Mobile Device For Multitrack Recording?
YES [ 2 ] ** [66.67%]
NO [ 1 ] ** [33.33%]
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Todd Simpson
Sep 26 2020, 10:07 PM
Posts: 23.440
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Many musicians are opting for a mobile platform for music creation. Gone are the days when only a huge tower would do the job. Also, gone are the days when only a powerful laptop could do the job. These days, mobile devices are nearly purpose built for music creators. The best of breed is currently the 2020 IPAD AIR. It seems that despite being called the “Air” which is usually a lighter / stripped down version of the other products, this one has the fastest chip of any current ipad. It’s even got a better chip than the ipad pro!! It’s using the new A14 Bionic Chip which will find it’s way into other ipad models soon enough. For now, it’s the one unit with the BIG FAST chip. It also has a very nice 10.9 inch Liquid Retina Display and it works with the magic keyboard and folio keyboard which makes it feel more like a laptop than a tablet. This appears to be the way that Apple is moving. Even their laptops now are more like tablets. They can’t be upgraded and the parts are all soldered to the motherboard. It seems that apple is moving towards mobile style devices in general so this may simply be the way of the future. Time will tell smile.gif
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There are a plethora of MUSIC apps that only run on IOS platforms. There are a few that run on Android but just not nearly as many. The Garage Band App for example is a great DAW that runs well on any ipad. It feels a lot like LOGIC X, just on a mobile platform with more options for creating things like the smart drums, smart keys, smart guitar, smart bass etc. Which allow you to create temp tracks or permanent tracks just with a few taps on the screen. It also has a built in guitar amp sim. It’s a full featured daw that allows anyone, even with minimal experience, to start creating multi track music right away. Here is an overview of working in Garageband on an IOS device.

It’s never been easier to get started imho. The app works on any IOS device. All the way down to any iphone. It’s just handier having a bigger screen like on the ipad air. The device runs about $600 which isn’t bad for a device with that much power. The only problem is storage. Only 32GB on the starter model so running out of space can be an issue. One can upload through dropbox or any other cloud service once a project is complete to save space. The good news is that the AIR has a USB C connector so you can connect a large external hard drive and just offload projects. Also there are other daws like AURA and another called NTRACK that allow you to easily record up to 32 tracks if your audio interface supports it. The NTRACK daw demo in this video shows live recording of 32 tracks in to an ipad. This is a huge track count. So it’s not just limited to a couple of live tracks. You can record and entire live band, with full drum kit, using just your ipad and audio interface. Very handy.

Perhaps the best part is the portability. It’s not a large or heavy device. It can do with you anywhere and allow you to work on a mix at any time. It can connect to several different external audio interface types to allow you to have multiple inputs as stated and you can mix on any set of speakers or headphone that you like. The platform has evolved a great deal as has the software. It’s become a full fledged production device.

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This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Sep 26 2020, 11:22 PM
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