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Christie
05-06-2012, 08:15 PM
Hello, I am wondering if any of you are using an IPad as your solution for portable music recording (for generating CD quality with external mics etc) as well as for your jams where it can display your many music songbooks and music sheets? Which apps/hardware are you using? Pros/cons? Would love to get your feedback. Thanks.

tjomball
05-06-2012, 09:37 PM
Appwise GarageBand, Alchemy soft synt, IK Sampletank soft synth/sampler
And Peavey Ampkit for electrics. And various other apps..
For true portable recording I use a Zoom handy recorder.
Then work on the file in ableton.
My iPad is more of a sketch pad idea wise.
Although GarageBand can produce some great results. You will still need a proper workstation for final mastering.
Hardware wise Alesis has made some docking stations for the iPad. First and foremost for us ukers is the IODock, then you might want to look at the Ampdock as well from the same company.
If all you're looking for is a single instrument input Apogee Jam is the way to go.
Any peripherals using the jack to connect your instrument for recording will induce "crosstalk". We don't want that.
So I find it best to use the dock connector and use the headphone jack for monitoring.
The biggest weakness to the iPad is the severe lack of easy multitasking.
I will still use my iPad for recording. But primarily as an effects chain. The CPU on the iPad is significantly more powerful than the cheap DSP chips in various multi effects. So the quality of the effects should be quite good.
I will do a comparison when I find the time..

Plainsong
05-07-2012, 01:30 AM
Well I'm sure I don't meet the criteria for "proper workstation", but yes, yes you can.

Blue Snowball Mic into the USB Camera Connection kit
Garageband for iPad

From there you're really done unless you really want to get fiddly with the final mastering, in which case you can share the file with Garageband on your computer. That's how I did a song that we're hoping people are going to pay for on iTunes, to raise money for charity. The response of people testing it has been positive.

tjomball
05-07-2012, 02:54 AM
I've grown to accustomed to Ableton over time.
It's been my go to DAW for a few years.
But I'll have to give GarageBand a little more then.

Plainsong..
What version of iOS are you running?
Because correct me if I'm wrong here.
Didn't APPLE in their infinite wisdom decide to lower the power out on the dock connection.
Thereby rendering most bus powered accessories unusable?
If the camera connection kit still works as it did previously I will have to get one..

AussieAsh
05-07-2012, 03:47 AM
Wow. That (above) is the most informative post on this subject that you could hope for. Brilliant.

@tjomball: I have many, many questions regarding mobile recording using iOS and my ukulele and now, like it or not, you're the person I'll be asking.

Cheers,
Ash

tjomball
05-07-2012, 06:03 AM
By all means.. I'll answer to the best of my ability.

Lori
05-07-2012, 06:51 AM
For portable songbook use, I have the New iPad + The Gig Easy (holder) + small mic stand + Air Turn (bluetooth foot switch) + OnSong app. With the iPad on the stand, you can use it as a tripod to shoot video from one of the cameras.

–Lori

vanflynn
05-07-2012, 07:39 AM
Here's another iPad holder that will clamp on a mic stand (table, whatever)

http://www.ram-mount.com/CatalogResults/PartDetails/tabid/63/partid/082065077045066045049050049045084065066051085/Default.aspx

tjomball
05-07-2012, 10:15 AM
I've seen the foot switch. And the mic stand holders as well.
But then it goes from something truly portable to something more luggable if you will..
Just my two cents.
But I absolutely see the use for them.
Especially the foot switch. But I looked at it and decided to pass for the time being.
There's got to be a less clunky way of doing that.
And I think the foot switch fell down the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.. Just my opinion.
But then again design and esthetics should not affect my tech purchases.
But f..k me I've gotten vain over the years..
:)

BeetleBrain
05-07-2012, 11:08 AM
Ah. I was about to get a Yeti mic and use it with my iPad via a Blue Icicle that plugs right in via the camera kit, however if you already have decent mics I found a nice alternative that even provides phantom power. It's made by Alesis and is essentially a dock that provides XLR ports.

