Is The iPad Recording Studio Still ‘A Dream’?

Nick Parker at Evolver.fm has some interesting things to say about the state of music apps for iOS, arguing that the idea of an iPad recording studio is still a dream that’s out of reach:

Tablet hype continues at a fever pitch, but we shouldn’t get too cocky about the iPad or any other tablet replacing everything we can already do with a mouse, keyboard and old-fashioned desktop.

Case in point: We recently set out to find a MIDI control surface for iPad that could supercharge a home recording studio with its touch controls and sharp screen. The iPad seems almost custom-made for acting as the main interface to your home studio, but every app we tested came up way short.

Despite many pained hours hunting for, installing, and trying to comprehend these apps, we’ve written a story we didn’t set out to write: the narrative of why these apps — and, by extension, the tablet — are simply not up to the task.

Yes, it is possible to record directly onto the iPad into a digital audio workstation. But for real-time multitracking, no mobile hardware can get even close to delivering the required processing power to record — especially considering the demands of real-time effects plug-ins.

To a certain degree, Parker is right – tablet computers like the iPad are not as powerful as workstations and tablet software isn’t as mature as desktop DAWs.

But Parker’s cup-is-half-empty view also is stating the obvious – and missing the point.

Tablets computers are the fastest growing platform for music, and there’s a lot that you can do with them. On the iPad, there are multitrack recorders, DAWs, synths, workstations, virtual instruments and experimental music instruments. It’s a pretty impressive crop of software for a platform that’s not even two years old yet.

The real question to ask is whether tablet computers are useful to you as a musical tool.

For many musicians, the answer will be a resounding ‘no’. The iPad and Android music platforms just aren’t mature yet.

For musicians that are excited by new possibilities, though, and that can take a cup-is-half-full view of the iPad and other emerging tablets, there’s tremendous room for discovery, experimentation and – yes, fun.

What do you think? Is the iPad recording studio ‘a dream’?

And does it make sense to use desktop computers as the measure to compare tablets against?

69 thoughts on “Is The iPad Recording Studio Still ‘A Dream’?

  1. The iPad as a "recording studio" is the modern equivalent to a Korg PXR4; it's made for road recordings and MAYBE you can mix a lo-fi album on it (done for iGimmick value alone). As a synth? Not for any serious musicians; most still do it just for the "iGimmick" value (although XSYNTH and Samplewiz have some potential). The iPad's workhorse strengths lie in it's value as a MIDI interface, and really that's just TouchOSC (which is still no where close to what I'd like it to be, it's far and away the best at the moment however).

  2. Even given the limited CPU power, iOS (and Android) apps typically spend them all those cycles on visual gewgaws and wonder why they can't even hit *reasonable* latency numbers. … just my two cents.

    All that GPU power being used to make things shiny would be better spent hardware accelerating synthesis. From your fingers to your ears, above 50ms is intolerable for almost anything (and this is *far* higher than the theoretical numbers derived from buffer sizes… 8ms anyone? touching the hardware and getting it to the OS seems to be 12ms at a minimum). Maybe OpenCL saves the day here.

  3. IPAD and IPAD APPZ are just mature probably for use with some instruments…….for the rest is nice TOY!
    Ipad = non PRODUCTIVE TOOL.
    Productive tool, is a tool can optimize your work making you reach results saving time and and achieving the expected results…………..IPAD no is that.
    Sorry im PRO, no have time for experiment with a toy ………..i repeat IPAD is great for run some synths , for the rest is really a toy!
    I love my IPAD but until ipad have same power i5 or i7 have, and until we can use mouse and keyboard and same appz you can run today in OSX, and we can run BOOTCAMP like on any mac………..IPAD is just a fun little and partial addon for some situations on studio, and your travels etc etc.
    But everybody say ! IPAD is portable?
    Well, my MACBOOK PRO 13 can travel with me to every place, with my motu ultralite, one mic, and one MIDI real AKAI keyboard……………….so why need IPAD?
    All this gear comes in a bag and is 10 years more advanced, powerfull and productive than IPAD……….

