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#542721 - 07/05/06 10:28 AM Life in Ink - A Pianist and his Tablet PC
Hugh Sung Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/16/06
Posts: 376
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Hey, folks! Check out today's edition of "Gotta Be Mobile's" excellent "Life in Ink" series, highlighting stories from folks who live and work with Tablet PC's!

For the past 3 years, i've converted all my music to a digital-only format, allowing me to turn my own pages with a footswitch, store my entire library on a hard drive, and annotate my music with digital pen and ink. All my rehearsals, lessons and concerts are done from my Tablet PC, day in and day out - a real testament to the reliability and functionality of the technology as an aid for musicians!

Many thanks to Warner Crocker for his continued efforts to integrate art and technology by inviting me to contribute from a musician's perspective!

All the best,
Hugh Sung


HughSung.com - Music Meets Tech
_________________________
Hugh Sung
Co-Founder, AirTurn Inc.

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#542722 - 07/05/06 11:26 AM Re: Life in Ink - A Pianist and his Tablet PC
Pedro PR Silva Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/24/06
Posts: 125
Loc: Lisbon, Portugal
Your set up sound really handy, i have some experience with a tablet ( i have a table tablet, not screen one ) but for digital painting. I really love it´s flexibility and potential.

As soon as i overcome the "buying a piano" part, i´ll be sure to checkout your system more
closely!
_________________________
...everything is everywere and does not stop...

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#542723 - 07/13/06 12:53 PM Re: Life in Ink - A Pianist and his Tablet PC
LisztAddict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/05
Posts: 2896
Loc: Florida
I just got my HP TC4200 12.1" screen tablet pc yesterday. My Griffin Powermate should be here today or tomorrow. \:D

I just scanned the Bach-Busoni Chaconne and saved it to PDF. This is very cool. By minimize all the blank margin all around the prints, display full screen PDF, it's about the size of a sheet of 8.5x11 with 0.5" margin all around.

I probably spend the next few days to make PDF of all the music I am working on so there won't be a pile of music book sitting on my piano lid anymore. \:\)

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#542724 - 07/13/06 01:32 PM Re: Life in Ink - A Pianist and his Tablet PC
Hugh Sung Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/16/06
Posts: 376
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Cool! Be sure to check out my Flash tutorial on programming the Powermate for page turns as well as my picture gallery of two different wooden cradles for the Powermate - i don't like version 2.0, version 1.0 is simpler to build and actually seems to work more reliably. I added some pictures of version 1.0 next to a tape measure to help folks put their own cradles together. You need to have a slight angle to the powermate in order for the foot to depress it comfortably and reliably. Do let me know how your setup works for you - hope this helps!
Hugh Sung


HughSung.com - Music Meets Tech
_________________________
Hugh Sung
Co-Founder, AirTurn Inc.

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#542725 - 07/13/06 02:09 PM Re: Life in Ink - A Pianist and his Tablet PC
LisztAddict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/05
Posts: 2896
Loc: Florida
Hugh,

Thank you for all the neat ideas. \:\)

I have access to a CNC sheet metal turret punch here at work so my plan is after I get this Powermate, I'll design a footrest platform with some kind of a slot to hold the Powermate unit in place.

The Powermate is about 1.5"(?) high. I assume that's the reason you tilt it slightly in the block so when you tap the toe on it, the angle of attack is closer to perpendicular. Have you experimented using a footrest with the heel raised to about the same height of the Powermate? or is it more comfortable with the foot on the floor and only move the toe on the Powermate when you use it?

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#542726 - 07/13/06 02:16 PM Re: Life in Ink - A Pianist and his Tablet PC
Hugh Sung Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/16/06
Posts: 376
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Wow! Would you please send me some pictures of your footrest platform? I'd love to share that with my readers! What a neat idea!
I'm personally more comfortable with my heel on the floor, as i like my feet to remain on the same level. I'd be curious to hear if a raised heel enables a more reliable footswitch action...
Let me know how it goes! Have fun!
All the best,
Hugh Sung


HughSung.com - Music Meets Tech
_________________________
Hugh Sung
Co-Founder, AirTurn Inc.

