2017
09/07
iPad Music Production Introduction
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So you’re a musician and you just got an iPad. At this point you probably want to know how to get started with iPad music production but don’t know where to start. The following quick start guide will give you the basics to get started without overwhelming you with the thousands of different apps available. I’m breaking it down into four simple items considering you CAN do everything within the box (pad) so to speak therefor I will not get into midi controllers and audio interfaces as that is taking things to another level and will be good for an additional topic of discussion.

I’d like to start by telling you a little about my self. I’m a composer with over 20 years in the music industry. I got my start producing royalty free loops for software companies (currently producing for Retronyms and Mixcraft) which led to a career in production music. Production music is music typically used for TV, film advertising, and video games otherwise known as sync. I got my first iPad for music production back in 2010 which is when I started this blog. At the time I was creating loop content for an iOS app that is no longer with us. The app was called Looptastic. Since then producing music on an iPad has become just as real as producing music on a desktop and laptop. iPads now have fast powerful processors and there are literally thousands of cool music creation apps out there. So with that said I would like to help you get started.

I know what you’re thinking. Where do I start? Well you might be following a popular blog such as my own and you’re probably aware of the many apps out there which is overwhelming I know. Don’t worry I’m here to break producing music on an iPad down to the core essentials. It’s really that simple.

1) Choosing your DAW – For those who are totally new to music production in general a DAW (digital audio workstation) is often times the central hub of your workflow. The DAW allows you to record, multi-track, sequence, arrange, and mix your music. Seems simple enough right? Well there are several options out there so you will want to spend a few hours researching the different DAWs available. Some DAWs are very open in regards to integration of other apps like Beatmaker 3, Cubasis and Auria for example where as some are a closed one stop shop type situation like Korg Gadget. I’ll get into that a bit later as you might want to look into getting both Korg Gadget AND an open DAW because Korg Gadget is really awesome. Most DAWs feature things like IAA (inter app audio), AU3 (audio unit 3), and Audiobus support as well as MIDI (musically integrated digital interface/instrument). MIDI is the language that allows synthesizers and drum machines to communicate with each other. It is also note information sent from those instruments as well as a few other things. I suggest googling MIDI if you want to know more about it. Eventually you will know everything about MIDI but honestly you can still write a wicked song with just the basics. Inter App Audio is a feature designed by Apple and it allows you to integrate apps from different sources and developers into your DAW much like a VST except you can ONLY integrate one instance of that app in a project unlike Audio Unit (also by Apple) which allows you to load multiple instances of an app within your project (DAW) similar to what we know as VST technology in the desktop world. Again if you are totally new and these terms confuse you PLEASE don’t hesitate to message me and google them. We will get you on the right path. I’m going to leave it at that because like I said I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed. These are the core essentials of what to look for in a DAW. To summarize does this DAW support IAA, AU, and MIDI.  SOOOOO to simplify things I want you to look and see if you got Apple Garageband with your iPad for free. You probably did. Garageband is a great place to practice and get your feet wet without having to spend any money or time researching other apps. You can do a lot with Garageband but it does have it’s limitations and you might want to expand your iPad production suite by investing in a totally different app like Auria, Cubasis, FL Studio Mobile, or Caustic to name a few. Will you also need to sync to hardware or other apps? If so there is a thing called MIDI sync (MIDI Clock) which until recently was the best way to sync BUT there is now a thing called Ableton Link which most DAWs support. Choosing the right DAW is really a matter of preference after you decide what is important to you. I used Cubasis because I use Cubase on my desktop DAW but I also have AUM and Audiobus at the center as well. Contact me http://ipadloops.com/about-ipad-loops/

2) Choosing a virtual mixing/routing app. iPad music production is quite unique because well you get a touch screen but it’s also unique because now you can have an additional hub to your workflow something to work beside your DAW. I’m referring to apps that act as extended routing and mixing. There are two popular apps for this at the moment and they are Audiobus 3 and AUM. These apps do similar things but they also have some features which are different from one another. Most iPad music producers own and use both apps!

