Music Education & Technology Podcast Episode #6 with Raphaël Schumann, CEO of Newzik Chris and I had a marvelous time talking with Raphaël from Newzik this time around! If you are NOT familiar with the Newzik app… More
IF you haven’t checked back on the Black Friday App Sales then you need to as some other significant apps have gone on sale!
Also – Cyber Monday will bring at least one additional app for sale! IF you haven’t seen this and bought it then you NEED to!
Jordan Rudess from Dream Theater fame has long been a supporter of iPad music and has even created his own company to develop several apps. The latest of these is…
GeoShred – $9.99 (50% off for one day only!)
Readdle Apps (50% off!)
Scanner Pro $2.99 – With the better quality of the iPhone camera I don’t even bother finding a real scanner any more. I just use this app. Using this app allows me to get things into my iPad FAST!
Calendars 5 – $2.99 – Please tell me you are NOT using Apples Calendar app any more right?
PDF Expert – $4.99 – This is the app for all my day to day communications at school. This is the app I use for all registrations and getting signatures on documents. This app combined with Documents (see below for link) and DropBox or Box is what keeps me organized!
Documents – FREE – Helps me stay organized!
PDF Converter – $2.99 – This converts any file on your iOS device into a PDF. IF you are NOT using PDF’s when corresponding with others please START!
This is the time of the year when you get to sit back and buy some music creation apps at an outstanding price! Especially since we ALL need to create NOW, while we have a few minutes of downtime from classes, teaching, students and all the stuff that keeps us from doing the very thing that inspired us to teach in the first place!
A few apps to point out to you –
- if you don’t have a DAW then get Cubasis NOW
- If you are doing ANY recording of your music then get Audio Mastering! Even if you have NO idea how to use it you WILL notice a huge improvement in the final recordings!
- if you need “normal” sounds to create things like accompaniment tracks then get SampleTank NOW
- if you want to explore modular synthesis then the Moog apps are a no-brainer!
- if you just want to play some music then any of of these synth apps are a no brainer
- if you need a beat then decide if you want synth drums (Elastic Drums or DM2) or more traditional (iSpark)
- if you want an alternative playing surface then get Clawtar!
- if you want some real alternative music creation then check out FluxPad!
ADDED Saturday –
Auria Pro – $24.99 – This is THE app that when first advertised blew our minds and had many saying it wasn’t possible to do such things on an iPad! They were proven wrong. Now our only question these days is which to get – Auria or Cubasis!
Auria LE – $19.99 – If for some odd reason you want the “lite” version then go this route.
Borderlands Granular – $4.99 – This app highlights the benefits of an alternative playing surface and innovative ideas!
TC-11 – THE multi-Touch synth. Will blow your mind with the possibilities!
TC-Orbitor – If you get TC-11 for your iPad then you will want TC-Orbitor for your phone as this has 53 different ways to control TC-11 through motion/accelerometer/compass/gyrometer
Synth master Player – FREE – The pro upgrade inside this app is 50% off until Nov 30 ad Expansion banks are about 40% off!
KORG Apps – (added on Friday. These are all sale through Jan 5th at 50% off!)
Korg Module – $19.99
Korg iM1 – $19.99 – amazing and great sounds, as was the original Korg M1
Arp OYSSEi – $19.99 (Brand new Korg app – again, a great recreation in app form of a beloved piece of hardware)
Gadget – $19.99 – an excellent all in one production suite!
iDS-10 – $9.99
iMS-20 – $14.99
iPolysix – $14.99
iElectribe – $9.99
iKaossilator – $9.99
Phasemaker – $4.99 – This app is Audio Unit capable. Load it into a host app like Cubasis as many times as you’d like (well, as many times as your device can handle!)
Sunrizer $4.99 – Great synth and straight forward
AUM Audio Mixer – $16.99 – This app is a new concept for iPad users. Call it a mixer, call it a recorder, call it a host, call it the kitchen sink!
