Wednesday, June 15, 2016

It's kinda quiet in here

But I've been a bit busy. Because someone thought it might be a good idea to take on a show with a tech week the same week as the last week of school, culminating in a run from the school concert to the opening night of the show. Since traffic is so beyond messed up here in the Bay Area, leaving the city to head south during evening commute was no big deal since everyone is going the other way - from jobs in the valley back to SF. I was just hugely bummed to miss  out on the after-concert chatting time with students and parents.

The other reason I haven't posted much is because I've got a set up that Just Works. I mostly have material for the blog when I'm testing stuff, or interested in the Next Big Thing. For now, my HP Pro Slate 12 is doing all I need it to do.

There are two other standard size iPads in the pit and they're just so tiny looking. Several musicians have expressed interest in my set up, especially because I'm using not-an-ipad. The cellist said he's wanted to find out more about the options, but everyone he's seen is just using an iPad and he doesn't want to go that route (either too little, or too pricey). He's now stalking the one HP PS12 on ebay. It seems I grabbed mine at just the right time, as they haven't come up much recently.

I should also mention that the two iPad players in the pit are also reading inserts off of paper. I scanned my inserts, used Xodo online to merge them into main show book, used thumbnail view in Xodo on the PS12 to move them into the correct place in the score, deleted everything I didn't need, then exported the completed book. I still like to perform out of MobileSheetsPro because of the half page turns, but I could have just as easily kept it in Xodo and performed it from there.

I do have a new tablet kicking around the house right now that I'll write more about soon. It's not quite as big as the PS12, so it's not going to replace my main reader, but it'll be fun to play with and should prove an interesting Surface alternative for those who don't want to be limited to Android.

Also, the latest post over at techinmusiced has me interested in learning more about XML again. I abandoned experiments in scanning years ago, but if it's so easy to convert from PDF to XML now, I need to look into it again. And it looks like there's an app that'll cover both.


  1. If you are just scanning your own part, you will be shocked by the accuracy. Complex scores (vocal or instrumental) can be tricky, and text doesn't always scan in correctly. My suggested path right now is NotateMe (iOS or Android) with the IAP PhotoScore purchase. That means about $70. Use your best device with the best camera (in my case, the iPhone). Accuracy is incredible for the most part, with minor tweaks needed. I can put a standard choral octavo from paper to digital in less than an hour.

  2. I forgot...there is a free version of NotateMe called NotateMe Now. This allows one staff recognition. If you scan something and want it converted to MusicXML, feel free to e-mail me and I can do that final step for you so you can see what it looks like before dropping $70 on it.

  3. Thanks Chris. I'd be curious to see how well markings like bowings would scan in. Manually redoing all the slurs is a pain. But honestly, right now, I'm good with PDFs since moving to my giant tablet. I'll be writing/arranging more in the fall as I'll be taking on the school orchestra again, so I'll probably have to come back to this idea in the fall. Of course, you'll have no free time then.