Using Doc Scanner Apps to get stuff done. (FREE MUSIC FROM THE MARINE BAND TOO)

Scanner Pro 6 IconOur phones and iPads are such powerful devices these days, well assuming that you have a decent phone anyways! The real question is just what can they do? How can they be leveraged to help us and make our lives easier instead of simply annoying us with all those beeps, buzzes and ringtones.

One way is to use a scanner app like Readdle’s Scanner Pro to make all those documents you have to deal with easier to track.

This app makes quick work of capturing any sort of document  – simply place it on a flat surface with a contrasting background, make sure you have decent lighting and point the phone camera at the document. Within seconds the app finds the edges and automatically snaps a pic. That picture is then turned into a digital document that can be saved as a PDF or jpg and synced almost instantly with a bunch of different services!

So for instance…. I have forms that I am collecting from my band. When a kid hands me the form, I lay it on my desk, open the Scanner Pro app and snap a picture. I then upload it as a PDF to a folder in my DropBox. It’s so fast that if I’m standing right next to my computer the message that it has magically appeared on my laptop pops up almost instantly! It’s SO much faster and neater than trying to walk down the hallway to the scanner and do this. Faster than even messaging it to myself or emailing it to myself.

The scans show up just as good as if I had used normal scanner or the really expensive scanner/copy machine in the teachers workroom.

Here’s another instance where eI used Scanner Pro just this morning – I needed ArtWork for the CD that the Marine Band sent me, for free I might add, of the latest recording from “The Presidents Own Band”. I could’t find a good jpg online as I would normally do. So I opened Scanner Pro and let it do it’s magic. Within seconds that message that there was a new file in my DropBox popped up on my laptop. Faster than trying to launch the messages or mail app on my laptop, find the message and retrieve it from there.

Before I show you the different options/results from the CD ArtWork – I should mention that if you are a music teacher and want the Marine Band to send you some amazing CD’s for FREE then you need to go visit their website! I so appreciate the Marine Band doing this as it is a great resource! They also have all of the John P. Sousa marches recorded along with free downloads of the sheet music as PDF files and even teaching material to go along with the recordings!

Here are some different results from saving the CD ArtWork….

Picture Works Album Art MArine Band Photo from PhoneCam.jpeg
Straight from my iPhone Camera
Picture Works Album Art Marine Band as Photo.jpg
From Scanner Pro saved as a JPG
Picture Studies ArtWork Marine Band as Color Doc pic.jpg
From Scanner Pro – scanned as a Color Document and saved as a JPG


Free App for Today – Music Teachers Should Grab This!

Every music teacher should have a decent DB Meter available to them and with today’s phones there’s of course an app for that!

Decibel 10th: Pro Noise Meter, Sound Pressure Level is a good app to have in your arsenal of apps to help you out with seeing how loud your environment is, as well as checking to see what frequencies are bouncing around the room!

Make sure you visit the settings menu today and hit that Restore Purchases button today as that will get rid of the ads.

I have one one qualm with the app and that is the fact that it only works in portrait mode and I really don’t like that. But hey, it’s free:)

Apps the Educator should notice!

There are always SO many apps to wade through and unless you stumble across some of these or someone points you in the right direction you may never find some great ones!

Plus these are all on sale right now!

Screens Small iconScreens VNC – Remote Control Your Computer – $9.99 ($19.99) This is the best app if you want to control your computer. Why would you do this? What about starting and stopping SmartMusic from across the room, starting iTunes from your seat with the trumpet section, or how about being able to hit record while you are standing on the podium ready to start the concert?

