iOS Tip#3 – 18 Slots now available in iPad Dock! (Well… iPadOS)

Now we will be able to hold even more apps in our iPad Docks.

Why you ask?

To make us more productive! BUT – when we want to use the new iPadOS features available like SlideOver with multiple apps we NEED more apps in the dock! Because it’s easier to get apps into that SlideOver and SplitScreen mode.

The iPad dock will now hold 15 of your selected apps/folders and 3 recents for a grand total of 18 slots! Notice I did not say 18 apps. Using folders we can put an absurd amount of apps in the dock now!

iOS13 Tip#2 – Fast Forward/Rewind Videos in the Photos App Tip

When I opened the Photos app there were some wonderful amazing things going on in there!

One thing freaked me out though – where did the timeline go while watching a video so I could fast forward/rewind quickly!?!?!?

Well… never fear! It’s still near! Just a Tap away will let you Nap in peace Today!



iOS13 Tip#1 – Dragging files from the New Download Manager in Safari

So I’ve been a seriously stupid person once again – It seems I just can’t resist!

I’ve gone and loaded up the public betas of iOS13 and iPadOS on my iPhone and iPad.

Several things have really struck me and I plan on making a few short tips on YouTube to show you some ideas of how the new features are going to be useful and possibly even boggle your mind!

Tip #1 – The new download manager in Safari

Safari now downloads files into it’s spiffy new download manager. From there you can drag files like PDF’s out into other apps!

Apple says this about the Download Manager “Check the status of a file you’re downloading, access downloaded files quickly, and drag and drop them into a file or email you’re working on. You can even download files in the background while you get work done.”

Watch the YouTube video linked below to see this in action as I download a PDF I need for Sunday morning worship team from SongSelect and into ForScore. ForScore by the way has fantabulous support for Drag and Drop and if you have NOT used Drag and Drop (from iOS 12) then you SHOULD be!

iPad In The Live Performance and Worship Service

I will say that using my iPad since the day it came out as digital sheet music has been glorious. I don’t ever want to give that up.


My iPad is capable of so much more! With all the music apps available for it, iPad can now be a worthy instrument! I can do live keyboard parts that I only previously could imagine.


There is one HUGE factor that is a serious issue!

How do I keep the iPad charged? I mean the thing has a stellar battery life but once you start using three or four synth apps, a couple of Bluetooth connections, and a couple of mixing apps…. well that stellar battery life starts to act much more like a teenage boy at an all you can eat pizza Buffett!

Using Apples USB3 Camera Connector Kit dongle and the original charger might help SLOW the drain down.

Using an iConnect Audio4+ has been the only way I’ve been able to see a zero battery drain while using the iPad in live performance like I have been.

Now… why is this even an issue you ask? Consider that our Worship team starts rehearsal at 7:30. I get there at 7 to setup and make last minute sound checks if my sounds through the church sound system. Then once all is set and going I seriously don’t want to unhook the iPad or close apps down until after the second service which ends at noonish. So even if my iPad is fully charged it will NOT make it through all of that on its own.

What about if I teach all day and have a concert in the evening. My morning rehearsal starts at 7am. I’m there by 6:40. Teach all day and then after school usually have another shirt rehearsal. So that means my iPad is in use ALL day 6:45-3:30. Then back for soundcheck at 5 and the concert starts at 6:30 and runs until 7:45 usually.

All that to say…. ya know…. I kind of like having my old fashion keyboard that just simply plugs into an outlet and is ALWAYS ready to go as far as power. BUT…. MAN that thing is HEAVY!

MET Podcast #14 – It’s a New Year

It has been a little while since Chris Russell and I have done a podcast- OK, maybe since last June – YIKES!

So we finally figured it was time to talk about the latest in tech in our life’s.

Find the podcast here, on iTunes and even on Spotify now! – Go Chris!

Link to the audio file:



Tip for Sending Program Changes from ForScore – Make Your Life Easier (and way cooler!)

I’ve got a problem – I REALLY like using my iPad as my digital sheet music BUT I also REALLY like using my iPad as an Instrument while performing!

The problem comes in when I want to change sounds on my instrument app but don’t want to be flipping between apps during performance!

The Solution – Use ForScore‘s ability to send program changes. UnRealBook also does this. One other slight hiccup in the solution is that not all instrument apps make it easy to figure out which program changes to send. Actually some apps just don’t respond to program changes. In FACT one app makes it SEEM like you should be able to send program changes but the app does NOT respond accurately! So, in order to save you some time until KV331 gets THAT issue fixed don’t bother messing around with program changes in their SynthMaster Player app. The app will respond to Program Changes but you will have to guess the correct PC to send as the ones listed are NOT correct!

Also, to save you time I will say that the following apps are pretty easy to figure out: Korg Module, Korg iM1, AudioKit Digital D1 and AudioKit Synth One (Which is free by the way and if you want an app to use as an instrument then go download this one!)

ForScore and UnRealBook are super easy apps to make this happen in.

