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Entries in recording (14)

iPad at NAMM 2013 - Behringer

Continuing our quick look at some of the iPad related announcements at this year's Winter NAMM we have a couple of products from Behringer to mention.

iStudio iS202

This seems very much like Behringer's version of the already available iO Dock by Alesis, with a lower price tag.  Comparing the two, they have very similar specs and input/output options.  Have a look at the images below for a visual comparison.

The other connections for the iO Dock are on the sides as shown below:

Current prices for the Alesis iO Dock seem to be around £139+, with prices for Behringer's iS202 not generally available, but B&H have them listed at the moment for $149.99 (about £95).  If the Behringer is generally available for under £100, we think it has a good chance of success.

Check out the specs for the iStudio (iS202) at Behringer's site and the video below for a brief preview.

iX16 Digital Mixer

The iX16 digital mixer has been specifically designed to integrate with your iPad as the controller.  The iX16 has 16 audio inputs (hence its name we guess).  The controller app can control the sound mix over WiFi, so you can stroll around the venue with your iPad and stand exactly where you need to be to get the perfect mix, while the iX16 sits on the sound desk responding to your input.

It's all a bit clever really and not our area of expertise to be honest, but we have done our fair share of show and concert setups between us.  The iX16 and accompanying software is definitely on our wishlist.

For the full details check out the iX16 page and be sure to take a look at the video below for a brief look at the iX16 and the iStudio iS202 from musicianews.com (if you are watching this on your iPad, the video stops at around 3:32 but will carry on playing with a blank screen until 8:09).

StudioTrack for iPad Updated plus 50% off

Now is the time to grab StudioTrack for iPad from Sonoma WireWorks if you haven't got it already!

Added integration

We've been eagerly awaiting this update [press release link] which finally brings GuitarJack control panel and GuitarTone (great sounding amp sim) integration to the iPad.

This functionality was previously only available via Sonoma's FourTrack iPhone app. This is the app we had to use when reviewing GuitarJack 2 last month, which was less than optimal running on our iPad at 2x.

Now we can enjoy StudioTrack's 8 recording tracks along with this integration, we are very happy.

GuitarJacked

If you have been holding off on purchasing GuitarJack 2 for your iPad, this update will definitely improve your experience of using it.

We can't recommend GuitarJack 2 highly enough, it continues to impress as much as it did when we reviewed it, even more to be honest.

Non-Retina but great price

Although StudioTrack's UI has not yet been fully updated for the new iPad's 'Retina' display, it is good to see the updated version (1.5) being offered with a 50% discount at just $9.99/£6.99 for a limited time.

We highly recommend you grab a copy for the discounted price while you can. If you want to know more about StudioTrack and how it works, here's our review of the first release.

iKlip Studio Solves A Problem

If you have already invested in IK Multimedia's iRig device and you've had the same problem we have managing devices and cables dangling off your iPad, you may be interested to hear about the new iKlip Studio.

The recently announced iKlip Studio

Announced at this year's Winter NAMM and priced at a very reasonable $29.99, this adjustable iPad stand also folds flat for storage and importantly incorporates a little holder for your iRig, which then clips onto the back of the iKlip Studio.

Rear view of iKlip Studio with iRig mount

We haven't seen it in the flesh yet but it looks fairly sturdy and we think it's a great idea that will potentially solve one of our main annoyances about using the iRig with our iPad.

Here's a little taster video from IK Multimedia about the iKlip Studio's general features - let us know what you think in the comments:

Is Griffin Making a Move on Alesis with StudioConnect?

As you probably know already, Griffin Technology have announced a range of products at CES, many of them aimed at iOS devices. The iPad gets some special attention in the form of the StudioConnect.

What is it?

The StudioConnect basically incorporates Griffin's MIDI connect (coming soon) and Guitar Connect Pro, both available as separate input devices, into a charging dock with some audio outputs.

StudioConnect Front Sml

StudioConnect compared to the iO Dock

Initially it looks like the StudioConnect is moving in on the iO Dock's territory, and it is, a little bit. But if anything, the StudioConnect is a cut down version and seems aimed more at the consumer level audience rather than Alesis' Pro-musician aspirations with their iO Dock.

Although it doesn't offer the outer case protection of the iO Dock, or quite the same range of in/outs that the Alesis' device does, Griffin's StudioConnect is nearly $50 cheaper on the RRP. The street price will be the key thing of course, because we have seen the iO Dock for only $159.99 on Amazon.

The differences

What's missing on the StudioConnect may be the clincher for the more ambitious musician: XLR inputs, extra unbalanced and balanced ¼" inputs, phantom mic power and USB.

In addition, the iO Dock has video out (although we are not sure how much that is being used) and another ¼" input for a footswitch or controller.

