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Laptop vs. iPad

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by sikamikanico, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    I have a simple question really - can iPads match laptops when it comes to recording? I know that tech specs probably speak in favor of laptops, but for an overall experience, might iPad be a better choice?

    I am looking to be able to record music, at a level of a decent demo:
    * Program the drum beat, lay some tracks for bass, guitar and keys, mix
    * I want to use a USB keyboard to record keys (piano, el. piano, etc)
    * Some noise can probably be tolerated
    * Latency has to be bearable at least...
    * I want a simple interface (user friendly experience), and as little software/hardware issues (like compatibility, etc)

    I have a laptop (Intel Core i5-2557M CPU @ 1.7Ghz; 6GB of RAM; 64-bit Win 7 Professional), but am seriously considering getting an iPad anyway.

    Any other tips welcome, but let's keep this primarily iPad vs. laptop!
  2. I would buy a projectmix and use the laptop.
  3. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Laptop, PC or Mac, has a lot more power, and a lot more software and plugins, for now.

    iPad Retina is quite a powerful machine.

    Soundwise - for 4 or less channels simultaneous recording - it's a draw

    I'm thinking hard about an iPad, in addition to my laptop. It was disappointing the iPad mini was essentially an iPad 2 in smaller form. Next year I'd like to see a iPad mini with the same CPU's as the iPad retina.
  4. Dilbert


    Nov 20, 2012
    Northampton, U.K
    i use JAM>ipad2>Auria and LOVE it!!
    im only me though, 1 channel recording..
  5. Use Touch OSC to control your laptop...

    Nope... still not there.. I own both... old laptop has more flexiblity
  6. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
  7. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I hate the iPad. We have a couple for my wife's work and I would only pick one up if every other device was broken.
  8. D.A.R.K.


    Aug 20, 2003
    I love my iPad.
    But a laptop is far better as far as recording systems at low cost and free software is concerned.
  9. I Just bought a high end tablet pc (touch screen) for 100.... Ports.... Storage.... Bluetooth... USB ...... No iTunes

    Xp3 and stable
  10. One large thing to consider, is ins and outs. How do you get instrument sounds in to the iPad, or laptop. And, how do you get recordings back out. A USB keyboard was mentioned. Can you connect that keyboard to the iPad? There's plenty of hardware/software available for the laptop. What is there for the iPad? Just stuff to think about.
  11. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Phillipsburg, NJ
    I seriously would look for a 4 Track and go old school. If you decide to go Hi Tech, Go Desk Top PC and make it a real power house. Powerful Desktop = quick processing time and no weird Lagging and silly glitches. You can put some $$ into a Killer Sound Card with ton's of interfaces etc...JM2C GL.
  12. Dilbert


    Nov 20, 2012
    Northampton, U.K
    i was only talking to a friend of mine earlier today and i can actually be quoted as saying : "we never had any of this trouble when we used cassette 4 tracks"

    hahahahahaha , but yeh GL :bassist:
  13. Accessibility on the iPad is pretty convenient. Cost of the Ipad, Apogee Jam, and apps can add up, but thinking a little cheaper than a quality laptop and software. I have an Ipad2 with a bunch of apps including several synths that are amazing. There are many recording apps out there that are good quality. There are several drum machines available that are excellent. It also seems that there is huge emphasis on development for iOS music in general. The only thing that bothers me is that there isn't too many apps out there geared towards bass players or that give a big, clear sound. My suggestion is that you pick up a pre amp or DI pedalboard to run through so you can dial in your tone for recording. Hartke and Mark Bass make great pre amp pedals. Apogee Jam for the Ipad is the better quality instrument input. Apps I suggest for Ipad are:

    Garage Band
    Music Studio
    FL Studio

    Wave Generator
    Sunrizer Synth
    Korg IMS-20
    NLog Pro

    Drum Apps:
    Funk Box
    Drum Jam

    Sampler/Looping app:

    JamUp Pro
    Garage Band

    Proppelerhead Figure
    Moog Filtatron
  14. The thing I love about ipad apps is that most of the updates are free. Some offer in app purchases, but my experience with PC software is that as music progresses, file compression and file formats change you end up forking out cash for updates to your software because it becomes obsolete and software isn't cheap.

    Audiobus is coming out for iOS which will give you the ability to utilize and manipulate several apps on the fly and at the same time creating a lot of flexibility for those who want to record or play live.
  15. Dilbert


    Nov 20, 2012
    Northampton, U.K
    @robert - thanks for list of apps man
  16. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    +1, this list is great!

    For the naysayers: this was not a purely rational decision. I know many facts speak against iPads, but a part of me just wanted to give it a try for the sake of giving it a try. If I wanted to be serious about recording, I'd buy a dedicated non-laptop PC/MAC and go from there...
  17. D.A.R.K.


    Aug 20, 2003
    I do some serious recording on the iPad, it's just as good as anything else sound-wise (within interface limitation).
    Just got the focusrite itack solo and it is excellent.
    I had the alesis idock, which was also quite good but my issue was having to take the ipad out of a case to use it (i use the otterbox cases, my ipad is mobile all the time). In fact my ipad ended up taking a hit while not in the case so i could use the idock, and it pissed me off enough to ditch the alesis and wait for something better for my needs.
  18. KrisHayes


    Sep 30, 2012
    My one hesitation about using the iPad as your host is that programs crash all the time on iOS - it's not a very stable system if you're doing anything important. If you're just recording yourself at home for fun, go for it, it's a very cost-effective way of recording, but if you're dealing with clients at all, very much would NOT recommend it!
  19. D.A.R.K.


    Aug 20, 2003
    I haven't had any issues with iOS crashes myself while tracking-
    recorded a 5 hour writing session yesterday with mic and direct in using daw Multitrack/ itrack solo/ ios6.
    I have had more issues with using the iPad as a remote controller for digital consoles than anything else.