If you use an iPad to store your sheet music (and who doesn’t these days?!), then you should definitely invest in a Bluetooth Page Turner from a company like Airturn.
It makes shuffling through pages on your app (you use Forscore, right?) as absolute breeze, allowing you to go forwards or backwards with the touch of a foot. Keep your eyes up, your hands on the keys and your teaching or performance flowing.
A while ago, I blogged about my experience with the original BT-105 in my post: AirTurn | Hands-free iPad page turner for musicians.
I’ve used this device heaps over the years and quickly found that it was just as valuable in lessons as on the concert platform. If I’m playing duets or 2-piano works with students or just scanning through a book of pieces to demonstrate, I use the pedal all the time.
AirTurn’s devices work on all the main tablets, they are easy to use, reliable and use barely any battery power.
My only criticism of the older models was to do with the setup and connection of the device which was all done through one button one light that flashed different colours and different numbers of times to indicate what was going on.
Needless to say, I didn’t find it very user-intuitive.
I found that if I didn’t use it for a while and needed to remember how to pair it or turn it off, I’d need to look up the manual online and check that the flashing light codes were telling me the right thing! It didn’t take long to work it out, but I always wondered why they didn’t just add some extra buttons.
Enter the brand-new PED models that solve exactly these issues, and look a whole lot better in the process!
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AirTurn PED – touch responsive
While the old BT-105 continues to be my main page turning device, I was excited to read recently that AirTurn have completely upgraded the look and functionality of the pedal and released the AirTurn PED.
This new model seems to have fixed all these issues and AirTurn have created a much more aesthetically-pleasing, slighter and more slim-line model that looks much more modern.
This model is touch sensitive, so if you’re interested in the ‘feel’ of pushing a pedal, then this one doesn’t provide that tactile sensation, however I don’t see the need.
Most of the time, I’d just tap the pedal quickly to flip pages anyway, so a touch responsive unit makes good sense.
Best of all, the new model has a lot more indicator lights on the top showing you what it’s doing, when the battery is low, when you’re connected, etc.
It’s really lightweight, very responsive and completely silent. And it doesn’t take up any room!
Best of all, it only costs $69. Considering the older model cost over $100, this is a complete bargain!
Click to find out more about the AirTurn PED now.
AirTurn Duo – silent pedals
If you’d still like the sensation of the movement of a foot pedal, then the BT-105 has also been updated with much better functionality and indicators on the top panel.
The new model is called the AirTurn Duo and retails for $99.
It’s got much the same functionality as the older BT-105, but much more intuitive user interface and functions. Oh, and it’s a bit lighter too.
(I’m pretty sure you can get refurbished BT-105s from the website at the moment for a decent discount too if you’re happy with the older model.)
Have you used a Bluetooth Page Turner?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on your own experience using a Bluetooth Page Turner. Do you use it in your lessons or just for performance? Leave your comments below.
I have had a lot of problems with the Airturn Ped Pro (I exchanged it for another, with no improvement). I sometimes have to press 3x for the page to turn, and I can’t take my foot off to use the soft pedal, because there seems to be only one exact spot where it responds. I have been using it for a couple of hours a day over a period of almost 4 weeks. It’s great when it works, but not good enough for professional rehearsals, and I definitely won’t be using it in a concert.
As a choral accompanist & organist, I scan all my choral music into my iPad; I use a Cicada Page-Flip to turn pages, but just now ordered the updated one, the Page Flip Butterfly which seems to be much easier to set up. The Cicada has to be paired every time I opened my iPad, using an almost invisible set of numbers to punch in. The Butterfly doesn’t have that problem.
I use a flat bed scanner (HP 1350, set to “fit to page”) to scan everything in as separate PDF’s; then on my iPad I select “merge” to get it into one document (this is the only way I know of, not being a computer savvy person. The iPad is wonderful for this use – turning pages is a non-issue. The only problem I’ve found with the Cicada (maybe also with the Butterfly) is that it tends to slid around, on hard floors or carpet. I use masking tape to hold it down.
Hi Noel – I haven’t used the Cicada so can’t comment there, but haven’t had too many issues with the Airturn slipping around. Sounds like you’ve got a great workflow organised for your music.
PS. where do you put the page turner when playing organ!?!
I’ve tried putting the butterfly page turner on the left side of the console and doing my best to hit the right pedal to turn pages. Unfortunately we organists tend to be using both hands and both feet all at the same time, so hitting the page turner is a hit and miss proposition. But, if the score allows it, I’ve used my left hand to hit the pedal, which works well.
Do you know that Airturn have a mouth switch for organists? You turn pages by clicking a thing with your teeth!!