Every week, iOS Music Tunes will feature a piece of music made with an iPad, iPhone, or iPod – directly from one of our readers. There’s a lot of artistic potential in iOS devices, and iOS Music And You readers are putting all the fantastic tools to use in creative and exciting ways. This regular feature will be an opportunity to appreciate the interesting things that our readers are doing with iOS music, get some new ideas, and kickstart the creative process. If you’ve made some music with an iPad, iPhone, or iPod that you want to share, submit it now – you can get the info HERE. Now sit back and enjoy today’s featured reader on iOS Music Tunes . . .
Tell us a little bit about the piece, including what iOS devices/app you used to bring it to life.
I made the parts in Propellerhead’s Figure and then used audio copy to paste and arrange the parts in Apple’s Garageband for iOS.
Give us a little background on yourself as a musician.
I did some spinning vinyl as a DJ in the late eighties and I always enjoyed making one song out of the parts of others; an acapella here and an instrumental there and bang — something, sort of original, appeared.
Then MTV Music Generator for the first Playstation came out in 2001 and I started making music with the included loops. I was hooked and spent hours trying to make something that I could jam to. It was much more flexible than spinning records to a 4 track.
When I got a iBook g4 12″ in 2003 I discovered that Garageband was just enough like Music Generator that I could make music on it I was thrilled. More and better loops meant better music.
Why do you use iOS devices to make music?
Time and money were at a premium being a new dad and I kind of ran out of loops I liked. Since I never had any kind of formal training in music (I cannot read music, I don’t know any chords, ect.), making anything decent meant using other people’s expensive loops; so I pretty much stopped making music.
When Apple announced Garageband for iOS in 2011 I was stoked! It was billed as having smart instruments that obviated the need for pre-made loops and it was cheap – perfect. About this time, a friend challenged me to quit using loops. With the iPad, it was easy to set the keyboard to a preset scale, which meant I just had to plink away at the touchscreen until I had something I liked. Combine that with the iPad’s go anywhere portability and Apple solved my music needs; off I went.
Give us a quick tip – an idea that has helped you make your iOS music making more productive, fun, inspiring, or creative.
Above all, get a good pair of headphones. As for making the music, I lay down a bass first, then the beats, and then a pad/background. I loop it and then just listen for a few loops. After it plays for awhile, I start working my way through the various instruments and find something that sounds good with what is playing.
Now I am all set to start mashing the screen like a monkey while it’s recording. Then I listen to the mess and see if there is anything I can pull out and use. If not, I hit undo and try again. If there happens to be something, I trim it, dupe the track, mute it, and repeat the search for at least one other instrument; then I monkey mash and salvage again.
Once I have at least two leads, I make as many 8 part sections as Garageband allows, which explains why almost all my tracks are 2:40. Then I start arranging the leads to alternate at first and come together at some time after the midway point.
Give us a link to a place where we can hear more of your music and learn more about you.
You can check out more music from Shawn Dumas on his SoundCloud site.
Check Out More iOS Music Tunes:
iOS Music Tunes: Mr. Lonely by Luke 484
iOS Music Tunes: Journey Into A New World by Chip Boaz
iOS Music Tunes: Formant Shift by Fletcher Munson Effect
iOS Music Tunes: Walk Of The Town by Fixing Bayonets
Are you making music on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod? Do you want to share your music with the iOS Music And You community? Beginner, intermediate, or advanced – it doesn’t matter. Just fill out a few quick questions and send me a link to your music. We’ll feature you in one of these Monday spots! Don’t hesitate – let’s hear the great work that you’ve been doing with iOS Music. Get the details HERE.