Top 5 Audio Apps for iOS

Top 5 Audio Apps for iOS

More and more podcasters and musicians are taking their craft on the road and are looking for ways to downsize their required packing. The question that keeps coming up is how does one record a podcast using an iOS device, or how does anyone who works with audio edit their media and get it exported, how does one publish that media out to the world, and how does one do this without a computer.

It use to be that a good DAW or system for recording required money, work, big software. That isn’t necessarily true anymore, with phones and tablets shipping with powerful processors and more and more RAM, app developers have more to work with in order to build more fully featured apps that give us audio people the tools we need in small packages.

To me, anything I can do on the go, especially on my iPhone or my iPad, makes me happy. Considering how many ask me this very question, I can only assume the ability to do these things in small packages makes many of you happy people also!

So without further á deux, I present to you my absolute favorite five audio apps for iOS.

Ferrite

Ferrite

Ferrite is a beautiful DAW made for iOS. It supports multitrack, has many applicable filters and effects, cut and paste, and other very easy and intuitive features that make this one of my favorite DAWs for mobile.

It even offers support for generating ID3 tags with artwork (something many DAWs, even on desktops, don’t support).

When I first saw Ferrite, after years of using TwistedWave (which I do love), I thought the interface was so much more streamlined, easier on the eyes, much more modern. But… it has a fault.

It will not export as an MP3. It will export M4A, or CAF, it will not export as MP3. After a conversation with the developer, it looks like there aren’t any plans to add it anytime soon.

This is where apps like iConv (listed below) come in really handy. It means I can use this DAW all day long, and still use iConv to export as an MP3 because despite any argument over whether or not M4A is better, MP3 still has the best and most widespread compatibility for online audio (especially for podcasts).

I still recommend this app, I still love this app, but it is important to note it’s lack of MP3 functionality and the need for something like iConv, Workflow, or some other option that can handle that conversation for you.

TwistedWave Audio Editor

TwistedWave

Twisted Wave is an audio editor available for Mac, iPhone, iPad, and via a browser based solution. It isn’t the prettiest solution by any stretch, but it is incredibly easy to use and gets the job done.

This app offers recording capability, though to be honest, I never use it. I use Twisted Wave for it’s editing and exporting capabilities. That said, it supports 16-bit and 32-bit, low latency recording, and even bluetooth recording support.

One of the things I love about Twisted Wave is the ability to ingest audio everything I’d ever use. iTunes file sharing, Dropbox, Box.com, and of course iCloud support are all available.

Twisted Wave offers plenty of editing filters, including amplification, normalization, fading, reverb, delay, pitch, dynamic equalizers, parametric EQ, mono/stereo conversion, and many other options. It is very easy to cut, paste, add in silence, and all those things any happy podcaster would want for entering ad slots, intros, or outros.

Exports aren’t only easy, but there is a wide range of formats the app supports including WAV, AIFF, CAF, AAC/M4A, Apple Lossless M4A, FLAC, and MP3. You can also customize your bit rate. The file can be saved just about anywhere, including iCloud, Dropbox, Box, iTunes file share, e-mail, FTP/SFTP, even Soundcloud.

I’ve personally used Twisted Wave for many years. While they offer several options, I’ve only ever used their app, but it is a fantastic solution for on the go editing and exporting.

Bossjock

Bossjock

Bossjock is the ultimate podcaster studio in an app. Originally created by one of the founders of the longest running podcasting hosts around (Libsyn – full disclosure, my full time gig is with Libsyn), Bossjock is an app made by podcasters and for podcasters.

The app is centered around the idea of carts. Additional audio pieces can be loaded into each cart, and each cart can be individually configured with ducking, fading, overall volume, and so on. Arrange the carts as you want for your show, then start recording.

Of course, the app will also record via a microphone, working with just about any microphone for iPhones/iPads, as you record voice, you can then select a cart to play allowing easy dispersement of intros, outtros, ads, pre-recorded interviews, sound affects, whatever you can dream up.

Using the Apple lightening to USB adapter (commonly called the camera kit), most USB microphones, such as the Audio Technica ATR-2100, can be easily connected for a truly portable podcasting studio.

