Stereo USB audio recording apps
I've been recording church services, mixing several mikes thru a Peavey PV10 and sending the USB output into an iBook G4. Audacity recorded stereo tracks from the USB feed.
When the iBook died, I decided it was time to see whether an iPad 2 would be a suitable replacement. The USB adapter in the Camera Connection Kit accepts the PV10's USB feed, and GarageBand recognizes and records the USB audio (instead of the internal microphone).
However, GarageBand has two serious shortcomings:
I scanned all 14 pages of the "All About Music And Recording" thread, hoping to find a recommendation of a stereo audio recording app. I found passing mention of a number of apps, with little or no detail.
- Mono (left channel) recording
- Limited recording length (320 bars)
I'm opening this thread for a discussion of using an iPad as a high quality audio recorder.
Success with Blue FiRe and FiRe 2
Thanks, Rich, for prompting me to report on my recording experiences.
My search for an iPad 2 recording app eventually led me to two developed by Audiofile Engineering:
Blue FiRe 1.5.6 is an iPhone recording app offered free by Blue Microphones. In addition to supporting their microphones, Blue FiRe can record a stereo line-level feed from a Peavey PV10 connected via USB through the Camera Connection Kit's USB adapter.
Individual recordings can be played back on the iPad and can be exported via two techniques:
The exported file is AIFF, two channel. A "High" quality recording has a 768 Kb bit rate.
- FTP upload to an FTP server (which I didn't try)
- Browser download using a Wi-Fi LAN URL (with an ever-changing port number)
FiRE 2.1.0, the latest release from Audiofile Engineering, costs $5.99 and offers a number of improvements:
Since both are iPhone apps, they don't take advantage of the iPad 2's much larger screen. The iPhone-sized recorder screen is adequate. Most of the other displays require scrolling to see all items/options, which is annoying on my iPad.
- Editing suite with SmartEdits, Bezier fades, change gain, normalize, looping playback, ...
- Improved Transport screen with faster and smoother drawing and larger waveform view
- iTunes File Sharing
- Dropbox & SoundCloud integration
- Record in background
- No "upgrade to version 2" ad at launch time
During my initial testing of FiRe 2, I had one instance where the app did not "see" the external audio feed and insisted on recording using the internal iPad mike. Fully quitting the app and making the USB connection before relaunching the app seemed to cure that problem.
My three hour-long live recordings (one Blue FiRe & two FiRe 2) were a satisfying success.