuitive MIDI stepsequencer app, giving you control over just about all aspects of your favorite MIDI devices.” This app gives you all sorts of control over musical ideas and triggers when performing live…. “For live musicians, Thesys provides an extremely versatile palette of performance options which can be triggered right from your MIDI keyboard: you can transpose, manipulate, twist up, mutate, and mangle your patterns without even getting near your iPad. No other MIDI sequencer offers you the ease and power of Thesys. It is 100% MIDI compliant and therefore provides the ultimate MIDI sequencing solution. Use Thesys on your iPad to control multiple apps or external hard- or software! Send melodies, controller data and program changes.”

You have to check out the video of what this thing can do – just listening to the demos doesn’t really give you the full idea of what is possible here….

Have an iPad/iPhone? Enjoy Guitar and Drum Music? Get Jam Maestro on sale!

Jam Maestro Small IconJam Maestro has just seen a huge update as well as 66% price drop $2.99 (down from $8!)

Quite an amazing app to build up sketches of songs or even entire song recordings featuring guitar, bass and drums!

FEATURES: Record 16 instruments at the same time, Compose in Guitar/Drum Tab, MIDI support, Audiobus 2 and InterApp Audio, now iPad compatible, and more!

Great sound I must say! If guitar is your thing and you like rock/metal – this would be a blast!

Here’s a YouTube Video so you can get the idea….

Music Apps On Sale – Apps to make your recordings sound their best!

These are all awesome and they are on sale! Buy them! Not sure for how long either so act quick!


Top iPad Apps (for the teacher) In The Band Room

This post will be updating through the next week as I keep track of the apps I use from day to day and through my rehearsals and prep work.

I will clear out all running apps before I go to school and then I will check at lunch to see what is running and create my list. Then I will clear all apps again to see what I use through the afternoon. I will simply repeat this for one week.

I would love to see other Band Directors lists as well – MATT BISHOP – ED FALLS. If you send me your lists I will post them here with your permission for others to share.


  1. ForScore Small IconForScore/ UnRealBook Small IconUnRealBook
  2. iTunes
  3. PlanBook Small IconPlanBook
  4. SkyWard Small IconSkyWard
  5. MobileMouse Small IconMobileMouse
  6. Fingering Small IconFingering for iPad (Thanks Joe Guarr @jguarr)
  7. ClassDojo small iconClassDojo
  8. DropBox Small IconDropBox/ BoxBox
  9. Mail
  10. Calendars 5Calendars5 by Readdle/ GoodTask Small IconGoodTask/ Wunderlist Small IconWunderList/ Remindrs
  11. Feedly Small IconFeedly Reeder / MrReader Small IconMr. Reader
  12. Pocket Small IconPocket
  13. EverNote Small IconEvernote
  14. OneSafe Small IconOneSafe


My list of very important apps I don’t use every single day:

  1. DayBook ProDayBook Pro
  2. FileMakerGo 13 Small IconFileMaker
  3. SmartSeat Small IconSmartSeat

GoodTask: UPDATE after a few days of use

GoodTasksI promised I would update you on how well GoodTask Small IconGoodTask works and some of you had questions about the filters and how they worked.

Here’s what I am finding….

In my To-Do List I like to create yearly reminders of things I need to do at specific times. The problem that I have been running into though in several other apps is that I don’t want to see those items on my list of To-Do’s until it is time to actually do them! Here we are in March and I really do not want to think about Band Camp stuff that is coming up in August and July. Let’s finish this year first right?


I use this app because I can schedule things through SIRI. Yes, I love talking to my phone – even though it doesn’t always get it right, most time it is faster than typing it in when I am in the middle of a class or just finishing a rehearsal and need to make a note (which is frequently!) Here is a screen shot of what I see in that app though…. First problem is there are all those things I have to do in August that I don’t want to see. Second problem is that I have to jump to each individual list, unless the ToDo is actually scheduled as they are here. My Inbox says 0 but as you can see from the counts I certainly have stuff to take care of. So, I like creating ToDo’s with SIRI through the Reminders app but really do not like to view things here!


Wunderlist Small IconWUNDERLIST

Great app but as I like creating ToDo’s with SIRI this one doesn’t fit my bill totally. I use this app ALL the time though because I can share lists with other people who do not have Apple products! My student helpers, my Band Council, my Band Boosters and fellow teachers – we all use it! (By the way you DO know you can share these lists with other Apple users right? See that list “From Dad”? that’s the list I share with my son’s!)

Calendars 5CALENDARS 5 by Readdle

This is the app I use instead of the Apple Calendar app. Simply put it allows me to work faster, create dates quicker and looks great. It also includes a Tasks section (Apple’s Calendar app does not) AND it syncs with Apple’s Reminders. There are a couple issues here though. In the first pic below is one issue – If I select Today I only see ToDo’s that are dated for today or are overdue. I also have idea what Lists have other Todo’s in them because there is not the nifty counter next to the list name as in Apple’s Reminders app. So it becomes a game of peck and seek. Then, in the second pic, you see the other issue – my pet peeve. By selecting the All option I now see all of my ToDo’s neatly sorted by list (kind of nifty) BUT there are those pesky things I must do in August! I could of course hide that list but then what if I forget I hid the list and miss something? I am very forgetful… ask my wife.

Calendars5A  Calendars5B


That brings us to this new app, GoodTask. When I look at the main month view I have set a filter to show Undated Tasks, to Hide Completed Tasks and to Show Calendar Events. Here is what I see then. I see ALL of my Tasks, I see upcoming Events/Meetings, I see the list in plain view of which lists I am currently viewing (which is all of them in this screen shot – compare to the next screen shot where I am only showing the Band Camp List) and most importantly I see a calendar with pretty little dots under the dates that have Tasks on them. What I DO NOT see are tasks that are due way the heck over in August or July!


