It seems timely that the lowly Commodore C64 was introduced 30 years ago this week. The C64 was my introduction to music technology, and my gateway to the larger world of instructional technology. I used the C64 with a MIDI interface and some very basic sequencing software to control a Casio CZ101 keyboard, a Korg DW6000 keyboard, and a Yamaha RX15 drum machine. I used these devices with my music classes, as well as to create music for various personal projects. The setup was simple, elegant, and it worked. Many computers and software packages later, the technology has improved, but I still haven’t found anything to capture that initial magic – until now.
The iPad is ideally suited for portable music production. I’ve been playing with several apps since I got this thing back last spring, but over Christmas I’ve really been exploring its capabilities. I also go my first iPhone right before Thanksgiving, so I’ve also been looking at both devices and how they can work together, both for live performance and for music sequencing and recording.
By now just about everyone has seen YouTube videos of smart phone bands. There’s NorthPoint Church’s iPad/iPhone band playing Christmas music, and Geico’s infamous commercial asking, “Do people do dumb things with smart phones?” While these are cool (and I’d probably be right in there with them, given the opportunity), I want to explore the personal applications for making music.
So, over the next several posts I’m going to be taking a look at different aspects of iOS music. I want to look at the devices as Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs), look at aspects of musical synthesis, and look at recording, sampling and effects processing. I’ll also show you a few accessories I’ve picked up to make these devices work together very nicely, and also integrate into my current home studio. I can’t guarantee that the music will be stellar, but it should be fun.