My iOS Device Journey

This…. this is my blog of my adventures with the magical world of Apple and it’s devices. My story of the journey of using, creating, and learning.

and so…. the great tale continues today with another episode in the “I can’t believe it” category.

Astute readers will notice something missing in the picture above – my Apple Watch! Pretty funny tan line hey? That’s what Band Camp and being outside all summer will do to you! The iPad is also an integral part of todays story!

Three years ago I purchased my first Apple Watch – like almost exactly three years ago! As soon as they were released I ordered my Series 2.

The watch has been an excellent addition to helping me make more efficient use of my time. I will wear it all the time. (and NOT just to prove my wife wrong 😉 )

I on purpose did not get a case to protect it. I wanted to see what it would endure. It has proven super durable! Many times I have hit it on a metal door frame and thought for sure it would have been busted but the watch always come out ahead!

Then about a month ago I looked at my watch while out in the sunlight and realized there was a crack all the way around the outside edges of the screen! I for the life of me could not remember doing something stupid like many times before. The only thing I could imagine was that in the process of taking it off to fly my drone it had gotten hit or something.

Then I read that Apple had started a screen replacement for Aluminum Apple Watch Series 2! There was an example image of what cracked screens looked like that were eligible and sure enough – looked exactly like mine! Guess I wasn’t the only one with a mystery crack on my AW screen!

IMG_2160
My Cracked AWatch Series 2 Screen

So today, after making a Genius Bar appointment,  I finally drove the 1.5 hours to the closest Apple Store to take it in.

We will come back to THAT visit in just a moment….

The second part of this story was that at school we had just purchased an iPadPro Gen3 for the Band Program because I figured it was long due time that I should not be using my personal device for school business and teaching. We’ve only had it about a week and I still have not put it in a case so I took the iPad with me so I could go buy a case one today.

Now… back to the Apple Store…

I walked in about 25 minutes early, checked in and went back to the table to wait. Hardly had I sat down then Genius Bar worker Karim came over and introduced himself. We went to the work table. I explained about the crack, he took a look, entered some info into his iPad and said, yup looks like we need to send this in. He stated that there didn’t look to be any point of impact and that sort of crack certainly fit the criteria. About five minutes later we were all done. Never once did he ask for a receipt, or ask questions about if I thought I knew it had happened or anything really! I knew I did not have my receipt, couldn’t find it but since I had blogged about getting the Apple Watch on this blog I had pulled that post up on the school iPad so I could maybe use that as proof of when I had purchased the watch. Never needed it! Karim was fast, efficient and super helpful! Exactly the reason Apple Stores are having such huge success!

As he wrapped up he asked if there was anything else I needed. I responded, “Nope, that was it! Thanks Man!” He then proceeded to point at the week old iPad Pro and asked if the crack in the screen was annoying me! I about fell out of my seat! I had been using the iPad in church just that morning – no crack! My 27 year old son had used the iPad right before I left for the Apple Store as did I  – neither of us noticed a crack! On the drive down to the store the iPad sat on my front drivers seat playing music. I was simply floored that there was indeed a crack and still have no idea how. Karim asked when I had acquired the iPad – I explained it was like brand new and I hadn’t even set up and down loaded all my apps yet! Without blinking an eye he stated that since it was a single hairline fracture he would replace it – I explained I hadn’t yet purchased Apple Care. He said no problem – BUT if it would have been a multiple line crack I would have been paying $650! Again, no questions from him about a receipt, proof of purchase or anything! A few minutes later a nice lady walked out of the back room handed him a box with a different iPad in it. Karim had me disable Find My iPad, then erase and reset all settings. I took the new iPad, signed in and literally 7 minutes later was walking out of the Apple Store a VERY satisfied and relieved customer!

Several things stick out in my mind:

  • BUY A CASE – I’ve had a TON of iPads and have NEVER cracked a screen! (Well, except that one I beat with my conductors baton while trying to get the percussion to keep a steady tempo in class – I’m STILL salty about that!
  • APPLE CARE – Buy it!
  • I can’t imagine having had a better experience in a different type of store!

