Smartphones have become increasingly popular in the last ten years. They are very useful tools for musicians, making it possible to combine the functions of several devices in a single machine.
Here are my favorite apps:
Pro Metronome :
“The best metronome app. Period.” says the developer on itunes. Well, it’s true. It allows many customizations. Among them, the possibility of different sounds on each beat of the measure, which is very useful. The interface is clear and pleasant. And above all, the basic sound is very audible without being aggressive.
Tuner Lite :
A free, simple and effective tuner. The pitch is easily adjustable on the main screen. The Lite version (free) allows you to choose between 5 levels of sensitivity. The full version displays more options, including choice of music notation (C, D, E … or do, re, mi …), transposition and even different temperaments!
This application is only for iOS. Feel free to comment at the bottom of this article if you know a good Android tuner!
App Store (iOS): Tuner Lite
A lot of musicians post recordings on SoundCloud, an audio dedicated social network. You’ll find music there, but also podcasts for example. You can follow artists or your friends and discover what they like.
A great app to listen to unlimited music. Works with a monthly subscription. You probably won’t find the small independent productions there, but if you are looking for albums distributed by major retailers, then you will find them on Deezer. You can download tracks or albums, in order to listen to them everywhere.
You’re looking for a musician but you can’t find him either on deezer, or soundcloud? Then try bandcamp. In this app, you directly support the artists by deciding how much money you pay for their works. With a minimum, of course.
I also use the OS native apps. “Music” to listen to imported CDs. “Voice Memos” to quickly record musical examples for my students. The sound quality is just standard, therefore these recordings are almost only useful to solve rhythm issues. Put the device at a distance and the sound becomes better somehow. If you know better recording apps, tell me!
Register – clarinet fingerings :
There are some clarinet-specific apps, mostly fingering charts. I only tried “Register” (only for iOS devices) which comes with a free demo. It’s a pretty good app, with clear diagrams. You just have to swipe up or down to select notes. Trill fingerings is another interesting feature. Unfortunately, it will be hard for the beginner to distinguish common fingerings from special ones. I definitely have to write a commented fingering chart, one of my upcoming projects!
App Store (iOS): Register
What about you?