Things I’ve learned about iPad DAW in the last 30 days

In the last month I’ve been in the wood shed daily working with the new iPad, the Presonus interface and new apps. I’m having so much fun! I really think the challenge of the learning curve is something I needed and truly enjoy. Challenges for me like most people are great in life especially, musical challenges. Doing what you love and workig diligently at it.

Most of what I’m going to share is about are the apps I’ve purchased:

  • Bias FX
  • Bias Amp
  • Bias JamUp Pro
  • Bias Final Touch
  • IK Multimedia SampleTank for iOS
  • DrumPerfict Pro

Positive Grid’s Guitar Plugins are IMHO the best you can purchase for the Macintosh platform. Although I usually mic up Guitar amplifiersin the PC realm, I use Bias Peak with Logic and Pro Tools to re-amp and layer. Bias Amp sounds just as good to my ears as it does on the Mac. I am blown away by this app on the iPad. Bias FX and the amps in JamUp Pro are just as great on the iPad.

Final Touch was something that was somewhat of an impulse buy because it was on sale. I’m quite happy with this mastering suite and grateful I picked it up. I’ve loosely mastered two demos with it so far, the tracks really came to life nicely. On labor day I paid a whopping $4.99 for the app on sale, Positive Grid has amazing holiday sales. The Memorial day sale prices are still current, GO BUY THEM!


  • Bias FX- Normal Price $29.99 Now  $9.99
  • Bias Amp Normal Price $19.99 Now $4.99
  • Bias JamUp Pro Normal Price $19.99 Now  $4.99
  • Bias Final Touch Normal Price $29.99 Now $4.99


I’ve always thought SampleTank had great sound samples, the Neil Peart Drums are awesome. I’ve had the free version of SampleTank for iOS on my iPhone for years, I knew the sounds were solid. Since it’s on sale for $15.99 for fathers day I pulled the trigger. It has great organ and electric piano samples, I’m happy I purchased it.

DrumPerfict Pro is touted as the Superior Drummer 2 / BFD for iPad. I can tell you it is no such thing. Firstly, the drums samples are horrible, I mean really bad. I can’t believe this has the positive reviews it has. Drummer inside of garage band sounds light years better that DrumPerfict Pro.

Second, the user interface is a train wreck. It’s a mishmash of screens that have no rhyme or reason other than the grid screen. How could you screw up a grid UI yes? After thinking it over I am going to ask Marinus J.G. van de Molengraft for a refund. While I applaud his efforts to bring a product like Superior Drummer to iOS, he falls miles short.

Lastly, I just ordered an iRig keys 37 that should arrive at the end of the week. I’m pretty excited about that. I have some really nice samples but no vehicle to bring the sounds to life.





And so it begins

And so it begins…

Ribs somewhat reasonably healed…. check!

Found an iPad DAW that would actually work with any interface…. Check!

What I’ve learned so far…

Cubasis LE for iOS has very strict hardware rules. Why would  you rule out Presonus as a valid vendor? THAT’S SO BAD! I have no idea why the list of  approved hardware vendors discludes Presonus, it’s quite illogical. They’re a major player in the industry!

I really was set on Cubasis LE for iOS because the virtual instruments are really solid. The fact that the DAW doesn’t work with many industry standard hardware choices, even with the lightening wire to USB lit was a total deal breaker. So I found another DAW I knew nothing about.

Auria pro will work with almost all interfaces. I pulled the trigger on the $49.99 download this afternoon, it seems the learning curve is going to be somewhat difficult.

And so it begins…

Presonus AudioBox iTwo unboxing

Finally! The Presonus AudioBox iTwo has arrived, and I only had to pay for 3 of them!  I thought I would make a little unboxing video with the new iPad Pro since I have not shot any video yet. As you can see you really need a tripod to shoot video with an iPad haha….

Guitar Center Denver 1585 S Colorado Blvd the Worst!

I’m a past Guitar Center team member, but I can’t believe the story I am about to tell. This is the worst experience I’ve ever had purchasing gear PERIOD!

I ring GC and ask the availability on a Presonus Audiobox iTwo. Royce says “oh hey we have 2 of them in stock  come on DOWN!” I get the interface to the crib, open it and it’s a scratched, missing cables and warranty cards, a complete freaking abortion. WTF! I call the Manager at GC Denver, Alex Spiekermeier who says “yeah the two we have in stock are open box buys.” Really? Hey Alex how does this happen? His reciprocates “I dunno.” WTF? REALLY?

