An iPhone and iPad Musician’s Troubleshooting Guide

By Ryan C. Williams, Mike Levine

Part of iPad & iPhone for Musicians For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Even though you don’t use a lot of real moving parts when you’re creating music with an iOS device, you’re still dealing with a computer that uses software and incredibly complex calculations (masked as incredibly simple apps). This means that you will, at some point, need to do some troubleshooting. Use the points on this list to get things back up and running when something goes wrong:

  • If you can’t hear what you’re playing, make sure you’ve correctly connected all of the devices (such as an audio interface or MIDI controller) and your iOS device. Then check all volume knobs, including the knobs on your guitar or bass, as applicable. Some amp simulators may also include tuners that disable audio — check that setting as well.

  • Make sure your iOS device has enough storage space to record. You can’t lay down tracks if there’s no place to put them! It’s a good idea to leave a few GB free on your device anyway to accommodate new apps or iOS updates, but that extra space also helps with recording. Delete any extraneous apps, recordings, or music and video files, if necessary. Tap Settings, select General, then select Usage to identify the apps that take up the most space on your device.

  • Quit any apps running in the background and hogging memory. If you’re not going to use an app, end all processes by double-tapping the Home button on your iOS device and swiping that app to the top.

  • If things still run slow or unpredictably, turn off your device by holding the sleep/wake switch at the top until the touchscreen prompts you to swipe the control and turn off the device. Turn it on again to see if that fixed everything. You can also reset the device by holding the sleep/wake switch and the Home button until the screen goes black and then displays the Apple logo.

  • Check with your app developers if things continue to perform incorrectly. You may need to be patient while they resolve a bug.