Several other thought:

  • Make sure you write your passwords down for your Apple account  – your main account as well as your iPad unlock codes.
  • Make sure you disable Find My iPad ?BEFORE wiping a device
  • Create and actually use your free iCloud account/username!

These last three thoughts are not just from todays experience but from every time I set up a new device. As well as every time I help someone with their devices and accounts. I will be writing a couple of posts about several of these horror stories and the simple way people could have avoided their situations!

I will leave you with a picture of the iPadPro screen the way I set it up when it was fresh booted today vs after installing the iOS 13 beta and downloaded a bunch of apps.

YUP – Even though iOS13 is almost certainly like two days away from public release I could not bear the thought of not having to go back to iOS12 even for just a couple of days! There are significant improvements in iOS13 and I have come to rely on those improvements!

Home Screen Before
Home Screen Before Full Set-up
Home Screen After.PNG
Home Screen AFTER Set-up

Software/App Updates – FileMaker and Readdle in Particular

Well it was very interesting to read about FileMaker (an Apple owned company) rebranding itself BACK to it’s Claris name. Claris is from the days gone by (like 1998) and was the predecessor to FileMaker. Claris had some great apps like MacWrite, MacPaint, Claris Works and such. FileMaker has been profitable (80 back to back quarter of profit is no small task) so that’s not the reason. Although I was NOT happy to see the subscription model come out last year (I think that’s when it was) and I DO wonder if they had issues getting people to “but into” that model. I think the company is just ready to build and expand. Which is exciting news and I look forward to what comes!

As Long As They Don’t Mess With FileMaker and take away features I already have!

BUT…. Hey, I OWN a perpetual license to the software so I can continue to use it as is for years to come! Unlike if I had a subscription.

Readdle today also announced that their stellar iOS app PDF Expert is now going to be a free download! At first glanced I about choked on my morning Diet Dr. Pepper (I really dislike coffee)! THAT was going to be a GREAT deal for ANYONE!

BUT…. they have actually decided to go to a subscription based model as well!

Now… they have a very clarifying post on their blog detailing what current users will continue to “keep” forever – so if you have NOT updated to the pro level of PDF Expert – GO NOW as it’s like $10! It might still let you update at that price because soon it will cost you $50 a year! At that price I did choke on my bagel!

Here is the deal – from their website….

PDF Expert7 Chart

So to be fair to them they have done an excellent job of taking care of current users! I fully appreciate that I will continue to “keep” things I have already bought! This is important because I have come to rely on their excellent apps!

THANK YOU READDLE for that!

BUT… this subscription based model for new users…. oh my….

Here is the problem with the world of apps and software…. Developers should NOT be expected to develop an app, sell the app, and then continue to update that app for everyone forever without getting more money for that app!

That’s why I would constantly purchase software and then continue to pay for upgrades in the past! First of all – those bright shiny upgrades ALWAYS looks like fun and look useful! Second of all I like the developers who are amazing at what they do and I want to continue to support them!

Subscriptions mess with the process though. If I purchase a subscription to an app I will be able to use that app freely for one year (or how ever long it may be.) THEN… it stops working. Now… if we are talking about something like $10 here I can usually scrape up the money to renew. But sometimes the subscription prices are just too much for someone as an educator for instance to depend on that money always being there!

Consider these thought –

FileMaker: I can buy a perpetual license for $540 and use that app forever. The subscriptions start at $15 per user per month and they want you to start at 5-9 users. So assuming I could even get a subscription for ONE user it would therefore drop the cost per year down to $180. Seems like a good deal. IF THE MONEY is there to upgrade every year.

Readdle: So what I could suggest to other people as an amazing app on their iPads for $10 (I don’t know was it $10? or was it more?) NOW…. I have to let them know that in order to get some of the most useful features (signing PDF’s, Rearranging PDF’s, Merging PDF’s) well now that’s going to cost $50 EVERY SINGLE YEAR! That’s a big chunk of change to swallow!

