Need iPad advice for guitar recording

Discussion in 'iPad for Musicians' started by Sigur Ros, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. Sigur Ros

    Sigur Ros
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    I am considering getting an iPad mostly for recording guitar.
    I have an Android tablet so for everything else I am set, I am really just trying talk myself into this because I know iPads are better for some things, including recording.... but I have a budget.

    My question, for those who multitrack on their iPads, What should I place more importance on...
    The more powerful iPad Air (64gb) or the storage space of the regular iPad (128gb) ?

    Will I just keep filling up the storage on a 64GB ? (with DAW, photo editing apps, and of course multitrack recordings).

    My Android tablet has removable microSD so storage is never an issue, and I'm not sure what to expect.
    Plus I don't record on it so those file sizes are an unknown to me also.
    BTW, the Air/256, and the Pros are not of interest because I don't know how much I will actually end up using this and thus they are more than I want to pay.

    Thank you.
     
  2. giradman

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    Hello and welcome to the forum! :) First, I am not a musician (except for my teen years playing the accordion), but my wife has multiple instruments and sings - takes guitar/uke lessons from a NCSA Master's graduate - she has a simple recording app on her iPad Mini and sometimes takes a 'movie' w/ sound of his playing for finger positioning. So, there are plenty of 'recording' options in the iOS App Store (see a screen capture from my iPad Pro below) - also, there is a great app called GarageBand that is free and has a wide assortment of musical features - I'm not sure what your needs may be, e.g. simply recording vs. adding tracts, editing the music, etc. (which can be done in GarageBand - see link - and other apps).

    Second, your questions about 'which' iPad is right for you is a wide open one from your post, sorry. Budget seems to be your main concern - right? I would generally say get a newer & faster iPad w/ plenty of storage (64 GB might get 'tight' - my iPad Pro has 256 GB, with nearly 70 GB is used including 18 GB of MP3 music files); also if you want to listen to the music on the iPad, then the speaker quality varies between devices - you can get some inexpensive BT speakers for a better aural experience and there are plenty of ways (now both wired and wireless) to 'off load' files from the iPad - let me stop there so that you can 'digest' these comments and provide us more specifics regarding your needs and possibly your budget (and remember, a used and/or refurbished iPad might be a good compromise). Dave
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    AppStore.PNG
     
  3. Sigur Ros

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    To answer your first question, I would definitely need this for multitracking, using Garage band or more likely another DAW.
    My main concern is the initial purchase of the iPad itself.
    I can comfortably afford the 128GB regular iPad, but I know it's not as powerful as the iPad Air.
    And honestly I can't see paying for the Air with 256GB, as much as I'd like to, so it's either the Air/64GB or the regular iPad/128GB.
    I just don't know what is more valuable in regard to multitracking and DAWs.
    Power vs storage.

    When I wasn't getting a response here I asked elsewhere and was told I would be filling up either one pretty regularly, so go for power.

    Can I ask you about the wired off-loading of files.
    Is it possible to save to a USB (or lightning?) thumb drive ? I thought Apple had limits on these things.
    I know they can read from them... but save to them ?
    Is that what you meant by wired off-loading ?

    Thanks for your advice.
     
  4. twerppoet

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    With the release of iPadOS 13, you can access USB drives similar to the way you would on a computer; through the Files app, or if it supports the new features directly in that app. If the USB drive does not have a lightning connector, you can use a USB to lightning adaptor or hub. You can probably even find a lightning to microSD adaptor if you look around.

    That said, do some research before getting a drive to use with your iPad. Compatibility is not 100%. At least not yet. Especially with the non-Pro iPads. The USB-C port has a wider range of compatibly than the Lighting port.
     
  5. giradman

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    Well, I had to refresh my memory as to your eponym 'DAW', i.e. 'Digital Audio Workstation' (quote below - keep in mind that unfamiliar eponyms need to be spelled out initially and possibly explained to those that do not remember their meanings - really advice to all posting and assuming these abbreviations are obvious) - :)

    Appears that you need a rather sophisticated app/program to accomplish your goals - GarageBand may work out but may not - I don't know - others w/ more experience/knowledge will need to 'chime in'.

    Impossible for me to answer - someone who has used multiple iPads for your DAW purposes would have to respond - I would think that the current iPad w/ 128 GB of storage would be satisfactory if there is an app to serve your needs that will work w/ an iPad - cannot say much more, sorry.

    Well, I waited to respond (not really having the experience) - of course, your best iPad option is a modern Pro w/ a large enough screen to satisfy your needs, plenty of storage (i.e. 256 GB) and USB-C connector (this is a model that I own currently) - BUT, the cost will be close to $1000 and appears way out of your budget - trying to choose a model of lesser cost and balancing the power vs. storage (and other factors) includes a LOT of guesswork, IMO.

    I've own an iPad since 2011 (now on my 3rd one, an iPad Pro w/ facial ID, no 'home button', and USB-C connector; 11" display), and the ways to get files off the device have advance tremendously - for a long time, there were 'wireless' devices that used a variety of storage options including SD cards (involved using iPad apps w/ a proprietary Wi-Fi network connection) - with the newer iPads, esp. the USB-C connections, external wired drives have become possible - not using any at the moment myself, although I could easily experiment; again others may 'chime in' w/ their own experiences. Dave
     
  6. Sigur Ros

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    Thank you very much for that info. I didn't realize file transfers had come this far for Apple.
    Good to know.
     
    #6 Sigur Ros, Jan 2, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
  7. Sigur Ros

    Sigur Ros
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    Thanks again for your help.
    The DAW (digital audio workstation) ;) is not an issue, there are so many to choose from.
    Mostly the decision is the power vs storage. Of course I prefer the power but would hate to think I'd constantly be moving stuff off the iPad to make room for something else, with only 64GB.
    But if someone said the regular iPad would definitely handle the recording, that would make this easier. It's a $140 difference.
    The reason I don't want to spend much is because I don't really need a tablet for anything other than multitrack recording.
    I'm an Android guy and already have a tablet for everything else, but I know iPad is better for this specific purpose.

    Once again, I appreciate your thoughts on this.
     
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  8. giradman

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    Hello again - well, impossible for me to answer your question above about 'whether the regular iPad would...handle the recording' - one of our members who has actually done more complicated recording on an iPad would have to 'chime in' w/ suggestions, sorry - I'm assuming that you've visited some guitar forums that have threads on recording on portable devices? If not, I did a quick google search and had plenty of hits, such as This One - I think you may need to find a website w/ guitar players who do multi-track recordings on an iPad and/or similar tablet.

    BTW, my wife's guitar teacher (mentioned earlier) actually does multi-track recording of himself playing different instruments (and singing at times) and superimposes the tracks - I've never been to his place so not sure what he is using, but likely more dedicated electronics and not a portable device? Dave
     

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