Monday, November 22, 2010

Producing a Podcast on an iPad

Today's task was to produce a podcast using apps on the iPad. This was partly inspired by our year 7's who have been using their Netbooks and Audacity to record podcasts on e-safety.

A couple of years ago we took a decision to give all our new year 7 students Windows Netbooks. These are used by students to produce a variety of Office documents, search the Internet, and occasionally produce an audio recording or a movie. The scheme has been reasonably successful and certainly negates a lot of the problems associated with booking ICT suites and not having the necessary software or equipment to hand. However, the quality of the hardware leaves a lot to be desired ( I suppose it's what you expect for £250) and audio recording can be awful so I decided to see if I could achieve a similar task on the iPad.

My first task was to produce a piece of music to play over the top of the voice recording. This is partly to hide any background noise picked up by the microphone, partly to make it sound a bit more professional and "interesting" and mainly to disguise my awful Midlands accent! Anyway, the music bit was fun. I used an app called a Rebirth from Propellerhead software (makers of the superb Reason), this is a reconstruction of a couple of Roland TRB 303 synths and a 909 rhythm box and an 808 drum machine.

Half an hour of knob twiddling later and I had my backing track!

Now I had to get the track out of Rebirth (easy: you can export it and share it to a web site set up for Rebirth users and e-mail it to yourself) and get it into my multi track recorder (not so easy, I had to download the mp3 from the Rebirth site, then import it via a website into my next app!).

Once the backing track was sorted, it was time to open my next app, MultiTrack DAW.

This is another awesome app, it lets you do multi track recording using either an instrument adapter (like the iRig, which I will talk about in another post) or using the iPad's built in mic. I was using the built in mic on the iPad.

A quick read of my script (OK, 3 shaky takes as I ad-lib my podcast) and I'm ready. MultiTrack doesn't allow you to fade audio in or out so I played around with the volume of my backing track, then recorded my voice over the top on the track below. Did a quick bit of cropping and hey presto! A Podcast.
MultiTrack connects straight to Soundcloud (an offshoot of Dropbox), a site that allows you to upload and share music tracks so this is where my podcast was sent. I will see if I can work out a link later.

Ah ha, here we go! (Edit, had to cheat and do this on a Mac) oh, and it doesn't seem to work on an iPad! so try this link
Podcast.wav by Randomnoisegenerator
On reflection, its probably just as easy (hard?) to do this on a regular computer. The problem is, non of the audio apps link to the ipod app so music cannot be easily transferred between apps. Having said that, the iPad isn't really designed for tis sort of work so I suppose the fact you can do it at all is pretty good. As a tool for getting quick ideas jotted down (a quick riff in Rebirth, a quick recording in MultiTrack), the iPad is brilliant and ideas can always be finished off later on a "proper" computer.

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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