1 iPad or 2:
This is just as easy using one iPad if your iPad CPU is capable of handling the load of running ForScore and an instrument app. Which means you are probably going to be able to do this just fine. The instrument apps will be what gives you crackles and pops if your iPad isn’t new enough but seriously…. this trick isn’t that CPU intensive.

Now…. if you have TWO iPads it is fun to see the changes happen real time!

So… I have created a YouTube video to show you the setup as it is easier to see then to read about. I have it at the bottom of this post.unrea

In short though – you have to know which channel your instrument app will be on (I messed this up in the video so you can watch it fail!)

Korg iM1 LargeThen you also need to know which program change you need to send. I had to dig around for the Korg iM1 info but found that if I saved my sounds to the Library Card 1 then I can send the following info – MSB 0, LSG 37, and then whatever PC # is where I stored the sound I want to use. So In order to select DreamPad20 as in the screenshot below and on the video you would send MSB 0, LSB, PC 1

Korg iM1.jpeg

Module for iPhoneIn Korg Module you have to put the sounds you want to use in their SetList feature. Then subtract 1 from the number next the sound you want to use and send that as the Program Change. So in the screenshot below If I wanted to select KAPhysical Model like I do in the video then I have to send a PC of 1.

Korg Module SetList Example 1.jpeg

AudioKit D1In AudioKit Apps they are super duper nice guys and they list the info right next to the Sound. So in order to select the sound in Digital D1 as in the screen shot below BB For Mandy You would send MSB 3, LSB 0, PC 49AudioKit Digital D1 Example.jpeg

So then with THAT knowledge head over to ForScore, add a Button from the toolbox, choose the MIDI Action, Hit the + Button and select Program Change. In the screenshot below you can see where I have setup four instrument apps to receive Program Changes when I hit this one button.

ForScore PC Example.jpeg

Tap the Done button and it’s time for the magic! Tap the blue Button and boom…. all four apps are now on the correct sounds! The beauty of all of this is that you can set up as many of these buttons as you would like. So it’s not going to automatically send the PC info until you hit the button.

There is no rule for which app to put on which channel but it sure helps if you make up your own rules. My four main apps I am using currently are More Module Ch2, AudioKit Digital D1 Ch3, AudioKit SynthOne Ch4, Korg iM1 Ch5. If I keep using the same channels for these apps it becomes habit.

KeyStage IconNow…. If you have only one controller and it is a basic controller that does not allow for layers and splits or even changing of the MIDI channel then you will be using one app on one channel. If you want greater flexibility then check out my previous YouTube video about KeyStage. It is an awesome app for live performance with your keyboard!

YouTube Video:

Updates to Cubasis and Sale!

If anyone is using Cubasis it just got updated. Now there is one more IAP with an arpeggiator…… and well…. just go read their blog.

But it is on sale for $25. Seriously… why would anyone pay full price for this app? It’s on sale constantly!

But hey…. in this last week of school before we are done for Christmas Break I did buy the IAP and it did remind how very sweet the MicroLogue Synth in Cubasis is.

Got creative trying to use the arps and learn what’s up.

I do have to say that the new arpeggiator is very cool the way it works…. very easy to figure out and tweak things.

Anywho… if you care to listen…

Performing with an iPad Using the KeyStage App (and a few others)

This post is about how I use an iPad, the KeyStage app and a bunch of other apps to make my performances so much more dynamic and easier as a keyboardist!  At the end I have a YouTube video to walk you through my performance setup. Here are some links to the apps you will see in the video.

KeyStage – $25 (It was on a Black Friday Sale when I bought it)

Korg Module

Korg iM1

AudioKit Digital D1 Synth

AudioKit Synth One Synthesizer

So I am having a harder time these days using an iPad for simply just reading music from during a performance. Putting all my sheet music on an iPad is one of the reasons I purchased an iPad the day it first came out. It is still one of the biggest reasons I use an iPad. It helps me stay organized on a daily basis. I can not fathom having to go back to paper music.

With that being said though….

There are SO many amazing sounding music instrument apps available these days that now I REALLY want to use my iPad as an instrument! Thankfully I get a chance to do that because I play at church frequently. When I do I usually am not the main keyboardist so it allows me the freedom to provide backup sounds and to play with all these amazing apps!

There are several different stages of using your iPad as an instrument.

BASIC – The most basic is to simply use the screen of the iPad as the playing surface and to use one app as the sound source. Animoog, ThumbJam, GeoSynth, and GeoShred are some fine examples of great apps that go beyond simply offering a traditional keyboard to play on.

INTERMEDIATE – The second level would be to use an external controller combined with one app on your iPad. So for instance a MIDI keyboard connected through the camera connector kit to Korg Module. This would offer teachers amazing sounds played with a traditional keyboard.

Another example would be to use a Roli Seaboard Block and their Noise app. By the way…. the Noise app is a lot of fun to use as a basic performance instrument! IT offers greater flexibility and nuance to the sound you produce then using a traditional keyboard. Of course if you use the external SeaBoard Blocks you get even greater nuance to your sounds! But that is an entirely different post!

