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iPads for paperless, portable gigbooks - apps and page turns


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This is a wish list to start a thread on paperless iPad sheet music and productivity tools

that are available or that might point developers in new directions.

 

I'm down to the wire deciding on a new iPad and I'm curious about what apps are useful.

Can the 9.7" screen scroll with a foot pedal since it might be a little hard to see a full page PDF with my "retired" eyes.

 

I see ForScore recommendations and I bought iGigBook to have the realbooks indexed

but I'd *ldeally" like to see music scroll from right to left in a continuous stream that's controlled with the left foot using the largest displayed "music font" available.

 

My wife would like to also have an instructional app to help her (re) play Moonlight Sonata, Clare de Lune, etc. Display the notes... highlight keys for vertical structures, clue her into fingerings or tips for small hands.

 

If there are existing threads I can read but what I have found so far assumes without enough context for the opinions posted to help me. I value your time and experience.

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I went to see a local player tonight and he had the iPad Pro 12.7" with ForScore and iGigBook Pro loaded. He likes to use it in landscape mode to see 2 pages at once but I'd need glasses to see it. It did me comfortable thinking of the new 9.7" 2018 iPad used in Portrait mode. He mentioned a Bluetooth page turner I'll have to look into. I'm just concerned with the connections that come off the iPad base so I'll probably need to get a holder.

 

He also showed the benefit of ForScore to jump back to the right spot on repeats using touch targets.

 

So, that's the state of the art, I'll bet.

 

Any more clues appreciated.

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I just read the Wired Review of the new iPad and they indicate the pen isn't as great on the new cheaper device but I suspect that won't matter to me if I use it as a sound module and NOT as my MacBook replacement device.

 

Watch me go cheap and then have my MacBook fail. Apple has ways to make me suffer.

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I realise youre asking primarily about notation, but Id like to chime in and splooge about how wonderful the 10.5 Pro is for writing lead sheets.

 

I just keep a blank template sheet with staffs on it as a PDF in the Files app, which I duplicate and then write on with the Pencil every time I create a new sheet. Its really neat, and feels completely natural. Ive gone completely paperless.

 

I apologise for the interruption. Carry on.

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EXCELLENT INPUT! open a blank PDF of sheet music and write using the $100 pen. I didn't see a use case for the pen that was compelling since I was only thinking of score creation using one of the typical Apps like on the MacBook.

 

This capability along with the extra 2GB of RAM and the extra 128GB of storage makes the 10.5" iPad Pro at $799 worth the extra investment.

 

 

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For context, this is the kind of result I get:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qkc6m6v6jinr55w/Bruno%20Mars%20-%2024K%20Magic%20SHEET.pdf?dl=0

 

And this one is one I wrote up for our recent student concert, aPDF printed from Logic, annotated on the iPad:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7jr9olqx13wkkqk/Coldplay%20-%20Fix%20You%20SHEET%20NEU.pdf?dl=0

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I realise youre asking primarily about notation, but Id like to chime in and splooge about how wonderful the 10.5 Pro is for writing lead sheets.

 

I just keep a blank template sheet with staffs on it as a PDF in the Files app, which I duplicate and then write on with the Pencil every time I create a new sheet. Its really neat, and feels completely natural. Ive gone completely paperless.

 

I apologise for the interruption. Carry on.

 

Does it serve your needs completely to end up with a PDF of the music?

 

I have not yet purchased an iPad Pro for myself (still waiting for the next update), but plan on buying notation software for iOS so that whatever is written actually has musical information embedded into it, rather than just being dumb pixels (to the computer, they still mean music to people). I have looked at some of the apps using my daughter's 9.7" iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.

 

As of now, the apps on my list to buy are Sheet Music Scanner and Notion for iOS with the Handwriting In-App Purchase. Notion uses the MyScript handwriting engine, as does Symphony Pro 5, so both should perform fairly equally. I liked Komp at first (which uses its own recognition engine and is developed by a former Apple employeee), but am not ready to move to the subscription software model.

