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Entries in USB (3)

iPad and MIDI - Create Digital Music goes deep

We found this really interesting video on YouTube and wanted to make sure you had seen it. Peter Kirn from Create Digital Music (CDM) demonstrates music creation on the iPad via the Camera Connection Kit and various external hardware devices.

If you want to get your audio/MIDI geek on, this video is backed up by a brilliantly in-depth column over at CDM. There are a lot more videos and some great commentary on the vagaries of using the iPad and MIDI devices/software in that article, which we highly recommend reading.

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.

Friday Fun: The iPad Typewriter

Got an old dust covered typewriter in the loft that you thought you would never use again? Well, dig it out, we've got something cool for you!

Give it enough time and there is no end to the creativity of some people as far as re-purposing old things as a dock for their iPad. We have covered a few of them recently. If they get it right, they might even create a little cottage industry around these devices, just like Jack Zylkin is beginning to.

Jack has devised a clever way to reuse old typewriters to act as a dock for your iPad, especially for those with a hankering after the old analogue way of life in this digitally swamped age. Jack gives you the option to buy a complete vintage typewriter set up and ready to go with your iPad (for around $300), or you can get the soldering iron out and buy just the kit itself (at $75) and try following the instructions to turn your own typewriter into an iPad dock. There is another option, send off the old typewriter and let Jack install the kit for you, which will cost $200 plus shipping.

We have looked through the instructions and it looks do-able, with some care and a day without any distractions. We are off to search through our Parents' lofts for old typewriters. If you try this, let us know how it goes, and in the meantime enjoy your weekend.