Here’s the real life scenario –

I teach. I buy software for my band program. Some years we have money and many other years we go through budget cuts! Some years, like this one, the state hasn’t even told our district how much money they will be allocating to our school but they are demanding a balanced budget from our school. Well you can imagine the state of mind we are in! Who knows if I’ll have money to continue a subscription! There are some pieces of software that I rely on  – FileMaker, Notion/Sibelius, Pyware 3D, ForScore/UnRealBook, and yes I would also list PDFExpert and Calendars5 in this category.

As an individual I run into this issue as well. I have a subscription to iTunes Match. I rely on iTunesMatch – I love it and wouldn’t want to be without it! I did make the mistake of starting my first subscription to it the week right after Christmas the first year though. So now… I’ve got to make sure every year I have $25 in my band account so that it continues to renew reliably! Sometimes if that day falls right before a payday or if I’ve forgotten about the renewal date I’m scrambling!

The Solution –

I don’t have the answers but I did like the previous model of purchasing and updating software. I have chosen to use the same app on my computer (and know MANY teachers who do the same) for years and years. A good friend was upset that in his last year of teaching band he was forced to upgrade to the latest version of Pyware3D – he was running version one! But the computer he was using it on stopped working and the new computer wouldn’t run version one! (surprise) the upgrade coast hurt but he relied on that app and knew that future band directors would be able to use that software for years to come!

In the world of apps getting updates for free has been a nice ride but a better model has to come about so our developers get paid. I do appreciate that Readdle is NOT taking features away from current users! I am not sure how I can recommend a $50 YEARLY cost to new users.

Readdle has an amazing suite of apps available – Check it out at their website.

https://readdle.com

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!

INSTRUMENT APPS THAT RESPOND TO PROGRAM CHANGES:
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!)

DIGITAL SHEET MUSIC APPS THAT SEND PROGRAM CHANGES:
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.

TIP:
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.

ONE LAST THOUGHT:
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:

Apps for an Amazing Live Performance Setup for iPad/iPhone (Some great prices on these currently as well!)

Performing live with your iPad is quite an amazing journey these days as we now have a plethora of apps and hardware to choose from. 

There are no excuses accepted for NOT using your iOS device to perform with! From simply using it to display your sheet music to running AUM to control six different apps all connected to your MIDI keyboard to simply using one app and the interactive glass surface of your iPad to perform solo or along with a band…. its a whole new world. This weekend and Christmas time will be the best chances you have to grab some apps and hardware at prices you won’t see the rest of the year!

Here are some ideas of what you can use….

AUM Mixer
Connect your apps and your hardware with this mixer on steroids!

Start with AUM from Kymatica. This is the essential app currently for combining several apps, several controllers and being able to mix it all in real time.

AUM allows us to work with whatever apps we would like alongside whatever hardware we want to integrate. It will give us the possibility to mute, solo, and control volume of each app. 

MIDI learn is easy to setup to your hardware in order to control the volume, mute and solo for each app as well. 

This app is Ableton Link enabled talks to AUv3 apps, has InterApp Audio and AudioBus connections as well. 

You can also use effects on each mixer channel. So If I have Korg Module on the first channel I can have a piano sound pulled up in Module and then add in an effects app to sweeten up the reverb along with putting a compressor on the channel as well. After setting up each app with it’s own mixer channel I can then route what ever hardware I have to whichever app. So my Launchkey can control Korg Module as well as being the external controller I use to adjust volume, mute and solo for each app. Then my main MIDI controller keyboard can then be connected to all the channels allowing me to use heavy layered sounds or to simply hit the solo button on any app I’d like to use by itself. I can also have my QuNexus keyboard setup to be the only hardware that is connected to the app that is running an arpeggiator for that one tune.

The possibilities are endless! and Exciting!