Alex Orders me a new Presonus Audiobox iTwo over the phone but cancels the first order and does not inform me. Boom another $150 plus tax off my Visa. Then he reorders a second time, for what ever reason that he didn’t inform me about this and then has it shipped to the store and not my address which he asked me for. So I’m into a $150 interface for $300. Then he orders me a 3rd at another $150 and sends it to my address. We’re now at $450 plus tax for a $150 interface that I don’t have? WTF for the 3rd time!!!

I have no problem calling these 2 asshats out by name, screw them. Guitar Center Denver has sharks and Morons working there, I will never step foot in that POS ever again.

#GuitarCenterDenverisaPOS  #AlexSpiekermeierisanid10t #RoyceatGCdenverisaShark


Yeah Harsh but this is complete BS


Choosing a A2D / D2A converter For iPad Pro

Choosing a A2D / D2A converter has been an interesting process. At first I wasn’t thinking anything other than Apogee. The thing is I wanted to use in some small capacity my Yamaha HS80M monitors. The Apogee One and Duet are not good solutions to use monitors with. They both have 1 output for headphones, that’s it. The thought of using a 1/8″ stereo to TRS or XLR seemed like a really bad idea to me. I started to look around at other solutions with absolutely no expectations.

I used a little Google Foo skills and found a few interfaces that were decent solutions for the iPad Pro, but they could not come close to that Apogee converter and pre-amp reputation.  As I looked around I found a Few I really liked:

The Line 6 Sonic Port VX looks amazing, but hooking up the monitors long term isn’t going to be feasible. I like this unit so much I may purchase it and use it only for recording. The reviews I’ve read on the Microphone are solid.

The focusrite iTrack solo looks pretty cool too, but I would rather not use RCA as the monitor outputs.

The iConnectiyity looked like the one, but the reviews indicated the app and Drivers needed work everywhere I checked.

That left the PreSounus Audio Box iTwo! I think this is the interface I want, it has everything I’m looking for.

  • Separate 1/4″ TRS outputs.
  • One big Volume Knob.
  • Two inputs that can be used at the same time. 2 mics on a guitar amp at the same time!
  • An additional headphone output that is 1/4″ stereo.

I’ve used PreSonus interfaces before, I owned an AudioBox previously that I thought sounded plausible.  I have recorded through a few FireStudio’s I thought were cool sounding. Since this is an iPad Pro, I don’t think I necessary need to go Apogee to get what I am looking for. I need functionality, but I don’t need 4 inputs at $1399 from the Apogee Quartet. I certainly don’t need that huge price tag either.

If anyone has any input I would love you to comment!

Until next time, stay thirsty my friends!


The first track in a new DAW – iPad Pro 12.9 Review

In the past when adopting a new DAW, that first track was always the real learning curve. I am amazed at how much functionality from Logic Pro (X) is in Garageband 2.2 for iPad. I have my first scratch track put together. Musically it’s really bad, but I learned a lot creating it. I really dove deep into the MIDI arranging aspect, I have to say I am quite impressed.

What Garageband for iPad has from big Brother Logic X:

  • Drummer – This is the full Drummer from Logic X. Darcy is just as funky as she is in Logic.


  • Sampler – No it’s not the EXS 24, but having a bona-fide sampler in a Garageband environment is pretty amazing.
  • Full MIDI editing just like in Logic X.
  • Automation – Yes really, the automation is the fully robust exact method Logic Pro Uses.

Check out this video of the automation on an iPhone:

If you’re a Logic Pro X user, you know that feature is the real deal that resides in Logic Pro.

In creating my first project, I found myself finding many portions that I’ve previously mentioned of the UI to Mirror Logic X. I could not find a screen shot of the new Garageband iPad MIDI editor online, so I took one directly from my iPad pro. You can see, it’s the same MIDI UI in Logic X:

Garageband for iPad MIDI UI interface

Garageband for iPad MIDI UI interface


The thing I’m enjoying obviously is the Logic Pro UI elements, but with the added touch capabilities. It makes the learning curve so much less difficult! It’s been 10 awesome days since I brought the iPad Pro home, I am very seriously impressed. Not just with the iPad itself, but with how powerful the new 2.x version of Garageband for iOS truly is. This DAW is no toy! I’ve had it on my iPhone’s for years, in the past it was a novelty IMHO only useful for electronic music. However I can clearly see that this is the future of DAW, not just as a controller but as serious hardware.

