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Tablets and smartphones have become important accessories for musicians – like using them with a variety of apps, for on stage notes. If it’s a simple chord or a full score all written out, it can be a real tool. However, finding a free hand to swipe and turn a page in a live setting can be stressful. The PageFlip Firefly gives any musician the option to be hands-free to scroll through sheet music and charts with ease.
Size-wise, the footswitches are large enough so they’re impossible to miss when still looking at the page on-screen, lit with LED lights and arranged in a butterfly wing-like pattern. It can connect to a smartphone, tablet or computer via Bluetooth easily, as well as via USB for laptops or computers. Getting it up and running takes a few minutes, and power is provided by 2 AA batteries, or a separate power supply. It works across a variety of apps from OnSong and Pages to something as simple as a multi-page PDF. Windows, Apple and Linux OS systems are also supported, which is nice.▼ Article continues below ▼
The footswitches can be selected to move a cursor, left or right, up, down, work as left or right mouse buttons, page up or page down, as well as act like spacebar or return keys. So, there’s tons of flexibility here. There are ports to add additional foot switches, giving even more extended flexibility. Basically, there’s no option that hasn’t been anticipated with its functionality. But simply connecting it to a tablet with chord charts in PDF, and the having ability to scroll through sheets with no issues is amazing. The footprint is small enough it could easily sit next to or on a pedalboard. If it doesn’t get used for over 30 minutes, it goes into a sleep mode, saving battery life.
Overall it works great, and makes replacing notebooks and sheet music with a tablet one of those “how did I function without this before?” thoughts. There are a few things to note; the plastic footswitches feel a bit soft, as in there’s no hard or positive “click” to feel. Combined with the neoprene pad on the bottom, this really enhances the soft feel. Combine that with using it on a surface that has a rug or carpet, and it really starts to feel a bit spongy. The street price is around a hundred dollars (give or take) and for the simplicity of function, app flexibility as well as the expandability it’s well worth it, and can easily make a integrating a tablet part of your rig and notation situation.