My iPad studio is outpacing my computer

Discussion in 'Home Recording Studio' started by diverse379, Jul 29, 2020.

  1. diverse379

    diverse379 Strat-O-Master

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    I am an amateur recording producer
    I have been honing my craft since the 80’s back then it was a four track
    In the 90’s it was a digital
    8 track

    And that is where it ended for me
    I
    Never got on board with protoools

    so I bought tascam
    24 track hardisk
    Recorder and I have been doing really well.

    last update I bought an mpcx and the associated akai daw the mpc also works well as an interface so I felt I was all set

    that was two years ago and it’s still in the closet collecting dust I only pulled it out once or twice so what had my attention?

    May iPad garage band I am recording all my guitar and bass and vocals on it and I am even buying apps mostly sound shaping not too many vst’s since I have ample keyboard gear. I know the sound quality isn’t the same but for my purposes of just getting the creativity out I am in a perfect place.

    literally can record daily and often the material comes out great my mic is nearby so whatever vocals I want to add can be done instantly.

    I am facing a new dilemma my iPad is running out of space and upgrading will cost 800.00 is it worth it to put this money into something that can’t make the professional leap?

    if I want to start to release my music shouldn’t I turn my attention toward the gear that can make that happen?
     
  2. Miotch

    Miotch Senior Stratmaster

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    Probably should strongly consider a switch if you are wanting to release your music.
    I've worked in the studio with ProTools and it is still the gold standard, in my opinion. But it is expensive and most decent plugins are probably going to set you back, too.

    I've only played around with Garage Band, but it was quickly clear it isn't powerful enough for what I needed to do at the time . And I never recorded enough at home to justify spending money on ProTools, so I use Reaper. It's a great program, but you will have to use the Cuckos Forum to get questions answered when you are starting out using it (and probably anytime you step out of your comfort zone and try something new). The good news it is inexpensive (can be free forever, if you wait for the countdown), powerful and you can get a whole lot of great plugins for free. There are a lot of other DAW programs out there that a lot of people use and swear by.

    As far as a hardware platform, I can't see spending that kind of money to upgrade an iPad. You can offload things on it to store them on a hard drive and free up some space, though. It is a bit of a PITA, but I've done it many times when my old iPhones had limited storage.

    If you decide to spend the money and go with ProTools, I'd probably drop a lot of cash on a good Mac. If you use Reaper or another DAW, I'd spend about $1,000-$1,500 and get a really powerful PC. Then, if you decide to do that, you have to decide laptop or desktop. Generally, a desktop runs cooler, hence faster, than a comparably equipped laptop. However, laptops are so powerful now, I personally wouldn't even consider a desktop unless I was doing it for a living. I just dropped $999 on a laptop for my son that has an i7 9750, 16g memory, 6gig graphics card, 512 SS drive and a 1 TB spinning hard drive. Unbelievable what you can get for the money these days. But I've run DAWs with great results even on old Pentium machines with 4g memory.

    And never underestimate the ability of a big screen to help in editing. If you are splicing, looping, of doing anything with timing, or a lot of instruments, a big screen is a huge aid to let you really see minute details on your edits. If you go laptop, a 15.6" is the minimum I could get away with. A 17" even better. Or just plug it into a huge standalone screen. I've tried using it on a giant TV as a screen and it was just weird, though. I need the screen right in front of me as I work.

    There are just so many ways to go. In the end, important factors are: what are you trying to do; how much time will you put into it and hugely, what is your budget. Not just for a DAW platform, but other related equipment. It makes no sense to go out and drop $1,500 on a workstation if you aren't going to have decent microphones or interface.
     
  3. rikbigcat

    rikbigcat Strat-Talk Member

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    If the iPad is your "jam" you might want to start asking questions on the Audiobus forum if you're not already on an iPad music-focused forum. I was deliriously creative with my 80s 4-track, really happy with a win98 PC (with expensive Yamaha sound card, Cubase and FL Studio), but hit a road block with iPad. But others are devoted to it and it might be a matter of either backing up or fine-tuning your music apps to get you to the next level, without risking jumping to another platform (Mac, PC, different DAW) that affects your output.
     
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  4. 33db

    33db Senior Stratmaster

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    Can't you use an external https://duckduckgo.com/?q=external+drive+ipad+pro&t=opera&ia=webdrive? Move stuff you're not using off, or point the iPad storage to the external drive.
     
  5. pazman6

    pazman6 Senior Stratmaster

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    $800 would get you a new PC rig that could produce professional sounding results. If you want to make a switch for fairly low $$ I would use a lower end pc, $99 - $199 interface and use a free DAW. Cakewalk is outstanding and actually 100% free. It also comes with decent plugins and some soft synths as well. A PC that will work for recording will set you back$350 to$550 depending on how much ram and HD space you want.

    My most recent rig for putzing around when in my office is an HP Ryzen 3 desktop with a 250GB SSD (~$400). I have 64 bit Cakewalk DAW (Windows 10) on it (FREE). I am using a 5+ yearold Tascam US-1800 interface on it ($180). It runs great and lets me use numerous plugins and softsynths with virtually no latency. With a SSD and smart use of plugins (use buses instead of plugins on each channel for common items - like Reverb) - it easily will play/mix 20+ channels with automation without any problems. While the storage on the PC is pretty minimal, I archive older projects off to external drives, so you only have a few projects on the PC at a time.