Here (http://www.amazon.com/Alesis-iO-DOCK-Docking-Station/dp/B004NMU1Y6)is the link to the iO dock that I ended up buying. It works great so far.

Plainsong
05-07-2012, 11:56 AM
I'm on the latest iOS 5 incarnation. Their power fail affects the Blue Yeti, but not the Snowball. :) Apparently an Audio Technica at2020 usb also works, and Blue still has the for-iOS Spark Digital as coming soon.

I've got StudioTrack because I thought having a straight up track recorder would be less head-scratching than GarageBand. But the thing is, the sound is fine within the app, but when you play it through laptop speakers (I always check what it sounds like through the worst speakers after I'm done mastering, so that I know what it'll sound like for most people.), it's all distorted and clipped. Something about StudioTrack and the real world isn't working. And their EQ finger-moving thingy is infuriating. Meanwhile GarageBand seems consistently more honest, even with all its foibles, like having to hack the edited computer .band file so that it can be put back on an iPad.

I use the Blue to record amps, and my main effect weapon of choice is a mxr Analog Chorus. I leave the mic on setting 3 for amps and it seems to give the best results, especially on the Mobile Cube with its two speakers. But yeah you can even set that Blue quite near a bass amp speaker. It's not the most sensitive mic in the world, but it's solid, and when recording a bass, I'm happy it's not sensitive.

The other thing you'll want is studio monitors, either speakers or decent headphones for the purpose. And then after that you'll want to check what it sounds like through the worst speakers you have. :)


I've grown to accustomed to Ableton over time.
It's been my go to DAW for a few years.
But I'll have to give GarageBand a little more then.

Plainsong..
What version of iOS are you running?
Because correct me if I'm wrong here.
Didn't APPLE in their infinite wisdom decide to lower the power out on the dock connection.
Thereby rendering most bus powered accessories unusable?
If the camera connection kit still works as it did previously I will have to get one..

tjomball
05-07-2012, 12:56 PM
Ok that means a camera connection kit is on the order list.
I guess I will have to pour over technical specifications for a while to figure out what will work on both my platforms.
I know Apple nerfed the power output from 100 mA, to 20 mA.
That has a significant effect on bus powered peripherals.
But Core Audio and Core MIDI is still supported.
From what I've gathered.
If it draws 20 mA.Or less and supports Core MIDI it should work.

But even 100 mA is a low figure for a USB port.
It's supposed to be 500 mA.
Or more correctly 5V 500 mA pr. USB 2.0 specifications.

So therefore I question Apples motives for nerfing the power output on the camera connection kit. Apple has a history of being restrictive regarding compatibility. This to me smells of protecting their income more than anything else. Which is well within their rights. But I have a little problem with being being told what features I can and cannot use on my computer. Hence my impatience regarding the hopefully soon upcoming jailbreak for the latest iOS.

Plainsong
05-07-2012, 03:36 PM
Yup, even from the earliest days, it was a core difference between Steve and Woz. The Spark Digital has its own dock port, but it's been coming soon for a good long while now. The low sensitivity of the Snowball is the same between a computer and an ipad, so at least it's not being limited by Apple's "update". :)


Ok that means a camera connection kit is on the order list.
I guess I will have to pour over technical specifications for a while to figure out what will work on both my platforms.
I know Apple nerfed the power output from 100 mA, to 20 mA.
That has a significant effect on bus powered peripherals.
But Core Audio and Core MIDI is still supported.
From what I've gathered.
If it draws 20 mA.Or less and supports Core MIDI it should work.

But even 100 mA is a low figure for a USB port.
It's supposed to be 500 mA.
Or more correctly 5V 500 mA pr. USB 2.0 specifications.

