by David Craver 9.14.12
I had the pleasure of meeting Darren Kramer, co-founder of TheGigEasy, at the Summer NAMM Show in Nashville this year. I had seen TheGigEasy iPad mount in action at one of my open mics and I was eager to really dig-in to this simple, yet amazing, product.
I've been field-testing the TheGigEasy Mic Stand Side Mount unit for about three-weeks now. I use it during the open mics and during solo/band gigs.
After loading a few hundred lyric sheets for cover songs onto my iPad, I needed something that would give me easy access to the device/songs during performances. TheGigEasy mount delivered.
The mount breaks-down into 2-pieces for convenient storage and transport. It weighs about a pound. The mount easily attaches to the mic stand in a few seconds. The iPad just clips into the spring-loaded arms.
The mount allows the iPad to turn 360 degrees. The angle of the screen can also be adjusted.
The construction of the mount is solid. They've used high-grade, injection molded, plastic to provide light-weight durability.
I am very pleased with the TheGigEasy Mic Stand Side Mount. It is a low-cost, high-quality product that delivers.
by Jefferson Graham
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Riding the popularity of Apple's iPad, a host of innovators unveiled some of the hottest products aimed at turning the tablet computer into a music accessory. A record 90,000 people attending the nation's top musical instruments convention, sponsored by the National Association of Music Merchants, got a first look this weekend at the latest hardware and software for music fans. As the musical instruments industry pulls out of the recession, new digital tools are a way to get fans paying for music again, says Joe Lamond, NAMM's chief executive. The industry projected sales of $6.1 billion in 2010, down from $7.6 billion in 2008. "We're recovering," Lamond says.
Some highlights from the show:
•iRig microphone. Shipping in late February, the $59.99 iRig from IK Multimedia turns the iPad into a recording device for singers. Plug the microphone directly into the iPad, open up IK's VocaLive app, and singers can lay down audio tracks, complete with effects such as reverb, delay and chorus. It's also aimed at karaoke, podcasters who want to create their shows on the iPad, and radio DJs. With more than 125 million iPod Touches, iPhones and iPads in use, "That's a whole lot of people who would be interested in our products," says Starr Ackerman, director of artist relations for IK Multimedia, which makes music apps for Apple devices. "There's a whole untapped market out there."
•AirTurn foot pedal. This is for the singer who wants to leave the sheet music at home and read from the iPad instead. Connect the pedal to the iPad, and the singer's "hands are free to perform," says Lester Karplus, CEO of Boulder, Colo.-based AirTurn. Many music publishers are now offering iPad versions of music collections, and for them, the foot device lets them "keep their hands on their instrument," he adds.
•TheGigEasy. Where does the iPad go when performing? With the $99.99 TheGigEasy attached to the iPad, the device can go atop a microphone stand. The company says the product is designed for toting to clubs, studios, churches and wherever else you plan to play.
•MusicReader. The Netherlands-based company that sells sheet music collections introduced MusicReader 4.0 for the iPad. Scan your sheet music using its $59 software on your computer and import to the iPad via the iPad app. Turn the pages by flicking your finger across the page. The software will be on sale by the end of this month.
•iTrump. Following on iBone, Spoonjack's app to "play" the trombone on the iPhone, the San Francisco-based company unveiled a $2.99 trumpet app. "This is an entry-level way to learn the trumpet or trombone," says developer Tom Scharfeld.
The push to bring music to digital devices offers "a new way to make music," Lamond says. "It's a new way to record and learn music. A lot of people see that as an opportunity.”
Recording Magazine / July 2011 Issue / Page 42
Review by Mike Metlay
$79 to $99; www.thegigeasy.com
I know, in an article otherwise chock-full of apps costing just a few dollars and interfaces costing $70 or less, it can be jarring to see a price tag like this on something as seemingly simple as an iPad stand. You might find yourself scratching your head and asking yourself, "What could possibly make an iPad stand worth this much money?"
I've had a chance to work with a number of iPad stands from different makers, and there are some good ones and some not-so-good ones. Some are solidly made but not as flexible as you might like them to be - perhaps they're not easy to position, or it's difficult to put the iPad in or take it out - and some are just plain cheap, dropping your iPad or letting it rattle around. And with the advent of the iPad 2, which is substantially thinner than the original, many stands just plain don't fit any more.