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#542727 - 07/13/06 08:19 PM Re: Life in Ink - A Pianist and his Tablet PC
LisztAddict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/05
Posts: 2896
Loc: Florida
I'll certainly post pictures of my Powermate setup when I have it ready.

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#542728 - 07/14/06 04:22 PM Re: Life in Ink - A Pianist and his Tablet PC
LisztAddict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/05
Posts: 2896
Loc: Florida
Scanning music sheets, clean them up, crop them to maximize the printed area is tiring.

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#542729 - 07/15/06 09:18 PM Re: Life in Ink - A Pianist and his Tablet PC
ignorant kid Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/20/03
Posts: 333
Loc: Poquoson, Virginia
I was at Nordstrom's today and finally to see their pianist playing. Guess what he was using... a Tablet PC! Seems like they could be really useful. I'm gonna do some research on those things...
_________________________
-Carl

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#542730 - 07/15/06 11:29 PM Re: Life in Ink - A Pianist and his Tablet PC
LisztAddict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/05
Posts: 2896
Loc: Florida
I used my tablet pc on the piano for the first time today. Still don't have the Powermate yet. I used the button on the tablet to turn pages.

What I just realized is that when using the real music sheets, there are 2 pages in front of me. And when I turn, I know I turn the page. With this digital format with only 1 page displayed, when I pushed the button, the next page was up instantly in the same location so it threw me off a few times. My plan is to put a color tint to every other page so I can tell that it does jump from one page to the next. I hope it will also get easier when I have the Powermate foot switch.

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#542731 - 07/19/06 07:47 PM Re: Life in Ink - A Pianist and his Tablet PC
LisztAddict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/05
Posts: 2896
Loc: Florida
I just got my PowerMate. Installed on my Tablet PC and it did not work with the 1.5.2 software. Had to go to Griffin web site and download the 1.5.3 for WinXP Tablet. No bracket yet. I programmed it to page down in Adobe acrobat for click/tap and clockwise turn. Page up with counter clockwise turn; just in case.

I can't wait until I make my bracket platform for it, so I just stick it under the left pedal. My piano has caster cups and the PowerMate fits nicely under the pedal. The pedal goes down enough to trigger the page turn but not deep enough to move the piano action over.



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#542732 - 07/19/06 08:36 PM Re: Life in Ink - A Pianist and his Tablet PC
DaWF Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/05
Posts: 233
Loc: Wisconsin
I would be interested to try to use this technology with my marimba playing, where page turns are impossible. this leads to having a bunch of stands full of music laid out in front of the instrument. The issue withthat is that marimbas are big and sometimes your body is at least 4 feet from the music.

I wonder though, how easy this pedal would be to use despite that, because you move around some much when you play.

Mr. Sung, do you know of any percussionists who use this tablet thingy?

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#542733 - 07/20/06 07:34 PM Re: Life in Ink - A Pianist and his Tablet PC
LisztAddict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/05
Posts: 2896
Loc: Florida
Here is my pedal for the PowerMate.




After some studying of the PowerMate unit, I found that to trigger it, it's best to hit right at the very center of it with a perpendicular force. The button only moves about 0.02" total. So it wasn't very easy to stomp on it perfectly while playing. I figured that I have to make something that would take less effort but more toe movement than just 0.02" for better feedback and still provide a dead center hit on the button. I came up with this design which works like a charm.

It contains 3 parts. 1) a 20-gauge L-shape lower bracket to provide a firm platform underneath the Powermate. 2) a 16-gauge Z-shape upper bracket/pedal to give more leverage for the foot action. 3) an adjusting screw to strike the button/top of the PowerMate unit.
The 20-gauge piece flexes when pressing on the 16-gauge pedal, but the 16-gauge piece holds its shape to provide a positive strike.
And a piece of electrical tape on top of the button to prevent scratching. \:D

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#542734 - 07/21/06 07:55 AM Re: Life in Ink - A Pianist and his Tablet PC
Hugh Sung Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/16/06
Posts: 376
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Wow! This looks so amazing! I'm going to link to this on my blog - be prepared to get some offers to build a lot of these, hahaha! Was this difficult to make? How much would you charge for another one of these?