So therefore I question Apples motives for nerfing the power output on the camera connection kit. Apple has a history of being restrictive regarding compatibility. This to me smells of protecting their income more than anything else. Which is well within their rights. But I have a little problem with being being told what features I can and cannot use on my computer. Hence my impatience regarding the hopefully soon upcoming jailbreak for the latest iOS.

kapahulu50
05-07-2012, 05:57 PM
I like using the meteor recording software from 4pockets on the iPad with an alesis iodock. I like it, though, because I would already hav he iPad with me anyway. For the $ there are smaller, better recorders out there.

smellofstrings
05-07-2012, 07:08 PM
Plug the Apogee MiC into your iPad and start your quality recording via GarageBand! :rock: I love my Apogee MiC! :p

salukulady
05-07-2012, 07:46 PM
For portable songbook use, I have the New iPad + The Gig Easy (holder) + small mic stand + Air Turn (bluetooth foot switch) + OnSong app. With the iPad on the stand, you can use it as a tripod to shoot video from one of the cameras.

–Lori
Bandmate has all her sheet music on hers. Works nice but we both agreed it would work better if the screen was 8 and a half by 11. As the eyes get older, size is important.

Lori
05-08-2012, 06:47 AM
Bandmate has all her sheet music on hers. Works nice but we both agreed it would work better if the screen was 8 and a half by 11. As the eyes get older, size is important.
I have mine turned to landscape mode, and have the tabs scroll by in OnSong. It ends up being as big as the paper version, but easier to see because of the backlighting. I am so glad to replace all those heavy reams of paper with the one device. I have had to scan and customize some of my books though. I like the built in metronome and audio play-along features too.
–Lori

macimaxcom
01-12-2014, 05:23 PM
For portable songbook use, I have the New iPad + The Gig Easy (holder) + small mic stand + Air Turn (bluetooth Speaker (http://www.macimax.com/bluetooth/bluetooth-speaker) foot switch) + OnSong app. With the iPad on the stand, you can use it as a tripod to shoot video from one of the cameras.

–Lori

Hi

this is a good idea

hope you will share more

kohanmike
01-12-2014, 08:01 PM
I meet with Lori at the WUE rehearsals and her setup is very nicely done. I'm also hearing rumors that Apple might come out with a 12.9" diagonal iPad later this year, the current is 9.7" diagonal. An 8.5x11 paper is 13.75" diagonal.

Lori's setup has prompted me to get a foot pedal. I added a footrest to make it more efficient, still getting used to it. I'm slowly moving all my sheets to my iPad, remaking each in my graphics design program to eliminate repeats, since an iPad can scroll continuously, so number of pages doesn't matter. I have a nice cover for my iPad with a rotating hand strap on the back that has an easel pop out for table top, and it fits over my music stand as well.

I also have a setup for field recording stereo to an iPad or iPhone with a Blue Mikey device and two Azden wireless mics, but I haven't had a chance to use it yet. I'll post photos of my setups sometime tomorrow, getting too late now, but I wanted to throw in my 2¢.

Olarte
01-13-2014, 12:39 AM
I have a decent setup finally at my house.

It's mainly apple and apogee stuff.

I have Misi pickups on my 3 favorite ukes.

For video I use an ipad 2 with a stand so I can see what I'm taping.

I use apogee jam for a direct interface to the ipad apps for best sound or the apogee mic for acoustic and voice. They are both excellent products strictly ios and relatively inexpensive I think I paid 300 for both.

Let's see for apps on the ipad I use loopy hd, and jamup pro both excellent products and quire affordable.

I also use garageband and iMovie on both the ipad and my MacBook Pro,

Even if you are not a Mac user you can use the ipad for all of it including uploading directly to youtube.

Aside from the ipad, I have investd no more than 500 in total for a very nice digital quality home setup. This includes an ipad stand, cables, apps Etc...

I have not used the jam yet for youtube videos but the rest of my videos are all done with this setup, including the apogee mic

Being an IT and gadget guy, I did my research. And the apogee stuff and those apps are out of this world for the price. Also there is an app called chord detector that can give you all the chords for any song in your ipad.

