iPad Screenshots


StaffPad is designed for composers who want to create music effortlessly, using handwriting recognition for music notation and seamless audio support on your score canvas. Write your music using Apple Pencil, and the app will transform your writing into beautifully typeset notation that can be edited, played back, printed and shared. Record or import audio directly onto your score, edit intuitively with Apple Pencil gestures, drag in Elements and mix your score with a suite of studio effects. From basic idea to a full film score, StaffPad is the easiest, most powerful and most intuitive way to create music on iPad.

Write your score with the fluidity of natural handwriting. Use touch and Apple Pencil to quickly edit your notation. Transpose, repeat and structure your score with intuitive gestures and tools. Add smart symbols easily from the symbols palette, turning Apple Pencil into an articulation paintbrush. Customise the tempo with a unique tempo staff (or import a tempo map from a MIDI file), add chords either manually or automatically with the chord staff. You can even copy music written in StaffPad into other apps, simply using the normal copy and paste functions. Every aspect of StaffPad has been thought about from a composer's point of view, making the tools simple to create your masterpiece.

With a groundbreaking playback engine and over 55 included instruments, StaffPad is ready to perform your written piece instantly. Add industry-standard sample libraries, adapted and customised for StaffPad, from some of the world's leading sample developers. This is a leap forward for composers working at the highest levels.

Once you're ready to perform or record your work, tap the ScoreSync button in StaffPad and your score is instantly shared across a Wi-Fi network to any device running the free StaffPad Reader app (available in the App Store). The Readers present each individual musical part beautifully formatted, update in realtime with any changes you make to your score, handle automatic page turns, and play back in perfect time with a synchronised metronome, for capturing the perfect recording every time.

StaffPad imports and exports MusicXML and MIDI files for easily working with other music apps. You can also export your playback as WAV, AAC or MP3. You can import audio files into your score, with support for most major audio formats.

For the first time, you can seamlessly mix audio with your notated score. Record directly onto the score canvas using your device's in-built microphones, whilst monitoring a metronome through headphones. Import existing audio in most major audio formats. Tempo map freeform/rubato performances using the tempo staff. Add shine to your production with a suite of studio quality DSP effects, and polish with precise automation. This opens a world of possibilities, and makes it possible to create release-quality productions entirely in StaffPad.

Annotate your score with either private or public (shared with the Readers) annotation pens. Public pens allow for instant written communication with individual musicians in the room via ScoreSync and StaffPad Reader.

As well as digital parts via ScoreSync, StaffPad will automatically format and print parts or export PDFs for you. Customise the paper size, bar number styles, number of bars per line, scaling, margins, multi-bar consolidation and more. StaffPad automatically formats the score for consistent presentation.

StaffPad features "Fenby", our voice-activated composer assistant, who can assist you in routine tasks like setting up your score, adding instruments, tempos, bar line styles, key changes and more.

What’s New

Version 1.5.2

There’s been a few general improvements, including some work to further extend battery life on ProMotion displays. Change log:

- Fixed importing MusicXML from other apps via the iOS share sheet
- Fixed MIDI import for MIDI files containing nested or irregular tuplets
- Fixed an issue caused by changing the time signature near the end of score containing an audio file
- Fixed an issue which resulted in duplicated scores not retaining saved audio
- Fixed an issue with tempo markings that could cause corrupted scores
- Printing multiple individual parts with multi-rests now works correctly
- Editing arranger and copyright from the Edit Details screen now saves correctly
- Made it easier to insert popular chord qualities such as minmaj9 etc
- Invalid repeat/coda structures no longer cause a score crash
- Mid bar instrument changes are handled more reliably
- Fixes piano import for MusicXML files resulting in piano (audio) staffs, rather than notation staffs
- Fixed crash if chord input starts with a / character
- Fixed some issues with glissandos that could cause score corruption
- Fixed issues that could be caused by mute lines and slurs ending on a rest/empty beat position
- Fixed a layout issue whereby sometimes chord symbols don’t line up with notes
- Various safety fixes to address some UI crashes discovered

Ratings and Reviews

3.7 out of 5
140 Ratings

140 Ratings

Soundtrack28 ,

Huge possibilities, but still has handwriting detection issues.