Sector – $6.99 -Want experimental? Here ya go!
Cubasis – $24.99 (50%) – one of the best DAW’s for iOS! Record audio and MIDI
MIDI Sequencer – $3.99 – got MDI you want to step sequence? Here’s the app
Quantiloop – $4.99 (50%) – one of the newer looping apps AND it quantizes!
Xynthesizr – $3.99 (from$6.99) – 32 step sequencer/synth with generative features!
SilQ Equalizer – $0.99 (from $4.99) – yes I know this isn’t a DAW but what DAW is complete without an outstanding 32 band EQ? Plus, it’s $.99 cents!
TAP Delay $4.99- Add some delay to your recordings
AudioReverb $4.99 – Awesome reverb to add into the effects slots!
Audio Mastering – When you are done creating your musical genius run it through this app for the final touch!
AltiSpace -Convolution Reverb – Add reverb to your recordings
Synth Apps –
Model 15 – $14.99 (50%) – The app of a $10,000 hardware synth. This is modular synthesis at its best!
Animoog for iPad – $14.99 (50%)
Animoog for iPhone – $2.99 (50%)
Fugue Machine – $4.99 (50%)
Arpeggionome Pro – $4.99 (50%)
Arpeggionomoe for iPhone – $0.99 (down from $4.99)
SampleTank – $9.99 (50%) – Select IAPS are also 50%!
iLectric for iPad – $9.99 (50%) – Select IAPS are also 50%!
iGrand for iPad – $9.99 (50%) – Select IAPS are also 50%!
iVCS3 – $7.99 (50%)
iSEM Synthesizer – $4.99 (50%)
iProhpet Synthesizer – $4.99 (50%)
iMini Synthesizer – $4.99 (50%)
Addictive Pro – $11.99 (from $19.99) – OK, the original Addictive Synth was outstanding and now that they have updated this to the “Pro” version it is even more addictive.
Cube Synth – $7.99 ($11.99)
microTERA $4.99 (50%)
Tera Synth $1.99 (from $19.99)
Poseidon Synth $11.99 (from $19.99)
Shoom Synthesizer $5.99 (from $9.99)
ENKL Synthesizer – $1.99 (67% off!)
Voice Apps – Apps to mess with your voice!
Jussi Vocal Synthesizer – $2.99 (63% off!) – This app is just outstanding for creating synth vocals! One of the newer apps on this list!
VoxSyn – $6.99 (from $9.99)
Harmony Voice – $4.99 (from $6.99)
iVoxel – $4.99 (from $6.99)
Drum Apps –
Arturia iSpark – All inclusive beat making machine! Awesomeness wrapped up in drums!
Elastic Drums – $7.99 (down from $9.99)
DM2 – Version 2 of one of the original synthesis drum machine apps for iPad
SynthDrum Pads – $3.99 (from $5.99)
Music Creation Apps –
FluxPad $5.99 (from $7.99) – if you haven’t seen this you need to – you DRAW music! It’s awesome!
MINT.io Groovebox Synth – $5.99 (from $9.99)
Experimental and Electronic Music Apps –
Soundscaper – $4.99 – An experimental sound mini lab for creating unusual soundscapes, atmospheric textures, drones, glitches and noises based on circuit bending principles.
SpaceVibe – $2.99 (from $1.99) – Another generative app that creates soundscapes
Control Apps –
MIDI Designer Pro – $12.99 (down from $24.99) – THE app if you want to create your own layouts to control other apps/hardware
Well now, this is pleasant news – Tunable is going to be free for a day! Tell your friends, tell your students, hey – tell your enemies!
Tunable is first a tuner with the capability to show a history of how in/out of tune you have played. Perfect to help us realize what our ears are telling us! A real eye opener for students who think they are “all that”!
It is also s tone generator! Teach different temperaments. Practice playing with a pedal tone, practice playing different parts of a chord in tune in different temperaments!
