Less is more; part 6 – a compact ‘AU-only’ iOS music app collection for music production

When I did my usual crystal ball gazing and ‘wish listing’ post to mark the end of 2016 and the start of 2017, I speculated – and hoped – that this year might (finally) see the Audio Units plugin format make a real impact under iOS. This wasn’t a risky prediction, nor an unusual wish, as I’m sure lots of iOS music makers would have shared both thoughts. Indeed, many would also comment ‘about time’ considering AU was first introduced by Apple in iOS9 and we are only a few months away from seeing … [Read more...]

Less is more; part 5 – a compact iOS music app collection for music production

Starting around May of last year, I posted a short series of articles built around the concept of 'less is more'. The underlying idea here was not a new one but, if you are the kind of person who gets easily distracted by the geeky side of music technology and, as a consequence, sometimes finds it difficult to actually produce any music (which is kind of the point of owning the technology in the first place), then perhaps those articles will have resonated? Partly because I'm one of those … [Read more...]

Less is more; part 4 – Can you buy a mixing magic bullet?

I posted a short series of articles on the blog recently loosely connected around a 'less is more' theme....  the idea being that getting great results within an iOS-based music production system doesn't always require an extensive - or expensive - list of equipment. As I mentioned in the most recent of those articles, I had a few other ideas around which I thought I could explore that theme a bit further....  so, as I'm travelling away from the Music Blog HQ at present, and had a little … [Read more...]

Less is more; part 3 – a minimalist iPad recording studio on a budget

I posted a couple of articles (here and here) last week arguing the merits of ‘less is more’ when it comes to a working collection of iOS music apps and, in particular, a set of apps aimed at recording applications. In this third instalment, I want to pick up where I left off in part 2…. Before I do, however, let’s remind ourselves that this is not a new idea. There are lots of musical examples where successful artists have made brilliant music using only a limited range of equipment or under … [Read more...]

Less is more; part 2 – a compact iOS music app collection for recording

I posted an article earlier this week arguing the merits of ‘less is more’ when it comes to a working collection of iOS music apps. As I commented in that post, this is not a new idea. There are lots of musical examples where successful artists have made brilliant music using only a limited range of equipment or under some other sort of workflow constraints. The bottom line here is that access to shed-loads of ‘gear’ is not what limits musical creativity for most of us; it’s our skill level in … [Read more...]

Why less can be more – just how many iOS music apps do you really need?

I’ve been running the Music App Blog for just over four years and, in that time, I’ve published reviews of…. well, I’ve lost count of how many iOS music apps…. but it is well over 200 (use the 'Search' box located top-right of the side-bar area to find any you might have missed!) and I’ve used, dabbled with, and sometimes discarded, many more. That’s a lot of music apps but I suspect there are plenty of iOS musicians who can easily match – and exceed – those sorts of numbers. Like me, I’m … [Read more...]

Building an iPad recording studio; Part 10 – What next?

So, we have reached Part 10 – and the final instalment – of the series on building an iPad recording studio. This series has covered quite a bit of ground:- We outlined a brief context of DIY recording and how the iPad is perhaps the latest in a lengthy line of technologies that have gradually democratised multi-track recording and put it within reach of the musical masses (Part 1). We have looked at the audio and MIDI formats as a means of recording musical performances and how your own … [Read more...]

Building an iPad recording studio; Part 9 – bare-bones and next step examples

In Part 8 of this series on building a iPad recording studio I outlined an example of what might make a solid, respectable, ‘starter kit’ – hardware and software – to sit around your actual iPad. A system such as this - not necessarily based on these exact items of equipment but items of a similar general standard – would allow you to make some decent recordings using both audio and MIDI and would give you plenty of creative options. However, as we saw in Part 8, when you do a budget for … [Read more...]

Building an iPad recording studio; Part 8 – How much does it cost to build an iPad recording studio?

We have covered a lot of ground in the first seven parts of this series. We have looked at how the concept of a DIY multi-track recording studio has evolved to the point where you can building such a system around the humble iPad (Part 1). In Parts 2, 3, 4 and 5, we have also looked at the key additional pieces of hardware you might need over and above the iPad itself; an audio/MIDI interface, a MIDI keyboard, a microphone and a monitoring system (although there are plenty of things we could … [Read more...]