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Scott-

I've read this before (probably posted by you at Keyboard Corner?); do we know it to still be true? Clearly most sample-based music software couldn't run on early iPads simply due to memory/storage constraints. I've got a second-generation iPad Pro 12.9 with a lot of storage and could conceivably fit even the VSL Synchron pianos on it.

I have a hard time believing that an iPad Pro can't access its own storage faster than pcs which stream VSL from external SSD hard drives.

I believe iOS apps had to be 64-bit for iOS 11 in 2017. iOS 14 made some fairly big structural changes as well. I'd be curious to see if any developers have actually written or spoken recently about why they can't or won't port their app to iOS.

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The 12.9" iPad Pro is huge relative to the 11" model. It has its advantages and disadvantages.

The large iPad pro is great for digitized sheet music, as its form factor is similar to the physical media. However it is a quite large for many other types of use. It's great for sheet music apps like ForScore.

There were some reports that the larger model suffered from some "bending" issues, but that might be attributable to people being careless or intentionally testing the limits.


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NeoSoulKeys Studio 2 can indeed stream samples from external storage on iPadOS:



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Tom, the SWAM bundle might still be on sale for $49 with GeoShred as its platform. It was designed to play on the glass, but if you set your midi channel to anything but 1 it is playable on a keyboard. The expression parameters can be midi learned. The six instruments, which are reg $90 are violin, cello, sax, oboe, flute and clarinet. Their demos suck, so don’t be put off. The cello is probably the best. But they are all monophonic.


Jazz at www.newartistsrecords.com. Search Michael Levy. Use Safari for free tracks.
https://soundcloud.com/michael-levy-387395070 for jazz, classical, world, rock tracks Albums on Bandcamp: https://michaelalevy.bandcamp.com/music
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Michael-

Thanks for the heads up. I have GeoShred Pro, but am reluctant to buy more music software at the moment, especially instruments that are bound to an app, such as the SWAM instruments or the orchestral libraries in StaffPad. I understand the licensing restrictions, but I'm not that dedicated to any one app to make the commitment.

FYI, I went to New Artists and checked out some of your music, very nice! I read your bio and that you studied with Connie Crothers. Kazzrie Jaxen has played in Albuquerque a few times and spoke a good bit about Connie during a radio interview I caught a while back; Connie sounds like she was an amazing person and was clearly underappreciated as an artist. Small world...

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Muskel,

How do you feel about getting a Surface Pro instead of an iPad Pro?

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Originally Posted by Kawai James
NeoSoulKeys Studio 2 can indeed stream samples from external storage on iPadOS
I have read that it is streaming, though there appear to be some limitations, since (at least last I checked), the sample sizes for the included EPs are much smaller than on his desktop version. So either he is intentionally limiting the size to differentiate the products and justify the price difference, OR there is some technical limitation to the iOS streaming such that he can't get it to stream the same size samples as his desktop version.

But also, that demo video doesn't really show streaming. He makes a point of saying we can see it's streaming by looking at the blinking light on the external drive... BUT it only blinks when he loads/changes sounds. It does not blink while he's playing. So we're not really seeing streaming in that video. We're seeing the sounds load from external storage, but not stream from them (i.e. access additional sample data during the performance itself). Possibly that's because he didn't play anything with long sustained sounds, so only needed to play the portion of the samples that were memory resident?

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Djvu,

I’m an Apple fan. Have the iPad and the IPhone. They sync nicely.

I’m going to need a new tablet as the battery in my Air2 doesn’t have the longevity these days. Sometimes I have to charge it twice in a day. I get a little more than 3hr screen time. Not much!

With the iPad Pro I can keep all my apps in the same order, iBooks, files and everything else that’s now on my Air. Just backup my current Air2, then bring that backup to the new Pro via the Cloud.

Gotta see them side by side, but I’ll probably go with the 11” Pro. That 12.9 looks just a little too big to hand carry occasionally.

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I’m off to Englewood Florida tomorrow for a little more than a week, so unfortunately I won’t be able to experiment with all the info I was given until I get back. No access to a piano in Florida, but my bro has a nylon string guitar I borrow when I’m there, so I’ll still get my music fix.🎵

I’m looking forward to testing the various IOS DP apps when I get back.

Again, thanks everyone who provided me info regarding my VST questions. VERY helpful!👍

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Originally Posted by Tom Fort
I have made the case on the Pianoteq forum in the past that selling Pianoteq Stage with a single piano for $50 would be successful in my opinion, with additional instruments and upgrades to Standard and Pro versions as In-App Purchases for appropriate fees. Modartt's owners and developers are active on their forum; the most recent "Pianoteq on iOS" thread (there have been many) is here: https://forum.modartt.com/viewtopic.php?id=7704

So not only are you asking Modartt to commit to iOS, you're also asking them for a massive discount for their full-featured software as their reward. Otherwise, as you've said, no one will buy it.

Also, all it would take to tank Modartt's business on the App Store would be an onslaught of "metallic" and "nasal" 1-star reviews from critics and competitors.

How does that work again?

I liked someone else's idea -- you buy the full product and get it for all platforms including iOS, exactly as you do today. Unfortunately, App Store doesn't support that business model either, to my knowledge.

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Originally Posted by navindra
Also, all it would take to tank Modartt's business on the App Store would be an onslaught of "metallic" and "nasal" 1-star reviews from critics and competitors.

You know, this is democracy. When people buy some software for $100 they can share their opinion of it. If more people love the software than those who hated it, the average score won’t be 1 star. Are you suggesting that we should remove user scores on websites such as Amazon, Thomann, etc, so that sacred products won’t get “tanked”?

Last edited by CyberGene; 12/04/20 02:33 AM.

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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Originally Posted by navindra
Also, all it would take to tank Modartt's business on the App Store would be an onslaught of "metallic" and "nasal" 1-star reviews from critics and competitors.

You know, this is democracy. When people buy some software for $100 they can share their opinion of it. If more people love the software than those who hated it, the average score won’t be 1 star. Are you suggesting that we should remove user scores on websites such as Amazon, Thomann, etc, so that sacred products won’t get “tanked”?

No -- I'm saying that the business model for Modartt on the App Store is unclear. I didn't say anything about democracy or removing reviews?

Go to the App Store and see Yamaha's apps -- plenty of 1-star and 2-star reviews for *free* apps. Fortunately, Yamaha doesn't have to care because their business does not depend on making apps, and a few "confused" users doesn't faze them.

Btw, there's no "democracy" in Amazon reviews -- I thought this was well-known. Many or most of the reviews are fake, to my knowledge and experience. I'm frequently offered "bribes" by sellers to leave positive reviews for their products.

There are many other problems on Amazon such as identical products being offered under a dozen or more different brands... so one gets badly reviewed and a "new" one is launched under a different brand with 5-star reviews.

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Well, OK, maybe Amazon is not a good example. On Thomann you can leave a review only if you purchased the product. Modartt shouldn’t offer Pianoteq for free with in-app purchase option. They should offer it full price. Then people can’t just purchase a $100 software piano only to bash it.


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Originally Posted by CyberGene
Well, OK, maybe Amazon is not a good example. On Thomann you can leave a review only if you purchased the product. Modartt shouldn’t offer Pianoteq for free with in-app purchase option. They should offer it full price. Then people can’t just purchase a $100 software piano only to bash it.

Yes, that makes sense -- but the problem is that I'm really not sure there's much of a market for $100 apps. Everyone is trained to expect free or cheap apps. Even Tom, who already *knows* and *likes* Pianoteq, thinks it should be only $50 -- a massive discount for a niche market.

If it's $50, a competitor could buy 20 licenses for a budget of $1000 and 1-star them. Modartt couldn't really do the same thing because the penalties for gaming the App Store in your favor could be severe.

However, your point is well-taken. If the app is well-done, it will not be 1-star. Modartt is known for quality software and if anyone can do it, they can.