Here are some great apps to start plugging into those Mixer slots in AUM:

GarageBand iOS IconI would be very remiss is I did not start with Apples GarageBand – Free and outstanding. GarageBand stands out as a great way to record and create music but also as a an instrument to perform with. GarageBand has some wonderful sounds inside of the app as well as some very innovative ways in which to perform. There are the Smart Instruments which allow for easy and quick ways to get some sounds rolling without even knowing technical details, like music theory, of how it is happening! Smart Strings, Guitar, Bass, and Piano. The drummers inside of GarageBand are so very fun as well. GarageBand also contains one of the most loved synth apps ever created for iPad – Alchemy. Of course it is no longer available on the App Store as a stand alone app because Apple wrapped it up inside of GarageBand. Once you find the synth instrument look for Alchemy and you will find 8 variations of each sound that you can morph between. It is pretty cool, this level of interaction and control of the sounds coming from your iPad!

Module for iPhoneKorg Module ($20 currently) is an astonishing collection of sounds all wrapped up in one app. Some of the best piano sounds are available as part of your original purchase. If you want to step up your collection of piano sounds purchasing the Ivory Piano or Ivory American D will only set you back $10 currently. The Orchestral Dreams sounds pack is another $10 that contains some of the best string sounds I’ve played. Especially coming from an iPad/iPhone. The Dreamy Synths or Triton collections will give you even more synth pads and synth sounds to perform with.

Korg iM1 LargeKorg iM1 ($15 currently) is essentially a Korg M1 synth stuffed into your iOS device! I was so mad in the early 90’s when the Korg M1 I had access to use in college got stolen! Now I can relive those days and once again have access to the outstanding sounds from that keyboard!

 

AudioKit D1AudioKits Digital D1 Synth is chock full of synth sounds to astound you and inspire you! It is fairly new and currently $8

 

Reason Compact Icon

Reason Compact is a free synth that currently is $5 to unlock the full potential of. All the sound sets inside are $1 and they are all worth it! This synth is simply inspiring and so much fun to play! Go ahead… download the free version but again… for $5 it is worth it to unlock the full version! I’m not even a Reason person but this synth…. it will be used often on Sunday morning worship team!

Reason Compact
Reason Compact has a “no Wrong Notes” Keyboard to perform on! One of the many alternate interfaces iOS offers for performers!

 

 

 

 

Xequence IconIf you need a sequencer that is straight forward and powerful then Xequence | The MIDI Workstation is your app for only $4 it is a no brainer. This app produces no sound on its own but is the sequencer you use to push MIDI info out to other apps. It also offers a playing surface of it’s own allowing you to use it as a performance tool that controls other apps by simply playing. Or you can use that builtin keyboard to record your parts with freeing you to not have to carry an external keyboard!

Cubasis Logo

If you want a more powerful DAW that you can use to play backing tracks alongside sequenced accompaniments then Cubasis is half price currently and $25 nets you the top choice for many iOS musicians.

Clawtar ScreenshotWant an alternative interface to use on your iPad screen as the performance surface? Clawtar – The Adaptaive MIDI Controller is outstanding and a totally new way to interact with other apps!

KB-1 Keyboard IconWant a keyboard on your iPad screen to perform with? KB-1 by Kai Aras is a $5 new app that gives you five unique layouts to use as the performance surface. This will be a standard must have app for anyone to use if they want to use the iPad screen to perform from.

KB-1 Screens.png

Patterning 2 or Elastic Drums are both drum apps that will keep the beat for you!

SynthMaster One – Powerful Wavetable Synth is currently $10 and is practically the same app as the company makes for the desktop computer. An app full of 500 sounds sure to fit any style and genre. This app also supports micro-tuning so exploring those sounds are easy with SynthMaster One. Just make sure to buy SynthMaster One and not SynthMaster Player.

MoogLogoIf modular sound is your thing, and honestly… who can resist it, Moog apps are on sale now as well. AniMoog is one of the first apps to iPad that gave us fabulous modular sounds along with new and exciting interactions with those sounds. AniMoog allows for far more control of the sound then simply pressing a key on and off. Moog’s keyboard allows for you to get exciting sounds as you run your finger up and down the keys – that will alter anything from the filter to the effects. In fact, I do believe, Moog was the first to give us a keyboard that was DIFFERENT then the simple piano sort of looking thing. 

