Over the past two articles I’ve covered reading tabs and lyrics with iPhone/iPad using TabToolKit and Sidekick, and using the iRig adapter with Amplitube apps for effects with the guitar. Now I want to turn your attention to recording using the iPad.
For this setup I am going to use the iRig and the MultiTrack DAW app for recording purposes. The option to connect using a USB adapter and the Apple Camera Connection Kit does exist, however I haven’t been able to get my hands on a Camera Kit yet and to be honest, since I already have the iRig it just makes sense to use it for this as well.
The app, MultiTrack DAW ($9.99) is simply the easiest multi-track recording application I have tried on the iPad. It may not be the most glamorous or have tons of extras (effects, etc), but it gives users the ability to record up to 8 stereo or mono tracks that can be bumped/pinged/bounced to 24 total tracks of CD quality audio. Each track has individual controls for volume, recording, mute, solo, and panning left or right. The controls appear small, but when touched, zoom in as a popup and are easily used. Zooming in or out on an audio track for proper placement is easy enough as well, making it a breeze to patch in a section if needed. While in landscape mode users have access to up to 8 visible tracks at a time, or in portrait orientation up to 11 tracks, making it simple to move between them. Users can rename the tracks in order to keep up with what each contains as well, taking the guess work out of finding a particular instrument or recording. It would nice if they could be color coded as well though. MultiTrack DAW also includes a metronome the can be adjusted from 40 – 240 beats per minute and has many different time signatures available.
So what to do now that you’ve recorded your tracks? Perhaps even mixed them the way you like? MultiTrack DAW offers five ways to get these files out. Users can connect to the app from a desktop computer via WiFi, the files can be emailed out, removed via iTunes File Sharing, Copy/Paste, or SoundCloud. Personally I used the WiFi and iTunes options as they were the simplest for me, but that’s just user preference. Once the files are off the iPad, import them into your favorite music editing program and finish the process. But you don’t absolutely need to, I didn’t find it necessary, as I recorded and mixed all recordings within the app itself.
Perhaps you have already recorded a few audio tracks using a different program, different device, or someone sent them to you. That’s fine, just import them. The app offers four ways to do this as well.
These are the kind of options and abilities that will change the recording of music, or at least the creation process. Nobody is tied down to a specific location or program, and friends, band-mates, and musicians can collaborate on the go, easily! When I was playing in a band and left for college a device such as the iPad and apps like this would have gone a long way to helping me collaborate on the creation process. The band could have sent me a rough mix of a song they were working on and I could import it and add my own parts and then send it back for their opinions.
The future of music production for independent artists and unsigned bands is in “cloud” apps, and devices like iPad/iPhone. Apps like MultiTrack DAW will lead the way.
Check out the http://www.harmonicdog.com/ website for more information!