Heavy Brass App by CrudeByte – NEW App Arrives

HeavyBrass Icon.pngHeavy Brass is on an Introductory Sale Price of $9.99 (Later it will jump to $19.99) – I do have to say that as of right now there are NO IAP’s so all sounds/features are included in this price. Thank YOU!

Anyone looking for an app that can produce some remarkable brass sounds should take a serious look at a new app that has just been released by CrudByte. CrudByte has a few other apps out already so they are well versed in how to put together an app that gives the serious musician an app they can actually use to make music!

I do have to say that this app is aimed at those looking for brass of the type you would find in funk, pop and soul music. You are not going to be using this app for Pachelbels’ Canon probably.

This app would be awesome to give to a live performance group to use at your next concert! How much fun would that be!? What you are going to want to do is use this app as a virtual sound machine that gives you some brilliant brass sound rivaling live brass. I like using other apps like Geo SynthesizerGeoSynth or an external keyboard would work to play these sounds too! Geo Synth allows anyone to play music without having to fully understand a piano interface.


You have Trumpets, Trombones and Saxophones inside this app in three different configurations – Single, Switches, and Combis.

There are 17 Single sounds  here that give you the base sounds you would expect.

The Switches are where it really gets interesting – there are 5 base sounds (basically section sounds – Brass section 1, 2, 3, 4 and then a Crescendo sound) BUT then you can switch to 4 other sounds by either key velocity or mod wheel – Shaker, Growl, Doiks and Falls.

Lastly there are 16 combo sounds that are combinations of the singles sounds alongside the ability to switch sounds through key velocity/round robin or crossfade with the mod wheel.


  • You are able to get up to 16 parts and 140 voices with CrudeBrass(with an iPad Air)! Astonishing. Even on the iPad 1 you get  40 stereo voices!
  • There is a scale mode and also access to a tuning feature allowing you to tweak the tuning from well-tempered to Oriental to other tuning modes.
  • Internal effects
  • Audiobus, Inter App Audio, JACK Audio, MIDI support and background audio
  • On screen keyboard that is scalable, scrollable and supports velocity even – so in other words you COULD use just the app to perform with but…..

CrudByte has this app alongside several others. All the apps they produce have amazing sound that you can use in so many circumstances – live performances with band, choir, general music or on a song you are recording/composing in your classroom or for you next being CD release. The apps are versatile and easy to understand how the sounds would fit into the music.

Oriental Strings Icon.pngOriental Strings $9.99 would be amazing for helping students study Oriental sounds and music.

iSymphonic Orchestra Icon.pngiSymphonic Orchestra at $29.99 is an insane price to ask for an iPad app until you understand what it does. The name makes it pretty self explanatory in what it does but the sound quality is what you are paying for. This quality of a sound set usually comes at a much higher price than only $30.


Take a look at the demo video for Heavy Brass by the SoundTestRoom (If you have any questions about almost ANY music app the SoundTestRoom probably has a demo for it by the way)….


Happy Thanksgiving (and apps sales!)

‘Tis the season for lots of thanks and joy and app sales!

Yonac has two of their great instruments on sale for 30%

SeekBeats Drum SynthSeekBeats Drum Machine Synthesizer is on a VERY rare 40% sale too for $6.99 – Check this out if you want an amazing drum synth that is tweak able and playable!

Don’t forget the deals on IK Multimedia Apps too! Both the apps themselves as well as the IAP extra sound packs are all on sale! This is the time to act people!


My Thoughts on iPad Pro

Ok, let’s set aside price and the fact that it is missing 3D Touch – which seriously, I don’t think iPadPro is getting until a few generations down the road.

Let’s set aside the whole “It can not replace my laptop/desktop”.

Here’s where MY thoughts begin and end…

Pro next to Air2.jpg

That is iPadPro next to iPadAir2 and I’ve got to tell you that for music reading the Pro is going to be amazing! The score you see is a pretty typical High School Band score and it is very readable, finally!

