Entries in Tutorial (7)

Video: Animoog iPad Sound Design Tutorial Part 2 by Dubspot

We tweeted about this a few days ago, but in case you haven't seen it yet we just wanted to let you know that Dubspot have posted the second of Matt Cellitti's brilliant three part tutorial on sound design with the Animoog iPad app.

It's worth watching this video on your iPhone/Computer/other device so that you can follow along with Animoog on your iPad. We did this and it really helped.

Don't forget to check out the Dubspot website where you can find out more about their New York based on-site training and their newer online courses. 

How to: Use Pages for iPad with Most Cloud Services

Pages on the iPad works with iCloud but what if you want to collaborate using another Cloud service like Dropbox, Google Docs or Box.net where your documents are already stored? Read on to find out how.

Being able to collaborate with colleagues or clients online is often an essential part of any Creative workflow. Where document production is concerned, Pages for iPad is arguably one of the better apps, but out of the box Pages doesn't work with Cloud Services like Dropbox.

For the last couple of weeks we've been testing a set up that uses Pages V1.5 on our iPad to open and save files to Dropbox and a few other Cloud Services via the third party site Otixo.

(Update: Although we have based this workflow on Pages, its fellow iWork apps, Numbers and Keynote for iOS, can also save to a WebDAV service so this set up should be fine with them too on both your iPad and iPhone.)

It works great, so we thought you might like to know how to set this up on your iPad. Here's how:

Set up your Cloud Services

The first thing you will need to do is set up a free Otixo account, then login and add each of your Cloud services (just click on the + next to 'My Cloud Services' to add a new service).

Otixo lets you manage all your Cloud services in one place and crucially swap files between them without needing to download them to a computer then upload them again to another service.

The list of services is comprehensive and being added to all the time, we've added the three we use most here.

Cloud Services added to Otixo

Once your accounts are setup in Otixo you're ready to go.

How to edit an existing document

1: Open Pages on your iPad and tap the + to add a document, then select WebDAV. This will be where your existing document is downloaded from.

Selecting WebDAV as the document source

2: In the WebDAV Sign In window enter https://dav.otixo.com into the Server Address box, then enter your Otixo Username and Password and tap Sign In.

Enter Otixo account details as WebDAV Sign In

3: You should now see a list of the Cloud services you set up in your Otixo account

Cloud Services as folders in Otixo

4: Choose the folder for the service hosting your existing document then, if necessary, navigate to the folder where the file is located.

5: Select the file and Pages will download it to your iPad ready for editing. Pages for iPad will open .pages files, Word files (.doc, .docx, .dotx) and plain text files (.txt).

How to Save a Pages document to a Cloud Service

Whether you have created a new document on your iPad with Pages, or edited an existing document, saving that document to a Cloud Service is fairly straightforward. Here's how you do it:

1: With your document open in Pages on your iPad, click on the Tools icon (the spanner) and select the first option 'Share and Print'.

Selecting 'Share and Print' in Pages

2: Select 'Copy to WebDAV' from the 'Share and Print' menu.

Selecting 'Copy to WebDAV'

4: If you have not set up Otixo already, or you have signed out of Otixo, you will need to enter your WebDAV Sign In details here. This will be your Otixo account login and Server Address (as shown below).

Enter Otixo account details as WebDAV Sign In

5: Choose the format you want to save this document in, Pages, PDF or Word. (Notice the Server address is listed as Otixo).

Choose File Format for destination copy

6: Choose the Cloud Service and Folder where you want to save the file. Note: this does not have to be the same service you downloaded it from.

7: Select the blue 'Copy' button and the file is saved to your chosen location. In the case of Dropbox in our tests, it appeared almost instantly on our Mac's Dropbox folder.

Confirm location and Copy your file to the Cloud

The Otixo service has worked flawlessly in all of our tests and means that we can now edit and share documents with pretty much anyone without the need for iCloud syncing. It is also a big advantage having all our Cloud Services in one 'dashboard' on Otixo, allowing us to copy files between Cloud Services using just one login from any browser on any computer or iOS device.

Did you find this 'How to' useful? Let us know in the comments, and feel free to share it using one of the options below.

Retronyms Tabletop: Gridlok Tutorial Video (and Free Samples)

Got Retronyms Tabletop app on your iPad and want to know more about using custom samples in the Gridlok module? So do we!

