ME&T Episode #6 with Raphaël Schumann, CEO of Newzik

Music Education & Technology Podcast Episode #6 with Raphaël Schumann, CEO of Newzik

Chris and I had a marvelous time talking with Raphaël from Newzik this time around!

If you are NOT familiar with the Newzik app then this is the perfect chance for you to download the app and get familiar with what it has to offer! The app has quickly grown in what it offers and has an extremely bright future ahead (we even get a few hints out of Raphaël about what might be down the road!)

Of course Chris and I talk about what is current in Music technology as it pertains to music education. We both are at the end of our first semester/tri-mester of the school year so we discuss apps we are using to help assess and grade our music students. Here’s a glimpse – Dorico’s new 30 day trial, Google Classroom, Showbie, SeeSaw, and the latest update to Uberchord.

I know I am excited to listen to the final product (thanks to Chris how is doing a tremendous job of editing these together!)

Full show notes can be found at the along with a bonus video of Newzik being used in a large ensemble to perform with!

Winter Eve

Making the students compose means I have to as well – only fair right?

Take a listen if y9u wish… Used Cubasis as well as Model 15. The goal was to try to make sense of how to use Model 15 sounds in a song. The drums are from Patterning and I used AudioBus to connect the apps into Cubasis. AudioBus Remote is just a tremendous asset as well in this process as it greatly speeds up jumping around between apps. Remote also allows for control of Cubasis record and stop or the same in Patterning. 

Biggest two complaints are that InterApp Audio for me is just certain to not work with one of my apps every time I try to use it!

Second complaint is why Cubasis do y9u not yet support Link?

If you are real keen, you will notice that I had to throw in Alchemy as well – love that thing!

 Here is the SoundCloud link- 

OTO – Touch the shape of Sound!

OTO is a geometric musical controller from Sonic Geometry  that lets you touch the shape of sound. Play synths, control a DAW, generate visuals, and more…

For those of us who like to find new ways to control and create music this is a KICK! (Sorry – couldn’t resist!) This is currently in the last few days of their KickStarter campaign so get in on these early prices!

Little orbs’ that have LED’s but more importantly are controllers sending messages over BLE bluetooth! They have haptic feedback as well as the LED. Looks like a ton of fun to get some interesting effects! These will be sure to make people wonder what is going on – would be fun to get audience participation too!

The OTO will be charged without wires too! They are hoping to get a few days of use in before needing a charge.

They are also planing on making a few different apps available on both desktop as well as iPad to make use of the capabilities here. The apps will be available in April when the production units ship. They have some great ideas here for apps!


“Sonic Geometry makes geometrically intuitive audiovisual controllers. Our aim is to make products that tactilize the relationship between tonal and geometric structures in a way that is both intuitive and profound.

OTO began as a masters’ thesis project at Berklee College of Music. Unsatisfied with any of the two-dimensional control interfaces already available on the market, we sought to create a new, three-dimensional paradigm that physicalized the relationship between form and sound in a novel and exciting way: we wanted to give a shape to the sounds we produced.

With OTO you can play synths, DJ, perform live electronic music, and even control your favorite Digital Audio Workstations such as Ableton and Traktor. Each set of OTO controllers will ship with a suite of both standalone and DAW controller software, meaning both novice and experienced artists, musicians, DJs alike can use OTO exactly how they want.”

Here is the link to the KickStarter so you can get a chance to read some more info on each of these.

It sure would be fun to get a set of these to include in any electronic music ensembles like we have here at our school. Electronic music labs should for sure have some of these for kids to explore the possibilities!



Update on the App Sales – Cyber Monday too!

IF you haven’t checked back on the Black Friday App Sales then you need to as some other significant apps have gone on sale!

Black Friday App Sales 2016

Also – Cyber Monday will bring at least one additional app for sale! IF you haven’t seen this and bought it then you NEED to!

Jordan Rudess from Dream Theater fame has long been a supporter of iPad music and has even created his own company to develop several apps. The latest of these is…

geoshred-iconGeoShred – $9.99 (50% off for one day only!)



Sale on Essential Apps for Teachers

Readdle Apps (50% off!)

