I use this app all the time but the quality of the tracks is quite the range. The speed option should be optimized for tempos instead of percentages as well. Overly expensive for the lack of general quality
I’ve been playing around with the Ap and it takes some getting used to. The options for making audition cuts and changing tempos and keys and fabulous however, I noticed that your custom audition cut will NOT connect to a Bluetooth speaker completely defeating the purpose of using the cut for a self tape. I also wish that I could just upload accompaniment tracks I have already had made prior to purchasing the Ap and editing them in the Ap. It is unfortunate to have to be at the mercy of the Ap and what tracks are available :/
The below review was my first experience with Appcompanist. As you can tell, I was deeply disappointed. However, since writing the review and an email, Appcompanist reached out again, genuinely apologised for their initial response, and kept me informed about what happened, how it happened, and when they anticipate the fix to be included in an update. That this error slipped through should stand as a warning to us all about where we source our material from. Even with the best of intentions, free providers cannot actually replace libraries and the expert knowledge librarians have to offer and share. Finally, I still stand by my original choice to select Appcompanist. It does everything I needed an app to do (the ability to choose different keys, easily hold a “fermata” with the touch of the screen, change tempo, and change the melody/piano track mix). So, from two stars to five. Appcompanist really stepped up their game. While they gave this user a bit of a bumpy intro, their subsequent customer service communications have been nothing short of stellar. —————— Old review for reference: I was all prepared to give a FIVE star review for (what I consider to be) a most brilliant app. Then I encountered an error and their customer service. First, the good. After spending an inordinate amount of time looking at apps, I settled on Appcompanist. It did everything I needed an app to do (the ability to choose different keys, easily hold a “fermata” with the touch of the screen, change tempo, and change the melody/piano track mix). Now, the bad. I (excitedly) purchased a subscription specifically for the piece “Fairest Isle” by Purcell with the intention of eventually upgrading to the higher level subscriptions as teaching in person picks back up. By the 4th second (or third measure) there was a problem. The track had a huge error. Not just once, but repeatedly throughout. The piece makes use of a flat seventh tone. Yet the accompaniment (in both melody and piano tracks) ignore this and play the seventh without the flat accidental. I immediately wrote to customer service (specifically holding off writing a review) to alert them to this error in the tracks and their quality control. I even spent time searching for and then sending links with examples of how it’s supposed to be played. Their response was “That’s unfortunate” and “you’re stuck with that one note until the next update”. Again, this isn’t just “one note” it is repeated all over both piano and melody tracks rendering it useless to me, even though I’ve paid for a subscription. No compensation was offered. While I would really LOVE to give this a five star review, because of the customer service experience so far, sadly I cannot.
This is a long overdue review—and it is likely to be the only review I ever leave for any app. I’ve been using Appcompanist for three years now. It has become an integral—dare I say, instrumental—of my daily practice routine. In 2017, voice instructor during my undergrad and I stumbled upon this app due to our inability to find a live accompanist to be able to work with me in my lessons. The program covered a lot of the bases that were missing with Smart Music—and the development team was quite responsive to our repertoire requests. While individual artistic decisions may vary for the vocalist in relation to how they interpret or perform the music in relation to the recording—as a practice tool, Appcompanist is second to none. It strikes me as the most authentic set of rehearsal tracks for a recitalist in any of the high vocal arts—and has been integral to my process of learning music quickly, accurately, and with a consciousness of the full ensemble. I’d like to reiterate that the development team is responsive and reasonable, and as I have always approached them with realistic expectations (and as undemanding as possible), my repertoire requests have always been fulfilled within an equally reasonable timeframe. I swear by this program. I will continue to support it. Most importantly, I will continue to evangelize to my fellow vocalists about how wonderful this program is. It has been worth every penny I’ve spent on it thus far; and I know that it will continue to be so. If you are like me and don’t have the luxury of working with a pianist regularly, I cannot urge you strongly enough to subscribe to Appcompanist!
This app has been wonderful to have during COVID, both for me and my students. I do wish some accompaniments were a bit more musical, but that’s a lot to expect from an app. The one change I would really like to see is a version of the app for MacBook. Shortly before quarantine, I purchased a microphone for my iPhone and I find it frustrating that I can’t record myself singing along with Appcompanist because I have to use my phone for both. If I could play the accompaniments on my MacBook Air that would be SO helpful.
I was relying on this app to help me make recordings this fall for young artist programs. Sadly, it ended up being more frustrating than helpful. The biggest issue I have with it is that many of the recordings of standard opera rep have unpredictable accelerando and rubato played in. I ended up spending hours trying to undo the erratic tempo changes in my pieces using the custom version tool, so that I could sing and record the pieces my way instead of the pianist’s. I also had trouble making my audition videos using the app because the custom version tool, although a really great idea, doesn’t allow for the fact that fermati and cadenzas are going to be slightly different each time you sing something. I know you can always override using the fermata tool, but I couldn’t do that while making a video of myself. This caused more frustration when I inevitably would sing something either a little longer or shorter than I had when I made the custom version, and couldn’t predict when the next downbeat would come. This app has so much potential to be such a fantastic resource- the tools are awesome, they just need to be executed better. Why not record the piano parts senza rubato or accelerando, even when written in the score, to then allow the singer to make the adjustments as they create their own version? That way we won’t have to undo someone else’s version of the piece. It would also be really helpful to have some kind of visual tool (more than the fermata lighting up and then turning off) so one can see how soon to expect the accompaniment to come back in after a fermata.
WARNING: Do not use these tracks for any auditions if you are home in quarantine, unless you want to set yourself up to fail. This applies for this recent season of Young Artist Programs. I have to say, I was optimistic when I heard there was an app that was a lexicon of timeless works in your pocket. During this pandemic of COVID-19, it is more imperative then ever to have a virtual pianist on the go. Unfortunately, I have given just about every rendition a try with one glaring problem..... The Musicianship. I don’t know about you, but paying a monthly subscription for recordings that lack any sense of musicality and let alone basic pulse is infuriating. Sure the “custom versions” feature is great for making a hack job quick rubato section or fermata, maybe tempo change here and there, but none of that matters when there isn’t a steady tempo to begin with. Some egregious cases of this exist in La Calunnia from Barber of Seville, and Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen from The Magic Flute. These both are without a doubt the absolute worst renditions of these pieces I have ever heard. Both have horrible transitions, erratic, nonsensical tempo changes, and unnecessary additions to the accompaniment line. I truly am not over exaggerating here. I tried to give this app a chance a number of times, but the amateur quality of what you are paying for is hard to ignore. While pursuing my Masters, almost every rendition I have brought into a lesson or coaching has been met with bewilderment or even laughter at the poor quality of performance in recordings from my mentors. It’s that bad. Good luck trying to sing with any sense of musical collaboration whatsoever. Save your money and hire a pianist who will do the tracks just for you. Trust me. I am not one to waste my time writing reviews, but I need to do my fellow musicians a service.
I don’t usually write reviews but this app has been the game changer for my vocal studio. I no longer waste time worrying about accompanying my students. I can 100% focus on the students vocals. Recordings are beautiful with simple but powerful tools that still allow me to be in complete control of music editing. The digital library is huge and they keep adding to it all the time!
The best app for literally anyone dabbling in musical theatre. Whether if you’re a voice teacher, practicing your rep, or getting ready for an audition this app is right for you. Tons of songs and they keep adding more and more. I hope they add Forever Plaid!
Very useful. Awesome.