Helping us out is Retronyms themselves who have published the video below, showing how to use the free samples they are giving away to celebrate 1000 Likes on Facebook. Click that link to download your free samples and follow along:

On the Music Path: Beautiful, Intimate and Effective

How would you like an intimate 1:1 guitar lesson from some of the top musicians in the business? In your own home!

With On the Music Path app, that is pretty much what you get. You can even say, “Hang on, slow down a bit and play that again”, as many times as you like without annoying your tutor.

If you want to improve your musicianship, appreciate high quality video and classy app design, we think you will love On the Music Path, and it is not just because our favourite actor/photographer/musician Jeff Bridges told us to.

Here’s Jeff to tell you more about the app. We'll give you our hands-on review after the video:

The Approach

As you can see in the video above, On the Music Path uses high production value video tutorials to teach a skill. We liked the teaching approach used in the videos. The guitar videos, for example, show both hands of the tutor on the guitar, all the way through the lesson, so you can see exactly what they are doing.

These videos are supplemented with onscreen guitar tabs (or optionally music notation) highlighting the notes being played with a little blue arrow above or below the Tab.

IMG 0359

Each lesson begins with a short introduction from your tutor where they demonstrate the skill your are going to learn, what will be covered and how it can be used. These introduction videos are very personal and although it may sound a little hokey, it really feels like they are talking directly to you. Try it and see.

You're In Control

You can control the speed of the video playback and even slow it right down to quarter speed whilst retaining the exact same pitch. Very useful if you need to break a riff or song down note by note.

There can be some strange sort of echo like stutter if you play the video at the slowest speed, but you have to expect this really from the audio and the notes are still clearly audible to play along with.

Another great feature is being able to set in and out points on the video so that you can loop and repeat a section that you are trying to learn, very handy. 

Once a video lesson is finished the app pauses with a screen that lets you tap once to carry on to the next part of the lesson, or double-tap to replay the last video. This seemingly small detail has a big impact when you are learning.

Instead of breaking your concentration, going back to a menu or rewinding a video, just double-tap to practice the skill again, and again. It is a very useful feature (one we had to use quite a lot!).

Your Tutors

This app is not for wannabee super shredders or death metal fans necessarily, not at the moment anyway. The style of music being taught and the manner of your instructors is relatively sedate with Blues and Folk style guitar playing being the current topics covered.

Some well known musicians have lent their talent and knowledge to these tutorial videos though, talented and authentic musicians who love their craft.

Our teachers have won Grammy’s, been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, played at the very top of the charts and even been nominated to Parliament…But that’s not why we chose them. We chose them because they’re great teachers: They have the patience, generosity and talent to inspire you to become a better musician.

Among these is Jackson Browne (Rock and Roll Hall of Famer); Songwriter, Folk Rock guitarist and Brit legend Richard Thompson (OBE); and noted guitarist Steve Postell who delivers a stellar series on the fundementals of guitar. These are really good, solid basic lessons that any beginner guitarist will find invaluable to starting them off on the right foot (or leg actually) in their guitar playing lifetime.

Only acoustic guitar lessons are available right now, covering mostly folk, blues and classical playing, but the app shows a 'Coming Soon' label on electric guitar lessons with Eric Johnson, Sitar with Ravi Shankar Piano with Vonda Shepherd and Drums with Steve Ferrone, amongst several other instruments, so there is a lot to look forward to.

Video Size and Quality

The videos are gorgeous and look fantstic on the iPad screen if you opt for the full HD quality lessons. You are looking at around a 750MB to 1GB download that will be stored on your iPad though.

If, like us, you are struggling not to overstuff a 16GB iPad, you will find yourself deleting a lot of apps, podcasts, music, photos and other video to make room for these lesson downloads.

You do have the option of Standard quality downloads or the much smaller low-res versions.  These take about 380MB and 180MB on average respectively. We tried them all for most lessons and the low-res videos are ok to watch on the iPad screen if you don't need to see the detail but the Standard quality videos were more acceptable to watch on the iPad.

If you can make room for them though, the HD quality is worth it, especially if you plan on hooking your iPad up to a larger display whilst using On The Music Path. We used HDMI and VGA out to watch the video tutorials on our HDTV in the lounge and they looked and sounded fantastic.

