iProphet – Using iPad and Apps for Music Performance Classes

iProphet ScreenUsing iPads to perform with is almost a given in my mind these days until I go to a music festival for three days and see no one using an iPad the entire time! That just blows me away! I guess I’ve immersed myself into a world where I am collaborating and discussing the use of this technology in performance on a daily basis with people from around the world.

If you have not considered using an iPad as a part of your performances/musical creation then you MUST embrace the exciting opportunities available to you and your students! There are so many opportunities available to you!

Here are just three reasons:

  • Apps like the iProphet SmalliProphet, Korg iM1 LargeKorg iM1 and Animoog Small IconAnimoog apps now gives students in 2015 the chance to play with synthesis that they would never have been able to dream of touching a few years ago because of access and cost.A Prophet 5 synth was almost $5000 and the app is $10. You do the math. I never imagined I would be able to actually lay hands on one of these vintage synths that have shaped the music surrounding us, let alone be able to sit and explore and create my own music with one of those great synths! Now we can. Now our students can!
  • Apps like Animoog Small IconAnimoog, TC-11 TC-11, ThumbJam Small IconThumbJam, Geo SynthesizerGeoSynthesizer and SamplrSamplr give us access to interfaces that allow us to create music in ways never before possible. The touch interface of iPad open new doors – gone are the days of being stuck with black and white keys, guitar strings and acoustic instruments with only so many keys on them with a limited range of sounds.
  • Apps open doors to some of our physically challenged students to get more involved into a group of other students that will help our school and classroom communities become a more tightly bonded group of people. This opens more doors to teaching our students to love and care for each other, to help each other, and to watch over their peers who may never have had a chance to get involved in performing groups like your marching band in the past.

Korvpressor – Smart Dynamic Hotdog Device -this is for all Music Teachers and Other Musicians!

Yes, you read that correctly. Let’s talk about squeezing out some Audio Wursts!

Korvpressor LogoKorvpressor $4.99 –  sale price until the 30th of June because the company is celebrating it’s one year birthday!

Korvpressor is an app from Klevgränd Produktion AB. It is their wonderful take on how a compressor app should work on an iPad. It is simply and beautifully well done. The app works in such a way that it will be super easy for you to understand what is going on. Of course you might want to know WHY you should grab Korvpressor – well, if you are a music teacher then you are probably recording your musical ensembles. After recording you should do a bit of tweaking of those recordings before passing them on to your parents, students and other audience members to evaluate and enjoy. One of the things you need to do is to use a compressor to get the most out of that recording. When I say compressor you may think why would you want to “turn down” the sound? Well, in actuality you can, through the use of a compressor, turn the end volume UP! This happens to me all the time – I will do a recording, take it to my stereo at the house or in the car and my first thought is, “Why in the world am I having to turn my volume WAY up?” A compressor helps – and the way in which this app is put together you get to see a very nifty representation of that process. Take a look….

Korvpressor Screen

Simple – You take the recording (the input), squeeze it down and then you end up with a louder output. Simple right!? lol – no it’s not and don’t be fooled – there was a whole crew of genius minds from KHT Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm behind this project.

Let me end this with a video – Then if you don’t “get it” you will be able to hear why you should use this app….


Cubasis for iPad On Sale – One of the Best All Around DAW’s for iPad!

Cubasis LogoCubasis is simply one of the best all around DAW’s for iPad. It is not the cheapest, there is no iPhone version, it is not the simplest, and it is not perfect but it is the one that I have settled on when I want to record everything – my MIDI keyboards and Apps alongside audio and at the same time being able to integrate InterApp Audio and/or AudioBus.

Cubasis small iconCubasis is on a nice little sale at $29.99 (usually $49.99), actually, this is the best price the app has ever been at so grab it now!

Here is the Blurb from iTunes about the app if you are not sure what it is all about:

“Cubasis is Steinberg’s streamlined, multitouch sequencer for the iPad. Specially designed for quick and easy operation, Cubasis makes recording, editing and mixing a breeze. Record tracks in DVD audio quality, and edit your music with the Key and Sample Editors, while the included mixer and audio effects polish your song to perfection. Cubasis comes loaded with dozens of virtual instrument sounds which can be played in real time using the virtual keyboard and drum pads. Cubasis’ projects can be even opened in Cubase under Windows and OS X! Cubasis places touch-intuitive production tools in your hands, opening up a new world of possibilities for your creativity.”

Cubasis Screen Shot

Korg App Sales, Newsboys, Performing Arts Groups and WIST (ACT NOW)

Kong released their iM1 app this month and because of that they have had their Korg apps on sale all month. Hopefully you have been saving your pennies like my Grandpa taught me to do and you now have enough to snag one or two of these amazing music making apps at this great price.

One side note as I just returned from two days up at a Christian Music Festival. It is always refreshing to go watch musicians live along with about 15,000 other people. The energy of the audiences singing along, the sound of the thumping bass and rocking guitars coupled with the lights and video shows these days blow me away every time! If you have not seen the Newsboys live lately you really MUST! Their show was over the top! Which brings me to my point…. what are we as music educators doing with our performing arts groups to make sure our audience walks away with the same reaction?

Using technology to enhance your performance is a given these days. Trying to get that technology to work flawlessly is getting easier and easier! For instance…..

WIST – WIST (Wireless Sync-Start Technology) is Korg’s innovative technology which allows for wireless sync-start between two WIST-compatible apps on two iPads and/or iPhones located near each other. You can now sync with your friend’s device to create a dynamic live performance using two compatible apps. These apps have so many sweet little tricks up their sleeves but some of those tricks means that iPad/Apps/Keyboards/Drum need to sync’d to the same tempo and start/stop. WIST is just one way to make that happen and these apps will take full advantage of that tech! Another bonus here is that WIST will work through bluetooth which means you are not relying on a Wi-Fi network. What about getting a group of kids together with their iPads all running WIST enabled apps and performing a song or two for the fall concert!?