Duet Display SmallDuet Display – $9.99 ($19.99) – This is the app you need to turn your iPad/iPhone into an extra screen for your Mac/PC! Even cooler is that it will give us Apple Pencil capabilities ON OUR MAC! What’s even better than that? You know that fancy TouchBar  on the brand new MacBook? Now you too can have one for a mere $10! This is an awesome app for those of us who use notation apps, DAW apps and so many other situations. Fast as can be and many times without any noticeable lag because you hook the iPad up with the cable directly to your laptop!

air-display-3-iconAir Display 3 – $4.99 ($14.99) (This is the lowest price this has EVER been!) This app also turns your iPad/iPhone into an extra display for your Mac/PC. This app also will connect via USB but will ALSO connect wirelessly! Take a look at the featured image – THIS is one reason you should have this app! Or Duet Display.

tweetbot3 iphoneTweetbot 4 – $4.99 ($9.99) – Ya know…. I like the official Twitter app but I like this one even better! (Price only good through Christmas day!)

notability-iconNotability – $6.99 ($9.99) – My best note taking app going back a long ways!

Day One 2 Icon CurvedDay One Journal – $2.99 ($4.99) – As teachers, as human beings, I believe we should be writing about our lives and our experiences. This gives us a chance to look back later to remember and to re-experience our history. We tend to forget easily!

Let’s end with two FREE apps! (free at least today – ALL of these app prices are subject to change as I like to point out when there is a good sale for us all to take advantage of!)

Fantastical Small IconFantastical 2 for iPad – $4.99 ($9.99) – you really are NOT using the Apple supplied calendar still are you?

Fantastical Small IconFantastical 2 for iPhone – $2.99 ($4.99)

Calendarium Icon.pngCalendarium is a great app for those of us who like to find out what happened in the past on any given day! It also is an easy way to find out which day of the year we are on, sunrise/sunset – including length of daylight compared to the summer equinox (longest day of the year as I like to call it, of course my daughters were quick to point out that ALL days have 24 hours). Now, if only someone would make a musical version of this!

Incredibox.pngIncredibox is also FREE currently! If you have never seen or played with this musical app you need to do so NOW! So much fun! For us adults not to mention students! You have seven funky looking dudes just standing there waiting for you to dress up – stick with me now – as you put hats, glasses, ties, and other items like headphones on these guys they start to make music! Boy is it good too!

Apps on sale for Musicians

It is that time of the year again for one last chance to grab some amazing apps at an amazing price! I try to focus on apps that I have found useful as a musician and as a music educator. There are so many apps on sale for Christmas that this is not a complete list but hopefully a more focused list! I list the sale price then the normal price in ( ) so you can get a feel for how “good” of a sale these are. Traditionally the next sale is a LONG ways off so act now!

Update #3-

SampleTank is $11.00 ($19.99) and select IAP’s are up to 40% off


geoshred-iconGeoShred will be on sale Christmas Day – $19.99 – This app is just sonically amazing, allowing for expression in playing like never before! Jordan Rudess is one of the driving forces behind this app and has done many videos of himself playing it. It is just magnificent with the headphones on especially! PLUS it is now at version two and here is the NEW logo, see if you can guess what they have added…. GeoShred 2 MIDI.png – yup, you read that right MIDI!


IK Multimedia apps –

iLectric icon smalliLectric – $11.99 ($19.99)

iGrand icon smalliGrand – $11.99 ($19.99)

VocaLive for iPhone smallVocaLive – $11.99 ($19.99)

iSEM Small IconiSem Synthesizer – $4.99 ($9.99)

ispark-iconArturia iSpark – $9.99 ($19.99)

iProphet LargeiProphet Synthesizer – $4.99 ($9.99)

KORG SALES ARE STILL ON! (How could I forget THAT!) Here are the best of the Korg Apps… All the Korg apps are up to 50% off until Jan 5 as are the IAP purchases! This means you can pick up the best apps available along with loading the up with some the best IAP sound banks possible for a TON cheaper than normal. For instance – the iM1 IAP’s are something like $3!

Korg Module SmallKorg Module – $19.99 ($39.99) – Want some gorgeous piano and electric piano sounds?

Korg Gadget Small IconKorg Gadget – $19.99 ($39.99) – All in one music producing machine. It takes a bit to catch on to the interface of this one but this is the only app some people are using!

Korg iM1 LargeKorg iM1 – $14.99 ($29.99) – This app is an amazing app that will give you a TON of playable sounds RIGHT NOW to control with your keyboard controller or a DAW!