Looking at some of these reviews, I had hoped that I would not have issues with handwriting because I rarely write music on paper and would not have to relearn much. However I am too having issues with the handwriting detection. The biggest issue is sets of sixteenth notes. It doesn’t matter what I do - StaffPad cannot detect them most of the time. I even tried to follow how it was done on one of your tutorial videos and it didn’t change much. I have also had a whole note be detected as a quarter rest. The dynamic marks also do not like to work. MF turned into both MP or SFZ. I would also prefer if it could detect notes if stems are longer. Making the stems exactly one octave from the head is very hard to do.

The app simply needs more time put into the handwriting detection for people like me with “messy” handwriting. It would nice to not have to take so much time trying to make every note so perfect that it can be detected.

Mkiz ,

What you’ve done is amazing!

I wrote a review shortly after I bought the app and shared my enthusiasm at the time. Well, my appreciation for this app has only grown. I have bought the Berlin sound libraries, a number of fine samples libraries, and Voxos ( about $800 worth of sound libraries in total). This app, with sound libraries of this quality, is truly the fulfillment of a lifelong dream…write out musical ideas and realize them in high quality with ease. I look forward to how the app will evolve, but I hope that you continue to build on the core vision, which, for me, is the support for easily inputting notation by hand and translating it into high quality sounds. Currently, I get 80-90 percent of the way there with StaffPad. And, I am grateful for that! To get the last 10-20 percent, requires exporting midi or xml in order to fine tune performance with more fully featured sound samples (For example, VSL synchron series or EWQL libraries). Unfortunately, the last 10-20 percent requires almost starting from scratch in a DAW (Cubase or Studio One for me) as almost none of the performance subtlety output via midi or xml translates. Not sure what the best solution would be…integration with more libraries, or the addition of some sort of export settings? Maybe the ability to draw more accurate cc curves and export them to channels as desired? Not really sure. Anyway, thank you!

uglib3467 ,

This app is kinda broken

This is trash to be quite honest. In theory you should be able to write out whatever music you envision within the app, and it automatically becomes engraved really easily, right? Wrong. There are lots of problems with the handwriting recognition which someone like Beethoven would surely throw his iPad out the window for. It follows a very strict logic where you have to write out notes with extremely proper handwriting for just for StaffPad to recognize it 50% of the time. But writing out things with that amount of perfection is incredibly time consuming, and honestly takes less time to write out with the old fashioned pencil and paper.
I haven’t tried out the expansions for playback featuring popular orchestral library companies like Cinesamples, Orchestral Tools, and Spitfire Audio. If the goal is to allow film composers to be able to write clearly and quickly with that kind of playback quality for cues, then this app has failed that goal because of how much time it takes to write ideas down. Again it’s faster with pencil and paper.

The interface is okay, but the fact that I have to look up tutorials on how to do everything is a sign of poor design. New users should have a clear enough interface where they can find things easily without needing tutorials.

Developer Response ,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on your experience with StaffPad.

It sounds like most of the problems you have encountered so far center around the recognition system. You had mentioned that extremely proper handwriting is required to use StaffPad. This couldn't be further from the truth actually and is the likely culprit of the trouble you're experiencing. StaffPad is designed for speed and while based in how you would write on manuscript paper, is quite different.

For example, if you are writing a quarter note, filling in the notehead makes it harder to recognize than it would be if you use a slash notehead and to make a half rest, you simply make a horizontal line just above the 3rd line in the staff versus drawing and filling in a half rest.

There is no doubt a learning curve to get going with StaffPad, but we are here to help if you feel like the recognition is failing completely or are hoping for a quick tip to make something easier.

We would love the opportunity to help you work at the pace you were hoping to work at when you purchased StaffPad. Please feel free to reach out by tapping the StaffPad logo on the welcome screen and selecting StaffPad Help.

Thank you for reminding us that we need to do better to stress to users the differences of writing in StaffPad compared to handwriting music notation on paper.

App Privacy

The developer, StaffPad Ltd., indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Not Linked to You

The following data may be collected but it is not linked to your identity:

  • Diagnostics

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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