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Feb 17, 2022 - 11:45:48 AM
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3163 posts since 9/13/2009

From other discussions various interests about recording, and what options,

I thought I'd throw out a little on BandLab; as it works on smart phones and ipads... as well as laptops and computers through browser. I haven't used it much but seems to fairly simple... has "some" features capabilities like more regular DAWs. Here is my little test using an iphone6 with built in mic.

Just to quickly play around with it... (I didn't bother with with getting the playing perfect)

Recorded guitar, then fiddle, then banjo... iphone built in mic, on kitchen table about a foot away. Decided to experiment with double tracking method on fiddle and banjo, give stereo field (wasn't very clean, but gives idea). Added a MIDI bass, and MIDI strings; thought maybe MIDI grand piano chord backup, but using iphone for entering in notes while doable I found was a bit clunky. (had considered drums for demo). Added some built in FX of EQ, compression, reverb. 

Attached are result from just a little time put in; just to give ides. While would not be my go to, as I am comfortable with full desktop DAWs... I could see it useful for folks on portable devices; or simple introduction. Using the built in Mic sounded better than I thought... but obviously not as good as good mic. FWIW, some USB mics and some interfaces can plug in... I don't have one. Friend has a Shure MV something that sounds great. My understanding is there are some keyboard/controllers that can connect via lightening or bluetooth, making MIDI input better.

As other note, BandLab saves to cloud, as mentioned above, it also works in browser on desktop; so can go between devices. Also allows to send link to friends; to listen, or can collaborate on tracks. Can also publish, make public, like SoundCloud.


What are other folks thoughts on simple DAWs; pros and cons. Have anyone used the Garagband app on iphone? 

Edited by - alaskafiddler on 02/17/2022 12:03:34

Feb 17, 2022 - 12:07:01 PM
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10879 posts since 12/2/2007

Maybe the Shure MV88 mcrophone? That's how the vocal in this video was recorded, and it sounds great to me. Reina has the iPhone with the mic tucked into her shirt - you can see her check it at the beginning of the video. Thy are not fooling around with other aspects of the production though.

As far as DAWs, I have an app called Audio Evolution Mobile thats really comprehensive. It uses the "USB OTG" feature of Android devices though - I'm not sure if there's an iOS version or not. This little tablet doesn't really have the resources to run it properly, but I just got a new one with bigger screen and lots more RAM and storage. I've used it to master CDs though.

Feb 17, 2022 - 12:32:21 PM

604 posts since 7/30/2021

I logged a lot of time in Bandlab when I was injured and couldn't play either guitar or violin. It's fun, intuitive and also has kind of a social community (you can follow people, they can follow you, you can have Collabs and invite people to contribute to your mix, etc). LIke, if we wanted to Collab with eachother, we could send out invites to one person to record the banjo track, one person to record the guitar track, one person to record fiddle, one person to sing, etc. Kind of like a virtual band :-)

I have heard some amazing quality tracks on BandLab - mostly from those people who can "plug in" their instruments directly (i.e. synthesizers, electric guitar, etc)....and don't have to resort to playing piano on their computer keyboard (me).
I've also heard tracks with barking dogs, crying babies, and talking, LOL.

From the little bit that I encountered - it seemed that more Serious Ambitious musicians mix with "Studio FL" and post their tracks on "Soundcloud"?
I've never tried Studio FL, it seems kind of daunting.

Feb 17, 2022 - 12:45:14 PM

3163 posts since 9/13/2009

My friend has the Shure MV51. 

I never much looked into or thought about mobile apps for multi-track recording. Then again, I don't use my phone much to it's ability as a computer (as my kids remind me); mostly just use my phone as a "phone"; with texting; don't use it to surf web, watch video, or even as an ipod player. Mostly still like my desktop... but suppose I should get with times and technology. For me, most of my stuff (mics/interfaces/keyboards)f is geared toward desktop, and not mobile... I even still have analog tape.laugh But I could see potential with good mic/interface. Esp on a tablet (the small screen of phone is limiting to me).

Thanks for Audio Evolution Mobile suggestion, looks interesting, perhaps more features like full DAW, than BandLab? Of course one consideration in this discussion is what end user wants to do as far as editing, and plugins, MIDI, sampling, loops, fx, mixing. For hobbyist, or newbie, esp mostly acoustic music; ease of use as well as cost might be factors. 

Feb 17, 2022 - 12:56:42 PM

3163 posts since 9/13/2009

As far as Studio FL; I think Ableton is another popular choice. My son uses both, prefers Ableton.

My take, is while they can record acoustic, they seem more designed with user workflow around MIDI, sampling, loops, beats type environment? 

Other DAWs are opposite; workflow seem more based on just old school recording with mic and mixing editing that... but still have those other features of MIDI/sample/loop. 

The other aspect is integrating with video, such as film scoring... to which some like Logic seems better suited. Another aspect is if DAW integrates with notational software; that is can import, or has built in feature. 

Not sure how important those features are for folks on FHO?

Edited by - alaskafiddler on 02/17/2022 13:04:17

Feb 17, 2022 - 3:02:44 PM

569 posts since 8/4/2010

I use Ableton and I can't recommend it enough.

I've been a Garageband user since almost day 1. I've dabbled in Reaper and Audacity as well. Using Ableton as a fiddler is a highly powerful tool.

It's great to record in. It's great to slow down tough songs and passages. It has very intuitive looping, metronome and effects.

