Most people that know me, understand that I use my iPad or iPhone or iPod Touch to make music, using a variety of apps available very cheaply on the AppStore. A lot of people that hear my stuff on SoundCloud don’t know my exact method because I don’t advertise iOS music making, in pretty much the same way others don’t disclose their exact working methods or tools of choice..
But let me tell you that a few years my brother sent me an iPod Touch which arrived almost exactly on the day my custom pc with loads of decent music software (and 40 completed tracks) decided to die!! And I never looked back..
In time I upgraded to an iPad then other devices but still could not stop using an iPod touch for music making.
It is a common misconception that iOS music apps are “toys”, but I assure you that there are quite a few pro tools that can be used for full and complete music production, including pre mastering. Just because something doesn’t cost the earth, doesn’t mean it’s not good quality..
Anyway, my current working method is that I use an app called ” Nanostudio” which costs under £15. It is a full daw and is equipped with synths and drum machines. Both the keyboards and drum pads can host samples and loops from other apps via a process called “audio copy and paste” or ACP for short.
Think Microsoft Word, you copy and paste text, but translate that into audio and you arrive at ACP. So, then, you arrange, perform and sequence in Nanostudio’s built-in sequencer according to your need. Further, you can add fx automation, panning and fades in whatever way you want and do a final mix down, then export to your daw, other apps or SoundCloud.
The beauty of Nanostudio is the built in Eden Synths. They are very powerful and supremely tweakable…all the oscillators, filters, lfos and all that are available at your disposal. Tweak an existing preset, or make your own from a sine, sawtooth wave, etc…
I generally import my beats / breaks from another app called glitchbreaks ( more about that in another post ), but for the most part I’ll use the Eden synths. Occasionally I’ll paste synth sounds from another app…
With ACP, it’s almost like you have multiple VSTs at your disposal. So, a secondhand iPod Touch 4gen ( wouldn’t reccomend earlier model ), will cost you around £100 from a decent cash converter shop ( they will give you a free 6 month warranty on the device too) and Nanostudio and glitchbreaks combined will cost around a further £20. That brings us up to £120 for a full DAW and one of the most advanced best manipulators on earth.
In the next few days I’ll help you spend another £30, bringing the total to £150!! And the beauty of this kind of set up really is the mobility.. Gotta go somewhere? Stick your studio in your pocket and go out the door : )
Still don’t believe me? Here is a track done by myself, with the above-mentioned apps on my own iPod Touch: