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A.P.S. Stopwatch updated for iOS 8 and FREE for a limited time!

A.P.S. Stopwatch now updated to fix compatibility issues with iOS 8. A.P.S. Stopwatch is one of the best stopwatches available for iOS and includes the ability for unlimited laps, quick deletion of timings, label and sorting of timings, and the ability to e-mail the timings. It’s presented by Up-Front Footwear and available for a limited time on the iOS store (universal app) for free. Get A.P.S. Stopwatch at the App Store

Quick News! A.P.S. Tuner and A.P.S. Stopwatch NOW available for FREE

Although not officially “marketed” for the big “launch” yet, you can can get both A.P.S. Tuner and A.P.S. Timer for FREE right now! Both these apps comprise of components of our highly acclaimed A.P.S. MusicMaster Pro app.  A.P.S. Stopwatch: Get it from the Apple App Store Now!  A.P.S. Tuner Get it from the Apple App Store Now! Enjoy! ~A.P.S. Dev...

iOS 7 Update Arrives for A.P.S MusicMaster Pro – iPad Music App for Music Directors & Musicians

What If You Could Have More Confidence Tuning Ensembles Or Your Instrument?

What if you could have the confidence to tune your notes, instruments, and ensembles (voice or instrumental) and be accurate to within a 16th of a semi-tone with complete confidence?   The answer is… everything you are doing musically would improve -including the confidence level of your own tuning abilities.   A.P.S. Development LLC has just finished the development of an incredible iPhone/iTouch/iPad app that will surely bring rapid improvement to anyone’s ability to tune -all while practicing this skill in complete privacy: it’s called the A.P.S. Tuning Trainer (and it’s amazing!). For years I’ve observed students, beginning teachers and veteran teachers alike struggle with their ability to properly and accurately tune.   This is a skill set that I work on with all of our college students, at Grove City, from “day one”.   This is also something that is a very “personal” matter for many musicians, so much so that they are afraid to ask others for help for fear that it is something they feel they should have already mastered and be an “expert” at.   It’s not uncommon to find musicians that have solid, traditional, Solfeggio skills and still have problems tuning.  This is usually due to their lack of exposure to extensive repetition of tuning practice and accurate feedback as to what they are listening to with regard to whether the pitches are the same or not. I often hear experienced music teachers explaining to their ensembles about “beat” tuning… “listen for the beats”.  While there is absolute truth to the statement about comparing two overlapping sine-waves (sounds) of similar frequencies together and “listening” for the “beats” to determine if something is in tune, the problem is that most of them can’t properly explain to their students what to do after they hear them!  I’ve heard such nonsense things as “if they beats are close together” it’s sharp, “if they are far apart, it’s flat” and vice-versa (usually followed by a “pull-out” or “push-in” without regard to explaining the function of the movement itself to the students).  The actual truth is that the beats will be produced if it’s flat or sharp and the further they (the beats) are apart the closer you are getting to the right “mark” – the beats, in and of themselves, do not indicate specific “flatness” or “sharpness” without further exploration and comparison of what is being heard through further changing the tension of the string or changing the length of a tube -it’s  not enough to just hear the beats -you have to be a detective. There are further “dangers” to be considered with the exact tuning of instruments with regard to the common usage of the equal temperament scale/tuning system.  Because of our usage of this tuning system if an instrument is tuned to be “beat-less” it will clash with instruments such as the piano or fretted guitar.   Also, often times it is difficult to hear beats in instruments of complex timbre.   The real question with regard to tuning using a reference pitch is: Is what I’m hearing flat or sharp to what I’m comparing it to?  The ability to answer this correctly, in my experience, comes with prolonged exposure to hearing what “flat” and “sharp” sound like in relation to a referenced pitch. I always start out my first-time-tuning sessions with my students with a ridiculous example of flat and sharp comparisons: I play a note on the piano that is followed by another note about six whole-steps above it.  I ask them if the 2nd note played was either flat or sharp.   At this point, the look on their faces is usually that of bewilderment, but the point is that they CAN hear the difference -the 2nd note is way “higher” than first so, in essence, it’s sharp.   I then do a series of half-step comparisons and, as you can imagine, they get all of these correct.  So with good confidence I can say that just about everyone (except those with the medical diagnosis of amusia) has, at the very least, a pitch discrimination accuracy of better than 100 Cents or 1 complete semi-tone (half-step). I don’t intend this post include a “primer ” about understanding the unit of measure known as the “cent”, but it makes sense (pun there) to have a working knowledge of it.   The equal temperament scale (discussed prior) is divided into 12 notes or 12 equal semi-tones.  Each of these semit-tones (half-steps) can be further divided into 100 equal parts known as “cents”. A cent is 1/100 of a semi-tone.   The following list details this concept in fractions and audible “space”: 100 Cents = a semi-tone (or 1/2 of a whole step: C to C#) 50 Cents = 1/2 of a semi-tone (or 1/4 of a whole step:) 25 Cents = 1/4 of a semi-tone 12.5 Cents – 1/8 of a semi-tone 6.25 Cents = 1/16 of a semi-tone (about the best humanly possible – known as the “just noticeable difference  or JND”) Every musician should strive to be in the < 12 cents category of confident pitch discrimination (regardless of age).   Interestingly enough, many tuners will show the “acceptable” range of tuning to be + or – 20 cents, but as you might imagine- it’s really not an acceptable range (but certainly better than + or – 40 cents)! When I envisioned the A.P.S. Tuning Trainer, I wanted to make something...