What's a better alternative than GarageBand for iPad composing/recording
January 14, 2014 12:12 PM Subscribe
I like to compose songs on my iPad. I lay down tracks with various virtual instruments on GarageBand for iPad and then I sing over those tracks. But I am looking to go beyond Garageband for iPad now...
posted by DMelanogaster to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not very sophisticated with music mixing etc., and so far GarageBand for iPad has been great for me. (On my PC I use Ableton, which has various pluses of course, but also some minuses). BUT there are things I don't like about GB. e.g. what I really HATE is the way that when you want to play an instrument other than keyboards you have to pretend that you are actually playing the instrument. What I mean is, when I want to add cello I have to pluck the stupid fake strings of the cello. Same with guitar etc. I want to use a keyboard template for all instruments. This is an advantage of Ableton of course (and most other programs I've come across). So I wind up using mostly the keyboards in GarageBand for iPad and that's limiting. Also I hate the drums.
What I love about GarageBand for iPad, though, is that I can record my voice so easily over the tracks. Also the very basic editing process is so simple (although there are of course limitations). I like that now that GB for iPad has an editor, I can put down a note and then go into the editor and change that note. Although it's a sloppy process, it serves as a substitute for my favorite thing about Ableton -- writing the notes with the pencil onto the grid. That process of writing music works far better for me than playing an instrument, virtual or real, and hoping I get it right during the recording.
Lately the limitations of GarageBand for iPad have been seeming bigger than the advantages, and I wonder if, in the two years that I've been using it, there haven't been any new apps for iPad that have come along that would be better for me.
I'm looking number one, for an app that has a "Record" button so that I can sing directly into the iPad over the tracks I make. Number two, I want to be able to lay down tracks for various virtual instruments using a keyboard format for all of them (as opposed to pretending you're playing e.g. the cello) -- (but what I REALLY want is the pencil and grid -- I want to "compose" music in that way -- but I can live without that function as long as I can enter all sounds on a virtual keyboard.) Third -- I want either better drum sounds than GB for iPad provides (or Ableton provides - I hate their drum sounds too), OR I want this app to have an easy way to import sounds from other programs. For example, I see that there are fabulous virtual synth apps available for iPad, but I haven't acquired any because I don't know how to record something on the synth app and import into GB (or another app that puts everything together into a multi-track recording).
So -- that's what I want.
I have another problem too -- I've acquired certain apps over the years and haven't been able to figure them out. Some of them just don't explain themselves very well. Most of them seem to be written by people in non-English speaking countries and/or they're trying for some sort of non-verbal explanations that they think can be understood by everyone. But I need WORDS; I need a nice tutorial. Or something that takes me step by step through the recording process.
Is all this too much to ask for the iPad?
If it is, it is. Fine. I have Ableton. But I just thought I'd look into what's most recent for the iPad. Thank you.