Most musicians have memories of devices designed to help them improve their practices and performances, from the classic metronome on top of a piano to the digital tuner kept in an instrument case. As technology has evolved, you can now replace many of those devices with your PC or phone.
These apps will help you get in tune and playing at the right pace, and also help you create music using your Windows 10 devices.
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It doesn't matter how good you are at playing a note if you're instrument isn't tuned correctly. Airyware Tuner lets you tune using a nine-octave range and over nine-hundred tunings to make sure you're on pitch. To make sure that you're only adjusting your instrument based on how it sounds, the app reduces background noise. You can also use Airyware Tuner as a tone generator to help you lock your vocals to the correct pitch.
Airyware Tuner is available for $4.99 on Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, Xbox One, and HoloLens.
HQ Metronome provides a number of features and ways to keep your music up to speed. You can tap in a beat or enter it manually and can adjust the time signature to help you locate the start of each new measure. You can program each beat to a different type of notes such as quarter, eigth, triplets, or sixteenth notes.
You can also turn on options to visualize the beat including a flash on every beat or the beat that you're currently on being colored inside the measure. These are great options for allowing you to look at your music but still receive cues of the beat of the song.
HQ Metronome costs $4.99 and you can get it on Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile, and HoloLens.
Stagelight allows you to create music using your PC to replicate a vast number of instruments. You can also use it as a MIDI recorder. The app lets you configure a custom touch board with different types of instruments such as drums or a digital keyboard. The app has a learning curve but once you figure it out, you can use Stagelight to create catchy beats or entire songs.
I reviewed Stagelight last year and found the app both fun to use an instructional. I felt a bit like I was in Pitch Perfect creating music.
Stagelight is available on Windows 10. The app itself is free but there are a number of premium options that unlock different features. We break down the pricing further in our full review of Stagelight but the Windows Unlock V3 costs $19.99.
MuseScore 2 is a digital composition tool. It allows you to write multiple parts of a musical arrangement and you can include an unlimited number of parts as well as lyrics. It supports importing and exporting sheet music including downloading music from MuseScore's large library of sheetmusic that's availalbe online. MuseScore 2 also supports plugins to enhance your experience.
I reviewed the open-source piece of software last year and was very impressed. It's available for free on Windows 10.
Staffpad is an incredibly powerful piece of software that allows you to write music by hand using an Active Pen. It then converts your writing into printable sheet music. It also supports the Surface Dial and keyboard shortcuts to speed up your composition and make it more exact.
StaffPad is available for $69.99 on Windows 10. There is also a separate StaffPad Surface Hub Edition that's available for $99.99.
Sweet, sweet music
The Microsoft Store has some great tools from musicians ranging from the most basic tools to advanced composition apps used by professional. Let us know which apps you use from the Microsoft Store to enhance your music creation in the comments below.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com.