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Critical tech for musicians to take on the road

While on the road, musicians appreciate tech that’s easy to carry around, while full of functionality. A tablet is of the utmost importance for file sharing performances with friends and family. With the right apps, it can be used for developing compositions and jotting down ideas as well. A traveling tablet should have at least one organizational app to help keep things straight. Traveling typically leads to great observations, ideas and encounters, and with today’s technology, they can be recorded and shared with those far away.

There are many tablet apps available to help a musician compose. The following each have their own strengths and specialties and come highly recommended:

Caustic 2 can be downloaded from the Google Store and tried for free. It is a rack mount simulation providing synthesizers and samplers for creating musical compositions. Three different synthesizers can be added, including virtual analog subtractive, PCM and BassLine. There is also a sampling drum machine. The app includes effects, mixer desk and song sequencer. This software features real time optimization and Internet connectivity is not necessary. Files are stored on the SD Card and personal WAV files can be used for PCMSynths as well as BeatBox.

Music Riff Studio is an excellent tool for sketching musical ideas. It’s not as musically complex as Caustic but is intuitively easy to use, and focuses more on getting ideas out and not really on a finished product. Music Riff Studio is free and well worth trying.

StudioTrak is a digital studio app for tablets. It is a multi-track recorder and songwriting tool, which allows musician to record ideas and songs on their iPad. WiFi sync allows StudioTrack recordings to be downloaded to a computer for further development.

Guitar Toolkit by AgilePartners is yet another app that provides assistance with musical composition. It can also help you to learn a song or prepare for a gig. When you purchase an upgrade, you can use interactive Chord Sheets on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch devices. This software enables you to create, listen to, share and save chord progressions. You can even print and email chords.

Musicians who are bringing a Mac along might enjoy Duet 2. This software is designed for editing music and can turn a Mac into a professional music studio. It has received exceptional reviews.

When it’s time to share files with friends and family back home, upload your videos and audio files to services like YouSendIt to ensure that everyone knows what your band is up to. A great personal organization tool called Bento allows you to keep track of contacts and events and helps with planning and scheduling. It also records voice memos, sends emails and users can even browse the web from inside the application.

Any musician who is travelling will need a music listening device that is compact, portable and also sounds great. The iPod is highly rated but it’s a little too cumbersome to carry around. The Apple iPod Nano MC526LL/A is tiny yet has outstanding sound. Its features are a 1.54” color display, FM radio, built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery, 24-hour playback, pedometer and Shake to Shuffle technology.

Today’s musician can certainly optimize travel time with a full suite of technological devices and software for creating, recording, communicating and listening to music. This technology can help musicians on the road share experiences and compositions and enables them to plan, organize and collaborate as well. Tablets and apps provide cutting technology for bargain basement prices, and they enhance our creativity and expression.


Reader Comments (1)

Also check out Tascams PortaStudio app for the iPad. Looks and feels like the old 4-track cassette machine!


July 26 | Unregistered CommenterChris Bauer

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