BRAND NEW KORG APPS – korg-iwavestation-iconKorg iWavestation $19.99 and korg-arp-odyssei-iconKorg ARP ODYSSEi $19.99


Cubasis small iconCubasis 2 – $24.99 ($49.99) – I’m going to keep saying it folks – If you don’t have this app yet and you are a music teacher than get it NOW! This is one of three app choices if you want to get serious about recording anything on your iPad. STOP using the audio memos app!

Music Notation

SymphonyProV3Symphony Pro  – $7.99 ($9.99) – this app has come so far! It is one of several choices you have for music notation on iPad/iPhone/iPod and it is a great choice these days!

Notetracks SmallNotetracks – $4.99 ($9.99) – not music notation but this app is so crazy useful! It allows you to take notes for audio on your iPad. Marching Band Directors, Choir Teachers, Color Guard and DrumLine Instructor, composers, vocalists, and well…. just go check it out and see what it can do!


djay pro icon.pngdjay Pro – $9.99 ($19.99) – Do your own school dances! Make money. Train kids to do it and let THEM make the money instead of paying out to an outside source! 2 – $0.99 ($4.99)

dJay2 iPhone.pngdjay 2 for iPhone – $0.99 ($2.99)

Synth Apps

Model 15 Icon200pxModel 15 – $14.99 ($29.99) – This is one of those apps that came out this year and is on everybody’s short list to make app of the year!

Animoog Small IconAnimoog – $14.99 ($29.99) – this is one of the apps that really started a revolution of wonderful music apps on the iPad – amazing sounds and the ability to play music with something besides a key on a piano. So many sweet ways to manipulate the sounds, so responsive.

Animoog Small IconAnimoog for iPhone – $2.99 ($5.99)

addictive-pro-iconAddictive Pro – $11.99 ($19.99)

Tera Synth SmallTera Synth – $11.99 ($19.99)

76 Synthesizer76 Synthesizer – $0.99 ($1.99)

Galileo OrganGalileo Organ – $4.99 ($9.99)

organ-iconOrgan+ – $0.99 ($2.99)

icathederal-organ-iconiCathederal Organ $13.99 ($19.99)

Oriental Strings IconOriental Strings $6.99 ($9.99)

MagellanMagellan – $6.99 ($14.99)

MagellanMagellan JR – $1.99 ($4.99)

LaplaceLaplace Resonator $3.99 ($5.99)

LorentzLorentz Synthesizer $3.99 ($5.99)

Mersenne IconMersenne Melodic Percussion Synthesizer $3.99 ($5.99)

microtera smallmicroTERA – $4.99 ($9.99)

Poseidon SynthPoseidon Synth $11.99 ($19.99)

VoxSynVoxSyn – $6.99 ($9.99)

iVoxel SmalliVoxel – $4.99 ($6.99)

HarmonyVoice SmallHarmonyVoice – $4.99 ($6.99)

CubeSynth SmallCube Synth $7.99 ($11.99)

addictive-pro-iconAddictive Pro – $11.99 ($19.99)

Tera Synth SmallTera Synth – $11.99 ($19.99)

Guitar Apps

GuitarCapo+ LargeGuitarCapo+ – $2.99 ($4.99) – Most amazing acoustic guitar app!

Steel GuitarSteel Guitar – FREE

Drum Apps

Elastic Drums LargeElastic Drums – $4.99 ($9.99) – amazing synth drum machine now with a BRAND NEW SAMPLER built-in!

GlitchBreaksGlitchBreaks – $1.99 ($4.99)

Alternative Interface Music Making Apps

SectorSector – $6.99 ($8.99)

Sliver Small IconSliver – $1.99 ($5.99)

noize-iconNOIZ:Make Epic Music $0.99 ($1.99) – Now THIS is straight out fun!

DAW/Sequencer Apps

Cubasis small iconCubasis 2 – $24.99 ($49.99) – Yup, I’m gonna mention it again down here!

musicio-iconmusicIO: Audio and MIDI – $5.99 ($8.99) – Audio and MIDI over USB between your iPad and computer. Still blows my mind when I do this – I can use my iPad as an extension to my laptop DAW and it is all over one USB cable!

fluxpad-iconfluXpad $3.99 ($7.99) – Newer app that uses an innovative approach to making music (elementary teachers – this would be a blast with your kids!)