This stuff is self contained in the ipad, it's relatively affordable, it's rock solid, chuck full of features, and relatively easy to use.

Oh some of these apps work together, and I also have a set of 4 airturn pedals.... So I can have an unlimited looper for all digital... Vs. the ditto pedal that sells for 129

Lori
01-13-2014, 05:49 AM
Hi

this is a good idea

hope you will share more
Here is my little review of my set up, with photo.
http://www.westsideukes.com/uke-talk-and-reviews/2012/10/31/using-an-ipad-as-a-music-stand.html
(http://www.westsideukes.com/uke-talk-and-reviews/2012/10/31/using-an-ipad-as-a-music-stand.html)–Lori

Olarte
01-13-2014, 06:18 AM
Lori's setup is similar to mine.

If you are buying new I would suggest you check out the 4 pedal version though it will add more versatility when using apps like Loopy HD.

Airturn has a 4 pedal set which I believe sells for $159. Great stuff!

http://airturn.com/4-pedal/products/bluetooth-pedals/4-pedal

Booli
01-13-2014, 08:22 AM
Lori's setup is similar to mine.

If you are buying new I would suggest you check out the 4 pedal version though it will add more versatility when using apps like Loopy HD.

Airturn has a 4 pedal set which I believe sells for $159. Great stuff!

http://airturn.com/4-pedal/products/bluetooth-pedals/4-pedal

Anyone needing a foot pedal for page turns, loop triggers, etc, might want to look at the IK Multimedia BlueBoard (http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/irigblueboard/) $99.

The problem I have with the AirTurn and it's variants is that it seems to be lots of wires for what it does. There are also the Pageflip Cicada (http://www.pageflip.com/) pedals which are similar to the AirTurn. There is a nice comparison of the two here (http://performingarts.uncg.edu/patech/?p=199).

I've been considering taking apart a small Bluetooth keyboard, and hacking in about 8 or so momentary switches and then rehousing it in a sturdy case worthy of being on the floor, since the commercially available options all seem to limit you to 4 switches/pedals.

While not solely specific to 'portable recording', I have used everything detailed below with BOTH the iPad3 and my late-2007 Core2Duo 1.83 Ghz Mac Mini. I feel that this information would be of benefit to those interested in this thread, not only for 'portable' recording, but recording in general.

Over a 3 year period, I did a very long hands-on survey of all the iOS 'guitar-input' devices and found most of them either lacking in features or giving poor sound quality and aimed at the teenage guitar-shredder market. In that use-case these devices will get passable audio into your iPad, but despite the manufacturers claims, they do not yield pro quality audio.

(ok, maybe not all iOS audio input devices, but 12 different devices, all returned due to dissatisfaction with the units, I sold the Apogee Jam to a friend to help finance the purchase of the the A.R.T USB Dual Tube Pre (http://artproaudio.com/art_products/signal_processing/usb_audio_devices/product/usbdualtubepre/).

The single exception being the Apogee Jam (http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/jam.php), which has much better IC's and circuitry inside than the Line6 (http://line6.com/sonicport/), iRig (http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/irighd), or Peavey (http://www.peavey.com/products/ampkitlink/) devices. Apogee is known for their great-sounding high-end devices and knowing what is inside the Apogee JAM and Apogee MIC, I can not believe that they are not selling them at twice the current price.

If you want CLEAN sound, you notice these things.

I've found that anything that uses the headphone port for BOTH input and output on the iPad or iPhone usually suffers from crosstalk (audio bleed from the output signal back INTO the input signal), as well as being subject to all kinds of RF interference, some of which comes from the back-lighting of your iOS devices display, as well as you are being limited by the A/D converter inside the iPad which is optimized for voice, not wide-band music frequencies, similar to the way an analog telephone circuit renders audio. If you are on a budget, this may be ok, but for serious recording intended to be shared, whereby most folks will listen with earbuds, they will hear all the artifacts in your recording and it will detract from the sound quality the reduce the focus on your music.

