I love my new tiny recording studio setup

October 6, 2020: It's not exactly Abbey Road Studios, but I love my new little basement setup! I wanted a simple way to record music anytime, like even when I only have 10 minutes or so, and in a closed room in the basement where I won't wake Sue up at night. Solution: use GarageBand on the iPad! Though it's not nearly as powerful as Studio One is on my desktop, GarageBand on the iPad is a surprisingly capable app, and plenty more than I'll need for most projects. I just recorded this old song of mine as a "proof of concept" test, and everything worked really well, so I'm thrilled. Ready for the next lockdown! (Just kidding COVID, please go away now, thanks.)

Photos below. Connected to my iPad, in the following order, are:

  • Apple's overpriced but necessary "Lightning to USB Camera Adapter", which has nothing to do with cameras here, but does have both a USB port for my USB hub, and a lightning port to supply power to my ancient iPad;
  • A USB hub with 6 USB "in" ports (plus two extra and very handy power ports), which lets me connect multiple USB devices to the iPad (and supply power to my audio interface);
  • A very basic USB MIDI keyboard, which my 2-year-old grandson calls "the quiet piano"; and
  • A Yamaha AG-06 USB audio interface (which I love and use during the day with my desktop too) to let me connect & record my microphone and electric guitars.

What's very cool about this setup is that the lowly iPad is smart enough to simultaneously use both the keyboard and the audio interface's microphones and guitars, all through one tiny little lightning port. So whenever I want to record a keyboard, vocal, guitar or bass part, I can just do it right away, without having to disconnect or reconnect or reopen or reboot anything. Connect everything at the start of a session, turn it all on, everything works. Impressed!

My basement "studio"
My basement "studio"
And in the corner, my handy stockpile of empty CD cases, ready for the next CD revival.
And in the corner, my handy stockpile of empty CD cases, ready for the next CD revival.
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