iPad Pro Question

October 10, 2018, 1:34 PM · I recently bought my wife a 12.9" iPad Pro with the wireless pencil because other teachers were using them wireless with large projection boards. In this case it would make her work much easier and she was ecstatic to get it.

Fast forward a week and my wife returns from work looking sad and tells me that her school enacted a new internet access policy that will prevent the use of the iPad with the projection board so I guess iPads are off limits now for that application. She tells me she probably won't use it for anything else.She has a smaller iPad.

I'm questioning how much I might use it for music if I kept it or if I should just send it back. It's an expensive binder for music although a nice one.I'm not a pro, I don't play in an orchestra, but I print music every week for a church music group.
Do you think this would be practical for me to keep as someone who uses a binder mostly at home to play from? I could keep all of my music in it and maybe print from it but I'm not so sure that would justify the expense for someone who doesn't carry music around all week.

I already have a smaller iPad which I thought was too small for sheet music. It's a tough call for me.

Have you used one of these? Would you consider it to be an easier way to work? The expense seems extreme for me since I only play part time and when I play in sessions we have the music memorized. I hate to send it back if it's one of those things where you kick yourself because you didn't keep it. I'm also thinking she might use it in the future.

Replies (16)

October 10, 2018, 2:48 PM · You could likely use it for multi-track recording, or live sound control, with hardware from somewhere like Guitar Center. Not sure how many items use the Pro or 12.9" model.
October 10, 2018, 2:58 PM · I use an iPad Pro 12.9", with Pencil and PageFlip Butterfly pedal, pretty much exclusively for music, and I love it. I got it during a terrific sale (thanks to the v.com member who found that deal!). It feels worth it to me, but I paid less for it than normal, and that amount is within the acceptable toy expenditure to me.

It is saving me from killing many, many trees with printing orchestral music, and I do orchestral bowings using ForScore on it. So it's felt like it's been worth every penny.

For your use case, I'm not sure that you'd feel like it was worth it.

October 10, 2018, 3:00 PM · Since it’s a fair and educative use, can’t she (or they) talk to the school and explain the problem? I‘ve seen similar cases in which the school makes exceptions for teachers, or has different internet policies for teachers and pupils.

I own an old ipad (I think it’s an ipad 2 from 2010 or so). I use it from time to time to “play” with new music sheets when I’m playing piano. It’s way too small for it, but it lets me organise a huge amount of pdfs. I use an app called “piascore” which years ago, when it was released, let me turn pages with a hand movement. Now it’s a “premium” feature that needs an external device such as a pedal (what a shame...)

October 10, 2018, 4:57 PM · "It is saving me from killing many, many trees with printing orchestral music..."

True, but now you've had to mine rare earth minerals from war-torn countries in Africa and power the iPad from (probably) carbon-releasing electrical power.

Just saying!

Edited: October 10, 2018, 6:10 PM · I liked Rare Earth. They were cool. Alas, they faded (faded, faded, faded, faded).
October 10, 2018, 6:36 PM · It will be a few hundred less in a few weeks when they release the next gen version and close out the 2017 ipads. I've seen $600 for 64gb 12.9" model recently, hasn't been offered at that price since the deal Lydia is talking about. I plan to get my other kid one, it's so nice to play chamber music from the score without turning pages.
October 10, 2018, 7:46 PM · Scott, yeah, I know. :-)

Paper has gotten scattered all over my practice room, though. The iPad is at least neat.

Edited: October 10, 2018, 9:37 PM · Huh?

Maybe one should explain to them that a tablet and a projector don't need to connect to the Internet in order for the tablet to broadcast a display to the projector.

October 11, 2018, 8:24 AM · Gene you have me thinking that maybe there is a work around to the problem.

If the iPad can be connected directly to the screen which is a smart board maybe that would be acceptable. I think they might be grabbing data from a central school server to display though.If that's the case it might not work. The iPad takes a usb camera kit, so maybe this is an option.

Lydia I remember when someone here posted that deal. That was a really good price.The one I bought is the 128 gb. The pencil didn't come with it. In fact I seldom see a deal with an included pencil.The pencil added another 100.00 to the 1000.00 + price tag.

I no doubt would use one, I'm just not so sure how often. I've used apps for guitar and keys on smaller devices, however these turned out to be mainly cool novelties I didn't use much even though some of them were quite functional. Midi works much better with the Apple protocol than PC which is a consideration for me.

Some of the notation apps I've used let you change keys on the fly. Not something you can do with printed material. I mostly print music because although we use binders it can take 15 minutes out of a 1 hour practice pulling the music from them, not to mention the time spent returning the music to the binders in alphabetical order( and they never do that). I can print everything at home in less than a minute. Yes it kills trees but someone would have bought that paper anyhow :)

Edited: October 11, 2018, 12:39 PM · I have a Samsung Galaxy Note Pro that is the same size as the iPad Pro that I now use with a wireless Pageflip Firefly page turner that actually works amazingly well. I was hesitant at first but we were accumulating so much sheet music for our ensemble that my music satchel was really getting to be a pain, especially when I'm on my motorcycle, which is usually my main transportation from June to October.