Model 15 Icon200px Model 15 is $15,

Animoog Icon BigAnimoog is $10

Model D MoogModel D is $9

Neo Soul Keys IconNeed electronic wurli’s and such then NeoSoul Keys Studio from Gospel Musician is only $10 this weekend

GuitarCapo+ LargeGuitarCapo+ is $2 currently and if you want an app for guitar sounds this one will more then for the bill!

Audio Mastering Small IconAudio Mastering $7 currently is the app you want to use if you are working with creating mixdowns of your performances. It takes your recording to a new level – literally!

OnSong IconOf course if you do not have an app for your digital sheet music then OnSong $15, which is half price, is the choice if your are reading chord charts. OnSong is powerfully connected for anyone doing Praise and Worship. It’s dead simple integration with Planning Center, and other services, makes it a snap to download chord charts for the upcoming services. You can control you projector and lights with OnSong even! This app also works with your PDF sheetMusic of course.

If you are dealing with your sheetMusic as PDF’s then ForScore, UnReal Book or DeepDish’s GigBook are all amazing ways to stay organized with your piles of sheet music.

If you want to be able to go even a step further and use music XML files along with PDF’s and even video then Newzik might be your beat choice. You can pull in an entire score as an XML file and then quickly view that notation in whatever size you want and even select which lines you want to see. So I can see my entire band score or just the flute part for instance.

Don’t forget the hardware that can help make your life easier onstage…

AirTurn is running an amazing sale currently. They have iPad holders, stands that fold and store inside your backpack and best of all… pedals to control your page turning and you can even program the foot pedal buttons to control your metronome, lights and so much more! I just ordered the 6 button version of their foot pedal and can’t wait to put it to use. The guys that run AirTurn are stand up dudes! (And I’d assume some dudettes are employed there as well)

AirTurn Stomp-6

Roli BlocksBluetooth MIDI hardware has changed our reliance on having to hardwire our external controllers to our iOS devices. ROLI is at the top of the game giving us new and exciting ways to perform. Their SongMaker kit has a SeaBoard Block along with a LightPad M Block and a control pad as well. Their are two versions out. I’m not really sure what he difference between the two other then I know the one has tight integration with GarageBand. They also just released better integration with Apples LogicProX. Check their YouTube. Of course ROLI is also running some great Black Friday sales currently. If you’ve never experienced their 5D Touch I would highly suggest visiting an Apple Store and trying it out! I don’t think I’d be able to use their 49 key or bigger keyboard to replace my normal MIDI keyboard to play lead keys with. But for building songs inside of Cubasis or to play backup keys the SeaBoard Blocks are a lot of fun!

As you look at this list of possibilities pick one thing and just get going on it! Start small and grow from there. IF you ever have any questions leave comments below and I’ll try to help point you in the correct direction!

Navigation in OnSong and ForScore – Video

So while working with OnSong and ForScore this past week it hit me how different each approaches navigation in your music. Not sure which is “right”. I’d like to see both apps be able to show portions of two pages as OnSong does when scrolling up and down. I’d like for both apps to have the ability to add hotspots as ForScore does to deal with repeats.

I do know that if you are working with Chord charts I’d choose OnSong in a heartbeat as it has the ability to transpose those charts with a simple and quick change of the key.

Anyways… here is the Video –

 

OnSong Icon
OnSong

ForScore
ForScore

Using Cubasis and the new Waves Plugins to Edit My School Choir Concert Recordings on my iPad

Steinberg just released version 2.3 ofCubasis Logo Cubasis which is on sale for 50% off! This update includes IAP’s for some awesome Waves Plug-ins. These Waves Plug-ins IAP ($19.99) do require iPad 4 or higher, iPad mini 2 or higher models.

