- Band Management
- Home Recording
- Live Sound
- Best Instruments
- New Music & Video
In a world where YouTube and various other ‘look what I can do’ sites are breeding a new generation of performers and pseudo celebrities – cough cough, Justin Bieber – it’s no wonder that the iPad and all its technical wonder is now becoming a catapult for musicians to create audible masterpieces to share with the masses.
Whether you’re a budding musician looking to try out some new techniques in your home studio or an accomplished performer who wants to take his or her musical accomplishments on the road, the iPad – not to mention the infinite music apps and accessories that accompany it – make professional and novice music production less expensive than ever before – and virtually dummy proof.
Take The Gorillaz, for instance. This infamous virtual band of cartoon characters’ latest album, The Fall, was produced almost entirely using an iPad. And indie musicians like the Ultramods have also taken advantage of the iPad, specifically using the high tech ‘groupie’ in conjunction with GarageBand to record an entire album in just two weeks.
The iPad, with its boatload of available apps, allows musicians an opportunity to save some money without sacrificing functionality. To accentuate all these apps is a range of hardware for any member of the band, including the rock star drummer, flawless front man, bad boy guitarist and bangin’ bassist.
Trying to lay down vocals, as any performer knows, is a lot harder than it looks. Timing, playback, clarity and volume. So many things to think about. But audio technology companies are always finding ways to make your job easier and more flawless. For instance, Samson offers iPad performers a plethora of audio capturing devices, including its newest creation – the Meteor Mic. This stylish, chrome-plated, foldable USB mic not only looks like something R2-D2 or Prince would behold, but it’s also the perfect home studio buddy. It has one of the largest condenser diaphragms out there (25mm) but still produces rich, CD quality recordings. The Meteor Mic’s fold-back leg design creates optimal positioning for any recording application. Plus, the stereo 1/8-inch headphone output, elimination of latency monitoring and an integrated headphone volume knob give users complete control. No drivers are required, so simply plug and play for rock star quality recording right out of the box. Available at Best Buy, this bad boy will only run you $99.99. Check out www.samsontech.com for more info.
Another company making strides in the music recording market is Griffin Technology. Its newly released StompBox is a multi-functional 4-button foot controller that produces virtual guitar effects using a pedalboard, turning compatible iOS devices, including the iPad, into a portable, programmable effects board and practice rig. Developed specifically to work with Frontier Design’s “iShred LIVE” app, touchscreen musicians can switch effects with their feet for a hands-free solution. It comes with Griffin’s GuitarConnect cable with three connectors for easy hook-up to instruments, headphones and the iPad. Assigned foot switches control various effects like volume, expression and even wah-wah pedals. Stomp your way to Apple Stores nationwide for just $99.99.
A DJ needs to multi-task, but that’s not always easy to do. The DJ Cable from Griffin is an innovative cable that enhances Algoriddim’s “Djay” app to simultaneously cue upcoming songs through headphones, independently of the live mix sent through the speakers, to keep song transition seamless. When combined with this “Djay” app, the DJ Cable transforms compatible iOS devices into a full-fledged DJ system, allowing users to mix songs directly from their iTunes library on a hyper-realistic dual-turntable interface. The DJ Cable can be found at Apple Stores nationwide for just $19.99. Check out www.GriffinTechnology.com for more info.
If you’re a musician who enjoys learning all the tricks of the trade and are passionate about learning every instrument that comes your way, the iPad also can teach you. Take the PIANO APPRENTICE from ION Audio, for instance. Basically, all users have to do is connect the iPad, iPod or iPhone, download the free “PIANO APPRENTICE” app, follow the lighted keys and voila – start playing the piano instantly. This lightweight, highly portable 25-note keyboard features built-in stereo speakers to deliver authentic piano sound. Don’t be afraid to learn something new. Grab your iPad and get rocking for the reasonable price of $149 – definitely less expensive than weekly piano sessions. Find more info at www.ionaudio.com.
But after the jam session is over, what about playback? V-MODA’s Crossfade LP over-ear headphones were developed by renowned artists, DJs and producers to satisfy the audio cravings of musicians seeking juicy sound to playback their latest beats and lyrical creations. The durable yet lightweight frame features patented 50mm dual-diaphragm high-definition drivers for full sound immersion. Its plush memory foam ear cushions are not only pillows for the ears, but they also reduce ambient noise. The long 69-inch audio cable features an integrated 3-button remote and high fidelity mic for adjusting volume, controlling playback and more. Just $199.99 at www.v-moda.com.
For music mavens who aren’t satisfied with the standard audio quality that the iPad delivers, Bongiovi Acoustics has developed the Bongiovi “DPS” app – the world’s only application to incorporate Patented Real-Time Audio Re-mastering to optimize audio from an iOS device, improving clarity and providing a deeper bass response, even when using low-end headphones or speakers. The DPS audio technology applies innovative digital signal processing techniques to improve audio at the source, rather than covering up low quality, compressed audio files with expensive hardware. Optimize headphones, internal speakers and docks by selecting a custom profile from Bongiovi Acoustics’ expanding catalog, which includes popular products like Skullcandy, Urbanears Plattan, BOSE IE2 and more. Get more from music and download now at iTunes for just $0.99 and visit www.bongioviacoustics.com for more info.
The iPad is truly revolutionizing the way musicians work, lay down tracks and edit. By offering a less expensive, simplified solution to music production, the world can expect to enjoy a greater variety of music choices than ever before. Now that you know more about the possibilities of music production with the iPad and its compatible goods and apps, it’s time for you to take your music to the next level. Who knows – you could have an effect on the musical landscape as we know it.