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!)
Then 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
In 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.
In 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 49
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.
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.
ONE LAST THOUGHT:
Now…. 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!
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….
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:
I 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!
Korg 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 ($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!
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!
XeQuence Main Screen
XeQuence Keyboard Option
If 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!
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.
Want 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.
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.
If 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.
Need electronic wurli’s and such then NeoSoul Keys Studio from Gospel Musician is only $10 this weekend
GuitarCapo+ is $2 currently and if you want an app for guitar sounds this one will more then for the bill!
Audio 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!
Of 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 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)
Bluetooth 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!
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.
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…
I have been an extremely busy bee the past couple months working hard on a project here at the school. I’d like to share just a bit.
I’ve learned a ton about using Notion software, by PreSonus, to fill in for musicians that just are not available.
You see we are a small school district with limited funds and limited access to amazing musicians who are able to cover all the possible different instruments we might want to utilize in a particular production. We just are not able to produce an entire orchestra, including harpist!
So I set out to see if it was possible to make do by using the nTempo feature in Notion.
Through a long process of taking the orchestra parts, entering them into the computer, and lots of trial and error I have found that using Notion with nTempo is absolutely a wonderful solution! Not a replacement in ANY WAY shape or form but I’d rather go live WITH these parts then to NOT have the parts!
Neuratrons NotateMe used in conjunction with the PhotoScore in-app-purchase saved me a TON of time!
I’ve found that using my iPhone X with NotateMe’s PhotoScore was WAY faster than using my original iPad Pro 12.9″ (I really wasn’t surprised that it was faster but I WAS surprised at HOW much faster it was!) Hands down, noticeable!
Sometimes PhotoScore was NOT the fastest way!
PhotoScore does NOT get everything –
multi measure repeats are the first obvious item it misses.
Another biggie was that sometimes it missed the key signature.
Text ALWAYS had to be cleaned up.
Notion – for iOS – Well worth having this on my iOS devices as well as my laptop! Has replaced my previous notation app.
PhotoScore was how I started with the strings – Violin 1 & 2, Viola, Cello, String Bass
I always had to adjust the Show Attachments Above/Below to Auto.
I also had to adjust Set Note Stem Direction to Auto.
Step Entry Mode is Pretty stinking fast!
Harp parts got entered via step entry mode
Many little parts that my High School kids couldn’t play were also entered via step entry –
Real Time Recording absolutely needs a quantize feature. Because of the lack of this feature I found it useless.
LEARN YOUR KEY BOARD SHORTCUTS!
In a huge project like this I actually for the first time in my life lived in Continuous View Mode
Found out that entering Lyrics has a bug – it doesn’t always work in Continuous View Mode!
One – switch to Pages Across or Pages Down mode
Two – Enter Score Layout mode and drag the Part containing lyrics down lower in the score temporarily.
USING THE iPAD:
For the entire first act I never touched my computer. I scanned all the string parts via my iPhoneX and then edited them all in Notion on my iPad.
Then I switched to my computer.
I think the computer is possibly a bit faster.
I haven’t tried the full score on my iPad again, now that I am about done. I am wondering if the iPad can actually handle playing the full score.
Using nTempo is pretty straight forward.
First of all – Not available on iOS – only Desktop/Laptop
Add an nTempo Track to your score (it’s under basics)
Add the beat that you’d like to tap along to
Then hit that little conductor dude (or Shift Return – which is VERY finicky though – sometimes that shortcut works and sometimes not. I really have NOT figured out the trick fully) (See the screen shot above to spot the conductor icon)
THEN the MAGIC….
start tapping and the music start to play and follows your tapping for tempo!
Sometimes it is easier to tap in specific rhythms rather than the beat – for instance why Tapp four quarter notes when everyone is holding a whole note? or why tap quarter notes if everyone is playing quarter note triplets? (as you can see in the screenshot above…. the nTempo part is NOT quarter notes)
iCLOUD SYNC for NOTION
iCloud sync in Notion is scary good! I never once had to manually transfer files between my iPhone/iPad/Laptop when I had wi-fi available.
