Writing on the road

Posted by: admin on April 2, 2010 @ 12:22 pm
Filed under: Music Technology

I played a one-off in Iowa City this past week. We’ve always had a good turnout at this specific club so we decided to bring a lite horn section with us to kind of cement us in there. Funny how adding horns to a guitar rock band makes a stereotypically wallflower indie-rock crowd markedly dancier.

Before and after the show, our trumpet player was working on charts for a different band (while we lazily enjoyed our pizza). His on-the-road setup really inspired me to get one together for myself.

USB KeyboardThough I’ve always been a huge fan of hand-written charts — something about the process of inking up paper with a pen has always helped me internalize what I was writing since it’s driven by what’s in my head rather than a synth — I’m going to get a new copy of Finale or Sibelius (which do you prefer?). And I’m going to get the little USB keyboard that trumpet player was using — the Akai LPK25 (in pic). It’s the exact width of the laptop so it’s able to fit in any bag. Seemed pretty sturdy, too.

For all you road warriors out there working on tunes in the van, on the train or plane, what’s your setup? Would like some more options before pulling the trigger.

Happy weekend.


  1. […] 1 votes vote Writing on the road I played a one-off in Iowa City this past week. We’ve always had a good turnout at this […]

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  2. I find Sibelius much easier to use, like anyone could have close to none idea of how to use the program and be making charts within an hour.Also, the new version of the program (Sibelius 6) can arguably do pretty much anything that you could possibly need notation wise and it has some other cool features like saving different versions of the same work, some really good sampled sounds and my personal favorite, the magnetic layout feature. Which doesn’t allow any object to be on top of each other, which maximizes editing time.

    Some of my friends really do swear by Finale though, apparently there’s some ways of customizing your notation. Also I know there’s this feature that allows you to play a chord on a keyboard and export that to all the different instruments in a score (when writing for big bands and such). But you will definitely need someone’s help to develop some functional proficiency on finale because the program is not intuitive by any means.

    My two cents, hope it helps


    Comment by Juanma Trujillo — April 7, 2010 @ 6:33 pm

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