Steamworx for Alchemy Available Now – Let’s Make Music! (and meet the National/State Standards)

Alchemy ScreenShotPart of teaching any class is making sure we meet state and national standards for our content area. One of those areas for music is composition. Part of being successful at  composing is simply the act of doing it – over and over, frequently! Of course we are not ever going to want to try composing and creating if it isn’t fun. That means we have to have something inspiring us to get at it and be creative. The iPad has a ton of amazing apps to help inspire us. Here is one of those apps and it is free to start out!

Alchemy Synth small iconAlchemy Synth Mobile Studio by Camel Audio is a free iOS synth available for your iPad. The price of the app is FREE! Alchemy is one of those iOS apps that make great use of the touch interface. The app goes above and beyond what we can do with keyboards and older controllers. Once you load the app up you will see a set of 2 X/Y pads with a set of 8 morphing pad below that and then the keyboard below that. Those pads give you 8 different various alterations of the basic starting sound. It is an easy way to loose an hour or two playing around, running your finger around those pads and becoming enthralled with the morphing sounds that transpire!

There is a 4 track recorder builtin, you get AudioBus and Inter-App Audio, Drum Pads/Sounds,

The synth comes with 30 great sounds built in and you will get an additional 35 when you register the app. There are also additional sound banks, with 50 sounds each, available as in-app-purchases. Camel Audio has released its latest just recently….

For $4.99 Steamworx is available – this bank of sounds is a cinematic netherworld featuring keyboard instruments made from clocks, drum kits built with steam-powered machines, fog-shrouded soundscapes and gothic choirs.

Take a listen to the SoundCloud demos below. These could be a great deal of fun in an electronic ensemble! I am always looking for sounds that we can put to use that will be different than simply emulating acoustic instruments. If we wanted to sound like acoustic instruments then we would just play those instruments! Instead we have this amazing world of different, inspiring, weird and wonderful sounds available to us because we have electronic controllers in our hand. Of course this set of sounds would be a great deal of fun as an individual with just one iPad as well!

Take a listen – Then go download the app!



Here Is A Great List of Music Ed Blogs

Clear, a Great To-Do App On Sale.

I do not like using  a To-Do app that does not have a desktop version of the app as well as an iOS version. I also love seeing innovative designs that are clean and inspiring to look at.

Clear, from RealMac, fits both of those criteria. PLUS both apps are on sale! RealMac usually doesn’t usually offer discounted prices on their desktop software either so this is clearly a sweet deal!

Clear for Mac Small IconClear for Mac – $4.99 (50% off – down from $10.99)

Clear Small IconClear for iOS – $1.99 (down from $4.99)


Here are some highlights of what Clear does for you….

  • Simple, Gesture based design
  • Syncs your lists across devices via iCloud
  • Now you can set reminders
  • Looks mighty fine!
  • Sounds cool too – that’s a bonus for us musician types! (Unless of course you are in a teachers meeting – then you are going to want to turn your volume DOWN!)


Clear iPad SShot

AutoDesk’s Sketchbook Painting and Drawing iOS apps ARE FREE!


Well, this is a first….

SketchBook is one of the Apps of the Week picks by Apple! That means that the iPhone and iPad apps for Sketchbook, the wonderful painting and drawing apps from AutoDesk are free for one week!

If you are in the least bit interested in drawing or sketching or painting then go download them!

SketchBook Pro Small IconAutoDesk’s Sketchbook Pro for iPad

Sketchbook Mobile Small IconSketchbook Mobile for iPhone

MakeMusic Joins Peaksware

Peaksware MakeMusic

Well that’s interesting….

August 6, 2014 – MakeMusic, Inc. announced today that they will join the umbrella company Peaksware, Inc. owned by LaunchEquity Partners, the same investment company who took MakeMusic private in 2013. MakeMusic joins TrainingPeaks, another brand already under the leadership of the Peaksware team. Each brand will remain focused solely on their respective markets of music technology and endurance training, continuing their long histories as industry leading brands.

