For many musicians using iPads, forScore is there primary music reading app – and rightly so. It is the best app for what it does, and that list continues to grow with every update. We’ll be posting several videos in the coming months about forScore and all the incredible things it can do to help you better organize and read your digital sheet music. The feature we’re talking about today – Darkroom – has been implemented in the app for a while now, but since my musician buddy just needed to scan a physical chart right before a gig this past Saturday (and was blown away by this built-in feature of an app he’s used for months), I thought it was perfect for today’s Musician Monday.
Darkroom is a super convenient built-in tool that allows you to take a photo of a sheet of paper music, title it, and then converts it to a PDF and opens instantly in your forScore library! Why is this necessary? Because of the exact situation I witnessed on Sat night’s gig. My good friend and excellent saxophonist Bob had all his music scanned and ready to read as PDFs on his iPad. Songs were even in a set list for easy navigation during the show. Problem is, on some gigs, the band decides to do a new tune which of course is written on paper. What to do?
1. Bring a traditional music stand for this one new song
2. Tape the sheet music to your iPad?
(Actually, the clamps of TheGigEasy Universal Mic Stand Mount do allow you to conveniently attach a page of sheet music to your iPad, but…)
The more elegant answer is to scan it with your iPad. There are many great scanning apps out there and I’ve used “Genius Scan+” for a couple years now. I love it and I still use it, except when I’m reading charts in forScore. Why? Because I can now execute this awesome feature from within the forScore app. Anytime you can eliminate a step, it’s a good thing, especially when you’re doing this right before the downbeat!
Here’s how to scan a paper chart in just a few steps within forScore:
1. Tap center of screen to engage the editing tools
2. Tap the tool box in upper right
3. Choose “Darkroom” half way down the page
4. Tap the camera icon at the top of the page (The other icon allows you to convert an existing photo in your Photos library into a PDF)
5. Take a photo of the paper chart with the iPad’s built-in camera. (the better the light, the better the resulting PDF)
6. Title the new PDF (title of song)
7. “Save” the new PDF in color or B&W
The new PDF chart will automatically open up and will also be auto-alphabetized in your forScore library. Quickly add it to your gig setlist if need be, but now you can hand the paper chart back to the bandleader and go back to your wonderful digital music library. Enjoy!