With almost 10 years in the App Store, Notion is a best-selling music notation app for iPad and iPhone from PreSonus. Notion has been featured in various Apple campaigns including the 2014 YourVerse television commercials and has won several awards, including a prestigious music industry NAMM TEC Award for Best Smartphone/Tablet App.
Notion is a notation editor and playback tool for your iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, (any iOS9 or later compatible device) giving you the convenience of an easy-to-use music creation tool right at your fingertips—and you can sync your music files across multiple devices! With a user-friendly interface and simple interactive piano keyboard, fretboard, and drum pad, and even optional handwriting recognition, Notion makes it easy to get started composing your music. And, with Notion's abundance of advanced functions you can take your most basic ideas to an entirely new level right on your iOS device or share with Notion 6 for Mac or Windows.
You can also hear your music performed with the most realistic playback possible, using real audio samples performed by The London Symphony Orchestra recorded at Abbey Road Studios. Notion comes bundled with piano and orchestral samples as well as popular instruments such as guitar, bass, and much more. The initial app download contains piano - you can then manage which of the bundled sounds to have on your device, or keep in the cloud, just tap on Sounds. Once you have the sounds, you can create the perfect balance using the full-featured multi-track mixer with effects.
Once you are happy with your creation you can share the Notion file, or MIDI, MusicXML, PDF or audio files. Share files with other apps on your device, or with AirDrop using the Send To.. feature. Print via AirPrint, e-mail from the app. You can automatically sync your scores across devices, and with Notion 6 for Windows and Mac, by using iCloud Drive or other cloud providers such as Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive.
- Handwriting in-app purchase for iPad now available
- Enter, edit, and playback notation, tab, or both
- Orchestral samples by The London Symphony Orchestra recorded at Abbey Road Studios.
- Piano, keyboards, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, electric bass
- MIDI step-time entry with your favorite MIDI device or MIDI Bluetooth device
- Record real-time MIDI input into your score.
- Audition Mode: Use the on-screen virtual instruments to hear sounds before entering them into your score.
- Clean and intuitive user interface
- Support for retina display
- Native 64-bit support
- Option to tap in notes with finger or stylus
- Interactive piano keyboard, 24-fret guitar fretboard and drumpad for step, and realtime, entry
- Quick and simple selection palette
- Distortion and reverb effects
- Full audio mixer
- Full range of orchestral functions and articulations including: Staccato, Flutter tongues, Trills, Vibrato, and much more…
- Full range of guitar functions and articulations including: bends, vibrato, slides, hammer on, pull off, mutes, whammy bar techniques, bass slap, harmonics, and more…
- Drag score items such as dynamics
- Switch Instruments
- Insert text
- Rehearsal Marks
- Chord Symbols and Diagrams
- Rhythm Slashes
- Cross staff beaming for grand staff instruments
- Continuous and Page View
- Quick “Undo” and “Redo” functions
- Chord and melody modes
- Easy delete and erase capabilities
- Enter and edit title and composer information
- Save as an audio file
- Import .notion, MIDI or MusicXML
- Export/email .notion, mp3, PDF, MusicXML, .WAV, AAC or MIDI files
- Supports Apple's Files App, so easy sync with iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and more
- Print to AirPrint enabled printers
- Expand your bundled sound library with in-app purchases
- Help Files
- And much more…
Welcome to Notion iOS 2.6.3
-Issue fixed with reported duration of exported mp3 audio files
-Registration for unlocking free instruments fixed
If you're looking for tips and help, then join our friendly Facebook community group. Search for 'PreSonus Notion Users', or just follow the Groups link from the official 'Notion by PreSonus' page.
Ratings and Reviews
Usable but glitchy and unintuitive
I did manage to hack out a (very) simple score with this app but it took literally hours! The “undo” function represented by the counter clockwise symbol sometimes fails to erase the highlighted note or chord. The “redo” function, which I assume is the clockwise symbol, never worked! I frequently resorted to cutting the measure contents and reinstalling the notes one by one. Also, it’s unclear how to edit a note in the body of the song without backing up from the end or cutting an entire measure. I wanted to write for guitar and the interactive fretboard is a nice feature but it still rings out like a piano even after a guitar is selected. Not a big problem. The notes work but it would be nice if it sounded like the instrument I selected. Perhaps I missed something. That said, printing the resulting page was a snap! I also appreciate the ability to save to iCloud as well as to the device. If I need to do a more complex piece of music, I don’t know how long it would take! If this has the ability to use the built in mic to transpose the notes it hears, I could not get that feature operational. This really has the potential to be an extremely useful tool for someone like myself who has some basic music education but is a bit sketchy on writing music. Unfortunately the quirky “undo” feature as well as the less than intuitive interface could use some work!
Developer Response ,
Thanks for the feedback. Couple of answers that might help...