I was working on the beach during spring break a few times and had to AirDrop files back and forth then
I used this app to store references to all the books that I did not want to carry with me.
I am actually NOT using my iPad during the show because using the computer AND iPad is a bit much. I actually like the static reliability of having a two page paper score in front of me.
That has been a pain though for simple things like quickly finding specific songs. I mean the full score is 202 pages LONG!
As for the sounds coming from Notion – OUTSTANDING – I remember the day I’d have to create a score for the way I wanted things to look and then another for the way I wanted things to sound. With Notion, this is no longer the case! Dynamics, articulations, and the list goes on…. they ALL make the sounds you’d expect! It’s very nice!
With the exception of swing… yeah… that’s a bit iffy still. It kind of works but there are adaptations you have to make. Like when you want one 8th note and then the next two tied.
I’ve ended up putting WAY more parts into the computer than I anticipated because I decided that trying to be the nTempo tapper AND trying to read my paper score was impossible! I really needed to use simply the computer.
Here are the parts I’ve put in that I never thought of before I started this process….
Piano Conductor – This is a piano part that actually get turned off in the mixer. It is there because even on a 15″ MacBook Pro screen I can not see all the parts. If I’m conducting I have to know what the heck I’m conducting. It is in effect a condensed score that lives at the top of my screen.
The actors cue lines to know how the music lines up with the dialogue.
Vocal Parts WITH lyrics – this helps immensely as I do NOT remember lyrics very well. It also helps to separate the vocal line from the instrumental parts.
nTempo – I knew I’d have to enter beats. I didn’t really understand the intense pre-thought of how detailed this track would become.
It’s WAY easier to just conduct – it comes second nature 🙂 I do wish I had the resources for all live musicians.
You had better have a great sound system to make this work. First of all the sounds in Notion rock but if your speakers are bad… well….
You’ve got to have a good monitoring system so you and the live musicians can hear the track.
and finally…. just like a real live instrument… YOU’D BETTER PRACTICE A TON!
With all the music apps we have available to us it is all to rare that I just sit down and play with those apps. When I do the process is simple, open them up and start playing with the sounds available – much like taking crayons out of the box and simply starting to draw. Once I find a sound or two that is intriguing to me then I open up Cubasis and start recording a few things.
Tonight I had Christmas songs stuck in my head after driving 30 minutes to shop in the Black Friday craziness. So… I used one of those tunes, Micrologue (the synth inside of Cubasis), Mersenne, Laplapce and Impaktor to record my meandering thoughts. Then I threw in some of the new Waves plug-ins on the tracks, some AudioReverb from VirSyn, and AltiSpace as well.
InterApp Audio is still buggy inside of Cubasis in iOS11. I had to force quite Cubasis a few times to keep connections going. Not sure is the issue is Cubasis, iOS11 or the other apps. Still – it is worth the hassles!
In order to get the drums from Impaktor I actually just used the sequencer inside of that app to record the loop and then exported it out into Cubasis. If you have never used Impaktor you really have to load this app up and get to playing! It listens to you hitting, tapping, moving, talking or what ever noise the mic picks up and then turns that into a trigger for whatever drum sound you have selected! There is a six track sequencer built into the app itself which is how I recorded my little loop.
When I got around to putting on the effects I always like using the AudioUnits. AU are an extremely stable method of using other apps inside of Cubasis. So many benefits to using AU – like the fact that those AU’s and their settings get automatically recalled the next time you load your project! Like the fact that you can use multiple instances of that AU in your project😁! When you use another through InterApp Audio you can only use that other app once 😒.
The next step is to share it… I mean, what good is that music if no one else ever hears it? Well actually, most people are not going to find my creation “their” type of music. Who cares – maybe 10 people will listen maybe none. But at least I created and shared.
So if I have peaked you interest in listening to my crazy creation Here ya go….
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.