A Great Movie for Music Educators

BEWARE-You will have to edit this movie as there are several spots that make this inappropriate for showing at school!

You know, as a Band Director I do not like to take very many days off from teaching. When I do I know there are precious few substitute teachers here that are qualified to teach band. It also mean I’ve got to do an awful lot of work before and afterwards that I’d rather not deal with as well. When I DO have subs I tend to have my students focus in on listening assignments. Our students are NOT listening to a very wide range of musicians and I like to expose them to new ideas/horizons.

I’ve found two new movies that I think are going to be just simply amazing for my students this year that I wanted to make sure everyone else was aware of as well.

Score ArtThe first is called Score: A Film Music Documentary.

This movie has an astounding number of people involved with it and it gives us a great glimpse inside of composing for films. That part of the film industry that our current students could easily find themselves involved in in the not so far future.

If you take a look at their score-movie.com they even have created some wonderful listening guides/quizes/worksheets for the classroom that are free to download!

Here is the trailer for the movie:

BeatHawk is FREE – go NOW and download it!

Well this is a very nice surprise for Labor Day! (well if y9u are an American it is Labor Day)

Go NOW and download BeatHawk (normally $10!) – they just lowered the price to a price hard to squabble with! It is FREE!

BeatHawk is a mobile music production studio that was one of the first to change the concept of what those pads mean in a music app like this. Each pad can be a different drum sound but they can also be an ididvidual instrument as well!

 The app is well connected – it has all those wonderful technologies built in that have come to be almost standard in today’s iOS music world. Inter-App audio, Ableton Link, AudioBus, AudioUnit, and Audio Copy. It also is well connected to the cloud with iCloud, DropBox and a few others too.

 Now if all those terms makes your head spin and you have no idea what they mean – no worries! Y9u can just dive right in and use this app lal by itself too. All by itself this app gives you so much fun and so much music making you wil loose track of time!

I have written about this app before – search my blog posts to find more info. Here are some screen shots and at the bottom you will find a short demo I did on this lazy Labor Day while waiting for my New York Strip to cook. 

New MET Podcast

Paul is at band camp, and Chris is leading workshops for the Wisconsin Center for Music Education.  Paul called in and visited with us for a half hour–and this is the recording of that visit.  As always, thank you to UberChord for providing our hosting at SoundCloud for these podcasts.   Show notes will eventually be online at metpodcast.wordpress.com

Ton: Drum Machine (New and free app!)

This post is a short demo of the newly released drum machine app called Ton: Drum Machine. It is also a chance for me to play with the Screen Recording feature in iOS11 from my iPad, which works brilliantly I might add!

Ton Drum Machine IconTon: Drum Machine – (Currently Free!)

Ton is part drum machine and part sequencer all with a new flair to it. It is also free so go play!

Ton Screen Shot1.pngIn short there are a bunch of pre-loaded drum samples. You then use the drum samples and the circular interface to start creating some beats. Those beats can then be altered in various methods using the nicely done circular interface and in basic, twirling that wheel after selecting a parameter you’d like to adjust.

I particularly enjoy the ability to adjust things like the pitch, reverb and delay. Playing with the filter, attack and decay are fun too!

Jérémy Pinat has a great idea started here. I look forward to a few improvements like being able to change the volume of each individual hit in a pattern – I really don’t want to hear an ENTIRE measure of 16th notes with no change in how hard each 16th is being played!

I played with the app and I also took the chance to hit record on my iPad in iOS11’s beta. In iOS11, if you are not aware, there is the ability to do screen recording! I then transferred that movie to Final Cut for a few edits and uploaded it to YouTube. I hope you can figure out everything I am adjusting – It’s be REALLY nice if the Screen Recording feature would highlight where we are touching the iPad at but I don’t foresee that coming anytime soon as a feature!

Anyways – here is the demo of Ton: Drum Machine

NoteFlight and Google Classroom

I am still amazed that I find MUSIC teachers who don’t know what NoteFlight is!

What I am also amazed at is that NoteFlight has integrated its services into Google Classroom! 

This means those of us who wanted to be able to integrate music notation assignments into our online classroom environment (Google Classroom) will now be able to do so! Read below for the statement from NoteFlights Notes found online at notes.noteflight.com…..

“Noteflight Learn offers direct Google Classroom integration! All student and teacher logins, classes, and assignments are seamlessly integrated, offering several advantages:

Google login is automatically synced; simply login to Noteflight Learn using Google.

Individual classes, schools, or entire districts can integrate with a single Noteflight Learn site.

Google Classroom classes are mirrored as Noteflight Learn Groups, so sharing scores and assignments with classes is easy.

Noteflight can create assignments in Google Classroom and students can turn in or mark as done from their Noteflight score.

Using Noteflight Learn with Google Classroom allows teachers and students to easily collaborate on creating, recording, and sharing music on any device. For information on setting up a Google Classroom integration, please read our Google Classroom Integration Setup instructions.

For any questions regarding using Noteflight Learn with Google Classroom, please email info@noteflight.com.”

Kaspar Released (No, not Casper the ghost so relax! and make music!)

Kaspar IconKaspar – $9.99 (for now)

Kaspar is an outstanding new synth from Yonac that will get you inspired to start making some music and start fanning that creative spark inside of you that you’ve let die out a bit through the last six months!

This app, like many new releases is on a limited time intro price. I’m not sure for how long but I do know the app was released July 20, 2017 so…

What is really cool about this app is embodied right in the description on Yonacs website – “Multi-Engine AutoMorphing Supersynthesizer”

8 fully featured polyphonic synths with the ability to layer, modulate and morph between each! See the XY pad below – yeah… that’s the morphing, modulation goodness of the app at work just to warm your heart with delightful sounds!