Of course, now we get into the whole discussion of what am I using technology for? As a replacement for what I can already do with current tools that have been around for years? Well, I’m here to tell you…. if I don’t have to have folders and folders of music scores to keep track of then my life has just gotten remarkably better.

End of discussion. (wait… does someone want to give me a Christmas present?)

Kuvert:Swedish Envelopes – Like Swedish meatballs but way better for music!

Doing a live performance and want to manipulate the sound? How about that sweet riff you just recorded… Want to mess with people's minds and alter that in ways not possible with traditional instruments?

Kuvert:Swedish Envelopes is available for the great introductory price of $4.99 until December 1 when it will be $7.99

Klevgrand Produktion AB has brought us another amazing effects app – Kuvert: Swedish Envelopes – and I think it just might be interesting to use this live! In fact I think the next concert we do we will use this just to try it out!

Here's the blurb from the App Store… Then a video at the end….

Kuvert defines a whole new way of dealing with effects. In short, Kuvert allows you to draw five different envelopes. These envelopes control different effect parameters, and can be drawn freely or onto a grid. The envelopes are looped, while the incoming audio isn’t (unless you’re feeding it looped material of course). This is a powerful & fun way of altering your sounds to reach a whole new level, sometimes not even recognizable! Thanks to the looping nature of the plug-in, it will fit very well into any musical context. One way of using it would be to revitalize any looped material (such as beats) within just a few seconds





Awesome Sale on IK Multimedia Apps!

IK MultiMedia is running their Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales!

These apps are on sale until December 1st…. When I say sale, I mean it too! iGrand, iLectric and Sample Tank for instance are usually $20 a pice and during this sale they are $4.99!!!

Grabbing these apps while on sale is a great opportunity to use the iPad sitting in your music room as an instrument instead of just an email machine!

Some of the Discounted apps include:

AmpliTube for iPhone
AmpliTube for iPad
AmpliTube Fender for iPad
AmpliTube Slash for iPad
AmpliTube Jimi Hendrix for iPad
AmpliTube Orange for iPad
VocaLive for iPad
iGrand Piano
iGrand Piano for iPad
Mic Room
GrooveMaker 2
iLectric Piano for iPad


These In-App-Purchases are also on sale!

Discounted in-app purchases include:

AmpliTube and VocaLive Recorders
AmpliTube and VocaLive Studios
AmpliTube and VocaLive Studio + Recorder
AmpliTube Fender Complete Bundle
AmpliTube Slash Complete Bundle
AmpliTube Jimi Hendrix Complete Bundle
AmpliTube Orange Complete Bundle
VocaLive Complete Bundle
AmpliTube's All-In 2014 Bundle
AmpliTube's All FXs Bundle
AmpliTube's All Amps Bundle
AmpliTube's Upgrade to Full Bundle
Loop Drummer All Styles Pack 1 & 2
SampleTank Upgrade to Full
SampleTank All Sound Pack
MiroSlav Philhamonik – Mobile Edition
Sonik Synth – Mobile Edition
SampleMoog – Mobile Edition
The Grid
iGrand Piano Upgrade to Full
GrooveMaker 2 Bundled Song Packs
iRig Recorder All Functionalities
iKlip Stage Unlimited Set Lists
EZ Voice All Effects Bundles
iRing FX/Controller FX Bundle 1
iRing FX/Controller FX Bundle 2
iRing Music Maker Dubstep Pack
iRing Music Maker EDM Pack
iRing Music Maker Hip-Hop Pack
iRing Music Maker House Pack
iRing Music Maker FX Bundle 1
iRing Music Maker FX Bundle 2
iRing Music Maker Total Bundle


Recording Your Concerts (Updated)

(Updated with recordings at the bottom of this post!)

You are going to have a concert, I feel it is the season! So, how are you going to record it and listen/watch to it later with your students? This is part of the National Standards for Music – Evaluate music. This gives you and your students a chance to sit back and enjoy the hard work and effort you have put into the performance.

I had a concert tonight with my electronic group that is fused with traditional instruments. I have a couple of Christmas concerts coming up soon as well. I wanted recordings so I actually remembered to hit the record button a few different ways tonight!

