*Microsoft Surface, or compatible active-pen enabled device required
StaffPad is a brand new class of notation app, designed to take advantage of the active pen and touch input found on Microsoft Surface* and other compatible Windows 10 devices. As you write notation using the pen, StaffPad recognises your handwritten music and converts it into a beautifully typeset score which you can further edit, playback, print and share. StaffPad combines the best of working on paper with the best of working digitally, evolving the same process that's been used for hundreds of years to write countless masterpieces. Natural pen input, detailed orchestral playback and powerful score editing features mean that StaffPad is perfect for professionals, and easy for beginners. For the first time, an entire orchestra is available at the tip of your pen. Getting StaffPad is easy - it's available exclusively on the Microsoft Store. What will your masterpiece be?
“Being able to write with a pen, as I normally do, but play it back feels like magic. It's a dream come true!”
“StaffPad is a brilliant idea - and a life saver for a composer!”
“StaffPad does what I wish all notation programs did. It makes it easy.”
“Brilliant - the hand is more creative than the mouse.”
StaffPad is completely designed around active pen input. You can write naturally on the score page, and StaffPad intelligently converts your scribbles into beautifully typeset music. It will even apply some corrections, like cleaning up note spacing and stem directions. Easily draw notes, rests, accidentals, articulations, slurs and ties and watch them spring into life as you move from bar to bar.
As you'd expect, you can play back your score once you've written it. What you might not be expecting is the quality of the playback. We built our own dedicated sampler, and painstakingly programmed beautiful samples of the Boston Pops orchestra and other world class musicians to ensure you get the best out of your score.
StaffPad is always saving your score and backing up to the cloud so you never need to worry about losing anything. You can organise your scores into collections for easy project management. Your scores, collections and settings will sync across all of your Windows 8.1 devices, and you can easily step back in time by browsing previous score versions.
StaffPad was designed by composers, for composers. A transposing score toggle, multiple voice layers, quick repeat, move and editing capabilities, a sketch layer, D.C. and Segno, lyrics, repeat endings, a customisable 'expression' layer, MusicXML and MIDI import, staff mixing controls, smart auto-layout, intelligent symbols and hundreds of other features concepts mean StaffPad is the most intuitive and fluid notation program that's ever been built.
The expression view allows you to paint musical dynamics directly on to each instrument stave. This can help make playback more realistic, without cluttering your score with additional markings. The included full orchestral sample library responds to these curves to breathe life into your score playback.
When it's time to put your music in front of others, StaffPad automatically and intelligently lays out your score for printing, ensuring crisp and beautiful results. If you want more control over layout, you can export as MusicXML or MIDI into dedicated programs. You can easily email an MP3 or WAV of your score with just a few taps of the share charm.
You can now talk to StaffPad, with the ground-breaking Composer Assistant. You can ask the assistant to set up your score for you, by simply saying "Add strings, brass and woodwinds", or be more specific: "add 2 flutes, a clarinet and a piano". You can ask the assistant to set the tempo, change the key signature, time signature, search the help, play the score from a specific place, transpose the music, export to PDF and much more.
StaffPad features a pending bar concept, and a sketch layer, which allows you to write freehand on the score in a variety of colours. This is great for marking up the score, making annotations, and of course writing in graphic notation or other custom symbols. The sketch layer attaches smartly to bars, and is printed and formatted into parts. It's true creative freedom!
StaffPad requires a Windows 10 device with an active digitiser. There are many compatible tablets with active digitiser technology, but please check with the manufacturer that your device supports true active pen input before purchasing StaffPad. A passive stylus or capacitive touch-only device is not compatible with StaffPad.
StaffPad is built to work best with Surface. The Surface Studio, Surface Book, Surface Go and Surface Pro are all perfect devices to use with StaffPad and offer a simple, integrated, hassle free experience when writing music with StaffPad.
The Surface Pen offers an incredibly natural and responsive drawing experience, with great palm rejection, all year battery life, an intuitive eraser, 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity, "hover" capabilities and an easy access menu button. Additionally, Surface tablet devices are powerful enough to handle large scores effortlessly, whilst being thin and light enough to be truly portable. The Surface Studio offers an incredible 28" pen and touch canvas on which to write your next masterpiece.
Place Surface Dial on your Surface screen and a radial menu of StaffPad tools magically appears on your score page. Use Surface Dial to quickly access the symbols you need (including trills, tremolos, multi-note tremolos, portamentos, fermatas, rehearsal marks, and arpeggios), move forwards and backwards in your score, and edit your music intuitively.
It's been a long time since I updated the blog, and I know some of you have been wondering what's been happening with the development of app, and how we're progressing towards that fabled "mega-update" that I hinted at last year.
Well, in short, we're progressing really well. We still have some more work to do. What we're up to is mind-bogglingly complicated, and I have to occasionally step back and take stock of what we've managed to achieve over the past year and a half. Although 18 months in internet-land feels like an awfully long time, the amount of work and passion going in behind the scenes is really quite tremendous.
2018 Development Update
As musicians, we know that it's not always practical or possible to carry a full composing workstation with you. Instead, the idea of combining the fluidity and ease of writing music by hand with the efficiency and precision of computer-aided typesetting became too strong to ignore. We felt that composing with StaffPad should feel natural, fun and intuitive - yet powerful and reliable enough to be used on professional music jobs. We've been working for over 7 years to bring you StaffPad, bringing fresh ideas and advancements to a new kind of notation app, focusing on every detail to make composing with StaffPad seem as effortless as possible.
Lead Developer, Founder
DAVID WILLIAM HEARN
Designer, Composer, Founder