Old Production Takes From an Old Guy

Church Applications for the iPad

Last time I made some observations on the iPad, and have come to the conclusion that it’s really a viable platform. I’ll admit it; I want one. I won’t likely buy one, personally anyway, at least until the 2nd generation is released. Unless the actual production version adds a few things… But I digress. Today, I want to talk about a few applications that I think make a ton of sense for churches. So here we go.

Remote Mixing

Having gone digital a few years ago, I have become addicted to remote mixing. Perhaps it’s because the rooms I’ve mixed in are so bad and sound different in every seat, but I’ve really found a lot of value in being able to walk the room and tweak my EQ and mix. Plus, if I’m working an event alone, it’s nice to be able to walk up on stage and do some mixing of monitors on our tablet or laptop. I hate our tablet (an HP swiveling touch screen), and using my MacBook Pro means launching Parallels. However, an iPad with a VNC client would be really sweet!

This would be VNC. What if they actually built an app?
With a Venue, you can VNC in from your iPhone. It would be even better on an iPad. And if Digi (OK, I’ll start calling them Avid) built an app…well that would be killer. You could also do it with Yamaha, though it would entail opening up a lot more windows. And it’s pretty unlikely Yamaha would ever build an iPad app. But still, you could do it.

Studio Manager on iPad? Could work…Lighting Control

We use the Hog PC lighting console at Coast. Being a straight up Windows PC, it would no problem to VNC in to that as well. In fact, someone has already built an iPhone app to do basic control of the Hog, with a few tweaks it would surely be slick as all get out on the iPad. Or you could just VNC.

Sorry for the image quality… But come on, this would be cool!
I would much rather send Gary up in the lift with a $500 iPad than a $2000 laptop to tweak lighting settings. And the fact that it’s an inch and a half thick and weighs a pound and a half would be nice for both sound and lighting guys to work with. Though we’d probably fight over it… Might need two.

Child Check-In

I’m not thinking solely of tech people here. Most churches use some kind of child care check-in system now. And usually it’s on some large, convoluted cart or kiosk that takes up a lot of space and costs thousands of dollars. How much cooler to have smiling, friendly people greeting parents holding nothing but an iPad to check little Johnny in? Wirelessly print to a nearby Zebra printer and you’re good to do. CCB came out with an iPhone app a year ago; how hard would an iPad app be for check-in? SMOP (Simple Matter of Programming), baby!

Come on, who doesn’t want this?Laptop Replacement

I’ve been thinking through my own workflow lately. I realize that while I lug my MacBook Pro home every night, about 3 or 4 nights a week, I never take it out of my backpack. I can do so much computing on my iPhone that I almost don’t need it. And of the few nights I do use it, I think I could do almost everything I do regularly from an iPad with an external keyboard. Soooo, it might be cheaper for my church to provide me with a 21″ iMac for my office and an iPad (approx. $1700), instead of an MacBook Pro ($2200). And I would be able to get just as much work done, with less weight in my backpack. I’m not 100% sure on this; however, if I’m able to switch to a Venue in the next few months, I may try to put an iPad in the budget (for remote mixing, of course) and I’ll be able to test the theory. I’d be making heavy use of iWork.com, iDisk and perhaps DropBox to be sure, but I think it might work.

So there you go. A few good excuses to buy an iPad.

18 Comments

  1. harry@soulinprocess.com

    Another app – one of the guys on our worship team and I were talking about how handy a charts/sheet music app would be. Something that you could push everything from the band leader to the team for the service, make chord changes and notes, and swipe to flip pages.

  2. harry@soulinprocess.com

    Another app – one of the guys on our worship team and I were talking about how handy a charts/sheet music app would be. Something that you could push everything from the band leader to the team for the service, make chord changes and notes, and swipe to flip pages.

  3. richemery@gmail.com

    Those are fantastic uses for the iPad! As I read through your post and have been thinking i have been considering the iPad as my MBP is starting to have a hard life with what I think is a hard drive starting to fail. Great Post!

  4. richemery@gmail.com

    Those are fantastic uses for the iPad! As I read through your post and have been thinking i have been considering the iPad as my MBP is starting to have a hard life with what I think is a hard drive starting to fail. Great Post!

  5. miles.carmany@gmail.com

    What about something like SamePage?

  6. miles.carmany@gmail.com

    What about something like SamePage?

  7. ron.tuffin@gmail.com

    Until reading this, the only word I could associate with the iPad was ‘gimmick’.

  8. ron.tuffin@gmail.com

    Until reading this, the only word I could associate with the iPad was ‘gimmick’.

  9. phillipgibb@gmail.com

    Might be a bit difficult to adjust those sliders for all but piano fingers πŸ˜‰

    I like the idea of a touch screen lighting control – if you’re really gifted you could make multiple changes at one time.

    The most obvious iPad app would have to be for remote ProPresenter control which I think already exists for the iPhone.

    Also, the iPad may just get rid of loose papers on the pulpit with a sermon outline interface – unless the communicator does that thing with the iPad that he does with paper, picks it up and idly taps the ‘paper’ on the hard surface – doh, end of iPad

  10. phillipgibb@gmail.com

    Might be a bit difficult to adjust those sliders for all but piano fingers πŸ˜‰

    I like the idea of a touch screen lighting control – if you’re really gifted you could make multiple changes at one time.