And then there's TheGigEasy. How does it differ from the competition? Well, where do I start...it uses four spring-loaded arms that hug the iPad tightly, making it exceptionally easy to place and remove while holding it rock-steady. It can be purchased with a variety of stand mount options, everything from a mic boom arm to a conventional Manhasset music stand to a VESA arm mount like those used for swivelling monitors. It can be turned to any position, landscape or portrait, with a solidly detented 'click' at each position and a full 360 degrees of rotation.
If you have an iPad 2, converting TheGigEasy to hold it is as simple as attaching four self-adhesive rubber bumper pads, which come free with the unit, and I’m told that a special iPad 2 version offering full access to both camera lenses will ship in July.
You wouldn't trust a thousand-dollar guitar to a cheaply-made stand, or put your best vintage tube mic on a flimsy mic boom you got in the bargain bin, would you? Well, you might...and you might curse the day you did when your precious investment ends up slipping, sagging, or just plain falling to the floor. Saving a few dollars on a cheap iPad stand is, in my opinion, a false economy. I've been living with TheGigEasy for several weeks now, using it in my studio as I play guitar through my iPad, play virtual instruments on it, and set it up for cue sheets when I do my radio show, and it's been an utter delight. I'm going to pay to keep it now that this review is over. I wouldn't trust my iPad to anything else.
Sightread Ltd were kind enough to send over the The Gig Easy iPad Mic Stand & Side Mic Stand Mounts for review recently. The Gig Easy iPad Mic Stand Mount is a reassuringly secure method of attaching an iPad to a microphone stand. With its versatile angle settings and careful gripping action, your Apple tablet will become an even more useful device as a result of the flexibility provided by such a set-up. If you play a musical instrument or require an iPad to be held alongside other equipment without risk of damage, The Gig Easy iPad Mic Stand Mount is certainly up to the task and I am more than happy to entrust my new iPad with it. Read Entire Review (with Photos)
by Gary Stump
LOVELAND - A team of Loveland-based engineers and inventors is seeking to capitalize on the emerging Apple iPad market. TheGigEasy is a startup company composed of three professional musicians - Darren Kramer, Brent Smith and Brian Monroney - who came up with the idea of creating Apple iPad mounts that attach to a microphone stand or music stand, enabling a performer to have trouble-free access to information onstage. They pitched their idea to local product development consultant Eric Krug of Krug Consulting, who came up with the first mount design last July.
“It all started in Eric’s shop and looked like Russian Sputnik technology, but we were thrilled with his first prototype design,” said Monroney.
“They were just speechless,” said Krug, savoring that moment of possibly capturing lightning in a bottle. With the first prototype in hand, Krug directed TheGigEasy crew to Steve Tungesvick, owner and president of Soft Touch Manufacturing in Loveland.
Since last summer, Tungesvick’s operation has served as the production brawn, with the first mount order shipped out in December 2010. “With my design experience, Steve’s quality manufacturing and TheGigEasy’s ideas, its kind of a dream team,” said Krug. “We’ve designed mounts that pivot 360 degrees and are extremely durable.” Added Tungesvick, “The Three Amigos invested in us to make their parts, and I think it’s going to blow up.”
TheGigEasy Prototype - July 2010
TheGigEasy iPad2 Mic Stand Mount - July 2011
Though TheGigEasy mount was designed initially for musicians, the company hopes to capture other markets as well. “As musicians, we went after the music business first,” said Kramer. “it’s become apparent that our products have potential application to a wide array of other fields and products as well, such as education, medical, fitness, and the mobility market, to name a few.” Notable performers have taken notice of the mounts’ potential, such as the recently reunited ‘’80s rock band The Cars. Kramer smiled and said, “We got an order from a Richard Ocasek in NYC, and we thought, ‘Hey, isn’t that The Cars lead singer?’” Progressive metal band Dream Theater and comedian and bluegrass musician Steve Martin have recently performed using TheGigEasy mounts, adding to the company’s name recognition and momentum.
