How to Make Your Musical Magnum Opus on iPad

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For all things Apple’s iPad does right – high-definition movies on the go, games, the increasingly common coffee shop payment terminal-it rarely gets credit as a powerful musical instrument.

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Whether you’ve got an infectious beat in your head that you want to turn into a ringtone, you want to learn a little music theory, or you’re a serious musician with studio ambitions, the tablet is surprisingly capable. It combines hardware power with useful apps that can help you record, edit and export your music.

The Basics: What You’ll Need
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To get started, of course, you need an iPad. Any iPad you buy today or that has been purchased within the last few years should be more than capable of making your musical dreams come true. After all, Madlib created all the beats for his collaboration with Freddie Gibbs. Bandana, on the iPad a few years agoand Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn is known to made an album on the iPad back in 2010. Since then, the equipment has improved significantly.

The most important thing to know if you’re going to be connecting any mixers, instruments, or other equipment is whether your iPad has a Lightning connector or a USB-C connector, usually found on some new iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad Mini models.

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you can buy Apple Lightning-to-USB 3 Camera Kit or Multiport AV Adapter to connect most USB instruments or mixers and add MIDI-to-USB cableor even invest in wireless adapter that uses bluetooth. BUT more direct cable solution may be available, but some instruments may require an additional power source than what the iPad can provide.

Sure, you can record surround sound or vocals with the iPad’s built-in microphone, and create loops and music without any external hardware, but it’s nice to be able to add microphones, keyboards, and other instruments.

Next, you’ll need some software to turn your iPad into a digital audio workstation. DAWs have been around for a long time, and the term covers everything from setting up a studio mixer to Apple’s free GarageBand app. If GarageBand is not preinstalled on your iPad, you can download it from the App Store.

Although GarageBand has some learning curve, a lot of Loops (installed and downloadable), tools and editing options – more than you might need. Hokusai Music Editor, AudioKitas well as Spire are several additional audio editing apps that are either free or free to use with in-app purchases.

Make your own music

Next, you need to get comfortable with the idea of ​​creating multiple audio tracks and mixing those tracks together.

GarageBand and other DAWs work with what’s called a timeline, usually a horizontal set of tracks stacked on top of each other that display audio levels and offer editing options like fade in/out, effects, and the ability to repeat a section. loop track.

You can control and adjust the pitch and tempo of the music on the fly on one or more tracks at the same time, as well as keep adding tracks to the mix or turning them off without completely removing them.

Music editing can be a time-consuming process, but it can also be an extremely fun and creative job. If you are stuck or can’t figure out how to apply a sound effect or get the sound you want, the Internet filled with tutorials and tips.

Unleash your inner Mozart

Some musicians don’t just want to make music and post it online, they want to put it on paper as sheet music.

Applications such as Sebelius as well as concept allow you to create notes on the iPad’s touchscreen by typing to your heart’s content. Notion costs $15, Sebelius is free, both offer in-app purchases to expand their experience by adding different tools and options.

Put your music there

Once you have the sound you want and have edited it to the right length, you will need to export the track in a format that your future fans can hear it in.

You have many options here. Regardless of which DAW you use, you will likely have the ability to determine the quality of the audio file and specify where you want to send it. MP3 and AAC are two formats that create a smaller file size and can be saved with different quality settings. If your exported audio sounds a lot worse than what you’ve edited, you may have your audio quality settings too low. Uncompressed audio formats such as WAV, AIFF, and FLAC provide higher audio quality, but the files are much larger and not easy to send via email or text.

GarageBand gives you the option to export an audio file directly as a ringtone or send it to music services like SoundCloud. Other places where you can post your original music include YouTube, or if you want to build a fan base, Group camp or Spotify.

Become a pro

Rumors have been circulating for several years that increasingly powerful Apple processors will lead to iPad versions of Apple’s Logic Pro or Avid Pro Tools, but so far those applications have been limited to computers.

However, these two programs, popular among music producers, have a lot to offer on the iPad. Logic console as well as Energetic control both are free and allow you to create music and control desktop apps through your iPad or iPhone if you have the desktop apps. Logic Remote also works with GarageBand.

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