Musicians have been writing music down for centuries. Music notation is part of the creative process. It helps get ideas out of your head, through your instrument, and into listeners' ears. But writing music by hand requires clear, precise handwriting in order to be read by other musicians. And that slows you down and gets in the way of your creativity.
Then came the desktop computer and the many notation programs we use today. These powerful programs allow musicians to make great looking sheet music that's easy to replicate, but due to its mouse and keyboard interface, input can be complicated; it takes time to learn, and it can become a barrier to creating great music.
The ThinkMusic iPad App merges the best of both methods.
Our application will allow you to handwrite your music, or just play it. Then it will do the hard part for you, producing great looking printed sheet music.
How It Works
There are three methods of note input.
- Have a part you want to play on piano? Hit record and play in your piece with a MIDI controller.
- Don't have a MIDI controller? Just use the on-screen piano instead.
- Would you rather write it down? Grab your stylus and start writing.The app will handle the rest.
Then use the powerful editing features to change notes, copy, paste, rearrange, and tweak your piece until it's perfect. Then print it, email it, or open it in your favorite PDF reader app on your iPad. This makes it easier to truly be a creative musician, rather than just an input operator.
The ThinkMusic App will be the first and only iPad app to convert handwritten music symbols into printed sheet music. In order to do that, we've partnered with Vision Objects, the worldwide leader in handwriting recognition. They already produce great handwriting recognition software in more than 85 languages. We've worked together to develop a brand new recognition engine for the language of music. We knew in order to create a usable app, we needed the handwriting recognition to be easy and accurate, so we went straight to the best developers in the business. We benefited from their expertise with handwriting recognition, and they benefited from our extensive knowledge of music and the process of creating it. Check out this video of one of our recent handwriting collection events:
To get a feel for just how accurate their recognition is, check out Vision Objects' latest app, MyScript Calculator, which just won the CES Mobile App Showdown.
Accuracy Is Key
There are a variety of styluses on the market, but our favorite is the Jot from Adonit for its great accuracy, solid construction, and ease of use. We've partnered together, using the most precise stylus available for our handwriting sampling to make sure it's as accurate as possible. We've included these as a reward in several backer levels. You can read more about the Jot here.
Who We Are
We are a group of professional musicians who play, teach, write, arrange, and record. We wanted to make a music notation app that we could take anywhere, and would make professional looking music. But we didn't want to have to learn how to use another program.
The iPad is a fantastic tool that's incredibly easy to use. An easy to use, portable music notation iPad app is something we've been wanting for years, and finally, we decided to make it ourselves. We've designed this app from the ground up, making it easy to get your ideas on the page, and let the app handle the rest. As music tools, iPads allow us to hear music, read sheet music, and with your help, write music as well.
Between the four of us, we represent Piano, Guitar, String Bass, Drums, Rock, Jazz, Classical, Pop, and everything in between. We're a group of working musicians who also have music degrees. Because of our diverse backgrounds, we know the ThinkMusic App needs to be versatile. You may not need every feature in the app, but the app has every feature you need.
Our goal with this app is to make it a community effort. We're not some giant corporation trying to sell overpriced software to poor musicians. We're musicians, trying to help other musicians. With this as our goal, we wanted to raise funding through Kickstarter specifically because of the vibrant community it provides. Not only can fellow musicians be involved in this app financially, but you also get to be a part of the whole process. We've structured the backer rewards in this way. Musicians can not only pre-order the app, but also get to vote on the name, get credit in the app, get exclusive updates, video chats, beta tests, or even their composition in the app itself. This isn't just our app, it's everyone's app.
Where The Money Goes
All of the Kickstarter funding money goes directly to the development of the ThinkMusic App. This covers our development costs, design, licensing and fees to get the app into your hands. All Kickstarter funds will be directly invested into the ThinkMusic app. We want to make this app because we want to use this app, and share it with our fellow musicians.
The ThinkMusic App is groundbreaking, but why stop there? We already have plans to develop more music apps that incorporate this new patent-pending technology. Imagine how this could change the landscape of music education. The possibilities are endless. And since we are going to use this app just as much as you, we will make sure updates and features are added regularly.
When will the app be in the App Store?
Developing the ThinkMusic App is a massive undertaking. And we're perfectionists. We're not going to put out a half-baked version and call it good. You deserve better than that. Our project plan includes initial design, development, testing, introduction, and support of the ThinkMusic App, with a targeted release date of Fall 2013.
Will there be MIDI and MusicXML support?
After mapping out the logistics, we are confident that we'll have full MIDI and MusicXML support. This means compatibility with Finale, Sibelius, and any notation program that works with MusicXML. Because the app isn't fully developed and we haven't achieved full MIDI support yet, we don't want to promise anything and not be able to deliver it. But it's looking very promising.
Great Video, but isn't the app pretty much done?
The ThinkMusic App seen in the video is a mockup for demonstration. We've talked with Vision Objects and our developer and mapped out the specifics of what it will take to make this app. While design specifics will evolve, the final version of the app will work like you see in the video.
How much will the app sell for?
When released, the app will sell for $29.99 in the App Store. But by supporting us in the development process, you'll get it for less.
Will any type of stylus work with this app? Do i have to have a stylus?
Our handwritten note input is specifically designed for use with a stylus. You can use any stylus compatible with the iPad, but we recommend the Jot Stylus by Adonit.
If there are problems with the app, will there be support available?
Absolutely. We want you to get the most out of this app. That's why along with the app we'll release an extensive FAQ section on our website, video tutorials, and user forums so you can get the answer you need and get back to work.
Will there be support for Android and other platforms?
Our current Kickstarter budget covers only the development for iOS. Depending on the success of the app, and the demand for a version on other platforms, we may consider adding support.
Will there be an educational discount for large volume purchases?
Absolutely! We are passionate about music education and can't wait to see what students will do with this app. We'll release more info on educational pricing as the release date approaches,.