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Author Topic:  iPad apps that you may have missed......
James Mayer


From:
back in Portland Oregon, USA (via Arkansas and London, UK)
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 8:51 am     Reply with quote

The iPad is the ultimate practice tool for a musician. I'm using it for so many reasons, I thought I would start a thread to share some of the apps that have given me signficant leaps forward in hopes that others will get some use out of them and hopefully add ones that I may have missed. I started out using it for tempered tunings (ClearTune app) and jam tracks (iReal Pro), but there is so much more out there. I'll try to cover some of the apps I haven't heard much or anything about when searching the SGF archives.

1) TonalEnergy ($3.99): Also known as, "TE Tuner".
Possibly the ultimate app for intonation practice, "TE Tuner" is not just a tuner. It plays drones (single notes or multiple/chords) and visually analyzes your intonation in real time. I've found a lot of references to playing to drone CDs on the SGF, but this takes it to another level. It includes a very flexible and configurable metronome and a tuner that seems to be just as good as ClearTune. It allows for custom temperaments and you can tune in the "analyzer" window which I actually prefer to ClearTune's standard tuner visuals. I thought the intonation analysis might be gimmicky but it tracks very well. For "fretless" instruments, it makes far more sense for metronome practice to include a reference drone to keep you in line. Another nice feature of TE Tuner is the ability to record a practice session so you can track your improvement. In the screenshot below, I'm playing a C major scale over a droned 'C' note at a slow speed to give myself a little time to adjust intonation by ear (not looking at the analysis screen for feedback). I'm not so good at it, but I think this might be the key to improving.



2) Steel Sidekick (FREE): I see a lot of people looking for online fretboard 'maps' but this one is tailored to steel. You can set up a custom copedent or use one of the presets. Pedals and knee levers are there to shift the notes. I use this regularly to find new ways to play chords and scales.




3) Jazz Harmony: Before getting this app, if someone asked me the notes of a chord, the 1-3-5 of a triad, or "what chords have E as the third?", I had to stop and count frets or scale degrees in my mind. There were only a few chords to which I could immediately give an answer, "G-B-D". This app changed all that in a matter of a couple of weeks. I would practice it 10-15 minutes a day on my iPhone while riding the London tube. The app is simple and effective. Choose the type of chord, number of notes, and it gives you a grid with a random note. In the screenshot below, the random note G is laid out and you have to fill in the rest. The major 1-3-5 triad is bottom to top and the minor triad is right to left. You can also choose which notes are in the pool of random selection so you can start with only a few or concentrate on weak spots.




4) AUM ($18.99): This is an excellent mixer app. I started using this because, when practicing with headphones, I wanted to use Bias FX for effects and amp modeling to play along to iReal Pro tracks. Well, iReal has no good way of adjusting it's volume vs other apps. AUM ties everything together, get the levels right and allows you to record practice sessions as well. You can feed apps into other apps to create signal chains to create a multi-fx unit/virtual pedal board. The AudioBus app also allows combining and routing of apps, but this is just simpler to use, in my opinion. It also includes a file player so you can, for example, record a dry steel line and then route it through effects chains to develop your sound without being near your instrument. The screenshot below is my practice preset. I have it set up with Bias for modeling, TE tuner for intonation/drone/metronome practice, AnyTune to slow down and study audio tracks, and iReal Pro for improvisation practice. I just unmute what I want to use and go at it. Well worth small amount of money to get everything working together conveniently.




5) Midi Designer Pro ($24.99): At some point, iPad modeling apps reached a point where the quality is as good or better than most dedicated hardware modelers. Compare Bias FX to your Pod and I think you'll be surprised. I have a Mustand III amp that allows two ways to amplify the iPad. 1) using the iPad as a multi-fx unit into the Mustang's modeling or 2) running the iPad into the Mustang's FX Loop return and using Bias amp modeling. I've gotten great results with both methods. Well, I started wanting more control over the effects and I don't really like Bias' guitar-centric layout. I've been experimenting with Midi Designer as a way to have a custom set of controls near my picking hand. Midi Designer is just what it sounds like. I've designed several layouts that allow me to do things that are not necesarily intended like a momentary stutter/killswitch or "boo-wah". IOS uses virtual midi, so I can either control parameters in Bias or in the AUM mixer. Muting tracks, panning, etc. In the screenshot below, I have the "channel morph" control that allows crossfading between two Bias signal chains, one clean and the other EQ'd for eBow with tape delay and a little dirt. The two buttons above the crossfader are set to send the crossfader slowly in one of the directions. For example, I could hit the "Ch 1" and go back to playing while the crossfader moves to the far left at my configured speed which I have set to 4 seconds. I could have also accomplished this by mapping the control to pan between two mixer channels in AUM, each with their own effects.

