Wednesday, March 30, 2011

HP 2730p takes on the Pops

I inked this on the 2730p during the rehearsal because the conductor decided to run the rehearsal in show order rather than in order of decreasing instrumentation, and then ran over.  The standard procedure would be to run full orchestra stuff first, then let the orchestra go to run the pieces that are big band only.  Since he chose to run big band only piece in the middle of things, there was plenty of time to sit around and not play.  Luckily, I was reading music from the 2730p this time, so I just took the computer off the stand, put it in my lap, switched over to OneNote, and scribbled away.  It’s nicely unobtrusive.  While wind players will frequently whip out magazines, or start shaving reeds in rehearsal, I have a feeling popping open a laptop and typing would be less well received.  Since I can keep it closed in tablet mode and write silently with the pen, it didn’t disturb those around me while we waited for a piece that we actually play. 

On to the 2730p’s performance as a music reader – it’s fine.  The widescreen means the music is a little smaller than on the Motion LE1600 I had used at the last concert.  Since this concert involves a big band crammed on stage with the orchestra, I’m practically sitting on top of my stand, so the smaller screen really wasn’t a problem.  I had no trouble reading the music apart from the fact that some of it' is sloppily hand written.  But those parts would be hard to read no matter what size they were.  Also, I ran the whole rehearsal on just the internal battery.  I didn’t even need to break out the slice.  It’s comforting to know I have plenty of battery life and don’t need to worry about finding an outlet on stage or having to run to a plug in the break.

I’m using Windows Journal like the previous concert.  The parts are emailed to us ahead of time, and I just used the Journal Note printer to print them from Foxit into Journal.  This time, I did it all in one huge 39 page Journal note rather than printing each piece into a separate file.  The extra power provided by the Core 2 Duo of the 2730p meant that a 39 page file was not a problem.  There was no lag in page turning or jumping around in the file.  I just made sure I had the page bar showing, and I could go directly to any page.  I was actually beating most of those flipping paper books, as the books were in alphabetical order rather than show order.  It’ll take some cut and pasting to get the file into show order, but not really much longer than it takes to reorder the paper books. 

I’m page turning with the Footime pedal, which comes in handy considering most pieces are two pages and I can only see one at a time.  If they are written with page turns, then it’s only every other page at best.  Hands free turning for the pages that play straight through is critical.  Well, at least it’s as critical as the viola part in a big band/orchestra mashup can be. 

1 comment:

  1. That's neat to hear you using your TabletPC for music reading, even while performing. I don't know if I'd have enough confidence in Windows that it would crash. Still, I used my iPad to give a talk in my congregation a few weeks ago using, GoodReader. It was much better than flipping thru papers.