The guitar tab overlay is always clear, no matter what quality video you have selected, so you won't have problems seeing the notes you need to play.

No Streaming

We think it would be better if there was an option to stream these lessons, meaning we wouldn't have to keep them on our iPad. This may mean we lose the portability of the lessons, but if your main use for the lessons was at home where you have wifi and broadband available, having to wait for the stream each time wouldn't bother us too much.

The Cost

On the Music Path is a free download for your iPad, and most lessons have a sample provided for free.

Lessons range from $1.99 - $19.99 (£1.49 - £13.99) which might seem a bit expensive but, when an hour with your local guitar tutor costs around £25, consider what you're getting for your money:

  • 45 mins to 1 hour of personal instruction from a professional musician
  • Content to keep and re-watch again and again
  • 1:1 lessons with top names in Folk/Blues/Country and soon Rock music
  • Very high quality video
  • Well produced teaching tools, such as tab display and video slow down with pitch retention
  • Lifetime access to download lesson content again if deleted

If, like us, you are running a limited budget, then you may have to ration yourself to one or two downloads per month.

Given the size of the tutorials, especially at high quality and the amount of content in each one, you probably wouldn’t want to download all of the lessons at once anyway.

Overall Impressions

If learning to play guitar or becoming a more accomplished player , is something you have always wanted to do we think you will relish On the Music Path, especially if Blues, Folk and Classical is your thing.

As more lessons are added in the future in other areas such as Rock guitar, Keyboards, Bass, Ukulele and Drums, so the app has the potential to become your portal to all manner of musical instruction, right there on your iPad.

We highly recommend you check out On the Music Path, you have nothing to lose as the app is a free download from the App Store.

You will be able to tell if it is for you from the free samples that are included. Just be sure to free up some space on your iPad, especially if you are already struggling with your 16GB iPad like we are.

Caricatures Made Easy by The Flaming Stylus

If you have ever tried drawing caricatures you will know that it is not as easy as it looks. One of our readers, known mysteriously as 'The Flaming Stylus', has let us know about a post at his relatively new blog of the same name.

Image provided by The Flaming Stylus Blog

It is a really helpful tutorial if you're not sure where to start with your caricatures. He uses the iPhone app Toon Face Maker to get started with the faces and ArtRage to finish off the character bodies and create the finished image above.

You will find some other handy tutorials on the site too, including one on creating Vector Graphics from a sketch and another titled Songwriting on the iPad which introduced us to the wonderful Key Chords app, for which we are very grateful.

Be sure to check out The Flaming Stylus Blog and let him know what you think (don't forget to tell him we sent you). There will be more tutorials posted there in the near future so subscribe if you want to see them all and/or follow him on Twitter.

How to Paint on the iPad

Continuing what seems to be a theme here over the last few days, we have found another look into the Creative process with a video entitled 'How to paint on the iPad' by Kyle Lambert

We have featured Kyle's work here several times before but this video we found particularly interesting as it explains a bit about the techniques he uses to create his amazing art on the iPad.

Sheet Music on Steroids now on your iPad - Etude for iPad released

We let you know back in mid-March that Wonder Warp Software were planning to release an iPad specific version of their brilliant piano tutor software Etude.  Well yesterday the Etude app was updated to a Universal app that will support both the iPhone/iPod Touch and your iPad, with device specific user interface and features.  

The iPad version looks really nice and they have maximised the use of the screen space to show much more of the score at the same time.

Even better, if you already own the Etude iPhone version, your iPad version is free! Otherwise, the app will only cost you $4.99 (£2.99), which is a very good price when you consider that you can download all of the sheet music and songs to play for free, with premium, artist licensed songs coming soon.

Etude can be downloaded from the app store now, or you can see more information about the app and a video demo here.

There's more - Free Mac software 

If you are on a Mac and want something to help create chord progressions or use as a teaching aid, you can get a free copy of Wonder Warp's SimpleChord desktop app.  This software lets you look up piano chords and create chord progressions of your own, and supports an external midi keyboard too.

It also includes a midi export option for the chord progressions that you create in SimpleChord, and these midi files can then be used in Garageband very simply as a new track, ready for you to add the rest of your masterpiece, or just use it to practice with.

SimpleChord would normally cost you $12.95, so it is worth a tweet to spread the word. Details are here.