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
08/18
Inexpensive Real Time Harmonizer App
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Zen Musical Harmonizer ZMH-1 is a vocal/instrument harmonizer app. ZMH-1 has four different ways to interact with harmony (one at a time).

**Playable Harmonizer–Play different chord buttons (Major, Major 6, Major 7, minor, minor 6, minor 7) to transform your one note into harmony in real time.

**Pseudo-Smart Harmonizer–Reads your monophonic input signal (guitar, voice, etc.) and generates the correct harmony notes based on the chosen key.

**Shifter–Shift your signal with a choice of intervals.

**Octave–Makes your signal sound huge with up-to-five octaves per single note played or sung.

ZMH-1 is ready to be used in the studio and on stage. Use it with “real” music gear or alongside your other iOS music creation apps.

What’s New in Version 1.0.3
**Now in Stereo
**New Graphics
**Support For Landscape Orientation (Portrait Orientation No Longer Available)
**Each Channel Now Gets A Respective Pan Knob
**New Icon
**New Help Manual
**Supports iOS 10

It supports:

**Audiobus (Third-Party App)
**Inter-App Audio
**Landscape Orientation
**Stereo
**Pan Knob For Each Channel
**Volume For Each Channel

Get Zen Harmonizer

2017
08/13
Cornflower Lightweight Compressor AU3
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Cornflower Compressor is a simple stereo dynamics compressor with variable knee and ratio for gooey pumps and swells.

Built upon the tenet of simplicity, the flora project presents great sounding, lightweight audio effects using Inter-App Audio and Audiobus technologies to allow you to get the sound you want, without sacrificing processing power.

More information about the flora project can be found at http://www.flora-creative.com/

NB: Cornflower Compressor requires either Audiobus, Inter-App Audio or AUV3 capable applications in order to operate. See http://audiob.us for more information.

Get Cornflower Compressor

compressor preview from Timothy J. Barraclough on Vimeo.

2017
04/03
Audiobus 3 On The App Store
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Open up new worlds of creative music making possibilies with Audiobus, the app that lets you use your music apps together, just like virtual cables.

Send live audio or MIDI from one Audiobus-compatible app to another: add effects on top of your favourite synth, use your favourite step sequencer to drive the whole lot, and record it all in your favourite DAW, sampler or looper. Plug in a MIDI keyboard, run it through an arpeggiator or a key quantizer, and record the result in your DAW, or drive several different sound generators with a keyboard splitter. The possibilities are endless.

State saving. Then save your setup in a preset to be restored with one touch later on.

With a completely new MIDI routing system, support for Apple’s new Audio Unit Extensions standard, a new built-in mixer, and huge new workflow improvements, Audiobus 3 represents a big step forward for mobile music making.

Get Audiobus 3


More info about Midiflow for Audiobus 3 here

2017
03/28
Cubasis 2 Update With Forty Plus Improvements
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Cubasis 2 equals ease of use and is as powerful as a fully featured iOS-based music production system can be pushing your capabilities out of limits. Whether you’re capturing simple ideas or complex musical masterpieces — It ships with outstanding, touch-optimized tools carrying you into the fun of recording, editing, mixing and sharing your music with the world right away. Get fascinated by the brand new features that Cubasis 2 comes with such as real-time time-stretching and pitch-shifting, a studio-grade channel strip, pro-sounding effects, massive instrument refills, a refreshed MIDI Editor and many more powerful features. Put hands on three internal instruments, numerous loops and instrument sounds to creatively lift your music to perfection using the included mixer and effects. Once recorded, share your music with the world via a simple tap or transfer it directly to Cubase.

*** Cubasis special price valid from March 27 to April 10, 2017: € ($) 24.99 (regular price: € ($) 49.99).
Special price for FX Pack 1 and FX Pack 2 (exclusively available through in-app purchase) valid until April 10, 2017: € ($) 3.99 (regular price: € ($) 6.99). ***

What’s New in Version 2.1
• Audiobus 3 support — Connect your favorite MIDI controller and filter apps, and enjoy seamless workflows
• MIDI Editor refresh — Quickly edit your MIDI tracks and creatively compose, sustained by most accurate tools and ultra-intuitive interface design
• RoomWorks SE* — Utilize the powerful reverb effect delivering pro-quality sounds that enrich your tracks with shine and extra sparkle
• Over 40 improvements — Experience utmost performance paired with rock-solid stability

For a complete list of improvements, issues and solutions please visit www.steinberg.net/cubasis.

We hope you find the latest feature additions useful.

If you like Cubasis, please support us by rating this app in the App Store! Thank you.

*User registration required to unlock RoomWorks SE reverb effect.

Key features
• Unlimited number of audio and MIDI tracks
• 24 assignable physical inputs and outputs
• 32-bit floating point audio engine
• Audio I/O resolution of up to 24-bit/96 kHz
• iOS 32- and 64-bit support
• Real-time time-stretching and pitch-shifting featuring zplane’s élastique 3
• Micrologue virtual analog synthesizer with 126 ready-to-go presets
• MicroSonic with over 120 virtual instrument sounds based on HALion Sonic, HALiotron and Allen Morgan drum kits
• MiniSampler to create your own instruments (includes 20 factory instruments)
• Mixer with studio-grade channel strip per track and 17 effect processors
• Super-versatile RoomWorks SE* reverb effect providing uniquely professional sound and an intuitive graphical display for instant visual feedback at slightest parameter changes
• Fully automatable DJ-like Spin FX effect plug-in
• Over 550 MIDI and time-stretch-capable audio loops
• Virtual keyboard, chord and drum pads
• Sample Editor and Key Editor with MIDI CC support
• Refreshed MIDI Editor with ultra-intuitive, lightning fast and accurate handling to edit MIDI tracks and compose music easier than ever before
• MIDI Auto Quantize
• Automation, MIDI CC, program change and aftertouch support
• Export to Cubase, iCloud Drive, external hard drives, wireless flash drives, Dropbox, SoundCloud, AudioCopy and email
• Core Audio and Core MIDI compatible hardware supported
• MIDI over Bluetooth LE support
• Full Audio Unit, Inter-App Audio and Audiobus 3 support to use compatible apps as insert/send effects and virtual instruments or simply record their audio output
• Import audio from your iTunes music library or iCloud Drive or iTunes file sharing, use AudioPaste or set up a Wi-Fi server in Cubasis
• Audio mixdown and MIDI export
• MIDI clock and MIDI thru support

Polyphony:
48 voices: iPad 2, iPad mini
128 voices: iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro

Get Cubasis 2!

  • 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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