'Undo' rolls back the last user action, rather than erase anything selected. 'Redo' then only works if you have 'undone' something.
By default the app downloads with just the piano sample sound to save space on your device - it is then up to you to download additional sounds from the the Sounds menu. If a sound has not been downloaded, then the piano will sound by default.
Notion cannot analyse audio via the microphone - however it does support MIDI input (with a MIDI instrument either connected via a USB cable and the Apple Camera connector kit, or via wireless connection with a MIDI Bluetooth enabled instruemnt)
And there are various other methods of entering notes, from the onscreen fretboard/keyboard/drumpad, to tapping in with a finger (akin to how a mouse would work) to the optional handwriting recognition (an in-app purchase)
Please do join our new Facebook user group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/PreSonusNotionUsers/
A good app for DRAFTing assignments, tabs, etc for a guitar teacher
This app works very well for most of my purposes composing and arranging pieces for my guitar students. I can create alternate tunings, fair quality midi files (not pro sounding), and the click and point system works well with Magic Keyboard and Apple Pencil.
However, it needs a few tweaks to be a pro level app for the composer/musician. Only 2 voices are available, and the system easily gets confused with complex rhythm figures like rumba arpeggios that have syncopated sixteenth notes in one voice against longer 8th note grouping in the lower. This means I constantly have to correct measures and erase notes that don’t fit in a measure. Staff spacing gets wonky and spread out when adding “pima” and left hand finger numbers.
The inability to put in a 3rd middle voice is the really frustrating thing. If I’m writing a Sor style piece where I need a middle voice to rest between a treble and bass voice I can’t do it, or if I want to join a treble half note with an up stem to an 8th note grouping with a downstems to show that a high note floats over a flowing arpeggio: it’s impossible to do. I don’t seems to be able to fuse a voice so it can be a unison which is often a function in right hand arpeggios so that unnecessary rests are not required to fill in the 1st beat before the 3-16ths after the beat. This has me eyeing Orchestra Pro etc . . .
Developer Response ,
Hi, thanks for your review and glad you are mostly enjoying the app.
Yes, Notion iOS has two voices per staff, whereas its big brother Notion 6 for Mac/Win supports up to four voices per staff. This is a popular request for a change however.
For community help, tips and support, join our new Facebook user group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/PreSonusNotionUsers/
Awesome to get going... so far
I’ve been using this app to compose piano music for 3 months. One of the reasons I got an iPad Pro was to find an app like this, where I can easily input notes directly into the score on the screen. It works so well! The handwriting is fun to use, too. I’m discovering a couple of things that I find to be a pretty big deal for a pianist. The only pedal markings available are the cursive “Ped” and the “asterisk” method, rather than horizontal lines and carrots, which is much more accurate to use. I’m also finding it difficult to place finger numbers beneath the notes, as you would for bass clef notes. The program doesn’t leave enough room for them, which is awkward to mess with. I’ve found work-arounds for other issues (for example, the whole rest in 6/8 translates as too many beats)... I’m hoping they will update the space beneath the bass clef and especially the pedal marks. I may not stick with this program at some point, but it seems so easy to use otherwise!
Developer Response ,
Thanks for taking the time to leave a review. In answer to some of your questions...
You don't need to manually enter whole measure rests at all in Notion iOS - just make a selection (or select all/part), and then More>Fill with rests. Notion will then enter all whole measure rests automatically, regardless of time signature.
The rest you mention above is literally a whole note rest (e.g. the length of 4 quarter note beats) and not a whole measure rest so would indeed be too long for a 6/8 or 2/4 measure. (Note you can manually add whole measure rests in Notion 6 for Mac/Win).
Finger numbers, there's two ways you can add these underneath the LH bass clef staff when writing for piano. Add all the numbers, then make a selection, then More>Attachments>Show Below. The staves will respace to make sure there is enough space between the lowest note and its number, and the following system.
Or you can use the Lyric tool to add your finger numbers underneath - you can change the font of the Lyrics to better match fingering format text style if you wish. Again Notion will respace following systems to make space for the text.
As noted, there are no pedal lines as yet in Notion iOS, but this would be a great feature request! You can post feature and instrument requests here and other users can them vote them up
Data Not Collected
The developer does not collect any data from this app.
Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More
- Notion Music, Inc.
- 218 MB
- Requires iOS 9.0 or later.
- Requires iPadOS 9.0 or later.
- iPod touch
- Requires iOS 9.0 or later.
English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish
- Age Rating
- © PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc.
- In-App Purchases
- Handwriting $7.99
- All Sounds Bundle $29.99
- Classical guitar $0.99
- Harp $0.99
- Jazz Bass $0.99
- Percussion Bundle $4.99
- Marimba $0.99
- Vibraphone $0.99
- Jazz Alto Sax $0.99
- Jazz Tenor Sax $0.99