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Need recommendation on a digital sheet music kit
#2963296 04/03/20 12:30 PM
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I need to get as fast as possible digital sheet music device.
My purpose is to switch pages via switch pedal while my hands are occupied on playing on the piano keys.

All need is to read music, nothing more. Another smart device\computer is not needed.

I'm looking for the lowest cost device that could the job.
My requirements:
* Screen size should be about A4 size and dimensions, or similar size and dimensions appropriate for music pages.
* Screen should be nice to look at for a long time with decent picture quality for the specific needed task.
* Ability to run an app that loads PDF\Picture files with integration with a switch pedal.

And of course a pedal unit built for switching pages on tablets and such, and a good app.

If there is a bundle on a dedicated kit that built specifically and only for the task, and the price accordingly - great.

If not, what would you recommend?


Last edited by hag01; 04/03/20 12:32 PM.
Re: Need recommendation on a digital sheet music kit
hag01 #2963322 04/03/20 02:09 PM
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Budget?

I think an iPad Pro 12.9 is probably the easiest solution. You can get PDF reader/sheet music software and a pedal unit that works with it, and also use the pencil for annotations.

I have a dedicated Pixel Slate that I use for exactly this purpose. It was something like $500 including a keyboard and stylus, and I'm using a plain BT keyboard as a foot pedal. Works great, views nearly full-sized A4 pages, and and works with the Android version of MobileSheetsPro for displaying sheets, taking annotations, cloud syncing between devices, and integrating dozens of actions with the foot pedal.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Need recommendation on a digital sheet music kit
hag01 #2963338 04/03/20 02:39 PM
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Look into Powermusic software.

https://powermusicsoftware.com/

It has its own format that converts PDF's though. Right now it is on a deep discount because of the pandemic. Worth a look and they have software/hardware bundles too.

If you're like Windows there is get a last model SurfacePro and buy either Mobilesheets Pro https://www.zubersoft.com/mobilesheets/
or Musicreader PDF https://musicreader.net/en/

Both of these are good programs and both actively developed. I have had Musicreader for quite a few years and like it myself. The newest version is the best one yet. Mobilesheets too is good. I brought it to support the developer
as it isn't too much $$


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
Re: Need recommendation on a digital sheet music kit
hag01 #2963340 04/03/20 02:53 PM
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Lowest cost? A cheap laptop.
Easiest, cheapest pedals? The ones on your piano.
I use the sostenuto pedal for page forward and the una corda for page back. (I don't need those pedals for the piano.)
On the attached computer I run Bomes MIDI Translator. It's configured to treat sostenuto as page down, and una corda as page up.
Any PDF read can use page down/page up to flip the pages of the PDF sheet music.
Originally Posted by hag01
I'm looking for the lowest cost device that could the job. My requirements:
* Screen size should be about A4 size and dimensions, or similar size and dimensions appropriate for music pages.
* Screen should be nice to look at for a long time with decent picture quality for the specific needed task.
* Ability to run an app that loads PDF\Picture files with integration with a switch pedal.

Re: Need recommendation on a digital sheet music kit
hag01 #2963353 04/03/20 03:34 PM
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I recently bought a 12.3" Surface Pro on eBay for $225. It is in "as new" condition - no nicks, no scratches.The display is 7" x 10-1/4". When I print to paper it is 7-1/2" wide so the Surface is only about 7% smaller. Of course the total price is a bit higher due to shipping costs.

If you want a larger display look at the Surface Book which is also available on eBay for $250-300. Just be patient and look for a good one with returns available.

The advantage of these over a laptop is that the keyboard can be removed then it can sit vertically (portrait mode) on the music rest. These devices also have touch capability so you can just tap on the screen to go forward and backward. Of course they also work with Bluetooth pedals.

There are lots of apps if all you want to do is display sheet music. Some allow mark-ups, some do not.
o PDF Reader by Xodo (free)
o Sheet Music Viewer (free)
o Power Music Essentials (free)
o Music Reader ($10-15/year after 30-day free trial)

Re: Need recommendation on a digital sheet music kit
hag01 #2963371 04/03/20 04:12 PM
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Music Reader lets you sync your files with other devices for that price. So if you have iPad, iPhone, Android Phone or Android Tablet you can load them on those devices automatically if you want.
I like this feature as I was able to see on my phone what church music I had already and what I needed to scan in for future mass. I was able in a pinch to use my camera on my phone to import the music as a PDF at rehearsal and have it sync up to my computer automatically when I was back at home on my WiFi. I have limited Data on my cell phone plan. I have used a USB cable from cell phone to laptop to transfer on the spot if I really needed the music. I hope I never have to go back to paper as the Hymal books weigh a ton!

Also the Music Apps like MobileSheets Pro, Musicreader, and Powermusic let you make a play list. Nice feature and if you are playing out you can duplicate pages for repeats and only turn pages forward. Also they have bookmarks/jump-points to go back or forward several pages if necessary. This was one of the main reasons I investigated music-apps. Now I date the mass playlist as it only changes a litlle bit from year to year.

I'll add I would like a SurfacePro myself instead of a laptop but I am making do as it is.


All these years playing and I still consider myself a novice.
Re: Need recommendation on a digital sheet music kit
hag01 #2963387 04/03/20 04:55 PM
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Any useful software for Chromebooks?

