Happy Birthday to the iPad!

5 years ago today the first iPad went on sale – I remember that year well because I went out and bought an iPad on day one! Almost didn’t get it though! Darned Apple Store actually would not let me make the purchase because I was in Washington DC on Spring Break and they did not like the fact that my check was from Michigan. I ended up walking out empty handed, in fact – I was so upset that I did not even play with one of the iPad’s while in the Apple Store! Part of what made me so mad was that my family and I had driven all the way from Myrtle Beach, SC to Washington and we made it to the Apple Store in Washington where I had an iPad on hold for me – made it in the last 30 minutes before they were not going to hold it any more!

So I walked out empty handed.

On the way to the hotel my wife wanted to stop at a grocery store which just so happened to have a Best Buy next door – I think it was Best Buy. I “knew” they were not going to have any to sell but I went in to touch and play with one at least. Ended up that they in fact did have the 64GB version available to sell, turned out they didn’t have one single issue taking my check from out of state – in fact that wasn’t all we bought. Bought a couple of iPod Touches as well!

We still have that iPad1. In fact my daughter has been using it since her iPad Mini stopped charging. Doesn’t keep up with my apps very well but it does serve many purposes just fine! Runs iOS5.

Anyways – that was my first blog post here as well – go back five years in my archives and read the full story.

Today I still would not suggest any teacher/musician get an iPad with less than 64GB’s of storage or ANYBODY get one with less than 32GB!

NOW….. stop reading, go buy some of the music apps that are on sale and go have fun! Make some music to worship our risen Lord and Savior, for He is risen indeed!

A Few More App Sales – Make sure you scroll down because I’ve had to keep posting!

Audio Mastering App On Sale Too! What a great weekend!

Igor has his series of apps on sale this weekend as well!

This first one is a must have for anyone who is recording any of their musical ensembles – I’ve written about it before and I can not say enough about the outcome of running your recordings through this app before sharing them with the rest of the world!

If you don’t have this – GET IT!

Audio Mastering Small IconAudio Mastering – $6.99 (down form $12.99)

The next is one of my go to apps for adding reverb to my tracks and recordings

AltiSpace Small IconAltiSpace – $3.99 (down form $6.99)

Master FX Small IconMaster FX – $5.99 (down from $11.99)

Master Record Small IconMaster Record – $2.99 (down form $5.99)

Kymatica AUFX Apps On Sale

Some more great app sales – these are all from Jonatan Liljedahl one of the iOS music app developers that takes time to talk to us users and works hard all for our enjoyment! Support him!

The AUFX series is a collection of lightweight and powerful real time audio effect apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. They are fully MIDI controllable, and supports Audiobus and inter-app audio.

AUFX:PeakQAUFX:PeakQ – $2.99 (from $4.99)

AUFX:Dub SmallAUFX:Dub – $2.99 (from $4.99)

AUFX:Space Small iconAUFX:Space – $2.99 (from $4.99)

AUFX:PushAUFX:Push – $2.99 (from $4.99)

Apps on Sale for Spring

This weekend there are a bunch of great music making apps on sale. If you have been waiting for a time to grab an instrument app to create play music with and explore the iPad interface this is the time! If you have been waiting for a time to grab an Effects app to manipulate, mutilate, mold and sweeten up your music then this is the time to do that too!

App sales are the perfect time for you to grab a great app from some amazing developers when you are not sure what that app is all about but it sure does sound like a ton of fun to mess around with!

There have also been some great updates to some of the apps listed below.


FM4 – $4.99 (down from $9.99) – There is even a lite version of this app so you can get a feel of what the great sounds and capabilities of FM4 are
SampleTank – $9.99 (50% off) – great app with a ton of different sounds in it – pretty straight forward and sounds great!
Figure – FREE
iSEM from Arturia – $9.99 (50% off)
iProphet from Arturia – $9.99 (50% off)
iMini from Arturia – $9.99 (50% off)


Effectrix – $9.99 (down form $17.99)
Thesys – $4.99 (down from $14.99)
Turnado – $9.99 (down from $19.99)
WOW Filterbox – $9.99 (down from $14.99)
Egoist – $19.99 (down form $29.99)
Harmony Voice – $4.99 (Updated)


Take Creative Vocal Recorder – Free (Same company as Figure and made to work in conjunction with Figure)
Loopy HD $3.99 (Updated) – One of the best looping apps for iOS just got even better!