  4. I have on my macbook pro the best of OSX world, the best of Windows world, and not limited by power of CPU, can use any software any vst, any hardware………
    IPAD is a big bubble for audio production………..and yes is the perfect device for surf web, like android tablets and others……………..just that!
    Really sorry IPAD lovers !! but is the reality!
    Best regards!

  5. The problem is that iOS cannot (at the moment) support VSTs, timestretch/warp, act truly tactile and support true multitasking,. People expect it to be a fully fledged DAW, which it is incapable of. This is why FL Studio Mobile can export to FL Studio. (I use Live by the way.)

    The argument I am seeing is the equivalent of someone wanting the true experience of an MPC, MPK, APC, Kaoss pad and multiple I/O at a drastically reduced price for a mobile device that was never intended to host these things.

    I see the purpose of the mobile (i)OS (musically) as something that can record inspiration on the fly at the request of a client, which is something that my computer simply cannot do. Imagine my desktop as a backpack. No.

    There is a balance. Use what you need as you need it. There is no one 'solve-all' solution. If there was, we would all be using it.

  6. Thx for the thoughtful reading and comments. 4 someone who is taking a next step in music and exploring hardware and software solutions – the iPad just doesn’t seem to cut it. The majority of DJs and producers I’ve talked to appreciate the value of it as a MIDI remote for DJ software, for example, but beyond that we’re better off with our higher processing systems.

  7. You can seriously get down with the iPad alone if it shipped with iFile. No file system and being tied to a PC or the so-called Cloud for file management is the iPads achilles heel.
    With iFile I can use and don't mind using the iPad to Record, Sample, Sample Chop and Bang Out Beats. I can easily squeeze water out that rock.
    Without it, The iPad is Useable but a Pain in the ASS for sample based music.
    Its a Boss Midi Controller for your hardware fasure tho.
    Any serious beat maker that isn't "jail broken" would have to roll with a iPad and a laptop. Therefore the iPad is not ready to be crowned at anything but being a bad ass Midi Controller as far as music Making is concerned.
    Nanostudio is cool, but can't see any version of MPC. If you never used a MPC for real (Mastered It), you won'tt feel me.

  8. Desktops/laptops are the current standard electronic music-making tool. So when someone says, "Wow, this iPad is really great for making electronic music!" it isn't totally senseless to compare and contrast it with OSX/Windows machines.

    For me, the advantages of tablet over laptop are still too few, and the disadvantages still too great. But I welcome the day when that changes.

  9. " The iPad represents flexible, mobile creativity options on a level and price never before seen. Period. If you don't want that, don't use it! "

    Your viewpoint seems to be pretty close to mine. I'm OK with the fact that it's not the best tool for recording 8 tracks of audio – because there are a lot of interesting things that you can do with it.

  10. Rob

    Thanks for the comments.

    One of the things I like about your instruments is that they explore the potential of the iPad for doing things that desktop computers aren't good for.

  11. We've had the "does-it-all" carrot dangled before us again and again. And that is how they get us to part with dollars. We ask ourselves, "Well, what if I could do all that stuff without having to lug my .. uh… laptop.. with it's… umm… hinged keyboard and monitor I can't touch."

    OF COURSE, there is massive potential for this to be an ultra-versatile ancillary tool: tuner, control surface, music reader, educator, creative rut-breaker, tons of possibilities from a highly interactive media device. But it doesn't need to be EVERYTHING. Keep your mics, your pre's, your mixer, your good audio i/o, your big monitor and your speakers.

    Now, music is music, and if some brilliant musician can make a beautiful record with only an iPad, well, ok. But that isn't because of the iPad. It's because the brilliant musician did what needed to be done with the tools available to her.

    I'm still pretty inexperienced with my stupid iPad2.