Have you thought about placing a small spring on the toe end of the device? My only concern would be metal fatigue over the long term, having the toe end bend down...one of my griffin powermate's button caps just popped off (the glue wore out), probably the result of a LOT of foot presses day in and day out!

Another thought would be somehow drilling a keyhole in back for the USB cable, something to keep the powermate from slipping away. That's been one problem with all my footswitches, keeping them in place during the heat of battle, especially when things get loud and fast! Pieces of carpet runner glued to the botttom of my wooden cradles have helped, but things still tend to slip around.

Thanks so much for the pictures - you are so amazingly resouceful!
Hugh Sung


HughSung.com - Music Meets Tech
_________________________
Hugh Sung
Co-Founder, AirTurn Inc.

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#542735 - 07/21/06 08:12 AM Re: Life in Ink - A Pianist and his Tablet PC
Hugh Sung Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/16/06
Posts: 376
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Hi DAWF - sorry for the delay in getting back to you on this, i've been busy getting Rach 3 pounded into my brain (and fingers...) - i don't know of any other percussionists currently using Tablet PC's to read music, why don't you consider being the first? I would recommend a larger screen tablet than what i use, or perhaps even a small rear screen projector setup (see my homemade screen here)with the projector on the ground and angled up to the screen...
If you go with a straight tablet pc setup, one a 14 inch screen might suffice; not sure if they make them any larger, please let me know if you find one!
As for pedals, i have to say i'm mighty impressed with what LisztAddict has come up with above! Until your order with him is placed, you might want to consider a USB footswitch from Delcom Engineering in the meantime - they're very reliable, but the drawback is that they're also pretty noisy (loud click and sometimes squeaky)...personally, i'd go with LisztAddict's contraption, if you can convince him to make you one!
I'd love to hear about whatever setup you end up with!
All the best,
Hugh Sung


HughSung.com - Music Meets Tech
_________________________
Hugh Sung
Co-Founder, AirTurn Inc.

Top
#542736 - 07/21/06 09:52 AM Re: Life in Ink - A Pianist and his Tablet PC
LisztAddict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/05
Posts: 2896
Loc: Florida
 Quote:
Originally posted by Hugh Sung:
Wow! This looks so amazing! I'm going to link to this on my blog - be prepared to get some offers to build a lot of these, hahaha! Was this difficult to make? How much would you charge for another one of these?[/b]
It took me less than an hour total to make the first one. It's very simple to make with the right tools. If you want one for yourself, just pay the shipping and I'll make and mail you one.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Hugh Sung:
Have you thought about placing a small spring on the toe end of the device? My only concern would be metal fatigue over the long term, having the toe end bend down...one of my griffin powermate's button caps just popped off (the glue wore out), probably the result of a LOT of foot presses day in and day out![/b]
I've considered a small spring. But for the prototype, I just wanted to make it as simple as possible. The material I use is 304L stainless steel, so it should holds/springs back to its initial shape well. I also have thought that if tapping the foot directly on the PowerMate button, the force exerted more on the edge than center. That's probably the reason your PowerMate button came off.

 Quote:
Originally posted by Hugh Sung:
Another thought would be somehow drilling a keyhole in back for the USB cable, something to keep the powermate from slipping away. That's been one problem with all my footswitches, keeping them in place during the heat of battle, especially when things get loud and fast! Pieces of carpet runner glued to the botttom of my wooden cradles have helped, but things still tend to slip around. [/b]
I'll come up with something. Right now my PowerMate is held to the steel bracket by a piece of duct tape. \:D
I used it for about 2 hours last night, and it worked like a dream. A light tap on the toe and the page turned. Almost effortless. The pedal was close enough to the floor surface that I just slightly rotate my foot with the toe slightly up, I am there.

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