Here is the list –

MiMix – Mixer for Audiobus – Taking Control of Your Music Creation on iPad!

MiMix LargeTHE SCENE: You are on your iPad and you are making music with multiple apps all running together with AudioBus.

THE PROBLEM: How do you control all those apps and mix them into a sensible mix?

THE SOLUTION: This is where MiMix SmallMiMix comes into play! :)

MiMix lets you take control of up to 8 of your AudioBus enabled apps at a time. You control the following –

  • the volume (obviously insinuated by the name of the app right?)
  • the panning (through either panning control or balance control – yes there is a difference: If you use panning set to the left then the right channels information gets sent out through the left vs is you use balance control which adjusts each of the left and right channels output so the channels never cross)
  • solo
  • mute


One of the coolest parts of the app is that you can control all the settings through the MIDI learn feature and the use of an external MIDI controller or EVEN BETTER through the use of a MIDI sequencing app like Cubasis! Check out the controls in this picture that have red around the control – for those of you that have never used the MIDI learn feature – this is what the screen looks like as you choose what you want to control and then you move a knob or slider on your external controller.


Insane Music App Sales Right Now!

Read down to the IK Multimedia Give Away App! Get your iPads out and get to that app store people!

GuitarCapo+ SmallGuitarCapo+ – $1.99 (down from $4.99) – If you want acoustic guitar sounds from your iOS device this is one of the best!

Firo IconFIRO – Previously known as Fiddlewax Pro – FREE! – You have until the end of July for this great price.

Final Touch Small IconFinal Touch – Audio Mastering, Post Production and Mixing – $4.99 (Down from $19.99) – If you ever record your musical ensembles or your rehearsals then this app is a must have (or you could get Igor’s Audio Master app instead)

JamUp Pro Small iconJamup Pro – $4.99 (Down from $19.99) – Play guitar? This is a sweet deal then!

Bias - Amps Small IconBias Amp – $4.99 (down from $9.99) – Play guitar? This is a sweet deal then!

IK Multimedia:

DrillBook Next Small IconDrillBook Next: Director – $4.99 (50% sale)

DrillBook Next Small IconDrillBook Next Reader HD – $2.99 (down from $4.99)

Firo – Fiddlewax Pro App Renamed and Free (for awhile!) – All Music Educators Should Grab This App!

Firo IconThe title of my blog post is kind of like the new name of FiddleWax Pro – the new official name is Firo – Music Make, Instrument, Drums, Chords, Looper and MIDI controller. I think the new name does help in figuring out what the heck this app is for.


Here is my take on the app – if you are a music educator who teaches music theory, chords and scales to your students – you would be crazy not to grab this app.

Here is the official introduction form the App page – “Fiddlewax Pro is a cutting-edge music sketchpad. Create songs, riffs, and compositions with an instrument that’s designed from the ground up to bring your musical ideas to life. Fully compatible with MIDI, AudioBus, and IAA”

It is the ability of this app to quickly and with ease, be able to demonstrate chords, scales and modes to my students with a nifty graphic representation on the screen for them to be able to help visualize what can be a difficult concept to grasp. Of course that is in my hands as the teachers using the big screen as a demonstration tool.

FIRO InstrumentsIn the hands of students Firo becomes what it was created for – a sketchpad for the students to play with different chord progressions, different scales and for them to record ideas in. the app gives them the ability to “play” without fear of sounding horrid. The user has access to 4 different drum sets to carve out some beats with using the loop recorder. Then they can use the 12 other built-in instruments along with the chords feature to lay down a basic (or complex) underlying chord progression. Lastly they can then record in a melody using the keyboard layouts that limit notes being played to the current scale/key. Nifty.

Choose from all 12 keys, 7 diatonic modes, and 7 secondary scales – here is a list of the different keys/modes included in the app:

Firo - Keys

Here is the list of the different scales:

Firo - Scales

One of the coolest features built into this app is Realtime visual pitch detection that lights up corresponding notes as you sing. This allows the user to sing what they are hearing in their heads, quickly find the notes and make use of that knowledge!

I really like the opening screen as there is a ton of helpful information on the screen as to what everything does….


I do have one huge differing view on the way the app works. The keyboard is NOT always labeled the way that I think it should be. Here is the way that they describe what is going on in the top two rows of the keyboards at the bottom of the screen:

“The top two rows (chromatic and diatonic) can be considered together as something that resembles a piano. However, there is a fundamental difference; the notes on the Fiddlewax Pro “piano” are always derived from the key you’ve selected.

For example, In the key of A minor or C major, the notes correspond exactly to those on a traditional piano. But for most other keys, the notes are shifted along the interface to preserve their spatial relationships, and thus located in a different position than on a piano.

By preserving the spatial relationship between notes across any key, it becomes trivial to transpose a song to another key – just change the key and play the same thing.”

I get it, I think it is an interesting way to do things but I also wish there was a way to turn that “feature” off!

IN CONCLUSION: The amount of music theory in this app is huge but it is so easy to use that anyone can do it! There is so much in this app that is presented in a very visually appealing manner that students and teachers alike will enjoy the process of making music. They have created an easy to read and understand users guide too for those who really want to dig in and figure EVERYTHING out – Users guide

This app goes into my list of Apps For Music Classrooms!

Watch this video to get an idea of what is possible


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