Archive for the ‘Magic Stave’ Category

Magic Stave and iOS 9 Compatability

29 Sep

There are new iOS 9 compatible versions of Magic Stave, both free and premium versions with Apple awaiting approval and should be in the App Store in the next few days. Apologies for the delay in getting this update out.

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Posted in Announcements, Magic Stave


Magic Stave Version 2.0

28 Apr

Version 2.0 of Magic Stave is now in the Apple App store. This is a big update and has the following functional enhancements:

  • We now have MIDI file playback! There’s a shiny new MIDI player integrated into the App so that you can hear your MIDI recordings immediately. This conforms to the MIDI GM1 Patch Map Standard and has 128 sounds for you to choose from.
  • The MIDI recording engine has been totally rewritten. It is now much more accurate for instrument recording and hugely improved for voice. There’s a new associated MIDI recording configuration screen to allow user refinements to the MIDI recording process.
  • The way that MIDI recordings are shared has been completely rewritten. There is now DROPBOX integration! This is a super simple and easy way to move recordings from your iPhone to any other device that has access to your DROPBOX account. You can now send MIDI recordings as attachments to MMS messages too and email of course.
  • There’s a new recordings control panel to enable simple and intuitive recording and playback too.

Magic Stave MIDI Recorder really now enables musicians to record MIDI from acoustic instruments (piano, guitar etc.) and with just the App hear back the recorded MIDI using any of the 128 built-in sounds in the MIDI Player in the App.

See the new version in action in this short YouTube clip:

I hope you have fun with the new features.

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Posted in Announcements, App, iPhone, Magic Stave


Magic Stave now has iPhone 5 Support

02 Jan

I’ve finally updated Magic Stave to support iPhone 5. The main benefits are that the larger screen size allows the display of more note history – up from 7 to 9 and a slightly less cramped screen. App Store Link is here. Main Screen shot is below:Magic Stave iPhone 5


Midi recording With Magic Stave

16 Sep

One of the features that Magic Stave has is the ability to record what you play and turn it into a midi file. This is useful for a number of reasons. Import the file into a music sequencer such as Logic and you’ll be able to:

  • Display the file in many formats – piano roll, music notation etc
  • Play the file back on an instrument of your choice. So, for example, sing a guitar riff into Magic Stave, import the resulting midi file into Logic and then play back the file with your favourite guitar sound. In this way you could sing all the parts for a complete composition! Perhaps not the drums though! :-)

Now, I know quite a few of you will know what a midi file is, but I’m guessing that quite a few won’t so just in case you were wondering… A midi (stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface) file is a recording of your performance rather than the sound you generate from an instrument. So, for example, in Magic Stave, for a piano it is recording what note you played, when you pressed and released a key.

Below is a link to a YouTube video of Magic Stave recording some midi and it being displayed in Logic:


Automatic Key Signature Detection comes to Magic Stave

02 May

I’ve just uploaded a new version of Magic Stave to Apple that has a nifty new feature – Automatic recognition of key signatures. I’m pleased with this new feature as it allows singers in particular to find out what key they’re singing in. Magic Stave compares all new notes with the current key signature and if the newest note doesn’t match it then it searches all key signatures for the best match (in circle of fifths order – majors then minors). There’s a new switch on the main music display view to toggle this on and off: You can also switch this on/off via the main Key Signatures configuration page. The main music display view had to be slightly reorganised to accommodate the extra switch too:

The new update will probably be approved by Apple within the next few days so watch out for it! Hope you like. I’m going to focus my attention on improving the MIDI recording capability for non-fixed pitch instruments next – singers and guitars will hopefully get more accurate MIDI recordings.


