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Alternative to OnSong?


Chris Link
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What platform do you like for managing chord charts and PDFs? I've used OnSong on an iPad for a number of years but I'm curious if there is something better.

 

PROS: Reasonably easy to use. Ability to upload chord/lyric charts directly from web pages. Set list and books pretty easy to create and edit.

 

CONS: Lately PDFs will inadvertently zoom into a small part of the document and won't restore to a full page view. Manually-created chord charts are nicely lined up on the page where they are made but not when they show up in the viewer. It doesn't affect the usability but is just annoying. (I realize this is a "first world problem" and is just the result of my obsessive-compulsive nature.)

 

Thanks in advance for any suggestions to a fix or replacement of OnSong.

aka âmisterdregsâ

 

Nord Electro 5D 73

Yamaha P105

Kurzweil PC3LE7

Motion Sound KP200S

Schimmel 6-10LE

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Unrealbook - much easier app to setup and run. With a LOT of functions you need for "real-world" gigging. Rock solid too.

There is no luck - luck is simply the confluence of circumstance and co-incidence...

 

Time is the final arbiter for all things

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4 hours ago, Chris Link said:

CONS: ... Manually-created chord charts are nicely lined up on the page where they are made but not when they show up in the viewer.

 

Chris, I don't use PDFs; I make all of my charts by hand, following OnSong's published file-format (which is just plain-text, but with some OnSong-defined markup specs).  If you are using the "Chords above Lyrics" view, then the way to keep your chords aligned over the words is to select a mono-spaced font in the formatting settings; "Courier", for example.  An alternative is to switch to "Chords inline" (A[G]mazing grace, how [C]sweet the [G]sound); with this view there's nothing to align, so you can effectively use any of the available fonts.  I use the inline view, but I still prefer the "Courier" font for the very reason that it doesn't jamb the text too tightly together.

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4 hours ago, Chris Link said:

CONS: ... Manually-created chord charts are nicely lined up on the page where they are made but not when they show up in the viewer.

 

Chris, I don't use PDFs; I make all of my charts by hand, following OnSong's published file-format (which is just plain-text, but with some OnSong-defined markup specs).  If you are using the "Chords above Lyrics" view, then the way to keep your chords aligned over the words is to select a mono-spaced font in the formatting settings; "Courier", for example.  An alternative is to switch to "Chords inline" (A[G]mazing grace, how [C]sweet the [G]sound); with this view there's nothing to align, so you can effectively use any of the available fonts.  I use the inline view, but I still prefer the "Courier" font for the very reason that it doesn't jamb the text too tightly together.

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Legend '70s Compact, Jupiter-Xm, Studiologic Numa X 73

 

 

 

 

 

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16 hours ago, Chris Link said:

Does Unrealbook only handle PDFs? Is there a simple way to put in lyrics + chords? 

 

No just PDF's....but these days any text editor on a PC can "Print To PDF" then a transfer via Airdrop (if you have a Mac) or Dropbox  or similar :)

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There is no luck - luck is simply the confluence of circumstance and co-incidence...

 

Time is the final arbiter for all things

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Suggest trying BandHelper. 
 

Another alternative is Camelot Pro, though it’s more of a MainStage replacement than a set list and chord chart manager.

 

I really like BandHelper, and the support is first rate. That said, I needed more involved MIDI control over songs/scenes for my rig. BandHelper could have done it, but with more “programming” effort. Camelot Pro is really designed for this. The support is also pretty good. 

Yamaha CP4 & YC61, Access Virus TI2 Desktop, 1010 Music Blackbox, Squarp Hapax, BeatBuddy, BomeBox, iConnectivity MioXM, Behringer XR18 mixer

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I’ve use forScore for many years, OnSong screwed me over on one of the iOS updates and quit working those many years ago.

 

My band leader uses BandHelper, and it is great for communicating gigs and set lists, but I do t want to pay a monthly fee just to get access to annotation on the pdf’s when I can get that with forScore. However, DocScan Pro is needed to properly crop pdf’s from iPad screenshots, then exporting to forScore. 

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  • 6 months later...
On 3/11/2022 at 1:24 PM, miden said:

Unrealbook - much easier app to setup and run. With a LOT of functions you need for "real-world" gigging. Rock solid too.

I never did get a fix from OnSong. Downloaded unrealBook yesterday and loaded all my fake book PDFs. 
 

I have to say, the “song list” and “set list” functions are not at all intuitive. I made a list of songs to work on with a piano/fiddle jazz duo but I don’t know how to get back to it or modify it. It just kind of shows up. I’m not sure if it’s a “song list” or “set list” and the most complete online help doesn’t jibe with the current version. 
 

How do I set up these lists? 
 

Thanks. 

aka âmisterdregsâ

 

Nord Electro 5D 73

Yamaha P105

Kurzweil PC3LE7

Motion Sound KP200S

Schimmel 6-10LE

QSC CP-12

Westone AM Pro 30 IEMs

Rolls PM55P

 

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1 hour ago, Chris Link said:

I never did get a fix from OnSong. Downloaded unrealBook yesterday and loaded all my fake book PDFs. 
 

I have to say, the “song list” and “set list” functions are not at all intuitive. I made a list of songs to work on with a piano/fiddle jazz duo but I don’t know how to get back to it or modify it. It just kind of shows up. I’m not sure if it’s a “song list” or “set list” and the most complete online help doesn’t jibe with the current version. 
 

