Taking Photos of Photos (or posters)

Have a poster hanging on the wall inside of a reflective glass enclosure that you would like a photo of?

Have old family photos that have been sitting in a box in your grandmas basement that you would like to digitize?

There’s an app for that….

PhotoScanThe one I REALLY like is Google’s PhotoScan because it actually takes four pictures and mergers them into one to help get rid of things you don’t want in the final – things like reflections and imperfections like a curled edges. Plus it straightens the edges so you don’t have to get so perfect with trying to make it square (or rectangular)


UnFadeAnother one I am trying is the sister app to ScanBot – It’s called PhotoScanner Pro:Scan Albums but on your phone it sows up as Unfade.




Of course you COULD try just simply snapping a photo with your phone camera.

Compare the three results below…..

Google PhotoScan
Unfade Pro 2018-09-26
UnFade Pro

Gestrument Pro – Performing on iOS with alternative interfaces

If you have followed this blog at all for any length of time you will know that one of the quests I’ve been on is using iOS to perform in ways never before possible.

Gestrument Pro is going to be released on Sept. 25 and is currently available for pre-order at like half price. $8.99 vs. $16.99!

PerplexOn has access and has posted a wonderful video of him jamming out by the fire! This is the video that convinced me to pre-order.


The developers, Jesper Nordin and leading iOS developer Jonatan Liljedahl (Kymatica), are amazing musicians and outstanding developers. So I am holding high hopes for a very useful alternative that will allow for some interesting music making. I am not holding my breath for an instrument that is one of those “pick-it-up and understand it now” sort of instruments.

Here is their description off their website…

Gestrument Pro takes everything we loved about Gestrument and improves on its original functionality while introducing a host of new features such as multi-touch, recordable automations, advanced scale editing and our unique system of highly tweakable modular generators that define the pitches and rhythms.

With Gestrument Pro you can Play, Improvise and Compose music with deeper levels of personal expression than ever before.

To wet your appetite even more, before you go hit the pre-order button, here is a YouTube video…

Some Good Movie Sales on iTunes for Music Ed

So The Music Man is only $4.99 right now!

The Greatest Showman is only $9.99!

The Sound of Music is Only $9.99 as well!

There is a Rodgers and Hammerstein 6 film collection with The Sound of Music, The King and I, South Pacific, Oklahoma, Carousel and The State Fair in it for $10 a film – comes out to $59.99

Creating Music Where Ever You Are

So this weekend we went camping. While my wife enjoyed her time floating on her tube with her nieces in the lake, watching the little kids play on the big blow up lake toys…. I enjoyed a bit of toying around making music. It’s a ton of fun making music by the campfire sitting at the picnic table.

I used my ROLI SeaBoard Blocks and Roli’s Noise app. I am not comfortable with the whole loop based recording scene so I made myself use it.

I love the expressiveness and response you get from both the Blocks – the keyboard looking one and the new square Block. I like the touch and the feel of the little square Block but the lights need to be brighter!

Once done I had a bit of trouble figuring out how to share my creativity…. the Noise app doesn’t play well with others. No way to create a song besides tapping individual loops and “performing” the whole song live. I can not preset a sequence of the loops and then export and audio file. I could export all the loops into another app as individual recordings but I wanted one final mixdown of “The Song”. I couldn’t even use Noise in conjunction with another app to accomplish this. I ended up using the headphone out jack and my handheld recorder. That meant I had to wait until I got home to do anything else with the final recording because iOS doesn’t let you import audio from an SD card!

At home I opened the card on my laptop, imported the file, then AirDropped it back to the iPad. It felt like cheating… APPLE – you need to fix this issue!

Then I used Wizbel to dump some photos and effects on top of the audio. The photos are all from our summer trips. I wish I could put more photos in. The song is kind of long so the exporting from Wizbel takes a LONG time! In fact I typed all of this post up to here, on my iPhone while waiting for the export and it STILL was only part way done as you can see below….

In the Noise App you get a ton of different sounds that are created for the Blocks. You only get to use four per project though so that’s a bit of a bummer.

The other issue ROLI needs to fix is there is no way to edit your mistakes after recording. I KNOW the MIDI is there so how hard can it be ROLI to simply add a piano roll editor?

But… hey that fits my motto… play, create, share. Too many people worry about getting EVERY single detail right. Too clinical and too much time. I want to explore and I want to be realistic about what my students would end up doing too. Get them creating and then encourage them to share. Even if the final song is a “bit rough around the edges”.

I did discover that the Noise app is synced between your devices! So when I opened my iPhone up I had to download a sound or two before my project would open but there it was! Allowing me to work with either my iPad OR my iPhone! Nice touch ROLI!

So anyways… the final version of the song is both on my YouTube as well as on my SoundCloud. (Or it WILL BE once Wizibel gets done exporting!)

Here’s where the export process is at now….

Don’t expect to use this app in a classroom setting at the end of a class period. That should be understood for the processing of any video file though! Video takes awhile! I’m even using the first gen iPadPro 12.? Inch iPad so it’s a pretty decent processor!

So let’s talk about sharing your content…. did I mention that this entire blog post is being created and shared from my iPhone…. for free? Your students can do the same! Of course the final recording and video are NOT get hosted here on WordPress but instead I am using YouTube and SoundCloud for those items. So if you are not willing to mash up a few services then you would have to pay.

Here ya go….

SoundCloud – Rainy Lake of Dreams

YouTube Link –

AirPlay from iOS to MacBook

Well that was an interesting thing that happened my first day back to school!

I normally have an Apple TV hooked up so I can mirror my iPad to the screen in my room. It wasn’t there today…. bummer.

