iTrack Solo provides iOS users with a high quality recording experience. Essentially, it’s a two channel audio interface that connects to your iPad. It’s also compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems, which allows you to get some extra bang for your buck.
The built-in preamp is where the quality comes from. It’s the same preamp Focusrite uses in their Saffire and Scarlett interfaces.
Direct Monitoring is a neat function that helps you avoid any latency problems. It allows your audio signal to bypass your iPad and run directly to your speakers or headphones while recording.
The outer casing is solid, and the unit as a whole, is well constructed. iTrack Solo retails for about $159 (this could change based on the retailer). If you’re looking for a high quality recording experience for iOS, then take a look at iTrack Solo.
For studio engineers, speaker setup and placement is extremely important. It can mean the difference in a quality mix. With that in mind, Genelec has developed an app to aid you in the process. SpeakerAngle for iPad assists you in monitor and surround sound setups for optimal performance.
SpeakerAngle works by setting your iPad on top of your speakers. You designate a straight forward position, and then the app guides you within industry recommendations – eventually getting your speakers matched in angling.
This is a neat app for engineers that travel and work in many different locations. If you’re ever working in a new spot and something sounds off, you could start by using SpeakerAngle to evaluate the monitor setup. If something isn’t right, you can tweak it and get back to work.
For $1, SpeakerAngle is worth checking out.
Need a quality virtual synth for the iPad? Look no further. Yonac has you covered. Introducing Magellan, which boasts six oscillators, dual filters, a step sequencer, arpeggiators, and more.
This comprehensive synth is capable of producing some great sounds. Effects include: Reverb, Stereo Delay, Phaser, Flanger, Distortion, Chorus, Bitcrusher, and an Expander. Extensive MIDI and exporting capabilities make Magellan extremely accessible.
Playing complex chord progressions on the iPad is not always the easiest task. In many cases it’s nearly impossible. However, the on-board Chord Maker allows you to create chord progressions that can then be triggered with one finger. You can your save progression presets so they can be accessed at a later date as well.
If you’re looking for a new synth to add to your arsenal, then Magellan is definitely worth looking into.
iRig Keys is a portable MIDI controller for the iPad. It’s also compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch, and standard Mac/PC operating systems. The keyboard spans 3 octaves and has your standard pitch bending and modulation wheels. It has an input option for sustain and expression pedals as well.
You can create up to four of your own customizable sets, adjust key sensitivity, and more. Ultra-low power consumption is a big plus for iOS users.
If you’ve ever used an iPad or iPhone to make music, you know that trying to play a small touch screen keyboard can be difficult. Having a MIDI keyboard takes care of that problem. The fact that iRig Keys is also compliant with Mac and PC, means you’ll get one MIDI controller that you can use any situation.
Chordion is a virtual synthesizer for the iPad. What makes it unique is its layout – you can easily play chords with one hand and lead with the other. Being able to trigger chords with one finger makes playing a breeze.
The sounds are decent and there’s also some effects like Delay and Wah. There are some Polyphony and Envelope parameters as well.
Chordion is a cool music-making app, but it’s missing some key features like audio copy/paste. Furthermore, the layout of this app would make it a great MIDI controller – we’d love to see the developers add MIDI-Out capabilities.
For $1.99, it’s hard to say anything bad about this app, but hopefully future updates will bring some welcomed additions.
StompBox is a digital effects unit for the iPad. It comes with a whole slew of effects ranging from delay to pitch shifting. You’ll also get 7 different types of distortion for creating those extra grimy tones. The 4 track recorder is ideal for looping backing tracks and you can easily sort through presets using your feet (in the event that your hands aren’t available).
While StomBox is clearly geared toward acoustic and electric guitar, it’s also very effective for bass – delivering clean, bold tones. The user interface is easy on the eyes and responds to touch well.
There have been some instability issues, but we’re confident that 4Pockets (the developer) will iron out those wrinkles. If you need some quality effects processors, this isn’t a bad way to go.
Auria is a 48 track recording system for the iPad. Currently, it’s the most feature-laden iOS DAW we’ve reviewed. It houses an extensive catalog of effects and processors (ranging from Reverb to pitch correction) and also allows you to record up to 24 tracks simultaneously. AAF import and export lets you transfer complete sessions between popular DAWs like Pro Tools, Logic and more.
Another cool feature is the incorporation of 3rd party plugins from plugin gurus like PSPaudioware, Overloud, Fab Filter and Drumagog. These extra processors are available via app store purchase and range from $5 to $30.
The kicker for Auria is the hefty price tag. At $50, it’s easily considered a very expensive iOS DAW. If that doesn’t scare you away, then this app is definitely worth taking a look at. What we really like about Auria is that it’s clearly geared toward serious music makers looking to get professional use out of their iPad.
Voxkit is a MIDI drum controller for the iPad. The thing that makes Voxkit different is the ability to trigger notes by sound. You can assign a certain drum sound to trigger when you clap your hands, bang on a table, etc.
Let’s say for example, you are a drummer and you want to lay down a snare roll for your groove. Assign your snare to be triggered when you tap your drum stick on a desk surface. Then, record enable Voxkit and start tapping out your snare roll. Voxkit will recognize it, translate it to MIDI data and add it to your existing groove.
Voxkit also has standard drum pads you can use, but its uniqueness lies in its ability to let you trigger notes in more abstract ways. This is a cool app worth taking a look at – especially for the price ($1). Be sure to check it out.
Amplitube Fender is at the forefront of guitar amp software for iOS. Its ultra clean tone has made it an immensely popular program despite its moderately hefty price tag ($14.99 not including add-ons). We’ve covered Amplitube Fender and it’s features in a previous article, but the recent update brings about some welcomed additions worth mentioning.
For starters, it now comes with complete MIDI support; giving you another way to manage and navigate through the app. This is particularly useful for live performance situations when your hands might not always be available. The new recording and mixing section has been redesigned; offering more flexibility and options than its somewhat clunky predecessor. It’s a lot easier to compose and arrange complete productions. Audio Copy/Paste is another vital addition. Its exporting options now include Soundcloud and FTP.
The one thing about Amplitube Fender 1.2 is that it still only comes with a single track recorder. In order to get the most out of this app, you’ll have to upgrade to the 8-track recorder, which will cost you another $14.99. With that being said, if you’re looking to get professional use out of your iPad, this guitar amp software is as good as they come for iOS standards.
Tired of conventional MIDI controllers? Looking for more abstract ways to create music? Beatsurfing just might be the app you’re looking for. It allows you to build your own customized MIDI controller directly within your iPad. You have complete control over what goes where and how much space that particular object occupies. Shapes like circles, lines, polygons and more can be drawn in and assigned to trigger various sets of sounds. In depth control of Object Behavior allows groups of sounds to react in very specific manners within relation to each other.
You can link BeatSurfing to any MIDI compatible device, whether it be software or hardware, giving you lots of flexibility. It works great with Logic Pro and we’re sure it works well with other DAW’s. It’s also worth mentioning that the app responds to touch very well.
There’s a bit of a learning curve involved with Beatsurfing, but those who stick with it are highly rewarded for their efforts. This is a really neat app that we’d encourage any iPad music maker to check out.