This weekend, because of the fact that we have had 3 extra days of school off thanks to it being too cold here, I have discovered the Session Band Apps! I have no idea how I have not checked out this set of apps so far!
This post is just going to be an overview of what the Session Band Apps are all about – I think I will do a more detailed post soon!
Look at all the different versions of the Session Band Apps! – remember, these are currently on sale but not for long. If you EVER need to create accompaniment tracks to sing with, play with or just to practice with…. then do yourself a favor and pick up a couple of these! At this price it’s a total bargain! I’ve grabbed two of the packs and plan on getting a few of the others when I’ve got more money (hope the sale lasts longer!)
Here is the deal – These apps are collections of loops created by real musicians, playing on real instruments that allow you to create pro-quality accompaniment tracks in minutes by typing in chords! Now, I’ve used Band-In-A-Box before and iRealBook but the sound from Session Band Apps is head and tales above those apps! I’ve enjoyed those other apps for years but have not ever really used them for creating any tracks that I would use for performance – lots and lots of use for rehearsal purposes though. I’ve just never thought that the sound was that much above what I could create myself, I guess. After watching someone else messing around on YouTube and then finding out that the tracks were from Session Band, I started exploring and am glad I did!
Here is the situation – I need to produce a bunch of backing tracks for my son to perform with coming up during the annual Irish Festival in town. I really want some of those tracks to include acoustic guitar – which I do NOT play! I also want to be able to pump these babies out pretty easy and quick as I know what my wife is going to say if I do all the work myself!
The first Session Band app I bought was the Acoustic Guitar version – I figured, what the heck – it’s on sale! I’m very impressed with the output and choices built into the app!
Then I ended up Original Session Band App as well as it has a bit of everything in it. I was pretty disappointed though that I did not read the description in the app store well enough though – I ended up paying extra because a bunch of the loops in this app were only available through In-App-Purchase! Come on people! Just charge me up front! Not that the entire purchase was much more than the other versions but I just detest that approach! MY FAULT THOUGH – I should have read the warning put up there by APPLE!
The way the app works is that you basically type in chords, pick a style and there ya go – magic! It does pay to read through the help features in this app as I did not find everything clear cut to figure out. After reading about how to add, change length and edit the chords though it really is super fast and easy to build up an entire piece.
There is even a nice live record feature in the app which allows you to hit the play button, then mute/solo and change the level of all the instruments playing while looping the song a few times. This allows you to come up with a longer arrangement that doesn’t have all the instruments playing the entire time.
I ended up taking the output of Session Band, through using Audio Copy, dumping it into GarageBand on my iPad, then opening that into Logic on my laptop to add other parts to it. I even took a track from the Acoustic Guitar app, along with a track from the Original SB app and mixed the two. Had a bit of a hiccup doing this though as the tempos did not quite lock into sync. That’s OK – this allowed me a wonderful reason to figure out the Flex-Time tool in Logic – ABSOLUTELY OUTSTANDING I MIGHT SAY! Easy as pie to lock the two tracks together after watching a nice gentleman explain Flex-Time on YouTube! (can you say “flipped classroom” on my day off from school?)
Anyways – here is one track that shows you the awesomeness of the guitar app – a bit rough in the melody yet because that’s the part my son gets to play so I wasn’t too worried about it!