When I got my hands on an iPad, one of the first apps I wanted to try out was StompBox by 4Pockets Audio. I’d seen it in iTunes when I was using the iPhone and admired the way the screenshots replicate the design style I was used to in the PC based VST plugins I had been using (which are often based on the racks and pedalboards of the real world). I was hoping that user interface (UI) would translate into an easy to use application. I wasn’t wrong.
As luck would have it, 4Pockets Audio also made a multitrack recorder—Meteor Multi Track Recorder—which had UI similarities to the PC based DAWs I’d become somewhat familiar with over the last few years. That made this combination seem like a perfect match. Again, I wasn’t wrong.
Surely this couldn’t last.
The starting screen for StompBox looks just like a multi-effects unit that allows you to switch from one memory bank to another. Each bank contains several presets for you to choose from. The design reminds me of the BOSS ME-50. Probably because I have one of those. It made using StompBox so much easier for me. What I like about StompBox—compared to its real-world alternative—is the way it allows you to get into each effect using what I call the Rack Interface. From the main screen, you get to these effects by scrolling the virtual pedalboard up. From here you can dial in multiple sound types for each effect unit. The possibilities are huge in number.
The effects you see are not your only options however. You can add effects to any preset—including presets you create and save to one of the available banks in the app—or you can remove effects you do not require. For the purposes of this article, I added the 4 Track Loop Recorder. How else would I tell you about the awesome Meteor Multi Track Recorder integration?
The 4 Track Loop Recorder allows you to record multiple tracks (layered) using any number of effects in your effects chain. If you place your 4 Track Loop Recorder at the bottom of the rack, all effects get recorded. If you place your 4 Track Loop Recorder at the top of the rack, the effects are bypassed. This is all useful when considering copying your recorded tracks into the Meteor Multi Track Recorder.
If you’re wondering why that is, let me tell you … Meteor Multi Track Recorder allows you to add some built in effects—such as reverb or chorus—to the track after all tracks have been mixed. Awesome.
As I mentioned earlier, Meteor Multi Track Recorder has a UI that is similar to the big DAWs in the PC world I’m somewhat familiar with. The default screen shows you your tracks laid out in a timeline where you can move individual pieces of your music around, adjust volume, pan or effects of individual tracks and trim tracks as required. Some of these elements can also be adjusted from the Mixer screen. I prefer to adjust volume and pan from this screen. The Wave Editor screen allows you to add fade in/out to tracks (amongst other things). I know that’s what I primarily use it for.
The Effects screen is the screen I referred to when I was talking about the 4 Track Loop Recorder for StompBox. What I like to do is leave the chorus and reverb off in StompBox and apply it instead to either individual tracks in Meteor Multi Track Recorder or to the entire song I’m putting together.
It’s all easy to do. It’s easy to work out or with the help of the exceptional Help sections in each individual app. I’m a try and work it out yourself kind of guy normally. But if that fails, a good Help file is incredibly handy to have.
So, that’s how I use StompBox and Meteor Multi Track Recorder currently. I’m barely touching the surface of what each app can do and I know the apps are only going to get easier to use when they both support Audiobus. Oh yeah … That’s going to happen too.
Thanks for reading. If you’re interested, listen to the track I put together in StompBox and Meteor Multi Track Recorder this afternoon when I decided to write this article. I exported this track to my DropBox account and then uploaded it to SoundCloud. I could have uploaded directly to SoundCloud from Meteor Multi Track Recorder, but I wanted to mention the integration of SoundCloud and DropBox.