The sounds of the virtual instruments are solid. There’s a few that don’t meet Logic X’s standards, but the bulk are the same great sounding sampled technology Apple’s Logic Pro is known for. The 4 speakers are bloody amazing! Rather watching NetFlix or arranging MIDI, audio it is really something that really blows me away. The sound quality absolutely stomps the latest Mac Book Pro by a far margin.

When I was watching the Key Note on 9/09/2015 I thought “wow who would pay this much for an iPad and not just buy a MacBook Air?” One thing I can say now is Processing Power, this iPad has MAD PROCESSING POWER! According to Apple iPad Pro is faster than 80 percent of the portable PCs shipped in the last 16 months. I’m certainly a believer….

Until Next Time…… Stay Thirsty my Friends!

Moving is not good for your Music? Part Tres

Sprint Sprint Sprint! Sprint offered me a value added incentive, instead of turning in my phone they would give me that allowance on an iPad Pro. It had to be an iPad pro, the other mobile devices were leases,  not an ownership option. As it has worked out, I’m paying much less for the iPad pro that I would directly from apple.

So…. This makes me one happy person!

Why not make music on a mobile device when your limitations are apartment bound? After months that have turned into over a year and a half, it became obvious. I can’t create Music at the level I could in the past using Logic in a 3 bedroom home, but gosh I can create Music. That part of my life was MIA and that part of my life IS MY LIFE! (excluding family of course).

Thank you Sprint and thank you iPad Pro!

I’ve only had the iPad Pro for a short time, but I am very impressed with what it can do. It’s very powerful under the hood, more powerful than any desktop I have in my home.

A9X chip is performing really well.

I’m really happy thus far……



I have a lot to share, but for now…. Stay thirsty my Friends!



Moving is not good for your Music? Part Duex

Being a responsible team member includes doing your very best when a SaaS (Software as a Service) company moves from one state to another, and the utter chaos that goes with it. I worked 60 plus hour weeks for the first two quarters I was here in Denver. I didn’t have time to think about being creative other than providing code solutions, I just had time to code and troubleshoot. Boy was that booty!

The stress became so horrid my health took a bad turn, it was ugly. I had to let go and have a balanced work to personal life ratio. It was REALLY HARD! I had poured all of myself into making this old very successful company into a new successful company. This is really difficult when you have management that just doesn’t give a crap. Welcome to private equity young padawan.

My old management team? Well lets just say the bass player and lead vocalist was one in the same in one of the bands I was working in. He was the General Manager, and an owner.  I wont drop names, but the management of the old company was exemplary! I knew it then, and I know it now…. That’s what made it such a special place to be a part of the culture. It was collaborative, awesome “let’s build useful tools for our clients” heaven. But that’s the past….. Live in the now!

I could not unplug from my career, even with my stress related health issue. However, I realized very quickly it was because I was not in a good creative space. If I had a great room to create in like I did in Oregon, it would have been easy. Trade one addiction for the other so to speak. This could not happen in this space, unless I wanted to commit 5k to sound treatment that would be mostly useless elsewhere.

To make things darker, both of my Mac’s died within 10 days of each other. Poor baby! NOT, I just kept thinking about ways to create, I never gave up. If I was the type of person who wasn’t tenacious, I would be the guy who quit playing music like the rest of them once I had children at the behest of my spouse.  Did I mention I’m divorced? HAHA! That is not me, not me what so ever.

For a year, I thought deeply about how I could get back into a daily creative routine. I am now in a creative space, but before I touch upon that I want to share the 4 things I learned:

  • Taking a Break is good sometimes to reflect on your creative “Engine.”
  • Journaling here beyond what I was writing privately was a huge part of my process. I just didn’t realize it at the time.  It is / was a very creative process. It’s lovely to revisit this blog!
  • If you have to downsize, be grateful! It can turn out to be such a positive thing in your life.
  • If your Mac(S) takes a dive and you lose Mac Journal, WRITE ION SCRAPS OF PAPER! Do not stop writing ever, period.

As I suffered through buying a used PC (Dell 8 core Xeon 2.7) I know I could never utilize this tool to write, record, create, mix and master…. whatever. Let’s face it, I have thousand’s of dollars invested in Logic’s plugin’s. I’m just simply not a Pro Tools guy let alone a windowz human. The only OS for me is OS X. Boy, buying a 5K mac was not in the cards while looking for a Town home close to downtown Denver.

My answer came to me as I was trying to switch phone carriers. I am with Sprint, yeah they are not good at all. BUT….. I brokered a deal with them because they owe me a new phone and quite frankly I <3 my iPhone 6+ still.

Until next time….. Stay Thirsty my Friends!