Recording music is done by professional musicians in a recording studio. But before this part takes place, band rehearsals would go first. This process will cost much and is not practical for starting musicians.

Modern solutions are available through technology. Now we can use our cellphones and tablets to record our ideas instantly.

It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a professional musician. Once an idea comes up, as long as you have your own instrument and your phone, you will be able to record your idea before you forget it.

In this particular article, you will learn how to record with your iPhone. 

Here’s what you need:

1. iPhone

The most essential device we need in this specific guide.

2. Your Instrument

For wider tunes, the keyboard synthesizer is the most recommendable. It offers an abundance of sound types including both electric and acoustic guitar, bass guitar, several kinds of piano, drums, wind instruments, even some odd noises.

For the less complicated types of recordings though, a guitar would be enough.

3. Instrument Cable

These are specific cables used to connect a guitar, keyboard, or any electric instrument to an amplifier or speaker.

4. Recording Software/ Application

For this article, we will use what’s already installed in every apple product, the GarageBand.

If you don’t have this application on your iPhone, you can download it via Appstore. Just type in GarageBand and then click get.

5. iRig

This is a small adapter device that will make your guitar or keyboard compatible to connect to your iPhone.

I recommend using this product for any phone recording if you don’t have any actual interface for better sound quality.

6. Earphones/ Headphones/ Speaker

We already know what this is for but it will also serve as our monitor while recording.

Now that we are all set, here’s what we have to do:

Step 1: Connect your Instrument to your iPhone

Connect the cable to your instrument and the other end to your iRig. You will then connect your iRig to your iPhone.

As you plug in your iRig to your iPhone, GarageBand will automatically recognize that an interface is attached.

There is a smaller plugin in your iRig where you put your earphones, headphones, or speaker which will be used as your monitor.

For vocals, there is a built-in mic in any iPhone decent enough to use for narration or singing vocals.

Step 2: Set Up your Recording Application

Here’s the more complicated part, we have to learn the basics of our app of choice, the GarageBand.

Even without any instrument, GarageBand can already produce quality music. Though details may be more attainable manually with an instrument.

After opening the application, it will show some options. We will click “Create Song” and then you will be directed to different instrument options to choose from.

Digital instruments are already available in the app ready to be explored but since we are using an actual instrument, we will choose Amp. From there we will choose an amp that corresponds with what instrument we are going to use.

Step 3: Record

From here on, you just need to press the basic buttons: record, play/pause, stop, play from beginning

Click the record button to start recording and as you click you should start playing your part as well. As you start, an audio track will appear showing sound waves or patterns of what you are playing.

If you think you’re done, click stop. You can navigate any part of the song by dragging the marker on your timeline or just click play from beginning.

You can click play/pause at any part of the song.

Step 4: Mixing and Polishing

This part is for professionals or long-time users and has a deeper understanding of any recording app. This will also be a great start for beginners to understand mixing and editing.

After you have recorded your track, lots of effects are available to make your track more interesting. Tap on Track Control at the right corner of your app.

EQ or equalizer usually is the first plugin to be checked out or edited. In EQ, you’ll be able to adjust certain frequencies that don’t sound good for you.

You can add effects like delay, reverb, compressor, or overdrive to spice up your music and rediscover your ideas. There are a lot of choices if you really dig in. 

Once the mix is to your liking, it will automatically save your work with the name “my song”. You can change the name of your new song by tapping into the name and editing.

How to set up the mic with your iPhone

If you’re not satisfied with your iPhone’s built-in mic, here’s another option for you:

Step 1: You’re going to need a dynamic mic

There are plenty of products to choose from. The entry-level in terms of quality and price is the Shure SM5. 

You also need an XLR cable specifically for mics and your audio interface.

Step 2: Setting up an audio interface

Unfortunately, iRig is not the best option for mics because it is not powered. There are audio interfaces with preamps for the mics to have higher input. That is what we need.

But since we are already talking about iRig, they have released a much more up-to-date product called the iRig Pro I/O with adaptable inputs so you can plug in your XLR cable or your guitar cable.

This is a better option, especially for mics and keyboards.

Step 3: Record

Like what we did in the guitar, we will do the same here but instead of choosing amps, we will choose vocals.

All concepts after that are the same with normal recording. You’ll have different options though but most of them are just different mixes of frequency which you can also navigate if you add an EQ plugin.

Step 4: Mixing

Most of the vocal mixing happens in the EQ by adjusting your highs, mids, and lows. You can add reverb or delay as well.

There’s not much need for a compressor if you’re not working in a wide range of volumes.

What if the recording doesn’t sound good?

It’s impossible to achieve radio quality sound for the first time, but it will not sound that bad. With enough repetitions and more experience, you will be able to master your app of choice. 

Your recording environment will be a big factor. It may put some natural reverbs in your recordings, especially if you’re using mics in a closed area.

Remember to practice your piece well so you will not have a hard time recording.

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