iOS recording frustrations

Get that song on tape! Errr... disk?
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tdbajus
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iOS recording frustrations

Post by tdbajus » Tue Jun 28, 2022 5:23 am

Here's the DL;DR:

1) is there any recording software for this thing that isn't a chore? I normally use Ableton or Reaper, but I have also used, Pro Tools, Vegas, Logic, and few more I'm blanking on.

2) is there any way to get power to the iPad Pro (with USB3, not Lightning) while also using a USB3 breakout box - in this case, a MOTU M4?

3) anyone know any fun sample playback software that would let me scrub audio? I do a lot of stuff with tapes on my old four-track, which is dying (again) - playing things backwards/half speed/double speed/riding the pitch wheel.



RANT BELOW:

I recently bought an 11" iPad Pro, with the idea of using it as a sample playback device, a four-track, and a couple of soft synths.

Boy, have I been frustrated.

I got one of those new MOTU M4 USB3 boxes, and it works fine. One of many problems I am having is that for some reason, no one thought that perhaps something that runs on an iPad should have some sort of power source, rather than forcing you to run off a battery all the time. Perhaps I'd like to make music for more than 45 minutes at a time.

Sweetwater has been worse than useless on this - they sold me a hub that will either supply the iPad with power, OR connect it to the M4, but not both at the same time.

When I expressed surprise at this, I was told I was expecting too much by asking an iOS device to work with an iOS compatible peripheral while running iOS software.

If anyone has any idea on how to supply power to an electronic device while simultaneously using said device - something that I never even dreamed would be an insurmountable problem, I'd be delighted to hear your solution, because Sweetwater and MOTU both keep recommending things that might work, but they aren't sure.

Seems like an oversight.

People keep recommending this: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... iport.html but no one seems to know if it will actually work.




Garageband for iOS isn't making me feel better about dropping a grand on what is increasingly looking like a useless status symbol. It's like they took regular Garageband and put a team of scientists together to figure out how to take all the fun out of it. Literally every single thing I have tried to do in garageband for ios has been a miserable chore:

1) want to loop a section in the middle of your recording so you can work out a part, like literally every single piece of DAW software I have used since 1993 (yes, I had Session 8 back then) has been capable of? NOPE.

2) want to change the length of your recording? you can't double-tap and type in a number. If you drag on the temp number, each 1/16 of an inch will increase the number of bars by around 75-100 bars. This is literally true. The other option is to tap the up arrow 56 times to get the 8 bars up to 64. This has turned out to be faster.

3) want to be able to see your arrangement/timeline while you record, again, like literally every single piece of recording software I have used since 1993?

You can not, but you can look at a pretty picture of the amp simulator while you try and remember which bar you are on.

I remember when Apple products were more than ostentatious status symbols designed to force you to buy a legion of tchotchkes to supply basic functionality.

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Re: iOS recording frustrations

Post by ElephantDNA » Tue Jun 28, 2022 9:42 am

I've used my ipad to record band practice before - certainly a much more mundane task than what you're attempting. However, I did successfully use a splitter similar to what you show there to power the device and record at the same time. I think I bought some off brand that was more affordable than the one you are linking to and it worked fine.

Though I have also found the software to be a bit impractical. It doesn't do basic DAW stuff very well which is just aggravating. Basic things like seeing regions while recording or playback + recording becomes kind of an onerous mess and the interface with the touchscreen really makes any type of workflow way more difficult than on a normal computer with a monitor and keyboard.

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Re: iOS recording frustrations

Post by marqueemoon » Tue Jun 28, 2022 12:53 pm

In my limited experience with trying to use it on my phone Garageband for iOS is crap.

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Re: iOS recording frustrations

Post by burpgun » Sun Jul 03, 2022 7:57 am

FWIW I loaded up on all sorts of iOS drum machines and synths and while they were cool on their own, they were such a massive pain in the ass to integrate into my DAW setup basically none of them has made it to a recording. Hard to move files around, erratic sync, you name it, it was more trouble than I was willing to deal with.

It was a bummer but I just don’t think iOS is all that great for music making. Others experiences may be different but when one of my kids dropped the iPad last summer and cracked the screen I never even bothered to fix it.

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Re: iOS recording frustrations

Post by andy_tchp » Sun Jul 03, 2022 4:52 pm

I'd say return/on-sell iPad and replace with Macbook Air (which I think are cheaper than the iPad 'pro' anyway and probably weighs about the same) and an interface.

