Apple iPad is Not Really a Complete Production Tool

I am probably going to lose that “dream” endorsement by stating this, but the Apple iPad is Not Really a Complete Production Tool. So much for that Apple endorsement deal…

Apple iPad is Not Really a Complete Production Tool
A really pretty sketch pad, and a costly one at that!

As many who read my articles know, I am a serious iOS convert. I adore my iPhone, I am in love with my iPad. There is no doubt, the love is there. I also love the apps that are beginning to mature on the iPad platform as well. Korg Gadget is all shades of awesome. Inexpensive, powerful and incredibly effective at a sketch. But that is where it stops unfortunately.

Unless you are completely satisfied with a very “in the box” flat production, it is never going to be anything more than a sketch. I started using iMaschine when it first came out. I still use it to hammer out the occasional beat on the go, it is again a very effective beat “sketching” tool. You are going to say to me I know, how can you expect such a portable device to be so potent a music production tool. Well, I can in a way because of the way that it is being sold as a miracle device that can really “do anything”. There is an entire generation of people whose impression of music production will be based on what they can sketch out on these things and I am sorry to say, to have a ways to go before it will get there.

There are people who believe that music production begins and ends with Garage Band. I have not met an app that I did not like in some way or another. But have I met an app that I would say completely covered everything that was needed end to end and produced an amazing sounding product that was everything that I wanted and then some, not really, not yet. Here I go and I will date myself. Everyone thought that all they needed for music production was a sampler. I owned a Kurweill K2000 and it did some insanely powerful things, but I could not have possibly produced an entire track on it without some form of outboard mixing and mastering work done to it. Basically, that last 20% is 80% of the work as they say, (also known as the Pareto Principle, thank you Wikipedia).

One of the primary conceits of these wonderful tablets is that they are just HORRIBLY under powered for what we are asking them to do. I tried running Cubasis on the iPad and loading one inter app audio plugin instance. It completely choked up. This was worse that when I used my Atari for recording audio tracks. It simply refused to work. There is absolutely no way to pipe tracks in other than working on them in other plugins, using AudioCopy and pasting them into a track, trying them out and chucking them altogether. Apple will then convince you that if you make the investment in an iPad Pro, it is a laptop replacement. If I want to spend over $1000.00 on an iPad, I am already crossing into an area where I could own almost two windows laptops which would be able to do WAY more than the iPad would and I would not be enclosed within the Apple ecosystem of file exchange, transport, storage, retrieve, ARRRGGGHHHH! Make it stop.

Apple iPad is Not Really a Complete Production Tool 002
WhAMMM goes the CPU with One Plugin in Cubasis

There is nothing wrong with believing that iPads will eventually get there. Give them time and the processors, ram and devices will be able to run circles around today’s desktop computers, absolutely. But we are a long way away from that from a technology perspective. I will absolutely continue to pull out my iPad, tiny Akai keyboard, sip on my Tim Horton’s coffee and make a quick sketch while chomping on a few TimBits, no doubt. But nothing that I would ever release for anyone to take seriously or listen to with anything other than ears of tin.