MIDI Step Sequencer For iPad

There are so many cool music making and recording apps for the iPad that it's hard to keep up with them all. Here is a recent one that is a 4-track MIDI sequencer called the Nord Beat CoreMIDI Step Sequencer. IF you don't know what sequencer does - well, it's sort of like the drum machines of old (though the sounds a sequencer uses don't have to be drums). There is a tempo and time signature you can assign to a box (in this case, an iPad app). Then there are buttons that correspond to up to 16 beats in one "sequence." You can assign a sound - usually a drum hit - to each button to create a pattern over the sequence. Then you can build songs by stitching together a bunch of sequences. Anyway, here is some info on the Nord Beat: … [Read more...]

Home Recording Awesomeness – Virtual Instruments

Professional sounding audio recording is not as dependent on money (for good gear, studio musicians, commercial studios, etc.) like it was for so many years. Now you can produce pro audio right from your computer without having to spend much (or any) money at all. This new technology has also made it possible to record instruments for your music that you don't actually have.  You can have drums, piano, trumpets, guitars, etc. playing in your song without knowing how to play these instruments or without having someone else play them.  Sounds impossible, right?  Well that's the magic of virtual instruments. Real Virtual Instruments I'm sure you're familiar with the typical sounds a computer plays when a MIDI file is launched (for a review of what MIDI is, see our article: MIDI Recording – … [Read more...]

Should You Use A Click Track?

I always use some form of tempo guide, like a click track, when recording music.  For one thing, it leaves open the option to add MIDI drums or percussion later in the project.  But it also allows you to copy and paste parts of, say, a guitar part that may have had a buzz, or a screw-up.  If the whole song is locked to the same beats per minute (BPM), it's a lot easier to copy a section of it (say the same guitar chord without the buzz or screw-up) and paste it into another part of the song.  And if you plan to send your part of a recording to a drummer who lives in another state, it sure helps him/her to lay down the drums after the fact if the song has a steady and consistent tempo. So for me the only question is whether I want to use my recording software's built-in click track ( I … [Read more...]

Awesome Reaper Software Tools – Glue Items

One of the most useful tools I have found in any video or audio recording software seems only to be found in Reaper audio software.  That tool is called "Glue Items."  I use it so often in Reaper that when I edit audio I find myself searching for the same tool and not finding it.  This tool allows you to immediately combine multiple audio or MIDI items on a track and treat them as one item. So What Is "Glue Items"? When working with audio or video, there is a horizontal container or track, that I sometimes call a swim lane.  Audio or video items are placed into these tracks.  Now if you simply have a single audio file that you have open in your software (such as Reaper or Adobe Audition), maybe an mp3 you just wanted to make louder or something, the concept of gluing (glue-ing?) won't be … [Read more...]

Review of iRig MIDI by IK Multimedia

IK multimedia has added yet another cool product that can turn you iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad into a professional audio recording tool. This time it's the iRig MIDI interface ($69.99), which allows you to connect a MIDI keyboard (or other MIDI device like drum machines, guitar and floor controllers, etc.) to your iOS device. For my review I used my iPhone 4. The iRig MIDI works with iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch 3rd and 4th generations, and both iPad versions. The primary use for this thing, at least from a home recording perspective, is as a virtual instrument. You can use it with several different instrument apps for the iPhone/iPad, but IK Multimedia's own SampleTank app was designed specifically to work in connection with it. The standard, computer-based SampleTank … [Read more...]