• Waves AudioTrack Channel Strip (in-app purchase) — Get a mixing console’s channel strip including compression, EQ and gating in one convenient, intuitive plug-in.
• Waves L1 Ultramaximizer (in-app purchase) — Make your tracks sound professional, with proper loudness levels that will let them stand out.
• Waves Q10 Equalizer (in-app purchase) — Use the pro’s first choice and enjoy surgically precise equalization for mixing your tracks.

Waves Q10.jpg
Waves Q10 EQ

There are also some other nifty features like being able to save presets inside of these plug-ins! Awesome news – thank you very much Steinberg! You can also record automation of parameters inside of audio units! This is SO SWEET! (Just not sure how many music educators will make use of that feature though – unless they are getting creative and not simply recording their ensembles performances!)

So I thought I’d put the plug-ins through their paces and edit our choir concert recordings from just the other evening.

At the concert I used our PreSonus StudioLive soundboard to easily record the 6 microphones and the piano we were using for the choir. We had 3 mics right in front of the choir and 3 hanging overhead. Now, the overhead mics were NOT used for the audience and they were a little offset from the choir but I recorded them anyways just to see what they would give me. Ended up adding a bit of a natural reverb effect or maybe a doubling effect to the recording and I kind of liked it.

By using the Waves plug-ins I was able to very quickly go through the recordings and bump up the levels using the maximizer.

Waves Maximizer.jpeg

Then I added EQ using both AudioTrack Channel Strip plugin as well as the Q10 EQ.

Waves Channel Strip.jpg

I did make good use of the presets Steinberg already created as well as creating my own to use later after tweaking theirs.

Cubasis Presets.PNG

I also added some reverb using the builtin reverb from Cubasis along with the VirSyn AudioReverb audioUnit app. I LOVE LOVE LOVE audioUnits by the way! But that is for another post later.

VirSyn AudioReverb.PNG

Of course I did a couple of other quick edits like cutting out some sniffles, trimming the ending and adding fade ins and outs.

All in all it took me under 14 minutes from the point I started importing the audio into my iPad until I was done. By the way…. I LOVE iOS11’s Files app! I use the ability to sync my Desktop on my Laptop to iCloud ALL the time! I used it here to take the audio recordings from the thumb drive, I put the audio into a folder on my iCloud desktop and then simply imported those files using my iPad into Cubasis. At the end I did a mix-down of the final edited track and pushed that from my iPad out to iCloud and my laptops desktop folder again! No WIRES!

I was pretty proud of the job the choir kids did on this piece – we are a small school and as you would expect, the choir is small too. The choir kids also do not tend to do more than just one or two trimesters of choir either. Which is sad but as we have no middle school choir program to build on this situation will not change I’m sure.

Anyways – I recorded the entire process so you could see and hear how easy this is. This will allow you to hear why you should absolutely be doing this yourself – it is EASY! I did find out that Apple at some point took away the sound from the videos when you use screen recording on iOS11 – that meant I had to quick grab a cord and my handheld recorder to hook up to the headphone jack on my iPad. That cord did give me a bit of trouble so please excuse that!

I did have to give you some funky background music for the start and end of my video – I didn’t want you to get bored while watching me load the audio files into Cubasis. I used Novations GrooveBox apps for creating my background music. If you haven’t tried this app yet you really need to download it and start playing with it!

GrooveBox from Novation – FREE

Performing with Todays Technology – Multi-Tracks and Loops

In the process of looking for new music to listen to and to perform I’ve run across and excellent CD created by a new worship band/church I’ve never listened to before. The really interesting thing is that they offer backing tracks. It’s been a REALLY long time since I’ve looked for these backing tracks and boy has the process changed.

River Valley Edge of WorshipThe CD is Edge of Heaven and it is by River Valley Worship. River Valley has all the chord charts to their songs available for free on their website linked above! THANK YOU!

The service they use for loops and backing tracks is through MultiTracks.com

Playback IconThat is linked to an app called Playback

The app has a free preview track per week inside of it. I’d suggest that if you’ve never experienced this to go download the app and that one free track! It’s something else!