Scanner Pro 6 IconScanner Pro $2.99 – With the better quality of the iPhone camera I don’t even bother finding a real scanner any more. I just use this app. Using this app allows me to get things into my iPad FAST!

calendars-5-iconCalendars 5 – $2.99 – Please tell me you are NOT using Apples Calendar app any more right?

PDF ExpertPDF Expert – $4.99 – This is the app for all my day to day communications at school. This is the app I use for all registrations and getting signatures on documents. This app combined with Documents (see below for link) and DropBox or Box is what keeps me organized!

Documents App LOGODocuments – FREE – Helps me stay organized!

PDF Converter Icon.pngPDF Converter – $2.99 – This converts any file on your iOS device into a PDF. IF you are NOT using PDF’s when corresponding with others please START!

Music Apps Black Friday Sales! Hope you saved some $! – UPDATED SATURDAY PM

This is the time of the year when you get to sit back and buy some music creation apps at an outstanding price! Especially since we ALL need to create NOW, while we have a few minutes of downtime from classes, teaching, students and all the stuff that keeps us from doing the very thing that inspired us to teach in the first place!

A few apps to point out to you –

  • if you don’t have a DAW then get Cubasis NOW
    • If you are doing ANY recording of your music then get Audio Mastering! Even if you have NO idea how to use it you WILL notice a huge improvement in the final recordings!
  • if you need “normal” sounds to create things like accompaniment tracks then get SampleTank NOW
  • if you want to explore modular synthesis then the Moog apps are a no-brainer!
  • if you just want to play some music then any of of these synth apps are a no brainer
  • if you need a beat then decide if you want synth drums (Elastic Drums or DM2) or more traditional (iSpark)
  • if you want an alternative playing surface then get Clawtar!
  • if you want some real alternative music creation then check out FluxPad!

ADDED Saturday – 

Auria LogoAuria Pro – $24.99 – This is THE app that when first advertised blew our minds and had many saying it wasn’t possible to do such things on an iPad! They were proven wrong.  Now our only question these days is which to get – Auria or Cubasis!

Auria LogoAuria LE – $19.99 – If for some odd reason you want the “lite” version then go this route.

Borderlands Granular Icon.pngBorderlands Granular – $4.99 – This app highlights the benefits of an alternative playing surface and innovative ideas!

TC-11TC-11 – THE multi-Touch synth. Will blow your mind with the possibilities!

TC-Orbitor.pngTC-Orbitor – If you get TC-11 for your iPad then you will want TC-Orbitor for your phone as this has 53 different ways to control TC-11 through motion/accelerometer/compass/gyrometer

SynthMaster PlayerSynth master Player – FREE – The pro upgrade inside this app is 50% off until Nov 30 ad Expansion banks are about 40% off!

KORG Apps – (added on Friday. These are all sale through Jan 5th at 50% off!)

Korg Module SmallKorg Module – $19.99

Korg iM1 LargeKorg iM1 – $19.99 – amazing and great sounds, as was the original Korg M1

Korg Arp Odyessi.pngArp OYSSEi – $19.99 (Brand new Korg app – again, a great recreation in app form of a beloved piece of hardware)

Korg Gadget Small IconGadget – $19.99 – an excellent all in one production suite!

iDS-10iDS-10 – $9.99

iMS20iMS-20 – $14.99

iPolySixiPolysix – $14.99

iElectribeiElectribe – $9.99

iKaossilator Small IconiKaossilator – $9.99


PhaseMaker Icon.pngPhasemaker – $4.99 – This app is Audio Unit capable. Load it into a host app like Cubasis as many times as you’d like (well, as many times as your device can handle!)

Sunrizer Synth Icon New.pngSunrizer $4.99 – Great synth and straight forward

AUM MixerAUM Audio Mixer – $16.99 – This app is a new concept for iPad users. Call it a mixer, call it a recorder, call it a host, call it the kitchen sink!

SectorSector – $6.99 -Want experimental? Here ya go!



Recording/DAW/Sequencer – 

Cubasis LogoCubasis – $24.99 (50%) – one of the best DAW’s for iOS! Record audio and MIDI

midi-sequencer-iconMIDI Sequencer – $3.99 – got MDI you want to step sequence? Here’s the app

quantiloop-iconQuantiloop – $4.99 (50%) – one of the newer looping apps AND it quantizes!

xynthesizr-iconXynthesizr – $3.99 (from$6.99) – 32 step sequencer/synth with generative features!

