2012 was a year full of great things, cool things, intriguing things, wonderful things and things to completely knock your socks off. Here's my list of the best (musical and digital) things of 2012. MUSIC BLOGS
One of the first things I do each day is read all of the blog posts that are waiting eagerly for me in Google Reader. There are three feeds that, without fail, I will read and learn something from every time.
- Of Note - a Sibelius and Finale blog by the legendary Robert Puff.
- Sibelius Blog - hints, tricks and interesting stories about Sibelius by Philip Rothman (originally Daniel Spreadbury).
- Technology in Music Education - if you're a music teacher of some description you'll love hearing about how the latest technologies can be used in music education.
- Behind Bars by Elaine Gould - my bible of music notation. I'd really love a digital version too!
- How to Write for Percussion by Samuel Z Solomon - the title sounds very underwhelming, but is a wonderfully comprehensive guide to writing for percussion.
- Essential Dictionary of Orchestration - mine is looking old and tatty - a good sign! It's an essential reference for instrument ranges, general characteristics, tone quality descriptions, technical pitfalls and more.
- Spotify - gone are my days of wasting money buying music only for a specific occasion or to only listen to a few times. Now I can access everything, anywhere, for only a small fee.
- MusicNotes - I've been buying a fair bit of sheet music lately and you can't go past MusicNotes for the best range, quality and easiest website.
- MacProVideo - a massive range of resources for users of pro audio (and other) software.
- MusicPrep.com - has wonderful resources for Sibelius and Finale and even links to books on scoring, notation and orchestration.
- Scoring Sessions - for any orchestral film soundtrack fan this is a wonderful site of photos, news and videos from scoring sessions in Hollywood, London and more.
- YouTube - most of the world's pro audio software and hardware companies have channels on YouTube. A recent great watch was the Vienna Symphonic Library Artist Videos.
- TED - amazing talks from amazing people.
- Sibelius 7 - they've had a rough year but a big salute goes to the number one notation software.
- Logic 9 - the stalwart DAW in my studio, always impressing.
- Pro Tools 10 - a new acquisition and some great projects done already, clearly some big steps forward since I last used it a few years back.
I rely on my mobile device rather a lot, here's my top three "I could not live without" music apps. I did a full post on musical iOS apps earlier in the year, click here to visit it.
- FiRe - a professional field recorder wonderfully adequate to do a great recording when out and about.
- Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music - dealing with music notation and teaching students all the time means I'm always checking this great app.
- Dr Betotte - a metronome like no other. 5 volume sliders and mute buttons to, tap tempo, halftime feel, adjustable swing feel functions, multi beat mode...
- Evernote - probably my most opened app. Most databases, documents, lists and resources are all on Evernote and thanks to the cloud they are all universally accessible.
- Dropbox - constant backup of my system and access to it anywhere via the iOS app. Also great to email large attachments to clients for download.
- Xero - my in-the-cloud accounting software. I can write and send invoices, amongst other things, on my iPhone and have access to it at all times.
- Wordpress - always makes developing the website a breeze. Special mention goes to Automattic who has produced many of my most loved plugins this year including the breathtakingly-good VaultPress.
- MailChimp - I have a newsletter, which evidently you can sign up to here(!), and they always impress me with the service they provide.
- SoundCloud - could easily fit into several categories mentioned in this post, but I'll add it here. I remember the days when it was such a huge deal (and sometimes expense) to embed audio on your website, but now SoundCloud makes it quick and easy and it looks beeeeautiful.
I hope you enjoy checking out some of these. Got any to add? Leave a comment below.