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I just found this. A $699.99 1-star app from Yamaha. Literally.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/piano-tuning-app-pt-a1-us/id935490460

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Originally Posted by navindra
I just found this. A $699.99 1-star app from Yamaha. Literally.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/piano-tuning-app-pt-a1-us/id935490460

Well, I see one 1-star review which is 1-star because the guy didn't expect to be charged $699, he probably thought it was free and didn't pay attention. BTW, one can refund an app, it's a bit PITA, but I've done it a few times.

Speaking of piano tuning apps, I purchased a $300 piano tuning app TuneLab many years ago, because it was the "cheapest" piano tuning app at half the price of that Yamaha app which I also considered. It was totally worth it, since I used it to tune our upright piano at my mom's house a few times and that piano has never been singing that good, even when professional tuners were aurally tuning it. Tuning a piano is a tricky thing and requires many skills, but crucially it's not just setting the strings to predefined frequencies as many people think it is. The inharmonicity of the strings requires that each piano is tuned uniquely and these apps measure the inharmonicity of the partials of the strings and then calculates a specific tuning table for that particular piano.

Last edited by CyberGene; 12/04/20 04:46 AM.

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It’s certainly a true statement that people buying app’s at the App Store don’t expect to pay much. Usually a few bucks for most basic apps... if even. I think the most I ever paid was $20, but I’m not buying anything high tech.

That $20 app turned out to be a super duper value! Best $20 I’ve ever spent, for sure. I bought it maybe 8 yrs ago... the app “Songsterr”.It was a lifetime offer. Pay $20, get the app for life. Now, I believe they charge a monthly fee of a few bucks.

Songsterr is mainly a guitar sheet music app with thousands and thousands of songs. It plays the Audio, Has Adjustable tempo, Turn off/on background instruments and other features. The sheet music notation is “Tablature” and Lead Sheets.

Usually if I hear a song I like and want to learn it, Songsterr has it ...and often multiple versions of the tune. Every now and then they wont have the song I’m looking for, but for the most part, if it’s a popular song.... Songsterr is going to have it.

I’ve learned hundreds of songs from this app over the years. LOVE IT! I’m pretty sure there’s a free version. Ultimate Guitar Tabs is a similar app. (Hmmmm... I’m pretty sure I got a similar lifetime deal on that one too). It too is very good and probably has a freebie version.

So, if you’re a piano player who happens to play a little guitar too, or want to learn a little guitar, I HIGHLY recommend checking out these apps.

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PS.... I was reading the few posts above about piano tuning. I think it would be fascinating working on an acoustic piano! I’ve watched several YouTube vids on tuning, setting the action... “Regulating” I believe they call it. VERY interesting stuff!

The only thing..... 88 keys! Wow! That’s a lot.

I’m sure it would have to get tedious dealing with all those keys, but interesting stuff for sure. I’m not really into computer tech, although I couldn’t live without my iPad. For me, it would be fun to have an old acoustic piano to tinker with.... mechanically. Obviously, I wouldn’t want to tinker (screw up) with a nice acoustic piano.

It really surprised me to learn that the soundboard on an acoustic grand goes bad after many years. A very old soundboard is not a positive thing...... The complete opposite for an acoustic guitar.

There must be a ton to learn for a piano tech. Those guys earn their money.

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Originally Posted by navindra
Originally Posted by Tom Fort
I have made the case on the Pianoteq forum in the past that selling Pianoteq Stage with a single piano for $50 would be successful in my opinion, with additional instruments and upgrades to Standard and Pro versions as In-App Purchases for appropriate fees. Modartt's owners and developers are active on their forum; the most recent "Pianoteq on iOS" thread (there have been many) is here: https://forum.modartt.com/viewtopic.php?id=7704

So not only are you asking Modartt to commit to iOS, you're also asking them for a massive discount for their full-featured software as their reward. Otherwise, as you've said, no one will buy it.

Also, all it would take to tank Modartt's business on the App Store would be an onslaught of "metallic" and "nasal" 1-star reviews from critics and competitors.

