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« iPad Guitarists - get excited! | Main | Power User iPad Cases »

How to get Audio into your iPad

There is nothing more certain than Apple Geeks trying to use Apple kit for things it is not meant to be used for.

We have experimented a little bit with Apple's Camera Connection Kit (CCK) and audio input to the iPad. The potential is certainly there for fairly clean audio input, with audio output from the headphone socket for monitoring.

You may have heard of OctoPod, now named StudioMini, an iPhone multitrack recording app with built in drum samples. There is an iPad optimised version now, StudioMini XL, with 7 recordable tracks (compared to the iPhone version's 3). We have used the iPhone version and it is a nice app and the drum samples are useful to have to hand for formulating song ideas or recording a whole song without worrying about recording a drum setup.

The developer of StudioMini/XL is himself a professional musician with a wealth of recording experience and he has been experimenting with different ways of recording to the iPad and iPhone using StudioMini, but the principles can be applied to any audio recording app on the iOS devices.

Thankfully for us, he has recorded a series of videos and posted them to YouTube to share his research, including one on using the iRig (not recommended without some sort of amp modeliing). In the video below he is demonstrating how you can use the CCK with a Griffin iMic, a mixer and an assortment of cables to record audio, in this case a guitar, on your iPad.

We found the whole series really interesting, as will anyone else grappling with the best way to record instruments and vocals on their iPad, but if you have tried anything else and it works for you, do let us know about it in the comments.

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Reader Comments (2)

One thing not clear is if the audio jack on the iPad can be used for head[hone monitoring when the data port is used for recording.

It SEEMS obvious to use the audio jack and headphones - but since he hooks monitoring devices up to the mixer he's using (this obviously doesn't apply to the iRig, which "steals" the jack") I don't understand how the drums and/or previous tracks can be monitored; the speaker would be an awful option unless you WANT lo-fi crosstalk.

Headphones in the audio jack would allow you to hear your guitar signal, either dry or run through effects (in front of the mixer or in the loop), but playing with headphones/earbuds on to hear your guitar signal means listening to drums through the speaker...which eliminates amp mic'ing, or isolated vocal tracks.

So I'm guessing you CAN use the audio i/o jack as a headphone output as on any other virtual board....

Can anyone confirm this? I bought the program last night but so far have not gotten anything I have to work with the data port. I do have the MacAlly iVoice III, which plugs directly into the data port (no lengthy cable to deal with) and has a 1/8" input as well...it works well with the Gigbaby "sketchpad" on my old iPod; it's on loan to my son but I'd also like to know if that interface has been tested; if so I could avoid buying the Grifin mic.

To sum it up:

1. If whatever input method you use involves the data port, will the headphone jack work for real-time monitoring while recording?
2. Will the iVoiceIII work as a data port interface?

If those will work I plan on plugging instruments into my PodXT and running the output to the iVoice input or using a mix of condensers/dynamic mics (on amps and acoustic instruments) and an Alesis 4-track mixer again plugged into the iVoice.

For anyone wondering, I tried a Crate Profiler (I'm a self-admitted tube amp snob but it and the Fender GDec are great practice/noodling tools!) and the usb port on the back does NOT work with the camera adapter for the iPad. THAT would have been great; too bad Apple crippled the thing. I have not tried the usb out on my Alesis yet...that's next.

October 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSilverface

Hi Silverface, thanks for the comment. Unfortunately, when we set up to try this out for you last weekend we found that the Camera Connection Kit is not supported on iOS 4 on the iPad (yet?). So that put an end to our test.

It seems like you should still be able to listen to the input from the dock port via the headphone socket and not the speaker, but we cannot verify that for you.

If you do find out whether this is possible perhaps you can let us know here.

We have DM'd the Developer on Twitter about this, so maybe he will come back to us, but there has to be a good reason for his setup in the videos.

October 14, 2010 | Registered CommenteriPad Creative

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