    I actually run my real sessions on 6 to 10 year old PCs with a first series i5 processor and another with an older AMD 6 core processor. My live recording rig (no plugins - recording only) is a Pentium Pro with Cakewalk Sonar X2 on Windows XP with an 80GB SSD and it can record/play 24 tracks at 24bit/48khz all day long without a glitch, dropout, etc. It interfaces to a 32x8x2 Mixer via 2 Echo 12 channel firewire interfaces.

    The whole problem with the getting into recording is that you will chase better "everything" all the time. So best to set a budget, get what you need and make it work. It can be like having a boat if you are not careful - always chasing something new and better of replacing stuff.
     
  6. diverse379

    diverse379 Strat-O-Master

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    I never even knew such a thing existed thank you for the heads up
     
  7. diverse379

    diverse379 Strat-O-Master

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    Many of made a very good case but I don’t know if I mentioned I already have computers and daws and an mpcx
    I have a Mac Pro with Akai daw already on the computer and I am a pro tools 8 license user I probably could pay 100 to upgrade to 9 and use with my mpc as the sound interface so I don’t think cost or equipment availability was or is the problem,

    I think the issue has been creative flow.

    I can record into my iPad garage band and get 7 tracks laid including vocals. In literally 15 min. And there is never any hiccups nothing to slow down the creative process.

    perhaps if I got to thst degree of comfort on a computer I would like it but protools I have owned since the mbox2 came out and I have never been able to record much of anything on it.

    either latency crashes or just too much technology fried my. Creative flow,

    all that being said I may give protools and akai another shot
    I will look into downloading it back on my computer
     
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  8. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Jaguar Convert Strat-Talk Supporter

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    do what works for you. If it's good music and even decent quality, people will enjoy it. People in the past have done a lot, with much less. If what you have is easy and fun, then it's a good formula for you to do your thing

    Personally, I'm more than thrilled with my setup. Focusrite 2i2 (couple hundred bucks,) a condenser mic, a regular mic that I use for gigging vocals, Reaper, and a 3-400 dollar laptop. I can get studio quality stuff (IMO) with that.

    here is an incomplete track with no vox yet

     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
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  9. diverse379

    diverse379 Strat-O-Master

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    You are the second person to mention Reaper


    Well I went on the protoools
    Website
    My legacy Protools 8 is not upgradable

    I could use it but would have to buy an Ilok and a new mbox2 so about 120.00 or so

    for an old version of protools

    but like I said I have The Akai which although no one really mentions it
    It has all the plugins that protools
    Offers
     
  10. diverse379

    diverse379 Strat-O-Master

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    Maybe I will dig in this weekend
    And get to work recording using tracks on the pc

    the mpcX is a stand-alone so I find myself just recording into it
     
  11. diverse379

    diverse379 Strat-O-Master

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    there really is a lot to be said for happiness
    Garage band is super easy and not it has become super familiar
     
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  12. diverse379

    diverse379 Strat-O-Master

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    Nice track what kind of drums are those ve or machine?

    cymbals sound amazing

    mix is really nice
    Your mastering tools were included in reaper?
     
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  13. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Jaguar Convert Strat-Talk Supporter

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    cool. A new interface/DAW won't entirely change your music. maybe some things may sound a bit cleaner, but your music will still be your music.
     
  14. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Jaguar Convert Strat-Talk Supporter

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    thanks! I'll PM you my drum info. Everything I use for mixing and mastering is in reaper, or a free VST I got from www.vst4free.com
     
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  15. CigBurn

    CigBurn You should see the other guy. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Just reading along.. But hey Nick thats some nice stuff you have going on there.
     
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  16. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Jaguar Convert Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Thanks bud!
    I started it a few months ago. Life is so busy, so hard to find time between kids, gigging, and work, to find the energy and time to sit down and finish it, and do more.
     
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  17. Bladesg

    Bladesg Funk Meister Strat-Talk Supporter

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    IMO, Logic Pro is great value for money. I haven't renewed my ProTools perpetual license because I can still run older versions on both Mac and PC but I think going forward I'm going to continue learning and getting used to LPX
     
  18. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

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    .

    You have a 'creative flow' problem more than a hardware problem.

    I'd keep using the iPad but certainly see about how to offload as many old files and apps that you can so storage is no longer a problem. Move all the photos and video snippets. Strip it down so it only fills your music creation needs to get in and get out quickly. Make its new storage home in the guitar case so you're not sitting on the couch at night surfing and filling it up with stuff.

    Then you can polish the files up on another PC/DAW/etc system you want. Maybe you have a friend with the full DAW setup and you get them to help you finalize the tweaks needed to publish. You'll just need to figure out how to easily transfer files as all your individual tracks.

    (Or is Apple forcing an OS upgrade that is too big for the iPad? If that is the case, they like to do that btw to keep a forced upgrade cash flow coming in, then avoid the upgrade.)

    You might go this path for the editing/publishing of your collected iPad tracks.



    .
     
  19. diverse379

    diverse379 Strat-O-Master

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    Wow that’s deep lots of reasons to give logic a shot
     
  20. diverse379

    diverse379 Strat-O-Master

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    Super helpful info thank you very much creative flow is for sure the bigger problem.