Tin Pan Rhythm app released – What a great way to help teach theory, arranging and composing!

pr_sourceTin Pan Rhythm app is an amazing way in which we as music educators can help teach our students about music theory, composition, arrangement and just plain old fashioned musical explorations!

Tin Pan Rhythm is a new app that has just been released this past week or so. I have been playing with it and love the new ideas and techniques this brings to the table! It is a great app for those music educators who only have one iPad in the classroom and it is an amazing app for those who have multiple iPads in the room.

The main premise of the app is that you are given the opportunity to compose and arrange short musical phrases through the process of exploration. The “short” part of this is the only complaint I have about the app as it stands currently! I wish I could do longer arrangements! it is currently set up for 4 or 8 measures


Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 6.51.06 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 6.51.15 PM

As you can see in the two screen shots above you drag chords from the triangle on the bottom up into the arrangement bar at the top. Then you play around with the volumes of each of the parts as well as which pattern you would like them to play. You do slide each measure up or down in the pattern view to get a higher or lower version of what is playing. You can slide the patterns left or right to change the pattern. If you tap the two rectangles at the far right of the patterns for each player in the band it they will slide apart – this allows you to change the pattern for each individual measure allowing for greater flexibility.

The sound is fantastic. The variety is wonderful.

In the class room at the end of the school year this is going to be a great way to demonstrate for the students what changing chord progressions is all about and what different chords sound like. Using Tin Pan Rhythm is a great way to get a rhythm band going to allow the students a chance to do some improving over top of it. Students think they sound pretty great with an accompaniment like this! Give the control of the arrangement over to the students and it becomes “their” song! Capture a video of their performance as proof of their comprehension for principals, parents and their friends to enjoy!

The app is $2.99 – the layout and the way in which this app works is a nice breath of fresh air. There are other apps that do this same sort of creation of background accompaniment but Tin Pan Rhythm gives some pretty sweet flexibility! The quality of sound is performance ready and does not sound like some chincy MIDI instrument.

New Synth App for the iPad – SynthMaster Player for iPad

SynthMaster Player Large

UPDATE (When you go to make the IAP for the additional sound bank it will still SAY that it is $9.99 but when you click on it to make the purchase you will get a message asking you to confirm that you actually want to make the purchase fro the sale price of $4.99)

Hey iPad music making people – there is a new player in town! There is even a free version for us budget crunched music educators!

SynthMAster Player for iPad – Cost? Free for the basic
– I can’t wait to get my hands on these presets (you get 100 for free and another 100 for registering. Then if you upgrade to the pro version you are then up to 800 presets! This costs $4.99 until July 1st then it is $9.99)

If you make some music with this app, wait…. even better – if your STUDENTS make music with this app let me know and I will share it here!

FROM THEIR WEBSITE – “SynthMaster Player for iPad is the mobile player version of SnthMaster. It is targeted towards users who prefer to use presets rather than designing their own sounds during music production. Although it is a preset based player, users can edit the following parameters:

  • 8 easy parameters assigned by the sound designer
  • 2 XY Pads assigned by the sound designer
  • Effect bypass states and send amounts
  • Layer bypass states and volumes
  • Master volume, polyphony

SynthMaster Player Screen ShotThe free app comes with 100 factory presets. When users complete registration by entering their names and email addresses they receive another 100 factory presets as a bonus. After completing registration, users can upgrade to the Pro version of the app by purchasing the “Factory Presets” bank via In-App-Purchase (IAP) for $9.99. With the Pro Upgrade all of the 800 factory presets are loaded and also the following features are unlocked:

  • Users can save the changes they have made to the presets
  • Users can purchase additional preset banks via In-App-Purchase (IAP)
  • Existing SynthMaster users can download their previously purchased SynthMaster preset banks inside the app, so that they don’t have to purchase them again
  • Existing SynthMaster users can export their own presets in SynthMaster v2.7 and import them into SynthMaster Player for iPad using iTunes.

Buil-in Keyboard
The built-in 2 octave keyboard with pitch and modulation wheels lets users play notes without having to connect an external MIDI controller to their iPad. With its Scale functionality, it shows the users the notes on the scale, and with its Chord functionality the user can play a certain chord by pressing a single note.
Midi Settings
SynthMaster Player for iPad supports CoreMIDI and also virtual MIDI. It acts as a virtual MIDI destination for other DAW apps. Midi input device, midi input channel, and receive midi beat clock settings can be adjusted from the MIDI Settings window.
InterApp Audio
SynthMaster Player for iPad acts as an source/instrument in InterApp Audio. We demonstrate in our user manual how to connect it to InterApp enabled DAW apps.
SynthMaster Player for iPad acts as a source/instrument in AudioBus, with state saving enabled. We demonstrate in our user manual how to connect it to AudioBus enabled DAW apps.
System Requirements
Minimum Operating System Supported: iOS 7.0
Minimum Hardware Supported: iPad 3rd Generation
Recommended Hardware: iPad Air and above”

Pinnacle Studio is on Sale for $0.99! Act NOW

Well this is a pleasant surprise! Pinnacle is an amazing option to iMovie but at $10 regular it is not just a spur of the moment purchase. At $1, it's a no brainier!