    The most obvious iPad app would have to be for remote ProPresenter control which I think already exists for the iPhone.

    Also, the iPad may just get rid of loose papers on the pulpit with a sermon outline interface – unless the communicator does that thing with the iPad that he does with paper, picks it up and idly taps the ‘paper’ on the hard surface – doh, end of iPad

  11. erik@jerde.org

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the CCB “app” is just an iphone optimized web interface. Look at the bottom of their screenshot and you’ll see the standard mobile safari controls. If there is an actual CCB app, please let me know the name ’cause I can’t find it.

    I’d love to have studio manager on the ipad, but I read a great reason why yamaha won’t do it. Consider they won’t make m7/ls9 SM for the mac ’cause it’s not worth their time to port the DME network drivers. I doubt that the ipad will be a large enough market for them to consider. Too bad, it would be nice.

    I’d love to see a software driver that will allow the ipad to function as a secondary display just like an actual hardware display would. Put it next to your laptop, use it as a 10″ 1024×768 display. All this over wifi. Then when you want to move, just grab the ipad and take your second display with you. This would be even better than an ipad studio manager since SM is notoriously unstable on wifi networks. If for some reason you lost wifi connectivity SM wouldn’t drop.

  12. erik@jerde.org

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the CCB “app” is just an iphone optimized web interface. Look at the bottom of their screenshot and you’ll see the standard mobile safari controls. If there is an actual CCB app, please let me know the name ’cause I can’t find it.

    I’d love to have studio manager on the ipad, but I read a great reason why yamaha won’t do it. Consider they won’t make m7/ls9 SM for the mac ’cause it’s not worth their time to port the DME network drivers. I doubt that the ipad will be a large enough market for them to consider. Too bad, it would be nice.

    I’d love to see a software driver that will allow the ipad to function as a secondary display just like an actual hardware display would. Put it next to your laptop, use it as a 10″ 1024×768 display. All this over wifi. Then when you want to move, just grab the ipad and take your second display with you. This would be even better than an ipad studio manager since SM is notoriously unstable on wifi networks. If for some reason you lost wifi connectivity SM wouldn’t drop.

  13. mike@churchtecharts.org

    Erik,
    You are correct that the CCB “app” is a mobile interface. So I would think it will scale well for the iPad. And if enough users get behind the idea of using it for check in, maybe they’ll build a real app with even more functionality.

    And I know Yamaha will never develop Studio Manager for the iPad. VNC would be the only way to go. Which would probably be better; as you say SM is flaky anyway, especially so over wi-fi. One of the reasons I’m ready to leave their product line.

    I love the idea of an expanded desktop app for the iPad. Sort of like in Avatar. I think there will be a lot of exciting innovations coming down the pike in the next few years.

    mike

  14. mike@churchtecharts.org

    Erik,
    You are correct that the CCB “app” is a mobile interface. So I would think it will scale well for the iPad. And if enough users get behind the idea of using it for check in, maybe they’ll build a real app with even more functionality.

    And I know Yamaha will never develop Studio Manager for the iPad. VNC would be the only way to go. Which would probably be better; as you say SM is flaky anyway, especially so over wi-fi. One of the reasons I’m ready to leave their product line.

    I love the idea of an expanded desktop app for the iPad. Sort of like in Avatar. I think there will be a lot of exciting innovations coming down the pike in the next few years.

    mike

  15. jeffreyholland@mac.com

    Here is a friend of mine running a Vista T2 via the iPad – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaM7DPDCIJo

    Here are a few tweets between me and the Yamaha twitter. It will probably never happen, but this is a small ray of hope…

    (from me to a friend)

    @tonyfransen I hope Yamaha will finally come out with an iPad app to control their digital consoles. Im tired of using my old windows tablet

    (from yamaha)

    @podholland Hmmm…good idea on the iPad app. I’ll certainly make sure to shoot that idea over to our live sound team. ^JH

    (from me)

    @TheYamahaHub You guys are awesome!

    @podholland thanks. I’m serious on the iPad idea! ^JH

    @TheYamahaHub I’ll be first in line on the app store to buy it!

    @podholland cool. I’ll keep you posted. I have my iPad on order, so I guess I’ll be second in line behind you. ^JH

  16. jeffreyholland@mac.com

    Here is a friend of mine running a Vista T2 via the iPad – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaM7DPDCIJo

    Here are a few tweets between me and the Yamaha twitter. It will probably never happen, but this is a small ray of hope…

    (from me to a friend)

    @tonyfransen I hope Yamaha will finally come out with an iPad app to control their digital consoles. Im tired of using my old windows tablet

    (from yamaha)

    @podholland Hmmm…good idea on the iPad app. I’ll certainly make sure to shoot that idea over to our live sound team. ^JH

    (from me)

    @TheYamahaHub You guys are awesome!

    @podholland thanks. I’m serious on the iPad idea! ^JH

    @TheYamahaHub I’ll be first in line on the app store to buy it!

    @podholland cool. I’ll keep you posted. I have my iPad on order, so I guess I’ll be second in line behind you. ^JH

  17. Dustin@westbrook.org

    Yamaha just announced an iPad app to control the m7cl: http://www.yamahaproaudio.com/topics/news_release/nr_20100911.html

  18. Dustin@westbrook.org

    Yamaha just announced an iPad app to control the m7cl: http://www.yamahaproaudio.com/topics/news_release/nr_20100911.html

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