StudioConnect Back Sml

How good the StudioConnect sounds remains to be seen and we will be closely watching the reviews when they come out later this year, but for the more casual musician, or those who don't need all the extra inputs, the StudioConnect's lower price tag could attract a lot of attention.

The StudioConnect is scheduled for release in 'Spring' this year, but until then, here's the specs from Griffin's press release. We have included the iO Dock's specs below so you can make a comparison:

Audio In and Out 

  • Audio In – Complete with its own gain control. Plug in your instrument through a mono 1/4" jack or plug a mixer into StudioConnect’s stereo 3.5mm jack.
  • Audio Out – Left and right line-­‐level RCA plugs. Also a 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack with its own volume knob helps monitor what's going in and out.

MIDI in and out is equally straightforward: 

  • MIDI In – Connect your MIDI controller through a standard 5-­‐pin DIN MIDI-­‐in port.
  • MIDI Out – A second 5-­‐pin DIN connector accepts a sequencer, sound module or other MIDI gear, allowing your iPad and favorite MIDI apps to act as a MIDI controller.

Alesis iO Dock Specs:

AUDIO INPUTS

  • 2 x XLR-1/4" Balanced TRS
  • Individual gain controls
  • Phantom power, switchable
  • Guitar (high-impedance) switch on Input 2 

INPUT SENSITIVITY

  • Balanced XLR Mic
    • Max -45 dBV
    • Min -3 dBV
  • Balanced 1/4“ TRS Mic/Line
    • Max -27 dBV
    • Min +16 dBV
  • Un-Balanced 1/4” TS Mic/Lin
    • Max -27 dBV
    • Min +16 dBV
  • Un-Balanced 1/4” TS Guitar
    • Max -38 dBV
    • Min +4.5 dBV

AUDIO OUTPUTS

  • 2 x 1/4" Balanced TRS Main
  • 1/4" TRS Headphone
  • Individual level controls

VIDEO OUTPUT

  • RCA Composite (requires compatible apps)

CONTROL I/O

  • MIDI In (DIN)
  • MIDI Out (DIN)
  • USB MIDI
  • 1/4" Footswitch (function assigned by apps)

What do you think? Does Griffin's StudioConnect tempt you? Or are you willing to spend a bit more for Alesis' iO Dock? Let us know in the comments.

iRig MIC Cast for Mobile Voice Recording and Podcasting

Have you ever tried recording a lecture, talk or podcast conversation on your iOS device? If you have, you'll know that results can vary and ambient noise plays a big part.

IK Multimedia want to help you out with the newly announced iRig MIC Cast

It features a narrow field unidirectional mic for cutting down on ambient noise, they even recommend using it for VOIP calls.

Like the iRig Mic, the MIC Cast has a headphone socket so you can monitor what is being recorded.

The iRig MIC Cast even comes with a stand for your iPhone/iPod Touch, but you should be able to use the device (without stand) on your iPad too.

IK Multimedia are also bundling their iRig Recorder and VocaLive software with the device, both very useable and solid apps in our experience.

More details and images of the $39.99 device are available on the website.

What do you think, is this going to be useful to you?

'Start the Show' - An Entire Rock Album made on iOS

Ignoring for a moment that this album was created on an iPhone (3GS no less!), not iPad, we are really impressed by the production values of this new album from rock band One Like Son (Facebook link), even more so since it was recorded entirely on iOS.

We've never managed to get anything close to commercial sounding results in our brief attempts at music making. 

We realised we have heard a lot of electronic music created on iOS, but not really any full on rock tracks, which is surprising given the plentiful supply of guitar and bass effects emulators out there on the App Store.

One Like Son are inviting everyone to listen to the whole album when it is released next Tuesday 17th January on their Bandcamp page. If you go there now you can here two of the tracks from their album already, or pre-order the whole album for just $7.

Here's a teaser trailer the band have posted to YouTube, which is a bit of a masterpiece in-itself.

Let us know what you think in the comments below and especially if you decide to buy the album.

Alesis iO Dock Demoed and Reviewed by UniqueSquared (Video)

Suffice to say we are desperate to get our grubby little mitts on this one. If only!

The Alesis iO Dock has been promised for what seems like a very long time. Finally seeing it in action we have to say it looks really awesome and could solve a lot of the headaches around connecting devices to our iPads. It is nice to see it being used with GarageBand too.

iPad StudioDock Looks Promising

Imagine your iPad being the centre of your studio recording or live performance experience, with all the audio and video connectors you need, including XLR, MIDI, USB MIDI, 1/4" in and out, Guitar-direct input straight out of your amp or effects unit and even Composite video out!

Enter the StudioDock from Alesis which is sat waiting for Apple approval, announced yesterday at NAMM. Here are a few product shots to whet your appetite showing the iPad docked and in place, with views of the multitude of interfaces included.

