6 Ways I’ve Used the iPad2 in Worship and Studio

I announced a while back that I’d finally taken the plunge to purchase an iPad2.  I confessed that it was much more of a luxury item than a necessity.  Now that I’ve used it for a couple of months, I’ve realized just how much I’ve missed by not having it sooner.

Here are 6 ways that I’ve used the iPad2 in the context of corporate worship and my job as a worship pastor.

1.  Planning Meetings:  this is a bit of a luxury, but I no longer have to haul my big MacBook Pro up the stairs and take up a lot of table space at our weekly planning meetings.  I show up with my iPad2 in hand, with quick easy access to my tunes and PlanningCenterOnline.

2.  Digital Music Stand:  there are numerous apps out there that let you store a library of .pdf files.  I haven’t even gotten that far yet, but I export our setlist from PlanningCenter as a .pdf into my DropBox account, and then open it on the iPad for a quick, easy digital music stand.  No more stacks of paper to shuffle through.  (DropBox is FREE, and if you haven’t created a free account there, you’re missing out.  Use my affiliate link so I can get more free space, please!)

3.  Remote Control:  with the “Remote” app, I can easily control my iTunes playlist from my iPad.  This has come in extremely handy when I’m at the piano or keyboard rehearsing a tune or charting out a song.  Where before I’d have to reach way over to my desk and press play w/ the mouse, scoot back to my keyboard, scoot back to stop and rewind, etc., I can do all of this with the iPad sitting on my keyboard.  From one seat at the piano or keyboard, I can load, play, rewind, repeat, scrub – making charting arrangements and learning new songs a lot easier.

4.  Yamaha M7CL StageMix App:  with this incredible, FREE app from Yamaha, I can actually connect via WiFi to our Yahama M7CL sound board and easily adjust the sound.  Granted, we’ve got an incredible tech team on hand mixing the sound, but being able to tweak my personal in-ear monitor mix from the iPad is genius.

5.  ProRemote:  ProRemote is a high-end, paid app (it’s got a hefty price tag of $99) that is a full-featured remote mixing/editing surface for all of the popular recording and looping packages, including Logic Studio, ProTools, Ableton Live, Reason, Garageband, and more.  This app is far more powerful than a simple on/off remote.  It gives you full access to almost every feature in the software itself.   Imagine being able to leave the studio console, walk into a vocal booth, record-enable a track, hit play, punch in and out recording, scrub back and listen, set location markers, and more …. by yourself, wirelessly, without an engineer sitting at the console.  All of this is possible through ProRemote.

In our studio, I’ve toggled back and forth between the iTunes Remote and ProRemote to create loops,click tracks, and full arrangements of songs.  On stage, I used ProRemote to not only control the Start/Stop of our click tracks in Ableton Live, but I also setup loop points and markers where I could easily loop or go back to a rehearsal marker with a push of a “pad” on the screen of my iPad.

6.  My Music – everywhere:  With the landing of Spotify here in the US, I can have my music, playlists, and even the playlists and music of friends available to me on my iPad instantly.  I’m not worried about syncing libraries, managing iTunes accounts, or even better – taking up precious storage space on my device.

Free Spotify accounts are by invitation only through Klout … but I have good news.  I’ve got a special link to get you in.  (Get a Klout and Spotify Account Here!)

This is a short-list of the way I’ve benefited from using the iPad2. If you’ve considered making a purchase, I hope this can help justify it.  If you already have an iPad, how do you use it in the context of your job?

Let the fun begin!

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About the Author
Fred McKinnon is a Pianist/Composer from St. Simons Island, GA. Checkout the full BIO for more information and a complete bio. Worship Interludes Podcast - This podcast features instrumentals for prayer, meditation, soaking worship, relaxation, study music, and rest. Visit the Podcast page to listen or subscribe. Follow on Social MediaFacebookYouTubeInstagramTwitter

10 comments on “6 Ways I’ve Used the iPad2 in Worship and Studio

  1. Mckendreeaugustas says:

    insightful blog Fred. Thanks…I use my Ipad 1 for just about everything that you mentioned here…except do you know that planning center has an app clled “Music stand” you don’t have to put anything in your dropbox…you just open up music stand and your plan for that service and it’s got all the pdf’s that are in planning center. I use this ALL the time…even when I’m on the road at guest churches….anyways…I agree with you…a very helpful and useful tool

    1. fmckinnon says:

      Thanks, McKendree … I’ve seen the “Music Stand” app – we just didn’t subscribe to it, as it’s a bit extra … and this seemed to be an OK workaround … but I’m really interested to check it out!

      What app are you using to remotely control Logic, etc?

      1. Russell Martin says:

        Music Stand works great… just make sure you have the correct arrangement loaded. It also allows you to make annotations in both text, and drawing on the iPad, for those last minute changes or reminders. I usually have to draw a big “CAPO 2” as a reminder.

        1. fmckinnon says:

          I’m going to have to try this “music stand” for sure!

  2. B.j. Collins says:

    I saw that Jordan Rudess was using some kind of large tablet device to read his music on stage with Dream Theater.  If he used papers, they’d go flying all over the place from his swiveling keyboard riser!

    1. fmckinnon says:

      Probably was an iPad!

  3. Just FYI: ProRemote doesn’t support GarageBand.  Great review!

    1. fmckinnon says:

      thanks for the clarification!

  4. Richard says:

    I don’t have one…yet? But, at a recent conference a seminar leader mentioned AirTurn pedals for turning the pdf pages on an iPad so you don’t have to take your hands off of your instrument. It got my interest.

    1. fmckinnon says:

      Yep — tons of fun, sounds good! You’ll be hooked.

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