WE Warrior needs tablet computer as a teleprompter.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Oci-One Kanubi, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. Been playing for years, but every new cover band I join has a different set list, and my core memory is full; I need some electronic assistance on stage.

    For every new song I prepare a lyric sheet in Microsoft Word. I show the lead singer's lyrics in normal type, my answerback parts in bold, my ooh-ooh-ooh or ah-ah-ah parts in bold italic, and my harmony parts in bold underlined. I show instrumental intros, interludes, and solos in measures, like "|C |F |C G |C / |". I include the chords over the first verse and the first chorus; for subsequent choruses and interludes I just note "(chorus)" and "(interlude)". I'll occasionally put in italicized notes, like "quietly" or "guitar only". I can often fit the entire structure, lyrics, and chords on a single sheet, and never need more than two pages. I also buy the original album version of the song from Amazon if I don't already have it on CD, and outline that complete structure on the sheet. I ultimately burn the MP3s onto CDs and I print the sheets out, and play them along with the CDs to learn the songs. I have a pretty big backlog of these sheets, some transposed for different singers, and I use Audacity to make a pitch-shifted MP3 version to match.

    But dang, I play with so many different people, with so many different set lists, to memorize the lyrics for all my backup vocal parts; it uses all my memory cells just to memorize the structure and chord sequence and the bass part (or just the bass feel).

    I think if I get a Windows-powered tablet with MS Word loaded, I can get a clip to mount it on my mic stand so I could have some help at gigs which will be a lot less obtrusive than the loose-leaf notebook on a music stand which now I use at home and at band practice until I learn the song. It would need to have a touch screen, so I could reach out and scroll down while left-hand tapping, or a remote foot-operated pointing device. I could have the playlist for each band on a separate memory stick, pull up the folder holding my Word files, listed alphabetically, and just reach out and tap to display whichever tune the leader calls.

    So, my questions: what am I not considering? Is there a tablet that others have used and recommend? Is there a good foot-operating pointing device for scrolling? Is there a dedicated device that would do a better job than a tablet computer (in the same ~$400 price range)?

    Or is there another forum where I should post these questions? I'd love to hear from anyone who has done something like this before.
    murphy and monradon like this.
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    What's your max budget?
  3. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    Out there!
    One of these DID NOT help the lead singer in an old band stay on cue. He failed miserably all the time, missing lead-ins, continuing on over guitar solos or start singing a verse halfway through a lead break, etc. Horrible and very embarrassing. :rollno: :eyebrow: :vomit: :banghead: :spit: :poop: :cautious:

    Hope this helps. :)

    Edit: missing word
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2018
  4. KohanMike

    KohanMike Gold Supporting Member

    I'm doing almost exactly what you describe. I started on an iPad 9.7" with apps to catalogue music sheets, ForScore and OnSong, but the screen was too small so I checked around and found a 13.3" Android tablet for $150, but what sold me was finding MobileSheets Pro, also for cataloguing music sheets, but with a much better user interface. I just switched to a 13.5" Windows tablet with stylus so I could make good clean notes on the screen when I have to, total of $399. The main reason I'm not going to an 12.9" iPad pro with stylus is MobileSheets Pro, I would not go back to ForScore or OnSong, also because it's expensive, with stylus is $750.

    I use a nice stand with an iKlip holder and also have a foot pedal, which I don't use anymore because I custom make all my song sheets as you do, but only one page. I'm a graphic designer and use Canvas Draw on my Mac to make PDFs that I transfer to the app via Dropbox. You should be able to use Word too. MobileSheets Pro has lists for collections and set lists, which I use extensively. I have about 200 songs, including audio tracks that attach to a sheet, which I use when I practice. I find touching the screen for the next song is quick and easy since I put them in a setlist ready to go.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
    elgecko, design, nice_hat and 3 others like this.
  5. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Which Windows tablet do you have?
  6. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    I'm at your old spot - cheap old 13.3" android tablet with MobileSheets Pro. How do you run MobileSheets on the Windows tablet? Bluestacks or something similar?

