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Author Topic: 5 Year Anniversary  (Read 787 times)

arlo

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5 Year Anniversary
« on: September 07, 2018, 09:42:25 AM »
September 10 is the five year anniversary of BandHelper's launch. How have you used BandHelper in that time? Share your experience here by September 30 and I'll send a bundle of BandHelper merch to my favorites.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2018, 09:47:01 AM by arlo »

Ahiru

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Re: 5 Year Anniversary
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2018, 01:26:03 PM »
As a relatively new user, my short story:  BandHelper is without a doubt the ‘tech’ centerpiece of my cover duo.  (It’s a passionate hobby, rather than a viable money-making gig for us.)

Our long story:

My duo partner and I started performing with automated backing tracks and lights in the late 80s, using a PC based MIDI sequencer, synths, drum machines, MIDI controlled lights, etc., after our full band dissolved.  It was a great way to get a full sound with just a couple of guys, and we played off & on for many years this way.  But it did involve dragging around a PC, a bunch of racked synths, paper lyric cheat sheets, etc.

Last year after a long hiatus we decided to reboot the duo and settled on using BandHelper as the centerpiece for our automation.  What a great decision that has been!  As old hands at using automation for live performance across many decades, BandHelper feels like living in the future.

We produce our own backing tracks for each song in a DAW, voicing and mixing exactly what we need to support under our live played guitar / keys / vocals, exported as stereo .m4a (aac) files.  We also build custom light sequencing driven by MIDI tracks incorporated in the DAW sequences that are exported as SMF files, one for each song.

When performing we each have an iPad running BandHelper on our mic stands, with one as a master displaying the screen on the second iPad via ad hoc Wi-Fi.

During a performance of a song, BandHelper:

  • Plays the audio backing track
  • Plays the associated SMF (MIDI) file, which drives our lighting system (which is controlled by Luminair running on a 3rd iPad, driving a downstream DMX lighting system).
  • Automates display of lyrics, scrolling in sync with the backing track, as well as displaying those all important ‘cheat sheet’ chords, riffs, etc.
  • Automates changes in my MIDI-controlled guitar FX in sync with the song (no pedal stomping other than volume and wah).
  • Automates changes in vox reverb fx (including reverb off between songs)

Though we’ve been “gettin’ ready” for quite a while (takes a lot of time to produce the backing tracks, lighting automation, custom lyrics/notes scrolling, fx automation), we’ve put many hours into using BandHelper and found it to be rock solid (live play crashes would be death!).  Beyond reliability, the other most impressive aspect: how well the author Arlo listens to his user community to continuously improve the product.

Our first public gig with this instantiation of our band is this weekend… if we screw up, it will be because of my fingers, not because of the tech!

arlo

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Re: 5 Year Anniversary
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2018, 03:28:06 PM »
Our first public gig with this instantiation of our band is this weekend… if we screw up, it will be because of my fingers, not because of the tech!

Good luck and have fun!

JerryK

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Re: 5 Year Anniversary
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2018, 05:33:54 AM »
Happy 'birthday' Arlo.
Many happy returns ( and upgrades  :) ) of the day.

Moon Dog

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Re: 5 Year Anniversary
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2018, 08:48:42 AM »
Congrats on 5 years Arlo...proud to say I have been on this journey with you....Moon Dog is also on a similar timeline. Cheers bro.

Gregdopson

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Re: 5 Year Anniversary
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2018, 10:05:57 AM »
Hi Arlo

I trust all is well? You may remember we have been users of Bandhelper nearly two years and Set List Maker for two or more years before that. It runs my three bands and two side projects.

It frees us up from reams of paper, unwieldy lever arch files, constant reprints of set lists and edited tabs and arrangements. Simple things like being able to get through rehearsal, share ideas, make changes to chords structures, sax lines all without having to root around for an elusive pen and scrap of paper, make using your product a delight.  I spend a minimum of 5 hours using it every week.

On the very few occasions we have needed tech support, you have always stepped up and got us going - it is a pleasure working with you.

Congratulations! Here’s to the next 5 years!

Greg

greiswig

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Re: 5 Year Anniversary
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2018, 12:54:57 PM »
Congratulations on this anniversary, and thank you for your support to performing musicians.

I’ve shared my experiences to some extent here, but I’ll put one in for the records. I had a new band that formed last spring. Several of us were using another tablet-based solution for chords and lyrics. I found BandHelper and started using it, then got the other members to change over as well. It was pretty easy to get everyone using it, and we were able to quickly get any form, lyric or chord changes published to everyone.  Then I started using MIDI to start and stop lyrics for myself, and incorporating patch changes for my guitar rig into the songs. Really amazing!

Our first gig was a benefit to raise money for fresh water in Uganda, and the effort raised $15,000 toward that goal. The show went off without a hitch, and it was a real pleasure to be able to turn over so much to BandHelper and not worry about whether it would work or not. Very cool!

dr_rollo

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Re: 5 Year Anniversary
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2018, 12:44:51 PM »
Congratulation on 5 Years Bandhelper!
I've started with the Setlistmaker 6 years ago, one of my really favorite most important apps that I used for years until switched to Bandhelper two years ago. I can no longer imagine life on stage without Bandhelper. So many amazing features makes life for musicians so much easier.
Starting with preparation of new songs, practicing at home by using the nice built-in audio player, which is also helpful in the rehearsal room.
All musicians get sheets and audio automatically after I prepared it at home.
Especially I like the option to provide new bandmates or temporary staff with the material they need, by easily creating an account for them. All they need is to install the App, log in and synchronize. Absolutely fantastic and really a big help!
Also I like the support from you and your team. Always up-to-date, quick in solving bug fixes e.g. after OS updates, implementing new features. Please keep it up! Your customers will appreciate this!

Ruckman65

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Re: 5 Year Anniversary
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2018, 03:16:37 AM »
I don't recall how long ago I started with SetList Maker then graduated to BandHelper. But, in all those years, any time I ran into a problem or came across a function I didn't understand, Arlo was always there to offer support and advice well beyond what could normally be expected from a software developer. At the heart of it, Arlo, I believe, is a musician first and a developer second which is why he is able to offer the incredible support that he does. He understands musicians and he understands the technicalities of mounting a stage performance.

SetList Maker and BandHelper have completely revolutionised how my band's shows are presented. From actually playing the recordings to controlling DMX lighting via midi to triggering videos to displaying lyrics and chords, Arlo's apps have made all the difference.

Thank you, Arlo, for everything. Here's to the next five years!!!   

arlo

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Re: 5 Year Anniversary
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2018, 01:15:18 PM »
Thanks for the great comments here! This was really fun and rewarding to read. I have contacted the merch winners. :-)