How do I set up these lists? 
 

Thanks. 

 

In the "Songs" - which is where all your songs and songbooks are listed, you can create lists of genre specific charts, or a list of books only , or whatever you want to create. Even sub folders for songs A-C, D-M , N-Z....whatever you want.

These lists are static, set in Alpha order and are really only meant to be your music database, categorised into your own specific sub menu structure....or not....you can simply just have everything in one huge list.

You can work from these in a live show, as long as you remain aware of the alpha limitation. You could for example create a show playlist...but really you'll want to be using setlists.

 

 

So, go to the DO menu at the top - with all the others ;)  - and turn Setlist mode to on. After that it is as simple as pressing the + button at the bottom left. Once that dropdown menu opens it really is self-explanatory. Reading the manual will help too ;) top right hand corner of the Setlist box is an "i" that links directly to the online manual pages for working with setlists.

There is no luck - luck is simply the confluence of circumstance and co-incidence...

 

Time is the final arbiter for all things

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So far so good. But how do I find a given set list? 
 

I have a “fiddle/piano” list and a “test” list. Closed and reopened the app and don’t see where I find one or the other. It just went back to the last place I was (“test set list” in this case). 
 

No doubt there is some internal logic to this that I’m being too dense to figure out. 
 

 

aka âmisterdregsâ

 

Nord Electro 5D 73

Yamaha P105

Kurzweil PC3LE7

Motion Sound KP200S

Schimmel 6-10LE

QSC CP-12

Westone AM Pro 30 IEMs

Rolls PM55P

 

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tap on the the bottom middle of the screen (that shows the name of the setlist) that opens a drop down menu of all your setlists....its' all in the manual ;)

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There is no luck - luck is simply the confluence of circumstance and co-incidence...

 

Time is the final arbiter for all things

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I posted a reply in your other thread by mistake -which I'll delete. 

 

I noticed same as me,   you've got several different sets and bands you work with on your set lists.  Slightly OT, but just a thought:

 

I hate to say it, because it can also be a be another learning curve, but I think  Igigbook  is much better for stuff w/real books and any of the more common jazz fake books.  

 

They've got every single  one already indexed, and adding your own scores (if you don't bother indexing) is very easy.   Breeze to pull them in a set for  a cocktail hour, solo set etc.  Search function is great, especially for pulling up a request.    Just about any commercial real book is already indexed. 

 

Works great for that, and has been around for a while.  I use it for cover band gigs, cocktail, solo/trio, wedding, corporate stuff- and still add  non-published or scanned charts I've made, or the gig provides.

 

I used to use it for shows and artist stuff that had  large custom scores.  But iGigbook's annotation  is harder than it needs to be, even using the Apple pencil. 

 So for stuff like pit band, shows/concerts, etc. that have a definitive song  order, need notes/corrections -  Forscore (or Paperless music app) work much better.  Being able to store the Mp3 (and tune/Xpose it) with the chart is super valuable, for shows  where performance key differs from recording. Plus Forscore can send midi program change within the score/chart.

 

 I know it's a pain to use more than one app, but  each  has its unique strengths that  fit the job required.

 

Chris Corso

www.chriscorso.org

Lots of stuff.

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On 9/18/2022 at 7:55 PM, Chris Link said:

There is an iPad OS 15.7 update that I hadn’t done. I’ll see if that fixes OnSong and/or unrealBook. 

Visit your other thread on this.  I took the time to post screen shots and steps to create lists, songs and navigate them.    How did your Saturday gig go? 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 9/19/2022 at 10:13 PM, obxa said:

I posted a reply in your other thread by mistake -which I'll delete. 

 

I noticed same as me,   you've got several different sets and bands you work with on your set lists.  Slightly OT, but just a thought:

 

I hate to say it, because it can also be a be another learning curve, but I think  Igigbook  is much better for stuff w/real books and any of the more common jazz fake books.  

 

They've got every single  one already indexed, and adding your own scores (if you don't bother indexing) is very easy.   Breeze to pull them in a set for  a cocktail hour, solo set etc.  Search function is great, especially for pulling up a request.    Just about any commercial real book is already indexed. 

 

Works great for that, and has been around for a while.  I use it for cover band gigs, cocktail, solo/trio, wedding, corporate stuff- and still add  non-published or scanned charts I've made, or the gig provides.

 

I used to use it for shows and artist stuff that had  large custom scores.  But iGigbook's annotation  is harder than it needs to be, even using the Apple pencil. 

 So for stuff like pit band, shows/concerts, etc. that have a definitive song  order, need notes/corrections -  Forscore (or Paperless music app) work much better.  Being able to store the Mp3 (and tune/Xpose it) with the chart is super valuable, for shows  where performance key differs from recording. Plus Forscore can send midi program change within the score/chart.

 

 I know it's a pain to use more than one app, but  each  has its unique strengths that  fit the job required.

 

 

How can we make the annotation  easier in your opinion?

 

iGigBook also allows you to send MIDI program changes with any page of the music that your view automatically.

Phil Smith - Creator of the iGigBook iPad/Android App

Over 1300 Jazz Chord Charts That You Can Transpose

 

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