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Digital music displays—suggestions? #2959080 03/20/20 08:19 PM
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AndyFielding Offline OP
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Hey everybody,

Sorry if I'm duplicating an existing topic here. I looked around but didn't see one.

I've been computing since the '80s (where's my walker? [grumble]), but I'm still tied down with printed music pages—and I'd like to get with it here in the 21st century.

I'm prepared to convert most of my sheet music to PDFs. I'd also like to stop printing versions of my own music as I write and refine it, and do more playing and editing directly from my notation program (Sibelius).

My Windows laptop's display isn't practical for this. It's too small, and has the wrong orientation, and switching pages from its keyboard is too awkward. But a tablet computer would be overkill for me. I'd rather keep everything on my laptop (with prudent backups of course), and connect some kind of page-size flat display. I assume this would be considerably cheaper than obtaining a whole separate computer, too.

I'd also like to connect some kind of pedal unit to my laptop that I could program to switch music pages (in a PDF viewer or Sibelius, whichever I happened to be using).

This is possible now, right? If so, do you have any specific hardware recommendations?

Please keep in mind that I'm Windows-based, and don't know from i-stuff.

Thanks for your ideas!

P.S.: I've posted this in the Classical section, too, I understand many classical musicians and orchestras have already gone in this direction—but it also seemed that some non-classical people might be more generally tech-headed. Hope that makes sense. :?)


When people look at a tree, they look at the leaves. They don't look at the spaces between the leaves. – Keith Jarrett
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Re: Digital music displays—suggestions? [Re: AndyFielding] #2959092 03/20/20 08:47 PM
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Learux Offline
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A few of us use surface tablets. I think they work reasonably well.Screen can be a bit small.

There is several programs that you can use mobil sheets is what I prefer.

If you don't mind the bulkiness you can use a laptop that folds in half and has a touchscreen.

That is probably the most economical solution.

Ereaders I think is the way to go but all are hindered being just a tad small.

www.amazon.com/Sony-DPT-RP1-13-Digital-Paper/dp/B072DXXXN1

This latest model looks interesting but is pricey.(but will work good if you want to take a lot of notes, would be better if it was letter size)


https://remarkable.com/


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

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Re: Digital music displays—suggestions? [Re: AndyFielding] #2959183 03/21/20 08:52 AM
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Beemer Offline
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See my answer today over in your other post on Pianist Corner
Ian


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Re: Digital music displays—suggestions? [Re: Learux] #2959184 03/21/20 08:58 AM
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Beemer Offline
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Originally Posted by Learux
A few of us use surface tablets. I think they work reasonably well.Screen can be a bit small.

There is several programs that you can use mobil sheets is what I prefer.

If you don't mind the bulkiness you can use a laptop that folds in half and has a touchscreen.

That is probably the most economical solution.

Ereaders I think is the way to go but all are hindered being just a tad small.

www.amazon.com/Sony-DPT-RP1-13-Digital-Paper/dp/B072DXXXN1

This latest model looks interesting but is pricey.(but will work good if you want to take a lot of notes, would be better if it was letter size)


https://remarkable.com/


Quote from a user on Amazon:
SONY The EULA - Sony very much oversteps with the EULA, disallowing opt out for data collection and providing themselves with permission to collect data not just from the Digital Paper itself but also from any device connected to the Digital Paper. The Digital Paper requires connection to a PC to operate (only way to load documents into the DP), meaning that Sony has effectively given itself permission to mine unspecified data from my PC and use it without any real restrictions, including expressly permitting themselves to share my data with unspecified third parties.
end quote.

Ian

Last edited by Beemer; 03/21/20 08:59 AM.

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Re: Digital music displays—suggestions? [Re: AndyFielding] #2959236 03/21/20 11:03 AM
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Learux Offline
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This would be worth looking into seems far fetched.


When you play, never mind who listens to you. R.Schumann.

Casio GP-400
Schimmel SP-182T
Re: Digital music displays—suggestions? [Re: AndyFielding] #2959265 03/21/20 01:01 PM
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I use a laptop sat in a docking station behind my piano with a second monitor (24 inch) sat directly in front of me and slightly above my music stand,This means that I can use either 'old-skool' paper or PDF's without having to swap anything around. I have a remote BT keyboard to control the laptop so I don't have to reach over to it and a foot pedal.

I run Mobile Sheets Pro on the laptop for PDF and also have the free version on my tablet (a 10 inch Lenovo). My intention is to use the tablet when I'm out of the house (lessons etc), but I've not really used it yet. I'm thinking of maybe buying a 2-in-1 Windows laptop which will enable me to use the screen separately (like the Microsoft Surface).

I just finished building a four button USB foot pedal yesterday, which sits under my piano and allows me to control Mobile Sheets and a Transcription program (Transcribe !) which I use to slow down and loop backing MP3 tracks easily as I learn them and play along.

The foot pedal was 'self- isolation' project although in honesty I'd started it a bit before this all happened. There's a picture of it here.