 

The StudioDock includes a power supply so it will charge your iPad whilst it is docked which is useful, but it is the shear range of connection options within the dock that impresses us and our brains are now spinning with all the things we could do with this thing including stuff we hadn't considered before with the video out. 

There has been no announcement at the time of publishing this post about pricing though, we have scoured the Internet looking for any resellers offering pre-orders but we haven't found anything yet.

We are guessing it is going to be fairly pricey as it is aimed at the professional level but we would love to get our hands on one and run it through its paces. 

You can read a detailed explanation of the StudioDock over at Alesis' website - the key features are listed below:
  • The world’s first pro audio dock for iPad
  • Connect microphones and instruments including guitar, studio monitors, PA speakers, headphones, and MIDI controllers
  • Universal device works with virtually every audio and MIDI app in the App Store; Core MIDI compliant
  • Perform, craft, create and play back music in virtually any conceivable manner or location
  • Video output for connection to TVs and projectors
  • Inputs: two combo XLR-1/4" for use with audio gear, instruments, and computer audio
  • Input channel gain controls and switchable phantom power for use with condenser microphones
  • Guitar-direct switch for use with amplifier- and effects-modeling app
  • Outputs: pair 1/4" and 1/4" headphone with separate volume controls
  • Control: MIDI In, MIDI Out, USB MIDI, and assignable 1/4-inch footswitch input

iRig Mic - Vocalists are not left out of the iPad revolution

This year's CES has understandably had a lot of focus on tablet devices and of course our favourite, iPad. Whilst not iPad exclusive, IK Multimedia have announced the new iRig Mic hardware for iOS devices and VocaLive software which is basically an AmpliTube for vocalists and audio recordings.

The samples, especially the chorus effects, sound amazing and if the samples provided are anything like those for Amplitube, the real thing will sound very similar (depending on your musical talents).

A big advantage is that the vocal processors will be available through AmpliTube in-app purchase, so if you have already spent out on the Recorder in AmpliTube, you can add just the vocal effects and record everything in that app.

Think about that, no need for another recording app with Audio Copy/Paste, you can record a whole song in one app! Things just got a bit more interesting in the audio effects/simulation app race.

The iRig Mic isn't out yet, it is slated for a Spring 2011 launch, but you can pre-order it now at $59.99 (~£42) with new VocaLive app plus AmpliTube Free included.

Here is the iPad in action with IK Multimedia's new iRig Mic, VocaLive app and some talented musicians. Be sure to let us know what you think of it in the comments below:

You Too Can Be a Superstar DJ

This app released yesterday, just in time for the party season, looks like a ton of fun. djay for iPad by algoriddim is a realistic simulation of a DJ mixing desk with full and instant access to your iPad's music library, no messy importing or file transfers to worry about.

The Digital Advantage

Despite being a simulation of a turntable, this app has some clear advantages over the real world/analog mixing desks, with features such as each track having a visible waveform displayed above the virtual turntable. As you will see from the video below this is an excellent aid to DJs who are mixing tracks live and scratching.

Auto beat matching enables another key feature 'Auto-cut Scratching' which "automatically applies the rhythmic pattern of the currently playing song to your scratches in real-time". Add to this AIFF export of performances which can be recorded within the app, plus AirPlay compatability and this app becomes really appealing to Digital DJs.

There is even an 'Automix' mode so you can leave the app to mix together tracks on your party playlists. Combined with iOS 4 multitasking and a VGA out capable app for visualizations (we are still trying to find a non-Jailbreak one of those) you could run your whole party from your iPad. Just awesome!

Real Pre-cueing

If you want to use this app properly with pre-cueing then you can get a fully compatible audio splitter (not your bog standard one-into-two headphone splitter) that works with a number of DJ apps. This allows you to monitor one deck and cue up a song independently of the main mix, something professional DJs do all the time in live performances. The splitter is linked to from algoriddim's site and is available on eBay from a European company called Yumatron for £10.96 plus p&p.

Professional Quality

algoriddim are not new to this type of app, having received rave reviews for their Mac desktop version of djay in the past and their experience and programming skills really shine through in this iPad version with its host of other features.

This is perhaps reflected in the pricing for the app at $19.99 (£11.99) but even so, it has very high ratings in the app store already (mostly 4 or 5 stars).

The video below from editorskeys on YouTube shows the amazing, realistic sounding mixes that can be made with this app if you know what you are doing. Whilst watching this we had to keep reminding ourselves this was done on an iPad, brilliant stuff!

If you have tried djay for iPad and would like to let us know what you think, please leave us a comment below.

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.

Have Guitar will travel - IK Multimedia announce iRig

000-irig-front.jpg

We are very excited about IK Multimedia's latest hardware / software announcement.  iRig for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, provides a way to plug your guitar directly into your iPad, and use the input for guitar amp modelling or recording.

