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Tech | SoundEssence
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  • Installation, specification, and technical assistance for:
  • Computers for music (also design, construction, upgrade, repair)
  • Project studios
  • Educational studios and labs
  • Audio hardware advice
  • Music software (Cubase, Logic, Sibelius, Pro Tools a speciality)
  • Conversion of projects between DAWs
  • Equipment installation and configuration
  • Web site design, implementation and hosting

Finding lost iPhone photos from an iTunes PC backup

Posted by on Apr 19, 2014 in Tech / Equipment | 0 comments

Finding lost iPhone photos from an iTunes PC backup

lost photos(The short answer – use Picturescue.)

The challenge:

To retrieve photos from a damaged itunes backup when an Apple Store had wiped the phone back to factory settings and restoring the phone from the old backup was no longer possible.

The answer:

  • Take the itunes backup files (which in this case happened to be from a pc) which contain all the random file-name files (info.plist, manifest.mbdb, manifest.mbdx, manifest.plist, status.plist) and copy them on to a Mac.
  • The lost photo files are readable / viewable as graphics but finding out the proper filename and renaming over 1000 files would take a long time.
  • Copy the whole folder into [username] / Library / Application Support / MobileSync / Backup folder
    (Library is hidden – see ‘show hidden files‘ post for more info.)
  • Buy a copy of Picturescue ($9.99) which will now see the extra files in the backup folder.
  • Export the files to another folder and the correct file names are restored e.g. IMG_0003.JPG (annoyingly there is no progress bar for this action – will probably take a while).

tip: export them to a usb pen drive formatted as FAT 32 so you can copy them back to the pc.

Mac – show hidden files

Posted by on Apr 19, 2014 in Tech / Equipment, Web | 0 comments

Mac – show hidden files

How to show hidden files on Mac:

This is a reminder for me but you may also find it useful.

Terminal Command:

Mavericks 10.9

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

10.6 – 10.8:

defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE


After either of those you may need to restart your Mac, or at the very least type:

killall Finder 

If you don’t feel comfortable using Terminal, try a Google search for software such as:


Show hidden files – from osxdaily.com

Synergy KM

Posted by on Feb 28, 2014 in Tech / Equipment | 0 comments

Synergy KM

I have long been a fan of Synergy KM.  For those not in the know, if you have two or more computers (in my case currently a desktop and a laptop, but I have used it in the past across two desktops: 1 mac, 1pc and a laptop), Synergy lets you use the same keyboard and mouse across both computers in an almost seamless way.

I finally got round this morning to checking if there was an update as although Synergy was great when it was working, it was a bit flakey on my macs running OS 10.8.

I found this version, which although had a lower version (1.0.1) number than the one I had installed (1.3.1) looked promising so I installed it.  I had problems with it not being able to upgrade properly because it couldn’t stop my current version running – just manually Quit Synergy (synergys and synergyd) in Activity Monitor (can be found in your Applications > Utilities folder on your Mac).

After installing this ‘new’ version, I opened the System preferences options for it, told the slave computer which ip address the main computer has and turned it on but the main computer wouldn’t run Synergy and gave me an error:

FATAL: Init failed: assistive devices is not enabled, enable it in system settings.

A quick Google of this led me to the ‘Accessibility’ System Preferences option (in the System row along with Time Machine etc on 10.8) and a little tick box at the bottom of the dialog called ‘Enable access for assistive devices’.

Assessibility preference pane – click on it to view larger version

Once that was ticked (as shown above), Synergy worked – although I did have to use the Server Configuration and to add the slave computer name (and position).

Works much better than the last version now!

iPad Sheet Music Apps

Posted by on Jul 12, 2012 in Music, Tech / Equipment | 1 comment

iPad Sheet Music Apps

Since various people have asked me, here is some information about apps that I have found useful for viewing sheet music on an iPad for live/rehearsal band use – and why. This isn’t a comprehensive list and there are other features for each app that I probably haven’t mentioned – but then I probably just don’t use that feature (yet). If you know of a music viewing app that isn’t mentioned that you think it brilliant, please let me know.


This is the app I use most for displaying PDF’s of sheet music – actual sheet music with notes on.


  • It is quick to change pages when playing live (unless you import files of many many MB)
  • has very useful ‘link’ options to set up DS al coda etc
  • has a set list option to link files together
  • has an import from Dropbox option
  • seems fairly reliable/doesn’t crash often
  • works with Airturn wireless foot pedal
  • you can link an mp3 to each song
  • has options to highlight passages and add comments to pages


  • sheet music is just a pdf so not transposable, playable etc

Website: http://www.forscoreapp.com/


This is the app I use most for displaying files of text e.g. just lyrics and chords. This is because it is still editable in the app.


  • Text is still editable – you can resize lyrics and chords independently of each other
  • Chords (if you keep them as chords in [ ] – square brackets) are transposable
  • Has a set list option to link files together
  • has an import from Dropbox option
  • has an import from Internet option, from e.g. guitar tab websites
  • can share files between other band members via bluetooth (if both using OnSong)
  • seems fairly reliable
  • works with Airturn wireless foot pedal
  • I’ve not tried it yet, but OnSong has partnered with “Rockin’ With The Cross” for access to thousands of worship songs.


  • Internet file import often gives you other peoples mistakes of chords!

Website: http://www.onsongapp.com/

Sheet Music Direct


  • This app links directly to the website www.sheetmusicdirect.com – if you have bought music on the site previously you can now access a copy of it on the iPad.
  • You can also buy music directly from the iPad.
  • Music is displayed using Scorch for iPad (from Avid Sibelius) so it is transposable and playable.


  • As it uses Scorch for iPad the interface is a bit slow (on iPad 1) so I can’t use this app live to display sheet music – page turns are too slow.
  • Can’t link more than 1 sheetmusicdirect account at a time – and their support team can’t link 2 accounts on their site.

Website: http://www.sheetmusicdirect.com/apps/sheetmusic-apps

Avid Scorch

App from the makers of Sibelius.


  • Uses Avid Scorch to display music so it is transposable and playable etc
  • Can buy music online from various publishers sites, including Score Exchange
  • Can import your own Sibelius files that you’ve been working on directly from your computer
  • Can display a piano keyboard on screen to show you which notes are playing


  • As it uses Scorch for iPad the interface is a bit slow (on iPad 1) so I can’t use this app live to display sheet music – page turns are too slow.

Website: http://www.sibelius.com/products/avid_scorch/index.html

Music notes: has some tunes you can’t find elsewhere; easy sync to their app

Alesis iO Dock

Posted by on Feb 10, 2012 in Music, Tech / Equipment | 0 comments

Alesis iO Dock

So what I’d love to know is… has anybody yet found a use for the Alesis iO Dock for live / on stage use?

Yes I’ve seen people use it in the studio on videos on the Alesis site, and people talking about using it as a scratch pad for musical ideas (although it isn’t battery powered and would you have that much equipment already plugged in at the time?) but what about live?

If anybody has any useful hints and tips on this please let me know.