Created using an iPad and the Animoog App and Mixed using Garage Band for iOS
The way digital technology has advanced in the past decade is amazing. Tablet devices have almost made the laptop obsolete and the mind-boggling array of apps available for these devices sends my head spinning to try and fathom which one to try next. If the truth be known, I spend way too much time on my iPad following Facebook and Twitter and love it for watching movies on Netflix and HBO Go. How could you not love all the mapping features and weather apps that make a huge world smaller and more accessible as well? The main reason I love my iPad and the primary reason I have one is to use it as a portable word processor and manage all of my songs lyrics/arrangements and set lists for the different gigs I play. Never again will I show up for a gig with a big-ass music stand (or one of the cheap wire models) and a bunch of paper and notebooks. I can bring the iPad and iKlip and have a nice, discreet viewing platform mounted firmly to my mic stand so my overcrowded and under rehearsed brain can always have a reference point to keep me on the one or at least in the right key, not to mention helping jog my aging memory on lyrics if I’m singing.
Taking it further, the iPad has the ability to control, play, and trigger all kinds of digital sounds, loops, or even light shows, depending on how much outboard gear you wish to haul around and setup. Last year I picked up a nice little 61 key Novation midi controller for my studio that I can use to control my iMac-based recording setup and to generate all kinds of cool sounds using an endless array of controller and synth software apps built for tablets. If I were a keyboard player, I could show up with this 5 lb. midi controller keyboard and the iPad in a back pack with cables, foot pedals, and anything else needed to play a gig. I might want to include a small amp and keyboard stand but this rig could just as easily run through the main PA rig. Granted, most professional keyboard players would probably want something bigger and more traditional, but I don’t see why you couldn’t easily play live gigs with a setup like this. It certainly sounds really good using the iPad.
The best part about using the iPad for midi and composing is the amazing and affordable apps now created for tablets. For five bucks you can get the premium version of Garage Band, which is not as powerful as the Mac OS version, but is still an amazing little tool for creating music and puts the power of digital composing and multi-track audio recording in your lap. Moog (pronounced Mohg) recently developed a mobile version of their incredible synthesizer called, Animoog. This has to be one of the best and most feature-rich portable synthesizer apps available and is an amazing bargain at $29.99. I purchased mine when they had it on special for $9.99. This application is the ultimate cure for boredom. In fact, you can sit in your easy chair and create the score to you next blockbuster Sci-Fi movie!