My Melodic Fusion concert tonight was recorded three ways –

  1. First of all I went basic – quick and easy… I had my daughter use my iPhone and she recorded video. Boom…. instant go back to class tomorrow and watch it as well as hear it!
  2. Secondly I went for easy but a step up in sound…. we stuck a handheld recorder in the front row of the audience. Now we have stereo sound not just the mono iPhone mic.
  3. Thirdly we used our digital sound board and captured 16 tracks of digital audio right from the electronic instruments and microphones.


Here is a picture of the handheld recorders I used….


Then I took that SD card, stuck it into my computer and used an app called Final Vinyl, much like Audacity, to open the entire concert. Once opened in Final Vinyl it was VERY quick and simple to divide each song, take out the in between stuff and export the four songs into iTunes. Here is what that looked like when I opened it at first….

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 9.39.50 PM.png

Then I marked each piece start and end.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 9.47.53 PM.png

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 10.40.31 PM.png

That one long file quickly got turned into these four Aiff files you see to the left.

Of course the PreSonus StudioLive sound board we use allows us to easily record 16 tracks of digital audio right straight from the sound board into my MacBook. PreSonus has a nifty, straight forward app called Capture that is FAST to open and create a new recording. Then almost instantly you are recording all inputs from the board PLUS a stereo track of the main mix.

Of course THAT audio has to be taken into a DAW and sliced up into the individual songs.

Then it has to be mixed into a final recording. Of course along the way you can edit each individual track, apply EQ, Effects, Compression and all sorts of digital audio magic… it’s a raw 16 track recording! It’s beautiful!

Of course it’s also a LOT more time consuming and takes extra steps to end up with your final product BUT the sound quality will be WAY better than anything you will ever hear from a handheld recorder, iPhone or video camera. Here is what the concert looked like in Capture, all 16 + 2 tracks of digital audio straight recorded from the live sound….

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 10.23.55 PM.png

Now I just gotta go find time to open THAT up in StudioOne or LogicProX and mix it, edit it and spice it up! :) Such fun…. stuff that just a few short years ago would have required a professional studio and a WHOLE lot more equipment to be able to handle.


1)Do you want Fast, Easy, and Quick with pretty decent sound AND video? – iPhone videos are pretty decent these days!

COST – probably in your pocket?

2)Do you want fast, easy and quick but with better quality stereo sound? – Handheld recorder like the Marantz or Tascam ones pictured above (Zoom H4n is another marvelous one as well!)

COST – $150-$400

3)Do you want to really do it up? Buy a digital board like the PreSonus StudioLive or RackMount Series.


  • SOUNDBOARD/INTERFACE – for 16 tracks starts at $900, for 32 tracks starts at $1,800 – You can even get 48 or 64 tracks too!
  • COMPUTER – Yup, you are gonna need a computer for this too.



Notion on iPad Tips

Notion Large

Notion for iOS – $14.99

Well this weekend I decided to create four keyboard parts for my electronic group. I also decided that I was going to use Notion on my iPad to do that. I’ve come up with a few tips for you….

I worked WAY better in “Continuous View” which is strange because I kind of hate that view in Sibelius on a laptop.

Part of learning if an app will work for you is to force yourself to just sit down and USE it exclusively! Don’t allow your self to go back to whatever you HAVE been using. Just bite the bullet and use the new app. It’s going to be frustrating but the more you have to dig for answers, the faster you will become better at it!

When Entering Notes…

  1. Use the record feature if you can play the part from an external keyboard. It’s pretty darn accurate!
    1. turn off tuplets if you don’t need them though!
    2. Set your split point if working with a grand staff.
    3. Really think about the Multi-Voice – try it both ways. Sometimes I thought having this on would work better and as it turned out it was actually worse!)
  2. Learn what each mode does fro entering notes –
    1. The two quarter notes besides each other allows for entry of one note at a time
    2. The chords allow for entering of more than one note
    3. The Pencil one allows you to step entry
    4. the speaker icon allows you to hear the selected note
    5. Learn where the Voice One and Voice Two options are in the fifth menu over from the left
      1. Voice One has a solid note on top of an outlined note
      2. Voice Two has an outlined note on top of a solid note
      3. Of course if you are entering drum parts there are four voice choices right there to the left of the drum pads.

