Ipad Pro As The Core Of Your Home Studio
Todd Simpson
Nov 13 2020, 03:07 AM
GMC:er
Posts: 21.412
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
A while back, a GMCer asked me about using an ipad pro instead of a laptop for home studio work. He wanted to record audio and video on the ipad. It finally occurred to me that he could use his phone to record video and use the ipad pro for everything else. This is becoming a more commonplace option. The ipad pro is more than powerful enough for full on audio production. It's similar to the power in the new apple silicon mac mini and 13inch air. Let's take a look at what you 'll need.

A PORT REPLICATOR:
This is crucial. The ipad pro doesn't have a lot of ports. So getting a nice hub/port replicator is step one. Plug it in to the lightening connector and you get USB ports, audio output, hdmi video out, etc. So it's already looking more like a production option.
https://amzn.to/38EuMcU
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KEYBOARD / TRACKPAD

Now that you have the ports, you’ll need a keyboard/mouse/trackpad. Some way to control the ipad other than just touching the screen. Touching the screen is fine of course, just a bit harder to control sometimes than using a pointing device. Apple will sell you a fip case that has a bluetooth keyboard and trackpad built in to it. This makes the ipad pro feel a lot more like a laptop. It’s a pricey option, but it doesn’t take up your precious ports and it works. Of course, you can add a usb hub with more ports as an add on to your port replicator, it just makes things a bit more complicated.
https://amzn.to/3pnLq6n
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STORAGE
Now that you have a keyboard/trackpad and a port replicator/hub, you will need some external storage. The Ipad pro is still a mobile device and it doesn’t have that much internal storage. You can use an external SSD or an external usb full size drive. You can probably use a drive that you are already using. Just plug it in and reformat it to prep it or your new production pipeline. You can get a 4 Terabyte usb 3 drive for a couple hundred bucks.
https://amzn.to/2Ivhcxi
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MONITORS
Now you’ll need a pair of monitors. If you already have a pair, use those! If not, here is a link to my article about great monitors for under $300
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/guitar_fo...t=0#entry781234


VIDEO MONITOR
Let’s move on to an external monitor. You can use just the ipad of course, it’s a video monitor after all. Just a bit small. You now have an HDMI output from the ipad thanks to your port replicator and you can get a nice 24 inch HD monitor for just about $125. If you already have a monitor or any HDTV you can use that.
https://amzn.to/3poLxhZ
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MICROPHONES
Moving on to microphones. If you already have a mic, you can just add any usb audio interface to your setup and connect it to the port replicator/hub. This will allow you to plug XLR mics in and record them in your daw on your ipad. If you already have a usb audio interface just use that. If not, you can get one very cheap these days. Focusrite makes a great little unit for just over $100.
https://amzn.to/3eWeL3a

DAW

Lastly, you will need a DAW. The good news is that GARAGE BAND is Free!! It looks a lot like LOGIC PRO so if you use logic, or plan to, Garage Band is a great way to get started and it’s a very powerful daw with a ton of built in features. There are paid options of course, but Garage band is honestly your best bet if you are using an ipad. It’s optimized for the hardware.

You can add other bits as needed, headphones, etc. Just as you would in a desktop/laptop based studio. At this point, you should be ready to rock. But, say you want to record youtube videos? Well. You can use your cell phone to shoot video and share the video via drop box or use the usb camera kit to move the vid to a flash card for transfer to the ipad. That way you can put the camera where ever you need it and keep the ipad on the desk where it should be. In many cases, you can just take all the gear you have been using and just use it all with your ipad pro. All you really need is the port replicator, if you already have a home studio, you should have all of these other bits already.

As the ipad continues to make huge gains in performance it looks to be set to replace the desktop/laptop in many home studios, especially for younger folks who grew up with an ipad and not a laptop/desktop. So yes. Full on home studio production is a reality with an Ipad Pro. It can do just about anything you would do on a desktop/laptop based rig. Welcome to the future smile.gif

*This video was very helpful in writing this article. All of the items are linked in the description.

Todd






https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trUq_0RWf3E

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This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Nov 13 2020, 03:08 AM
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Phil66
Nov 13 2020, 08:20 AM
Learning Apprentice Player
Posts: 7.864
Joined: 5-July 14
From: The Black Country, England
Brilliant, I'm not an iPad user but this should go into the wiki imho I'm sure there will be a way to do the same with an android tablet too.

Thanks.

Phil

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Kristofer Dahl
Nov 13 2020, 09:04 AM
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Very interesting, I hadn’t thought of the external screen option- which makes this a viable option for my needs!

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