 

My planned app purchases:

Sheet Music Scanner - turns pics into MusicXML, can scan existing PDFs into MusicXML. Cheap!

Notion with Handwriting IAP - can write music and export MusicXML

Newzik (already have) - for displaying charts

 

Came across these videos using Notion iOS to make lead sheets a while back:

 

FYI, on the Dorico forum Daniel Spreadbury revealed in February that Steinberg will eventually release an iOS app using Dorico technology:

https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=133059

 

Since iPad apps are comparatively cheap, I'm planning on buying Notion for iOS this summer and am not waiting for the iOS Dorico-lite app, which is likely a ways out.

 

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I went to see a local player tonight and he had the iPad Pro 12.7" with ForScore and iGigBook Pro loaded. He likes to use it in landscape mode to see 2 pages at once but I'd need glasses to see it.

 

I've been searching for a table that will allow me to see 2 pages at once relatively comfortable. In fact, I don't really need the table to do much more than that. I haven't seen such a tablet up close yet, but also haven't shopped for one recently. I'll need to check out the latest versions soon.

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So I did a little googling just now. Turns out that there are numerous tablets up to 24 inches display, including one coming out soon from Dell.

 

I'm not sure what the ideal screen size for me would be. I might like to have a large one simply for jam sessions at home, so that I never need to open a book and can always read 2 pages at once. But it would be nice if the size wasn't too large to take along to gigs. At the same time, I've never been happy with the various devices I've bought for holding my current tablet (a Surface) onto a keyboard stand. If I accept the idea of using a basic music stand, rather than insist on a contraption for attaching the tablet to a a keyboard or stand, then maybe there is no downsize to getting as large a tablet as possible.

 

 

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OK... I'm going to the Apple Store with some sheet music. I'll take a picture using the camera app on the 10.5" and the 12.9" and draw in extra notes and decide. I'm leaning towards the 10.5" because it outperforms the 12.9" in some benchmarks that might benefit running a lot of Sampling, Recording and Notation apps all running together.

 

The one thing that might be an issue: the CPU and GPU share the same on-board 4GB of RAM. But maybe that's just a factor on all the Apple devices. Not sure. Does my iPhone 5S give a large piece of it's 1GB of RAM to screen buffers? Because I want 3-4X the capability for sample loading that my iPhone 5S provides. How hard can I push it before I hear crackles in audio output?

 

 

Now... do I also get that Smart Keyboard? I hate on screen typing and my Bluetooth keyboards always loose power at the wrong times. And a rugged ergonomic case? Apple Care? I'm close to $2000 for everything. Yikes.

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I think the current 10.5 and 12.9 inch iPads are functionally equivalent, except for how the screen size changes some graphics benchmarks.

 

As for people considering BIG tablets, I believe ForScore allows you to place two iPads side by side and use them as a single two-page device. I'd like Newzik to implement that, but my old iPads are quite old with varying screen sizes.

 

The 12.9" iPad Pro does show two iPad-size pages when in side-by-side Landscape mode, compared to other iPads. See my quote below from my post a few weeks ago in the thread on the 2018 iPad 9.7".

 

FYI, there are some rumors that new iPad Pros could be announced at Apple's WWDC, the keynote of which is June 4th, a month from today.

 

 

Edit: about keyboards and cases: I am a big believer of the K&M tablet holders for gig use, but also have the IK Multimedia iKlip Studio for home use. Regarding keyboards, I'm leaning towards the standard Apple Wireless keyboard (not the smart one for iPads) with the Studio Neat Canopy (https://www.studioneat.com/products/canopy)

Will buy either the Apple iPad leather sleeve or a cheaper knockoff.

