Heavy Brass App by CrudeByte – NEW App Arrives

HeavyBrass Icon.pngHeavy Brass is on an Introductory Sale Price of $9.99 (Later it will jump to $19.99) – I do have to say that as of right now there are NO IAP’s so all sounds/features are included in this price. Thank YOU!

Anyone looking for an app that can produce some remarkable brass sounds should take a serious look at a new app that has just been released by CrudByte. CrudByte has a few other apps out already so they are well versed in how to put together an app that gives the serious musician an app they can actually use to make music!

I do have to say that this app is aimed at those looking for brass of the type you would find in funk, pop and soul music. You are not going to be using this app for Pachelbels’ Canon probably.

This app would be awesome to give to a live performance group to use at your next concert! How much fun would that be!? What you are going to want to do is use this app as a virtual sound machine that gives you some brilliant brass sound rivaling live brass. I like using other apps like Geo SynthesizerGeoSynth or an external keyboard would work to play these sounds too! Geo Synth allows anyone to play music without having to fully understand a piano interface.


You have Trumpets, Trombones and Saxophones inside this app in three different configurations – Single, Switches, and Combis.

There are 17 Single sounds  here that give you the base sounds you would expect.

The Switches are where it really gets interesting – there are 5 base sounds (basically section sounds – Brass section 1, 2, 3, 4 and then a Crescendo sound) BUT then you can switch to 4 other sounds by either key velocity or mod wheel – Shaker, Growl, Doiks and Falls.

Lastly there are 16 combo sounds that are combinations of the singles sounds alongside the ability to switch sounds through key velocity/round robin or crossfade with the mod wheel.


  • You are able to get up to 16 parts and 140 voices with CrudeBrass(with an iPad Air)! Astonishing. Even on the iPad 1 you get  40 stereo voices!
  • There is a scale mode and also access to a tuning feature allowing you to tweak the tuning from well-tempered to Oriental to other tuning modes.
  • Internal effects
  • Audiobus, Inter App Audio, JACK Audio, MIDI support and background audio
  • On screen keyboard that is scalable, scrollable and supports velocity even – so in other words you COULD use just the app to perform with but…..

CrudByte has this app alongside several others. All the apps they produce have amazing sound that you can use in so many circumstances – live performances with band, choir, general music or on a song you are recording/composing in your classroom or for you next being CD release. The apps are versatile and easy to understand how the sounds would fit into the music.

Oriental Strings Icon.pngOriental Strings $9.99 would be amazing for helping students study Oriental sounds and music.

iSymphonic Orchestra Icon.pngiSymphonic Orchestra at $29.99 is an insane price to ask for an iPad app until you understand what it does. The name makes it pretty self explanatory in what it does but the sound quality is what you are paying for. This quality of a sound set usually comes at a much higher price than only $30.


Take a look at the demo video for Heavy Brass by the SoundTestRoom (If you have any questions about almost ANY music app the SoundTestRoom probably has a demo for it by the way)….


Happy Thanksgiving (and apps sales!)

‘Tis the season for lots of thanks and joy and app sales!

Yonac has two of their great instruments on sale for 30%

SeekBeats Drum SynthSeekBeats Drum Machine Synthesizer is on a VERY rare 40% sale too for $6.99 – Check this out if you want an amazing drum synth that is tweak able and playable!

Don’t forget the deals on IK Multimedia Apps too! Both the apps themselves as well as the IAP extra sound packs are all on sale! This is the time to act people!


My Thoughts on iPad Pro

Ok, let’s set aside price and the fact that it is missing 3D Touch – which seriously, I don’t think iPadPro is getting until a few generations down the road.

Let’s set aside the whole “It can not replace my laptop/desktop”.

Here’s where MY thoughts begin and end…

Pro next to Air2.jpg

That is iPadPro next to iPadAir2 and I’ve got to tell you that for music reading the Pro is going to be amazing! The score you see is a pretty typical High School Band score and it is very readable, finally!

Of course, now we get into the whole discussion of what am I using technology for? As a replacement for what I can already do with current tools that have been around for years? Well, I’m here to tell you…. if I don’t have to have folders and folders of music scores to keep track of then my life has just gotten remarkably better.

End of discussion. (wait… does someone want to give me a Christmas present?)

Kuvert:Swedish Envelopes – Like Swedish meatballs but way better for music!

Doing a live performance and want to manipulate the sound? How about that sweet riff you just recorded… Want to mess with people's minds and alter that in ways not possible with traditional instruments?

Kuvert:Swedish Envelopes is available for the great introductory price of $4.99 until December 1 when it will be $7.99

Klevgrand Produktion AB has brought us another amazing effects app – Kuvert: Swedish Envelopes – and I think it just might be interesting to use this live! In fact I think the next concert we do we will use this just to try it out!

Here's the blurb from the App Store… Then a video at the end….

