My favourite apps and tools
Here is an overview of my favorite apps & tools for mobile and desktop. They make my life as a professional musician easier almost every day.
I’ve been using this software for ages, both to score Epica songs and to make tabs for guitar students.
The coolest features:
- You can slow stuff down and build up speed slowly
- You can play back the score, so you hear exactly what you need to play. This might seem logical to you, but back in the pre-internet era you had to figure out pretty much everything yourself.
- You can score your own riffs and start a database with ideas, techniques, songs, etc. I also bought the app version. It’s great to load the stuff you made on a desktop computer but I’m way too clumsy to use it to actually write tabs.
Power Tab Editor (Website)
Similar to Guitar Pro. This is what I used to work with before switching to Apple. It is free software, but unfortunately it’s only compatible with Microsoft. No mobile app version available either.
Your best friend from now on, if it isn’t already! Nothing beats a good old vintage metronome. It looks rad on your desk.
However, when I’m traveling I use my very reliable Wittner MT40 digital metronome. On my phone I have the Pro Metronome designed by EUMLab. You see, I need a lot of best friends.
BIAS Amp 2 (Website)
This is the software I used to match the sounds of my Bogner amps. These custom presets can be found on the Positive Grid ToneCloud. Search for “I palmer” and “I 609” if you want to download my personal presets.
It’s really amazing how accurate the amp matching is. That’s why I switched to BIAS racks for live shows altogether. Highly recommended!
Solemn Tones (Website)
I use both the Mjölner Drums and the Loki Bass plugins for all my metal recordings in my home studio. This is the first time I didn’t have to make a lot of changes to get the sound I was looking for. Decent, solid, awesome.
Well, just a decent tuner. Always a good thing to have around. You’ll find it in your app store.
I also use the built-in tuner of my Eleven Rack, or the one in the Positive Grid plugin for Logic Pro, or my trusty Boss TU-3 chromatic tuner.
iPhone Voice Memos
I recorded the main melody for Epica’s “Beyond the Matrix” on my iPhone while walking our dog. I also record most of my acoustic ideas through voice memos while being on the road. Don’t let a cool idea slip away! If you have an iPhone, it’s already preinstalled. On a desktop you could use QuickTime for Mac, or Voice Recorder for Windows.
I use this preinstalled app all the time. This is the place where I write down bands I need to check, recording settings I need to remember, music business related info, etc. I’d be lost without it.
Google Drive (Website)
This is where I store documents and spreadsheets I need to have access to anywhere in the world at any given time. I use both the mobile and the desktop version. I was so tired of having multiple versions of the same file, not knowing which one is the most recent. It also saves you lots of e-mailing back and forth.