I have had good success and low latency with 2 different devices going via USB with the Camera Connection Kit (http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC531ZM/A/apple-ipad-camera-connection-kit) (CCK). The first is the Griffin iMic (http://store.griffintechnology.com/catalog/product/view/id/623/s/imic/), which is like $30 everywhere, and you can not get much simpler than that. The sound is very good and the dynamic range is very good. You will need adapters to plug in a guitar cable, but you can do mono OR stereo input with the right adapters, and your existing earbuds will work fine.

The second item, which is my preferred recording device now, is the A.R.T USB Dual Tube Pre (http://artproaudio.com/art_products/signal_processing/usb_audio_devices/product/usbdualtubepre/)($99 on Amazon). be careful because A.R.T. has many similar devices with similar names in their product line, and the have been making pro audio hardware for over 20 yrs. This device works not only with an iPad via the CCK, but also Mac, Linux and Windows. The latency is very low. It has many features that are beneficial that are simply completely missing from the 'guitar dongle' devices. One of the main benefits is that this is a TUBE PREAMP, and uses a 12AX7 vacuum tube inside.

Why is this important?

Because the TUBE will warm up the sound of whatever piezo pickup you have, as well as smooth over any microphone you have. This unit also has an optical compressor (which is important because it will prevent overloading your input signal, i.e. 'clipping' or distortion if used properly), low cut filter, and independent volume controls for each of the two inputs. Speaking of which it has two quarter-inch/XLR combo jacks as well as phantom power, so you can plug in a guitar cable, a dynamic mic, or any studio condenser mic that needs phantom power.

As such, the phantom power does not draw juice from your iPad, which is an issue with many of these devices, the A.R.T USB Dual Tube Pre has it's own 9v A/C power adapter, so this is not actually something you will take with you to the park and begin recording out in the middle of nowhere, as you do in fact need wall power. One negative with this device is that it does NOT charge the iPad, so you are on battery with the iPad while using this.

A similar device is the Focusrite iTrack Solo (http://us.focusrite.com/ipad-audio-interfaces-usb-audio-interfaces/itrack-solo) ($129 everywhere now) but costs more, and does not have even half the features of the A.R.T USB Dual Tube Pre. Another similar device is the Griffin Studio Connect (this link is on Griffin's site) (http://griffintechnology.com/music/studioconnect-guitar-midi-interface-for-ipad) (right now for $39 on close-out on sweetwater.com (http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/StudioCon/)) which does charge your iPad, but had no mic preamp, and the input gain control is limited in that it will only effect the mono guitar input signal, and not the stereo input at all that is on the device. HOWEVER, this StudioConnect has both MIDI input and output, so if you need MIDI, this might be worth considering. I almost bought one to have as an enhanced charging stand (that also happens to have audio and MIDI I/O - as the price is low enough now)

I have the Mi-Si Acoustic Trio pickup (http://mi-si.com/products/) on 3 different instruments now and am very happy with the sound. Recording instruments or vocals I am using an Electro-Voice N/D767a (http://www.electrovoice.com/product.php?id=85) mic and also an AKG Perception 200 (http://www.akg.com/Perception+200-1290.html?pid=1741) studio condenser mic, as well as the Mi-Si. I am also using a pair of AKG K240 studio headphones (http://www.akg.com/K240+Studio-827.html?pid=1195), and Yamaha HS-50M powered studio monitors (http://usa.yamaha.com/products/music-production/speakers/hs_series/hs50m/?mode=model#list=all&mode=paging) (which are considered replacements for the highly revered Yamaha NS-10 monitors).