My iMac from 2008 that I’ve used for 9 year in the band room as my main computer hooked up to the screen stopped working… bummer. Just shut off and won’t turn on.

So I grabbed my MacBook. On my MacBook I’ve used AirServer and Reflector in the past to mirror my iPad/iPhone to the computer and then have that show up on the screen in the classroom. I’ve purchased both apps because I think they are just wonderful. Our school network is wonky though and sometimes one works and other times the other one works. Which again led me to purchasing both apps. The cost vs the cost of an Apple TV is a tad less.

But today for some reason I hit the AirPlay icon on my iPad to see what showed up before eI had either of those two apps running and I saw my MacBook. So I selected that option and boom – my iPad showed up on my MackBook but in a totally unexpected app!

5KPlayer was the app that took my AirPlay request and hosted it! I can not even remember why in the world I downloaded 5K Player and honestly I find it extremely obnoxious because it hijacked all my movie files and has become the default app to open all movies in. I would rather use Quicktime.

But wow… if 5K Player will allow for me to AirPlay for FREE – well that’s pretty cool! oh… bonus – it will do a screen recording of your iOS device that is AirPlaying to your Mac!

I will say that actually getting the download is a trip down frustration lane as it bumps you over to cnet’s website – and the stupid MacKeeper download button is right there so be careful. Please make sure you know what you are actually downloading!

Last Chance for the Summer Korg Sales

If you have not taken advantage of the summer sales going on with the Korg apps you are running out of time!

As music teachers there are certain apps that I just absolutely think everyone of us can make use of and Korg has a few of those. Then there are those apps that as music educators and as musicians we should find absolutely astounding that we have available to us at these prices and Korg has a ton of those apps too!

Let’s start with the ones that music educators for sure can make immediate use of….image.png

Korg  Module – on sale for just $19.99

The IAP sound pack purchases are also on sale! This app is just an outstanding source of sounds. If you ever need amazing piano, electronic piano, strings or pads then this is one solution. Hook up any external MIDI keyboard and you have access to outstanding and quality sounds coming out of your speakers! Or use in conjunction with Korg Gadget or Cubasis to play accompaniments from previously sequenced recordings. I love the sounds you get with the initial purchase but the add on sound packs I would also suggest you listen to are the Ivory Keys ($15.99) and the Orchestral Dreams ($9.99)

As Korg Module can be run from your iPad or your iPhone – just imagine the capabilities of carrying the sound source in your phone and a nice light weight keyboard under one arm. Or better yet just carrying your phone and pugging whatever keyboard you have in front of you into that and having all the same sounds available to you! I know my 88 weighted keyboard from Roland is a monster to lug around! My phone is in my pocket!

image.pngKorg iM1 – on sale for just $14.99 is another app that most of us would have spent well over a thousand dollars in the past for as this is basically a Korg M1 inside your iPad! What an outstanding synth with sounds you hear in so many recordings!


Other apps that are just plain outright cool and sound great….

Korg iMS20 – $14.99

Korg iPolySix – $14.99

Korg iDS10 – $10

Korg Arp Odyssei – $14.99

Korg iWavestation – $14.99

Korg iMon/Poly – $14.99

Korg Gadget – $19.99

Creating Music and Exploring Music Technology

Just had to play in the musical sandbox tonight for a bit

Playing and creating with ROLI’s SeaBoard Block and using Logic to record. No iPads were used in this creation so far. My Roli SeaBoard Block, Equator (the sound software Roli bundles with the Blocks), Logic ProX and my MacBook along with the iConnect Audio4+

What did I find out?

1)I found out that I play in some absurd time signatures!

2)I also figured out the it is nice to be able to record the part as MIDI, tweak the missed notes and then turn it into audio. This also gives a visual clue as to what I played and when as this is all original creation. The piano roll comes in super handy! Good thing Logic allows for time signature changes.

I don’t think there is a DAW on iOS that allows for multiple time signatures. Please leave me a note below if you know of one that does.

3)I also used Logics Drummer feature and it followed the different time signatures flawlessly. Very cool!

4)I had to turn Equator sounds DOWN so they wouldn’t distort. Equator was just simply overloading it’s own output. I’m not sure why when I’m dealing with stock sounds.

5)The level of control and nuance available when playing the SeaBoard Blocks is insane! It really is awesome!

6)I also found out that SoundCloud really has issues with it’s iOS app. You are further ahead just to use Safari and access the website.

Anyways… if you are inclined to listen… it’s a work in progress and is super short.

Fathers Day Music App Sales

It is Fathers Day Weekend here in the USA! As a father of 6 amazing kids I enjoy this weekend! We have munch to be thankful for. One of those items is the music we have in our lives! Now we can make even more great music with these app sales!

If you don’t celebrate Fathers Day you can STILL enjoy the sales!

First up – if you want an amazing sounding piano then Ravenscroft 275 from UVItouch at $17.99 is such an outstanding app! It is on sale for 50% off currently until the 8th of June so act fast.

BeatHawk, also from UVItouch, is an amazing choice for a DAW like app. Great interface, very easy to understand, very easy to get creative with and the sounds are great! Plays well with other apps too!

50% off at $4.99 for the app itself and 50% off the expansion packs as well. There is a wonderful Mallet percussion IAP that I’d suggest if you are looking for those type of sounds.

Next up is an app from Klevgränd…

Brusfri is a highly advanced audio noise reducer packaged in a simple and straight forward interface. Ok… I stole that line from their web site. But I couldn’t have written it any better… wait, I’ll try…

Pure magic is packed into an easy to use button!

If you record anything … this $8.99 is going to be the best $ you have spent in a long time!