  12. The desktop DAW does represent the yardstick, in a lot of ways.

    Trying to understand new technologies based on old ones, though, is always dangerous. The first generation of cars – horseless carriages – comes to mind!

  13. Or my first computer ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jupiter_Ace ) which basically couldn't do dick. Oh, the fun I had try to convince my father that this was the future.

    A lot of comments about the iPad etc irritate me…

    "It can't do X". Actually, that should read "It can't do X YET!" – Rule 1. Moore's Law happens.

    "And people who use it despite this obvious limitation are lame." Er, no. Rule 2. Moore's Law doesn't just happen, it is driven by early adopters. If millions of people hadn't bought stupid toy computers in the 1980s, I wouldn't be able to video-phone my father on his iPad 2 today…

    OK, so tablets doesn't do what you want them to – yet. So stick with your desktop DAW for the time being, and be glad that there are lots of other people pushing their development forward for you.

  14. Or my first computer ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jupiter_Ace ) which basically couldn't do dick. Oh, the fun I had try to convince my father that this was the future.

    A lot of comments about the iPad etc irritate me…

    "It can't do X". Actually, that should read "It can't do X YET!" – Rule 1. Moore's Law happens.

    "And people who use it despite this obvious limitation are lame." Er, no. Rule 2. Moore's Law doesn't just happen, it is driven by early adopters. If millions of people hadn't bought stupid toy computers in the 1980s, I wouldn't be able to video-phone my father on his iPad 2 today…

    OK, so tablets doesn't do what you want them to – yet. So stick with your desktop DAW for the time being, and be glad that there are lots of other people pushing their development forward for you.

  15. Or my first computer ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jupiter_Ace ) which basically couldn't do dick. Oh, the fun I had try to convince my father that this was the future.

    A lot of comments about the iPad etc irritate me…

    "It can't do X". Actually, that should read "It can't do X YET!" – Rule 1. Moore's Law happens.

    "And people who use it despite this obvious limitation are lame." Er, no. Rule 2. Moore's Law doesn't just happen, it is driven by early adopters. If millions of people hadn't bought stupid toy computers in the 1980s, I wouldn't be able to video-phone my father on his iPad 2 today…

    OK, so tablets doesn't do what you want them to – yet. So stick with your desktop DAW for the time being, and be glad that there are lots of other people pushing their development forward for you.

  16. "One machine fits all." Sigh.

    If you wanna record / mix / edit, spend a little on hardware designed for the job. Even my MRS-4 still does a better job than these 'apps', at a fraction of the price.

  17. The "CPU is too slow" argument is demonstrably wrong. Were Reason and Live useless on dual 1 GHz machines? Cubase? Logic? Pro Tools? Acid?

    Moreover, an iPad doesn't have to be a "recording studio" to be a great piece of musical gear – 1 GHz machines worked great for DJ software like Traktor, effects programs like Amplitube, and hundreds of VST and AU synths.

  18. I think the problem is always the same. People think a new platform must replace an old one. Take a look at what happened with laptops, have they replaced desktops? Partially, maybe, but in many cases they haven't. They have created new uses for computers, for instance in cases where dragging a heavy desktop pc is unpractical, or desk space is an issue.
    So what I want to say: tablets are going to extend the use of computers in music production, they might replace a laptop in certain case scenarios, they might even replace a desktop in certain specific cases, but most of the use we can make of tablets is to do things we were not doing at all before. So I think the whole discussion is quite pointless…

  19. Is the iPad recording STUDIO still a dream (original question)?

    Yes… but things will change as tablets become more powerful.

  20. seems a bit of a strange and pointless argument to me. with apps like nanostudio, beatmaker2, ms20i, horizon, isyn poly, tnr-i, meteor, isequence, studio HD, garageband, mixtikl, xenon, sunvox, electribe, rebirth, amplitube etc. etc i don't see that there's any kind of music you couldn't make. will it be compromised compared to a desktop? perhaps. depends how you work. i've heard utter rubbish recorded at 24/192 with the best gear imaginable and magic recorded direct to cassette through a built in electret mic. it really, really is what you do with it.

