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...]

Building an iPad recording studio; Part 7 – Choosing the right recording app for your iPad studio

So far in this series on building an iPad recording studio, we have looked at the key pieces of additional hardware you will need to consider (an audio and/or MIDI interface, a MIDI keyboard and/or controller, a microphone plus accessories and a monitoring system – all covered in Parts 2 to 5) and at some of the software you might wish to add (apps from the iTunes App Store – that was covered in Part 6). However, I’ve left the discussion of one app – the most important one – until now; the … [Read more...]

Building an iPad recording studio; Part 6 – All about apps; key apps required for your iPad studio

The list of additional hardware described in the earlier parts of this series on building an iPad recording studio – an audio/MIDI interface, a MIDI keyboard, a mic/mic stand/pop shield combination and some form of monitoring – is far from exhaustive, but it does perhaps represent the bare bones of what’s required to get you started. There is one other element of ‘equipment’ we also need to consider however; the software. What set of iOS music apps do we need to assemble to make a recording … [Read more...]