I have to say it, I really like the iPad. Not for the fact of feeling cool or by its “simplicity”, I like it because it solved a couple of issues I used to have when recording: Hardware and Multitrack recording.
First let’s talk about hardware. When using MIDI you probably stumbled upon latency, which means for the time required to process a package of data by the hardware; this is critical when you record because regular hardware normally doesn’t process this type of data as required so you get some sort of delay between the stuff you play and the stuff you record, therefore it’s very hard to record for instance a MIDI track while playing the base track simultaneously.
The iPad got to solve this out in a smart way by providing a strong hardware to cover this spot and of course a native app to prove it. Garageband for iPad, apart from all the fancy features, the fun interface and everything you’ve you already heard allows you to record several MIDI instruments with more than acceptable quality in terms of fidelity and expression plus all the composing aids to make a song in minutes.
However, in spite of being cool the MIDI will never beat what you play on a real instrument so I started looking for something to also record and mix stuff from a real bass or a guitar, something like this:
* Recommended to 9gag some for a complete understanding of this diagram.
So I found that the guys from IK Multimedia noticed the huge potential of the iPad as a platform and developed a series of accessories to let you record anything you want, so you just need to plug your guitar to the accessory then plug it to the iPad and there you go. Couldn’t be simpler.
And now that you have the basics let me share what I consider the top music production apps for your iPad (in any order):
1. Garageband – Make your own music in minutes with a cool set of instruments to play with.
2. Thumb Jam – It includes wind instruments like Saxophone, Flute and Trombone with outstanding response and expression.
3. Amplitube – Once I got this app I sold my Digitech RP-90.
4. DAW Multitrack – An intuitive multitrack interface.