For all things that Apple’s iPad does well: high-definition movies on the move, games, increasingly common cafeteria payment terminal, is rarely achieved as a powerful music tool.
Whether you have a contagious rhythm in your head that you want to turn into a ringtone, want to learn some music theory, or are a serious musician with study ambitions, the tablet is surprisingly capable. Combine the power of your hardware and useful applications that can help you record, edit, and export your music.
Basics: What You Need
For starters, you’ll need an iPad, of course. Any iPad you buy today or have purchased in recent years should be more than capable of making your musical dreams come true. After all, Madlib created all the rhythms for his collaboration with Freddie Gibbs, Bandanaon an iPad a few years ago, and Gorillaz leader Damon Albarn made a famous album on an iPad in 2010. The hardware has improved considerably since then.
The most important thing to know if you are plugging in any mixer, instrument, or other hardware is whether your iPad has a Lightning connector or a USB-C connector, which is usually found on some newer iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad. Mini models.
You can buy Apple’s Lightning-to-USB 3 camera kit or a multiport AV adapter to connect most USB instruments or mixers and add a MIDI cable to USB, or even invest in a wireless adapter you use Bluetooth. There may be a more direct cable solution, but some instruments may require an additional power supply than the iPad can provide.
Sure, it’s possible to record ambient audio or voices with the iPad’s built-in microphone and create loops and music without any external hardware, but it’s good to have the option to add microphones, keyboards, and other tools.
Next, you’ll need some software to turn your iPad into a digital audio workstation. DAWs have been around for a long time and the term covers anything from setting up a studio mixer to Apple’s free GarageBand app. If GarageBand is not pre-installed on your iPad, you should be able to download it from the App Store.
While it has a bit of learning, GarageBand does lots of loops (installed and downloadable), instrument tools, and editing options, more than you ever need. Hokusai Music Editor, AudioKit and Spire are some additional audio editing apps that can be used for free or for free with in-app purchases.
Make your music
Then you’ll want to feel comfortable with the idea of creating multiple soundtracks and mixing them.
GarageBand and other DAWs work in what is called a timeline, usually a horizontal set of tracks stacked on top of each other that show sound levels and offer editing options such as fade-in / fade-outs, effects and the ability to repeat a section. of a track like a loop.