Harmonicdog ‘MultiTrack’ DAW recording app for iPAD : REVIEW

April 30, 2012


Having invested in the excellent Alesis iO DOCK, I started to look around for an iPAD app which would let me explore the audio recording capabilities of the iPAD further than is possible through Apple’s GarageBand.  In particular I wanted to record two audio tracks simultaneously for vocal plus acoustic guitar tracking.

Quite a number of the apps on the market are pretty unclear about whether simultaneous multitrack recording is possible and I waded through the various developer’s on-line forums in search of clarity on this point.

Harmonicdog Multitrack main control screen

Harmonicdog’s ‘MultiTrack’ app (the clue is in the name) was the only one I could find which could answer an unequivocal ‘YES!’  In fact it boasts the ability to record up to eight tracks simultaneously with a compliant USB audio interface.

One quick download later, I slid my iPAD2 into the Alesis iO DOCK, opened the MultiTrack app and started recording. Much of the screen interface is very intuitive and easy to use; with only the odd exception which I’ll come to later.

The standard offering allows you to record and playback up to 8 tracks, with an extra cost option to expand the track count to 24 (still limited to recording eight simultaneously).

With the iO Dock connected, each track has a choice of mono1, mono 2 and stereo.  So I created a couple of tracks, fed test tone into one (a good test of crosstalk) and a vocal mic into the other.  After arming both tracks I pressed record then play (you need to press both to start recording) and things started to happen!

As I reported in a separate review of the iO DOCK, left/right crosstalk performance is excellent, and I’m happy to report that this was also the case when using the iO DOCK into Harmonicdog’s recording software.  It’s possible to preview and set input levels using the excellent screen meters which are much more response than the VU meter in GarageBand.  Using the iO Dock I left the software input gains at ‘0’ and used the hardware input gain controls, but trimming using both is possible.

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