IPAD APP REVIEW
Although the iO DOCK has it’s own latency free ‘pass through’ monitoring, if you are using an audio interface without this facility then the MultiTrack software provides an input monitor function from the main pop up menu.
After recording you get a neat waveform display which can be zoomed for accurate audio editing.
Each channel offers input gain with metering, pan (a neat pop up rotary knob), pop up buttons for solo, mute and record arm (with audio source selection), channel compressor, semi parametric 4 band EQ and a single FX send.
The FX bus has a choice of Reverb and Delay (both sound fine) and the master stereo buss has the same style of compressor and EQ as supplied for the channels.
One of really great features of this software is the ease with which you can transfer either complete stereo mixes or individual recorded tracks from the iPAD to a PC or MAC.
On my PC it was a simple matter of entering in the IP address of my iPAD on my browser and up pops a Harmonicdog transfer utility. For each song recorded on iPAD (via the MultiTrack app) you have a choice of transferring the final mix or each recorded track in a choice of three formats .wav (44.1kHz), .ogg (choice of bit rates between 128 and 256Kbps) and .M4a (again between 128 and 256Kbps).
Similarly in the other direction, I was able to upload audio files (exported from an existing Sonar project) to the MultiTrack app and then import these as clips into an existing song project. Uploading supports stereo or mono, mp3, wav, aif, or m4a file formats.
The ability to so easily move audio files between iPAD and a main DAW application on PC or MAC makes this app a serious contender for using the iPAD as a location tracking device, say when recording a band at a rehearsal studio.
Coming back to the iPAD app itself;
Punch in recording is both possible and very easy set up. After selecting ‘Punch’ in the main pop up menu, you’re presented with a two red cursers showing the punch in and punch out points. As it’s possible to zoom the waveform displays, it’s easy to locate the exact punch in and out points for the desired track overdub. After arming that track for record, you enter record mode and the overdub takes place exactly in the region you have defined. Two very slick features here. First the monitoring is switched correctly for overdubbing so you get to hear yourself and the previous take up to the punch in point, at which time the previous take is muted until the punch out point is reached. Second, the software performs a fast crossfade at both punch in and punch out points. This results in a very smooth transition and works very well in practice.
It’s possible to edit audio clips in a similar manner to most DAW systems, so that means slicing (an audio clip into two clips), copying clips, moving clips, setting crossfades between clips; you get the idea. I think it’s plenty to work with for a ’finger controlled’ iPAD based app.
A word about ‘Hotbox’. This is a context sensitive pop up menu which (for example) allows you to select an editing function for an audio clip. Hugely frustrating until you figure out you need to keep you finder pressed for quite a long time (okay about half a second but it seems like an eternity!) to get the pop up menu to appear, then you must slide your finger (without lifting from the screen) to the desired edit function. You do eventually get the hang of it but I would prefer a simpler system.