For those who have been using iPads and other tablets to display their music scores for practicing or live performance, the issue of how to turn pages has long been a consideration. While some prefer to turn pages manually by double tapping the page within the ForScore app, most choose to use a Bluetooth pedal to facilitate page turns, and the industry standard has long been the various Bluetooth pedals made by the company AirTurn. AirTurn first came on the scene several years ago with their first generation of Bluetooth pedals aimed at the first group of musicians who chose to display their scores on electronic tablets. By now, AirTurn is the main player on the scene and their products span the range from Bluetooth page turners to foot-switches for controlling digital audio workstations (DAW's). In this post, we'll focus on the various page turn controllers.
AirTurn DUO 200
The AirTurn PEDpro is the entry level Bluetooth pedal offered by the company. At $79 USD, it offers a whole host of valuable features. As would be expected, the AirTurn PEDpro offers the ability to turn pages, scroll lyrics, and tabs. Additionally, it can be programmed to advance slides for presentation as well as capture video and photos. It can even be used to trigger keyboard shortcuts in various non-music related apps such as Word or Excel. The rechargeable battery offers up to 200 hours of play time from a single charge, and the unit is compatible with hundreds of different apps.
AirTurn DUO 200
The AirTurn DUO 200 offers a few additional features, coming in at $99 USD. This unit allows the user to trigger backing tracks and effects, cue audio and lighting, and capture video, photo, and more. Of course it also offers all of the same page turning features available in the AirTurn PEDpro, but it solves some other issues which often come up in live performance. I could see the AirTurn DUO 200 becoming quite popular in musical theatre for situations in which the conductor is called upon to trigger backing tracks or sound effects, but at times when a free hand is not available.
In addition to all of these features, the AirTurn DUO 200 can also be used to trigger various Vlogging and Podcasting apps. It also comes with greatly increased battery life. At only $20 more than the AirTurn PEDpro, the DUO 200 seems like a worthy additional expenditure to ensure the addition of a plethora of useful features. I would consider this unit worthy of the extra cost for the battery life alone.
I've used various versions of AirTurn Bluetooth page turners over the years and I've been very pleased. The products are durable, easy to use and to set up, and they're incredibly valuable for their ability to free up the player's hands to be able to, well, play. Now that AirTurn is offering Bluetooth pedals with features which extend to DAW control and various non-musical applications, I find it difficult to imagine working without the addition of an AirTurn Bluetooth pedal to my workflow.
Available from the Airturn website:
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