An iPhone and iPad Music-Recording Checklist

By Ryan C. Williams, Mike Levine

Part of iPad & iPhone for Musicians For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Before you begin any recording session on your iPhone or iPad cross off each step in this checklist to ensure you capture all your tracks correctly and with the proper volume levels:

  • Set aside plenty of time: You’ll probably want to do multiple takes of the song, or maybe just a single part. Be aware that five minutes of recording time takes a lot longer than five real minutes. Many Nashville sessions scheduled three hours for two songs (and more if they could, but not too many more). Plan accordingly.

  • Eliminate background noise: Whether you’re in your studio or a remote location, take whatever steps you can to focus your recording only on the musical instruments you want to record. Move mics or instruments around, close doors and windows, whatever it takes.

  • Make sure you have all the cables and mics you need: Nothing stops a session quicker than running out of the cables you need to route audio into your iOS device. In fact, make sure you bring a couple of extras in case things break down.

  • Make sure you can hear all of the instruments through headphones: Just because they’re making noise live doesn’t mean you’re sending signal to your iOS device. Have each player or singer play like they’re recording for a bit so you can perform your line check (getting audio to the proper track) and set the appropriate recording level. You can worry about effects, EQ, and other modifications once your signal gets into your device correctly.

  • Enable record on the tracks you want to record: Make sure the tracks you want to record are armed for recording. And, just to be safe, make sure the tracks you don’t want to record are not armed for recording.

  • Make sure everybody is ready: “Hey, drummer! Pay attention!” Give everybody enough time to settle and get ready to play, then record.