About a month ago I decided it was time to go digital and buy a tablet to read scores and lead sheets, and become paper-free.
I asked my muso friends what they used, and all roads seemed to lead to the iPad Pro, using Finale, Sibelius, GarageBand. That was the standard for aesthetics and ease of use for musicians.
I didn’t doubt it, and planned to head to Robina Shopping Centre to the Apple store and take the plunge.
I couldn’t bring myself to do it!
I’m an Android and Windows woman! I use MuseScore, and I love Chrome and Drive and Docs and Sheets, and don’t want to cross over to Safari and iCloud. That’s a massive shift, just to read pdfs. I’m also a bit of a cheapskate.
So I went completely the other way.
At Kogan I found the Atlas Go 13.3 inch tablet, with keyboard and stylus pencil, for $479.
Reviews basically said it’s fine for office work. Here are the specs. Well, reading pdfs isn’t that demanding, and it’s Windows 10, so I ordered it and hoped for the best.
I love it! But I was a bit nervous to put it on the clear Perspex music stand that comes with Roland keyboards. So I subbed in my rock solid metal music stand instead.
I’m just using the free pdf reader Adobe Acrobat Reader.
The default pdf reader for Windows 10 is its browser Microsoft Edge, which also works offline. That was good because my music sheets are on a microSD card. I don’t want to access them from Dropbox or Drive when playing live. But Edge wouldn’t let me read pages horizontally like a book. I had to read scrolling up. Not good while playing.
So I’ll stick with Acrobat Reader for now.
Once I got that working I bought an AirTurn DUO 200 Bluetooth pedal to turn pages. It arrived and everything connected perfectly. It was a cinch! Here, the AirTurn pedal is on the left and my keyboard pedal is on the right.
So here’s a little video to show the tab and pedal in action.
I used the pedal at the resort and it took a little getting used to, but that’s only to be expected and definitely better than having to use hands. I’m going to love it.
Then I wanted to connect my PreSonus Audiobox USB for recording. Did it work? Yes!
I haven’t had much use for the stylus pencil yet, but it works to mark up pdfs when using Edge as the reader. It uses the Windows Ink system.
I bought a 128GB microSD card and store my files there rather than on the hard drive.
So, I’m relieved to say it’s turned out alright! 😅 Yay!