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Dallas MusicWire Featured Story | THE OPENING BELL

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APRIL 2009 • 3


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ince its’ release, I have shunned the iphone like the Amish did to me back when I got my “born to be wild” tattoo. The idea of paying (at the time $500 for the phone, $100 bucks a month for service) to play games with my thumbs and watch 2Girls 1Cup on YouTube seemed ridiculous compared to maintaining my extensive collection of pre-worn women’s shoes. Well the Amish never took me back but I did finally break down and join the rest of technologically advanced culture. In my search of the wide world that is iPhone applications, I found several that can improve the way I play, write and listen to music. Here’s just a few: Four Track: The Four Track App. is an intense tool for the inspired musician. If you’re like me, a tune, a note, a lyric will come at anytime. Sure, more times than not, a few brews down and I have songs coming out of my ass but the next morning I can’t remember that (what I thought was catchy) tune. Four Track is a recording studio in your hand. The serious song writer will run away with this app. Create songs, add lyrics, editing, and download recordings gives you the ability to be an on the go pocket composer, producer. The price to utilize this hand studio is a little on the steep side compared to similar apps but hopefully you keyed in on “intense” and “serious.” Price: $9.99 Recorder: This app is what it is, a recorder. It’s as basic as tape recording an interview or throwing down a beat, a

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line, or “notes to self”. Main point. . . . It’s easy to get any idea down. Ninety-five percentof the stuff I record is bullshit but the other 5% works and well worth the 5 seconds it took to hit record. Just get this and it will pay for itself and if not, I will reimburse you for double what you paid. Price: FREE Perfect Ryhme: I’m not the cunning linguist I wish I was. This app. opens up a new vernacular (see what I mean . . .) for your writing desires. If anything, the Perfect Rhyme is somewhat of a tutorial for the virgin writer/rapper. With a list of possible rhymes, this app. can get you over that creative wall you crash into when writing or it can challenge you to scribe to the rhymes it offers. It’s a must for the freshest of writers. Price: $0.99 Beat Maker: There’s too many ways this app. can help a musician. Beat Maker is easy to use and fun to the point it’s almost a game but the details and depth in the software make it a necessity for anyone who carries a tune. I’m a drummer. I am constantly listening to beats and trying to build off what I like. More times than not, I’m at work or nowhere near a kit when I hear that particular lick. The ease of getting down what I need is a time and mind saver. If you’re lookin’ to get crazy, add bass, synth, piano, loops, even scratch it up a little because that’s all there too. Like I said, it’s easy, it’s fun, and it’s damn near endless. Different versions run from $0.99 -$19.99. The $0.99 app will more than suffice.


MobileRoadie: I’ll issue a warning on this one. It’s only for those deep in the scene. I’m telling everyone about it only because if you’re looking for marketing and fan contact, you will not find anything easier or cheaper right now. This app is your marketing, fan club, social network website in one. Don’t forget, IT”S ALL FROM YOUR PHONE! The “Cliffs Notes”: stream music samples to fans that link to the iTunes store, upload latest pics and vids from shows on the road. This app is its own Twitter with up to date messages to alert friends and fans where you are and what the hell you’re doing. Only down fall for me . . .Ticketmaster & Live Nation are a part of this application if you want to sell tickets for a show. Those greedy bastards are always getting their hands on something. I hope you took heed to my warning because here’s the kicker: $230 sign up $30 a month. Yes, I know that’s a lot of beer you could be drinking at the bar BUT you couldn’t pay someone to do this work and under one roof for this cheap. I give it two thumbs up. There is already good news for this app. There are similar apps. in development and for cheaper. This type of interface will become a common tool for the band on the run. Pandora: It’s not just a clever name, folks. Once you open this app you won’t close it. Pandora is your live, personal playlist that works like the Genius Sidebar from iTunes. Choose your favorite artists and that’s all you’ll listen to. Pandora offers you suggestions of similar artists to check out and listen too. You can choose ‘em or lose ‘em, Pandora doesn’t care. For the hefty price of $0.00, why wouldn’t you get this music player and listen to whatever your heart desired? Price: Free Shazam: I found this little number purely by accident. I clicked on the link thinking it was going to be a trivia app. for the 1996 movie starring Shaquille O’Neal, but I soon remembered that thriller was called Kazaam. Close enough right? Once I dried my eyes and got over my disappointment I realized this app. did have something to offer. Shaz takes the place of the know-it-all friend who can name every song and artist on the radio but leaves out the shit eatin’ grin of someone who is always right. You can record that song you’re listening to but can’t quite put a finger on and Shazam will give you the artist, song title and album title. Shazam uses Europe’s music database to identify over 3,200,000 songs and it even works in the overcrowded bar when that one song comes on and you’re too drunk to remember who sang it. Now you’re probably thinking this has got to cost a million bucks. Nope, free also.

Guitar ToolKit: *Note to the reader: I’m not a guitar player and this app STILL makes a ton of sense to me. In GTK, you have at your disposal a tuner, a metronome, chord diagrams and a tone interface that allows you to actually pluck the stings on the phone and hear the chords. The tuner itself is a seller. Tune up using all notes, standard or alternate tunings like Eb and drop D. You can tune anything from acoustic guitar, electric, bass, piano and I think you can even tune the bedpan guitars with the barbwire strings. Ok, maybe not that far, but its works and it does not require a microphone plug in. The metronome, on this is better than what I bought a few months back for myself. If I paid a dime for the metronome I have then I spent too much compared to the capabilities of this app. There are adjustable tempos, flash on ticks, time signature settings, and even an option for you to tap with the beat to analyze whether you’re in the pocket or not. The chords function is a pocket tutor. Ask for a C major and a C major you will have. This utility displays the guitar neck and all the correct finger placements to find that note. Price: $9.99 Needless to say, I use my iPhone for more than YouTube and Facebook. It wasn’t until I really looked into apps. to see that the iphone can replace musicians tools and help save money in the long run. I’m not going to drive home some father, son moment about being responsible and saving money during these economic struggles but I will tell you the iPhone apps. are endless tools that can make everyday life easier and more convenient. I encourage you iPhone savvy readers out there to find more apps., send em in. Let us know what works and what doesn’t. Catch ya on the flip side.

Ross Freauf


April 2009


APRIL

| Monthly Highlights

APRIL 2009 • 7


Wednesday Night at The Barley House Five reasons you should go to The Barley House on Wednesday nights: Managing Editor Jeff Kauffman, Jr. Art Director Writer: Relationship Status Single & STD free

Donny Stevens Ross Freauf

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5. What else would you do on a Wednesday night 4. $2 Miller High Life 3. Half price food 2. Get to see bands like The O’s and Salim Nourallah for free 1. Its no where near the pretentious assholes in Uptown

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Dallas MusicWire - April '09