Tunable is also a metronome too!
Lastly and most importantly for ALL of us Tunable is a recorder! Record your rehearsal and practice sessions then even add a bit of reverb!
Chris has put together our latest Podcast Episode and it is available on Soundcloud (and likely iTunes overnight). In this episode, we discuss BLE MIDI, Sheet Music Scanner (read more about that here on Chris’s blog over at techinmusiced.wordpress.com), and Noteflight. Our special guest is John Mlynczak, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Noteflight, a Hal Leonard Company.
Show notes are available at metpodcast.wordpress.com
Get the New NOISE app (if you dare) (OK – actually, you should go get it unless you were using the old version)
LIVE IN FEAR PEOPLE! Yeah, I know… you just read my post title and then the first sentence and I”m sure you figure I’m nuts for sure now! But read on and I’ll explain!
I love writing blog posts like these because it is all about creating music in new and innovative ways using technology that gives us possibilities we’ve never had before! This app is serious fun and seriously let you get down to the actual act of CREATING!
Roli is at it again! You know, that company who brought us the Seaboard Grand and the Seaboard Rise?
Their next move was to bring us the ORIGINAL Noise app. Which was interesting and with a force touch iPhone became VERY interesting in that it was the first music app to take advantage of force touch – and it was COOL!
Their next move was to bring us the new and innovative BLOCKS (the modular music studio that lets anyone make music)
These things –
Then things went sour, very, very, very sour! Some bone head over at Roli made the stupidest decision in the history of the company – they took the original NOISE app and totally changed it into something NO ONE recognized! On top of THAT poor decision, they changed the icon and instead of creating a totally new app, leaving the old one still available…. they pushed out the new update as the SAME APP!
This is why I said – “Live in Fear!” This is a perfect example of why you REALLY should NOT have the auto update turned on for apps on your iPhone/iPad! Here are a few comparison shots for those of you NOT familiar with what I am talking about already –
Original icon – New icon
I’m here to let you know two things….
- Firstly – Some people were relying on the original app for their upcoming performances and are now scrambling to figure things out.
- Secondly – I actually think the new app is an improvement!
- Third – The new version still has glaring omissions for a music app on iOS in current days!
- Last – Go Get the new app!
Here is my thought on this new version…. creating music is supposed to be FUN! This new app accomplishes that! I have a ton of music instrument apps on my iPad and I can’t tell you the last time I just sat and created music with one of them! Now to be fair, that’s partly because I am a Band Director just finishing up marching season and trying to get things ready for the next round of performances!
Tonight though I just sat and played! Here’s what I found…
The original app used a keyboard like interface trying to simulate the Seaboard RISE and it was actually very difficult to control! I did not see myself using this in live performance or giving it to my students to use in live performances. I guess some people are though because they are ticked, I mean REALLY ticked!
The new app interface is different and in my opinion way better! It’s extremely useable! Take a look below – now we have a grid. On that grid you see colors that actually are vital information as they help you figure out the scale being currently used. On the top right are three exciting options – Scale, Chord and Arp. They do exactly as you would expect. In this screenshot you see all the notes of the chromatic scale available to you. Jump down to the next screen shot to see what it looks like when locked into the Mixolydian Scale….
Now we are less likely to hit “wrong” notes🙂
The sounds included are all pretty good sounds. I like the fact that Roli has some great sound designers working for them. They take the time to really program the sounds to react to what is going on with your finger! Go to their website to read about the 5D Touch – it’s good stuff! It is NOT a simple note on, note off experience – this makes for a much more immersive experience. More sounds are going to be made available soon. Those people who bought the IAP extra sound banks in the original NOISE app are now able to download and restore those sounds into the new version of the app.
The next part takes things even further into the realm of fun…..
Pull down on the little line center of the top of the screen and you will get this…
Now you get to start recording your doodles! You have four tracks and four different sounds available to create a musical masterpiece. You then have 12 loops to fill if you so wish to create that many (and I think you WIL!!)
