Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Recording an Album on an iPad

I'm in a banjo/bodhran duo called Cardinal Puffin.  In 2012 we intend to record an “album” on an iPad, or at least post some tracks online.  I’ve done a little research and I think these are the accessories we’ll need.  If you have any comments or suggestions let me know! 

1). An iPad.

There are several apps that allow you to make multi-track recordings, however GarageBand seems to be a good choice.  You can overdub up to 8 different tracks, and I’m sure there are all kinds of features I’m not even aware of yet.  Most of the music we’ll be recording will be made on actual, unplugged acoustic instruments, but I may use some of the synth sounds on Garageband to add bass-lines and other textures to the recordings.
3). The Blue Yeti USB Microphone.
This is how we’ll record the sounds of our acoustic, unplugged instruments.  The Yeti seems to have better reviews than the slightly less expensive Snowball and iRig mics.  It has a headphone jack so you can listen to your previously recorded parts as you overdub.  Requires the iPad Camera Connection Kit and a USB hub for phantom power.
Blue Yeti

This kit allows you to plug USB mics, midi keyboards, and other devices into your iPad.
Camera Connection Kit

As mentioned above, this hub provides phantom power so that the Blue Yeti mic can work with the iPad.
Belkin USB Hub

6). Apogee Jam
This item allows you to plug an electric guitar or bass directly into the iPad.  I have a Kala U-Bass that I hope to use on these recordings, so I’d use the Apogee Jam to record the U-Bass directly into the iPad.  GarageBand has different virtual amps that you can use to tweak the sound. 
Apogee Jam

I’m not exactly sure what I’d use this for yet, but this small midi keyboard controller is designed to work with the iPad.  So, it should increase the functionality of GarageBand by allowing me to use actual piano keys instead of the iPad’s touch screen to make sounds.  The Mini 32 plugs directly into iPad via the above mentioned camera connector without the need for phantom power from the Belkin USB hub.
M-Audio Keystation Mini 32

8). Tascam iM2 stereo microphone for iPhone and iPad
This small, portable mic is a travel-friendly alternative to the bulky Blue Yeti microphone.  It plugs directly into the iPhone or iPad and is supposed to have the same recording quality as Tascam’s well known hand-held field recorders.  I'd probably use this with the iPhone to record jam sessions and practices.
Tascam iM2 mic
 There you have it!


  1. Is the output quality the same as on studio type?
    I bet there's a difference than recording on you iPad.

    The best dj controller Lady!

  2. Just stumbled upon this blog and I Love it!

  3. Glad you like it! Thanks for commenting.

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