I am a die hard Android lover, just don’t call me a fan boy. When I was faced with the decision between an iPhone and an HTC EVO almost two years ago I took a long hard look at both Android and iOS and for many reason decided that Android was the better platform for me. Since that initial EVO purchase for me and my wife, I have since added two HP TouchPads running CM9’s version of Android. I can say that I am completely happy with all my Android devices. However if you have read my last couple top three tablet articles you know that I have no problem recommending iPads to people who I think it would fit their lifestyle. One of the things I tell people who ask me to recommend a tablet for them is that it all depends on what you want to do with it. In essence it all comes down to the apps. The apps are the main reason why I am now in possession of an iPad 2.
Now I personally didn’t buy this iPad, my work did, but I am the one in possession of it. The reason I bought this iPad for my job, and not an Android tablet is the one I already mentioned, the apps. I work for a church as the Technical Director. This means I am in charge of all the sound engineering, lighting, projection, networking, graphic design, and lots more. We are in the process of doing some upgrading of our sound and lighting equipment. Part of the process is adding a digital mixing console to replace an analog console. If you are familiar with just about any small to medium size church worldwide you probably know that they have stuck their tech booth somewhere in a corner, or in a balcony. This is one of the absolute worst spots to run sound from, and my church is no exception. Simply put, the guy that is supposed to be mixing the sound can’t hear it well enough where he sits to do a great job. Over the years I have adapted and learned what I need to do to make it sound good. This usually involves running up and down the stairs during practice to try and hear what it sounds like for everyone else in the main audience. Well now that I have an iPad there will be no more running up and down and up and down the stairs for me.
With the coming of the digital console there comes many different ways to control it, other than sitting directly in front of it and pushing the buttons and turning the knobs. You can create entire scenes on your computer and then load them directly onto the sound board without ever even touching the console. This also means that for most digital consoles you can get an app that allows you a lot of control over your mixing console. This is the reason I bought an iPad, for these apps that go with my digital console. I will go into more detail on the individual apps I use later, but for now let me just say that I can take my iPad, sit in the middle of where the audience sits during band practice, and mix the sound the way it should be done, hearing exactly what the people on the floor hear. I can also leave the booth with my iPad, control a couple different parts of what is seen on the screens (the actual show, background colors or background videos), the mixing console, the stage lights, and also control Spotify or iTunes that is playing background or prelude music.
I made a joke to someone that I just need to buy two more iPads, then I can setup in the middle of the floor with one for sound, one for lighting, and one for the software running our video screens. The cool thing is that even though I was joking, this is entirely possible. No longer am I tethered to one spot in the auditorium. I can now sit in every seat to see and hear what someone in that seat sees and hears, all while still being in control. I’m very excited to how this changes the way I operate on a week to week basis, and also to see the improvements that come from this change of perspective for me.
On an iOS versus Android level I plan on taking a look at more of the differences now that I actually have both tablets to use on a daily basis. I’ve already found some things that I miss from Android, and there are some things I really like on the iPad. I’m interested to see how I end up using both of my tablets in the weeks and months to come, and plan on sharing a lot of what I find out with you.