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.
Steinberg just released version 2.3 of 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.
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.
Then I added EQ using both AudioTrack Channel Strip plugin as well as the Q10 EQ.
I did make good use of the presets Steinberg already created as well as creating my own to use later after tweaking theirs.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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).
• 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.
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!
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.
One 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!)
Just 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 (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)
Nave $9.99 (50% off) – Do not hesitate in buying this app if you want a great synth app to work with on the iPad! In fact if you don’t have a synth app yet for iPad this or Animoog should be your first!
AudioShare is $2.99 – This app allows you to record within the app, trim, normalize, convert, store, file, zip, unzip, and organize all your sound and MIDI files on your iPad.
Voice Jam Studio $6.99 (65% off!) – Powerful vocal effects processor and looper. I bought this the day it came out because the looping capabilities are so much better and easier to use than anything that was already on the market! Now, it is on sale cheaper then when it was introduced – lucky you.
MDI Designer Pro is $4.99 (from $24.99) – Most powerful and easy-to-use MIDI controller
Gestrument LE is now free – gives you a great idea of what the full version can do.
Sequential is $1.99 (60% off) – load any audio and then loop it so you can apply effects in all sorts of rhythmic order to create new variations of the original. Quite a large variety of effects like High and Low pass filters, resonators, bit-crusher, wave transformer, circuit bender and more.
Sector is $5.99 (from $9.99) – This app also allows for slicing and sequencing of your audio – fun and entertaining!
I suppose it's because I am finishing marching season and I have to go through all the photos I've taken this year, that I am thinking so much about photo apps. Or maybe it's just because Pixelmator is such a game changer of an app.
Pixelmator is a brand new app that we first saw in a demo the day that the iPhone6 was introduced.
If you have ever wanted to edit those pics you have taken but the edit options in Apple Photos just are not enough for you then it's time to move up! Of course maybe if you had an app like Pixelmator, you would find new and exciting ways to manipulate your photos to bring your teaching materials to life?
Filters, effects, adding text, shadows, being able to adjust color, light balance, or drastically improve less then perfect pics with a few taps…. All of this is what Pixelmator is about.
I love the heal tool…. You really have to experience this to believe it. Have an extra person in your pic that you don't want? Brush over them and wa-la, they are gone, replaced by a magic background of what would have been there if they weren't.
This is one more of those apps that has a desktop version to match. The best part is that the iPad version was developed specifically for iPad, not simply adapted to it. This means that everything is optimized for touch. It also means that through iCloud, your pics and their edits can be found both on your iPad as well as your Mac!
Of course since you are going to want to share those amazing pics you have edited with parent of your students, sharing has to be easy. Pixelmator has Twitter, Flickr, and Facebook all covered.
Teachers all understand the importance of saving even a few keystrokes, a few seconds, in front of a class of middle students! The more that technology takes a back seat in a lesson plan the better off we all are. If the tech isn't bringing attention to itself but the students learning is front and center then the tech is in the right place.
That means that we must become very comfortable with the tech we are using, we can not be stumbling and fumbling to make things happen. It also means that any shortcut we can use to get technology working faster and smoother is a good idea.
Launch Center Pro for iPad and iPhone has a simple mission statement that fits the above criteria…. “Launch actions, not just apps!” Think about it…. Why do we launch an app in the first place? We launch apps to do things. That means that once the app launches we then start tapping more buttons to do that “thing”.
I message parents frequently but I usually wait until after class…. What if I could speed that task up and send a message faster? Would I communicate even more?
I like to tweet about exciting learning taking place in class but opening the camera, then taking a picture, then opening Twitter to send the tweet is quite a few steps. What if I could do all of that in one step? Would I spread more news about the learning going on in class?
What about taking attendance…. Open Safari, open bookmarks then finally tap the website for school attendance. How about jumping right there?