Seline Redux Synth

Seline Redux IconSeline Redux Synth – Scale Based Dubbing Keyboard with Lead, Drone, Beat and FX

This is free right now and seriously rocks! This app fits right into the “what apps are great for music performances with my students?” question.

Here is part of the App Store description – “Seline is a great live performance and improvisation music instrument that will keep you playing for hours, even if you haven’t touched any synth before. The sound is altered on the fly with a dozen of subtle AI algorhythms that add unbelievable expression, character and life to your music. Drones (chorded synth pads) are generated on-the-fly based on the complex analysis of your melody line and provide an excellent background layer for your melody.”

No brainer – go get it! Now! Seriously!

Seline Screen Shot

LoopTree – New loop recorder app that is pretty sweet!

LoopTree IconI’m not sure why I think looping is so interesting – maybe because it is exactly the type of process I would love to see my students use when we do our compositions in band class? Anyways, there is now a new looping app to throw in the mix –

LoopTree – $6.99 (Introductory price until July 20)

 

Here is the introduction from the App Store – “LoopTree is an exciting new breed of looper that brings more fun than ever to creating live music! Record and group practically unlimited vocal and instrumental loops using a powerful, layered interface that gives you unrivalled control over the music you create.”

Part of what I am really liking from this app is the layout and design – take a look at how beautiful this is:

LoopTree

You can see the 7 slots for loops to liven the left up above. Being able to see the waveforms like that is very nifty and makes it easy to see what all is going on. In each of the loop slots you see little grey circles – those are to set volume and pan for that particular loop – drag it up-down for volume and left-right for pan. The three little blue bars on the blue loop is one other feature this app has up it’s sleeve! It’s called layered looping – take a look at this screen shot:

LoopTree Screen Layers

This is what you get when you go inside of that layer. Now you can see that there are 3 loops that are all a part of this overall loop, all layered together and each with it’s own volume/pan control that is set separate from the main loop volume/pan settings. This layered looping is all nondestructive which means that as you keep building up the layered loop the previous recordings are all still there and untouched.

Watching the two videos the guys have done makes it obvious that this app is easy to use, even when diving in and applying FX like Beat Repeat or the Filter (these are what you see on the right hand side of the screen shots above.)

I am looking forward to getting my hand on this app – actually I am looking forward even more so to getting this into the hands of my students and my own kids. I want to see what they come up with!

I also am not quite sure how the MIDI control/features work so I am hoping they put a video together for that! But I do know that with support for MIDI, Inter App Audio, AudioBus and Audio copy/paste your options are going to be pretty massive! LoopTree of course works with the built-in microphone or the microphone built into your headphones but you will get better quality through the use of an audio interface with better mics/instruments hooked up. That means you can record your guitar/keyboards through a direct connection and not have to rely on a mic’d sound source!

Here is a YouTube Video they have so you can see the app in action:

 

 

Scanner Pro 6 from Readdle – Updated and on Sale

Scanner Pro 6 IconToday marks a huge improvement for Readdle’s Scanner Pro app for your iOS devices.

Scanner Pro 6 is $2.99 for a limited time (regular price is $6.99)

Don’t let the “Pro” in the name fool you – they are serious! This app does an amazing job of what my professional scanner sitting on my desk next to my computer used to do!

It’s a major update that all 7 million existing customers are getting for free. Enjoy the all-new design and bespoke Scan Radar mode.

* BEAUTIFUL NEW DESIGN – We have redesigned every major screen in the app to make everything fast and easy.

* RE-EDITABLE SCANS – Adjust your scans long after they had been made. Change from B/W to color and even modify document borders.

* SCAN RADAR – Scan Radar automatically finds photos of documents and receipts in your Photo Library. Now you can use your favourite camera app to scan something and then quickly find it in Scanner Pro.

* AUTOMATIC SCANNING – Just hold your camera over the content to automatically scan it.

* FAVORITES – Scanner Pro 6 lets you easily add favorite file destinations with a single tap. Quickly upload your scans to any folders in Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, iCloud and OneDrive.

* OneDrive and OneNote SUPPORT – Upload your scanned documents, receipts and whiteboards to OneDrive and OneNote.

Cubasis Sale Ends Today!

Cubasis LogoIf you have not purchased a DAW for your iPad then today is the last day to pick up Cubasis for the lowest price I have ever seen it at!

Buy it for $29.99 (regular price is $49.99)

I have written about Cubasis before but again in short – This is “the” app is you are wanting to record Audio AND MIDI both into the same app. Cubasis supports Inter App Audio as well as AudioBus opening doors for you to integrate so many other musical instrument apps and Efx apps into your recordings!


 

PhotoScore and NotateMe Ultimate Updated! (for Computer and iOS)

psasbundle8dvdpackIn case you missed the news a few weeks ago Neuratron has updated their PhotoScore and AudioScore apps (Actually it was June 11, 2015) – My friend Chris, over at http://techinmusiced.wordpress.com, wrote about his thoughts on these apps along with his trying out the new updates – Read it Here

PRICE: The prices are an amazing deal currently:

MY THOUGHTS: I have to agree with the points that Chris brought up about PhotoScore being one of those apps that I have used the longest and with very good reason! Well, actually there are two reasons: 1)PhotoScore lite has been bundled with Sibelius for a very long time now. That was where I discovered the app. 2)Most important reason is that after discovering PhotoScore I found that the app worked wonders! This latest update only continues that amazement I have with the app.