The iRig bit is the hardware, a specially made cable, or instrument interface (pictured right) featuring a standard 1/4" instrument input, a standard audio out jack (for headphones, speakers, or even an amp/PA) and another jack which plugs into the headphone socket of your i-Device.

The software part is an iPhone OS version of IK Multimedia's excellent Amplitube, and features:

  • Real time guitar and bass mobile multiFX app
  • Full rig made of 3 recombinable simultaneous stompboxes + amp + cabinet + mic
  • 10 Stomps, 5 Amps, 5 Cabinets, 2 Mics available
  • Import and play with songs or backing tracks with real time effects
  • 36 presets can be saved/recalled on the fly
  • Includes tuner/metronome
  • Free, LE and Full versions available
  • Free and LE versions expandable with a-la-carte downloadable gear
  • Same low-latency as Mac/PC system

Why you need this?

For anyone who has tried to record a guitar on the iPhone or iPad before you will know that you quickly run into a problem. Apple's portable devices need a special three ring plug to enable recording of audio input, like the jack on the end of the iPhone headphones/mic cable.

Even if you can rig one of these up you cannot hear the output of the software at the same time, because the microphone input jack is also the audio output jack. That is why a special piece of hardware like the iRig is needed and why we started off this post by saying how excited this announcement has made us!

IK Multimedia are taking pre-orders at the moment, so until the iRig interface and Amplitube app are released we can't say how well it works or how it sounds in real life. As soon as we can get our hands on an iRig though we will give a thorough run through on using it for input to the iPad and amp modelling with Amplitube.

We will be posting a full review because it is something we really want to be using our iPads for.  We will be reporting on how it sounds in our real world tests, what the latency is like for live playing or jamming, and also if there are any of the impedance issues which have affected other iPhone/iPad input solutions such as the already-released PRS Guitarbud.

In the meantime, check out the video below which demonstrates the Amplitube app in action, and the website for more details.

Musicians - you need this on your iPad StudioTrack

In our series, 'Apps we cannot wait to see on the iPad' we picked Sonoma Wire Works' Four Track as our music creation favourite. Now the same company has announced their iPad version of this app called StudioTrack.

This app created especially for the iPad now allows the recording of 8 tracks instead of the four available on the iPhone (one of the features we were hoping for in our post).

Sonoma have made a number of other improvements too. See the video for a preview and get ready with your $39.99!

StudioTrack is available now in the App Store.

5 Apps We Cannot Wait To See on the iPad - Part 4

With the US launch of the iPad now less than a week away, we take a look at some of the apps we know are coming to the iPad, or that we really want to see hit the platform when it launches.

Some of this is wishful thinking, some of it is just us getting excited about the ways we can hopefully use our iPads. Between now and launch day we will post one app from each core area of the creative sphere. Part 4 of 5 is...

Music - FourTrack

What developers have been able to achieve with the iPhone OS has really impressed us, and the functionality that Sonoma Wire Works have squeezed out of a device like the iPhone as far as audio recording and processing has rarely been bettered in our opinion.

If you are not familiar with what it does, FourTrack emulates the old cassette tape 4-Tracks like the ones that Fostex used to make, and that many bands and musicians used to record their creations on to.  From Sonoma Wire Works' website:

FourTrack multitrack audio recorder is a songwriting and practice tool for singers, guitar players, piano players, and others who want to capture musical ideas and record songs on the iPhone and iPod touch.

With this software on your iPhone and the right sort of external equipment you can even record a 'hit record', as indie band 'The '88' demonstrate in the video below (it is actually this video which made us buy the app for our iPhones).

However, this is not a review of FourTrack for the iPhone, what we want is a bigger and better version of this software, or something very much like it, for the iPad.  In fact what we really want is GarageBand for the iPad, or maybe even a cut down version much like the iPhoto / Aperture-mini we suggested for Photo editing in yesterday's post

Perhaps then we could have 6 or maybe even 8 tracks without needing to 'bounce down' tracks (always a compromise)?  Maybe we could have editable waveforms for recorded tracks instead of needing to export the tracks via wi-fi back to our Macs?  What about a raft of per-track audio effects that can be applied on-the-fly with the extra processing power the iPad affords, just like we can in GarageBand?  There are many possible ways this type of audio recording software could be developed that excite us greatly.  

We think there may be some hardware limitations on what can be input to the iPad, as there are with the iPhone, but the ingenious developers have worked around these things before to bring us solutions like FourTrack.

There was no official word from Sonoma Wire Works about iPad development when we asked them, but we have a feeling we will see something from them very soon, and we cannot wait!

Don't forget to check back tomorrow for Part 5 of our Top 5 apps we cannot wait to see on the iPad. If you haven't already, make sure you don't miss it by subscribing to our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter.