The Apple iPad…..Revolution

Ok, so, unless you have been living in a Cave, you know that there was a great event held on Wednesday. Something all the media covered. Something everyone was waiting for with baited breath. Steve Jobs announced the fabled Apple Tablet. (And some guy named Obuma was doing some standup comedy later in the evening as well).

A lot of Gadget people were bemoaning the lack of this or that. No camera (front or rear), no USB, no HDMI, no Verizon, no Multitasking, no FLASH. Waaa! Sadly, these people are missing the point. It does need to have these things and was designed not to (except maybe the camera…rumors are that there was a prototype version that had one, and the software seems to have hooks for them).

So, what does this mean? And what does this mean for musicians. Can start scanning all our books into the computer? Can we ditch that lame electronic music things like this, this and this? Well, for traditional musicians, I think that scanning your music is a music regardless of what you plan on viewing it on. It might sound like a waste of time, but when you can’t find that book of etudes by so and so that you know you have but don’t know what happened to it….and that it is out of print. Yeah, you’ll be happy that you had the foresight to scan a copy for your archive. Now, viewing music that was made for 8 1/2″ by 11″ pieces of paper on a 9.56″ x 7.47″ device (slightly smaller actual viewing area)? Dunno. Obviously the music would need to be scaled down. Would that make it unreadable then? Dunno. However, if the music is formatted for that size, it would be no problem. Perhaps some witty programmer will design a program that will slice up music PDFs and make them more viewable. I for one plan on offering up iPad versions of stuff here. So, people with iPad can practice the tomb of II/V patterns, or Brecker solos, or whatever.

I think the bigger impact is going to be the cool apps for this. If you have an iPhone/iTouch, you already know all the handy apps out there for it. Now, increase the screen size 3 times and make it faster……can we say mixing applications? Slowdown apps? Multitrack recording device? Practice tool? Tuner? Hmmm….

Run ProTools On Mackie Hardware? Say What???

This summer, Mackie unveiled a new line Onyx-i firewire mixers that you could, with the purchase of a $50 driver, run Pro Tools M-Powered 8 with. You don’t need to own a M-Audio interface. It would just “work”. A lot of people thought Mackie was going to get a taste of Digidesign’s lawyer division in short order. BUT….it seems they have indeed licensed something with Digidesign, so it is now “legal” to run Pro Tools on a Mackie Onyx mixer.

So, why? And why should you care? I think the reason is that Avid (Digidesign and M-Audio’s parent company) has seen that tons of people are using other pieces of software. Logic, Sonar, Digital Performer, Cakewalk, to name but a FEW. Allowing Mackie hardware to use ProTools allows the software, which is really great IMHO, more exposure. Plus you could have a full 32 track studio happening if you bought 2 Onyx 1640i mixers. True, you don’t get the motorized faders that something like the 003 has (if you have Pro Tools LE) or the Project Mix I/O. But both of these only have 8 preamps.

Anyhow, It is great news. Mackie and Digi working together? Hmmm….

Rock Band Network…..Saxophone Hero?

I’ve seen this around the net, even linked from It’s kind of neat, but…..could we please have real notation? Also….why bother doing this in the first place? I mean, it’s one thing to play pop/rock songs on saxophone (which I have no qualms about doing), but I don’t really see this doing much for anyone….

Misa Guitar

Ok, forget that Eigenharp Alpha. What Akai needs to do for the next EWI is something like the Misa Guitar.

Engadget describes it as “Essentially a MIDI controller, the Misa guitar has 24 frets and a large multifunctional touchscreen, which you can use to interface with the appropriate software on your pc.”

Ok, now someone get on putting a large, 10 inch by 2 or 3 inch touch screen on something you can blow into. That would be amazing I think.

Want better Relative Pitch? There’s an App for that.

Yes, the iPhone/iTouch is amazing. 100,000+ Apps. A lot for free. There are a few diamonds in the ruff, and this one is looking like another find.

RelativePitch is an an iTouch/iPhone app that will drill you on intervals. There is a lite version of it as well. The interface is OK, but I have a few complaints about it. The application does not, at least in the lite version, allow you to vary the root note. Maybe the full version does this, I dunno. Second, the intervals are always UP, as in root then the note above. Down would be a great thing to have in this app as well. Perhaps the full version does it. It would be simple enough to add in an update.

The price? $7.99. Forget that. If the developer knocked it down to $1.99, maybe. You’d be better off searching the web for various free trainers, like Hopefully someone will do a better version for the iTouch/iPhone soon. Or a cheaper version. $7.99. Come on people!

Gordon Goodwin Holiday Concert

Yamaha has two videos up of the Gordon Goodwin Phat band playing a holiday concert.

It is also in iTunes under Podcasts->Yamaha Wind Instrument Podcasts (there are lots of other good videos in there too)

Note: the two solo mics sucked. WTF. The rest of the mics were good, but shure 58s? Really? Should have stuck with sennheisers or something.