Tons of new fixes and features! Check out all the details of the OnSong 1.972 update on our release page Click Here
Monday, December 9, 2013
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Onsong is an app that turns your iOS device into an interactive mobile music library that lets you take your chord charts anywhere you practice or perform. Use it to import or edit your songs then organize them into set lists (books). Pull chord charts from your library and share them with your band without the hassle of paper or bulky binders. You can interact with your music by transposing keys, applying capos, or adjusting how the song is displayed, all with the swipe of your finger. OnSong replaces the paper binder with a simple, compact, mobile solution.
The full video is 11 minutes long and if you're new to OnSong it is highly recommended that you watch the whole thing and follow along to get the most out of the OnSong App. Watch the full video here, or scroll down to get jump links for specific topics.
How to Add Songs in OnSong
How to Make a Set List in OnSong
How to Search for Songs in your OnSong Library
How to Change the Look of your Chord Chart in OnSong
How to Make Notes in OnSong
How to AutoScroll your Music in OnSong
How to Setup Foot Pedals in OnSong
We hope this helps you learn how to use OnSong for the first time, or gets you started on some features that you haven't used yet in the OnSong App. Enjoy!
- On/Off/Reset switch on the back
- Status indicator light for connection and charging
- (2) 1/8" audio stereo jacks
- Internal 430mAh lithium polymer battery
- 1 meter USB charging cable
- AirTurn BT-105 2-Pedal $119, lower cost, great for basic page turning and scrolling
- AirTurn BT-105 4-Pedal $159, allows for more functions to be controlled in OnSong
- Sleek and Stylish: Compact design is well constructed and durable.
- Hidden Cords: Electronics are molded into the plastic to protect them and keep them out of the way.
- Silent on Stage: Built for being quiet, including while recording.
- Durable: Made of military grade plastic polymers that you can drive a truck over!
- Built in 100 hour rechargeable lithium battery.
- Indicator Light: Blinking sequence is complicated to learn at first.
- Size: The 4-Pedal is big and doesn't fit into a typical laptop bag.
- Accessing the Keyboard: AirTurn Pedals take the place of your onscreen keyboard when connected, which can make using the OnSong editor impossible until the red button on the back is depressed.
- Price: Not as affordable as other wireless pedals available.
- Charging: The battery lasts so long that charging takes time and forgetting to charge the pedals regularly is an easy mistake, leaving you flat just before a gig.
- 4 backlit assignable foot switches
- (2) 1/4" inputs for assignable expression pedals or switches
- Bank, MIDI Program, and MIDI Control Changes
- BlueBoard iOS App runs in the background, translating Bluetooth messages into MIDI instructions
- Runs on AAA batteries (Standard or AAA NiMH Rechargeble batteries)
- Size: Small enough to fit into standard laptop bags. Helpful for gigging musicians who travel.
- Store up to 32 Presets
- MIDI on-screen keyboard allows continued control even during disconnect
- Price: Under $100 (Airturn 4-Pedal is $159)
- Ability to add two extra foot pedals or switches
- Construction: Low quality plastic, may not last as long as competitors in live gig settings.
- Foot Switch Sliding: Prone to moving around on stage.
- Unstable Connection: Bluetooth disconnected a few times during a long set.
- Confusing App: User interface on provided app was not intuitive and took a while to figure out.
- Foot Switch Response: Sometimes the buttons where hard to press or slow to respond.