SilQ EQSilQ Equalizer – $0.99 (from $4.99) – yes I know this isn’t a DAW but what DAW is complete without an outstanding 32 band EQ? Plus, it’s $.99 cents!

Tap Delay Icon.pngTAP Delay $4.99- Add some delay to your recordings

AudioReverb small iconAudioReverb $4.99 – Awesome reverb to add into the effects slots!

Audio Mastering Small IconAudio Mastering – When you are done creating your musical genius run it through this app for the final touch!

AltiSpace Small IconAltiSpace -Convolution Reverb – Add reverb to your recordings



Synth Apps – 

Model 15 Icon200pxModel 15 – $14.99 (50%) – The app of a $10,000 hardware synth. This is modular synthesis at its best!

AnimoogAnimoog for iPad – $14.99 (50%)

AnimoogAnimoog for iPhone – $2.99 (50%)

Fugue MachineFugue Machine – $4.99 (50%)

Arpeggionome SmallArpeggionome Pro – $4.99 (50%)

Arpeggionome SmallArpeggionomoe for iPhone – $0.99 (down from $4.99)

Clawtar IconClawtar – $1.99 (50%) – IF you have NOT seen this alternative playing surface yet go read more about it from when you SHOULD have grabbed it in July and I wrote about it!

SampleTankSampleTank – $9.99 (50%) – Select IAPS are also 50%!

iLectric icon smalliLectric for iPad – $9.99 (50%) – Select IAPS are also 50%!

iGrand icon smalliGrand for iPad – $9.99 (50%) – Select IAPS are also 50%!

ivcs3-iconiVCS3 – $7.99  (50%)

iSEMiSEM Synthesizer – $4.99  (50%)

iProphet LargeiProhpet Synthesizer – $4.99  (50%)

iMiniiMini Synthesizer – $4.99  (50%)

addictive-pro-iconAddictive Pro – $11.99 (from $19.99) – OK, the original Addictive Synth was outstanding and now that they have updated this to the “Pro” version it is even more addictive.

CubeSynth SmallCube Synth – $7.99 ($11.99)

microtera smallmicroTERA $4.99  (50%)

Tera Synth SmallTera Synth $1.99 (from $19.99)

Poseidon SynthPoseidon Synth $11.99 (from $19.99)

shoom-synth-iconShoom Synthesizer $5.99 (from $9.99)

ENKL Synth.pngENKL Synthesizer – $1.99 (67% off!)


Voice Apps – Apps to mess with your voice!

Jussi Vocal Synth Icon.pngJussi Vocal Synthesizer – $2.99 (63% off!) – This app is just outstanding for creating synth vocals! One of the newer apps on this list!

VoxSynVoxSyn – $6.99 (from $9.99)

HarmonyVoice SmallHarmony Voice – $4.99 (from $6.99)

iVoxel SmalliVoxel – $4.99 (from $6.99)


Drum Apps – 

Arturia iSpak.pngArturia iSpark – All inclusive beat making machine! Awesomeness wrapped up in drums!

Elastic Drums LargeElastic Drums – $7.99 (down from $9.99)

dm2-iconDM2 – Version 2 of one of the original synthesis drum machine apps for iPad

synthdrum-padsSynthDrum Pads – $3.99 (from $5.99)


Music Creation Apps – 

FluxPad Icon.pngFluxPad $5.99 (from $7.99) – if you haven’t seen this you need to – you DRAW music! It’s awesome! Small Groovebox Synth – $5.99 (from $9.99)


Experimental and Electronic Music Apps – 

SoundScaper.pngFieldScaper – Sound warp field recorder – $4.99

SoundScape Icon.pngSoundscaper – $4.99 – An experimental sound mini lab for creating unusual soundscapes, atmospheric textures, drones, glitches and noises based on circuit bending principles.

Space Vibe.pngSpaceVibe – $2.99 (from $1.99) – Another generative app that creates soundscapes


Control Apps – 

midi-designer-pro-iconMIDI Designer Pro – $12.99 (down from $24.99) – THE app if you want to create your own layouts to control other apps/hardware


Tunable: Tuner, Metronome and Recorder will be FREE Nov 16, 2016!

tunable-new-iconTunable: Tuner, Metronome, and Recorder

Well now, this is pleasant news – Tunable is going to be free for a day! Tell your friends, tell your students, hey – tell your enemies!

