If you lead your own project, Set List Maker is probably going to be a game changer for you.
If you’re like me, getting organized for a gig means being strapped to your desk with iTunes open, messing around with a playlist of all of your tunes, desperately playing with various song orders, playing the beginning and end of tunes to imagine the transitional experience, and then – eventually – opening up a text program to capture that list and print it out for everyone.
Set List Maker is designed to make life much simpler – at least for this task.
The first step is to create your first database. I would imagine that you would set up a separate database for each band or project, if you’re involved in more than one.
The database stores your songs, previous set lists from different shows and smart lists to bring up whatever information you’re wanting in whatever fashion you are wanting it in.
Next, you enter your tunes.
The amount of information you can enter is staggering, and every bit will help you to further organize your songs. This is where the strength of the app will pay off if you invest a little effort in your database.
To make things easier, they’ve even thought of how to give you a quicker process if you’ve used iTunes in the past to organize your sets. You can actually select a playlist from your iTunes catalog and have it import all of those tunes into Set List Maker. It does a fantastic job of gathering as much info as possible and has the side benefit of automatically connecting those tunes to the audio files for reference.
When you are looking at your list of tunes, you are presented with a ton of info to help aid in your perfect set list. This includes checking the tempo of each tune (the metronome icon will flash at the appropriate tempo when you click it) and listen to the song (complete with a scrubber, so you can jump to the end to hear how well one song will flow to the next), and last but not least, see the key signature, time signature and tempo for each song.
While I was pleasantly surprised with the app up to this point, I was completely blown away when I began to create my sample show. This turns out to be a fantastic database for your gigs as well. It allows you to enter venue information, pay, times, venue contact info and just about anything else you’d want to keep track of for the gig.
Once you have it, you can print or email the sets with as much or as little information as you’d like. The format is really nice looking too.
When I clicked the “perform” tab, I was in heaven. With this feature, you can quickly (and silently) reference tempos for every tune for which the information exists, and even have it auto play the track if you just need that quick reference.
The app shows you the current time, how much time is left for the gig, based on the length of the associated tracks, and what time it estimates that you will end your show.
If your bandmates have the app, you can sync between devices so everyone ends up with the same information. You can store different settings for different databases, shows and so on. This app is immensely customizable!
In the end, Set List Maker really has to be tried to be fully appreciated, but I was completely blown away at the depth of the app and the attention paid to what a musician really wants and needs while on the road and forming shows. I never even considered how the app could double as a complete database of my shows, complete with venue history and referential information from the gigs.
Set List Maker is an iOS app available for $2.99 from the App Store. It is a universal app, compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. The app requires iOS 5.0 or later.