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Monday, August 11, 2014, 10:37 am PT (01:37 pm ET)

Apple's new 'Your Verse' iPad ads focus on music, community engagement [updated with video]

Apple on Monday unveiled two new additions to its well-received "Your Verse" advertising campaign for the iPad, this time focusing attention on Chinese electropop group Yaoband and Detroit community activist Jason Hall.




The first spot, entitled "Striking a new chord," focuses on the way Beijing-based musicians Luke Wang and Peter Feng use the iPad to compose new tracks while on the go. The tablet's ultra-portable nature lends itself not only to the band's constantly-moving lifestyle, but also allows them to take inspiration from unexpected places.

Wang and Feng are shown sampling the horn from a motorbike, the sound of billiard balls striking each other, and tones coming from a traditional Chinese fiddle-like instrument known as an erhu. The group uses a combination of Native Instruments's iMaschine, Alexander Gross's Music Studio, and Akai Professional's iMPC.

"With iPad, I can take anything around me, record a sample, re-form it, and make it part of my music," Wang is quoted as saying.



The group also uses the iPad during live performances, taking advantage of the built-in accelerometer to create bespoke rhythms with Confusionists's MIDI Designer Pro and improvising new beats with Propellerhead's Figure.

"For me, the most significant role iPad plays is onstage," Wang added. "Before, I was chained to my DJ station and could only give a simple performance."

Alongside the spot, Apple posted an exclusive recording of a recent Yaoband performance outside Beijing. The concert is free to watch via iTunes.

In the second spot, called "Organizing a movement," Apple follows Detroit-based activist Jason Hall as he uses the iPad to rally support for the beleaguered city. Hall's organization — called Slow Roll — organizes bicycle tours of Detroit that celebrate its history and educate participants to new developments.



Hall carries the iPad with him every day as he cycles around the city, and manages every aspect of Slow Roll on Apple's tablet. Each event can bring thousands of participants, which Hall credits to the ease with which he can get the word out on social media using apps like Phoster.

"When people talk about Slow Roll, they don't say 'the ride' — they say 'the movement,'" Hall said. "Without my iPad that would not have happened."

Among the other apps Hall uses on a regular basis are Prezi, for giving presentations; Penultimate, for brainstorming and note-taking; and Zello Walkie Talkie, for communicating with volunteers during rides.

iPad owners interested in learning more will have an opportunity to hear Hall speak in person at at least three local Apple Stores. Hall will hold workshops at Apple's Georgetown outlet in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 19, the North Michigan Avenue location in Chicago on Aug. 21, and the new Pioneer Place store in Portland on Aug. 27.