Create compelling audio in iOS
Which free iPad audio app will work best for your classroom? That depends on three things: age range, complexity and sharing platform. Let’s look at the pros and cons of three iPad apps for audio we really like.
Really more for letting students create “radio show” type podcasts rather than interview-based ones, Spreaker heavy on the easy insertion of sound effects (for the younger grades) and live recording of activities (for collaborative work). The app’s recently rebranded itself as “Studio” — yes, just Studio, like Cher, but for recording audio on iPads. It’s probably a wise move, because the interface does lend itself to the feeling of creating and mixing audio in a studio setting.
- So easy to add sound effects. Makes falling off a log look like rocket science.
- Can make sound clips private on a device, but then they can’t be shared to the website.
- In-app purchases. If they’re disabled at the device level they’re disabled here, but it’s still something to look out for.
- The Chat function: while broadcasting live to the internet, you can enable Chat so that anyone listening to your broadcast can message you. CLEARLY this is a terrible idea, so one Pro is that it’s disabled by default.
- 30 minute recording limit
- Audio can only be shared via Facebook, twitter, or the Spreaker.com website, which has no provision for making channels or users private.
Here’s Spreaker’s own introduction to the app, as it turns out (fun fact!) that screencasting audio apps to a laptop will basically make your screencasting software explode. #andnowyouknow
2. Audio Voice Recorder
Record and share audio to so many places. So many. Google Drive? Check. Drop Box? Check. SoundCloud? Check. The moon? PROBABLY.
- Engaging visual interface can help explain acoustic concepts and allow students better control over quality while recording AND allow you to tie some math in there;
- 3-button interface is simple;
- Lots of granularity in controlling audio quality and file size;
- Can organize sound clips by project;
- Metadata is exported with sound clips
- So many ways to share the finished product.
- Method for editing audio clips is difficult to ascertain;
- Ads in the free version (content can be controlled from General Settings app);
- It’s actually easier to plan and deploy a mission to Jupiter than figure out the editing panel.
Here’s a short screencast of Voice Record Pro:
The iOS version of Apple’s old workhorse combines easy editing with easy special effects and custom sound creation to make a powerful mobile audio app that allows older users (5th grade and up) that can do all the fun things in a sane manner. And do it much easier than in GarageBand: The Desktop Version. Great for more musically based projects, such as creating background music for a podcast or writing and recording your own musicals.
- Editing’s easy once you get the hang of it;
- A huge range of built-in sound effects and orchestral arrangements
- You do still have to take a moment to figure it all out
And now a word about SoundCloud
SoundCloud’s app used to be better than all three of the apps above, but a dramatic overhaul to it in January of this year rendered it useless for recording audio on mobile devices. SoundCloud is still a great option for recording audio on laptops, desktops, netbooks and Chromebooks, just not mobile devices.
But that’s another entry…