Steinberg Media has been madly at work at creating the “next gold standard of music notation”. This project has not been a secret but just today the name of the app along with a few more… More
Yes, I am messing around with a new look of my blog.
Trying to get a few things cleaner looking.
Trying to get a few things featured.
Hang tight, let me know what you think and give me ideas if you are so inclined!
I have often looked at KickStarter and all of its outstanding projects that are offered but never have I actually supported one of those projects. That is until last fall.
Last fall I discovered a project that I was extremely interested in as it had to do with one of the emerging technologies that I feel will have a long lasting effect in the world of music technology. The emerging technology that I am referring to is BlueTooth MIDI capabilities. BlueTooth has been around for quite some time now and I am sure that many of you are well aware of Bluetooth headsets/headphones or Bluetooth keyboard to type on (as I am doing currently by the way).
BUT, using Bluetooth for MIDI is new. BlueTooth LE has now enabled us to invent devices that are very low on the battery drain of the device that is sending signal (keyboard or headset for instance) as well as the device that is receiving it (iPad or iPhone for instance). The other feature of Bluetooth LE is that the latency is very low for transmitting time sensitive signals back and forth like when we are performing music live. AirPlay does NOT allow for this because there is still too much latency involved – I very much wish I could display my iPad screen over the Apple TV and boot the audio out to my sound board. This would allow the audience to see on the big screen what we are doing with our iPad devices (just for you Chris).
SO what does this mean for us, the musician? Well now we have had several BT musical devices available:
- Zivix I think started the BlueTooth exploration with it’s BT MIDI Puc – a wireless BT MIDI interface (Read about it here on TechInMusicEd written by my friend Chris)
- Zivix then brought us the wonderful JamStik and the JamStik+ SmartGuitar (read from Chris on his thoughts of this guitar)ead from Chris on his thoughts of this guitar)
- Mi.1 is another MIDI interface along with a couple from Yamah.
- Korg has the microKEY Air series – a very affordable set of 25, 37, 49, or 61 key controllers.
- Korg also has the nanoKEY Studio and nanoKONTROL Studio
- CME X-Key Air – a very thin controller with 25 or 37 keys that still isn’t shipping. (Beware that this keyboard sounds very noisy in the demo videos)
- Roland has its FP-30 Keyboard with 88 keys, onboard speakers and has their SUPERNATURAL Piano sounds built in.
- SeaBoard Rise has 25 or 49 keys and is a totally alternative controller which at first glance seems to be keyboard related but is obviously different!
- IK MultiMedia has the iRig BlueTurn (with two buttons on it) and BlueBoard (with four buttons on it)
- LividInstruments Minim which has 8 velocity sensitive pads, 15 buttons and 1 slider. The Minim also has 3D control which allows for the gyroscope to alter the sound as you tilt the instrument. The Minim works with Max OS and iOS. – oh…. It also has a bunch of RGB LED’s that let things get color coordinated!
MY FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF THE MINIM from LIVID INSTRUMENTS:
One more nit picky thing
OK – on to the good stuff….
WHAT TO IMPROVE:
IN CONCLUSION (FOR NOW)
So do you have a keyboard you hook up to your iPad? Ever wish you could do more than control one app at a time? Ever wish you could send that MIDI info into one app from your right hand and the left hand into another app?
What about simply monitoring exactly what signals are coming into your iPad?
Midiflow $5.99 just might be your answer
Why would you want to do this? Well consider using your favorite DAW…. Ummmm Logic maybe? I’ve NEVER been happy with the amount of screen space available even on an iMac let alone my 15″ MacBook Pro so now I can do this….
If you have an iPad and are a musician then you should be using some of the amazing music apps available to us. Of course the next step is to intertwine some effects apps through the use of audio-unit, audio-bus or Inter-App-Audio not to mention the chance to use Link to sync up tempos on your delays! How much fun is all that? If you are not quite sure all that means I’ll make it simple…. This app has as many options to connect as a Swiss Army knife has blades.
