I had a delivery waiting for me after school today…a PageFlip Dragonfly. It is a four-button Bluetooth page turner that is in a very compact package. Years ago, I had purchased a PageFlip Cicada, a previous model from PageFlip, and have also been given an AirTurn BT-105 (since given away at a music conference to another music teacher) and the AirTurn PED. I won’t get into specifics, but the companies aren’t a fan of each other, and at the time I was given a BT-105, the AirTurn pedal was a far superior device.
To be honest, my need for a page turner has been limited in past years, but as I now play ukulele most of the time in class, I need to be hands free. I don’t know why, but for me, the PED often results in a double page turn, which has been devastating in rehearsal and performance. I updated the PED firmware and changed settings in forScore, but the problem remains. More about that later.
A few weeks ago, Matt Libera posted about the PageFlip models. My interest was peaked by the four-pedal design of the Dragonfly (other four pedal solutions are much larger) and Matt’s conclusion that the PageFlip models have matched or exceeded the quality of AirTurn. I don’t want to get into that discussion, but I did want to see for myself if I could make use do a four pedal system, what the “new” PageFlip models are like, and if my double page turn issue would resolve with a different foot pedal.
My first impressions of the Dragonfly are positive…it is big, but not much larger than my previous Cicada. PageFlip has moved on from its prior “creaky” physical pedal, and there is something nice about physical on/off buttons, led lights on the pedals, and easy to select function buttons. I don’t know how this will work in my life…but I will start using it tomorrow. Now that I never carry a MacBook with me everywhere, I can handle the extra weight of the Dragonfly. The PED, however, has been so easy to carry everywhere for the past years.
This may sound crazy, but I don’t blame the PED directly for the page turn issue. The PED has a different type of page turning mechanism, sort of a bump, that I have issues pressing while standing up. I think I may be hitting a second page turn while trying to press the pedal while standing and playing ukulele. I think the older BT-105 might be a better solution for my case use–but the Dragonfly also approximates that larger-pedal use, plus adds the additional two buttons. As a further note, I have the PageFlip set to turn pages forward/backwards with the big pedals, and to move from score to score in the set list with the higher second pedals.
I also have to state that I’m not going to take sides on what the better company is…PageFlip has clearly improved their product, and I use a variety of AirTurn products on a regular basis. For example, the Go Stand and Manos tablet mount travel with me to every gig.
I will clearly write more about this pedal in the future after getting a chance to use it. Until then, I refer you to Matt Libera’s recent post (which contains links to other things he has written about pedals). Also: PageFlip products can be found at PageFlip.com.