Jim plays tenor ukulele with Kine Kool, a nine member group that showcases three and four part vocal harmony with ukulele backing. He plays the lead and harmony melody with two different ukuleles and a Behringer V-Amp for a variety of musical effects. The ever increasing song list includes single and multi- page pdf files for TAB, Notation, Fake Books, ukulele lyric and chord charts and handwritten back of envelope charts. There are also charts directly purchased from Music Notes. The Music Notes Sheet Music Player on his iPad allows for highlighting and coloured text for performance reminders, like which ukulele to use and preferred amp settings.
All this would be a bit demanding if he also had to select the songs individually and swipe the iPad to turn pages. Fortunately Music Notes allows for importing any pdf file, so any pdf image is immediately available. The Music Notes app can also hold multiple sorted set lists selected from the iPad library. With all of the songs, regardless of source, in a set list, what then is the easiest way to move through the set list without being distracted from the performance?
Air Turn was the answer! Jim initially looked at the Air Turn BT105 which is a robust and well regarded page turning pedal that can be configured with Air Turn pedals, or a Boss FS6 Dual Pedal Foot Switch. However, it’s a bulky device, comprised of several discrete components and connecting cables that might become disconnected, or damaged. To address this, Air Turn released a new product in February 2015, the Air Turn PED.
It’s a simpler product than the BT105, it’s a single piece device, no wires, and so slim at 16mm. The total footprint is only 152mm x 115mm and it’s divided on the topside into two low mounds that are the left and right pedal areas. There are no cables, and it’s a robust device with a non-slip back. It ships with CR2032 batteries, one for use and a spare, and a clear reminder to replace the spare when you eventually need to use it, after about 300 hours.
Jim ordered this pre-release (30 January) and was delighted when it was shipped in the 14th of Feb, much earlier than anticipated. The on-line fixed price of USD69 included freight. It’s a SMART READY device that connects via Bluetooth, so you need to make sure that your device is SMART READY. It doesn’t care if it’s Mac, PC, iPad or Android. It will also work with several other apps, including OnSong, unrealBook, forScore, Acrobat and Sibelius Scorch.
The manual is quite good and covers all you need to know to get your PED working and troubleshoot (if needed). The set up was straightforward, i.e.
1) Ensure that the battery is activated (remove the insulating plastic).
2) Press the standard On/Off icon on the surface.
3) Select the appropriate mode.
4) Select the device from the available Bluetooth devices showing on your device.
The range is said to be about 10 metres. Jim places his on the floor to the left of the microphone stand about 1 metre from the iPad. A firm surface is desirable but it works reliably on a corflute sheet thrown over grass in an outdoor setting. It is desirable to have a stiff sole on your shoe although it will work barefoot, but the pressure point needs to be more accurate and it is not as much fun!
Once configured for your device, it is easy to connect it to the iPad each time as part of your pre-show preparations. After six months of use, no disconnects or interference have been experienced and it has been a simple pleasure to use. A simple device to allow page turning hands-free, the Air Turn PED is fantastic value and is highly recommended.
Yes! You can use it with a set list at a ukulele club jam that is projected to an overhead screen (from a compatible device). And I also use it for some long and complex piano scores. No more risk of pages flying off the stand![No ukuleles were harmed in the testing of this product]
Jim Bills will be demonstrating Air Turn PED at BUMS Coorparoo Jam on Wednesday 2 September 2015.
Air Turn has donated a new Air Turn PED which will be the prize for a SPRUKE Performers Giveaway. Details HERE.
Air Turn PED have a 10% discount (for any first time purchaser) of an Air Turn product for friends of SPRUKE festival for a limited time only…. find out more HERE.