My other main reason for trying it, as an inexperienced student, is that sometimes my page turning attempts, especially in the middle of fast or energetic sections, usually turn into train wrecks. Using the tablet and the foot operated page turner has lessened my anxieties during practice and rehearsals of multiple page pieces.

I originally used my iPad Pro, but after trying a friend's Galaxy Note Pro, preferred it, especially the S-pen and it's versatility, as well as better bluetooth dependability than my iPad had with page turners. I also prefer using the music reader/manager Mobilesheets Pro, which wasn't available on the iPad. It's more intuitive and versatile than the other music reader apps I tried on the iPad. I really appreciate the ability of Mobilesheets to take a photo of my music, convert it to PDF and add it to my library, still being able to annotate, highlight and edit the music. I prefer using the auto scroll on some pieces, which allows complete control over the scroll speed.

I have my music organized in folders including set lists, current practice pieces and a rehearsal pieces. No more digging through reams of music in the middle of ensemble when someone wants to pull out a piece from last year to go over again.

I think the OP would find it useful using a tablet for practice or rehearsal but I personally would never contemplate using one in a performance. I have seen and heard of too many horror stories of the tablet freezing or getting a glitch or some electronic anomaly in the middle of a performance. I know many musicians do perform with them but I wouldn't.

With the above being said, if I could only use one medium, it would still be paper. I'm a traditionalist at heart in some things and while willing to dabble in technology, printed sheet music has an aesthetic and functional value to it I find hard to depart from.

Edit: I was informed that Ubersoft is coming out with an iOS compatible version of Mobilesheets, if not already available. I think it is worth trying and comparing with other music reader apps. Reading a number of reviews the Pageflip page turners appear to have better bluetooth reliability with iPads than some of the other available pageturners.

October 11, 2018, 12:54 PM · My teacher has one and she routinely pulls songs up from the blue to play. I will admit I like that part of it, especially useful when accessing internet sites with free music offerings.

I'm like you in that I'm not so sure I would trust that tech over printed music in a live situation.

October 15, 2018, 10:43 AM ·
Update- I tried the iPad with an app I already had on my smaller iPad called OnSong when playing piano this past week. I brought along printed music just in case something went wrong.

The only issue I had was when I came to a two page song I needed to push the page vertically with my finger while playing piano.This went well in practice. In actual use though my finger somehow pushed the page to the next song over. Apparently the iPad is very sensitive to any side moves at all. This caused some alarm but the bottom never dropped out since I knew most of the tune anyhow. I'll need to figure that out better before I try it again. All in all though, I think I'll use it again.

I have one of my entire folders in the iPad now in PDF format.The app them lets me make set arranged in order from that list. This was easy because it accessed my google drive and simply copied the files.

Not so sure about importing all of my other music though, such as individual PDFs on session.org. They don't appear to have group import capability making importing those tedious.I wish all of the most used ones were in a file somewhere.I guess I could simply take pics of the music I already have but would prefer a .pdf solution.

I think this is going to be really useful though once I get the hang of it and have all of my music in it.

Edited: October 15, 2018, 11:10 AM · The only issue I had was when I came to a two page song I needed to push the page vertically with my finger while playing piano

Laugh at me to the extent you want, but I've ended up scrolling with my nose when I'm using my ipad for reading piano sheets and must scroll or turn the page with both hands occupied. It takes a little practice to master it, though.

Edited: October 15, 2018, 1:16 PM · A foot page turner ... as long as you're not one of those who subconsciously tap their feet more or less in time with the beat while playing :)
October 16, 2018, 12:14 AM · The Mobilenotes app I referred to earlier allows you to set a piece for automatic scroll at any tempo or speed you wish, no foot page turner needed, although I do use one. It really came in handy when I was using a smaller tablet and using it in landscape mode so my notes would be larger. I had it set to scroll a quarter page at a time at a slower tempo as I was learning the piece and then sped it up to performance tempo as I became more proficient.

I would think some of the other music apps would have this feature as well.

October 16, 2018, 10:28 AM · @ Miguel, That's funny! @ Skip F. Thanks for that information.I will seriously look at Mobilenotes. The OnSong app stacks two page songs so that you need to move the display vertically to move between pages and horizontally to move to the next song. I'll seriously check out Mobilenotes. I would imagine it scrolls everything vertically in order to take advantage of automatic scrolling.

I've been looking around at what else is out there. There's even an app that lets you download a song with the music and split the track at the headphone jack. Track A goes to the FOH mixer and track B has a click and instructions in it for the band intended to be played through IEMs. I do a similar thing with a laptop occasionally now. The app I mention is called PRIME and has a built in mixer for each track.

I seen another app called Notion I think? It has an on board sound set and allows composition with notation on an iPad that can be heard.I haven't tried it yet.I don't imagine the sounds are all that great, however it might make a wonderful composition tool.

Laurie had an article on this not long ago. I knew about a few of the apps but had never worked with any of it on a routine basis.

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