From Skitch

When selecting many measures at a time to copy and paste into another part…

  1. To grab the little blue handle you have to tap and wait a moment THEN drag!
  2. You HAVE to let go of the blue handle to move the screen over – you CANNOT drag the handles and expect the screen to scroll at the same time.
  3. After moving the screen over wait for it to stop moving BEFORE grabbing the blue handle again. Then tap, wait a moment and drag your selection out further.
  4. When the entire passage is selected make sure to select the option you need (Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete, Clear etc…) BEFORE moving the screen back! Otherwise you are going to end up repeating this entire process AGAIN!

From Skitch-1

Rehearsal Marks….

  1. Add all rehearsal marks at the same time – just makes it easier then jumping back and forth between tools.
  2. Make sure the spot where you want to insert the rehearsal mark is actually green. If you just selected a note and turned it orange then the rehearsal is NOT going to go there! (See note below about dynamics and this tip)
    1. In fact you can NOT even have the entire measure selected to insert a rehearsal mark (IF you want it to show up in the spot you THINK it should! Which is usually at the start of a measure by the way PreSonus!)
  3. Good grief I wish there was a way to have those rehearsal marks be the measure number by default!


  1. Add all your dynamics at the same time – just makes it easier then jumping back and forth between tools.
  2. When inserting dynamics the spot you want the dynamic to be inserted can be Green OR Orange either one unlike when dealing with Rehearsals marks as noted above!

Hairpins (Crescendo/Decrescendo)….

  1. Yeah…. can’t find them? Select a measure and you will! Pretty slick eh?
  2. Oh…. Notion determines if you should ACTUALLY be putting a hairpin in the spot you want to…
    1. For instance you will NOT be able to add a decrescendo in a piano part underneath a whole note.

From Skitch-2

Page Layout and Printing….

  1. Adding different types of titles, credits, page numbers DOES NOT WORK SMOOTHLY so be warned that you are going to have to dink around with this a BUNCH before you get all the text on your page the way it should be. It’s almost as if overtime you add a new one and the iPad AUTOMATICALLY picks a meta type, that if you already had one of those in there (and you usually do) that things get switched all around. BE PATIENT and for goodness sakes I hope PreSonus reads this blog post and gets to work fixing this issue! (I’m sure they already a fix in action!)
  2. Please oh please add a title for pages 2, 3, 4 on to the end of the piece!
    1. There are quite a few pre-set Text types you can choose from
      1. Title, Subtitle, Credit, Dedication, Copyright, Date, Page Number, Part Name, or on iPad the type of None
  3. Please add the Part Name to each part you print.
  4. When changing Page Layout margins make sure you change the size of the margins and then hit the BACK button or else the changes will NOT take place! (Drives me NUTS! I want to change the margins and then just tap out of there back into the score.)
  5. Play around with the notation size and margins until you get just the right look for you parts BEFORE you print them! SAVE A TREE!

Score and Part Printing….

  1. There isn’t a piano reduction tool in Notion yet so don’t bother looking for it!
  2. There isn’t a way to print just two or three of the parts into a condensed score so if you want to do that you will have to have multiple files. One would be the full score and another would contain just the parts you want. (Again, hopefully PreSonus already is fixing this issue and expanding the capabilities of Notion!)

Saving and Sharing….

  1. The new options under the sharing menu just simply rock now! (THANKS PRESONUS!)
  2. You can now Send As a …. Notion File, PDF, PDF Parts, MusicXML, WAV, AAC, MIDI
  3. You can now Save to your Device or to iCloud (Choose this – it’s magic!)
  4. You can upload to SoundCloud
  5. You can Email (and all those different types mentioned in #2 above are choices when you email it!)
  6. or you can Print it

From SkitchFrom Skitch-1


If you have some tips for using Notion on iPad I’d love to add them to my list here!




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