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Creative Tech: In Search of the Ultimate iPad Recording App

Auria logo_1

Note: The following is part of our Creative Tech series. Creative Tech aims to educate and inform creative professionals about the ways technology can enhance their creative work experience.

I’ve heard from a lot of people who are looking for a full featured, professional multitrack recording app for iPad.

Well, wait no more, Creative Tech is here to help. Based on my research and personal experience, Auria by WaveMachine Labs is the best choice. This program has much to offer a professional engineer, producer or musician looking for a portable recording environment. It does not skimp on sound quality or features. It is also fairly easy to use for nonprofessionals. Now, lets take a closer look, shall we?

Similar to other DAW software (digital audio workstation), Auria has 2 main windows – a mix window and an edit window. The windows are color coded and easy to look at. Features include up to 48 tracks (mono or stereo) and as many as 24 tracks can be recorded at a time. At the end of this article there is a list of compatible USB audio interfaces. It is necessary to use an Apple CCK (camera connection kit) adapter for interface connection.

Auria Mix Window_2

Auria Edit Window_3

As I discuss the myriad pro features in Auria, the one feature that makes it an incredibly useful tool in my world is the ability to save and share work across applications. For instance, I can work on a session or record live on location with Auria and then send the session as an AAF file (Advanced Authoting Format) to a widely used application such as Pro Tools.

To be able to work freely between Auria and Pro Tools is a liberating experience. I commonly send rhythm tracks to singers so they can lay down a vocal wherever they are. They send the Auria session back as an AAF file and I open it in Pro Tools and continue working on the track. That is extremely efficient when I am in Chicago and the singer is in Nashville. This saves time and money and more importantly it keeps the creative process flowing.

It does require that the parties involved all have Auria running on their iPads and that they can at least perform basic recording with it. Auria is easy to use and I haven’t experienced anyone having difficulty with it. Other pro apps that support AAF file sharing include Logic, Nuendo, Samplitude and more.

Auria save as AAF_4

All of this would be a moot point if Auria didn’t sound great. I can assure you it does. There are helpful and inspiring videos on Auria’s site.

Additional features include support for sample rates of 44.1KHz, 48KHz, and 96KHz and a “vintage inspired” channel strip on every channel by PSPAudioware.

Auria PSP Channel Strip_5

Auria mixing mode is 64 bit double-precision floating point for ultra high fidelity. When you orient your iPad into portrait mode, you can make use of the 100mm faders for great pro mixing feel and precision, which is very nice! In addition to EQ, Expander, compression and gate on every channel, there are classic reverb, stereo chorus, stereo delay and Convolution reverb plugs ins included. Midi sync is included and third party plug ins are available as in app purchases. Full automation of all controls is supported with graphic editing.

One feature I haven’t yet tried is the ability to sync 2 iPads running Auria via AuriaLink. This allows them to record in sync together for up to 96 tracks of playback and up to 48 tracks of simultaneous recording. There is a long list of additional features that make Auria the top contender for the best iPad multitrack recording platform and just all around fantastic recording application. Several musicians I know use it as their main recording app!

Auria Mixdown options_6

The field of DAW platforms is full of highly evolved applications. They deliver fantastic features and recording quality in a studio environment filled with multiple video monitors, high end audio monitors, great mics and more.

Auria brings a practical, portable and useful recording capability to the iPad platform in a very exciting and compelling way. There is a new Auria Pro version in beta testing now and one should expect big things from it by the people at WaveMachine Labs. Once again, the humble iPad shows us just how powerful and empowering it can be!

Compatible Audio Interfaces (partial list)

  • Focusrute Scarlett 18i20, 18i8, 6i6, 2i2
  • Presonus AudioBox 1818VSL
  • RME Fireface UCX
  • Apogee Quartet and Duet
  • Alesis IO Dock
  • Avid Fast Track Duo and Solo
  • Mackie DL806
  • And many more…

Roger Adler is a freelance composer/producer/performer who has played more than 4,500 live gigs from smoky bars to the Inaugural Ball for the President of the United States. He has played on more than 1,000 TV commercials as a guitarist and even played on the soundtrack for and appeared in the movie Groundhog Day. As a composer, his clients include Comic Relief on A&E, HBO, PBS (NOVA) WTTW Chicago and many more. He has received four EMMY Nominations for his music for TV and his TV show Wild Chicago won many Emmy awards. He also co-wrote and produced the debut single by Michael Lynch from THE VOICE TV show.

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