Back in March of 2013 , MakeMusic was sold to LaunchEquity Partners for 23.8 million. Now, in August 2014, LaunchEquity puts MakeMusic under the same umbrella of operation with two sports training programs.

Here are a few quotes from the press release:
“Our vision is to provide the platforms by which performers and instructors can work to perfect their crafts. Both TrainingPeaks and MakeMusic have already helped countless people achieve mastery. Working together under the Peaksware umbrella, they will be able to reach even more,” said Andy Stephens, Chairman of both MakeMusic and Peaksware.

“Whether it’s coaches and athletes, teachers and students, or composers and musicians, we’re pioneering software platforms that help people reach their potential across sport, music and beyond,” said Mr. Fisher, CEO of Peaksware. “Our vision is broad, but it’s based on a core strategy that we’ve honed over the years at TrainingPeaks, and it will be the cornerstone on which we build a great organization.”

What I know about Peaksware…. From their website here is their “What We Do” Statement…
“We bring together industry leading brands to help guide people along their journey of improvement through a unique approach to deliberate practice.”

They have three brands listed under their direction – MakeMusic, TrainingPeaks, and TrainHeroic. So now they have one music company and two athletic companies under them.

The Peaksware website will take you about 60 seconds to see EVERYTHING they have on it. Short, precise and to the point. –

The Peaksware four step approach does make perfect sense from a teachers perspective – take a look at it here.


My Thoughts…
I will say that MakeMusic this past year has not seemed to loose traction from the first acquisition. They have just made a few nice updates to both SmartMusic and Finale 2014. We can only hope that this new partnership creates a stronger MakeMusic!

Chris Russell had a chance to talk for a few minutes with Peaksware’s CEO, Fisher. It is interesting that he has a daughter who is using SmartMusic in her efforts to learn an instrument. This helps me think that maybe the news of today is good news.

Read more about Chris’s thoughts here.

The press release from MakeMusic can be found here

New iOS Synth – Tera Synth

VirSyn already has some stelar synth apps on the App Store and they have added one more now.

Tera Synth is an excellent addition to our choices for creative minds. It is also an amazing choice for anyone who has a class in electronic music as the app lends itself to being a good choice to learn how synthesis works. It would allow students to easily dig in, explore and create their own patches.

Speaking of patches…, the app comes with 900 patches already to do. That is an astounding thought considering that the app currently only costs $9.99!

This app has a companion desktop app. They took the best of that app, redesigned it for the touch interface and we get Tera Synth!

If you want to hear what it is capable of then visit the VirSyn website and watch their introductory video there.


Readdle Apps Are On A HUGE Sale Right Now!

Such exciting news this morning! Readdle is celebrating it’s 7th birthday and has all of their apps on up to a 70% sale for 48 hours (well now it’s less then that)

PDF Expert5 Small IconPDF Expert (version 5) is $4.99 instead of $9.99 – This is one of those apps that I use for most every other PDF document that I use for all of my life. It’s one of those apps that makes a huge impression on people. I use it to sign forms, fill out paperwork, and rearrange pages. This app let’s me get stuff done fast! My principals appreciate that! In fact I take my iPad down to them and just have them sign entry forms for festival entry right on my iPad – they are impressed.

Calendars 5Calendars 5 is $2.99 instead of $6.99 – If you are still using Apples Calendar app – here’s your chance to upgrade!

ScannerPro iconScanner Pro is $2.99 instead of $6.99 – When I need to get a physical document that I do not have on my iPad into a digital document this is the app I have found that works the best so far. Of course an actual scanner would be better but sometimes you just can’t get to one of those!

PDF ConverterPDF Converter is $1.99 instead of $6.99 – I use the print to PDF function all the time on my Mac and used to wish I could do the same on my iPad, well this app answers my wish. Now, if only my other two wishes were to be granted……

Documents App LOGODocuments 5 is free – Between PDF Expert and this app I have all my documents that I feel I must have with me at all times right on my iPad. I was blown away when this app went to the great price of FREE. It even has a media player built in now – even though I hardly use THAT!

Someone is going to ask about their Printer app – I do not use that app because I use Printopia.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 719 other followers

%d bloggers like this: