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How I use Scorecerer

June 12th, 2011 No comments

There are a lot of different ways in which Scorecerer can be used. One key differentiator is its ability to facilitate the import of your own paper sheet music into digital form.

Most of the other products on the market are giving away sheet music viewers on the iPad but the goal there is to get you to buy and download your songs.

However, if you’re like me, over the years, you have probably amassed a significant collection of individual songs, song books, collections, fakebooks, and perhaps your own chord charts and lead sheets. You may have added your own pencilled in fingerings, accents, or other comments (“play loud here”) all of which you would like to keep around, something not possible if you just repurchase the song online, even if you could find a suitable version.

Scorecerer’s ability to quickly straighten your scanned in music sheets makes it very efficient for you to quickly import your songs without the need to use an image editor like photoshop on each page to correct crooked pages before importing them. Once your pages have been scanned into your computer, just drop them into Scorecerer.

Now that Scorecerer for iPad has built-in annotation features (hey, Apple, please hurry up and approve this update soon), it has become incredibly easy to use it during band rehearsals. When the band leader makes a suggestion (or gives a directive), I can quickly tap on the screen to handwrite the necessary comments. As an arrangement evolves over time, it’s very easy to add/modify/remove those annotations as needed.

One downside of sheet music, particularly for popular songs, is that you often can’t find an arrangement that accurately captures what’s going on. I have found that the sheet music version of many songs often doesn’t accurately capture what is actually being played. Often you can only get a simplified piano/lead sheet arrangement of the song and most of the time the instrumential portion of a song is not included at all.

However, many songs are also available in MIDI format. In most cases, these songs have been transcribed very carefully to match (as much as possible) the actual performed original song. This is particularly true of MIDI songs that you can purchase from companies that specialize in creating MIDI files to be used as backing tracks.

In these cases, I will often buy a MIDI songfile instead of the sheet music. Using my DAW (I use Logic Studio but any DAW that supports a notation view can be used, as well as the well known standalone notation editors), I import the MIDI file, choose the track (or tracks) in which I am interested, view them through the notation view and then print that notation view as a PDF. The ability to print to a PDF is built-in to all Macintoshes and there are several free PDF drivers available for Windows users as well.

Once I’ve created the PDF file, I can drop it into Scorecerer where it will be converted and can be published to the iPad like any other song that I scanned in.

In this manner, I’m able to use both my own sheet music as well as music scores purchased online.

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