(Of course anything web browser based will work.)

Many can fold the keyboard away or even detach and they are cheaper than iPad Pros.

Re: Need recommendation on a digital sheet music kit
clothearednincompo #2963405 04/03/20 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
Any useful software for Chromebooks?

(Of course anything web browser based will work.)

Many can fold the keyboard away or even detach and they are cheaper than iPad Pros.


My response above is more or less a Chromebook solution. Pixel Slate is a Chromebook tablet. It runs Android apps and works great with MobileSheetsPro.


Yamaha P-85, P-105, CP50, Kawai MP11 || Kawai NV-10
Re: Need recommendation on a digital sheet music kit
hag01 #2963413 04/03/20 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by hag01

I'm looking for the lowest cost device that could the job.
My requirements:
* Screen size should be about A4 size and dimensions, or similar size and dimensions appropriate for music pages.
* Screen should be nice to look at for a long time with decent picture quality for the specific needed task.
* Ability to run an app that loads PDF\Picture files with integration with a switch pedal.

And of course a pedal unit built for switching pages on tablets and such, and a good app.


I recently made a switch to entirely digital sheet music usage, with the same requirements as yours. I had one additional requirement: ability to take notes on the sheet music. You do not mention that - but something I would recommend to consider in your shopping.

Note that the A4 size screen and 'nice to look at for a long time' means that there are going to be very few solutions that will work. If you want the note-taking ability, that reduces the solution space even further.

The following 'bundle' is what I am using:
  • iPad Pro 12.9" - you do not have to buy 2020 model that was just released. A refurbished/used 2018 model with intact screen will do just fine. You do not need a lot of storage, if it is just sheet music that you are going to store. A 64GB 2018 iPad Pro 12.9" refurbished is available for $699 right now.
  • Apple pencil - works great for taking notes.
  • A case that hold both the pencil and the iPad. Many available on Amazon - I chose this one.
  • forScore app. Excellent app for sheet music and well worth the $15. It has a very useful Crop feature. With this, sheet music is larger than the actual music in Henle Urtext 'big' books such as this one.


I am still shopping for a page turner, but I plan to buy one of the many listed url=http://forscore.co/extras/]here.[/url]

I highly recommend this combination. iPad Pro 12.9" has great battery life - so I have never run out of battery while reading sheet music. Keeping the screen on at a reasonable brightness consumes a lot of power. So, make sure any solution you pick has long battery life.

Osho


Mason & Hamlin BB
Kawai Novus NV10 + VST. Current VST favorites (in the order of preference): VSL Synchron Concert D//Garritan CFX/Pianoteq 6/Embertone Walker D Full

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Re: Need recommendation on a digital sheet music kit
hag01 #2964238 04/06/20 06:47 PM
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Just so you know, the Gvido is now selling for $1,300 (limited time offer).

Hopefully they come to terms with reality and bring it down to $1,000!

Re: Need recommendation on a digital sheet music kit
hag01 #2964242 04/06/20 07:04 PM
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If you can connect to a computer, one option is to buy a used office monitors that can turn 90*, that is big enough for A4. You want a matte screen. Older, smaller monitors can be cheap.

Re: Need recommendation on a digital sheet music kit
hag01 #2964253 04/06/20 07:59 PM
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That makes sense, np. Any decent laptop will likely outperform that Guido. (I've made it Italian!) smile
The Guido would make sense at half the price. But $1300? Nope.
(Also ... enjoy your stay in Taiwan. Be safe.)

I wonder whether the manufacturer has failed to take advantage of PC economies to hold down the cost?
Or is he just expecting to profit more from cachet and prestige?

Re: Need recommendation on a digital sheet music kit
hag01 #2964260 04/06/20 08:20 PM
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Big ePaper displays still suffer low yields and low demand. Alas, prices are too high. There is some consolidation of device makers so that won't help IMHO.

On the other hand, faster refresh, good colour, and flexible screens are all available in alpha (and demonstrated in Chinese trade shows) so conceivably these features could hit the market over the medium-term and revitalise the ePaper.

Re: Need recommendation on a digital sheet music kit
hag01 #2964273 04/06/20 10:26 PM
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I've been using an iPad Pro, the forScore app for displaying PDF files, and a Bluetooth foot pedal for several years. Works great. I've even been at jam sessions where we can swap tunes over AirDrop, including the notations we've made to the PDF files using the forScore tools. It's a nice setup.


Rodney Sauer
Kawai KG-2E • Kawai ES8
Re: Need recommendation on a digital sheet music kit
hag01 #2964278 04/06/20 11:24 PM
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Re: Need recommendation on a digital sheet music kit
newer player #2964279 04/06/20 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by newer player


On the other hand, faster refresh, good colour, and flexible screens are all available in alpha (and demonstrated in Chinese trade shows) so conceivably these features could hit the market over the medium-term and revitalise the ePaper.


Can't come soon enough. Give me one that displays A4/letter size PDF's and a pen. Make it a smooth experience, a $400 price tag and I am sold.


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

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Re: Need recommendation on a digital sheet music kit
hag01 #2964320 04/07/20 06:47 AM
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Some words about my digital sheet music kit I left in "Digital sheet music tablets" thread.
There are a few thoughts about GVIDO as well.


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