    I've been able to get by with zooming in and writing notes or drawing marking with my finger but it's not real accurate.
  7. KohanMike

    KohanMike Gold Supporting Member

    A Chuwi, made in China, from Amazon for $350 and their stylus for $49, a magnet holds it against the side of the tablet.

    MobileSheets Pro is made for Windows 10. The stylus is much better than anything I tried on Android, but the Apple stylus on the iPad Pro is even better. Mike Zuber, who develops MobileSheets Pro, says he will bring out an iOS version some day, I'll most likely switch to the iPad Pro then.
  8. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    Nice, I wasn't aware of the Windows 10 version, just the Android. Thanks
  9. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    I run the SetLists app (in teleprompter mode as illustrated below) on a first gen iPad. Works so well I don't want to upgrade anything. Using a bluetooth footswitch ("PageFlip") to turn pages. The app is text based so you can format anything you want to that's text based - tab, lyrics+chords, nashville numbers, etc.


  10. Same here, except for the PageFlip. I've been doing okay with lyrics on one page. There are a couple of longer songs but I just use the touchscreen feature to flip to the next page. But I'm using the SetLists app and an old 16G iPad2. Works like a charm. I think the app was free when I first downloaded it, and you can score a used iPad2 for around $79 these days. I have an iKlip mounted to a short mic stand to hold my iPad well below my face to avoid obstruction but close enough I can see it.

    SetLists has a lot of nice features. I usually construct my cue and lead sheets on Word, then upload them to DropBox or Google Drive, then pull them into SetLists from there. After the lyrics and notes are in SetLists, you can continue to edit and manipulate them with lots of cool features.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
    DirtDog likes this.
  11. timmus

    timmus JS Bach is really the ultimate bass player Supporting Member

    Subbed...same situation.
  12. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Lots of choices for workflow. I end up typing or copy/paste my stuff into Gmail, do the formatting and send it to myself. Fire up Gmail on the iPad and copy and paste that into a new song on SetLists. I did use the .txt file sync using iTunes, but this much easier. Havent bothered with Dropbox/Google Drive.

    While most of my tunes fit on one or two pages, I use the PageFlip to move between songs. I've already queued up the lyrics for the next tune before the final note sounds on the tune we're one. Seamless!
    Speedhitter and electracoyote like this.
  13. Another attractive thing about the PageFlip is you can use a much larger font and spread the song over multiple pages. I have a couple of songs where the font is almost too small with the whole song on one page.

    I just looked into acquiring a PageFlip, $89, not a bad idea. My lead singer uses one.
    wideload and DirtDog like this.
  14. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Yep - I tend to break some songs down by verse+chorus and whatever other markup I might need. I use dashes or underscores to separate elements on a page and then use a space between blocks as a page break if need be.
  15. Uh, let me refer you to my OP: "Is there a dedicated device that would do a better job than a tablet computer (in the same ~$400 price range)?"

    Maybe US$400 isn't my max, because I'd also need to get a holder to fit onto my mic stand for about US$60, and maybe some dedicated software, but it's a pretty good ballpark figure for what I would want to spend.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
  16. I'm the freakin' BASS player: I know when to come in with my part! Furthermore, as backup singer, I have to synch my parts to the lead singer, whether he is on cue or not. Timing is not my issue. Remembering the lyrics is.

    Your lead singer's problems with timing was a problem with the lead singer, not a problem with the device. Keep the device and lose the singer would be my advice.
    mikewalker and Speedhitter like this.
  17. This is very useful. Thank you very much!

    Who makes the 13.5" tablet you use, Chuwi?

    Also, is the iKlip holder something I would find in Musician's Friend, or should I look in the Apple store or Amazon for it?

    Looks like MobileSheets Pro is available online from Microsoft Store.

    Thanks again for your detailed, on-point reply!
  18. Thanks; I'll look into the PageFlip!
    DirtDog and Speedhitter like this.
  19. Volunteerk9


    Oct 20, 2015
    setlist subd

  20. So if I have all my words typed out in word or equivalent, I can download them into Setlists app?