Sunday, July 10, 2011

The iPad as a recording device??

A few weeks ago, there was a discussion on one of the VO boards in regards to the iPad, as a portable recording device. There were a great deal of opinions, but they all seemed too eager to spend money on things they don't really need.  I say this because, many of whom don't even have a proper demo yet, let alone the need to record on the road.  Here is what I had to say about that:

There is no doubt that the iPad will someday become the electronic equivalent of the Chevy big/small block engine, that faithfully powers most everything from boats to saw mills. The key word here is, SOMEDAY. For as wonderful and amazing as Apple products are, the company is notorious for taking 2 or 3 generations to get a product completely dialed in. And the third party component manufactures know this.

I'll also say, that our own good judgement is often trumped by our need to have the latest and greatest gadget. Do we not remember the rush to adopt the iPod or iPhone as a portable recording device just months ago? I do. I though it was silly then, and I think that it is silly now. How portable do we need to be? 

Sure the iPad is sleek and powerful. But at the moment, I consider it a toy, a novelty, a convenience device to have at you side while on the couch to distract you from the boring reality show on the TV, as you post your latest thoughts on Facebook, or to check your emails for the fifteenth time, in as many minuets, for auditions. Yes, the device is a wonder, but I wonder, do we really need another device?

If you already have a laptop, you already have a great portable device to record and send your auditions on, whether it be Mac or PC. 

For the Laptop owner, your "on-the-road-rig" can be a small and simple as an Apogee Duet or Duet 2 (for the Mac) or Mic Port Pro, or your favorite interface,  along with your  Microphone.  The thing is, keep it simple. The more stuff you need to rely on, the more the chances are you will have something that will fail. 

There are several companies that are developing interfaces for the iPad, my money is on Apogee -though I believe the Apogee "Mic" will be a swing on miss, simply because it will limit the user  to a single microphone choice. Apogee is already working on a interface for the new Thunderbolt wire connection, that will replace Firewire on most every computer in the near future. When a Thunderbolt port is incorporated into the iPad we will know we have arrived.

Bottom line is, you can have all the latest and greatest 'Stuff', but the fact remains "most in VO" have a hard enough time getting good audio from their home. So how can you truly be expected to get good audio on the road? 

Well, one needs to first learn how to use what they have and prefect the techniques of making good audio while recordings at home. All the slick gadgets, and  great sounding equipment in the world, is not going to make you sound any better, because great sounding crappola is still crappola. 

So once you learn what is needed and how to get good audio in your home studio, you can then take it on the road. 

My advice, use the tried and true like a laptop computer. Let the early adaptors spend their money, and stumble around in the dark. Once the bugs are all worked out of these new devices, the on line posts will read, "Have you tried this? This is the greatest thing ever." 

Not, "How do I make this thing work?" 

Oh, and for you Mac enthusiast, the Macbook Air is the best possible world between the iPad and a Macbook Pro. Though personally, I would rather have the MacBook Pro. 


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. According to me in voice over studio most important part is recording device. Because it is main thing and in this post very nicely describe all information about latest instrument of iPad as a recording device. So thanks for share this great info.