Not long ago, you needed a computer to provide sufficient processing power, graphics prowess, and connectivity to meet the demands of digital pro audio production tasks. Thanks to the robust performance, captivating display, and long battery life of Apple’s current iPad Pro, producing anything from polished podcasts to complex multi-track sessions on a tablet is now a reality within reach. The iPad Pro can supercharge your mobile recording setup, untether your live performances, and integrate with a commercial studio facility.
Whether you opt for the 11" or 12.9" model, the edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display is beyond capable of displaying intricate track layouts and mixer panels, detailed waveform views, high-resolution meters, and stunning plug-in skins. Its multi-touch design supports all manner of gestures for effortless control of your favorite audio apps—zooming in for a crucial edit, scrolling quickly to a chorus, riding faders, and turning knobs for an FOH (Front of House) mix, playing keys to make a melody, and tapping pads to knock out your next beat, these workflows and more are all at your fingertips.
Dealing with multiple channels of audio, stacks of effects, and loads of automation takes a toll on a CPU. Being fully aware of that, Apple used its expertise from years of releasing powerhouse computers that pushed the audio industry forward to make the iPad Pro a serious production machine. It features Apple’s A12X 8-core CPU with the M12 coprocessor, and a 7-core GPU, making it a potent computer in tablet form.
When it comes to connectivity, the iPad Pro offers high-performance wireless via Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0, plus USB Type-C for fast data-transfer rates and expanded compatibility with third-party devices. On the wire-free side, use the iPad Pro as a control surface to operate your favorite DAW (e.g. Logic Pro, Ableton Live, Avid Pro Tools, Steinberg Cubase, etc.) from the control room or vocal booth, or utilize it for tactile remote control of digital mixers in houses of worship, concert venues, and other live stage applications.
If you plan on recording podcasts, narration, interviews, vocals, or acoustic instruments, you’ll need a microphone. You could keep it simple with a single USB Type-C microphone (there are cardioid and multi-pattern condensers, lavaliers, and more), or snag several traditional XLR-equipped mics and a compatible USB Type-C audio interface. There are also a variety of guitar-specific audio interfaces optimized for iOS, and many of them include software for simulation of guitar amps and stompboxes. Use any number of full-featured DAW apps like Garageband to take advantage of multi-track recording, sequencing, editing, and mixing; all the versatility of a computer-based audio program in the convenience of an iPad!
The iPad Pro can also serve as an inspiring centerpiece for live performances and studio compositions. Install your preferred DJ app, then control jog, cue, crossfade, and effects functions directly on the iPad or via iOS-compatible mixers. Alternatively, load up the iPad Pro with app-based synthesizers, sound modules, grooveboxes, and drum machines to create anything from minimalist soundscapes to complete orchestrations. Play chords on a virtual keyboard, strum strings on a virtual guitar, pound out drum parts on virtual pads, and more, without clicking away with a mouse. Join the ranks of producers and beatmakers who create radio-ready tracks on mobile devices!
The applications and creative uses for iPads are ever expanding due to Apple’s consistent product enhancements and the ingenuity of their users. So, dear user, what iPad-centric audio production have you done?