Final Guitar App

Tbis was originally a comment here and I thought it should be posted so everyone notices this…..

Hi everybody,

We have developed a music application for smart phones and tablets.
We have published it and we need some reviews and
opinions about our product. It has some specs that
has never seen before; such as 3d animated guitarist
who performs like a real guitarist in real time.

We have published only for ios devices right now.
In future, we are going to publish it for
android devices too.

Best regards

Olcay Daser
Polygonium Dev.Team

Our product page is here:


Our product ios link is here:



NinGenius Music – The Music Learning App (or as my students call it, “That Game”)

NinGenius Header

Hey, Mr. Shimmons are we going to play that game today?
Hey, Mr. Shimmons which iPad has that game on it, I came to class early to play it!

Those are two frequent questions I get every morning in my beginning bands now that I have started testing their knowledge of fingering through the use of the newly released iPad app NinGenius Music – The Music Learning App. This app is the type of app that I have been waiting for ever since the iPad was released 5 years ago. Why has it taken so stinking long!?

NinGenius has a simple premise and a beautiful execution (wait… the only thing that dies in the testing, errrr game are boards) The app checks your student knowledge of fingerings. The beautiful part of the app is that it tracks your students progress! Then, through the use of Teacher Mode, you get to go in and see how everyone is doing! The students have a high score list for every instrument and they also are alerted about achievements like a new personal best.

The students job is to input their name the first time they use the app then they are all setup for taking the test… or playing the game, which ever way you want to sell it! :)

They select their instrument and the level they want to test at. Then the game starts – a note is shown along with three choices of fingerings. If they pick the correct fingering the ninja dude kicks the board and if they are wrong he runs into the board. It’s all very funny. The students are graded on accuracy and speed both. At the end of their turn, which typically lasts 90 seconds, they are then presented with their score and a belt, you know – white, green, yellow, black etc… It takes each kid about three minutes total to run through one time. I tell them they have to come in early or after school if they want more chances.

Each time the students go back into the game they see if they are still on the top scores board for their instrument and their level. The incentive the students have is that if they are a 6th grader getting beat by a 5th grader they obviously don’t like this very much – plus, currently they get to pick whichever level they want so this allows for them to work at their pace.

As teacher I get to see all sorts of data about each kids progress. Take a look at my scores….

NinGenius Teacher

Being able to have this progress is going to prove invaluable next year! I have no idea why other apps don’t allow for this – like in the Music Theory apps!

This is a no brainer for any music teacher trying to teach kids fingerings. Plus the app also does note names! Plus there is a study mode too which allows students to work through fingerings or notes.

Here are some pictures of the fingerings students will see – including PERCUSSION!

Fingerings ASaxFingerings FHorn Fingerings Keyboard Fingerings TBone

This app comes in three editions….

NinGenius School

NinGenius Studio

NinGenius Student


The school edition allows unlimited students on all instruments – $24.99 –


The studio edition allows unlimited students on one instruments – $9.99

The student edition allows for one student on on instrument – $2.99


Practice+ Tuner, metronome app is free

Well this is a pleasant surprise!

Practice+ Tuner, Metronome is free today. Act fast!


Animoog on Sale – One of the best synth apps for iOS!

AnimoogAnimoog for iPhone is on sale right now for $1.99 – 

Animoog for iPad is on sale right now for $14.99 – 

Animoog is getting some serious development work done currently to get it brought up to speed with all the current iOS8 and AudioBus and InterApp updates from the past year. The app works but needs some work and that work is being done. With Animoog on sale currently, now is a great time to pick it up!

Animoog is one of my favorite synth apps – it has an XY interactive touch pad that gives you the chance to alter the sound easily even in the middle of a performance! The keys on the screen are also designed to react to the multi-touch screen of iOS – move your finger up and down the keys and you will get some very satisfying alterations of the current timbre. This sort of interactive sound alteration is what makes iPad such an excellent performance device!

Other ways to control your performance – You get access to scales – no more being stuck with a 13 note chromatic keyboard! You can also use the iOS accelerometer to alter there sound!

There is Sonoma and AudioBus compatibility as well!



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