Kuvert defines a whole new way of dealing with effects. In short, Kuvert allows you to draw five different envelopes. These envelopes control different effect parameters, and can be drawn freely or onto a grid. The envelopes are looped, while the incoming audio isn’t (unless you’re feeding it looped material of course). This is a powerful & fun way of altering your sounds to reach a whole new level, sometimes not even recognizable! Thanks to the looping nature of the plug-in, it will fit very well into any musical context. One way of using it would be to revitalize any looped material (such as beats) within just a few seconds





Awesome Sale on IK Multimedia Apps!

IK MultiMedia is running their Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales!

These apps are on sale until December 1st…. When I say sale, I mean it too! iGrand, iLectric and Sample Tank for instance are usually $20 a pice and during this sale they are $4.99!!!

Grabbing these apps while on sale is a great opportunity to use the iPad sitting in your music room as an instrument instead of just an email machine!

Some of the Discounted apps include:

AmpliTube for iPhone
AmpliTube for iPad
AmpliTube Fender for iPad
AmpliTube Slash for iPad
AmpliTube Jimi Hendrix for iPad
AmpliTube Orange for iPad
VocaLive for iPad
iGrand Piano
iGrand Piano for iPad
Mic Room
GrooveMaker 2
iLectric Piano for iPad


These In-App-Purchases are also on sale!

Discounted in-app purchases include:

AmpliTube and VocaLive Recorders
AmpliTube and VocaLive Studios
AmpliTube and VocaLive Studio + Recorder
AmpliTube Fender Complete Bundle
AmpliTube Slash Complete Bundle
AmpliTube Jimi Hendrix Complete Bundle
AmpliTube Orange Complete Bundle
VocaLive Complete Bundle
AmpliTube's All-In 2014 Bundle
AmpliTube's All FXs Bundle
AmpliTube's All Amps Bundle
AmpliTube's Upgrade to Full Bundle
Loop Drummer All Styles Pack 1 & 2
SampleTank Upgrade to Full
SampleTank All Sound Pack
MiroSlav Philhamonik – Mobile Edition
Sonik Synth – Mobile Edition
SampleMoog – Mobile Edition
The Grid
iGrand Piano Upgrade to Full
GrooveMaker 2 Bundled Song Packs
iRig Recorder All Functionalities
iKlip Stage Unlimited Set Lists
EZ Voice All Effects Bundles
iRing FX/Controller FX Bundle 1
iRing FX/Controller FX Bundle 2
iRing Music Maker Dubstep Pack
iRing Music Maker EDM Pack
iRing Music Maker Hip-Hop Pack
iRing Music Maker House Pack
iRing Music Maker FX Bundle 1
iRing Music Maker FX Bundle 2
iRing Music Maker Total Bundle


Recording Your Concerts (Updated)

(Updated with recordings at the bottom of this post!)

You are going to have a concert, I feel it is the season! So, how are you going to record it and listen/watch to it later with your students? This is part of the National Standards for Music – Evaluate music. This gives you and your students a chance to sit back and enjoy the hard work and effort you have put into the performance.

I had a concert tonight with my electronic group that is fused with traditional instruments. I have a couple of Christmas concerts coming up soon as well. I wanted recordings so I actually remembered to hit the record button a few different ways tonight!

My Melodic Fusion concert tonight was recorded three ways –

  1. First of all I went basic – quick and easy… I had my daughter use my iPhone and she recorded video. Boom…. instant go back to class tomorrow and watch it as well as hear it!
  2. Secondly I went for easy but a step up in sound…. we stuck a handheld recorder in the front row of the audience. Now we have stereo sound not just the mono iPhone mic.
  3. Thirdly we used our digital sound board and captured 16 tracks of digital audio right from the electronic instruments and microphones.


Here is a picture of the handheld recorders I used….


Then I took that SD card, stuck it into my computer and used an app called Final Vinyl, much like Audacity, to open the entire concert. Once opened in Final Vinyl it was VERY quick and simple to divide each song, take out the in between stuff and export the four songs into iTunes. Here is what that looked like when I opened it at first….

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 9.39.50 PM.png

Then I marked each piece start and end.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 9.47.53 PM.png

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 10.40.31 PM.png

That one long file quickly got turned into these four Aiff files you see to the left.

Of course the PreSonus StudioLive sound board we use allows us to easily record 16 tracks of digital audio right straight from the sound board into my MacBook. PreSonus has a nifty, straight forward app called Capture that is FAST to open and create a new recording. Then almost instantly you are recording all inputs from the board PLUS a stereo track of the main mix.

Of course THAT audio has to be taken into a DAW and sliced up into the individual songs.

Then it has to be mixed into a final recording. Of course along the way you can edit each individual track, apply EQ, Effects, Compression and all sorts of digital audio magic… it’s a raw 16 track recording! It’s beautiful!

Of course it’s also a LOT more time consuming and takes extra steps to end up with your final product BUT the sound quality will be WAY better than anything you will ever hear from a handheld recorder, iPhone or video camera. Here is what the concert looked like in Capture, all 16 + 2 tracks of digital audio straight recorded from the live sound….