  21. ffs. The guy didn't look too hard.

    An amazing app like touchAble – used in conjunction with Ableton Live – has filled a much needed gap in both my live and studio work. He also apparently didn't try out Liine either.

    The author also isn't fucking clear as to what he's saying: Searching for a control surface and searching for a RECORDING APP are two utterly different things.

    Brah, whatever. Just another Apple hater, really. Also, it's amazing how many negative comments in iPad threads are clearly posted by people who don't even fucking own an iPad and therefore have no idea what the fuck they are talking about.

    Laughable.

  22. I know most of you all were born AFTER a group named the " Beatles" recorded their music on 4-track quarter inch tape…..TAPE….pre-cassette. When I started in the studio (1969) 8 & 16 track was the NEW kid on the block & boards still had BIG KNOBS…the music was still GREAT!!! Looking forward to ipad3!!

  23. Some have called this topic/discussion pointless.

    Do we have emotional or irrational expectations that we project onto inanimate objects?

    On the other hand, do we resist new technology because we don't want to set ourselves up for disappointment, don't want to de-value our tried-and-true gear, or don't want to get sucked into the hype-a-thon?

    These seem like reasonable questions to discuss. Obviously, the folks who chimed in with "This is pointless!" must have been at least mildly curious about these comments.

  24. Um, so, Synthtopia…

    Did you even read that article before you reposted it? It is A) poorly written, B) Doesn't address the topic that was posted here on Synthtopia (its written about controllers and not iPad Recording Studio apps, C) The reviewer only takes 3 of the 20+ controller apps out there, and doesn't even choose the most comprehensive one, that uses a direct connection instead of over-wifi BS that we're plagued with right now. Oh, and secret option D) even the blog's regular readers feel like the article is complete BS.

    Sorry guys, but this is sad.

  25. I've been doing electronic music since the 70s and have never seen this level of interest and application development before on any platform. I'm sure that this is fueled in large part by the "cost of entry" for new developers to the platform; which is historically low, and the potential for direct income, which is pretty high since there is a good distribution model in place.

    I agree with Parker's comment about tactile feel on a touchscreen. I use AC7 Core, which is great, but it's still not as easy as feeling real sliders and knobs, as you always need to look at the controller to see where your hand is positioned. He's also not an iPad hater, as some one assume in this thread, as he has other blog posts lauding other iPad apps.

    I do think that the iPad is a great device with a lot of potential. Nanostudio is a great piece of software (especially with the 16 channel extension) and has a very musical and creative workflow. The GB iPad edition has limitations and seems focused on the singer-songwriter, but it integrates nicely with Logic and has very good audio quality. Will it ever fully replace a DAW running on a "real" computer? I doubt it…just like a laptop won't replace a full desktop system in a studio situation (12-core MacBook anyone?). But as an adjunct in the studio or performance rig or as a VERY mobile scratchpad, we've only scratched the surface of it's capabilities.

  26. using it for what?

    laying down simple 4/4 patterns?

    maybe mixing in a 16th note hihat?

    i mean can you really make anything you can't remember in your head?

    it's like a digital post it note for those who can't remember simple loop patterns.

    now if you take tons of air flights (doubt it) and you make tons of patterns on the go (doubt it) and all you need is a midi file to feel accomplished (doubt it), then it must be the tool for you.

  27. are you really trying to compare ipad versions of software to desktop versions?

    the performance and DSP equivalents? the feature and specs?

  28. listing tools compared to what? the long list available on (pro) computers? just because there's a bunch of blingy applets with limited features, due to hardware specs, doesn't mean it's worth the time or money.

    if it attracts you for some personal reason deeper then the actual musical benefit, then that's all you.

    there might be a need for a generic sounding synth, or a wireless remote, and maybe a small effects unit… other then that, get in line behind the laptop as a viable music production center.

