Ragged Clown

It's just a shadow you're seeing that he's chasing…


iPads make iMusic

Like I wasn’t gonna get the new GarageBand for iPad??

It’s pretty good but VERY frustrating. There are tons of bugs and it’s a  little too slow to keep up with any kind of complex strumming. I lost my whole guitar track once and, by the end of the session, the sequencer view thingie was about a bar and a half out of step with the sound. You can see from the screenshot that the bars don’t really line up with anything.

I wanted to fix up some stuff but I decided I should quit while I was ahead. Here’s my first attempt at making music.

Ride A White Swan (iPad version performed by The Ragged Clown)

I can’t figure out how to create a fade. Anyone?

I’ve been practicing Ride a White Swan on guitar and meaning to record it for a while. It’s a simple song but the chord change is pretty tricky. It’s easier to play when you just have to tap the iPad but it doesn’t sound as good as the real thing. I’ll need to record it on GarageBand proper for comparison.

Liner Notes

For the drums and bass, I used the auto-play thingie. TIP: if you use any drum set except the rock kit, it’ll mess you up and you’ll never be able to keep time with it. Keep it simple. Same with the bass. I started with a fancy bass riff but it sounded silly and overwhelmed everything else.

There are three guitar tracks. For the riff, I used the auto-chord selector and then just picked out notes from the chords. For the rhythm guitar, I just banged on the chord name like a chimpanzee. I tried picking out an arpeggio on individual strings but my poor iPad was too slow to keep up.

I played the lead part on the single note setting. This is really well done. You can do slides and hammer-ons and hammer-offs and really nice bends. I couldn’t figure out how to get further up the neck so if your solo has any high notes, I guess you are screwed. Birthday’s coming up so maybe I’ll get the plug-your-guitar-into-your-ipad connector but there is plenty of fun to be had with the so-called smart guitar.

I recorded the vocals with the dreamy effect. Sounds just like Marc Bolan, don’t you think? That’s probably my bronchitis.

I added the keyboards because it seemed a shame not to.

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9 responses to iPads make iMusic

Jeffrey Fredrick March 15, 2011

If you get a chance I think you should try out Garageband on an iPad2 — maybe at the Apple Store — and see if it can keep up where your iPad fell behind.


Kevin Lawrence March 15, 2011

And then what? Be miserable that I don’t have an ipad2?

Jeffrey Fredrick March 15, 2011

You can join Emeline in misery. She’s wishing she’d gotten the low end iPad and then the low end iPad2. (She wants the iPad2 for the camera.)

But I’m pretty impressed with what you were able to do in spite of the limitations! I’ll definitely be picking it up after I update to the latest iOS.


georgina March 15, 2011

Well, your birthday’s coming up;)) Always a good excuse for an Ipad2…

Kevin March 15, 2011

As luck would have it, my friend had her iPad2 delivered to my house while she is on vacation. It just arrived. Maybe she wouldn’t notice if I switched them?

I could paint a little camera on the front.

Kevin March 15, 2011

BTW It took me about an hour to create the first version of this track; 3 or 4 hours of faffing to try to fix the problems and then about 30 mins to throw it all away and start over.

Mirek March 17, 2011

I’m trying to open your song on iPad from within Flipboard and it fails 🙁
Oh well, i’ll try later through some other apps.

Mirek March 17, 2011

Hey, not bad at all. How cool is that?
Do you have a real guitar recording for comparison too?

Kevin March 17, 2011

I’ll try recording it on my guitar this weekend.

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