If there’s one app I have that has made more people think about getting an iPad than any other, it’s Onsong. Although there are many other apps for musicians, this one leads to my bandmates eying it with envy. It does something very simple but in such a well thought out that it blows the competition away. For various reasons, it’s not coming out on Android anytime soon. So, what is Onsong and why should you think about getting it?
What is Onsong?
Onsong is an app for keeping your music organized. You can save songs with lyrics and chords and create sets to play through. If you are in a church worship team then I suspect this will appeal to you. You don’t have to make copies for every band member nor do you have to go away to make a photocopy if you decide to change a song in your set, just search and add. Simple. There are others like Onsong but nothing comes close in my experience.
Let’s start with adding songs to Onsong. Not only can you add them via manually typing in songs, but you can share various document types into Onsong. These include word documents, webpages and PDFs. You can even import from cloud storage or planning centre. Onsong can then extract the song from these documents. Sometimes there are issues with recognizing if some part is a lyric or a chord, but you can then manually edit those.
Next Onsong has some great tools for organizing songs including looking through songs by key, artist, title and topic (keyword). You can then create a set to keep your songs in order and swipe between songs (or use a bluetooth pedal) during playing.
But the features that blows people away is Onsong’s ability to transpose on the fly. It’s a great moment when people in the band say, “I guess we need to change it to C, is that okay ch… “and I’ve already got the chords in place. Or if we decide that someone should play with a capo and I can tell them the chords instantly.
There are also “sticky notes” which allow you to add a reference to how you should play your part in the song and you can even use Onsong to project lyrics for people to sing along to and control other people’s views with OnCue.
Not So Good/Bad
The only problem with Onsong is that the extraction of the chords and instant key changes can sometimes not work exactly. This means you have to do some minor editing in the song editor. When you are so used to it just working, you can suddenly find yourself fiddling around.
Buy/ Don’t buy
Honestly, OnSong is one of the best iPad apps that I’ve come across and is so useful for myself. If you play in your church’s worship band, you really ought to check it out.
- Design: 4
- Features: 5
- Performance: 4
- Value for Money: 4.5
Onsong is available on iOS only and more information can be found here.