(Sorry :( )
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Re: iOS recording frustrations

Post by NBarnes21 » Tue Jul 05, 2022 9:38 am

My only experience is with iOS garageband on iPad, and I found it to be quite useful for demo'ing songs- I use Logic so can then just open it up on my Mac and re-record things as needed for the final versions (although I did end up keeping a few of the original GB demo guitars in the final album cause they just had a certain charm I couldn't emulate or improve on). I just used a cheapo iRig to plug my guitar in and used the built in mic for acoustic gtr and vox, so not getting top quality recordings by any means, and use the drummer for drums, but great for quickly getting demo tracks down. Some of the included synths are pretty cool (I really like alchemy), and actually once you spend some time and get used to the MIDI roll on the touch screen I've found it to be quite intuitive and even quicker than working with a mouse. The whole having to add song sections one by one is annoying though for sure, and often I'll just have my whole track be one "section" and just cut copy paste within that as needed. There's something about the limitations in GB that creatively help me in the demoing phase, not getting hung up on the perfect tone, take, etc, and just taking a more macro approach of looking at the song as a whole and getting the idea down without overthinking it or digging too deep into the minutiae
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Re: iOS recording frustrations

Post by clark » Fri Jan 20, 2023 2:15 pm

I can totally empathize with your frustration.
But I have written/ recorded literally hundreds of songs on a now very old iPad using Garageband. I recently bought a used old one for backup - but for ~$100.

To me, because of the portability, I love it. Clunky, yes. Limited, yes. Annoying when compared to most every other DAW, yes. But if you can accept its benefits of continuously thinking in music - writing, arrangeing, and recording without being limited to a specific location, I find it invaluable. I mainly record guitars, through an external processor like a Pod via the usb/ camera cable.

With that said, if the above isn’t your use case, I would likely use a traditional computer and definitely not invest top retail prices in one.

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Re: iOS recording frustrations

Post by tdbajus » Fri Jan 20, 2023 2:40 pm

Man, I'd be happy to both get audio out of it and supply it power at the same time.

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Re: iOS recording frustrations

Post by Embenny » Fri Jan 20, 2023 3:22 pm

andy_tchp wrote:
Sun Jul 03, 2022 4:52 pm
I'd say return/on-sell iPad and replace with Macbook Air (which I think are cheaper than the iPad 'pro' anyway and probably weighs about the same) and an interface.

(Sorry :( )
Yeah, my wife has an iPad Pro and I can say with absolute certainty that the iPad is currently meant for visual artists and not musicians. It's got similar internals to the MacBook air, but the I/O and software are simply not there. It's an uphill battle that I would not want to be fighting.

iPads are amazing when paired with a Mac, though, because they can run Logic Remote. But you don't need anything better than the slowest and cheapest possible iPad. The M1 chip in the Pro is totally underutilized and the music software available fails to utilize even a fraction of its capabilities.
The artist formerly known as mbene085.

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Re: iOS recording frustrations

Post by tdbajus » Fri Jan 20, 2023 6:29 pm

I was hoping I could use it as a replacement for stuff I do with my 4 track - play back tapes, mess with the pitch, etc etc.

It's funny - I LOVE the MS20/drum machine thing Korg put out, I think the Moog stuff is super cool, but having to buy a fucking hub in order to get non-bluetooth sound (had I known that there was no headphone jack, I wouldn't have bought it, full stop. But that's what you get for not doing your research I guess).

I finally found a dongle which is meant to fit on the bottom of the iPad, but apparently they've never actually seen an iPad, because then they would have known that EVERYONE puts the fucking thing in a case. So now I have a little pigtail USB male to female adapter so the thing can hang off in the way, then plug in the power, and plugging in my MOTU which runs on iOS just fine.

Theoretically, I can no use the built in drum machine and synths, output midi to my boomerang. It's just I hate the fucking thing so much, I can't stand to look at it. There is a very real danger that the next setback I run into on this overpriced POS will wind up with me smashing it on the corner of a table.

That would, no doubt, provide me with the most pleasure and expression since I bought it.

Man, I remember when I used to LOVE Apple stuff.

Sorry about all the negativity. Just frustrated and mad I set so much money on fire.

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Re: iOS recording frustrations

Post by clark » Thu Jan 26, 2023 3:28 pm

This link seems to show how to fix some of the OPs problems:
YouTube

Bummer it’s more cost but ...

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