Tunable is first a tuner with the capability to show a history of how in/out of tune you have played. Perfect to help us realize what our ears are telling us! A real eye opener for students who think they are “all that”!

It is also s tone generator! Teach different temperaments. Practice playing with a pedal tone, practice playing different parts of a chord in tune in different temperaments!

Tunable is also a metronome too!

Lastly and most importantly for ALL of us Tunable is a recorder! Record your rehearsal and practice sessions then even add a bit of reverb!


MET Podcast Episode 5 is out! We’ve got NoteFlight this time around!

Chris has put together our latest Podcast Episode and it is available on Soundcloud (and likely iTunes overnight). In this episode, we discuss BLE MIDI, Sheet Music Scanner (read more about that here on Chris’s blog over at, and Noteflight. Our special guest is John Mlynczak, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Noteflight, a Hal Leonard Company.
Show notes are available at

NOISE! Coming your way! Tons of fun (you know, like music SHOULD be!)

noise-iconGet the New NOISE app (if you dare) (OK – actually, you should go get it unless you were using the old version)

LIVE IN FEAR PEOPLE! Yeah, I know… you just read my post title and then the first sentence and I”m sure you figure I’m nuts for sure now! But read on and I’ll explain!

I love writing blog posts like these because it is all about creating music in new and innovative ways using technology that gives us possibilities we’ve never had before! This app is serious fun and seriously let you get down to the actual act of CREATING!

Roli is at it again! You know, that company who brought us the Seaboard Grand and the Seaboard Rise?

Their next move was to bring us the ORIGINAL Noise app. Which was interesting and with a force touch iPhone became VERY interesting in that it was the first music app to take advantage of force touch – and it was COOL!

Their next move was to bring us the new and innovative BLOCKS (the modular music studio that lets anyone make music)

These things –


Then things went sour, very, very, very sour! Some bone head over at Roli made the stupidest decision in the history of the company – they took the original NOISE app and totally changed it into something NO ONE recognized! On top of THAT poor decision, they changed the icon and instead of creating a totally new app, leaving the old one still available…. they pushed out the new update as the SAME APP!

This is why I said – “Live in Fear!” This is a perfect example of why you REALLY should NOT have the auto update turned on for apps on your iPhone/iPad! Here are a few comparison shots for those of you NOT familiar with what I am talking about already –

FullSizeRender.jpg-4.jpegOriginal icon – NOISE Icon.pngNew icon

Original NOISE app
New NOISE app

Knuckle heads.

I’m here to let you know two things….

  1. Firstly – Some people were relying on the original app for their upcoming performances and are now scrambling to figure things out.
  2. Secondly – I actually think the new app is an improvement!
  3. Third – The new version still has glaring omissions for a music app on iOS in current days!
  4. Last – Go Get the new app!

Here is my thought on this new version…. creating music is supposed to be FUN! This new app accomplishes that! I have a ton of music instrument apps on my iPad and I can’t tell you the last time I just sat and created music with one of them! Now to be fair, that’s partly because I am a Band Director just finishing up marching season and trying to get things ready for the next round of performances!

Tonight though I just sat and played! Here’s what I found…

The original app used a keyboard like interface trying to simulate the Seaboard RISE and it was actually very difficult to control! I did not see myself using this in live performance or giving it to my students to use in live performances. I guess some people are though because they are ticked, I mean REALLY ticked!

The new app interface is different and in my opinion way better! It’s extremely useable! Take a look below – now we have a grid. On that grid you see colors that actually are vital information as they help you figure out the scale being currently used. On the top right are three exciting options – Scale, Chord and Arp. They do exactly as you would expect. In this screenshot you see all the notes of the chromatic scale available to you. Jump down to the next screen shot to see what it looks like when locked into the Mixolydian Scale….IMG_1407.PNG


Now we are less likely to hit “wrong” notes🙂

The sounds included are all pretty good sounds. I like the fact that Roli has some great sound designers working for them. They take the time to really program the sounds to react to what is going on with your finger! Go to their website to read about the 5D Touch – it’s good stuff! It is NOT a simple note on, note off experience – this makes for a much more immersive experience. More sounds are going to be made available soon. Those people who bought the IAP extra sound banks in the original NOISE app are now able to download and restore those sounds into the new version of the app.