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/galleries/2958803/foot-pedal-page-turner.html

It works by simulating key button presses on a remote keyboard. There's a few threads on here about similar solutions using BT keyboards etc.


I'd be a far better pianist if I spent the time I'm on this forum playing my piano instead.
Re: Digital music displays—suggestions? [Re: AndyOnThePiano] #2960556 03/26/20 06:31 AM
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AndyFielding Offline OP
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Hey guys—thanks for your replies!

Originally Posted by Learux
A few of us use surface tablets. I think they work reasonably well.Screen can be a bit small.
There is several programs that you can use mobil sheets is what I prefer.
If you don't mind the bulkiness you can use a laptop that folds in half and has a touchscreen.
That is probably the most economical solution.

Sorry if I wasn't clear enough. I'm already set for software (Sibelius for composing; PDF viewers for reading). And I'd rather use an external display I can connect to my laptop (e.g. HDMI), rather than investing in a separate computing device, like a tablet. (And maybe some people do use touchscreens for notation, but I think it'd drive me crazy!)

Originally Posted by Learux
Ereaders I think is the way to go but all are hindered being just a tad small.
www.amazon.com/Sony-DPT-RP1-13-Digital-Paper/dp/B072DXXXN1
This latest model looks interesting but is pricey.(but will work good if you want to take a lot of notes, would be better if it was letter size)
https://remarkable.com/

Hey, I didn't think about "e-paper" displays! Unfortunately, the devices you refer to are proprietary. You can see music PDFs on them, but you can't run software like Sibelius on them. Too bad—what could be a better type of display for notation than something that actually looked like ink on paper? laugh

Originally Posted by Beemer
Quote from a user on Amazon:
SONY The EULA - Sony very much oversteps with the EULA, disallowing opt out for data collection and providing themselves with permission to collect data not just from the Digital Paper itself but also from any device connected to the Digital Paper. The Digital Paper requires connection to a PC to operate (only way to load documents into the DP), meaning that Sony has effectively given itself permission to mine unspecified data from my PC and use it without any real restrictions, including expressly permitting themselves to share my data with unspecified third parties.
end quote.

I'm no expert, but it seems to me that the only way Sony could actually access your data would be if you gave the DP device permission to go online.

This is topic drift, but for what it's worth:

When my Sony e-reader finally pooped out, I found that Kindles were considered the best value. But I wanted to read e-books I already had, not buy more of them from Amazon... And I didn't want Amazon keeping track of everything I read, and so on.

Then I learned that you can put your own ebooks on Kindles (you just have to convert them to MOBI format, which is no big deal). And if you don't want to go online with them, you don't have to.

I've been enjoying my Kindle ever since. I've never taken it online. (I was even able to update its firmware manually, by downloading it to USB rather than over WiFi.) So unless Sony actually requires you to go online to use their DP device, it doesn't seem like too much to worry about.

Originally Posted by AndyOnThePiano
I use a laptop sat in a docking station behind my piano with a second monitor (24 inch) sat directly in front of me and slightly above my music stand,This means that I can use either 'old-skool' paper or PDF's without having to swap anything around...

A widescreen display also let you see two music pages at once, doesn't it—vs. just one page on a tablet?

BTW, rather than putting your monitor above your music stand (don't know about you, but that'd give me sore neck in no time), why not remove the monitor from its base, secure it to a music stand sturdy enough to support it, and place any printed pages you want to see in front of the monitor? I mean, it's flat, right? wink

Originally Posted by AndyOnThePiano
I have a remote BT keyboard to control the laptop so I don't have to reach over to it and a foot pedal... I just finished building a four button USB foot pedal yesterday, which sits under my piano... The foot pedal was 'self- isolation' project although in honesty I'd started it a bit before this all happened. There's a picture of it here...

That's pretty cool!

Well, I just thought I should check with you to be sure I wasn't overlooking some specialized technology musicians might be using for this. For example, I understand most of the big orchestras have gone from music stands to display/pedal systems. And I assumed some of you had already made this transition.

But it seems like I can just look for a good-size, high-quality widescreen HDMI display—one that's sharp and clear enough to read music full-time without getting headaches and/or a stronger glasses prescription... Maybe the type people use for CAD drawing? Are there particular brands I should look into?

And one of these USB pedals you refer to... I'm not up to building my own, so where does one find something like that? Music stores? eBay?

Sorry to seem so clueless. As I mentioned, I've been computing a long time, but I've never seriously considered going totally digital with music till now. Thanks again for your input!

Last edited by AndyFielding; 03/26/20 06:32 AM.

When people look at a tree, they look at the leaves. They don't look at the spaces between the leaves. – Keith Jarrett
Re: Digital music displays—suggestions? [Re: AndyFielding] #2960588 03/26/20 08:38 AM
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AndyFielding Offline OP
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I had another thought about page-turning.

I think there are voice-recognition apps that can be programmed to send any key codes. So rather than resorting to a page pedal (which some people might find distracting while pedaling a piano, right?), voice commands can probably be used for any kind of document navigation.

They could be used to automate common notation actions, too, couldn't they? Wow—this could change everything.