PhotoScore 8 and NotateMe Ultimate does not disappoint in being an all around better version from the previous! The fact that now NotateMe (Neuratron’s tablet handwriting music app) has been integrated into the desktop version is one improvement that many will appreciate. I want to focus on a few other abilities though….

THE SCENARIO: I am currently starting the process of putting together my marching band show for the fall. This is one of those times when PhotoScore and NotateMe along with Notion/Sibelius/Finale are hard at work on my laptop or iPad. This is one of those times of the year that it is important to find the right tool for the job too because otherwise it will take forever to get the job done.

THE JOB: The end game here is that I have all of my Marching Band Music in SmartMusic/iTunes so that my students can have practice recordings to work with to learn their parts better and faster. They will also test out on their parts.

THE PROCESS: step one is obvious – get the parts into the computer as PDF’s so that students can access them and start working from the paper sheet music (you know, old school style like we used to do it). This is quick these days as I use the schools copier which has a scanning feature WAY faster than I used to do at home. So within ten minutes I have a piece sorted and scanned along with renaming it.

Step two – I used to have to do two scans, one was the PDF and then another as a TIFF file for PhotoScore. Now PhotoScore 8 simply opens the same PDF I already have! Since I am working with one part at a time the hardest part here is to tell PhotoScore 8 which page to scan. Then it reads the page and within less than a minute I have an extremely accurate reading of the static PDF sheet music now as digital sheet music! This is SO COOL! I used to have to hand input all the notes one at a time or play them in from a keyboard. Let me tell you…. that took WAY longer than one minute! That gives me something that looks like this…

Horn Part Scan As you can see there are two parts to the screen on the computer – the top one line focuses in to show you the original from the PDF and the entire bottom section is the scanned and recognized music. All I can say is that PhotoScore is scary good! I find very few errors these days with actual notes and articulations. The recognition process is not perfect though as there are three items that I know are going to be wrong every time. 1)If there is any text any where on the page like composer, lyricist, copyright, part name or sections labels – Those sort of text items I just end up deleting. 2)Multi-rests are constantly wrong – That 10 measures for instance is supposed to be 4. This is a simple and fast fix though – double tap the thick line and change the number. 3)Any rehearsal markings just do not work. I simply delete these and then when I get the music over into a traditional notation program I add them there.

You can see that PhotoScore alerts you with red markings and also tells you how many notes off any given measure is… So in the example below I’m being told that I am one 8th note/rest off. Again, there is that Multi-rest of 10 measures – this time is should be 3.

PhotoScore Error

Step Three – After fixing those few errors then I send the file as an XML file to Notion OR since I have Sibelius I simply hit the send to Sibelius button. Having Sibelius really saves me some time as I am working with instrumental parts that transpose. Here is the scanned file imported into Notion first and Sibelius second.

Notion ImportSibelius Import

Notice a few differences? Sibelius is the clear winner here – dynamics are on the bottom where they belong and the rhythms are beamed correctly in the first line. PLUS…. (and this is the winner of all time savers people) Sibelius gives me a pop up BEFORE importing the file all the way that asks if this is a transposing score which saves me from having to transpose myself. Here is that pop up window that I love so much….

Transpoing Instrument

CONCLUSION: PhotoScore 8 is a very nice improvement over prior versions and well worth the price for an upgrade from the lite version! If you have access to using a stylus on your laptop then the inclusion of NotateMe Ultimate is going to be a huge time saver as well. I love using NotateMe on my iPad. In fact I will be posting a few more posts here in the next couple of days outlining the difference between the above process on desktop and simply using my iPad.

If you are still using step entry or entering notes with your mouse one at a time or even playing in the parts in real time from a keyboard, MAKE THE SWITCH! Especially since the price is so reasonable!

GarageBand Updated With A Couple of Interesting New Features

GarageBand Logo GarageBand iOS IconGarageBand 10

GarageBand has been updated today with a 10 new Drummers, 100 new EDM & Hip-Hop inspired synth patches, 1000 new loops along with some other updates like support for the force touch trackpad….

and then the two biggies…

GarageBand, on the desktop, now has a Transform Pad Smart Control for sound morphing (which I don’t this included in the notes for the iOS app – bummer – Major disappointment there!)

and

You can now share directly from GarageBand to Apple Music Connect!

So the next question is, how do we as independent artists sign up to be an Apple Music Connect Artist? Good question and one I don’t have the answer for but you can read this – https://www.apple.com/itunes/working-itunes/connect/

GarageBand Updates

Download the iOS version here –

Download the Desktop version here 

 

iTunes Match and Apple Music Updates

I have been an iTunes Match user for the past couple of years. If you are not sure what that means here is the quick version – Apple takes my entire music library (up to 25,000 songs) and makes it available in the cloud on every single one of my devices from wherever I have internet access at. There are some restrictions but most of my songs uploaded just fine. PLUS another benefit is that any of the tracks in my library that were ripped from let’s say a cassette tape and were not good quality – well if those songs were in Apples library they would be recognized and replaced with a higher quality version. As an additional bonus – If I ever stop being an iTunes Match customer I still get to keep the better version of those tracks as long as I have actually downloaded and backed them up on one of my drives here.

So that’s the quick back story –

Here’s my warnings to you as of today – Apple is making changes to iTunes Match and we are not sure what all those changes will all be yet. I will show you one change that may affect my wife and I –

Here is iOS8.3

8_3

Here is iOS8.4

8_4

What does this mean? Well before (in 8.3) I could go onto her iPad and enable iTunes Match for her. Now, she will have to be a enrolled as a member of my “Family” and it is now called iTunes Match (in the Settings app under the Music section at least)

Just beware, that is all.

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