How do I vocals in GarageBand?
December 9, 2014 6:57 PM   Subscribe

I want to record vocals in GarageBand for iPad. Please recommend a microphone and any other necessary gear I might need.

In the spring semester, I will be teaching a group of middle schoolers how to make music with GarageBand on iPad. I would like to be able to record vocals, as well as live instruments.

Can you recommend a decent microphone for <$100? Should I use the 1/8" jack or some sort of USB adapter? This is for the iPad Air.

Also, any other pro tips regarding iPad audio recording are welcome.
posted by gnutron to Technology (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
a <$100 mic probably isn't much better than just singing right into the ipad. More important are the headphones that wont bleed while they're singing over the track.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:03 PM on December 9, 2014

I can't speak to GarageBand on iPad using the jack, but if you need an audio interface, I have the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and think it's a really good USB preamp for the price. Super easy to use. There's a Solo version that's the same, with just one input, instead of two. Mine came with a lite version of Ableton (which your kids might like).
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:59 PM on December 9, 2014

The built-in mic on the iPad is actually pretty decent - better, in fact, than some external mics I've used. It takes a bit of fiddling to get the right positioning in relation to the mic, but so does any mic.

For instruments, you'll want to connect it to the iPad like you would to anything else - I plug the pickup from my acoustic guitar directly into my iPad jack, for example (with an 1/8" adapter).
posted by okayokayigive at 5:39 AM on December 10, 2014

I agree that for under $100 you're not going to do much better than the built-in mic. If you can double your budget I would recommend the Apogee MiC.
posted by doctord at 9:01 AM on December 10, 2014

I have a Zoom H4n and love its built-in X/Y microphones. The fun thing is, Zoom now sells those exact microphones separate for use on an iOS device! For exactly $99 too.

Of course an X/Y microphone (a stereo pair) records two channels, and this might not be what you want for vocals. It's nicer if the vocals are placed in the center. But you can always find a way to use only a single channel. But if you want to record an instrument, it's a huge plus to record in stereo. E.g. a piano would sound silly if recorded with only one mic.

Hope this helps and good luck! It sounds like a fun class.
posted by hz37 at 1:37 PM on December 10, 2014

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