Linking devices during a performance

Network requirements

Device linking between iOS devices works without a router or an Internet connection. iOS will automatically select either Bluetooth or wi-fi to transmit data between devices. To force iOS to use wi-fi (which is faster), you can turn off Bluetooth in your device settings.

Device linking between Android devices, or a mixture of iOS and Android, requires that all linked devices be connected to the same wi-fi network. The wi-fi network does not need to have an Internet connection, so it can come from an inexpensive router that you bring to gigs, from an ad-hoc wi-fi network that you enable on a laptop, or from a personal hotspot that you enable on a mobile device.

To share your screen with other devices (i.e., you are the master device)

If you want to show exactly the same screen image on multiple devices during a performance, you can use BandHelper's built-in screen sharing feature. This feature requires that BandHelper is running on all your devices, but only requires that your data be set up on one device. Slave devices cannot control the master device and cannot perform any of their own functionality while sharing your screen. You can watch a tutorial video, or read on for more details:

Note: Screen sharing is processor intensive and typically includes a 1-3 second transmission delay. The tempo visual flash will be disabled on the master device (tempo sounds should be okay), and auto-scrolling might not perform as smoothly.

  1. Tap the Device Linking button in the top toolbar (or Navigate to Settings > Device Linking > Screen Sharing) and turn on the Broadcast Screen option.
    screen sharing settings
  2. Ask the owners of the other devices to connect to yours. When they attempt a connection, an alert will appear on your screen asking to accept or deny the connection. If you recognize the connecting device, tap Accept.
    screen sharing confirmation
  3. When the connection is made, a number will appear next to the Device Linking button showing the number of connected devices, and a list of connected devices will appear at the bottom of the device linking menu.
    screen sharing connected
  4. By default, your entire screen will be broadcast to the other devices. If you prefer, you can broadcast only the current document for the selected song when in the show view, by changing Settings > General Settings > External Display > Content to Document. Alternatively, you can broadcast only the next document for the selected song by changing that setting to Doc +1; this allows you to display one document on your master device and a different document on a slave device. Similarly, you can change that setting to Document and change the Pagination setting to Alternating to show odd-numbered pages on your master device and even-numbered pages on a slave device.

If you turn off the Broadcast Screen option, all slave devices will be disconnected. If you leave the app, BandHelper will remain connected to the slave devices for as long as possible, but the operating system might disconnect them.

To share another device's screen (i.e., you are a slave device)

If another device is broadcasting its screen with BandHelper's built-in screen sharing feature, you can connect to it without any special setup or upgrades. However, slave devices cannot control the master device and cannot perform any of their own functionality while sharing its screen.

  1. Tap the Device Linking button in the top toolbar (or Navigate to Settings > Device Linking > Screen Sharing) and tap the Display Screen From option.
  2. The master device should appear in a popup window. If it does not appear, ask the owner of that device to make sure that BandHelper is the active app on that device and that their Broadcast Screen option is turned on. When it appears, tap its name to send a connection request.
    screen sharing picker
  3. Wait for the owner of the master device to accept your request. When accepted, a copy of that device's screen will fill your screen.
  4. To disconnect, tap your screen to show the toolbar, then tap Done.

If you leave the app, BandHelper will remain connected to the master device for as long as possible, but the operating system might disconnect it.

To broadcast remote control events to other devices

As an alternative to screen sharing, you can let each device display its own data and maintain its own functionality, but make each device change songs or pages together. For example, one device can show a full-screen document in portrait orientation, another can show a split view in landscape orientation and another can show a simple set list, but you can change the current song on all devices by selecting a song on one device. With this functionality, any of the linked devices can send remote control events, and the same device can send events or follow events from others. You can watch a tutorial video (starting at 8:30), or read on for more details:

Note: Remote control is less intensive than screen sharing, but still includes a transmission delay of about a half second. This is not intended for situations that require precise timing, like synchronizing multiple metronomes or layering audio tracks.

  1. Tap the Device Linking button in the top toolbar (or Navigate to Settings > Device Linking > Screen Sharing) and turn on the Broadcast Remote Control Events option.
    remote control settings
  2. Ask the owners of the other devices to connect to yours. When they attempt a connection, an alert will appear on your screen asking to accept or deny the connection. If you recognize the connecting device, tap Accept.
    screen sharing confirmation
  3. When the connection is made, a number will appear next to the Device Linking button showing the number of connected devices, and a list of connected devices will appear at the bottom of the device linking menu.
    remote control connected
  4. Navigate to a set list. Now whenever you select a song, select a page or change the zoom level and position of a document or lyrics, those actions will be broadcast to the other connected devices, which will perform the same actions on their data.

If the time in transmitting remote control actions to the slave devices is consistent, you can use Settings > Device Linking > Delay Song Selection Actions to synchronize song selection actions on the linked devices. For example, if remote control actions appear on one device after 1 second and on other after 1.5 seconds, you can set Delay Song Selection Actions to 1.5 seconds on the master device and .5 seconds on the faster of the slave devices. Then all devices will trigger their song selection actions 1.5 seconds after you select a song on the master.

If you turn off the Broadcast Remote Control Events option, all slave devices will be disconnected. If you leave the app, BandHelper will remain connected to the slave devices for as long as possible, but the operating system might disconnect them.

To follow remote control events from other devices

If another device is broadcasting remote control events with BandHelper's built-in remote control feature, you can connect to it without any special setup or upgrades.

  1. Tap the Device Linking button in the top toolbar (or Navigate to Settings > Device Linking > Remote Control). Turn on Follow Song Selections to select whatever song is selected on the master, Follow Page Positions to change pages, scroll and zoom to whatever position is on the master or Follow Set List Changes to add songs to the set list when they are added on the master.
    link input
  2. Tap the Device Linking button in the top toolbar (or Navigate to Settings > Device Linking > Screen Sharing) and tap the Follow Remote Control Events From option.
  3. The master device should appear in a popup window. If it does not appear, ask the owner of that device to make sure that BandHelper is the active app on that device and that their Broadcast Remote Control Events option is turned on. When it appears, tap its name to send a connection request.
    screen sharing picker
  4. Wait for the owner of the master device to accept your request. When accepted, the Follow Remote Control Events From label will change to Stop Following Remote Control Events.
  5. Navigate to a set list. Now whenever a master device selects a song, selects a page or changes the zoom level and position of a document or lyrics, your device will perform the same action on its own data.
  6. To disconnect, tap the Device Linking button in the top toolbar (or Navigate to Settings > Device Linking > Screen Sharing) and tap the Stop Following Remote Control Events option.

If you leave the app, BandHelper will remain connected to the master device for as long as possible, but the operating system might disconnect it.