I have a Focusrite VRM Box (http://us.focusrite.com/usb-audio-interfaces/vrm-box) on the way ($79 from B&H Photo), should be here tomorrow, and this lets you use headphones for mastering by using modeling technology to simulate any of 20 different sets of professional studio monitors in any of 3 'virtual' listening environments or rooms. What this does is to make sure that your final 'mastering mix' of your music sounds good, and not too heavy in certain frequencies, or that the different instruments can actually be heard on all kinds of different playback systems. What sounds great on your ear-buds, may not translate well to your car stereo, or to your home stereo, and can sound completely different on computer speakers, and usually like crap on tiny laptop speakers, the VRM Box is a tool that is designed to help you create a final mix-down that will translate well to a variety of playback systems.

Ok, so having said all that, I did not test the Alesis I/O dock nor the similar item made by Behringer. There are lots of negative revews on Harmony Central and Gearslutz forums for both of these units. That alone drove me away from testing either of them.

Additionally, the both require the use of an iPad WITHOUT any case, which is a critical issue for me. I spent close to $1,000 for the iPad3 64GB w/ATT incl AppleCare and I will NEVER let this device be naked, EVER. I have an Otterbox Defender on mine, so removing the case is not an option for me.

(CONTINUED IN NEXT POST - PART 2)

Booli
01-13-2014, 08:24 AM
(CONTINUING FROM PREVIOUS POST, THIS IS PART 2 OF 2)

In terms of 'putting my money where my mouth is' - I am in fact in the process of recording my first ukulele album which started TODAY, using all of this equipment that I have listed above, here in my home studio.

I have had a home studio since 1985, with all kinds of recording equipment (the details of which are far too long for this message thread) but suffice it to say that I have seen the evolution from OMG 4-track analog tape porta-studios, to the 8-track digital tape formats like the ADAT and Tascam DA-88, as well as almost every flavor of computer recording and MIDI. I have also used dedicated portable digital recorders like the Tascam DP-08 and related, and while they all have their place and purpose in time and history I prefer to start with my iPad when a musical idea strikes me.

One benefit is that you can start on Garageband on the iPad, and then bring it over to your Mac, open it in Garageband there to finish working on it. You can also import a Garageband project into Logic Pro if you require more features...

There are also dozens of apps you can use to master your final mix.

So hopefully this info will be useful to someone, and if you require further information, feel free to PM me, as I'd be happy to help.

-Booli

Booli
01-13-2014, 08:40 AM
I have mine turned to landscape mode, and have the tabs scroll by in OnSong. It ends up being as big as the paper version, but easier to see because of the backlighting. I am so glad to replace all those heavy reams of paper with the one device. I have had to scan and customize some of my books though. I like the built in metronome and audio play-along features too.
–Lori

Hi Lori,

I have OnSong too, but have not put it to use yet. I have lots of paper to scan in, and PDF files to sort through.

Do you have any tips for getting everything setup as a portable music book with OnSong on the iPad?

If so, please share :)

-Booli

Edgeguy
01-13-2014, 09:16 AM
For portable songbook use, I have the New iPad + The Gig Easy (holder) + small mic stand + Air Turn (bluetooth foot switch) + OnSong app. With the iPad on the stand, you can use it as a tripod to shoot video from one of the cameras.

–Lori

How much memory does a sheet of music take up? I know it will very a little, but generally how many pages per GB?

cigarfan
01-13-2014, 09:23 AM
Thanks Booli for sharing this info. I'm in research mode for getting into the recording side and this is excellent!

Lori
01-13-2014, 09:34 AM
How much memory does a sheet of music take up? I know it will very a little, but generally how many pages per GB?
The pdfs will vary depending on the number of pages verses the quality level. You can use the app PDF Toolkit+ to compress the size if needed. I have some pdf songs that are under 300 KB, and others that are several MB. The OnSong format is using a simple text file, so they can be very small.. around 4 KB. Small file sizes are a good idea, since if you have a lot of songs in a playlist, the refresh rate can become slow.
–Lori

Booli
01-13-2014, 09:34 AM
How much memory does a sheet of music take up? I know it will very a little, but generally how many pages per GB?