AirTurn BT-105 Pedal Review - Another Wireless BlueTooth FootPedal
Friday, November 8, 2013
I'll admit, I used to hate those guys in college that would pick up a guitar and start strumming, just to steal the attention of every girl in the room. I'd be carrying on a nice conversation with a cute brunette and suddenly "Name" by the Goo Goo Dolls would start drifting across the student union. It was frustrating and I'd lose my chance at a phone number, but I never got mad enough to just go learn guitar for myself. I tried learning to play the guitar growing up and in 6th grade music class I even mastered "Ode to Joy," but I was an active guy (soccer, camping, martial arts), so guitar lessons just didn't fit into my schedule.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a musical guy: I can read music, sing, and played a number of instruments during my school years including drums, saxophone, sousaphone (a round tuba), and the equivalent of a french horn (mellophone); but the guitar just wasn't for me. I'd pick it up, play an open chord, or just pluck a few strings while I made up lame blues songs about an unsuccessful day of hunting or not getting a job I applied for. The truth is, I was jealous of those long haired, goateed, narcissists. Please don't send me hate-mail about how you've never had a goatee, I realize that's just a stereotype, and that guitar players come in all shapes, sizes, hair lengths, and genders, but the desire to learn to play the guitar has never left me.
When I met Jason, the founder and genius developer behind OnSong, at a February 2013 Startup Weekend event in Lancaster, PA we clicked immediately and he asked me to help him in growing OnSong. At the time I didn't know anything about the app and didn't even own an iPad (I want the Android version just as badly as everyone else!), but I immediately saw how amazing and useful the app was. One of the first, and coolest OnSong features I noticed was that tapping on a chord would reveal the fingerings for multiple instruments like ukulele, bass, piano, but especially guitar. That was my Eureka moment..... I realized that I could learn to play guitar using OnSong!
My strategy is pretty simple:
- Find the easiest songs to play on a guitar with a simple internet search.
- Import them into OnSong.
- Check YouTube or Spotify if unsure of what the song is supposed to sound like.
- Once the song is open in OnSong, click on the chords above the lyrics to display the finger placement chart for guitar.
- Strum the chord over and over again until happy with how it sounds.
- Move on to the next chord in the song and tap it. (Many simple songs are only 2 or 3 chords!)
- Once a feel for the chords needed to play is attained, try to put them together switching back and forth.
- Now put it all together and actually try to play the song.
- Rinse and Repeat with different songs, exploring different chords.
Keep in mind that this method of learning to play guitar will not turn you into Yngwie Malmsteen, but it might get you playing around campfires and in coffee shops with your friends, so you no longer have to sit on the sidelines when some one busts out an impromptu jam session. Are there better or faster ways to learn guitar? Maybe, but if you're reading this blog, you probably already have OnSong and if you're a singer, drummer, or pianists that wants to add guitar to their musician's toolbox, this might just be the easiest way. If you don't have OnSong and you randomly found this blog looking for information on how to play the guitar, you can download it here. It might also be the cheapest way to learn guitar. Check back often, since I'll be posting my "Learn to Play Guitar" journey to this blog, and on youtube.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Drake Dyban is a St. Louis, MO based multi-musician who plays not only his own material, but performs regularly with his original rock act "Silent Hollow" or his solo-acoustic act "Cover up! with Drake Dyban." When he is not performing, he teaches guitar, bass, piano, and vocal lessons in the St. Louis area. Drake is a unique and versatile musician that will definitely keep you entertained!
My OnSong Story:
I had originally found OnSong when I was performing regularly with my church. Once I had become familiar with it's interface, I was then able to not only put in cover songs but also my own material! From there, I have used it regularly while teaching and doing my solo-acoustic gigs. It's great to be able to make sets of similar music or even be able to bring up songs on the fly. When someone requests a song, I no longer have to flip through a book or try to look it up on-line. It's been so awesome, I have even converted a couple of other guitar players!
What kind of music are you playing right now? Listening to?
I started using OnSong to play worship songs, but now I use it for oldies, rock, alternative, hip-hop, etc. I have an eclectic taste and that reflects in my OnSong setlists!
Do you write your own music? If so, what inspires your writing?
I do write my own material. I write mostly acoustic and piano style songs and I am inspired by singer-songwriters like Paul Simon, Andrew Bird, City & Colour, and Ray Lamontagne.
Are you a professional musician/artist or play for fun/non-profit?
I was originally playing for fun with my church when I started using OnSong, but now I play professionally with Silent Hollow and my own Drake Dyban project.