The killswitch is nice because a hardware killswitch pops unless you use distortion. This one has no such issue, is very responsive and I can make it as large or small as I want. It's a momentary switch that I have set up to control a a volume pedal at the beggining of my Bias effects chain. I could have also mapped it to the MUTE button on an AUM mixer channel. The X/Y pads on the right control the tape delay emulator and reverb.







6) Snippz (FREE): There are a lot of apps available to slow down and study audio. Anytune, Transcribe, etc. Snippz is the only one I could find for IOS that allows you to slow down a youtube video. Youtube content is tightly protected now so you can't grab a video and run it through one of the other slow-downer apps for legal reasons. Snippz probably hasn't been "caught" yet so if you need this, I'd download it before it's removed from the app store.

There are a lot of other apps that I use but they seem to be better known on the SGF than the ones I've described here. Anytune, iReal Pro, Chordbot, Session Band, ClearTune, Bias FX, etc. As well, there are simply too many exotic effects apps to mention. Convolution reverbs, multi-trackers, etc. I'm currently experimenting with Audulus 3 which is a modular synthesis designer for building custom effects from the ground up.

Hopefully, I've enlightened someone with all of this. IOS apps are priced extremely low considering their quality and I really don't see a need to ever go back to standalone pedals or multi-fx units.


Last edited by James Mayer on 27 Aug 2017 9:38 am; edited 4 times in total
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Michael Butler


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 9:07 am     Reply with quote

very good info.

i use my ipad in remote status for logic pro. i can sit with my guitar or lap steel and remotely record, raise or lower volume, playback, delete and add effects without having to get up and push any buttons.

i have the music memo app on both my ipad and iphone. it allows me to do a quick idea recording so my memory doesn't lose it. it can also automatically add drums and bass to the piece.

play music!
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 9:31 am     Reply with quote

Is the TE Tuner one and the same as the TonalEnergy Tuner? I'm browsing Android apps and that's as close as I come.
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James Mayer


From:
back in Portland Oregon, USA (via Arkansas and London, UK)
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 9:36 am     Reply with quote

Jon Light wrote:
Is the TE Tuner one and the same as the TonalEnergy Tuner? I'm browsing Android apps and that's as close as I come.


That's the one. I'll edit my post so that is more clear. In the IOS app store, it's abbreviated.
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 9:37 am     Reply with quote

Thanks.
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Brooks Montgomery


From:
Idaho, USA
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 9:40 am     Reply with quote

Good thread.
I would add Multitrack DAW as a powerful multi-track recording workstation.
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James Mayer


From:
back in Portland Oregon, USA (via Arkansas and London, UK)
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 9:41 am     Reply with quote

Jon Light wrote:
Thanks.


No problem. I'm curious what you think of Android music apps. I read somewhere that the reason why there are so few audio apps for Android is that the operating system has unresolved audio latency issues. I looked into it because I noticed that modelers, live DJ tools, multi-trackers, etc are so numerous for IOS and so limited or non-existent for Android.....despite there being a larger Android user base.

I'm wondering how well the TonalEnergy analysis will work if there's latency.
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Brooks Montgomery


From:
Idaho, USA
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 9:42 am     Reply with quote

Delete
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Last edited by Brooks Montgomery on 27 Aug 2017 9:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 9:44 am     Reply with quote

FWIW, the tuner is currently half price ($1.99) in the Android store.
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James Mayer


From:
back in Portland Oregon, USA (via Arkansas and London, UK)
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 9:57 am     Reply with quote

Concerning the Android latency.

http://superpowered.com/androidaudiopathlatency
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 10:14 am     Reply with quote

I REALLY don't want to know about this latency thing or want to need to know.

So my simple question: to the best of your knowledge, is there any pitch issue with using the tuner and its features?

I have no expectation of getting involved in any sort of DAW or processing applications. My desktop DAW is a sufficient challenge.
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Dennis Waltman


From:
Wisconsin, USA
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 11:34 am     Reply with quote

James,

I can't seem to identify which Jazz Harmony app you have in the screenshot when I search to App Store.