 

 

3) File management – Apple did a great job of making the iPad file system unreachable so this really cool app came along and it’s called Audioshare. Audioshare is ESSENTIAL to all iPad music production studios. Why? It will help you record, manage, share, and organize your project files and samples. Go ahead and just buy it now you’ll thank me later

4) Your virtual sound palette – This is where things can get hairy. There are literally thousands of synths, drum machines, and instruments out there. Most of them are IAA instruments which means you can easily integrate them into your studio and SOME are also AU3 audio units which is even better. Those are two terms that will really mean a lot when choosing your sound palette. DAWs like Garageband and Cubasis come with a vast selection of virtual synths and drums so I suggest you start there. You will easily get buried in a sea of virtual instruments when you decide to step outside of your DAW for more sounds and inspiration which is actually a lot of fun but it’s only fun when you already have had time to wrap your head around the basics so don’t worry just take is slow. Try writing a song first with the sounds from your DAW then when you get comfortable dive into the sea of sound and choose your weapons of music construction wisely as they can really start to add up in regards to financial investments.

So there you have it. My intro to iPad music production in a nutshell. There is a lot more to it BUT this will get you started no doubt as these are the basic core essentials. Eventually when you get comfortable you will want to improve your workflow so it could take a bit of a little here and a little there. Don’t think about that yet. Remember it’s not the tools it’s what you do with them you can get the job done with these 4 essential items!

Recommended apps:

DAW BeatMaker 3 – INTUA

DAW Auria Pro – Mobile Music Production – WaveMachine Labs, Inc.

DAW Cubasis 2 – Mobile Music Creation System – Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH

DAW GarageBand – Apple

Vrouting/Vmixing AUM – Audio Mixer – Kymatica (Jonatan Liljedahl)

Vrouting/Vmixing Audiobus 3 – Audiobus Pty Ltd

File management AudioShare – audio document manager – Kymatica (Jonatan Liljedahl)

My artist spotlight on Retronyms:

http://blog.retronyms.com/2017/04/artist-spotlight-dj-puzzle.html

My guest spot on SonicTalk:

2017
08/30
Make Future Bass Snare With Garageband
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Best iOS DAW Garageband

The following video shows you how to make a Future Bass snare drum in Garageband. Ok well the snare is really cool and so is the rest of the track. I was impressed with the simple layering Arvid Sandgren uses to achieve just the right sound to make convincing Future Bass. Watch and see how Avrid quickly layers three samples to get the perfect snare drum.

GarageBand turns your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch into a collection of Touch Instruments and a full-featured recording studio — so you can make music anywhere you go. And with Live Loops, it makes it easy for anyone to have fun creating music like a DJ, by triggering loops and audio effects in real time. Use Multi-Touch gestures to play keyboards, guitars, and drums. Enjoy Smart Instruments that make you sound like a pro — even if you’ve never played a note before. Plug in a guitar or bass and play through classic amps and stompbox effects. Use a Touch Instrument, microphone, or a guitar and instantly record a performance with support for up of 32 tracks. Audio Unit Extensions in iOS 10 allow you to play, record and mix third-party instruments or effects right into GarageBand. And share your song using email, Facebook, YouTube, SoundCloud, or AirDrop for iOS.

Get Garageband

2017
07/26
Opening BeatMaker 2 Files in BeatMaker 3
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Beat Maker Is The Squad shows us how to open BeatMaker 2 files in BeatMaker 3 and he also has another trick up his sleeve by using BM2 as a sound module in BM3. Check it out:

Get Beatmaker 3

2017
07/10
Dream Foot and Expression Pedal Tutorial
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Use Dream Foot and a Expression Pedal and Blue Board controller to control live expression with your synth sounds. The following video tutorial will show you how. Also used in this video Sunrizer Synth for iPad

Dream Foot lets you play chords with a tap, a MIDI keyboard, or a MIDI foot controller. Choose one of our built-in sounds, or send MIDI Out to your favorite synth app. Great for songwriting, teaching, band practice, and live performance.

Guitar Players
• Play guitar while triggering chords with your foot.

Singers
• Need an accompanist to play the keys? Dream Foot is perfect.
• Tap the screen to play a chord, or go hands-free with a MIDI foot controller.

Keyboard Players
• Play a chord by pressing a single key on your MIDI keyboard.
• Or play the keyboard while triggering chords with your foot.

Dream Foot Highlights
• Professional Quality Sounds
• Smart Sustain
• MIDI Map
• MIDI In and MIDI Out

Dream Foot is divided into two modes: Jam mode and Song mode.

