Performing with BandHelper

When you view a set list or smart list, BandHelper offers several layouts for different performance or rehearsal situations. You can customize any layout, or create your own, but here are some basic functions common to all of them:

  • When you navigate to a set list or a smart list, you will see the layouts that match your current window size and orientation. You can select a layout to view the set list, or rotate your device to see the layouts that match the other orientation.
    set list menu
  • Layouts can include a song list, buttons and fields for the selected song, or both. If the layout includes a song list, you can tap a song in the list to select that song. You can also swipe horizontally anywhere outside of the list to select the next or previous song in the set list.
  • To use a different layout, tap the back button in the top left corner of the screen, then select another layout from the list. You can also cycle through your layouts using a remote control action.
  • If you rotate your device or change the window size (on a split-screen-capable tablet) while viewing a set list, the layout will automatically change to the last layout used in that window size and orientation.
  • If you need to edit a song from the set list view, you can tap the Edit button edit button that appears in the bottom left corner of your screen.
  • If you need to add a new song to your set list during a performance, such as when you receive an audience request, you can tap the Quick Add button and select a song from the popup list. The song will appear in your set list after the previously selected song. It will be added permanently to your set list if Settings > General Settings > Save Quick Added Songs is turned on.
  • While viewing a set list or smart list, your device will not auto-lock (go to sleep). Please be sure your battery is charged before starting your gig!

Here are some app features that are only available when viewing set lists and smart lists:

Documents and lyrics

  • If your layout includes the document viewer, it will display the default document or lyrics for each song as you select songs. You can tap the top and bottom hotspots to change pages, tap the left and right hotspots to change to adjacent documents if the song has multiple documents attached, tap the center hotspot show the document toolbar, or double-tap the center hotspot to toggle the full-screen view.
  • If you tap the document tools button, you can select options to save or reset the lyrics text size or document zoom level (PDF documents only), toggle the annotation toolbar (documents only) or toggle the full-screen view.
  • If your layout does not include a document viewer but does include a document button, you can tap the document button to open the document in a full-screen view. If the layout contains neither a document viewer nor a document button, you can still open the document in the full-screen view using a remote control action.
  • If you're viewing lyrics or chords and your layout includes the transpose toolbar, you can transpose your chords using the flat (b) and sharp (#) buttons in the toolbar. This transposes all the chords up or down a half-step at a time. Unlike on the song edit page, these transpositions are not saved, so you can quickly override a song's key during a performance, but the song will revert back to your saved key the next time you view it.


You can watch a tutorial video or read on for more details:

  • Instead of changing pages by tapping the screen or using a foot switch, you can configure BandHelper to auto-scroll your documents or lyrics. To use this feature, you must enter durations for the songs you want to auto-scroll. Then when you view a document or lyrics in the set list view, the document icon will show a down-arrow to indicate that auto-scrolling is available: auto-scroll button. You can tap this icon to start auto-scrolling, or tap it again to pause. You can also override the auto-scroll position while it is running by dragging the document to a new position. The auto-scroll feature includes an automatically calculated pre-roll that allows you to read the first part of your document or lyrics before the scrolling begins. When auto-scroll is activated, the document icon changes to a countdown timer to show you where you are in the pre-roll or the auto-scroll duration.
  • If the automatically calculated scroll speed doesn't work for you, you can go to Settings > General Settings > Auto-Scroll > Calculate Auto-Scroll Duration and select Manual. Then a field for Auto-Scroll Pre-Roll and Auto-Scroll Duration will appear in the edit window for each song. You can enter values here to control the scroll speed for each song regardless of its duration value.
  • You can also control BandHelper's behavior when you override the auto-scroll position or pause and resume the auto-scrolling, with the Settings > General Settings > Auto-Scroll > Recalculate Speed If Overridden option. When turned on, BandHelper will adjust the scrolling speed to reach the bottom of your document or lyrics at the original end time of the song. When disabled, BandHelper will continue with the original scrolling speed and adjust the completion time of the song to match when you reach the bottom of the document.
  • If your layout does not include a document button, you can still start auto-scrolling from a remote control action or a layout action.

Automation tracks

You can watch a tutorial video or read on for more details:

  • If you need even more control over your document scroll positions, or you want to carry out other actions at specific times, like changing documents or sending MIDI presets, you can record an automation track for each song. First, tap and hold the automation icon: automation button. Then tap Record. The button will start flashing to show that it's recording.
  • Perform any of the following actions, and the app will record them in real time: start and stop recordings or change recordings, play or pause videos, open a document or change documents, close the current document, scroll the document or lyrics to a new up/down position, start or stop auto-scrolling, highlight a line of lyrics (by double-tapping the left third of the line), send a MIDI preset, start and stop the tempo, play the starting pitch, show or hide the notes, open an app.
  • When you're done recording, tap the flashing automation icon to stop. Now the icon should appear enabled to show that the song has an automation track.
  • To play back your actions, tap the automation icon. The icon will highlight while it's playing, then return to the enabled state when it's done.
  • To adjust your automation track, tap and hold the icon and select Edit from the popup menu. Then tap an action to adjust its values, change its timing or remove it from the automation track.
  • To add to your automation track, select Record again for the same track; your new actions will be merged into the previously recorded actions.
  • To start over, tap and hold the automation icon and select Clear from the popup menu.
  • At the end of your longest recording pass, BandHelper will place an End event. You can use this to trigger layout actions at the end of a song. You can manually adjust the timing of the End event as with other events.
  • If your layout does not include an automation button, you can still start the automation track from a remote control action or a layout action, but you will need an automation button to record or edit automation tracks.