  29. I'm guessing the Beatles wouldn't use an ipad to make their next album, if that was all possible. (just taking a stab at it)

  30. until the power and specs on these mobile devices go up… thus will the software's features and function. until then they are simple one trick ponies for specific needs or entertainment.

  31. The iPad reminds me of the TB-303/ TR-606. They were intended to replace a bassist and drummer, respectively… but that turned out to be ludicrous. However, they did eventually come into their own when producers played on their strengths.

  32. blah

    How powerful do you think tablets need to be in order to be a useful platform for music?

    Reason I'm wondering is that there are whole genres of music built around ancient 8-bit technologies.

  33. "if all they had"… if all they had was a stick and a rock they could still make music. should we all go out and buy over priced sticks a rocks?

  34. "played"… i guess if you want to go retro and bring back some acid house… but to some it's never really died out… but let's be realistic how many bleeps, bloops and squeals can you use that haven't already been done a million times. then made into a loop and redone another million?

    taking steps backwards doesn't seem to be the future of music. and mobile devices are in the baby steps mode trying to catch up to desktops. those are big shoes to fill.

    i guess you can always play in your little crib where you are dazzled by a few plush toys and rattles and hope your fisher price toys can produce like a real rhodes.

  35. My friend makes incredible music with Nanostudio, Beatmaker, and about 20 other iPad apps.

    Does he have access to a home DAW with keyboard and mouse, yes. He chooses the iPad because it helps him be more productive.

    Also, it makes the production experience much more enjoyable. If I had to choose between producing music on the beach, or some dedicated room hunched uncomfortably over a keyboard and mouse, I'd choose the beach.

    Besides, you can always bring your ideas home and enhance them in your home studio.

    Music has NEVER been about the instruments, it's about the artist and how they use all the tools available to them. Open your minds!

  36. what i was trying to point out is that what is "pro" is constantly moving. when i started working in studios in the mid 90's 48 track digital tape was state of the badass art. protools was flaky, unstable, 16 track and ran on nubus ports on 25Mhz Mac Quadras. i worked with a producer who sequenced all of an album (which sold 20 million copies, btw) on an atari ST with 1 megabyte of ram. there is nothing (musical) you couldn't achieve with an ipad and 50 bucks worth of apps. of course there are more apps available for "proper" computers. but the power of an ipad easily exceeds that of a laptop ten years ago. and in another 10, it will exceed what current desktops can do. and current desktops can really do anything you can imagine.

  37. "If I had to choose between producing music on the beach, or some dedicated room hunched uncomfortably over a keyboard and mouse, I'd choose the beach. "

    Good point!

    Some people might prefer a cheap laptop for this, but iPads do offer immediacy and the benefits of multitouch interaction.

  38. This is really funny; I mean why can't people use the Ipad like any other production tool, Motif, Triton, Fantom, MPC, etc…You're telling me a an Ipad 2 with Beatmaker, GB, Im20 can't sound as good as an old Korg Triton with 124MB of memory that has made COUNTLESS hits,??(And still being used on many songs today btw..)That don't even make sense..I didn't need my Roland Fantom to be a STUDIO, but i could do an entire song and then throw into Protools/Logic to mix…I for one never expected the thing to be a complete DAW(although i'm 99% sure in a year or two it will be) but as it is, it's my MPC and keyboard in a bag, and the touch functionality makes it "feel" more like a Triton or MPC cuz it's hands on vs. mouse. Not to mention i ain't gotta track out like i did with hardware…WIFI baby! Don't sleep, people, i used to hate computer recording in general, now i can't imagine using a keyboard..

  39. Until there is a breakthrough in battery technology devices like iPad are never going to match a desktop or even laptop. You can't have something weigh a pound (or whatever the iPad weighs) and have enough power to run a bunch of synths simultaneously. If you use Mac (I do) you might not have looked at PC components lately but 1000 watt power supplies are common now! Do you know how much power a quad core processor with a GPU or two pulls? Not to mention how freakin' hot it gets? There needs to be some serious breakthroughs in hardware before something like an iPad is going to replace a workstation be it Mac Pro or generic tower PC.

