A recording studio in 1.33 pounds

Yesterday 4PocketsAUDIO released an upgrade for their Meteor Multi Track Recorder for iPad.

Meteor is a digital recorder + mixer that supports up to 12 tracks with CD quality. It can’t be compared to a desktop DAW like Ableton Live or Cubase,because it only supports audio tracks (no MIDI),but it has a few features that makes it interesting for many studio musicians.

You tipically use Meteor to record small clips that you later duplicate,arrange,trim,split,and remix with the internal sample editor. You can import songs from the iPad music library and export the result of your work to compressed CAV and WAF files,or to other iPad apps that support the PasteBoard protocol,for further processing. It contains a few on-board effect processors and a few more (compressor,distortion,EQ) can be added via in-app purchases. You can apply these effects globally or to specific tracks.

The feature that intrigues me most –and convinced me into buying it –is mixer automation. You can draw volume,pan,and FX level lines for each individual track (see image),which makes it easy to prepare fade-ins and fade-outs for example. As far as I know,this is the only iPad multi-track recorder with this feature.

Video import (in-app purchase) even gives you the ability to watch a video while you arrange your music clips,produce a soundtrack,add a narration,and keep everything in sync.

The main issue with all apps of this kind is that audio processing can easily bend any CPU,especially if you add many tracks and effects. This is true even for PC and MAC apps and it’s even truer on the iPad. As a (partial) solution to this problem,Meteor allows you to “freeze”a track by calculating all the associated effects one and for all,or to bounce/mixdown multiple tracks into a single one. (Beware:freezing is reversible,mixdown isn’t.)

I haven’t played much with Meteor yet,but the first impression is quite positive. There aren’t many better ways to spend $19.99.

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