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 10.23.55 PM.png

Now I just gotta go find time to open THAT up in StudioOne or LogicProX and mix it, edit it and spice it up! :) Such fun…. stuff that just a few short years ago would have required a professional studio and a WHOLE lot more equipment to be able to handle.


1)Do you want Fast, Easy, and Quick with pretty decent sound AND video? – iPhone videos are pretty decent these days!

COST – probably in your pocket?

2)Do you want fast, easy and quick but with better quality stereo sound? – Handheld recorder like the Marantz or Tascam ones pictured above (Zoom H4n is another marvelous one as well!)

COST – $150-$400

3)Do you want to really do it up? Buy a digital board like the PreSonus StudioLive or RackMount Series.


  • SOUNDBOARD/INTERFACE – for 16 tracks starts at $900, for 32 tracks starts at $1,800 – You can even get 48 or 64 tracks too!
  • COMPUTER – Yup, you are gonna need a computer for this too.



Music Notation on iPad

Notion Large notatemelogo

I was so very sad when I lost the ability to use Sibelius because I upgraded my mac to whichever cat or landmark it was two years ago. Of course Sibelius had just gone through a huge shake up because of Avid so my faith in the product wasn’t high anyways.

So, what did I do? Bit the bullet and bought Finale! HA… no…. sorry…. already owned it (since the very beginning) HATE IT! Only use it because of SmartMusic (Love that!)

So what have I really done in the past two years? Bought Notion on both my Mac as well as on my iPad as well as Symphony Pro on the iPad. I have also relied heavily on NotateMe and it’s scanning/handwriting features which rock!

NotateMe has saved me countless hours with it’s PhotoScore plugin! It is amazing the number of times I have to rearrange, recreate, compose and alter music for myself and my students. Because of the ability to take a picture of existing music using NotateMe and it’s PhotoScore plugin (on my iPhone/iPad) my life has become much happier! Notion is the app into which I dump my NotateMe files to do any editing that I need to do though. It just seems easier for some of the final edits like adding measures and multi-rests or adding rehearsal marks.


  1. I can hook my Novation LaunchKey keyboard up to my iPad, hit record and Notion rocks at transcribing whatever I play.
  2. Notion has just added HandWritten music capabilities! This is rock solid people! I’ve used it to write out the parts to an entire song for my beginning band and create the final score/parts to print out. I love it! You just simply write, I prefer to use the Pencil stylus by FiftyThree, and the handwritten notes get turned into digital music notation!
  3. Notion combined with iCloud is blissfulness! I can start a score on my iPad, save it to iCloud and then open Notion on my laptop and my score is there. It just works! No emailing the file, no texting the file, no dinking around with DropBox or Box. The score just shows up on both devices!


  1. I still run into stupid issues every now and then using Notion. Like trying to do step edit entry from my midi keyboard. It worked great but then when I wanted to stop entering notes and enter a rest I got stopped dead in my tracks from entering anything else form the keyboard! (All because I didn’t click on the little tiny pencil icon in the bottom left corner that I could barely see even though I had my glasses on!)
  2. Notion on iPad has this stupid drifting screen issue where it keeps trying to find the cursor, as it should. The screen drifts over to the cursor and keep going putting the cursor out of sight!

I don’t have to rely on my laptop so much anymore but I do still long for Sibelius at times. BUT that is partly just because I’d used it for so long that knew exactly how to accomplish things in it. AND Sibelius was rock solid and stupid easy to use!


Take the jump people, stop holding out! Be brave and dive in because the capabilities on iPad for music notation is going to blow your mind! In the words of my 6th graders, “What is that Magic?!”

Be ready to read and learn from other peoples mistakes and willingness to share! Be ready to write about your experiences and share with others what you have learned!

Be ready to join the FaceBook Notion Users Group! They are awesome people and I’ve gotten help there very quickly when I run into issues!

Notion Small IconNotion on iPad/iPhone costs $14.99 – this is a no brainer these days.

The Handwriting IAP for Notion costs $7.99 – This is really a no brainer as well. The technology fades even further into the background when using this capability!

notion 5Notion on a Desktop costs $99 – So much cheaper than Sibelius or Finale. Allows you to own both the desktop and the iOS apps as well as the handwriting for less than normal cost of the other two!

NotateMe Icon SmallNotateMe Now is Free and allows you to scan in one stave parts for free as well!

NotateMe Icon SmallNotateMe is the full version of this app and costs $39.99

The PhotoScore IAP costs $29.99 – again buying BOTH the full version of NotateMe along with the PhotoScore IAP costs you WAY less than purchasing these capabilities on a desktop!


Expect the same feature set and no bugs and no frustration trying to learn the new apps.

If you are a long time user of Sibelius and still have a working copy – keep it around! (Especially for all those files you have created through the years!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 958 other followers

%d bloggers like this: