iPad iPad for a professional musician...

Discussion in 'iPad' started by organerito, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. organerito macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2008

    I am professional organist. I play concerts, funerals, weddings....etc. i was thinking about using an iPad for all my music scores.

    Do you think the iPad with Forscore are solid and reliable enough for a concert. Funeral...etc?

    Would it be safe to leave all my paper scores at home?

    One last question, if I am just going to use it for my scores, email and some games, do you think anything better than a refurbished iPad 3?
  2. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601


    May 10, 2010
    Isn't the screen a bit too small for that ? My father had the same profession. Playing the big pipe instrument in churches and concert places. To what I remember he had always quite big paper and lots of remarks on it.
    Did you try once with iPad ?

    Watching my son playing piano I also thought would be nice on iPad. But still a tad to small for me.

    Where would you get the content from ? Like J.S.Bach ?
  3. organerito thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2008
    Thanks for you reply!
    If I play the organ for a concert on 5-manual organ, the iPad is going to be way too small. If the organ has just two keyboards, the score(iPad) would be close enough.

    I have tried the iPad and I think it could work for me on several occasions. My wife is singer, she could also take advantage of the iPad.

    I borrowed an iPad for a few minutes. I could read ok.

    I just would like to know if an iPad would make things easier for me. I would prefer not to carry lots of books every time I play somewhere.

    Thank you very much!
  4. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601


    May 10, 2010
    For a singer an iPad would be great. While I never really learned playing piano or organ I was singing quite lots in several choir (and still in the car when alone ;) ). The distance while holding the iPad in the hands seems ideal.

    But still while playing an organ I can't imagine how often you need to swipe / turn the page. If there would be a software with auto-scrolling that could help. And switch off autolock and eMail/iMessage to avoid unasked screen changes.

    Still where to get the scores from ? Scanned PDF ?
  5. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2008
    Wellington, New Zealand
  6. akdj, Apr 1, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013

    akdj macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    Talking about playing on keyboards, it's going to perfect. We use them often in band backline setups for drum kits, keyboards, and (obviously) if necessary for some of the HipHop acts---the turntables. Guitarists are starting to use them more often...though typically, we've seen the amplitude quarter inch connection with the iPhones to date. Many keyboardists are using them these days, at least in some of the contemporary acts we've set for...including Cheech and Chong (Tommy's daughter plays guitar and sings), both guys use stringed instruments and they had a DJ on stage. We've also set for Godsmack and Linkin Park, the later used iPads, MBPs and several Midi controllers looped into the iPads and MBPs. Pilots, albeit redundantly, are replacing 40lb + flight bags with their iPads for Jep Charts and other maintenance information on the specific jets, etc. AFM is still in paper I believe...but if it's good enough for them...(reliability speaking). If you're comfortable with the distance, the retina iPads are sharp as a tack, brightness is a non-factor, especially on a darkened stage. The one drawback would be reflection from the screen if you have overhead/stage/effect lighting. Just a matter of during the setup to let your tech and to stage crew know not to shoot a par-can directly on your setup positon. On keyboards, they're excellent, especially with some of the third party 'holders' for iPads. They're articulating mounts that allow you to position the iPad where you want it. They also work well on Baby Grands. Some of the sheet music programs, I believe...also listen along to the song. Played correctly, it 'knows' where you are in the song and is able to 'auto-flip' paging.

    For the effects (stomp boxes, MIDI, and synthesizers) as well as recording (Garage Band, Nano Studio and other DAWs)...both the tablets and laptops are becoming ubiquitous on stage these days. We see a lot of guitarists using the iPhones/iPod touch for tuning as well. You've got a thirty day trial---perhaps give one a shot during your 'busy' month and redundantly add your paper to your shows....see how it works for ya? Maybe borrow a friend's iPad? Many folks have them now-days. As well...pre and post production, you'll have a LOT of fun 'playing' with the iPad and your in home studio keyboards. They're fantastic and this is absolutely ONE area iOS completely trumps the Android offerings (phones or tablets). There are literally no music production apps worth mentioning, incredibly difficult if not impossible MIDI I/O---and the performance/reliability factor isn't matched yet by Android in comparison to iOS. As simple as iOS is, it definitely gets out of the way and allows for Apps to be front and center---efficient and reliable. Nothing sucks MORE than having an integral part of your sound system 'go down' during a live performance....NOTHING!!!!

    Good Luck, drop me a PM if you have ANY questions!!! iPad has literally changed our business (21 years in live Audio and Video production in the Pacific NorthWest) paradigm---they have literally shaved many tens, if not hundreds of pounds of gear and eliminated daisy chaining 3,5 10 different stomp boxes, DI, MIDI controllers and tuners from the equation. During big performances, it's never a bad idea to have redundancy (IE, the paper on hand)....as well, if it's an important tool for your craft, look at the iPad 4. The iPad 3 is an excellent device, however the iPad 4 is faster...up to date and just all around more 'fluid' with all tasks. Again---in an important facet such as a live performance, the most up to date device, IMO, makes sense. If sheet music is your primary 'load' on the iPad, you should be fine with 16GB. Even audio production doesn't take up a whole lot of space....compared with video, games, photography, et al. If you do plan to use is as more than a sheet music tool---and utilize some of the production/MIDI functions...32 or 64GB may be the better choice (Garage Band and some of the other DAW and production software can be in the order of 500MB....from there, doing a few projects can easily exceed a GB or several magnitudes more than that---pending your activity)

    Good Luck!
  7. Almy macrumors 6502

    Sep 27, 2008
    Also keep in mind that some ipad apps allow you to send to multiple screens. You could have as big a screen as you like. For what I do the ipad screen is big enough, but if I ever wanted bigger I'd just send it to a flat panel.
  8. Zcott macrumors 68020

    Oct 18, 2009
    Belfast, Ireland

    I'm a jazz pianist by trade and use my iPad on all my gigs. It works great and saves me lugging around 1500 pages.

    The only possible issue you might run into is page turns, but there's an airturn Bluetooth pedal which can turn pages. Although since you're an organist your feet may be busy...

    See if you can borrow one for a while, or buy one and I guarantee you won't return it within 30 days. Forscore is the best app I've found for scores because of the tagging and setlists, so you can create a wedding setlists or a funeral setlist or tag certain pieces as appropriate for weddings, etc. Once you've put in the initial effort to set everything up it really is a very powerful device for musicians.
  9. organerito thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2008
    Thank you very much to all of you for your asnwers!

    Thanks a lot. I am a lot more confident now to buy the iPad. I was hesitating because I wanted to hear from a musician that it works and that it is reliable.

    I imagine the 32Gb one is more than enough, right? Do you think the iPad 3 is good enough? Is there any reason why I should go for the 4? As I said, I'll use just for reading music.
  10. TJ61 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 16, 2011
    3rd gen should do nicely, and I would think you could easily get by with a 16GB model. If you think of one page of sheet music in the form of a picture (worst case), that would require ~2MB storage. So, you could get ~500 pages per GB.

    Would you need more than 5000 pages on the device at any time?

    Buy from a seller that has a good return policy, and be prepared to give the thing a good shakedown within that timeframe. Also, don't rule out the possibility that you'll use it for more than reading music -- better to figure that out during the return period. That's why you may regret getting the 3, or 16GB. But, if you've purchased the 3rd gen 16GB, the resale should be pretty good.

  11. Almy macrumors 6502

    Sep 27, 2008
    If money isn't an issue always get the newest. Especially when they change the connector for the first time. Oh and I'm a big fan of AppleCare+. Never know when it'll get knocked around. Especially on stage.
  12. Zcott macrumors 68020

    Oct 18, 2009
    Belfast, Ireland
    I have 1500 scanned PDFs in Forscore and they take up less than a few hundred mb, so I bought the 16gb and it's fine.

    The iPad 4 is a little quicker at handling a huge database of scores but if you have even a few hundred the iPad 3 will be more than enough.
  13. No1iSaHero macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2012

    My buddy I travel with uses a Blue Spark Digital on the go for his iPad.
    It plugs right in perfectly.
    I use GarageBand on the iPad.

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