While the app currently doesn’t support editing (though easy export to other DAWs is possible), you can take your recording and publish it directly to several locations, or use the built in FTP function to upload to any host allowing for FTP (including Libsyn). You can export in mp3, m4a, wav, or aiff.

Soundboard Studio

Soundboard Studio

As a podcaster, often times we want to splice in additional audio into our show. This might be an intro, an outro, a certain sound affect, an ad from a sponsor, whatever you can think of.

Radio stations do this using cart machines, hardware configured with specific audio pieces that are spliced in when the button is hit by the producer.

I don’t know about you, but I have no interest in spending that kind of money on a machine my iPad can do with a decent piece of software!

There have been several cart apps, and this is one of two that have cart options available. The previous cart app I used was also… aptly named… Soundboard, but unfortunately that app didn’t keep up with the times and has issues with compatibility with newer versions of iOS.

So I bring you… Soundboard. This app makes it silly easy to import audio files, associate them with different soundboards, setup fade options, and other options.

The one downside to this app is it comes at a steep price for what it does. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice app and one that I will use often, but it comes with a price tag of $29.99.

iConv

iConv

IConv is one of my favorite iPad apps… period… for media producers of any kind. It allows the ingestion of video or audio files to convert to a range of different formats.

This is particularly helpful if you need to, for example, reduce the file size of a video file, or convert an M4A audio file over to MP3.

To bring this full circle, one of my favorite audio editing apps for the iPad happens to be Ferrite (mentioned above). However, to date, Ferrite does not offer an option to export as an MP3 (I’ve already discussed this with the developer, I’ll just say I didn’t get very far). However, I can export it as a raw WAV file, import it into iConv, and easily convert it to an mp3 with a bit rate and frequency of my own choosing.

If you ask me, if you do any media production at all on your iOS devices, you must have iConv in your toolbox.

The old argument continues to be made that tablets, especially iPads, are consumption devices. That you can’t do real work on an iPad.

I call malarkey. You can actually do a lot of real work on an iPad. That is why my on the go device to get work done is now an iPad, with keyboard, and the ability to record on the go.

If you liked learning about a few of the several rockin’ (and not insanely expensive) audio apps available for iOS, check out my article on my favorite video apps also for iOS. Got a new iPad Pro? Do you do a lot of video work? I can tell you the iPad Pro packs a lot of bang for video processing also.

Happy creating!

Catch Krystal at Podcamp Pittsburgh 2016

Catch Krystal at Podcamp Pittsburgh 2016

For over a decade now, Pittsburgh has been host to Podcamp Pittsburgh, a weekend long UNconference offering sessions on topics spanning podcasting, blogging, and social media. The company I work for, Libsyn, has sponsored Podcamp Pittsburgh for many years, and this will be my third year speaking there..

This year, I decided to go all out should the organizers allow, and they did. I will be presenting three sessions across Saturday and Sunday. Check out the full schedule here.

Session Title

Podcasting 101/201

Details

Podcasting 101/201 will dig into the basics you need to get your show up and running, and keeping you podcasting. We’ll dig into hardware from microphones to headphones, mixers and accessories, and what you ACTUALLY need. Then we’ll move into the software, RSS feeds, why we need one, and how to get one. Lastly, we’ll put all the pieces together, and prepare for getting our first episodes out the door.

Room

Room 1

Time

11:00am Saturday

Podcasting 301

Podcasting 301 will offer a discussion on all the things you wish you knew regarding podcasting. Getting found in iTunes, does New & Noteworthy actually matter, submitting to other directories (such as Google Play Music), what links to create on your site to up subscriber conversions, and other tips that will help you grow and engage with your audience, and other best practices with regards to creating your content.

Room 1

1:00pm Saturday

Tracking Your Podcast Growth

Tracking Your Podcast Growth will discuss all the numbers we associate with our podcasts, and what those numbers mean. Our stats help us determine if our listenership is growing, where those listeners are coming from, and can affect how we talk about our shows with potential sponsors. Other numbers from social, your website, even your e-mail newsletter can also have an overall impact. We’ll even get into what is worth worrying about, what isn’t, and how often we actually should check our numbers (no need to join stats anonymous).

HUB

10:00am Sunday

If you are in the Pittsburgh area and you are a podcaster at any level, I encourage you to attend Podcamp Pittsburgh, and stop by one of my sessions. One thing I can guarantee after my many years of teaching the technical side of podcasting, you will leave having attended these sessions having a much better idea of how podcasting works, how to deploy what you learn, and how to track your podcasting success.

If you have a question you would love addressed during a session, e-mail [email protected] or tweet me at @thedrunkentech. Can’t attend in person? Podcamp Pittsburgh is always streamed live via YouTube, I’ll post the links here and on Twitter once they are available.

iTunes’ New Podcasts Connect, EXPLAINED!

iTunes’ New Podcasts Connect, EXPLAINED!

The lovely Elsie Escobar (@yogeek) and I are joining forces in our original Libsyn Live format to bring you a full update on iTunes new podcast submission and management system, Podcasts Connect.

Historically, podcast submissions to the iTunes store were done strictly using the iTunes desktop app on Mac or Windows. If you did all your work on say, an iPad, there was no way to submit your show. Also, once submitted, there wasn’t anything you could do to your show in the iTunes store. You would have to make all changes via our RSS feed, but some changes can’t be made in the feed.

For example, you can’t change your feed URL. Normally, you wouldn’t want to do this, but if you are somehow stuck with a provider who doesn’t allow you to redirect your RSS feed, then you can at least still update your iTunes submission.

Of course, unless you must or have a REALLY good reason to, you don’t want to just go off changing your feed URL.

In this Libsyn Live, I’m going to share my screen and walk you through everything in the Podcasts Connect dashboard. I’m also going to cover what we have learned directly from the iTunes team (and those few things we simply cannot get answers on), and Elsie and I will take questions during the live Q&A from the audience.

Join in, even if you don’t host with Libsyn. This one is going to be a must watch!

Podcamp Pittsburgh X: A Recap

Podcamp Pittsburgh X: A Recap

Yay Podcamp!

There are a few cities out there still running Podcamps, and one of the longest running Podcamps happens to be right in my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This past weekend was Podcamp Pittsburgh X.

In case you didn’t know, X stands for 10. That’s 10 Podcamps, over 10 years. I think that’s really amazing. Keeping communities going for any period of time is tough, but for these local groups, to stay together for years takes an amount of dedication not only from the leaders of that community, but from the community itself.

There were a number of awesome sessions, including the keynote by Podcamp Pittsburgh co-founder Justin Kownacki (@justinkownacki) and a great Sunday morning session by the amazing Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan). Now that one, I took tons of notes at.

There were sessions on getting started podcasting, and sessions on social media, and even a session about how to help your jaw and mouth so that the sound you put forth into your mic is better which ultimately leads to less editing time. I, for one, am all about less editing time!

My co-worker, Greg Buretz, did a session on how NOT to break your feed. This session is so good, I think we’re going to turn it into a webinar. It was a bit more technical, but it discussed some of the every day things that producers do that can break their RSS feed. It’s information any podcaster should at least be aware of, even if they have a great host that generates their feed for them.

My session discussed WordPress and podcasting. I focused on the basics of setting up a WordPress site geared specifically to media creators. Interested? Go check it out here. I had a good group and some good questions. I just might have to turn that into a webinar also. 🙂

Some friends from Ohio came into town, Dave Jackson from The School of Podcasting and Nick Seuberling from Inside the Jungle both came PCPGHX. It was great to see some out of town friendly faces.

If you are a podcaster, do check your area to see if there any podcamps running. If not, check for podcasting meetups. Many cities have meetups that have been running for a very long time and are a great way to get face to face with the podcast community.
Hope to see you next year for Podcamp Pittsburgh 11!!

The Podcasters’ Roundtable | Episode 35 | ITUNES

The Podcasters’ Roundtable | Episode 35 | ITUNES

The Podcasters’ Roundtable is a video and audio podcast hosted and produced by Ray Ortega which covers specific podcasting topics each session. Ray is joined by podcasters and podcast experts alike in order to dig deep into each topic.

In this episode, catch up with Ray Ortega, Daniel J. Lewis, David Jackson, Angelo Mandato, Rich Baxter, Lou Mongello, Steve Stewart, and myself (Krystal O’Connor) as we discuss podcasting + iTunes.