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
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

2016
08/10
PPG Phonem iPad Quick Start Guide Tutorial
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PPG Phonem iPad Quick Start Guide Tutorial

The following is a quick start guide for the PPG Phonem iPad voice synthesizer app by Wolfgang Palm. Now if you’re like me you just got this app and said where do I start? It’s a very deep complicated app and I’ve only spent a couple hours with it today so here are some real basic instructions to get Phonem singing for you. There is so much more to this app and it’s capabilities are amazing so please use this video as a starting point and let me know what you have accomplished with the app in the comments below!

How to make singing voices with PPG Phonem

PPG Phonem lets the user create expressive vocal synthesis beyond anything ever heard before. With its advanced routing system every aspect of the voice can be controlled and modulated in any conceivable way. Anything from a quiet whisper to a scream. Use the intuitive text to speech tool to make Phonem say whatever you want.

Although the PPG Phonem was originally designed to do just vocal synthesis, it turned out that the system was also capable of producing a wide range of universal synthsizer sounds. So we extended the parameter ranges and made everything accessible to the user, to take advantage of this fact.

Download the samples:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/vadiyi02qycybpi/PPG%20Phonem%20Yay.wav?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4rv3w092yrthkq0/PPG%20Phonem%20SFX.wav?dl=0

▪ Create your own singing style and expressions
▪ Large Phoneme inventory – 46 english/american plus 5 german plus 4 french phonemes
▪ Versatile excitation generator/oscillator
▪ Working with typical voice source or wavetable and time-corrected-samples (TCS)
▪ Extreme time stretching, freezing and reversing
▪ Pitch track – let your robots sing
▪ Control track – let it cry and shout
▪ Song mode – making it easy to compose your synthesized text
▪ Wave page – create your own wavetables and modify time-corrected-samples
▪ Import WTS and TCS files from the iPad WaveGenerator and WaveMapper
▪ All internal parameters available to the user – give your voices a special dialect or individual character
▪ Versatile matrix system – allowing 19 sources to control 40 parameters
▪ Two X/Y control pads freely routable to 40 parameters
▪ 6 Envelopes, for control of filter sweeps, waveform, noise and many modulations
▪ 4 LFOs plus Vibrato, Flutter and Growl generators
▪ Fully programmable resonator filter – allowing production of new sound effects
▪ Delay/Reverb effect
▪ Overdrive/Distortion effect
▪ A/B compare your edited sounds
▪ AU extension – run multiple Phonem instances in AU hosts
▪ IAA – inter-app audio support
▪ Audiobus 2 with statesaving
▪ 10 min audio recording and Audio copy to the pasteboard
▪ Redesigned browser with new listing filters
▪ Directly accessible context help for each module
▪ Freely configurable schematic keypads, with extremely expressive modulation options
▪ 4 Keypads play modes: Poly, Mono, Legato and Multitrigger.
▪ 4 MIDI modes: Omni, Poly, Mono, and Voice-Per-Channel.

Get Phonem now

2014
01/16
Vocal Stutter Effect with Samplr & Echo Pad
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Echo-Pad New

This tutorial goes through the process I used to make the vocal stuttering effect you can hear at the beginning of the song ‘Shapes’. Apps used were Audiobus, Audioshare, Samplr, Echo Pad and Loopy.

The original vocal sample was created by using a hardware looper to record and resample the vocal multiple times, and the output was recorded as a dry signal into Ableton.

Note: The Audiobus used in the clip above is a beta version of Audiobus2.

Tutorial and video by www.sophialewismusic.com

Get Echo Pad here:

Get Samplr here:

  • 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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