Thanks, DW
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James Mayer


From:
back in Portland Oregon, USA (via Arkansas and London, UK)
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 11:46 am     Reply with quote

Dennis Waltman wrote:
James,

I can't seem to identify which Jazz Harmony app you have in the screenshot when I search to App Store.

Thanks, DW


Search for the developer, "Marco Tacchini".
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 11:47 am     Reply with quote

I tried one of the iPad apps for a DAW controller for Cakewalk Sonar. It only offered minimal control, not even as much as my old Frontier Tranzport wireless controller so I dumped it.
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James Mayer


From:
back in Portland Oregon, USA (via Arkansas and London, UK)
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 11:48 am     Reply with quote

Jon Light wrote:

So my simple question: to the best of your knowledge, is there any pitch issue with using the tuner and its features?


Not that I'm aware of.
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Bruce Bjork


From:
Southern Coast of Maine
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 1:22 pm     Reply with quote

Anytune for iPad, Free version is awesome, Pro version is even better. Slow down, transcribe, loop sections. I use it every time I practiced.
https://anytune.us/

Riffstation is another that works fine as a browser, free, works on any browser. Search for a song and it picks it up via YouTube and plays tune back with the chords and you can transcribe tunes.
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John Sluszny


From:
Brussels, Belgium
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 4:12 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks for the info James.
I like snippz,BUT isn't there an app to change the pitch of a YouTube song (instead of the speed) ? Thanks !
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Jon Light


From:
Saugerties, NY
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 4:20 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks again, James. My worst case scenario is I'm out 2 bux. I can cope.
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John McClung


From:
Olympia WA, USA
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 5:22 pm     Reply with quote

What a great thread, James! Thanks for taking the initiative to start this Wiki of useful music apps for steelers. I don't yet have an iPad; does TE Tuner work on my iPhone?
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James Mayer


From:
back in Portland Oregon, USA (via Arkansas and London, UK)
Post Posted 27 Aug 2017 8:44 pm     Reply with quote

John Sluszny wrote:
Thanks for the info James.
I like snippz,BUT isn't there an app to change the pitch of a YouTube song (instead of the speed) ? Thanks !


Hmm, I don't know of one. Snippz is designed to keep the same pitch after you slow down the video.

John McClung wrote:
What a great thread, James! Thanks for taking the initiative to start this Wiki of useful music apps for steelers. I don't yet have an iPad; does TE Tuner work on my iPhone?


It's available for iPhone and those reviews are positive, but I haven't personally tried it yet. Usually, if it works fine on one, it'll work fine on the other.
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Alex Cattaneo


From:
Quebec, Canada
Post Posted 28 Aug 2017 6:13 am     Reply with quote

What do you all use for input/output with the iPad? I have the Peterson adapter but that only works as an input into the Ipad for tuning.

Great thread!
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James Mayer


From:
back in Portland Oregon, USA (via Arkansas and London, UK)
Post Posted 28 Aug 2017 6:50 am     Reply with quote

There are a lot of options but the only options you should consider are the ones that use the digital lightening jack for input. The adapters that use the headphone jack for input are crap. The audio quality will be low and you'll be dealing with a lot of noise and feedback.

I use GuitarRig by Sonoma. What I don't like about the GuitarRig is that is has no dedicated gain knobs on the device. You have to switch to another proprietary app to adjust the device's input and output gain. I briefly had an Apogee Jam and it sounded just as good, it just didn't have as many inputs nor did it have a headphone jack. With the Jam, it inputs through the lightning port but you you have to use the phone's iPad's headphone jack for output.

I would look into the IK Multimedia iRig HD 2. It has 1/4" input, 1/4" output and 1/8" headphone jack with adjustable input gain on the device.

The Line 6 Sonic Port also looks good, with similar input/output options.
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Chris Tweed


From:
Cardiff, Wales, UK
Post Posted 28 Aug 2017 10:20 am     Reply with quote

This has been a real eye opener. Thanks, James. I've downloaded the TE Chromatic Tuner and Steel Sidekick and finding good use for them both.
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Dennis Waltman


From:
Wisconsin, USA
Post Posted 29 Aug 2017 10:45 am     Reply with quote

Hmmm, Jazz Harmony must no long be available as I can't seem to locate it or the developer in the App Store.

Thanks, Dennis
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Bob Hoffnar


From:
Austin, Tx
Post Posted 29 Aug 2017 10:53 am     Reply with quote

Just got the TE tuner. Very cool.
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