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I recently switched to a tablet for sheet music (too many loose pages around) and have been looking into a cheap battery-operated BT foot pedal to turn pages (so I can carry it in my backpack and use on a variety of digital and acoustic pianos).
I looked on Amazon and was pretty shocked at the options there. Everything starts at $60-70 and goes up from there. For a BLE pedal? This is literally a single button...
1. What an I missing? Why are these things so expensive? It's basically an Amazon Dash button that you put on the floor, and they used to give those things out for free.
2. Are there any not-expensive options? i get that $70 isn't the end of the world in this pastime, but I was honestly expecting to see them for closer to $10-20
I bought the AirTurn PedPro after buying and return two others. One was clunky and slide all over the floor. Another one required you practically stomp on it. The PedPro was recommended by Sweetwater. I still use it occasionally if I am using Bluetooth connected to the Novus to play a backing track or watch a video lesson on my iPad. I do not recommend it. It is difficult to find the perfect spot and pressure to activate it. One with a big button you can step on will be more consistent.
A good page turning pedal must meet several criteria, especially if used for gigging (I don't gig, but those features are nice to have even for home use): - The mechanics must be rock solid and should not break down unexpectedly. - The Bluetooth connection too must be rock solid, without hiccups or connection losses. - There should be no accidental double page turns from a single foot tap. - It should work very long off a single charge (so that it doesn't stop working unexpectedly) and it should give an unobtrusive warning early on, once the charge gets low. - It should be absolutely silent (no click, no squeak, no nothing). - Ideally, it should be unobtrusive (have a small foot print, if you excuse the pun), while at the same time it must not be too small to hit reliably with a foot tap. - It should not go sliding around on the floor when worked with the foot.
As usual with such products, if you want something that does all this, you have to pay for the quality.
My AirTurn Duo does all this. It has worked without a single fault since late 2015, both with an iPad 4, a Kindle Fire tablet (Android) and a Surface tablet (Windows). There were two times when it developed a very slight squeak, each time caused by dust that had worked its way between the chassis and the holder. A simple cleaning fixed that. The only thing I don't like is, that it is a bit of a pain to switch off. But I guess even that is a desirable feature if used for gigging, that you can't switch it off by accident. 100% recommended by me.
Thanks JoBert, as usual a very useful and well-thought out response!
This isn't the one you have, but the user video really gave me pause as to the construction quality of the particular model/unit: https://www.amazon.com/Donner-Bluetooth-Turner-Tablets-Rechargeable/dp/B06XNW9LRP/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=bluetooth%2Bpage%2Bturner%2Bpedal%2Bfor%2Bipad&qid=1581189980&sr=8-5&th=1
Frankly, if these were built to be bullet proof foot pedals for gigging, I would expect they'd have the heavy duty stainless steel stompbox/pedal filter construction. At least then I could see where the $70+ costs are going. But it seems most of these are pretty lightweight plastic and kind of look like generic import toy/console pedals. Plus, not all are even purpose-built musical industry devices, as some seem to be marketed as pedestrian consumer devices for turning pages on e-readers, photoshop filter shortcuts, etc.
My main requirements are simply fully wireless/battery operated, and compact size so I can always have it in my work backpack.
There BT selfie camera remotes on Amazon that go from $5-10 (like https://www.amazon.com/Bestshoot-Wireless-Bluetooth-Shutter-Smartphones/dp/B07BLWY9BP/ref=sr_1_51?keywords=bluetooth%2Bbutton&qid=1581190769&sr=8-51&th=1), and honestly, that's closer to what I was expecting given the functionality...but maybe I just need to get over the sticker shock.
... if these were built to be bullet proof foot pedals for gigging, I would expect they'd have the heavy duty stainless steel stompbox/pedal filter construction. At least then I could see where the $70+ costs are going. But it seems most of these are pretty lightweight plastic and kind of look like generic import toy/console pedals. Plus, not all are even purpose-built musical industry devices, as some seem to be marketed as pedestrian consumer devices for turning pages on e-readers, photoshop filter shortcuts, etc.
This is from Airturn website: The AirTurn BT200S Series combines the features and performance of the BT200 series with the look and feel of a traditional stompbox style pedal, you can even use a 9v power supply. Built from heavy duty polymer with industrial-grade steel switches. Unlike metal cases, our polymer case doesn’t interfere with the radio signal and can still withstand the weight of a truck! With the ability to customize computer keyboard and MIDI commands, it’s the perfect app controller for guitarists, bassists, keyboard players, DJ’s, recording engineers, and more!
This is the one I got and I'm happy with it. I'm also impressed with its range or operation. I tested it and I easily got over 100 feet range.
All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
I’m going to offer a different solution which will completely eliminate the need for a foot pedal.
The forScore app uses facial recognition to turn the pages. It requires a Pro subscription, which costs $10/ year, but it works so well I would never consider using a clumsy foot pedal after trying it.
The only downside is that this only works for newer iPads which do not have a home button (ones that unlock using facial recognition).
There are 2 setting you can choose from. The first is turning your head one way or the other. I don’t like this since I may inadvertently turn my head, for example if I make a mistake (which happens a lot haha) and shake my head, which turns the page at the wrong time.
The second setting recognizes if you move your mouth slightly to the right or left. You can also adjust the sensitivity. This is pure genius! I showed it to my piano teacher and she was blown away. It’s such an elegant simple solution which works flawlessly after a little practice.
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The Stomp pedal does look sturdy, but for nearly $150, I could almost hire a page turner to follow me around
I use a Pageflip Firefly. It received very good customer reviews from pianists on Amazon.com and has worked well for me. It works with my forScore, but I haven't tested it with Staffpad yet.
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I could almost hire a page turner to follow me around
Those can be cool too. They can be voice activated, or activated with head movements (nod, jerk, etc.) or the advanced ones even have AI and follow the score and actually *know* when to turn the page all by themselves! Modern tech is exiting!
On another thread there's talk about how good (or not?) is the una corda pedal on digital pianos. For my part it matters little. I'm not good enough to need one. So mine became the page turner. Price: $0.00 The price is nice.
Part of my reluctance to spend much money on this is because I don't really need a page turner; it's at best a slight convenience. I can't sightread well, and I end up memorizing everything I play anyways, so I rarely ever "play" pieces from sheets. I only really use sheets while I'm learning/fine-tuning a piece, and for that it's measure by measure, bar by bar, so page breaks are not a big deal. Btw, I'm not saying this is a good way to learn, but it's what I have to work with.
So while having a hands-free page turner would be kind of nice, I wouldn't really use it for playing, it'd just make it easier for me to learn page-to-page transitions on the tablet (which is limited to a single page per screen, whereas with paper sheets I'd just put up the two pages I need on the music rest).
With all that said, I'll probably end up springing for one of the options discussed here (maybe not Victor Borge's :))
My wife occasionally asks me if I want a page turner. I think it bugs her a bit when she's somewhere that she can hear me play and then I stop to turn the pages (or click to the next page, as it were). She's never said actually anything about that, though. I always tell her that I don't need a page turner. I'm not performing so I can stop to turn the page. She's not usually around when I'm playing, anyway. It's just me and my bird, she's off making quilts all the way over on the other end of the building.
Maybe I'll have to get one someday, though....
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