While not an exact answer...the following might help yield some perspective:

Since the answer to this will depend upon the document format, i.e., plain-text (.txt file, or XML format), or PDF file, or even HTML, as well as if it is the lyrics with the chord names, full-on tablature, full-on musical staff sheet music (which might need to be in a binary or proprietary format, and then 'rendered' within the app).

I can not give a page count per GB, but on my computer I have a folder of 788 individual items, which includes both music 'books' and single songs that takes up 544 MB, and all are in PDF format, so I would imagine that were these printed out, one 'song per page', it would be a 2-3" thick stack of paper, whereas digitally on the iPad, the half-gigabyte of storage takes relatively little space for how much music this represents.

I tried using iBooks, Kindle App, and Goodreader to view PDF files of sheet music that was scanned, and even in landscape mode found it very hard to read in these apps, and zooming in while playing is uncomfortable, that's why an app like OnSong is really helpful.

I have also looked at an app called iRealB, as something that gives a sort of jazz-style 'backing band' to play along with, and shows you the chord names for the changes in time with the music it plays, but this does not show standard sheet music, and is more like a 'Fake Book'. You can input and import your own songs, and they also have a desktop version which may be easier to input the chords than doing so from the iPad. YMMV, :)

-Booli

ChrisDeston821
01-13-2014, 09:37 AM
I'm currently using a bit of a ridiculous set up :)

I've got my uke plugged into an effects pedal which runs into the Sonoma GuitarJack 2 plugged into my ipad mini (via a 30>Lighting pin adapter) which runs out into anything with an aux in (TV/PC Speakers usually) and at the side of my fx pedal is an AirTurn 4pedal connected up to the Loopy app, all of which was lovingly bought as joint birthday/christmas presents for me and as such I've had limited to no practice or experience with any of :D

I've noted a fair few of you here and elsewhere on the forum talking about the tedious task of having to scan in and manipulate sheets for the ipad, I was wondering if there was a more central resource for them anywhere on the forum? Somewhere we can all post pdfs of songbooks, genrebooks and what not rather than all doing it ourselves individually? I've been through the clickable links of tabs in that subforum but I think there'd be a lot of interest to share these that most of us now use?

I tend to google chord sheets and printscreen them on my ipad for offline use (:

Booli
01-13-2014, 09:50 AM
Thanks Booli for sharing this info. I'm in research mode for getting into the recording side and this is excellent!

Glad the info was helpful. I've been at this home-recording thing for a very long time, and I find it painful when you try something out and it fails to meet your expectations, which in my experience is more often than not.

It's not that the manufacturers 'lie' per se, but this has been a cut-throat market (home recording) and the market is flooded with all kinds of choices all across the price spectrum, and being thrifty by nature, always want to maximize the features-per-dollar without getting involved with something that looks like a NASA launch control panel and requires a month of studying the manual before you can do anything with the device.

Due to the competition in this space, and manufacturers competing as they do, they cut costs, and corners, and even features which can severely limit the functionality of these devices.

It seems like $100 is the sweet spot that all these iOS device makers are aiming for, and at that price point the Apogee JAM is just great, but I would have preferred a headphone output on the device itself. Another consideration is if you want to record both your instrument and sing at the same time, into the iPad (or computer) you need two versatile inputs that can accommodate these functions, with independent input gain control for each input, which you will NOT find in the 'guitar-dongle' interfaces, and that is one reason why the iTrack Solo and ART USB Dual Tube PRE mentioned in my previous post, IMHO are a cut above the rest.

While the ART unit does not claim anywhere in the documentation that it works with iOS, literally ANY device that is CLASS COMPLIANT for USB Audio, and thus does NOT require proprietary drivers will work on iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix & Android with the proper connector cable to USB. If you also plan to use your device on Windows, you will want to upgrade and replace the default USB Audio drivers for something which has lower latency, and there is a free program call ASIO4ALL that does exactly this.