Note Letters View added to Magic Stave

23 Apr

I’ve added a user requested feature to display note letters rather than just a note symbol on the stave. There’s a switch to flip between symbols and letters on the configuration view (just rotate app to portrait to switch to this view). Now I’ve added it I can’t believe I didn’t add it long ago! It really will help users who’re learning to read music. Thanks to Gwynn for your excellent suggestion! This update is free to all existing Magic Stave owners and will be available shortly once Apple Reviews give the go ahead! This shouldn’t be too long as the review turnaround times have been excellent in recent months. Here’s a screenshot of the letters view:

Magic Stave Note Letters View

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Posted in Announcements, iPhone, Magic Stave


Note History comes to Magic Stave

09 Apr

There’s a new version of Magic Stave submitted to Apple that should be available within a few days that displays a history of detected notes. I had to reorganise the screen to increase the space for the Stave to accommodate as many notes as possible. It now looks like this:

The history notes are displayed in grey and the last detected note in black. Oldest notes are on the left with the latest detected note on the far right. There’s a switch on the settings screen (just rotate the app to portrait position) to revert the display to a single note if required. I’ve not gone the ‘whole hog’ and added full musical interpretation of note durations yet as this is a huge amount of work to fully implement and results can be very poor. I’m happy with the current implementation as it’s it’s been relatively straight forward to write and does add quite a bit of value to App. I enjoy seeing note patterns emerging of songs I’m singing or playing. If you change key signature (by tapping its name in the top right corner of the main music display) the notes in the history are all updated to reflect the new key signature. This is useful to find out the key in which your curently singing as you can flick through the keys rapidly and find the one that minimises the number of accidentals on the notes and that’s highly likely to be the key you’re singing in!


Magic Stave Version 1.1.2 in Review with Apple

31 Mar

Latest version of Magic Stave is with Apple now and should be available within a few days. The two main enhancements are a brand new Cent Tuning Meter. I’ve made the numeric cent value clearer and given the whole meter a more 3 dimensional look making it more consistent with the rest of the buttons and controls.
The second update will only be apparent to owners of first generation iPhones. I’d accidentally introduced a bug that meant that note recognition was either not working at all or very unreliable. The problem is that 1st generation iPhones have reduced hardware sampling capabilities (8Khz) to 3G and 3GS iPhones (44.1KHz) and this needed to be taken into account properly. Anyway all fixed now and the performance of Magic Stave on a 1st generation iPhone is quite comparable to 3G & 3GS phones.
Now back to the prototyping the scrolling stave…


Magic Stave 1.1.1 Upgrade With Apple Review Team Now

23 Mar

Another upgrade to Magic Stave will be available very shortly. I’ve added a couple of features that users have requested. The first one is a graphical Cent Tuning Meter. Instead of a numeric readout of the current Cent value there’s a simple meter that gives a quick visual indication of how sharp or flat the currently detected note is. I hope folks prefer it.

The second feature upgrade is the ability to access recordings on the phone from a browser on your desktop computer. Depending on your browser and it’s plugins you’ll be able to either just click a recording to hear it via a midi player plugin (QuickTime in Safari for example) or ‘right-click’ it to copy it and play it with your favourite sequencer application that can import midi files. To access this feature go to the midi files list via the Midi Recording recordings list button on the main music display then press the Wifi Sync button in the top right corner of the screen. This will then display a URL that you must type into your browser to access your recordings.

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Posted in iPhone, Magic Stave


Magic Stave 1.1.0 released

16 Mar

Finally, Magic Stave 1.1.0 has been approved by Apple and is now downloadable. It’s taken quite a bit longer than I expected to add MIDI recording capability to the App. The main challenges have been implementing a note onset detection mechanism that was reliable enough. I’m still not 100% happy with the current implementation, but for fixed pitch instruments such as pianos it’s pretty accurate. Getting good results for the voice is a lot more challenging! Especially when your singing is as bad as mine! The things I’ve realised is that when singing your (my) voice actually ‘slides’ into the note you want to sing. Magic Stave detects this and of course adds this to the MIDI file. There is potential scope for some intelligent filtering of this sliding and I’m thinking about how this might be implemented now. The thing about MIDI recording is that it can only be as good as the sound that Magic Stave can listen to – garbage in, garbage out as my old computer science lecturers used to say. Here’s a youtube demo.