Elastic Drums – $9.99 (Updated and now has iPad native interface) One of the best drum synth apps out there!

iPad Synth Apps On Sale

These are amazing synth apps from a company which has been putting out superb products for years…..


 iProphet – $9.99


 iMini – $9.99


 iSem -$9.99

Creating Music Notation on an iPad

Notion Large Iconnotatemelogo = AMAZING

Ever run into the scenario where you pull out a piece of music that you really want to perform for your next concert only to find out that the keyboard part has been lost?

Ever have a budding young bass guitarist who is learning how to read notes and play that bass but you know that if you handed her tabs to go along with the notation things would go a whole lot faster in rehearsal?

My answers: Yup and Yup!

My response: Use a couple of apps, my iPad and an external MIDI Keyboard along with my Camera Connection Kit and an hour or so later I have the problem solved!


I took the actual paper copy of the bass part to the piece of music, used the outstanding app NotateMe Icon SmallNotateMe along with the PhotoScore plugin and took a picture on my iPhone of the bass part. NotateMe and the PhotoScore plugin turned that picture of the sheet music into digital notation. Using my iPhone and my finger I cleaned up and fixed a few small errors. Then I exported that as an XML file into Notion Small IconNotion for iPad. Notion is a full featured music notation app for iPad as well as desktop computers.

I did the same for the guitar part just for the fun of it because it is so stinking fast and easy to do!

Here is what the Bass guitar part looked like after I imported it into Notion and set the instrument as a Bass Guitar (Notion automatically had the TAB turned on for me already but it is a quick tap of a button to turn off as you will that I did for the Guitar part) Now I’ve got my bassist taken care of.


On to the lost Keyboard part – for this I hooked up my Camera Connection Kit to my Novation LaunchKey. The LaunchKey is bus powered by the iPad so I didn’t have to worry about additional power cords or batteries.

Then in Notion I added a piano part, tapped on the first measure, and then the record button. Then I played the right hand in real time while Notion (on an iPad mind you!) recorded it. During recording you get these little blue lines but as soon as you hit the stop button those blue lines get turned into music notation! I have come to discover that doing this on an iPad is giving me just results that are just as excellent as on a laptop! Then I repeated and recorded the left hand. While recording the left hand I set the split point so that it wouldn’t mess up the RH part. I had a couple of weird errors afterwards so I fixed those quickly by tapping and selecting and erasing and changing – easy and quick!

After all that this is my score I ended up with on the iPad… You can see that it looks fantabulous!

Notion ScorePRSunset

The last and final step was to hit the share/export button, elect Export PDF, select Individual Parts and then Email. I sent myself a copy to print in the morning and I also sent my bassist a copy of her new sheet music that now included the TABs.

If you have NOT used NotateMe you really must! There is even a totally free version of the app called NotateMe Icon SmallNotateMe Now that allows you to experience the PhotoScore plugin as well FOR FREE – the limitation is that it only works with one stave parts. So a trumpet part could be scanned in but a piano part could not.

If you have not decided whether or not Music Notation on an iPad is ready yet get your gift card out and buy either SymphonyPro Small IconSymphonyPro ($9.99) or Notion Small IconNotion for iPad ($14.99) (warning – Notion does take about 2GB’s of space on your iPad because of the amazing sounds used in the app!)

Xenon Labs does also have a version of Symphony for iPhoneSymphony for iPhone that works very well and is only $4.99

The Full version of NotateMe is $39.99 (NotateMe is actually an app that allows you to handwrite music notation)
The PhotoScore Plugin for NotateMe is $29.99 (Yes, I fully understand that some of you may have choked on your pancakes upon seeing the price of these two apps – let me put it into perspective for you though – I used to do this same thing with a REAL computer, a REAL scanner and the $250 version of PhotoScore for computers. The scary cool thing is that it seems like this almost works better on my iPad!)


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