Layout actions

  • You can configure BandHelper to play an automation track or perform other actions whenever you select a song. From the Layouts list, you can select a layout, then tap Edit Details, then tap the desired actions and set them to Song Selection. These actions will then be triggered whether you select a song by tapping it in the song list, swiping to change to the next or previous song or using an external Bluetooth or MIDI device.
    layout actions
  • If you perform with backing tracks or click tracks, and play each song for a precise duration, you can also set layout actions to Song Completion. These actions will then be triggered when you reach the end of a recording, the end of an automation track or the end of the defined song duration. Before performing the Select Next Song action, BandHelper will wait the amount of time specified in the show's Time Between Songs field and then trigger any layout actions you've set to Song Selection. When using Song Selection and Song Completion, BandHelper will continue through your show automatically until it reaches a pause or a set break.
  • For quick access to common functions without adding more buttons to your layout, you can set most layout actions to Two-Fingered Tap or Three-Fingered Tap. Then just tap anywhere in the set list view to trigger these functions.

Set List timing

  • If you would like to see the songs numbered in your set list, or check off the songs as you complete them, you can turn this on in the set list view. From the Layouts list, you can select a layout, then tap Edit Layout, then tap the song list, then tap the options button in the top right corner of the song list, then turn on the Song Number option. Now you will see a numbered checkbox next to each song in your set list. If you tap the checkbox, the checkmark will be saved even if you leave and come back to this set list. (Completed songs are not saved when viewing a Smart List.) You can tap the checkbox again to clear the checkmark.
    song numbering
  • If you've entered durations for each of your songs (or a default song duration for your show), BandHelper will calculate the remaining time and projected completion time for your set list. These will display in the bottom toolbar if you have included them in your layout. If you use the song numbering feature in your layout, the remaining play time includes all the songs you haven't marked as completed, plus all the breaks after the currently selected song; otherwise, it includes all the songs and breaks after the currently selected song. You can watch these calculations to see if you'll end on time or if you should cut or add songs.
  • If you want to keep your break lengths under control, you can turn on Settings > Appearance > Break Timer or Settings > Appearance > Pause Timer. Then a countdown timer will appear on your screen during breaks or pauses, and will turn red when the time is up.

Other features

  • You can control most of the functionality in the set list view without taking your hands off your instrument by using a separate foot switch or other remote control device. See the Remote Control page for more information.
  • If you want to display BandHelper's information on multiple iOS devices, you can designate one device as the master and configure the other devices to display its screen. Please see the Linking Devices page for instructions.
  • If you want to quickly jump between apps on your device, you can add app shortcuts to the Settings > Apps list. You need to enter each app's name and URL scheme (iOS) or package name (Android). You can get the URL scheme by searching or asking that app's developer (not all iOS apps have URL schemes, but the app developer might add it if requested). You can get the package name by installing the Package Name Viewer app or looking up the desired app in the Google Play Store and looking at the id at the end of the URL. Then you can add App Button or Multiple App Buttons to your song layouts to display a button that opens that app. You can also open defined apps by mapping a remote control action to the app number, or by recording a button press as part of an automation track. To return to BandHelper after jumping to a different app, you can use the "Back to BandHelper" button that appears in the top left corner on iOS 9 and above, or you can use whatever quick-switch features are built into the other app.
  • If you want to display BandHelper's information on a separate video screen, you can use the built-in iOS video mirroring from most devices. A few devices like the iPad 1 do not support video mirroring by default, and a few connectors like the Alesis iO Dock don't support the output signal that contains the mirrored image. In these cases you can turn on Settings > General Settings > Mirror to Video Out to mirror the screen image to the composite video out port. If you're not sure whether you need this setting, try your video setup without it first.
  • You can also show only the document viewer (with a document, lyrics and chords or video) on an external device, by changing Settings > General Settings > External Display > Content to Document or Doc +1. The Document option shows the same document on both screens and the Doc +1 option shows the current document on the main screen and the next attached document on the external screen.
  • When showing only the document viewer on an external device, you can set Settings > General Settings > External Display > Pagination to Alternating to show odd-numbered pages on the main screen and even-numbered pages on the external screen.
  • You can split BandHelper's recording playback, tempo clicks and starting pitches to separate audio ports if you connect an external audio interface to your device's dock connector. See the Advanced Audio page for more info.