This is all about hitting the record button and playing. You don’t need to fiddle with settings like quantize (even though it’s already turned on for you and there’s no way to turn it off), there’s not any way to edit your recordings either (simply re-record it!) and each loop is locked into one measure of four four (there is a reason for this – play the drum pads and drag your finger up or down or all around!)
Soooooo…… my final thoughts…..
The NOISE app has a ways to go to be fully functional in my opinion and here are my top issues…
- Their BLOCKS web site is BAD! Come one Roli – get with it. This website needs to be awesome and it simply is annoying to use on a computer let alone a tablet! It is NOT a smooth, graceful experience that rocks my world!
- You currently MUST create an account to use the app! This is NOT good in a school setting!
- Once your masterpiece is created there is no way to record your “performance” of the loops! I had to hook up an aux cable to my laptop (good thing I was using my iPad and not my iPhone7! Good thing I didn’t have one of those new MacBook Pro’s!)
- For that matter, there isn’t even a way in app to setup a “song” that plays back your loops in a specific sequence. (Although if you look at the featured image for this post I do spy an interesting capability that is NOT currently in this version of the app, that looks like MAYBE there is already plans for this capabilities)
- Where the heck is AudioBus, InterAppAudio or Audio Unit capability at guys!? I mean COME ON! This is 2016! This is basic app functionality for any decent music app!
- There isn’t any way to connect another app to this app via MIDI and you sure can’t connect an external controller to it (except those sweet BLOCK Roli just introduced for $169…. which brings us to the good things…
The app does have some outstanding features….
- This app connects via BlueTooth MIDI! This is amazing! BlueTooth MIDI is one of the biggest inventions lately! Look Ma, no wires!
- This app was made to connect with Roli’s new BLOCKS – dude, go watch the demo video below – this is wicked awesome!
- This app is capable of keeping teachers, amateurs and students busy for 2-3 hours! Hope your spouse doesn’t get mad! If they do, don’t bring up my name!
DEAR ROLI – I would LOVE to get my hands on these BLOCKS to try out for myself and with my students! If you have any spares around send me a set! My Electronic Music Ensemble at our school could make you a video or two and you could use them for promo purposes and I would be more than willing to write several more posts about our thoughts on the BLOCKS! Heck, send us a Seabord RISE while you are at it!🙂
Here is my musical creation from tonight – feel free to put this on in the headphones and let it play while you go grade some papers or compositions as it is kind of long!🙂 (I told ya, I had fun using this but I didn’t promise a top 40 hit!)
BLOCKS Demo –
Ten Kettles has just upgraded their wonderful app to help you train your ears for running sound and mixing!
As music teachers we are constantly performing with our students. That means someone has to run sound! That means probably someone else besides yourself IF YOU ARE LUCKY! If not blessed with a willing person to twist and slide those knobs and faders for you, then it’s all you! You, trying to do two things at once! In any case there is some training and skill involved in getting things to sound great!
Ten Kettles has one of the best apps I’ve run across to help us out! The app is hearEQ – the app for musicians, sound engineers and plain ‘ol music lovers. Getting that perfect EQ doesn’t “just happen”. This app allows you to pick a song from your music library and then gives you the ability to experiment with the EQ settings while giving you hints at what each frequency does to the sound. The app used to only come with a 10 band EQ but with this latest update now has a 30 band EQ for you to experiment with and get trained on!
I love the ability to give this app to the students running my sound. I love the ability to spend a few minutes with it here and there myself! I love the short exercises that I can customize to my ability level.
hearEQ is $4.99 – that gives you the 10 band EQ
The 30 band EQ is an IAP for only $2.99
THE EXCITING BACK STORY – of the BEST TRICK OR TREAT EVER!