Feb 23, 2022 - 11:17:56 AM
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604 posts since 7/30/2021

Here's latest attempt at multitrack...no longer sounds like gurgling in the shower!

recording device: Blue Yeti USB mic (plugged into my Mac)

DAW: Garage Band

I think it's an improvement over previous attempts (Voice Memos app on my iphone + Bandlab).
I found that because Bandlab runs "in the cloud", you get more latency (delay) and wind up having to jigger the tracks around more to sync them up. It sounded pretty "together" in Garage Band (which I have running on my computer) and I didn't have to work on syncing the tracks.

Feb 23, 2022 - 2:22:16 PM
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2007 posts since 4/6/2014

NCnotes, sounds good but i see what you mean about the latency issues. Only way i ever got over that (when i was into recording gear), was to use an internal pci sound card or audio interface. I suppose nowadays it would be a PCI-E sound card or audio interface.

With an old AMD 4 core cpu, using Windows XP 32 bit, an M-Audio Delta 44 sound card, and a balanced mic, at 24 bit and 96khz sampling , i got a reported latency of about a millisecond using Reaper as my DAW, which was totally imperceptible to me.

I think that USB audio devices always had, still have Latency issues. But maybe USB 3.0 is better nowadays?

Feb 23, 2022 - 3:43:05 PM

604 posts since 7/30/2021

Thanks Pete,
Interesting, I did not know that USB audio devices could have Latency as well!
Guess a little more jiggering / experimenting will go on, over here...

I know that I have a Radeon video card in my Mac already for graphics (I could play great video games on here, if I was into gaming, ha ha...which is what most people use them for) Makes sense that there are cards for sound/audio as well.

Feb 23, 2022 - 6:09:25 PM
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6019 posts since 9/26/2008

I use Audacity for my DAW and an analog to digital interface - a Focusrite product so I can use up to 2 standard mics (of which I already owned several) - for input. Any latency issues can be easily dealt with/eliminated by referring to the online user manual.

I've heard good things about the DAW called Reaper and just haven't tried it yet. 

Feb 23, 2022 - 7:38:31 PM

3163 posts since 9/13/2009

An external mic (USB or thru interface) will generally get much better results than phone; I just wanted to do demo of what is possible with multitrack app if only had phone.

As far as latency, there might be some misunderstanding of different aspect, but cloud based shouldn't really be an issue. That said, every DAW and device itself needs to deal test and calibrate offset. Most do so automatic on start up, some might have to run test. 

The quest for ultra low latency is sometimes overrated, as for most applications it is unnecessary or perhaps desired as it increases CPU demand, heat, and xrun issues. Only if you really need realtime loopback thru DAW monitor with wet process/fx. Most time have that off. 

Feb 23, 2022 - 7:46:44 PM

3163 posts since 9/13/2009

Forgot to ask if ever tried the Garageband app for iOS (iphone, ipad)? Seems similar to BandLab... including cloud aspect and sharing between devices, computer and collaboration. I can't use it on mie phone (too old) but was at a friends, seems to have some nice features. The virtual violin plugin is kind of interesting, using the touch pad like fingerboard... might be able to play with when don't have fiddle, maybe work out LH fingering?

Also notice the app store has free Logic Remote app which works with Garageband (and Logic)... might be worth a try. 

Feb 23, 2022 - 8:57:05 PM
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116 posts since 2/12/2021

Nice demos there Geo and NCNotes!
For anyone getting into video, thought I’d mention that Davinci Resolve is an amazing, full-featured video and multitrack audio editing tool that has an absolutely free version with 90% of the power of the paid version.

Feb 23, 2022 - 9:55:31 PM

604 posts since 7/30/2021

Thanks for the tip, JonD! Lots of tools mentioned here that I never heard of.

I have played with the iOs version of Garage Band. Yes, fun interesting stuff on there...I remembered that there were instruments where you could slide your finger, and it would make a corresponding sliding noise...fun! There were little music "symbols" that you could drag and drop into a grid to create a composition. (I forced my entire family to listen to my new Indian/techno/hiphop beat - LOL, my poor family). If I could just wrench the ipad out of my daughter's hands more often, I'd have more to report! :-)

I find the desktop version of Garage Band to be similar to Bandlab...controls are maybe a little less intuitive and pretty than Bandlab...but still works great.

For some reason I found that the latency of recording on Bandlab was significantly worse than recording on Garageband (desktop version). There is a menu item in Bandlab to fix the Latency issue, but when I clicked on it, it kept giving me an error message so I was not sure how to use it.

Feb 24, 2022 - 12:36:28 AM

2007 posts since 4/6/2014

Originally posted by ChickenMan

I use Audacity for my DAW and an analog to digital interface - a Focusrite product so I can use up to 2 standard mics (of which I already owned several) - for input. Any latency issues can be easily dealt with/eliminated by referring to the online user manual.

I've heard good things about the DAW called Reaper and just haven't tried it yet. 

 i used audacity too before i got Reaper. My thing was to try out vintage Audio stuff, so i just wanted to plug them in and hear what they sounded like, with as little latency as possible. The Delta 44 sound card provided 4 balanced inputs, 4 balanced outputs at 24/96 sampling, with next to zero latency, i could even use some of the reaper's native FX while recording and monitoring, with negligible latency. i think that was about 10 years ago and i got it 2nd hand from ebay for £35. With a little Behringer mixer for about the same price it was like a tiny recording studio to play with.
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