  40. power, function, specs… all comes down to real functioning abilities and not just hyping up old technologies on a weaker, slower and less popular platform. for only 1 real reason… $$$$

  41. Actually power issues are one advantage of the iPad; power efficiency is the reason why ARM dominates the mobile world.

    All of my laptops have run hotter than the iPad, and none have matched its battery life (which is saying a lot, since my old 17" MacBook Pro routinely got 6 or 7 hours on a charge.)

    Still, you're overlooking two important points: 1) The iPad doesn't have to be a "workstation" to be useful, and 2) I used to run Reason, Live and Pro Tools on far wimpier hardware than the iPad – the main difference is that the iPad doesn't support multitrack audio I/O …. yet.

  42. I agree it doesn't have to do everything a workstation does to be useful. I just think it will always be a few steps behind workstations because by the time iPad is fast enough to run a bunch of instances of NI Razor then there will be some new crazy thing happening on the desktop that iPad won't be able to do. Also, the iPad screen is small, there a way to hook it up to a bigger monitor or multiple monitors? Not as far as I know.

    Ultimately though I think the idea of having a "mobile studio" is kind of a consumer fantasy. Like "oh if i could take my studio with me on the subway or at the park or ski resort I'd get way more work done!". Doubt it. If you can't get anything productive done in your actual studio you think a bunch of distractions in some coffee shop are going to induce you to get anything finished? Doubt it.

  43. No, you missed the point again.

    The iPad 2 has dual 1 GHz ARM processors with Neon SIMD extensions. In terms of raw hardware capabilities, it compares quite favorably to my old laptop, a PowerBook G4 Titanium, which had a *single* PowerPC G4 (with Altivec SIMD), running at 800 MHz.

    If the iPad were "too slow" to be useful, then the laptop would have been similarly useless. But that laptop ran Reason, Live, Pro Tools, etc. just fine.

    The inescapable conclusion is that the iPad's CPU is more than adequate for running a wide variety of music software. If today's offerings seem limited, it has nothing to do with the underlying power of the hardware. There is no technical reason why you could not create a version of Reason, Live or Pro Tools for the iPad which would easily rival laptop performance in the early to mid 2000s, and which would be quite useful indeed.

  44. You realize not all clock cycles are created equal right? Just because two processors are running the same number of cycles doesn't mean they're doing the same work.

  45. Looking quickly at performance numbers, Neon claims 1.3 Mflops/MHz peak, which actually isn't nearly as good as the G4/Altivec's 8 Mflops/MHz peak. So approximately 1.3 GFlops for a single A5 (2.6 if you can use both CPUs) vs. 3.2 Gflops for the G4.

    Comparing to x86 processors, the iPad 2's linpack results (170 Mflops measured by arstechnica) compare to a 500 MHz Athlon (180 Mflops) – maybe not great, but certainly usable.

    For integer performance, the ARM should deliver 3000+ DMIPS vs. 1200+ on the G4/800.

    For memory bandwidth, the iPad 2 shines: more than 2 GB/s measured by arstechnica, vs. PC133 (1 GB/s peak) memory in the PowerBook.

    Lastly, remember that unlike the PowerBook, the iPad supports OpenCL, which allows computation to be offloaded to the iPad's GPU, which is no slouch either (Infinity Blad, anyone?)

    Anyway, no use in beating this horse any deader – the iPad 2 clearly has the CPU performance to run a wide variety of useful and usable music software.

  46. I suppose. Reason could be decent on an iPad speed wise but trying to program a synth like Thor using your fingertips just sounds like a chore. Writing an email on a touch screen is bad enough trying to selected the filter type or waveform doesn't seem practical especially in a live setting (which the volunteer iPad salesforce seems to be promoting). I just don't see why I would use an iPad instead of a Macbook? It's like a solution in search of a problem.