All Mac OS X and iOS devices have a software framework called CoreAudio and another called CoreMIDI, and these both interface with the CLASS COMPLIANT hardware without requiring and special software drivers. Linux is a little different, but I'll not mention any of those details here.

-Booli

Booli
01-13-2014, 10:07 AM
I'm currently using a bit of a ridiculous set up :)

I've got my uke plugged into an effects pedal which runs into the Sonoma GuitarJack 2 plugged into my ipad mini (via a 30>Lighting pin adapter) which runs out into anything with an aux in (TV/PC Speakers usually) and at the side of my fx pedal is an AirTurn 4pedal connected up to the Loopy app, all of which was lovingly bought as joint birthday/christmas presents for me and as such I've had limited to no practice or experience with any of :D

I have tested almost exactly this setup. The Sonoma GuitarJack 2 is a great device and well integrated with their 4-Track app.

There were 2 things about it that I did not like though:

1) the hardware required the use of a separate iOS app to modify the selected/preferred input jack and gain control

2) the hardware, when plugged in to the docking connector was very unwieldy and would require the use of a 30pin male-to-femaie extension cable to be stable enough to not physically drop from the connector on the side of the iPad

Using an effects pedal should not be a problem, but depending upon what kind of pickup you have in your uke, you may not have enough gain, and if a passive pickup without a built-in preamp (if there is a battery, there is a preamp) a passive piezo tens to sound thin and harsh, which depending upon what kind of pedal you are using, you might be able to dial in some settings that make it sound better.

If you are into this kind of thing, there are lots of preamp pedals, and also small 'piezo buffer' boxes that can fix this problem. I use a Behringer MIC200 tube preamp as the first thing after my uke before any pedals and before the amplifier and this, literally, fixes everything and sounds MUCH better than the Behringer ADI-21 pedal that many folks here on UU have praise for. The Mic200 has a 12AX7 vacuum tube inside, and I have found that 'hot glass' in a preamp does wonders for piezo sound, regardless of if the piezo is passive or has a built-in preamp (like I am using with the Mi-Si Acoustic Trio)...

If you are using small speakers the sound will be very thin, and if you are just practicing or recording for yourself, you might want to invest in almost any on-the-ear type headphones with at least 40mm drivers in them (i.e., NOT ear-buds and NOT chintzy old-school walkman headphones), as the sound difference will be simply astounding compared to the kinds of speakers you have mentioned.

-Booli

Booli
01-13-2014, 10:32 AM
For anybody that wants to learn even more, instead of blindly flailing around via google search and feeling confused, helpless and lost (like I once was), here are a few good starting points.

These are independent web sites that deal with lots of recording topics that include iOS devices.

iOS Musician (http://www.iosmusician.com/)
(which is excusively iOS, i.e, iPad, iPod, iPhone)
http://www.iosmusician.com/

Create Digital Music (http://createdigitalmusic.com/)
(which covers everything, but frequently highlights various iOS hardware and software)
http://createdigitalmusic.com/

Electronic Musician Magazine (http://www.emusician.com/index)
(been around since the '80s and is a comprehensive resource)
http://www.emusician.com/index

TapeOp (http://tapeop.com/) magazine and web site
(has a casual feel and covers both home studio and pro audio topics)
http://tapeop.com/

If you want to not only become proficient with Garageband, but also learn how to get really good sounding recordings with this program, you might want to check out the videos and tutorials create by Lewin Barringer from 'Garageband and Beyond'. He is very experienced and explains things in a very simple manner that is easy to understand.

https://www.youtube.com/user/GaragebandandBeyond

and main web site here:

http://www.garagebandandbeyond.com/Garageband_and_Beyond/Home.html

I have often referred to his videos for help and learning, and this guy really knows what he is talking about, and as this is what he does for a living, he is working in the real world as a professional musician and studio engineer using Garageband.

-Booli

engravertom
01-16-2014, 06:37 AM
Booli, thanks for the awesome info!

Hope to begin recording this year, and you have really helped me think that it can be done!

:)