Well, I’ve gone and done it! I pulled the trigger on an Apple Watch! I have been interested in them since the day they were released but did not have the money. Then by the time I did then I had read enough about the gen 1 that I had realized I actually wanted to wait until the 2nd geo so that apps and such updated quicker on AppleWatch. Then WatchOS 3 came out and made many people much happier with the gen 1 speed and usability. I still waited. Then Apple FINALLY announced the new updates – bringing us the faster processor and updating the Watch to either a Series 1 or a Series 2 with the biggest difference being not the processor but a built in GPS and better waterproofness. Well, that sealed the deal for me! I’m a kayaker! I went Series 2 and ordered my watch. Of course I didn’t order it on day one like my son did but I had to wait a week later. That meant he actually received his Series 2 Apple Watch a full MONTH before me! Good thing he lives 12 hours away – that way I wasn’t quite so jealous!🙂
Anyways – it has taken a month, yup, a MONTH to come!
The really fun thing was that I stopped in at my Verizon store to pay our exchange students phone bill and the nice lady took a look at MY phone bill too. She was kind enough to inform my wife and I that for $1 more a month she could upgrade my iPhone 6+ to an iPhone 7+ which immediately made my wife roll her eyes and mutter something I couldn’t quite hear but fully understood. My wife was kind enough though to sit and wait while we did the paperwork because the Verizon lady said that she indeed did have a 128GB phone in stock! So we did all the paperwork and at the end she finally went into the back to grab the phone. She came out with TWO! Turns out that the 128GB phone she had was only the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7+ was only a 32GB version. I was bummed. My wife saw it immediately too. In fact SHE was the one who told the Verizon lady, “oops, you lost him!”
THE INTERESTING disinformation sales people try to pass on!
The next ten minutes was interesting – this lady was a good sales lady but I did have two squabbles with her.
- She tried convincing me that the 32GB version would be OK because I could use Verizon Cloud to make up the difference! (Of course this made my wife roll her eyes once again as I had to educate the nice lady as to what benefit a “cloud” service ACTUALLY provides and more importantly, DOESN’T provide!)
- She tried convincing me to switch to Android. (Which made my wife laugh out loud – no, really!)
MY ANDROID RESPONSE
I’ve got to tell you people something here. I am fully aware that Android has come a very long ways since the days that I’ve had one BUT for a musician it still is not there. The apps available on iOS and on Android for musicians don’t even compare. I have PLENTY of “friends” who HATE Apple but will NOT use an Android because of this fact. When Android has the ability to provide the quality of apps like available on iOS we can talk lady!
Do you want my list so you can go look? Here is a starter –
- Music Readers (ForScore, UnReal Book style not those proprietary things)
- Instruments – Like Alchemy (yes, I know it’s no longer available but I own it along with a BUNCH of other people and I love it!), GeoShred, GeoSynth, the VirSyn apps, Thor, Nave, DrumJam/ThumbJam and a TON others.
Anyways, my question to the nice lady as I was putting my iPhone 6+ back in its case seeings as how I wasn’t getting a new phone THAT night was “How long until we can get one in?” – to which my wife said, “yeah, you’ve been waiting a MONTH for your Apple Watch! The nice ladies question was, “which color?” – to which my wife said, “which one can you get the quickest?” (Yes, my wife knows me well!)
At first she was only seeing the end of November and the middle of December and then for some reason the plain black showed up as shipping immediately! NOW she had me again! I was smiling once again!
So what ended up happening was the UPS guy was literally dropping my Apple Watch off on my porch as I received the notification that my iPhone 7+ was being delivered at the Verizon store in town! IT was like Christmas in October! Best Trick or Treat I’ve ever had!
