iPhone Multitrack Recording: 4 Tracks and FourTrack

I’ve been dreaming of a cheap, easy way to record multi-track melody, lyric, and arrangement ideas using my cell phone for years.  (Dedicated multitrack recorders are expensive, and I’d not carry another "thing" in my pockets.)

Last week, I got an iPhone 3G.  (My iPod broke, it had been my birthday a couple months ago, and my Cingular plan was up for renewal…the perfect intersection of excuses.)

4 Tracks iphone appWithin less than a day, I found 4 Tracks by Little Code Shop, a multitrack recording application for $6.  Oh baby.  Harmonies, bass lines, drum beats…all multi-layer brainstorms are now possible.  Included are a metronome, track volume control, and mute buttons.  Lacking are some kind of sound/track archive to save tracks with, a way to jump to different parts of a song, and an easy way to export the audio to a PC.  Still, I’ve seen cheeseburgers that are more expensive, so I’m happy.

fourtrack iphone appJust today, I found FourTrack by Sonoma Wire Works…I had no choice but to include it in this post.  At $10, it’s the better buy.  Included are pan control, compression, jump-to-point functionality, song project archive capability, and WiFi syncing to export music to a PC (though in my opinion, that’s not a whole lot of help — I’d prefer Bluetooth or email export).  Lacking is a metronome, which is bizarre to me…  And according to the reviews, there seem to be some audio quality issues during playback, and exporting is pretty difficult to make work.

For now, I’ll play with 4 Tracks.  FourTrack may advance faster, since it’s backed by a major audio recording software producer, but then again, you should never count out a talented, independent DIY developer.

Either way, if you’re a songwriter and own an iPhone, you should definitely check out one of these apps.  (Want more music apps?  Check out iPhone Apps: 19 Music iPhone Applications.)







7 responses to “iPhone Multitrack Recording: 4 Tracks and FourTrack”

  1. Lindabtm Avatar

    This sounds cool. How’s does it work? Do you edit the song on your phone then send it to people on you phone list or your computer? Sounds like a lot of fun to play with though.

  2. garagespin Avatar

    Linda: Well, they’re note quite that advanced, yet. 4 Tracks does not include editing capability or export capability. FourTrack includes limited editing (compression and panning), and only lets you export it to a desktop PC via WiFi. But, hopefully, since these are early versions of the software, they’ll advance in the near future..!

  3. Hamranhansenhansen Avatar

    FourTrack has a metronome with tap tempo and various choices of clicks or real drums. Possibly it was added after this review.

    I’ve done a lot of songwriting with FourTrack. The worklfow is fast and easy and you can capture ideas quickly.

    Export is a nightmare, though. My iPhone and Mac are never on thevsame Wi-Fi network because they’re tethered. I downloaded iPhone Backup Extractor for Mac to get the audio out of my iPhone backup but haven’t tried this yet. In the meantime I just mixed down from iPhone to an iPod because these are just demos. I start the production session from scratch anyway.

    But all in all, FourTrack is a joy. Really good pro tool for only $10.

  4. Andy Avatar

    I found this 3.5mm TRRS adapter which works perfect for connecting a microphone to use with this app: http://www.kvconnection.com/product-p/km-iphone-2

  5. Pesjan Avatar

    Is there any who knows how to export desktop via wifi?

  6. jorgen.xt Avatar

    energyXT for iOS does both audio recording and drums/synths (like Cubase/Protools). You can easily arrange your recordings in verse, chorus, intro etc. When you recorded something you are happy with you can export it to your dropbox account in one click, either as mixdown or as one audio file per track.
    http://bit.ly/izpxFC http://www.energy-xt.com/iphone

  7. suprior paper Avatar

    Multi track recording software in the iPhones is really adding value to the recording and provides assistance too; essay writing service is a best one to write the essays and will assist a lot in writing and conversation too and more it will enhance the beauty of your writings too.

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