Use an iPhone to bring sounds into your DAW.

iPhone concert

Over the past few weeks I’ve been bringing in a lot of sounds into my productions from my iPhone. In fact, I can say it’s now part of my daily music making routine to have the audio out on the phone plugged into Ableton Live. As I type this, I realize it’s time to name a Live channel “iPhone” and save it into my start-up template. Most of us work completely “in the box” these days and bringing in samples and instruments from external devices is the best way to get an original sound.

Here’s a few ways I’ve incorporated the iPhone into my set-up: I used pieces of voicemail messages friends have left me. I synced the tempo in synthPond to Ableton and recorded loops from it into my arrangements. I have a channel loaded with effects and PocketGuitar going into it; at select places in my arrangement I strummed and recorded in a few bars. I used sounds from trains and restaurants I recorded using Griffin iTalk. I sampled pieces of my composition from my Macbook Pro’s internal speaker using Tapestri and then played/recorded the sample back in a stuttered (SK-1) fashion. I played and recorded sounds from,  iStylophone, Ocarina and Bloom. I created full sequenced loops and pulled them into Ableton from IR-909, BtBx, iDrum and Beatmaker.

It’s true that I could end up with similar results solely using software on my Mac but the iPhone is a hand held inspiration machine. It’s with me everywhere I go and the touch screen is a joy to use.

Having you added iPhone audio to any of your songs yet?

photo credit: bareform

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Oliver Chesler

"Hello my name is Oliver and I'm going to tell you a story." I have been recording music since 1989 under the name The Horrorist. I have released over 60 singles and 4 full length albums. To hear my music please go to:

5 thoughts on “Use an iPhone to bring sounds into your DAW.”

  1. I know what your saying about similar results solely using software, but there is definitely something special about using a tangible interface. As im shore anyone with hardware will agree :) I have yet to get an iphone/ipod touch myself but i can 100% see one settling comfortably into my set up. On the subject of handheld/touch-screen goodness, have you used the DS-10, Glitch or other NDS software?

  2. I saw that you are using Griffin iTalk for your field recordings with your iPhone, might I suggest that you try FiRe field recorder app, it’s my absolute favorite and most used app. It has waveform display with soundcloud built in, and I think it sounds the best of all the voice or field recorders I have tried.
    Great site by the way, bookmarked so I can check in every few days for new info!

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