Of course the REAL reason to use effects apps if the amazing difference they can make in your final sound.
Numerical Audio has brought us RP-1 which is a $5.99 app full of stereo delay goodness that sounds great! Take a listen to the SoundCloud demos at the bottom of this post and then you will understand my excitement. Just today I was running through a long list of sounds that just weren’t quite fitting what my mind was hearing until I cranked up RP-1 and put a couple of apps through its delays….. Instant gratification!
Calendars 5 goes up as Apples Free App of the Week! If you have an iOS device you NEED this app go get it NOW!
As a musician that teaches I spend an awful lot of time dealing with my calendar. Calendars 5 has helped me in the endeavor to tame that wild beast!
First of all I get to input events using natural language so typing in “meet Hunter next Wednesday for lunch at Jimmy Johns in Big Rapids” does exactly what you thing it would.
It always is fun to see the look on somebodies face when I show them the magical things you can do with an iPad and music. For instance, handwriting music notation! It also amazes me how many do not even know that this is possible so I made a little video for you.
Handwriting music notation seemed like a pipe dream a few years ago. One company promised the possibility and that app never came out. Then we had NotateMe and NotateMe Now arrive from Neuratron. Wow…. We could music the old fashioned way but it would magically turn into digital music notation! Of course Neuratron one upped themselves and soon released PhotoScore which allowed us to take a picture of sheet music then turn THAT into digital music notation! I’ve written about this already and that post still continues to be one of the most visited posts on my blog – read it here.
Notion and its handwriting IAP is the reason I’m writing this blog post as well as sharing my little YouTube video with you. Notion realized this IAP a while back but now that I have an iPadPro 12.9″ and an Apple Pencil I wanted to share with you one more reason to invest in technology!
I’ll make this short and sweet…. The experience of the larger screen combined with the absolute joy of using the Pencil makes handwriting music notation something that is fun, easy, effective and amazing. Watch the video if you have not seen this in action. The recognition is outstandingly accurate. I think this is about as fast as trying to use a MIDI keyboard now to enter notes. It just simply works.
The Notion app itself is $14.99 and the hand writing plugin is $7.99 for a grand total of about $23. A price every music teacher should not even hesitate at.
One word about my little video…. I used Explain Everything to create the video, annotate it and narrate it. Then I dumped it into iMovie where I dumped in my own audio soundtrack that I created using Cubasis and a few iPad synths. So one question I am trying to resolve for myself as my laptop quickly approaches its end of life is whether or not I really need a laptop any more…..but that is another blog post for another night!
Here’s the video…..
Skitch is an app that I use all the time both in my personal meandering a through life as well as in the work I do as a teacher. The problem is that Skitch has been discontinued by Evernote.
This by Tinrocket ($1.99) is a new alternative I’ve discovered tonight. It is an app made to do one thing and do it simply and easily. This allows you to ad pointers, labels, descriptions and commentary to your pictures.
I finally saved enough pennies to purchase an iPad Pro. I should not even have to mention that the size I purchased is the big Pro, the 12.9″. As a musician, or at least as a music teacher, this purchase should be mandatory in my opinion.
I will write more and share more but here is my first published deep impact realization of how much of a game changer this size is…. Here is my iPad Air2 next to the iPad Pro displaying the same score but the Pro is actually displaying TWO pages of the score. You can see that the 12.9″ of display space allows for this TWO page display and it is almost the same size as one page on the iPad Air!
Perplexon is a musician from Denmark I belive, who is really digging into using technology to create music that is pretty amazing in this video he is using these colored orbs that have wi remotes inside. I just about fell out of my chair when he grabbed that first orb and the sound that came out was a perfect example of awesomeness!
Go watch and go subscribe to his YouTube channel, Facebook, SoundCloud, BandCamp and whatever else he has available!