Okay, I just wanted to sound dramatic. You know us artiste types. wink


When people look at a tree, they look at the leaves. They don't look at the spaces between the leaves. – Keith Jarrett
Re: Digital music displays—suggestions? [Re: AndyFielding] #2960770 03/26/20 05:03 PM
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Thanks Andy.

My display is 24 inch and is nothing special, just a regular office quality monitor (less than $100) but is clear enough to easily read two sheets displayed side by side.

It's not mounted very high, although I know my description may have suggested that it was. It actually sits maybe a foot behind my music stand and is set up just high enough so that my line of sight allows me to just read the bottom line of the screen. I did think about recessing it into the stand itself for quite a while, which would be easy to do as my stand is substantial, wooden and very wide, but I figured that this would be more hassle as I'd have to remove all the paper stuff of my stand before I use the screen, and I typically have a lot of mess on my music stand.

Another alternative would be a touch screen, which would allow you to run Windows from the screen and you could probably even take notes directly on the screen.

There's plenty of page turners out there if you're not sad enough (like me) to make your own.

https://www.thomann.de/ie/airturn.html

The voice turner is probably a good idea if you can integrate it into the s/w.


I'd be a far better pianist if I spent the time I'm on this forum playing my piano instead.
Re: Digital music displays—suggestions? [Re: AndyOnThePiano] #2960792 03/26/20 06:09 PM
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AndyFielding Offline OP
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Originally Posted by AndyOnThePiano
Thanks Andy... My display is 24 inch and is nothing special, just a regular office quality monitor (less than $100) but is clear enough to easily read two sheets displayed side by side...

That's encouraging! I have one downstairs that might even work. I'll let you know how it goes.

Originally Posted by AndyOnThePiano
It's not mounted very high, although I know my description may have suggested that it was. It actually sits maybe a foot behind my music stand and is set up just high enough so that my line of sight allows me to just read the bottom line of the screen.
I did think about recessing it into the stand itself for quite a while, which would be easy to do as my stand is substantial, wooden and very wide, but I figured that this would be more hassle as I'd have to remove all the paper stuff of my stand before I use the screen, and I typically have a lot of mess on my music stand.

If it works well for you, that's all that matters. I just wondered if it'd occurred to you that it might not matter having everything in the same place.

Last night I actually had a vision of going out to the shop and building a stand so a monitor could sit flush in it. (The parts on either side wouldn't have to be solid wood; a few horizontal slats there would suffice.) But you beat me to it, mentioning it here.

Originally Posted by AndyOnThePiano
Another alternative would be a touch screen, which would allow you to run Windows from the screen and you could probably even take notes directly on the screen.

I'm sure many people would find a touchscreen useful. I must admit, though, being such an old-school keyboard-'n'-mouse adherent, I've actually turned my laptop's touchscreen function off. (I haven't felt this way about phones, since we've always pushed things on them with our fingers.)

Originally Posted by AndyOnThePiano
There's plenty of page turners out there if you're not sad enough (like me) to make your own.

(a.) Thanks for das Musikgeschäft in Deutschland—if we weren't in the midst of the COVID-19 scare, I'd probably talk my wife into it being a sufficient excuse to fly over there. It's one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited. smile

(b.) I have nothing but admiration for you, building your own pedal unit! Sorry if I gave you any other ideas. Having just finished remodeling our house—and learning everything along the way, often with hilarious results—I have nothing but respect for handy, imaginative people.

Originally Posted by AndyOnThePiano
The voice turner is probably a good idea if you can integrate it into the s/w.

It'll be fun to try, at least. Being married, I'm so used to being ordered around, it'll be a novel experience telling something else what to do.

Originally Posted by AndyOnThePiano
I'd be a far better pianist if I spent the time I'm on this forum playing my piano instead.

Indeed, with so many interesting things to do, it's hard deciding how to spend our time. Imagine, though—with a monitor in front of you, and voice-recognition software, we could dictate forum posts while playing music that didn't require sightreading! (I don't know how many of you improvise, but this would be a great opportunity to get into it.) I can't wait to try this.

After all, these days, it's not considered normal to do only one thing at a time. I've found that the less attention I pay to what I write, the more sense it makes. Look how sensible this topic has been—and the whole time, I've been dictating it into my phone while doing the laundry, vacuuming, and doing other more important, non-music-related things that enable me to stay married to a normal, non-creative person. Multitasking while practicing is a natural extension of this philosophy. You need priorities, right?


When people look at a tree, they look at the leaves. They don't look at the spaces between the leaves. – Keith Jarrett
Re: Digital music displays—suggestions? [Re: AndyFielding] #2961055 03/27/20 05:32 PM
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Don't worry Andy, I didn't think for a moment that you were being critical. I was just laughing at my own geekyness. But I quite enjoy being a geek, and I'm better at it than I am the piano.

BTW- how's things in Vancouver ? I have a son working there at the moment (I live in Ireland). He's doing a year or two there after finishing his degree over here.


I'd be a far better pianist if I spent the time I'm on this forum playing my piano instead.

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