I’m also very interested in knowing who out there is using this service, to what extent and how you like it! Leave me comments below.

Here is the iTunes Description:

Description

Playback is an iOS App created by MultiTracks.com that turns your iPad or iPhone into a simple, yet powerful MultiTrack player for all of your Original Master MultiTracks and CustomMix® content. Playback comes with a library of ClickTracks and we always give you access to a free song each week that we call the “Play of the Week” so you can try out the app right away! Playback has 3 Subscriptions: Intro (Free), as well as Pro and Premium (30 Day Free Trial).

***Please Note*** Because of the access given to Original Artist Master MultiTracks through our free “Play of the Week,” account registration is required for every account to verify your identity and insure compliance with Terms of Use.

INTRO SUBSCRIPTION

• Playback all the parts within a MultiTrack or load only those you need.
• Access to import all your tracks from MultiTracks.com and MultiTracks Cloud™
• Free ClickTracks in multiple time signatures
• Free “Play of the Week” every week in the app
• Adjust Start Time and End Time of each song
• Visible Waveform Display with Grid Overlay
• Auto-fade your tracks while click continues
• Create a Playlist and “AutoLink” songs together
• Songs subdivided into “Song Sections”
• Solo and Mute functionality on every channel
• AutoPan your ClickTracks left and MultiTracks right
• Press and Hold a Song in “Edit Mode” to reorder within Setlist
Free – All Intro features are completely free.

Playback Screen2.png

Moog Releases Another Outstanding Synth For Your iPad

If you have had ANY contact with the synth world you know immediately about the Moog keyboards. You also have an inclining of the legacy of Bob Moog – His legacy goes back to the starts of the synth world. He got his start in 1954 by building and selling Therimins with his father. In 1963 Bob built his first modular synth. Bob Moog is a legend, his synths are legend and now those of us using iPad for creating music can enjoy THREE Moog apps on our iPad! Animoog was the first professional synth released for iPad and is still one of those apps we go back to constantly! Filtatron came next and just this past week they released Model 15!

Model 15 is the first modular synth created for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch. Not only is it meant as a performance app but for the educational world it is also meant as a tool with which to educate students about modular synthesis.

“Each facet of the Moog Model 15 modular synthesizer has been meticulously recreated in this application to ensure the power and transcendent sound quality of each module remains intact. The character, harmonic complexity and mystique of the Moog Model 15s modules, from the legendary Moog 921–series oscillators and 904A Low Pass Filter, to the coveted 907 Fixed Filter Bank have been painstakingly preserved.”

Even better is the fact that we get MORE than what was originally offered because we are using this on a touch screen interface running modern processors – “Also included are extended features which expand the capabilities of the app beyond the traditional offerings of the hardware Moog Model 15. These include total MIDI integration, assignment for external control, use as a MIDI controller, dedicated Audio Bridge and MIDI Bridge modules, looping recorder module with overdubbing, a master ping-pong delay module and a new extension cabinet that includes additional amplifiers and voltage-controlled reversible attenuators that can be used for effects like ring-modulation.”

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

What this means in normal words is that this app is a very sweet way to introduce today’s students to the amazing world of modular synthesis without having to spend $10,000 for the hardware synth! I mean, what music department has THAT much money? (And if there is a job opening please let me know because I am interested!)

It also means that the latest music tech is all included giving us all sorts of connectivity. Plus the app is developed using Apple’s latest Metal Technology which gives us an immersive interface that previously was unable to be developed! Of course since this uses Metal that does eliminate older devices that are not 64 bit.

Look at this list of supported music tech – Inter App Audio, Audio Bus, Audio and MIDI Bridge, Ableton Link and MIDI over BlueTooth LE! 3D Touch and the Apple Pencil are even integrated giving us after touch! AudioCopy, AudioPaste and AudioShare are integrated as well!

