StaffPad lets you draw music on that expensive Surface Pro

Microsoft has always been marketing its Surface Pro tablets to creatives, but with the stylus that comes with it, it has mostly been of more interest to those with a visual flair more than any other type or creator. A new app that just debuted for Windows 8, however, gives that stylus a new purpose beyond scribbling and drawing. StaffPad utilizes the precision and flexibility that the Surface styluses have to offer in order to let musicians write, but really "draw" music just as they would on a physical music sheet.

One might wonder what would be so special about the Microsoft Surface tablets that made StaffPad's creators prefer it over something more ubiquitous and perhaps more marketable like the iPad. According to StaffPad co-founder David William Hearn, it was really the stylus that called out to them. While there are many such tools available for the iPad, including pressure sensitive ones, they found that nothing beat the precision that an active digitizer like that of Wacom or N-Trig. That's especially important when you are drawing notes and symbols quickly on a digital screen.

The result is something both simple yet elegant and probably a dream come true for any digital musician. At least one who owns a Surface tablet. It can let them create any music imaginable, turning scribbles into actual notation. Adding more notes, adjusting existing notes and measures, and printing the finished sheet to paper is simple with just a few taps. And, of course, you can listen to your score as well right then and there.

To some extent, StaffPad isn't completely magical and isn't different from other software of its kind in terms of features. It does, however, come with a price that is almost a tenth of more professional program. Of course, it does require you to have a Windows 8 device with pen and touch capabilities, like a Surface, for example. And with the upcoming Surface 3, that might no longer be as expensive as it used to be.

VIA: The Verge