At the company’s website www.thegigeasy.com, Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess is cited as saying: “TheGigEasy iPad mounting system has worked out beautifully for me. Recently I've had some high profile performance speaking engagements, like when I appeared as a keynote speaker at the MacWorld convention with two iPads in hand! The system is steady and secure and I would recommend TheGigEasy as a great solution to anyone using the iPad in a serious performance situation. It's awesome!” Smith senses the company’s potential is only beginning to manifest itself. “We’re hoping to get a foot in the door of six or seven large markets, such as touring acts and Broadway shows, but the only thing we’re missing right now is publicity,” he said. But it appears TheGigEasy is well on its way to recognition, as USA Today recognized their mounts as some of the “hottest products” at the National Association of Music Merchants, the world’s second largest music convention held last January. The company has already shipped products as far away as Norway, Australia, Israel and Luxembourg. With sales doubling each month, Krug believes TheGigEasy trio’s success is a foregone conclusion. “The mount designs are sexy, it’s durable, and with so many applications, the market is potentially huge,” Krug said. “There are also low-cost, which give them gift appeal, since they not only can be used onstage, but in cars, boats, planes or anywhere else you can think of mounting an iPad.” A palpable sense of excitement surrounds the team. “We are just musicians, and without Steve and Eric, none of this is possible,” said Monroney, “and with 20 million iPads already out there, the sky’s the limit.”
The Johnstown Breeze
By Megan Conner
As Brent Smith walks into The Johnstown Breeze office, his two business partners follow him boisterously, as all three ooze with excitement. They are equipped with a trombone, packages, an iPad, and the trio’s new invention, TheGigEasy®. Smith and his two partners, Brian Monroney and Darren Kramer, have in common a love of music. Smith, a resident of Johnstown for more than 15 years, has been playing the trombone since he attended college at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Monroney and Kramer are both professional musicians, and their musical careers have allowed them to play around the world. When bouncing from one gig to another, Smith and his partners began to tire of carrying around hundreds of loose sheets of sheet music. To illustrate, Kramer picks up a three-inch thick binder and says, “I have one of these full of music for every different group I play with.” So the three musicians, like many folks these day, went digital. Each member has an iPad with the majority of their sheet music inside. No more lugging around binders of loose papers. But as Smith and his partners followed the digital trend, there was still a problem. Smith wondered what he was going to use to hold his iPad in front of him when playing a gig. He came up with the idea for an iPad music stand. As many know, technology moves quickly these days and Smith acted accordingly. He got in touch with some fellow musicians he knew across the Front Range, who by day are engineers. After kicking around the basic idea of an iPad music stand, he began to assemble his trio. Kramer was a no-brainer. Smith and Kramer date back all the way to their high school days at Longmont High School. And through their musical connections, Monroney joined the crew. “I think that if you believe in something you have to go for it,” said Smith. About a year ago, the three began working together. Through music and innovation, a prototype of TheGigEasy was created. TheGigEasy grips the iPad with four spring-loaded arms that secure it to the iPad and it has the ability to rotate 360 degrees. But as the trio has began to notice, once they have one idea, a shower of new ones accompany it. “Once we get one thing crossed off our to-do list, six more things get added to the bottom of it,” said Smith. TheGigEasy launched off better than the trio could have dreamed. Only a year after the three first came together, it has over eight products that mount to a variety of mic and music stands, partnering companies, and raving musicians. On the product’s website (thegigeasy. com), Gary Mayne of Big Head Todd & The Monsters is quoted saying, “TheGigEasy truly is a pro piece of equipment. I use my stand mount all the time, and especially love the extended arm!”
Already, TheGigEasy has been sold across the seas in London and Europe. But Smith and his partners are proud that the products are not only made in the United States, but TheGigEasy is engineered and manufactured out of Loveland. And the headquarters for TheGigEasy is in Johnstown, headed by Smith himself. “We have to do something about our boxes though,” said Monroney, as he nervously put his hand on a standard white mailing box he had set on the front counter during the interview. Like any successful business, there are some kinks here and there, but from an outsider’s perspective, perhaps a white box is hardly a kink. But the trio has big plans in the works. Their partnership with the music stand company, Manhasset, has expanded their sales potential exponentially, and as digital music trends expand, they say the TheGigEasy will be doing the same. TheGigEasy guys had to find a way to turn pages on their iPad while keeping their hands on their instruments. AirTurn has partnered with them to sell a product which turns the page of a score on an iPad with the tap of a toe, and Bluetooth technology.
But as versatile as an iPad is, Smith and his partners realized that they don’t use theirs for just music. So they created a line of TheGigEasy that can mount an iPad just about anywhere, including at home, office, or studio. So even those who are not musically inclined can “GigEasy” with iPads too.
TheGigEasy holds an iPad for hands-free use.
TheGigEasy team has already adapted their product to fit the iPad2, and they say the musical mate is expanding at a rapid rate. At the end of the day, it seems that Smith and his partners are on a roller coaster ride … and all three have their hands in the air with a smile on their faces.