 

---

I've been waiting for the new big iPad Pro. That screen is amazing, the speakers are pretty impressive, and I'm hoping the physical size will be a little smaller if the bezels are shrunk and the new Pros move to FaceID and take away the Home button. The big screen also makes it a bit easier to use multiple apps, and presumably multiple AUs. In split view on the big Pro, you get UI elements that are "regular" (iPad) class for both apps when in a 50-50 split, while for smaller iPads they are "compact" (iPhone) class when in 50-50.

 

That said, the 2018 iPad at 1/3 the price is good enough to do most everything today, at 1/3 the price. No doubt the best bang/buck solution.

 

I'm leaning towards the big pro because the screen is basically the same size as a sheet of paper, and I'm afraid that if/when Logic, MainStage, Pianoteq, and Dorico come out on the iPad, that they will need the power of the new Pros. I also like the idea of having a music sound source app and a charting/PDF reader app side by side with iPad-size UI elements. The Apple Pencil will also work slightly better with the higher screen refresh rate of the Pros.

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Does my iPhone 5S give a large piece of it's 1GB of RAM to screen buffers?

My understanding is that every iOS device works this way. The amount you lose depends on the number of pixels on the screen. It went up a lot when they went to Retina screens, and those units--presumably not coincidentally--had more RAM than their predecessors (i.e. it corresponded wth the move from 512mb to 1 GB RAM form the previous generation of iPhones and iPads).

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OK. I'm going to play with the 2 Pro's and the new cheaper 2018 iPad. Dual apps and better internal speakers are worth something but the one that would come out next month is the 12.9" replacement.

 

I should get up the 2018 iPad *now* and use it until the upgrades ship and (re)gift the 2018 to my wife (or one of the kids) loaded with a nice Piano App and her sheet music and all the other things she'd love. That is obviously the selfless thing to do... get and give then get what you *really* want. If new models don't ship in June I'll consider a refurbished unit if I have buyers remorse.

 

Does Apple have a good return policy? I'd expect a "re-stocking fee" since it's

Apple and not Costco.

 

I can also use the extra *budget* to upgrade my MIDI controller to a StudioLogics model. But I hear they are close to something new in the 76 key category. Is that true?

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I am waiting for the right time :laugh: to upgrade to an iPad Pro. ForScore, an iPad and a Bluetooth pedal is great for going paperless. The iPad 9.7 is a bit too small for my otherwise functional bespectacled eyes. I realize this is an opinion, subjective, and a reflection on personal eyesight. I tried big windows monitors and the scaling of pdfs does not appear to be handled the same as on iOS. Maybe that is a function of other factors like video card,etc. I also found the page displays awkward at times on the W10 large display, trying a couple of programs. Specifically, split staffs can really minimize the usable content on the display. ForScore is smart about its staff display, making the most of screen real estate while making scroll taps intuitive. ForScore and pdf display on the iOS scales nicely.

Id look to the larger iPad Pro if you can swing it.

Might want to think about a page feed scanner depending on how big of a print library you want to convert.

Chris

Main gear: Yamaha C7, Kronos 2 88, Moog Sub 37, Kurzweil PC2x, Pearl epro, Mac/Logic/AUs

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I have forScore, iReal Pro and unrealBook.

I must confess, I've been lazy about getting into the "paperless score" thing; mostly, because I have so many PDF files, I don't know where to start!

This thread has renewed my interest again, so "maybe" I will finally get to it this year...

Tom

Nord Electro 5D, Modal Cobalt 8, Yamaha upright piano, numerous plug-ins...