How does that work again?

I liked someone else's idea -- you buy the full product and get it for all platforms including iOS, exactly as you do today. Unfortunately, App Store doesn't support that business model either, to my knowledge.

I quite like the idea of buying a product once and having it available on all platforms; it might actually be the ideal solution, but I think the overall trend toward lower pricing is inevitable as phones and apps become the predominant means of computing for many/most users.

I think the "buy once-use everywhere" model may become a possibility down the road on the Mac platform, not sure how it would work for pc users, but Modartt could probably use something similar to their current license-based system where you buy the software for MacOS/iPad OS/iOS and then can enter that same license number into pc-based Pianoteq the same as now. I wonder if there would be a way to enter the license for a pc/Mac version to get a discount or a "free" IAP to Standard or Pro if you have those for the computer. It's certainly a better idea for a company to think about these options and get creative about ways to make it work rather than just say "it can't be done" and let their potential market be taken by others. Apple has taken a LOT of heat for the App Store in the last year or two and has been making changes to be more developer-responsive as a result. A company that had an idea in mind could certainly do themselves a favor by running the idea by Apple to see if it could be be done somehow.

Originally Posted by navindra
Yes, that makes sense -- but the problem is that I'm really not sure there's much of a market for $100 apps. Everyone is trained to expect free or cheap apps. Even Tom, who already *knows* and *likes* Pianoteq, thinks it should be only $50 -- a massive discount for a niche market.

If it's $50, a competitor could buy 20 licenses for a budget of $1000 and 1-star them. Modartt couldn't really do the same thing because the penalties for gaming the App Store in your favor could be severe.

However, your point is well-taken. If the app is well-done, it will not be 1-star. Modartt is known for quality software and if anyone can do it, they can.

First of all, I think iPad OS/iOS is not a niche market. I think Pianoteq's potential market on those two platforms is far, far larger than on pcs and Macs. So many people are just not willing to set up a computer near their digital piano for their kids' lessons-- it's "complicated," there's no place to put the computer or laptop, etc. If one could just set an iPad or iPhone on the music stand and run a USB-C cable or even connect via Bluetooth??? That's a game-changer-- ease of use is real. Pianoteq users now are fairly technically savvy and willing to put up with the hassle of having to connect a keyboard to a computer, possibly deal with sound cards, audio interfaces, etc. Many, many people want a system where you turn it on and it "just works." Having Pianoteq on your phone and your keyboard being made by someone else is not that, but it's perhaps as close as we're likely to get.

As to App Store reviews-- Apple is trying to improve the App Store system; it definitely could use some improvements. Still, entering that market and protecting your reputation is a business decision with costs, and would likely entail a Modartt employee dedicating a part of their work time each day toward being responsive to App Store reviews (developers have the option to respond to reviews). I am confident Modartt would have a professional, helpful tone which would amplify the quality of their product and service. I'm quite good at eliminating the "my cheap digital piano's two two-inch speakers don't sound like a real piano for $50 so I give you one star and you really deserve no stars" type of reviews when I'm evaluating an app.

As to the $50 price point. It's a choice to find a price that maximizes revenue for Modartt and still preserves perceived value. It would get them far more than an additional $50 from me. I already own Standard and several instruments, and would pay again to get Stage and a couple of instruments on iOS. How many people would only buy Stage on iOS and not buy the pc/Mac version? Maybe quite a few, but those people probably aren't ever going to buy Pianoteq for a computer anyway...

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Muskie,

I only mentioned the Surface Pro because everyone was talking about using a PC or Mac for VSTs and the SF is the closest to an iPad Pro.

I didn't want to be in my studio much during the pandemic so I bought a SP and loaded a 1TB SSD drive with thousands of sounds so i could record anywhere but ended up buying an iPad Pro and started using Garageband and I like this setup much better. I like the 12.9" screen but you're right, it's pretty big if you're holding it up to read in bed. I still have an iPad Air 2 to use for that.

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