This is a follow up to my previous post iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad apps for the music professional. In that post I looked at several apps that I found were essential in my work between music rehearsals, conducting, composing and teaching. As I mentioned in that last post, I've used all of these on an iPhone but most are all available (or will be very soon) on the iPad. Since that post, others have mentioned some further apps to me, and I have discovered some others myself that I think are well worth sharing.
NumPad - Using a laptop or on an Apple wireless keyboard? Do you miss your extra keypad and are slowed down because of it? Then this app is for you. It wirelessly connects to your computer and away you go. There are various layouts you can choose from, from a standard number keypad to the Sibelius layout shown below. You can also choose the colour/key type to match your current keyboard. Genius.
Audio Tool - There are lots of dinky apps to do the odd music job. There are some though that are appearing that combine all these little features and make a more weighty app, like this one from www.performanceaudio.com. There are currently four tools on the app but more are coming. You have a decibel meter, microphone to hook up to your sound system, a bit calculator to calculate drive space needed for a recording and also a handy audio atlas - hundreds of audio/electrical definitions you may come across while working in the studio or on the stage. Never be embarrassed again by not knowing a term, as it covers everything from absorption and attenuation, to scrubbing and SMPTE, to vocoder and VST.
SoundCloud - More and more people are signing up to this wonderful website. I now host all my website audio through SoundCloud and it is mindblowingly good (see a previous post about SoundCloud here). In this app you can view all of your music, that of your friends, your favourites and of course once you're with a track you have all functionality you would have online.
Pitch Primer - This app analyses your pitch in real time, you can record and afterwards have a detailed analysis (visually or by listening as well), you can retune your recorded audio to a desired temperament and replay it at the correct pitch, or it can just be used as a tuner. You can choose from six different temperaments, different scales and calibrate it. If it sounds a little heavy going, it's actually quite informative, interesting and dare I say it ... fun.
Air Display - This app gives you an extra wireless display. Beautiful. So it is not a music app as such, but one that is hugely beneficial to musicians, particularly those using an iPad. Most iPads or iPhones sit beside a computer doing nothing anyway, so this is a great way to make the most of them. If you're using Sibelius, Pro Tools or Logic you can have many windows open at one time. With Air Display you can easily drag windows in and have full functionality using the touch screen. Don't count the iPhone out for its size either, even just drag the playback window to the iPhone screen, go back and sit on your couch and have full control. I quite like the idea of avoiding apps like the massively priced ProRemote (which I talked about in my previous post), which really is another program connecting with Logic or Pro Tools. Where Air Display is you actually you, on your computer.
Cowbell Plus - I think we are all guilty of trying out some percussion instruments, cringing at their sound quality and then deleting them minutes later. Cowbell Plus, however, is quite above these other apps. The 22 instruments not only sound really authentic, but on each you can play at different volumes and the actual sound will change. For example, hitting a gong gently sounds completely different to hitting it hard. This app makes that change depending on how you tap it. It is very clever and although it is not yet going to replace your array of real percussion instruments, it is nice to have.
MTF Native Instruments, MTF Pro Tools, MTF Reason, MTF Synthesis, MTF Mastering V1 - The Music Tech Magazine is of course a hugely popular magazine around the world and in these apps it brings focused features, concepts, interviews, techniques, tutorials and reviews of these (and other) softwares. Perfect for reading if you're on the go, or even just if you are mighty serious about this software.
Enjoy checking out these apps and let me know your comments below.