Ever get frustrated when cutting lighting gels and continually having to look for product manuals, or have difficulty calculating dip switches? Well this should help, here is my top 10 list of favourite apps to have on your phone to make your life a little easier.
This is a must have! Created by Daniel Murfin in the uk, it is a suite of tools that covers 4 big jobs event technicians will face on a regular occasion. It features a beam calculator, gel calculator and dip switch convertor. The last tab is probably my favourite; ever over loaded a circuit and tripped a RCD, this should put a stop to that. Tell it your supply and it will let you know how much power you have to play with, then as you input your fixtures it will keep track of the remaining headroom.
I’ve tried several ways of accessing all my online storage but this one is the most useful and easiest to use. It presents you with two windows on the screen each with a list of all the accounts you own, this makes transferring files between them a simple task. It lets you store offline files, gives you access to your home or work NAS via FTP and unlike their own software, will let you into 2 Dropbox accounts at the same time.
A lightweight app that will listen to music via the phone’s built in microphone and search for information about it from a massive online data bank. Great if you hear a piece of audio that you want to remember. One massive floor is that you can’t create an account and share it across multiple devices.
Apple Notes but better organised. The problem I found with that free app included with your iPhone was that there was no way of putting things in groups, you couldn’t say that these notes are for this project but these are for another. One Note solves that problem. It also lets you share them across multiple devices, add drawings and annotate photos.
6. Your desk specific control app – Various
Nearly every bit of kit now comes with an app to control it; from radio microphones to sound desks, lighting systems to video mixers. These are all designed to make you life a little easier, who wants to try and EQ a large sound systems if your located in the stalls but have speakers in the upper circle. Wouldn’t it also make sense for your backstage microphone technician to see a live read out from your radios so they can line check before the performer is on stage. When your next by your desk, have a google and see if there is an app to help you.
7. VNC Viewer – Free
I am constantly sitting at the wrong computer or the right one doesn’t have a monitor attached. VNC (viewer and server) are the two light where bits of software that let you view the remote computer from the one you are sat at. Macs already have there own version built in but you’ll have to do some installing if you want it to work with Windows. If you are working away from base then I suggest you look into Team Viewer for connecting to the office from remote locations.
8. iCloud / Google Drive Suite
Not really an app but a way of centralising your contacts, photos, notes and email. If like me you have a mac, an iPhone and an iPad but you want to see the notes you take in that meeting appear on you work computer, or have the same supplier contact information displayed across all devices then you need an iCloud account. Google drive is similar but goes one step further by adding editing capabilities to your most used documents. With online versions of Word and Excel as well as ios apps, a google drive account will let you collaborate with colleagues and share documents, it also gives you 15gb of storage as well.
Use Qlab, if then why not? Throw your CD players in the bin replace them with a cue stack. No more having to adjust volume levels in-between cues, or needing a second source to play background music and a sfx at the same time. Enable midi time code and sync with lighting sequences or your digital sound desk. The remote app lets you control your master station from your phone.
Two little apps, first is not only great for travel but also for importing equipment. A lot of the stuff we use in the event industry is either built in this county or can be sourced through a uk supplier, however sometimes you need to look a little further a field. On the other hand whilst currency might not be an issue for you, VAT probably will be and adding or subtracting it will be easy and accurate.
I hope you like the above list, it has really helped me and I have copies of them on all my devices, if you have any comments or additions you’d like me to make then leave a reply on our Facebook page.