Jam mode
• 8 chord buttons
• Multi-touch interface so you can play multiple chords simultaneously.
• Smart Sustain will let a chord ring out, and will automatically stop when another chord is tapped.

Song mode
• Tap the Play button to play the next chord.
• Smart Sustain will let a chord ring out, and will automatically stop when the Play button is tapped again.
• Tap a chord button to queue the chord so it will play next.
• Tap and hold a chord button to edit, copy, paste, delete, or insert a new chord.
• Up to 8 chord progressions per song.
• Unlimited songs, sorted alphabetically.
• Amazing Grace is included as an example song.
• 16 songs can be stored in the Setlist for use in live performance.

Chords can be created using two different methods: Factory Chord and Custom Chord.

Factory Chord
• Not a keyboard player? No problem. Just tell Dream Foot you need a Gsus4 and it will give you the right notes. How about a D9/F#? We got you covered.

Custom Chord
• Creating a custom chord voicing has never been easier. Simply tap the keys you want, or plug in a MIDI keyboard to select the notes you want by pressing keys on the MIDI keyboard.

MIDI Map
• Dream Foot can easily learn how you’d like for it to respond to actions on your MIDI controller. Simply enter MIDI Map mode, tap the button you want to map in Dream Foot, then perform the action on your MIDI controller. The action might be pressing a key on a MIDI keyboard, or tapping a foot switch on a MIDI foot controller.

Settings
• Velocity – affects the intensity of built-in sounds as well as MIDI Out sounds.
• Volume – affects the volume of built-in sounds.
• Transpose – allows you to transpose all notes while chord names remain unaltered.
• MIDI In – allows incoming MIDI connections (ex. keyboard, foot controller)
• MIDI Out – allows outgoing MIDI connections so that you can play chords in Dream Foot while using the sounds of another app.

Get Dream Foot

+

M-Audio expression pedal shown in this video. BUY M-Audio EX-P Expression Pedal

2017
01/10
Bram Bos Troublemaker Review Tutorial
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Acid Techno is easy with Troublemaker by Bram Bos. A TB-303 inspired audio unit synthesizer with step sequencer. In this video I will 1) Show you how to create a pattern in Troublemaker and export the midi into Cubasis 2) Use Troublemaker in Cubasis as an audio unit 3) Run Troublemaker through Squashit multi band distortion. I hope you enjoy it! PS – 600 subscribers!! Thank you for the support over the years.

Note: Troublemaker requires iPad 4/Mini 2/iPhone 5S/iPod Touch 6 or higher

Introducing Troublemaker: this is not a 303

The legendary TB-303 has magical properties; it is filled to the brim with analog shimmer. Its output jack is a gateway to a parallel universe and when you twiddle the filter knobs an army of highly trained pixies chisel the square waves from freshly harvested unicorn souls. So if you want a TB-303, you should buy a TB-303. But if you’re after *that sound* Troublemaker will give you everything you need in spades.

Troublemaker sports a carefully crafted diode filter emulation and among the available oscillators are the typical raspy, nasal sawtooth and rubbery squarewave with its oddball shape and shifting pulsewidth.

It also has the wow.

Troublemaker is fully Audio Unit (AUv3) compatible, so you can go wild running multiple instances in your favorite DAWs.

It also has:
– Ableton Link synchronization,
– MIDI CC mapping,
– Core Midi, Virtual Midi, Bluetooth Midi input,
– Audiobus support
– Exports MID and WAV files from the standalone sequencer

And unlike the TB-303, it can actually sound like a bass guitar 😉

Get Troublemaker

Squashit here http://ipadloops.com/?s=squashit

Cubasis 2 here http://ipadloops.com/?s=Cubasis

  • iPad Loops is a music app blog dedicated to exposing the best iPad apps for iOS musicians, producers, and Djs. This is not a database of every app. It is, however, one of useful recommendations from someone with many years in music production. I try to update it on a daily basis (ok sometimes every two days) and I do my best to post useful apps only. My name is Jason Donnelly (Dj Puzzle). You might know me from my royalty free loop packs and sound design. Some of the apps that contain my loops are Retronyms AudioCopy, LP-5, iPRO.DJSAMPLER, Looptastic, and Audio Elements. My work is published by Magix Soundtrack Loops, Sample Logic, Pakotec, Loopmasters, Acoustica, Xmix, Sound Trends, and many more. Subscribe to our RSS feed below to get updated when new apps are posted.

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