These sort of technologies all coming together into an already impressive array of available music apps is because of the outstanding developers Moog has working for them. These developers have been on the cutting edge of music technology for years. People like Geert Bevin work there – Geert has also recently been working with Roger Linn (yup, the inventor of the drum machine) on the innovative LinnStrument (go google it!) Geert and the rest of the team are users of iPad music apps. They perform with it, play with it, create with it and enjoy the new possibilities it brings us!

Model 15 comes in at the high end of app pricing at $29.99 but considering that to actually buy the hardware we would have to cough up 10 grand $30 seems like more than a bargain. Once you listen to the sounds coming out of the app you will not be sorry you spent the money either. In fact you will probably find yourself spending more money on the IAP’s of additional sound banks. Even though Model 15 comes with 160 presets you will be wanting more because it’s kind of like a well made Apple pie except non-fattening!

Here is a video introducing you to the app…

Alternative Musical Interfaces

 One of the reasons I really enjoy iOS for making music is the fact that it is so easy to make music with an alternative interface/design. I ran across a new one today that I thought I would share with you.

Temperament provides you with a nifty three circle design giving you the chromatic scale on thirteen circles with each ring going one octave higher. Simple and yet effective. Even better is the fact that it is not a piano keyboard.  Not many options for built in sounds and no option for MIDI control to a different app currently. Maybe the developer will keep adding more options in the future.

There are options though for adjusting what happens when you move your finger on the X or Y axis.

Just fun to play with. Free too.

Holderness Media Effects Apps for iPhone Released! (Sale price right now too!)

crystalline_perform_view_iPad_Air_854wOne of the great iOS Music Developers, Holderness Media, has had a suite of effects apps out for iPad for awhile now. The news of the week though is that on Jan 8, 2015, he released four of the apps for iPhone! Now our little iOS friends can take part in the fun alongside the iPad!

This is going to be loads of fun especially since an iPhone6+ has the extra screen space but is still small enough to stick in your pocket! These effects can easily replace a guitarists effects pedals or work alongside of them! (Of course those pedals aren’t going to fit in your pocket very well though!)

stereodesigner_screen_sliders_2048x1536Just look at all the tweak-able controls you get in these apps! X-Y Pads to make fast easy adjustments, then there are the sliders on the next screen that allow even more tweaking, morphing, echoes, swooping and all sorts of fun on the fly! You do not even have to have any idea what you are doing to have fun with controls like these available at your fingertips!

These apps allow you to apply the effects a live input, like a guitar/drum module/keyboard etc… or any app that is AudioBus/InterAppAudio compatible! I’ve included a video at the bottom of this post that will give you a little idea of what is possible with these apps.

It bears mentioning that I fully support Christopher Rice’s (the developer) decision to charge for iPhone versions of these apps. Many people may not like having to pay twice but when you have great developers who love the iOS community and work hard to give us amazing apps, they deserve our financial support! Plus, the are offering amazing deals on the app bundles! Buy the bundle and save a bundle!

Here are the four iPhone apps – Each is $1.99

Echo Pad - HoldernessEcho Pad (This is the only one of the Holderness apps that is actually an universal app. Which means you only have to buy one app that will work on iPad and iPhone)

Crystalline - HoldernessCrystalline mini

Stereo Designer Mini - Holderness MediaStereo Designer Mini

Swoopster Holderness MediaSwoopster Mini

Caramel - Holderness MediaCaramel Mini

Here are the links for the iPad Versions –

Echo Pad - HoldernessEcho Pad  (This is the only one of the Holderness apps that is actually an universal app. Which means you only have to buy one app that will work on iPad and iPhone)

Crystalline - HoldernessCrystalline

Stereo Designer Mini - Holderness MediaStereo Designer

Swoopster Holderness MediaSwoopster

Caramel - Holderness MediaCaramel

Here are links to the bundles –

Holderness Media Bundle – iPhone Bundle ($8.99) – 50% off currently

Holderness Media Bundle – iPad Bundle ($11.99)

 

Caramel YouTube Video – The other apps are kind of self explanatory but Caramel is a much deeper app with some amazing possibilities! Take a Look –