THE BIG iPadPro and Apple Pencil
My iPad Pro and Pencil I was able to get last spring break while down in New Orleans at the end of our Spring Break. Never been to New Orleans but we did have fun there – it poured rain the entire time we had downtown to visit BUT I got my iPad!🙂 I sat there outside the Apple Store in the mall and played blissfully while the girls shopped! This 12.9″ size was exactly what I had wanted for a couple of years! It was perfect for reading sheet music on plus the added benefit of having the Apple Pencil was amazing! I fully believe Steve Jobs was correct when he stated, “IF you need a stylus to use a a tablet/phone then you have failed.” I also fully believe that the use of Apple Pencil is not NEEDED it is utterly and simply a HUGE benefit! There ARE things that I CAN NOT do with my finger on an iPad in the same manner that I can when using that Apple Pencil. Chris, from techinmusiced.wordpress.com and I discuss some of the benefits/drawbacks to using an Apple Pencil along with Aron Nelson, developer of UnRealBook, on our latest ME&T Podcast. You should go listen!
WHY DO I SHARE ALL THIS?
Because this blog was started with a post about the purchase of my first iPad – the very first iPad on the day it was released. That was also at the end of our Spring Break, while we were in Washington DC. It’s a good read and a good story – go look it up!
Can these devices change our teaching though? That’s the question I’ve always had. Along with, Can these devices change the way we create music?
THE BIG DRIVE AND PUSH FOR ME
This is why I share…. to expose others to the possibilities and to make them aware that this tech even exists. To make others think outside the box of “traditional” music ed./music creation.
I just today, had an alumni look at my iPadPro in disbelief as how large it is while she immediately understood why I wanted it for music (I was filling in on piano for her church and had of course scanned the hymns for the morning and had them on the iPad). But she had never seen a tablet so large. She knew though why I had it!
The other day in class my 5th grade beginning percussionists were staring at me in disbelief when I kept telling them that they were hitting the snare drums more than once with each stroke they took. They for some reason could NOT hear it even with me demonstrating (the rest of the class could though – it might be a long year, lol) So I took out the iPhone and fired up the slow-mo video and had them play. I then used AppleTV and AirPlay to play the video back for them which IMMEDIATELY showed them exactly what I was telling them! The kids loved seeing the slow-mo – they wanted to do more – again, we are talking about students NOT being what some define as “digital natives” of technology even though they exist in the same world and use that tech. Their use of that tech is very limited and if we as teachers do not SHOW them how to leverage it to LEARN they may NEVER do so.
TO WRAP UP
Please help me out though with suggestions for how you use YOUR Apple Watch in your classrooms and music creation! Leave me comments, send me email, or connect via whatever other method you like using! I would love to share things you are doing with our other readers. I will share too!
How exciting! Must be because it’s Halloween?
IK Multimedia makes some great music apps and they have a bunch of them on sale right now!
SampleTank Is $1.99! This is normally a great deal at $19.99 but for 2 bucks it is a crazy sweet deal. The sounds are great and this gives you everything you need to create some great accompaniment tracks or even a stellar recording of the next top 50 tune you are writing! If you don’t grab at LEAST this app you are nuts! Combine this with a couple do MIDI files or an app with an alternative playing interface and you are all set for a performance with nothing more than your iPad!
VocaLive for iPad is at a huge discount! $4.99 (normal $19.99)
VocaLive For iPone is $4.99 (normal is $9.99)
iGrand is $4.99 (normal $19.99)
iLectric is $4.99 (normal $19.99)
Amplitude is $4.99 (normal $19.99)
DJ Rig $4.99 (normal $19.99)
If you are not sure what Duet Display is you really need to check it out! It turns your iPad into an external display for you laptop/computer. It even works with your phone! So now when you are doing things like entering notation into Sibelius and you want that number pad that Applestopped putting on their laptops… well now you put the toolbar on your phone and wa-la you are in business!
What about the fact that I’ve pretty well convinced myself to NOT buy a 15″ laptop the next time around. The smaller screen will be easier to handle because I can use my iPad Pro’s large screen with Duet Display and have MORE screen real estate than on a 15″ laptop! What’s even funnier is that my iPad Pro is a bigger screen than my sons 13″ MacBook!