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As the result of this thread, I went out and tried the ipencil today and was impressed. I was expecting a basic Etch A Sketch type of result, but I wrote out a chord chart on a blank white document and it looked fantastic. I was using a demo version of the Procreate app, and I liked how you could easily adjust the thickness of the lines you wrote/drew. I settled on a thickness that looked like it was somewhere between a regular and fine point Sharpie marker. It featured pressure sensitivity, so the harder you press the darker the line. I could rest my palm on the screen without inadvertently writing anything. I was also pleased to discover that mistakes were easy to erase, and you could erase with considerable precision. I was surprised that the ipencil needs to be charged up before you can use it. I wonder how long it can be used before it needs to be charged again? I also wasnt entirely sure how the app could store separate documents (i.e., songs) and how easily they could be retrieved for live performance. My biggest disappointment was that I would be unable to use the ipencil with my existing iPad; an iPad Pro is needed, and mine is a non-Pro. But Im a long-time paper and pencil type of guy for charts, and this thing definitely checked that box. :thu:

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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I have the 10.5 ipad pro. it is the perfect size and form factor.

I have used the big 12 ipad pro and found it to be overkill and heavier than I like in my backpack when travelling back and forth to various gigs and rehearsals.

The extra 2 are not a big deal, IMJ. This coming from a set of over 50 eyes. Maybe the larger ipad will make a difference if you are working on an orchestral score or some Ligeti or Stockhausen.

I like Good Reader.....you have to import your music as pdfs but its worth the trouble as you can then categorize content any way you like. I just like it better than the other apps like forScore and unReal Book. I have not tried any score writing apps yet.

I cant yet comment on the pencil as I just got mine on Friday.

"I have constantly tried to deliver only products which withstand the closest scrutiny � products which prove themselves superior in every respect.�

Robert Bosch, 1919

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I have the 10.5 ipad pro. it is the perfect size and form factor.

I have used the big 12 ipad pro and found it to be overkill and heavier than I like in my backpack when travelling back and forth to various gigs and rehearsals.

The extra 2 are not a big deal, IMJ. This coming from a set of over 50 eyes. Maybe the larger ipad will make a difference if you are working on an orchestral score or some Ligeti or Stockhausen.

I like Good Reader.....you have to import your music as pdfs but its worth the trouble as you can then categorize content any way you like. I just like it better than the other apps like forScore and unReal Book. I have not tried any score writing apps yet.

I cant yet comment on the pencil as I just got mine on Friday.

 

Is your screen large enough to read 2 pages at once comfortably?

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I have the 10.5 ipad pro. it is the perfect size and form factor.

I have used the big 12 ipad pro and found it to be overkill and heavier than I like in my backpack when travelling back and forth to various gigs and rehearsals.

The extra 2 are not a big deal, IMJ. This coming from a set of over 50 eyes. Maybe the larger ipad will make a difference if you are working on an orchestral score or some Ligeti or Stockhausen.

I like Good Reader.....you have to import your music as pdfs but its worth the trouble as you can then categorize content any way you like. I just like it better than the other apps like forScore and unReal Book. I have not tried any score writing apps yet.

I cant yet comment on the pencil as I just got mine on Friday.

 

Is your screen large enough to read 2 pages at once comfortably?

 

I use single page mode and flip pages manually 2 bars before the page end.

That is just my preference. I dont like the iPad orientation for 2 pages at once.

"I have constantly tried to deliver only products which withstand the closest scrutiny � products which prove themselves superior in every respect.�

Robert Bosch, 1919

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There are several great apps out there. I personally us OnSong. It works really well and is somewhat easy to learn. But once you understand how it works it becomes very easy to use and navigate.

 

I may try ForScore though.

My Rig: Stage Piano: Korg Grandstage 73 - Organ: Hammond SKx - Amps: Motion Sound KP-500s - Mixer: Yamaha MGU10
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My whole group has pretty much settled on forScore. It's great because we can share charts, coordinate our play lists and give tech support to one another. Okay, honestly, they rely on me for tech support. But it's a lot easier than trying to support multiple apps.

 

We did a charity gig this past Friday, and it was pretty cool how everyone just showed up with their iPads. We were playing mostly jazz standards, and everyone has the Real Books in PDFs. Makes the night go a whole lot smoother, particularly when audibles are called.

 

Some of us use the iPad Pro 10.5", while others are on older models. It was just a cool thing to see - not a piece of paper in sight.

.

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