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Stereo USB audio recording apps

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by WardC, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. WardC
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    WardC iPF Noob

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    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:
    • Mono (left channel) recording
    • Limited recording length (320 bars)
    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.

    I'm opening this thread for a discussion of using an iPad as a high quality audio recorder.

    -- Ward
  2. kingunge
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    kingunge iPF Noob

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    I have a similar problem, ward C. I am intending to conduct interviews for doctoral studies and hoped to use iPad 2 for audio recording. Answers to your question will be helpful insights to my situation. Many thanks
  3. richardk32
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    richardk32 iPF Noob

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    Ward,
    I'm searching for the same capability, and astounded that I've not yet found it. Just a stereo line level feed of reasonable quality into the iPad. 256k vbr AAC or ALAC would be amazing, but 128k would do for my purposes. I thought a Griffen iMic into that camera adapter would do it, but the App part doesn't appear to exist. Any luck on your end?
    rich
  4. WardC
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    WardC iPF Noob

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    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:
    • 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)
    The exported file is AIFF, two channel. A "High" quality recording has a 768 Kb bit rate.

    FiRE 2.1.0, the latest release from Audiofile Engineering, costs $5.99 and offers a number of improvements:
    • 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
    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.

    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.

    -- Ward
  5. richardk32
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    richardk32 iPF Noob

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    Thanks for getting me a step closer. Could you give me a rough on how big the file was for the hour recording?

    The Peavey PV10 is overkill for my present needs, but it's nice to know it's an option. I'm also intrigued by the just announced but not yet shipping Mackie iPad-based board.

    For my purposes, the mix is happening in the broadcast console (a Gates Executive, if you can believe it), so I just need the last step - a set of unbalanced RCA line level outs into the iPad. I've talked to the folks at Griffen Technologies about their iMic2. They haven't tested it for this need, but they seemed intrigued by the possibilities. There are also the Behringer UCA boxes, but I need to explore that more, including what type of power draw it puts on the iPad.

    I will certainly check out the Audiofile apps. Both sound like good alternatives to Garage Band.
  6. WardC
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    WardC iPF Noob

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    My first three recordings, which are all roughly an hour long, vary in size from 668 MB to 743 MB. All were exported as AIFF files. I suspect other formats result in larger or smaller files.

    The PV10 is actually overkill for my church service recordings, mixing only 3 mikes. The PV10 has six mono inputs plus two stereo inputs. It's quite a nice board for only $200 - $300.

    Even if recordings could be handled with GarageBand (short, mono recordings), I'd still pick one of the two FiRe apps for their simplicity and ease of use.

    -- Ward
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  7. iDuffer
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    iDuffer iPad Fan

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    Alesis Studio Dock? Looks good, also TASCAM iM2 if you just need a mic(kingunge )
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  8. Gabriel1
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    Gabriel1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Have they fixed the Alesis yet, I read a lot of reports that it wasn't working?

    The Archangel
  9. iDuffer
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    iDuffer iPad Fan

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    Just reading about it, it looks like you need to get an adapter from Alesis for the iPad2 Mmm. I'm sound tech for an amateur dramatics company, so I'm hoping for a nice solution to play back sound effects / music etc. Just spotted the Lexicon Omega, looks promising as well. website says Customers can connect the Lexicon Omega to an iPad using a USB cable and USB host adaptor (like the iPad Camera Connection Kit)
  10. Gabriel1
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    Gabriel1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Nice find, the Omega does look cool......may have to think about raiding my bank account again!

    The Archangel
  11. bossy
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    bossy iPF Novice

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    I have the Alesis io dock and it's excellent. Occasionally there is an issue with crackling noise but this is usually resolved by putting the ipad in to airplane mode.
  12. Gabriel1
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    Gabriel1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That's good to hear, I have thought about buying one but the reviews put me off.

    The Archangel
  13. anthonyalves
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    anthonyalves iPF Novice

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    Multi input audio App and Devices

    :ipad-keyboard:The recording app that records more than one track at a time is Daw Multitrack Recorder. Link to their website from the app store for a list of tested USB audio input/output devices that work with this app.

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