The next part takes things even further into the realm of fun…..

Pull down on the little line center of the top of the screen and you will get this…


Now you get to start recording your doodles! You have four tracks and four different sounds available to create a musical masterpiece. You then have 12 loops to fill if you so wish to create that many (and I think you WIL!!)

This is all about hitting the record button and playing. You don’t need to fiddle with settings like quantize (even though it’s already turned on for you and there’s no way to turn it off), there’s not any way to edit your recordings either (simply re-record it!) and each loop is locked into one measure of four four (there is a reason for this – play the drum pads and drag your finger up or down or all around!)

Soooooo…… my final thoughts…..

The NOISE app has a ways to go to be fully functional in my opinion and here are my top issues…

  • Their BLOCKS web site is BAD! Come one Roli – get with it. This website needs to be awesome and it simply is annoying to use on a computer let alone a tablet! It is NOT a smooth, graceful experience that rocks my world!
  • You currently MUST create an account to use the app! This is NOT good in a school setting!
  • Once your masterpiece is created there is no way to record your “performance” of the loops! I had to hook up an aux cable to my laptop (good thing I was using my iPad and not my iPhone7! Good thing I didn’t have one of those new MacBook Pro’s!)
  • For that matter, there isn’t even a way in app to setup a “song” that plays back your loops in a specific sequence. (Although if you look at the featured image for this post I do spy an interesting capability that is NOT currently in this version of the app, that looks like MAYBE there is already plans for this capabilities)
  • Where the heck is AudioBus, InterAppAudio or Audio Unit capability at guys!? I mean COME ON! This is 2016! This is basic app functionality for any decent music app!
  • There isn’t any way to connect another app to this app via MIDI and you sure can’t connect an external controller to it (except those sweet BLOCK Roli just introduced for $169…. which brings us to the good things…

The app does have some outstanding features….

  • This app connects via BlueTooth MIDI! This is amazing! BlueTooth MIDI is one of the biggest inventions lately! Look Ma, no wires!
  • This app was made to connect with Roli’s new BLOCKS – dude, go watch the demo video below – this is wicked awesome!
  • This app is capable of keeping teachers, amateurs and students busy for 2-3 hours! Hope your spouse doesn’t get mad! If they do, don’t bring up my name!

DEAR ROLI – I would LOVE to get my hands on these BLOCKS to try out for myself and with my students! If you have any spares around send me a set! My Electronic Music Ensemble at our school could make you a video or two and you could use them for promo purposes and I would be more than willing to write several more posts about our thoughts on the BLOCKS! Heck, send us a Seabord RISE while you are at it!🙂


Here is my musical creation from tonight – feel free to put this on in the headphones and let it play while you go grade some papers or compositions as it is kind of long!🙂 (I told ya, I had fun using this but I didn’t promise a top 40 hit!)



Hear your EQ! Ear training for helping you run sound and record!

Ten Kettles has just upgraded their wonderful app to help you train your ears for running sound and mixing!

As music teachers we are constantly performing with our students. That means someone has to run sound! That means probably someone else besides yourself IF YOU ARE LUCKY! If not blessed with a willing person to twist and slide those knobs and faders for you, then it’s all you! You, trying to do two things at once!  In any case there is some training and skill involved in getting things to sound great!

IMG_1402.PNGTen Kettles has one of the best apps I’ve run across to help us out! The app is hearEQ – the app for musicians, sound engineers and plain ‘ol music lovers. Getting that perfect EQ doesn’t “just happen”. This app allows you to pick a song from your music library and then gives you the ability to experiment with the EQ settings while giving you hints at what each frequency does to the sound. The app used to only come with a 10 band EQ but with this latest update now has a 30 band EQ for you to experiment with and get trained on!

I love the ability to give this app to the students running my sound. I love the ability to spend a few minutes with it here and there myself! I love the short exercises that I can customize to my ability level.

heareq-iconhearEQ is $4.99 – that gives you the 10 band EQ

The 30 band EQ is an IAP for only $2.99