Ipad as a musician´s friend !!
May 17, 2012 8:11 AM   Subscribe

creative use of the iPad for musicians ?

Asking for a friend. He is a piano player, and his wife is a Vocalist.
As a duet, they do gigs, events, play in restaurants, etc..

My friend is tired of hauling around a box of printed songbooks, music score sheets, etc. So someone suggested him to buy an iPad, and view the lyrics, songbooks, etc in PDF format in the iPad.
The wife could use it while performing to view the lyrics and the score.

I know for sure that using PDFs is obviously supported, but just want to know if someone out there uses the ipad in a similar fashion.

Bonus question: any more suggestions as to how they can use the ipad for music-playing-performing related stuff?
posted by theKik to Technology (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Download GarageBand, you do all kinds of stuff with it.
posted by empath at 8:13 AM on May 17, 2012

There's the Moog filtron and korg kaosspad apps which allow filtering of samples.
posted by drezdn at 8:19 AM on May 17, 2012

Chromatik is a new iPad / Music / Sheet music app getting some press right now. It's still in private beta but given the press they're getting, I think it should release soon. A (long) video demo.
posted by artlung at 8:58 AM on May 17, 2012

Best answer: Wow, a question right up my alley!! I play piano for my church, and that requires many different soloists, quartets, choir pieces, piano solos, etc...

I have been using my ipad exclusively for all these performances for the past 3 months, with much success.

First I use the app ForScore for all of my music on the ipad. You can import a pdf file of the music directly into the app itself. Much of the music I play I physically have to scan in on my flatbed scanner, and then use Dropbox to transfer the file into ForScore. The app has a dropbox tab in the settings, so you can just open it up in the app. Once it is on the ipad, you can use the app to arrange the piece with repeats, and annotate on the screen. So it takes a little bit of work to get this process going, but once you get it going, it becomes routine.

Now here is the beauty part of the ipad. I found a bluetooth foot pedal setup, that will turn pages for me in the app. So as a piano player, I never have to take my hands off the keys to turn a page. I put it right by my left foot, and just tap the pedal, and just continue playing. It has revolutionized my page turning. No more blown copy pages, or pages sticking together, it is awesome. The pedal I use is called the AirTurn BT-105, and you can find it by going to the AirTurn website. I recommend this highly!! If you can't get the pedal now, page turns are accomplished by tapping on the screen to go forward and back.

On a related note, if you watch American Idol, the piano player has been using his iPad for all of the stage music he is performing.

I would be happy to explain more about my setup if you have questions. Just let me know!

Good Luck!!!
posted by snoelle at 9:03 AM on May 17, 2012 [2 favorites]

I forgot to mention in-post (the linked article says it), the Chromatik app is what they're using on American Idol.
posted by artlung at 9:05 AM on May 17, 2012

My band uses an iOS app from Presonus to let the musicians control their in-ear monitor mixes via their phones, and another iOS app from Presonus to let the FOH engineer mix from an iPad.

iPads are great for lyrics cheat sheets as well as set lists, too.
posted by emelenjr at 9:24 AM on May 17, 2012

Best answer: I've been using primarily my iPad for music for about 18 months. I'm a pianist and harpsichordist with a setup much like snoelle, also using forScore and the Airturn foot pedals. I find a ton of old, public domain, music on IMSLP and the rest I have to scan. I've found the best thing to do is use Acrobat to crop every page as close as possible to the music -- then it fills the iPad screen and puts the small screen to best use. If you don't have a newest-generation iPad, you're going to want one for sheet music: the new screen is a huge leap over the old one when it comes to faithfully reproducing small staves and noteheads!

Also, to give you a sense how I organize my PDFs: I have a gigantic library on my desktop computer which I sync to the iPad using a paid Dropbox account and the Goodreader app. Goodreader is fantastic, but it's not designed for musicians (the support for drawing on the screen is not fast or easy enough for rehearsals) and it doesn't support the Airturn pedals. (I wrote years ago and requested support, but they didn't seem to believe me that it would be worthwhile.) So pieces I am actually performing I move into the forScore app. This does mean my iPad has two copies of the score (because of the way the iPad segregates files, one file cannot be split between two apps; you have to have two copies). So if you have a small iPad, you might need to be aware of this.
posted by high5ths at 10:14 AM on May 17, 2012

Just a data point, so you know that iPad use spans all levels. Last Sunday I attended a concert at Orchestra Hall in Chicago given by Kirill Gerstein. All the standard repertoire was played from memory, as you would expect, but for the new piece, Brad Mehldau's Variations on a Melancholy Theme, he used music -- on an iPad (automation has now put page turners out of work as he was using a wireless foot switch for that). I wasn't close enough to see what the software was :-)
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 6:29 PM on May 18, 2012

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