Music Studio IconMusic Studio – $9.99 ($14.99) – An app that has been around for a long time and is a great DAW

midiSequencer Small IconmidiSequencer $3.99 ($6.99)

Genome MIDI Sequencer SmallGenome MIDI Sequencer $7.99 ($9.99)

EFX APPS (Stick these into the effects slot and add some great flavor to your music!)

SilQ EQsilQ Equalizer  – $2.99 ($4.99) – a 32 band EQ for your iPad! Yes, I’m serious.

Stereo Designer Mini - Holderness MediaStereo Designer – $2.99 ($4.99) This really helps open up those mono recordings from your iPad mic

Echo Pad - HoldernessEcho Pad– $2.99 ($4.99)

Johnny TremoloJohnny – $2.99 ($4.99) Play guitar, want some tremolo?

Loops and Pad Type Apps (SO MUCH fun!)

Fugue MachineFugue Machine – $4.99 ($9.99) – Yeah, if you haven’t seen this you need to!)

iMaschine 2iMaschine 2 – $4.99 ($9.99)

infinite-looper-iconInfinite Looper $14.99 ($19.99) – There are some SWEET updates coming soon for this app – like the ability to take audio input and turn it into MIDI data!

quantiloop-iconQuantiloop – $5.99 ($9.99)

looptuneshd-iconLoopTunesHD – $2.99 ($6.99)

Apps to Control your apps and DAW’s

sonic-logic-2-iconSonic Logic – $4.99 ($9.99)

MIDI Designer Pro 2 Icon.pngMIDI Designer Pro 2 – $14.99 ($24.99) – This app controls everything! You create your personal layout that you need to control your apps/hardware and make it do what you want!



As always – all links on my blog are affiliate links. This means that I get a small portion of Apple’s profit when you purchase an app using my links! This takes nothing from the developers but gives a little bit back to encourage me to keep writing my blog.

Thanks for your support, thanks for you comments, and most of all – Have a great Christmas!

Two Great Apps On Sale (One for today only!)

ModStepModStep is 50% off ($9.99) for a one day special sale (and then they have a special announcement too!)

ModStep is a very powerful MIDI Sequencer for the iPad. The things this app can do are pretty sweet, especially in terms of modulation! It is a bit of a bugger to figure out though so be warned but if you want to sequence other apps, hardware or even out to computers then this is an app to look at!

ModStep Screens

The second app is on a 30% sale and this is probably the app you should be using for notes!

notability-iconNotability ($6.99) is just a rock solid, versatile, and packed full of features app that I use constantly to take notes with. I use it in front of the class as my whiteboard. I use it in meetings. I have all of our music theory notes for every single class in it. The list goes on and on.


Free Recording App and Ukulele App (Today only)

You may just want to grab these two apps – they are free just for today (I know, I know – It’s a bit late to let you know this but it was a SNOW DAY here so my family took advantage of the extra day together!)

Awesome Voice Recorder Pro Icon.pngAwesome Voice Recorder Pro – MP3 Recorder

Awesome Voice Recorder Pro Screen.pngThis is as straight forward as they come here people. Record audio. Record it in several formats, m4a, wav or mp3. Then share it via –
– iCloud Drive , Dropbox , Box , GoogleDrive , OneDrive , SoundCloud
– Email
– AirDrop
– Wi-Fi file management (upload,download,edit…)
– File sharing / send files in another app “Open in”

Use this sort of app to record students auditions for All Star Band, Playing Tests or whatever else you can think of. Use this sort of app to record rehearsals!

Plus this has an Apple Watch App too! How cool is THAT!?


Gismart Ukulele Icon.pngGismart Ukulele – Real Ukulele is one of the most realistic hawaiian guitar (4-string mini guitar) simulator apps featuring a user-friendly interface and an awesome sound quality. All the notes have been recorded from the live ukulele.

GiSmart Ukulele Screen.png

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!