What does your typical day look like?
Well, I have a day job, so that keeps me pretty busy. Luckily, my job is to work with musicians, so I get to talk gear almost everyday. Before work, I'm usually practicing or promoting, and after work, I am rehearsing or performing. It's a pretty sweet deal.
How do you bring music to life?
I've been a performing musician for over 10 years, and I use the not only the written music but also the audience to help feed my performance. I am a firm believer in using the mood in that moment in time, and this allows a song you have performed a million times to be special because you are using that moment to feed your message.
What’s one trend in music that really excites you?
I am really excited at how well live music is being layered by using samplers on multiple instruments. I use a Boss Loopstation to sample my parts and I am able to solo over it with the push of a button. I also think that being a multi-instrumentalist will start to become much more common, if not the standard, for doing solo work.
What instruments do you play?
I currently play guitar, bass, piano, and sing. I am currently learning violin, mandolin, banjo, and variety of other folk instruments.
What instrument is your favorite?
I started my musical career on guitar, so I will always have an affinity for the instrument, but I absolutely love the sound of a piano.
As an musician/artist, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I recommend always trying to break things down into smaller, understandable pieces. It'll make the whole song that much better if you can take a bunch of small, great sounding sections and turn them into a masterpiece. It works on every style of music, trust me.
What is one failure you had as a musician, and how did you overcome it?
When I first started, I had very poor technique. I didn't understand metronomes, sections, theory, and especially not the full-purpose of a guitar! The key is to never stop learning, keep practicing, and never let the nay-sayers keep you from doing what you love!
What is some advice you’re willing to give to budding musician?
Break things down and try to play them cleanly. Everyone wants to be the next virtuoso, but nobody is born with intimate knowledge of any instrument. We all have to learn, so you might as well get the hard stuff out of the way early. Break it down, understand it, and when you come back to dealing with something similar to that problem, it will not seem as hard.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
Well, I'm no world-traveler, but I would like to change a lot of peoples' mindsets of what they feel they can and cannot do. I've met too many people that feel limited by their own abilities, and if they could only take that step to meet their potential or with others who can help, we would be living in a completely different world. I believe technology is the best way to make this positive change happen.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
Even thought I may not act like it, I am very thankful to be able to create music. I sometimes worry that the "creativity well" may dry up, but I always seem to create something new, thankfully!
What are your three favorite online tools or resources?
OnSong, Anytune, and Evernote. Between those three apps/tools, I've created a musical empire! I use OnSong as my performance reference, Anytune to break down songs and learn them properly, and Evernote to keep my new song ideas flowing!
What is the one book/blog channel that you recommend our community should follow and why?
I believe anyone who is semi-serious should read the "Indie Rock Survival Guide" blog/book. It is a grassroots way of getting the things you want done without wishing for someone with a million dollars to invest in you. It has a lot of great resources listed, as well.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
You should follow Steve Martin (@stevemartingtogo), KDHX (@kdhx), and Greek Fire (@greekfireband). Steve Martin is hilarious, KDHX spotlights a lot of my favorite music, and Greek Fire is an awesome St. Louis band that takes amazing pictures and always have amazing stories.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
I try to laugh everyday at the small stuff, but the movie "This is the End" is the loudest I've laughed in a long time.
Who is your musical hero/influence?
I would have to say Andrew Bird is one of my biggest influences. I saw him live a while back and he has beautiful songs that are wonderfully layered. WORTH SEEING LIVE!!
What is one thing most musicians overlook?
Keep a good group around you. Artists have to support artists! Also, keep a good repair tech handy. As long as he actually fixes things, his service will be invaluable to you!
What do you do when you are not performing/practicing/promoting?
I try to make it a point to see or do something I have never done that is positive for me. Right now, I like to go hiking through state parks. It brings me closer to nature and the people that are in my life. You can find me on almost anything! I am based out of St. Louis, Missouri but I am all over the web!
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