This app puts a multitrack recorder inside almost any music app

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MultiTrack Recorder Plugin
This is how we recorded multiple tracks in the olden days, kids.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

4Pockets’ MultiTrack Recorder Plugin is an audio-recording app that can be loaded inside other music apps. If you’ve ever seen an app like GarageBand or Logic in action, you’ll be familiar with the layout of multiple tracks on a horizontal timeline. MultiTrack Recorder Plugin offers exactly that, only it’s designed to be used inside other music apps. Apps that don’t have their own recording functions.

Making music on iPad forced me back to the Mac

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Tuning a ukulele
Sometime the old ways are the best.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I use my iPad for almost all my computing. I write, read, record and edit music, edit photos — you name it. I’ve used my decade-old Mac less and less in recent years, as the iPad, or rather iOS, has gotten ever more capable.

But this week I dusted off my Mac, ordered some extra RAM (yes, it’s still available!), and fired it up. Why? Because, as powerful as the iPad is, the Mac is still way, way better for some tasks. In my case, that task is recording and editing music.

Apple stores will now teach you how to remix Madonna

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Madonna
Madonna is back with a new album and a Today at Apple session.
Photo: Apple

Apple is joining forces with Madonna to help teach people how to make music.

The partnership is for a new Today at Apple Music Lab available at local Apple stores. Attendees will get a hands-on look at how Madonna’s newest track Crave was made and then be taught how to remix it.

iOS 13 wishlist: 6-ish ways Apple could improve audio

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This is what pre-iOS 13 audio looks like to a visitor from next year.
This is what pre-iOS 13 audio looks like to a visitor from next year.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

 

There’s one big thing I wish for when I kneel next to my bed at night, cross my fingers and think of iOS 13: better audio. Not better quality audio. That’s already great. I just want better control, and better features.

And this isn’t just specialized podcasting or music-making stuff. There are problems everywhere. You know how when you’re listening to music, and you open up the camera app, and your music stops playing? That kind of problem. Which is number one one on my list by the way. Check out the rest:

How to make music with an iPad and a ‘classic’ Swedish synth

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These two will make beautiful music together.
A perfect music-making combo.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

At first glance, the decade-old OP-1 synthesizer from Swedish musical instrument makers Teenage Engineering looks about as standalone as it gets.

The tiny device couples a short, piano-style keyboard with a screen. And it contains a drum machine, several synthesizers, a sampler, a handful of sequencers, a virtual four-track tape recorder and even an FM radio. You can create entire tracks on it with no other gear, or you can hook it up to electric guitars and microphones and bring the outside world in.

But it also pairs surprisingly well with an iPad. You can record audio back and forth, but things go much deeper than that. You also can use the OP-1’s hardware keyboard to play instruments on the iPad, and use iPad MIDI apps to control the synthesizers on the OP-1.

Making music with an iPad and a synth

If you own both pieces of gear already, hopefully this how-to will give you some new ideas about making music with an iPad. But if you only own an iPad, this in-depth article will provide tips for using your tablet with other music gear.

And if you know nothing about the OP-1, or about Teenage Engineering’s work in general, you’ll learn why the company is kind of the Apple of the synth world. Teenage Engineering is known for its incredible interface design — and for having a quirky personality similar to 1984-era Apple, when the brand-new Mac was making waves.

PolyPhase is like having Brian Eno in your iPad

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Who needs a whole band when you have PolyPhase?
Who needs a whole band when you have PolyPhase?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Instead of just firing up that ambient music playlists again today, why not try the PolyPhase app? It’s a “generative sequencer,” which is an accurate but uninteresting way of describing its purpose: to create great music, automatically.

PolyPhase is intended to be used as a creative tool. A music can manipulate its settings, and listen until she hears something worth saving and turning into a song. But the app is equally good as an ambient soundtrack generator. One that will never stop. Ever.

How to move your iOS GarageBand projects to the Mac

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This parking garage could totally have a band inside.
This parking garage could totally have a band inside.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I can’t tell you how much I love GarageBand on the iPad. But even though it’s a fantastic app, and totally self-contained, sometimes you need to use a Mac. That’s because the iOS version lacks several features of the desktop version. But that’s OK, because the Mac can open iOS GarageBand projects easily. And today we’re going to see how to do it.