Roadtrip return….

guitar player on road v2Those of you who have visited the site in the last week or so will have seen that I was away for a few days on a roadtrip with my wife. This was our second ‘scouting’ trip in a few months as we look to move our family and home from the north of the UK to the south of France (what can I say? We are looking for a little more sunshine while we work).

Thanks to everyone who was in touch with wishes of luck for the trip – it was much appreciated – and, happily, it now looks like we have a roof to put over our heads when we finally make the move towards the end of the summer (the northern UK summer that is; the summer in SW France will last a few weeks longer). All good….

Testing, testing….

I did take my (very) minimalist iPad-based music system with me and, while I didn’t get that much time to ‘play’ (I’d have got a slap if I had), the iPad/CME Xkey combination worked a treat. I did put up an image of one of my ‘mobile studio spaces’ on Facebook while I was away (see the image included here). For a couple of hours – and with the only cables in sight being the USB cable between my iPad and Xkey and my earbuds – I happily made some music in the shade of some trees. The temperature was about 25 deg C and the sky was blue; idyllic :-)

I do get a kick out of my mobile music technology. We stayed at a friends house while on our trip and this was the view from my 'mobile studio' towards the woods that back onto their house.... aside from a few birds, the only sounds were coming from my iPad....

I do get a kick out of my mobile music technology. We stayed at a friends house while on our trip and this was the view from my ‘mobile studio’ towards the woods that back onto their house…. aside from a few birds, the only sounds were coming from my iPad….

There was one catch in my week of mobile music making…. I took the iPad and Xkey (plus an Apple wireless keyboard) in my hand luggage (yep, all very portable) but, if you do the same, make sure to drag it all out of the bag when you go through airport security. Getting an iPad out is standard practice but the x-ray scanners didn’t like the Xkey so I got asked to empty the whole bag on the outward journey. All very politely done – and they liked the keyboard when they finally discovered what it was – but I’ll know better next time :-)

It’s really not difficult to think of the extra couple of items you might need to add to this setup to make it a very powerful – and still pretty mobile – recording system. For me, this would involve travelling with a guitar, my iRig Pro, and a small condenser microphone. Add that to the Xkey and the iPad – improvise a mic stand – and you could easily make some pretty decent demos.

The iPad really is a remarkable platform and it was great to give it a proper workout in a real travel situation….

Back to ‘life’….

Having returned from our trip yesterday, it is now back to ‘normal’ life for a few weeks. For the next few days, that will mean catching up with new apps releases, any significant updates and the pile of email that came in while I was away.

And while there perhaps weren’t any major releases of note over the last few days, I still have a long list of ‘catch up’ reviews to deal with for apps that might have been around for a while but which I’ve not yet given proper coverage on the blog. I’ve also got some hardware items both here and en-route for review and these include the rather excellent looking SPL Crimson audio/MIDI interface that is supposed to support iOS and some Apogee devices….  Hopefully I’ll get to these over the next week or so also.

Anyway, thanks again for the good wishes. It was great to be away, but it is also good to be back :-)

Best wishes,



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    1. Hi John,
      Glad that your trip was a success.
      The view from your ‘mobile studio’ towards the woods that back onto your friends house looks lovely. Peaceful and relaxing, spent with family and friends … Wonderful

      • Hi Arthur…. as a kid I lived in an urban area but, for the last 20 years or so, I’ve lived out in the sticks… trees are good :-) Best wishes, John

    2. Welcome back John, it’s to to have you back :)
      Although rather ecellent blog (as usual) “iOS all-in-one electronic music production apps roundup” kept most of us occupied for a moment or two… ;)
      Looking forward for all your new “news and reviews” with bated breath :)
      Kind regards,

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