PadGadget Knows Music: How to Record and Release an Album Using the iPad

We’ve told you about workhorse apps that serious musicians will love. We’ve told you how to make a music video slideshow, and we’ve even told you about some high-end headphones that will make your music sing. Today, we’re going to tell you how to record and release an album using your iPad. Get creative brain started because you’ll be top-ten on iTunes before you know it.

If you already have a band, you’re probably going to want to record real instruments, as opposed to using digital audio file. To do so, you’ll need some kind of instrument adaptor, like iK Multimedia’s AmpliTube iRig or TASCAM’s iXZ adaptor. There are not a lot of microphones dedicated to musicians with iPads on the market these days. IK Multimedia has a good-quality, tough microphone, the iRig MIC, that will do the trick, but you can also get a three-pin XLR adaptor from KVConnections and use any recording studio microphone.

Recording the drums is nearly impossible on an iPad, but not entirely impossible. The best way to deal with the tracking the drums is to mic the set and send the audio through a mixing board before sending it to the iPad. The Mackie DL 1608 is a mixer that connects to your iPad with a physical mixing board with up to eight tracks. However, if you already have a mixer, you can connect it to your iPad using a 3.5mm connector jack that has RCA left/right connectors on the other end. You can pick up one of these cables at just about any electronics store.

Once you’ve mic’d the drums, plugged your guitar and bass into an iPad adaptor and prepared your vocal mic with either the iRig MIC or a microphone adaptor, it is time to find the right apps for the job. Check out our list of apps for recording music.

After the long, grueling hours of recording your album have finally ended. You are almost ready to make it available to the public. Of course, you’ll need to mix your songs using an app like GarageBand or Audiostar Pro. Don’t send your creations to the world with a half-finished album. Be sure to convert your songs to AAC or MPEG files so they can be downloaded to iTunes from future fans.

To listen to the songs while you mix them, you’ll want to play the music through some top-quality speakers. JBL’s line of iPad speakers are probably the best quality for getting the warmth and depth you need when mixing a song.

There are just a few more minor things you’ll need to do to finish your album. Art work is one of the most important aspects of an album aside from the music itself. Take some pictures of your band using your iPad’s camera and add which ever filters represent you best using a camera effects app like FX Photo Studio HD and add the album title and band name with a photo editing app like ArtStudio. At this point, it would not hurt your band one bit to make a music video using iMovie and publishing it to YouTube for a little bit of promoting.

The last thing you’ll need to do is get your music uploaded onto a website where you can host digital downloads. One of the easiest ways to do this is to start a blog account like Word Press or Blogger.

Getting and selling digital download codes is a whole other bucket of worms, but it can be done through the iPad if you have a lot of patience.

That’s it. Now you know how to record an album, create the artwork and upload your music to be sold as a digital download for the world to buy. We never said it would be easy or inexpensive, but at least you know where to start. Happy shredding!

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About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik