Music production

How the iPad is revolutionizing music production

Do you know how much of a consumer device the iPad is, like a digital baby spoon? And that the Apple tablet cannot be used for “real work”? Well, Grammy-winning music producer Henny Tha Bizness disagrees. He uses the iPad exclusively for making music. He also believes that a decade from now, if you haven’t switched to iPad for music production, you’ll be left behind.

In this good video from the YouTube video maestro Jonathan morrison, Henny explains how he uses the new 2018 iPad Pro to create his music. As a bonus, he asks a producer who hates a computer mixer to try out his iPad, with predictable results.

IPad is changing music production

In short, Henny love the iPad because it’s immediate. That brings him back to the age of 18, and he could just make do with musical ideas instead of playing with the tools all the time.

His main application, which he has demonstrated in many other videos, is Wave Blocks, a sample and loop trigger application. It allows you to quickly create song ideas from your own recordings, as well as grab loops from its store.

Wave Blocks are enough to build entire tracks.
Photo: Mac Cult

Better than a mouse

But perhaps most interesting is the part of the video where Henny brings in old-fashioned producer and studio engineer Ken Lewis, who largely ignored digital production in favor of the tape and mixers. Why? The immediacy of working with real machines with buttons and sliders, instead of a computer that forces musicians to use the same interface you use to edit a spreadsheet.

Lewis totally dug the iPad.

“What I love about it is that it’s all tactile and I’m coming from old school analog,” Lewis said. “You have 15 foot mixing consoles in front of you, and those got smaller and smaller, but I’m still on an analog card. And one of the reasons I’m on an analog card is because it’s all tactile, and I can touch it and work it, and feel that musical connection.

This sense of connection took him away from the mouse-driven interface of desktop computers. The iPad, he says, offers the best computer version of on-the-fly buttons it has ever seen.

Make music with iPad

I also use the iPad for making music, although nowhere near Henny and Ken’s level. There is something that seems right about it.

Using the Mac to make music seems clunky in comparison. It’s like playing guitar with drumsticks instead of just using your fingers. The iPad can have a lot of annoyances, but it’s much closer to playing an instrument than filling out a spreadsheet.


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