Yonac 1.png

Do you REALLY need to know more?

This IS one of those apps that comes fully equipped with built in presets for your extensive musical explorations. It is ALSO one of those apps that you could spend a TON of time in just messing around building and designing your own sounds!

I WILL say that if you don’t like the color yellow then don’t buy the app because they USED ALL the yellow paint the paint store had in stock when building the app!

Here is a video to get you even more interested!


New and Exciting Apps Just Released for Music Makers!

Beat Maker 3 IconBeat Maker 3 – Intro Price of $19.99 only good until June 22

Intua released BeatMaker 3 this past weekend and if you want the intro pricing you will have to hurry! I’ve been enjoying my summer with my family and have not had the time to write anything here since the app came out!

If you are unsure what Beat Maker 3 is join the club. In short it is the long waited for upgrade to an app that has been a standard iOS app for a long time!

Here is the official intro on the App Store –
“BeatMaker brings unmatched efficiency and depth in an intuitive audio and MIDI workstation.
Look no further, the power of traditional desktop software and real hardware is now united into one single production studio”

Here is the header from Intua’s website –

Beat Maker 3 Splash Header

From what I’ve seen and read and watched here is my take on what Beat Maker 3 is – It is a disruptive entry into the world of what a workstation/DAW has traditionally been called. Beat Maker 3 is an app, currently only for iPad but an iPhone version is on its way, that allows you to sample sounds/instruments/music and then manipulate those samples in remarkable new ways. Beat Maker is also a center to you hardware and will control outboard gear as well.

Beat Maker 3 is for sure one of the most beautifully designed apps to come out in awhile! The design is just gorgeous! Look at this mixer view….


The traditional grid of pads like you see on a drum machine for instance is getting smashed to smithereens with this app. You know have 8 banks of up to 8 pads each. Each pad can be assigned its own individual sample. The ability within BM3 gives you the ability to “Record and chop live, assemble, mangle and resample: our state of the art sampling engine will sculpt your ideas, giving life to your instruments with a full modulation and layering system. With ZPlane’s Elastique live stretch and pitch shift, adjust your loops and instruments to match the tempo or go experimental. You can even integrate your favorite synth & effect apps with full AUv3 and IAA support.”


There is a Sequencer that has the classic timeline recording features as one would expect in a DAW but there is also a very flexible Scene Mode which is a nod to those who have used and enjoy Ableton Live sort of workflows.

The mixer gives you an insane amount of control over every detail of the mix – right down to each individual pad in each and every bank!

Beat Maker 3 has been designed to be used to record, create and produce full projects from. The app is also meant and built to be used in live performances easily giving you the ability to record, chop, mangle and alter to your hearts content even in a live setting!

I will say that Beat Maker 3 is NOT chock full of built in samples waiting for you to start messing around with. There is a basic set and it is up to you to import further material. There is a healthy selection of IAP purchases from their content store already available. There are plenty of free sources online. The fun of course is when you start sampling other apps and your self playing your own instruments. Then you get the ability to start arranging those samples into something amazing using tools not so easily available before now.

(That paragraph is the long winded version of – this app is awesome but be ready to invest some time into it!)

Here is the intro trailer to get your intrigue even further….


MET Podcast 09 Now Available with UberChord CEO

Chris and I finally found time in our busy summers to get another Podcast put together!  In the first half, we discuss the latest – both as far as what we have been up to and then also in the music education and technology world.  In the second half, we have the privilege to interview Eckart Burgwedel, CEO of UberChord.

UberChord kindly offered to pay for our first year’s hosting fees on SoundCloud, but we would have interviewed UberChord anyway.  It is always so fun to talk to developers and companies to find out their stories and the ideas behind their apps. Hearing what an app is all about and capable of is even better when talking to those responsible for bringing that app to life!

If you are a developer or a company, and you would like to talk with Paul and I about your product and its potential for music education, please contact us!  We are also open to talking to other influential teachers in the field.

We are learning a lot in this podcast endeavor–and we are hoping that you are, too.  We enjoy hearing the back stories behind the apps and the products.

ShowNotes are here – https://metpodcast.wordpress.com

Here is the link to the our Podcast Playlist. # 009 is the latest!

BeatMaker3 is Coming July 15!

I’m just gonna throw this out there that BeatMaker 3 is COMING!

July 15!

It’s looking very amazing for creating music on iOS!

It will only be offered at intro price for the first 7 days so hopefully you get paid in that timespan!

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 9.32.49 PM

Here is more info from their website to give you an idea!

BeatMaker 3’s digital audio workstation provides versatility ideal for both on-the-go production and more complex MIDI/audio studio setups. Suited for both amateurs and professional users, BeatMaker 3 emphasises the strengths of its critically acclaimed predecessors while taking the future of music composition to the next level.

BeatMaker 3’s ability to integrate with both MIDI hardware and the music app ecosystem makes it a powerful tool in any musician’s arsenal. In anticipation of launch, a series of screenshots of the soon-to-be-released app’s UI we’ve posted recently on the company website. Additionally, a list of partial features confirmed in the forthcoming app includes:

Main functionalities

  • Compose with high quality instruments & loops, integrated in a powerful and streamlined DAW
  • Design your own instruments using a state of the art sampling engine with unmatched modularity (multi-layer, live slice mode, realtime time-stretching/pitch-shifting, Audio Units V3/IAA, full modulation system, …)
  • Powerful integration of MIDI hardware to control the app and its instruments in a unique way (MIDI actions, parameter macros, …)
  • Arrange songs with instruments & audio tracks
  • Play live, remix or sketch ideas with a powerful scene mode
  • Export, share, and expand your library with soundpacks designed by the best sound design companies