Welcome to the next in our series of Making Music with Apps tutorials. Today Danny J Lewis breaks down the MIDI/audio connection process when recording material from your music apps into your chosen DAW.
This post was originally published in DJ Magazine’s free online edition DJ Weekly issue 103
“So last time we took a look at using a selection of iPad music apps to create a drum and bass idea quickly and easily. You’ll have noticed that we didn’t pay much attention to the actual physical connection aspect and seeing as we’ve had a variety of questions on the subject we thought we’d dedicate this week’s article and video to the subject.
The camera connection kit is one of the ways that you can use a MIDI keyboard to bring a traditional method of inputting note data. Alternatives do exist so if you don’t want to go the official apple route take a look at products from companies such as IK Multimedia and Alesis. This small white box adds a USB input to the iPad that actually was originally designed for camera to iPad photo transfer. If your MIDI keyboard is class compliant however you’ll find that it will probably work perfectly. Most of the apps will work straight away with the keyboard but some such as the Animoog will require you to choose from a selection of input devices in the MIDI settings section. Experienced keyboard players will of course love this option as it bridges the traditional with the future but is it necessary? It’s definitely not and in some respects, using the touch screen of the iPad is preferable. Take for example the modulation on Animoog – the vertical positioning of your fingers on the notes changes the character of the sound.
A simple stereo mini jack to 2 x mono phono jack lead will enable you to connect the iPad to your audio interface. If you don’t have an audio interface you could stick with a stereo mini jack to stereo mini jack lead and plug from iPad into your laptop/desktop but be aware that the audio quality will be inferior. You will also need to setup your DAW to accept the incoming audio stream and turn the monitoring on so that you can hear what’s happening in realtime. Make sure you get as low an audio buffer size as possible in order to avoid annoying latency. We’d suggest recording your iPad apps early in the composition stage, then when things get more complex in the production and you don’t need to ‘play’ elements in anymore you can increase the buffer size without any penalties.
Even if you only add one app based element to your workflow process we’re sure you’ll get some form of benefit. The hybrid desktop/iPad app studio brings an extra dimension to your writing process. Watch the video to see both the MIDI and Audio setup in context on a relaxed deep house vibe.”
Here’s another batch of high quality, royalty free samples, this time from our friends at Loopmasters. It includes sounds from their Nu School Deep House, Simon Garcia, Movie Dialogue 5, Sublime Tech Vocals, Epic Electro & Tech House, Tom Middlelton and Main Room Chords packs.
To download the samples click the ‘pay with a tweet’ button below. Enjoy!
Hi. This is Danny Lewis, Course Developer and Tutor, here at PointBlank Online. You’re watching Making Music with Apps. In the last episode of Making Music with Apps, we looked at using iOS applications to create a musical idea, but we didn’t go into the connections.
Step 1 is the Camera Connection kit. Plug it into your iPad and your keyboard. Step 2: Plug in the Mini-Jack into your headphone adapter, and then the left and right jacks into your Audio Interface.
Into Ableton Live now. We’re going to come up to the Preferences audio tab. Make sure your audio input device is set to the audio interface that you connected your cables into. That’s the first stage. Let’s create an audio track.
The input-output routing is crucial. You can see here, Audio from External In, that’s what we want. You can turn this in and out routing off or on, on the right-hand side. We can see that at the moment; that’s good. The monitor is set to Auto. If I click Record Enable down here, I can hear and see the level coming in from the [inaudible: 01:22]. You might want to adjust your input level if it’s a little bit too quiet, on the interface, on the balance. I’ve got 2 rotary controls, one for left, one for right. We’ve also got a signal and clip meter. See, that’s nice and green. If that was red, we’d want to turn it down, turning to the left. I think I’ve got a good level here. I’m just going to experiment on top of that backing. Let’s have a listen.
There we go. We can take a look at the audio that’s been recorded. We can check it out and see how that feels. That’s working absolutely fine. Just a little summary: Once again, Preferences, Audio, the input device, make sure it’s the same as the audio interface that you’ve connected your cables to. Make sure you’ve got Record Enable on an audio track. If you need to check, you can do the in and out routing on the right-hand side. and then select from one of your input sources.
I hope you enjoyed that second installment. Check out PointBlankOnline.net, for the courses, and YouTube.com/PointBlankOnline for the free tutorials. After the break, you’re going to see and advert about the unique one-to-one feedback that PointBlank Online has with its students.
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The Online Masterclass is a 1-hour session you get with your tutor every week. You can ask questions about lesson content. You get instant feedback, and also, demonstrations on-the-fly from their computer desktop, with our streaming technology.
DVR stands for direct video response, and the concept is really simple. You upload your Ableton, Logic, or [inaudible: 03:37] project file to your tutor, he downloads it, and then pushes Record on the screen-capturing software and evaluates your work, basically giving you one-to-one feedback. You’ll see all of the mouse movements and any parameter changes made by your tutor. It’s kind of like sitting in the studio, over their shoulder, watching what they’re doing whilst they work.
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