Even if you're not an aspiring professional musician, there are a lot of excellent apps available to help you express your creativity. For the most part, you can avoid the very inexpensive or free apps—useful tools will cost you $7 and up. Whether you're interested in recording and mixing live music, or creating performances with only your iPhone, there's an app to meet your needs. Here are some of the best ways to unlock your musical creativity.
The App Store's music category has apps that can help you tune your guitar, remember song names, learn Indian drumming on the tabla, and listen to radio stations from all over the world. Some apps let you use the touchscreen to simulate real instruments like a ukulele, piano, or guitar; others let you play wind instruments using the microphone. There are plenty of drum apps that will let you join in the rhythm section around a campfire jam session. There are also great apps for learning how to read sheet music.
Get the most from your iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad using Apple's iTunes and Third Party Programs
iTunes is arguably the most important app for your Apple mobile device. It's the first program you use after you buy an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, and it's the only way to backup and restore the device or update its operating system. There is an enormous variety of content available through the iTunes Store—so much so that it can be hard finding and managing content. Fortunately, there are some excellent "helper" programs available. Let's take a look at some of the best.
Nate Adcock already posted a short blog on the Amplitube iRig, and I have written about Amplitube here, but I got a press release a few weeks back about “Kurt the Cyber Guy” and AmpliTube iRig with 311’s Nick Hexum on TV. I went to the site to look for this clip thinking it would be neat to share and instead found this clip of Richard Fortus of Gun n Roses playing with the app. I've been playing for a number of years myself and have experimented with the app and its pretty cool. The only covate is if you are using a iphone3G,
Looking for a creative musical composition and improvisational audio instrument that will keep your inner composer busy for hours on end? Then check out Amidio's Seline HD, a new approach at turning the iPad into a synthesizer optimized for the iPad's screen and touch interface.
Fingering the ioGrid on-screen keypad that triggers notes takes some practice, just like learning any new musical instrument for the first time. Odd notes are positioned for the left hand, while even notes sit on the right side of the split screen. Pitch bends and vibrato effects can be incorporated into the playback by manipulating the circle inside middle diamond shape on the screen. Notes can be stepped up or down using the up and down on-screen arrows accordingly.
The dream of thrashing out a hot guitar lick as a rock star is as pervasive today as it ever has been before. For the Baby Boomers and Gen X'ers whose teenage years didn't have the imaginary benefit of plastic guitar controllers connected to videogame consoles, they had to learn the dream the old fashioned way - acquiring an electric guitar, an amp and the skills necessary to play the fundamental power chords. Today's younger generation are being introduced to this dream first by basic basic rhythm and colors on a Guitar Hero or Rock Band controller, but next generation games in this genre are already taking the concept to the next level by connecting an actual guitar with actual strings and frets with the ultimate goal of teaching gamers how to play a guitar. Hence a
If you have kept up with the digital media revolution, you probably have a bunch of your favorite music loaded up on a computer, or perhaps like me, spread over several in different parts of the house. If you use iTunes or Windows Media Player, you can easily share these different music libraries on your home network, but this limits on which computers or devices you can actually connect and play them.
I'm going to have to give this cable/app combo from Griffin and Frontier Design a go when I get a chance (called GuitarConnect and iShred respectively). I am spoiled somewhat in that my Line 6 amp already has a robust amount of modelling built into it. I like purer amp sounds, without much experimenting with effects, but then I'm a pretty old school rock player--couldn't hurt to broaden the horizons a bit. I have seen a couple of these guitar rigs out there for iPhone iOS (the Guitarbud, and iRig), and am starting to get curious.
A bit of news for the would be iPad recording artist and an article correction/update to our recent issue. The amazing Yeti USB mic from Blue Microphones can be used with the iPad (using a connection kit). The Yeti is an excellent recording mic, but combined with the iPad and Blue FiRe app, you can have the makings of a lightweight recording rig. I also need to print a correction to my recent article on recording with Blue FiRe. I said that BF only recorded in mono, but in fact supports both mono and stereo. Read on for more press info about the Yeti + iPad hookup..
Connecting iPad and Yeti...
In a recent column I wrote about the Slacker streaming music service that lets you create "stations" that stream only your favorite type of music. And I highlighted a new feature of their Slacker Radio app for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad: the ability to cache songs for offline listening. But the caching feature requires a Slacker Radio Plus account. I have good news: I'm giving away five 1-year and five 3-month subscriptions to Slacker Radio Plus.