ADVANCED – I think there is a more advanced level which is even more satisfying! (which by the way does NOT mean difficult to pull off!)

This is what I am doing Sunday mornings at church right now. I am using several different methods to play with the worship team…

1)Using the AUM-Audio Mixer app with two external MIDI keyboard controllers, one for playing and the other for mixing the sounds coming from multiple apps.

but the next method provides even greater flexibility…

KeyStage Icon2)I’ve started using the KeyStage app by Ali Gokturk. This app is mainly for keyboard players who want a master controller app to control multiple hardware and software instruments.

The benefits of using KeyStage are that I can now load up all the  apps I want to use for a particular setlist, plugin multiple hardware controllers and set up all my sounds in/on each app/instrument so that I can quickly switch between songs!

Using AUM I had about 15-20 seconds where I had dead time on my part if I want to use the same app but different sounds. So if I want to use an electric piano for the first song and then switch to strings in the second song it took me a few seconds to jump into the Korg Module app to switch sounds.

Using KeyStage I now have NO downtime between changing sounds in multiple apps! In fact I can have my sounds change while going from the verse into the chorus! It is that easy and fast! Using KeyStage I can even setup layers and splits with ease. So if I want to have a pad sound being played with my left hand and a bell sound being played with my right hand it is SO easy to do do!

KeyStage Screen 1.png

Another super nice feature is that Ali has a Performance Mode in the app. This screen has nice big buttons at the bottom of the screen for jumping between sections of the songs. Here is the blurb from the App Store about the live Performance Mode….

“The live console of KeyStage is optimized for live performances. For each section, you can view one of the five live units in the live console:

1. Info Unit, which show an overview of the section including the keyboard ranges, volumes and pitch translations of each instrument
2. XY Touch Surface, where you can assign control change or pitch bend parameters to x and y axis
3. Lyrics Unit, where you can show the lyrics for the section
4. Media Unit, where you can view PDF and JPG files
5. Piano Unit, which is a virtual MIDI piano with a pitch bend”

KeyStage Screen 2.png

There are now so many opportunities to get a sound out of my iPad that I never could have gotten before I found KeyStage!

Ali is a great guy who is VERY responsive to questions which I have posted on his YouTube tutorials. He would rather you find his FaceBook page though!

Now… I do have to warn that the music scene on iOS is chaining in big ways, growing fast and yet is still in it’s infantile state.

In order to connect apps together to make music in the beginning there was AudioBus. Then the developers (or was it Apple?) developed Inter-App Audio. But NOW There are AudioUnits! Sound confusing? Well, join the club!

The short explanation of the three is that AudioUnits simply rock! For one, you can use multiple instances the same app plus AU’s save their state! That means that everything is exactly as you used it the next time you load that AU back up!

BUT since not all apps are AudioUnit’s yet you do need to be able to tell these apps which sound you want to use for each section in KeyStage. Thankfully there are a good number of apps that use program changes to make this easy. The good news is that Ali has put in an editor in KeyStage to accomplish the magic here. Some apps, like the ones from AudioKit, make it super easy to figure out the program changes. Ali has made it super easy for us to setup the patches for each app once you figure out the correct program change and bank select messages! (and before anyone asks – I misspelled iProphet below and NO it does NOT support program changes – none fo the Arturia apps do)KeyStage Editor.jpeg

In testing KeyStage with the apps I have I have found several that just don’t work – Like SynthMaster One – BUMMER! The good news is Ali knows that developer and they are working on fixing this issue.

In speaking with Ali I asked which apps he has personally used with KeyStage. His response was…

“Jordantron, Sampletank. Geoshred, Sunrizer, iSymphonic Orchestra, Galileo, SampleWiz, SynthMaster Player, Korg Module, ThumbJam, iGrand Piano, Digital D1, LayR, Magellan, Animoog”

I will start a separate page soon with a list of apps that I have found that work well.

In order to make it all easier for you to get an idea of how I am using KeyStage I’ve created a YouTube video because you know what they say…. A picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a million! (Do they say that?)

Music Apps, Battery Life and the never ending “kill app” discussion on iOS

I’m forever seeing students swiping away and force quitting the apps on their iPhones. When I ask why they state, “It saves the battery!”

My research has shown that unless you are dealing with audio apps this force quitting is not needed.

Is if you are using audio apps then it is ALWAYS a good idea to force quit your apps upon finishing with them. Even I forget this though. Today on my way out of the theater from seeing the new Robin Hood movie, which I throughly suggest, I looked at my phone battery and it was pretty near dead! Couldn’t believe it as I’ve hardly used it today!

Upon arriving home and digging into the battery report I realized I had been messing around with Korg Module and left it running. Oops….. 66% of my battery gone just because I had a music app on with background audio turned on. Background audio is pretty much a necessary feature but you do need to keep the realities of its use in mind!

If you have never done this force quitting apps it is easy on an iPhoneX running iOS12, simply swipe up from the bottom and then swipe those apps away! If you are using an iPhone with a button then double tap the home button and swipe up on the apps.