    I used to think the "Analog is the best" crowd was annoying until the iPad came out now I actually prefer hearing cranks bloviate on the superiority of analog instead of this iPad stuff!

  47. back to what type or genre of music you produce. only so many people can use a speak&spell and closely related technologies. the palette available to mobile devices will always be limited by the DSP processing power.

    the complexities of multi-layered instruments with DSP driven effects is key to reproducing professional quality sounds. forget having any realistic sounding reverbs, such as convolution. and all the channel strip driven tools or even high grades of saturation and distortion DSP processes. forget about any sort of mixbus emulation on several tracks.

    mobile device = electric bicycle
    laptop = motorcycle
    desktop = car

    there are many ways to get somewhere… or no where…

  48. For the purposes of this discussion, consider "good" to mean satisfying for the artist to create and enjoyable for his or her audience to listen to.

  49. When I got my first laptop, it was a lot less powerful than my desktop. But I used that laptop all the time, because I discovered that I really liked being able to work at the kitchen table.

  50. Look it up on the Nanostudio website. Facts are painful sometimes, especially when you make comments based on emotion rather than facts.

  51. Beatmaker 2 supports time stretching. Sonoma copy and paste works fine for multitasking. While iOS might not be currently capable of being a full fledged DAW, it is moving in that direction.

  52. It'd probably help if you knew ANYTHING about the current state of iOS music production. You clearly haven't used any of these apps and it shows with ignorant comments like this one.

  53. To me the biggest limiting factor for recording music on the iPad is the lack of a centralized file system to tie all the apps together. There are so many music apps that each have their strenghts, but getting your work from one app to another is next to impossible, especially without involving a PC or Mac in the middle of it. For example, if I wanted to lay down a drum track in Garageband or Beatmaker, add a guitar and bass track in Amplitube, record some vocals in VocaLive, and add a synth part with Nanostudio, there's really no way I can do that using just an iPad even though they are all installed and can all produce audio file outputs. To me, being able to move audio back and forth between apps would make the dream much closer.

  54. It makes a great "100-in-1" portable instrument, offering very capable drum and guitar apps, as well as some very nice synths and esoteric sound generators.

    I see it as a component. It's not a capable DAW, but then, I don't need it to be.

  55. OK, let me come in from a different angle. Imagine you have never recorded any music before. No laughing at the back. Everybody starts somewhere. You are in a band or doing solo stuff with real instruments/voice and things start to sound pretty good. You get some positive feedback and decide that it is time to record some demos. You are not so rich. You have some kind of average desktop/laptop but recently acquired an Ipad and use it alot. Are you A) going to make complicated decisions on the hundreds of dollars needed for music software and an audio interface for your desktop/laptop? or B) Download an Ipad DAW from the appstore for peanuts, buy an adaptor and get cracking? Either way, of course you will learn through hard work how to get the results you want, but……… option B) is by far the easier option. I didn’t have to think twice. I worked had a desktop, laptop and ipad and found myself working only with the Ipad. I have worked with Ipad Garageband for half a year and recorded several tracks with multiple vocals, guitars and drums. The most important thing was that I was pleased with the results and really want to do more. I recently bought an alesis io dock and started using Meteor Multitrack.

    So, I believe that tablet computer recording is going to grow not because it offers anything like what professionals currently use, but because a growing number of people new to recording will find it the easiest way to get started. Each year, this growing number of people will demand more and more as they use their Ipads. Some will switch to desktops. Others will stick with their cherished work flow and enjoy the steady increase in performance of apps and tablets. That, to me is the future. Not a dream.

  56. You can do this through the copy and paste function on most if not all music apps by now. I own all the top apps and I can export the file. I also use 2 iPads, one as the synth source and the other as the recorder. I output the sound in and out through my Apogee One which sounds very nice and has 106db headroom. With the iPad 2 now reduced in price this becomes affordable.

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