Creating Music on an iPad with apps! (UPDATED)

MultiTrack LogoI have stated before on this blog that as much as I use my iPad in my teaching of music, I have not taken the time to actually create with it! I’ve had tons of apps sitting there that are capable of playing music in new and innovative ways, I’ve just not actually used them to record with! I’ve bought Digital Audio Workstation apps that allow me to record but in the past I’ve just used my computer. There are been apps sitting there that have made me say “wow, that’s pretty sweet!” I’ve seen the apps get created that allow us to connect the audio from one app to another and that inspired me say “Hey, I should do that!” sooooo…..

Today I took some time to try to piece some of these different pieces together. Here is the final product: I am using ReverbNation

Here is the process I used to get to the final product….

impaktor-iconI started with Impaktor and created some drum jams! If you have not seen this app let me tell you…. make sure your wife is NOT around when you download it because she will not like it! (This guy got kicked outside!)On loading the app you now have the ability to turn all that crazy tapping rhythms on the table into actual drum sounds! The app picks up the tapping, clapping, snapping and other noise – analyzes it for volume, timbre and other things then it turns that info into magical music! It’s loads of great fun!

Then I loaded up MultiTrack DAW, from – an app that allows you to record up to 24 tracks of audio! This is what I started dumping audio clips into. I used Apple’s AudioPaste/Copy to take the drum patterns from Impaktor and bring them into MultiTrack.

AudioBusAudioBus was the next app I fired up as I wanted to see how things worked when I started linking apps together. Frankly I fully believe that for a music app to really be taken seriously from now on it will HAVE to support AudioBus! This app makes it so easy to make two apps work together! You have an input app, an FX app, and an output app. Once I selected MultiTrack as the output app I set ThumbJam as the input app. That allowed me to jump into Thumbjam but I still had some controls on the side of the iPad that gave me the ability to play or record in MultiTrack! No more starting one app and trying to quickly jump to the other app “in time”!

MoogLogoI also used Animoog in this recording. Animoog is a great example of an amazing company that was around when synths began and are still innovating with todays tech and tools. Animoog is also a good example of why you should be watching for these music apps when they go on sale! I know for a fact that I most certainly did NOT pay $29.99 for this app like it is listed for currently! I’m all for paying developers what they deserve but $30 is a bit steep in the iOS world of apps. I’ve swallowed hard and paid $19.99 two times though. With that being said… the Animoog app is very nicely done and lots of fun to play! It is one of those apps that takes full advantage of the touch screen!

Then after getting done playing around and jamming I finally used the MultiTrack DAW app to upload the final product to SoundCloud, I also connected my web browser using wi-fi to the app and downloaded an m4a version of the mix as well as downloading a zip file of the entire project to archive on my laptop. I did not really want to leave the audio on my iPad as I really don’t have the room! My iPad is only 32GB’s and I am constantly out of room! BUT BIG FOLKS! 64 GB minimum if you are going to be messing around with recording audio, video and putting pictures on your iPad. At the end of this post is a screenshot of the Wi-Fi interface MultiTrack gives you so that you can download these files WITHOUT hooking up any cords! I will say that I had a bit of an issue getting my audio clips to line up real well in MultiTrack!

UPDATED – I guess it does pay to read the manual! I knew that some place in MultiTrack there was an option to change the tempo and therefore the gridlines to match the audio clips I had recorded in Impaktor. Up in the top left corner of the iPad screen is the answer – there you can set time sig, tempo and a few other things as well. By changing the tempo to 120 (the speed at which I had recorded clips in Impaktor) I could now see measure markers and grids that helped me line things up! Of course then I read more on the forums and found that in the Menu there is a snap setting! That meant that my fiddle faddling with TRYING to line audio clips up by eye was all wasted time!

Last thing I would like to mention is I have been discussing with a few people online about an iPad DAW that allows for recording of audio as well as MIDI (I have some nice external keyboards that I want to through in the mix!) I really appreciate the ability to have knowledgable people out there that are willing to give feedback on what they are using and like! Thanks to Twitter I had almost made a decision, based on their input, and then I was notified that MusicStudio had just done an update with AudioBus compatibility! Talk about timing! There were several other apps that released updates this past week all centered around AudioBus as well!

If you are not following these people on twitter you should! – ChoirGuy, Richard and Barbara they love teaching music and love using tech to do it! I am looking forward to purchasing MusicStudio soon and trying this app out as well!

MultiTrack Wifi


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