Apple’s iPad has been a transformative force in the music industry, as it has been in virtually every other professional field in the world. As recently as a decade ago, musicians who wanted the experience of creating piano music digitally had to settle for clicking and dragging on-screen controls. In the 21st century, though, that seems distinctly outdated. And that’s good news for today’s pianists.
The music industry has taken to Apple’s iPad in a special way, and the world’s piano players have moved even stronger toward the device. That’s largely because the 10-inch screen can host a mini, portable keyboard that’s far lighter than the real thing. The sounds produced are realistic, impressive, and professional, giving pianists a new tool in their arsenal when bringing their craft to a new venue. Among all of the apps available, several stand out as must-haves for those who play piano music either professionally or as a hobby.
50-in-1 Piano HD
The iPad’s retina display is used by this robust application to display a photorealistic 85-key piano keyboard that supports up to 50 different music instruments. That means artists can not only play their favorite piano pieces for a captive audience of friends, family members, or fellow professionals, but they can also mix that work in with other instruments for a fuller sound and a better overall effect.
Reverb styles, music effects, and an equalizer, all come standard with the application. This allows artists to control the sound of every note in a digital way, and it’s impressive that each of these things can be managed merely with the tablet’s screen. For all of these features and more, the developer charges just $1.99 per download.
Before Apple released the iPad, pianists everywhere were using Apple’s iPhone to write new pieces and master their craft using an app called, simply, “Pianist.” The application was designed for the iPhone’s smaller, retina-style screen, and required a few adjustments in order to be primed for use on the larger tablet. That resulted in the 2011 release of Pianist Pro.
The application mirrors the features of 50in1 Piano HD quite well, but adds the ability to record and export MIDI files on the fly. A slightly larger keyboard is featured, though the available instruments stop at just 16. All told, it’s a really great application for those who are looking to create new piano music on the go, in a more realistic way that many of today’s desktop applications allow for.
Piano! For iPad
While the first two applications in this article are all about feature after feature, file format after file format, Piano! For iPad has a slightly different take. The developers behind the application were looking simply to given pianists a way to play music on the go without scores of instruments, effects, file formats, and other bells and whistles. To that end, the free Piano! For iPad application is a rich keyboard that takes up the entire iPad screen. That’s it. It’s a refreshing commitment to minimalism and functionality that even Apple should appreciate.
Great Options for Piano Professionals
Tablets and smartphones are changing the way people create, play, and interact with music. Pianists who are looking to make the move to the 21st century will find no better ally than the Apple iPad or iPad mini, as well as its wealth of piano and music-related applications available through the App Store.