In this next screen shot I have hidden all lists except my band camp list and I have dragged the calendar down to August. If you notice the dots under the 1st and the 15th that is my indication that something iix due on those days. TIP – Pick colors for your lists that are not close to each other – my Band Camp and Band Lists are very close in color and so I was confused about what was going on the 15th until I turned on the Band List and a task appeared (which also hid all the Band Camp tasks)


If I don’t want to see any more than just one day at a time or if I want to see a week at a time it is a simple tap away.

  • The filters help to customize what is seen in each of the three views – Day, Week, Month.
  • If you want to totally hide lists that are in Apple’s Reminders that is easy to do. I like just leaving them out in plain view so I don’t forget about them.
  • There are two themes available –  a Light and a Dark. The app is set to automatically switch between the two depending on if it is night time or not. Of course if you like,  you  can switch yourself.
  • If you really want to quickly see what Tasks you have already completed it is simple – tap the little arrow in the circle up next to the search feature….
  • WAIT…. there’s a SEARCH? Yup! That way if you want to see when you are supposed to do something in the future it is quickly available. Perform a search and then that Task shows up with the details.


  1. When dragging the calendar it is difficult to keep track of which month I am in. I wish they would have the calendar itself gray out and the name of the month appear as an overlay.
  2. When marking a Task as done – The feedback is horrible! You need to just have faith and wait a split second – then the task dot gets colored in and the task moves to the completed list.
  3. There are a few minor bugs – Like the on/off slider in Calendar Events in the setting menu is funky – it moves around!
  4. I like the sound effects – of course most of the time my sound is turned to silent mode… oh well….

This app might help you take a different look at what you have coming up and what things you need to get done! Now… by the looks of MY ToDo list I’d better get busy – If only the ground outside would thaw out so I could take that brick to school and get THAT off my list!

So in the world of making music on iOS devices there are a slew of great apps to play with. Now when I say play, I also mean do serious music making with!

Recently Alex Matheu released a brand new app called Sliver Small IconSliver. In short, Sliver is a powerful tool for soundscape and sonic texture creation.

Another way to describe this app is as a tool to create very interesting and ever changing textures that will fascinate you and keep you playing for hours! Here is the list of ideas you could use Sliver for…

  • Soundscapes
  • Ambient
  • Drone
  • Glitch
  • Noise
  • Pads
  • Sound Design / Sound Effects
  • Unique Sonic Textures
  • Cinematic Sound Elements

SliverWebInIpadTake a look at the pic to the left. You see the heart of this app pretty quick, although it may not be immediately evident what you see. There are four independent slots (slivers) where you can insert audio and then change those audio slivers in many different ways. You can do this live or automate it. You have filters, XY pads, effects, dynamic physics, audio share, audio copy, and audio bus. How’s that for some fun!

The good news is that Sliver Small IconSliver is being offered at 33% off currently as an introductory price. That price is quickly coming to an end though! Like this weekend…. If you like creating music and messing around with being creative on your iPad this is a no-brainer purchase at $3.99!

Watch this introductory video to get a better idea of what this is capable of…

Download Sliver

SunRizer and NanoStudio Still on Sale!

Sunrizer iconSunRizer Synth for iPad is still on sale! It’s awesome!

The pads in this piece are from SunRizer!

NanoStudio LogoAs for NanoStudio – I found out how stinking easy it is to sample your own sounds into the sampler and incorporate them into your recordings! I have always wanted to do this on my Roland Fantom X8 but it was way too much effort! With NanoStudio I would love to be able to do this with a class of students – create music all form their own samples!


Audio Mastering App for iPad – You should get this if you record audio…

AudioMastering App ScreenIf you are ever recording audio and sharing it in one form or another you should have an audio mastering app to take that audio file to the next level! For instance, ever record rehearsal then upload it to your groups SoundCloud account for the students to evaluate? What about recording your concerts and creating a CD? Have you ever sat down, written a song, recorded the audio and uploaded it to the web to share with friends? Well there’s an app for taking those files and making them sound even better…. I have been looking for an app that allows me to quickly chop off the start and end times of a recording – easily done with this app. This app allows me to maximize the volume of the recording, change EQ, alter the stereo imaging and even save presets to save time on future recordings.

Plus it’s on sale right now, this weekend – 1-25-2014, because it is about to get bumped up to version2! Which means even more capabilities soon, and if you buy the current version those extra capabilities come along next week for free!

The Audio Mastering Small IconAudio Mastering app for iPad by Igor Vasiliev is 40% off right now for $6.99.

Here’s is what you can do with the app…

Audio processing features:

● Fully 24-bit audio processing algorithms.
● Linear phase 10-bands graphic Equalizer based on phase shifting.
● Three bands Stereo Imaging with common Stereo Width level.
● Harmonic Saturator with three sets of harmonics.
● Loudness Maximizer with adjustable response speed and ceiling.
● High-quality sample rate converter from 96, 88.2, 48 to 44.1 or 48 kHz.
● Bit depth converter supports 16, 24, 32 bits.
● Dithering with noise shaping.
● Solo mode for all Equalizer bands.
● Function Normalize at conversion of file.
● Support .wav, .aif, .mp3, .m4a, .caf .flac audio file formats.

The app supports AudioBus, SoundCloud, DropBox and AudioCopy / AudioPaste. You can also use the Open In feature to get/send files from other apps.

BELOW IS A SAMPLE of what the app can do…


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