Our favourite iPad-compatible audio kit for the classroom

Since its introduction into the classroom, we’ve seen iPad becoming a major fixture of subjects across the curriculum, and this is particularly evident in music. So without further ado, here are the top hardware picks that we recommend to partner up with your classroom iPad for audio recording and production.

Now, of course iPad can’t actually be used to teach the full music curriculum in all its glory (we’re still yet to find that killer glockenspiel app…), and students are never going to get the full experience and skills of working with keyboards and mixers on a touchscreen. However, if you have iPad in your school and you’re looking for some new kit for your classroom, it makes sense to strongly consider devices which can be used on both iPad and your classroom computers, so you can get as much out of your technology as you can.

Microphones

iPad has its own built-in mic, but for actual audio recording, we’d advise adding an external microphone. Tascam’s iM2 stereo mic plugs into the dock of you iPad, iPod touch or iPhone to turn it into a professional quality location recorder. With two 180-degree-adjustable mics, and uni-directional elements, you get great quality sound placement, for a low price of £57.50 ex VAT. It’s important to note though, that it uses the 30-pin dock connector, so you’ll need an adaptor to connect it if you’re on the latest iOS devices.

If you’re using iPad in the classroom to make videos, RODE’s SmartLav is a great option. This tiny lavalier mic plugs straight into your iPad, iPod touch or iPhone’s headphone socket and can be clipped to your clothing discreetly. This makes it great for recording interviews and the like.

 Keyboards and MIDI controllers

We’ve already run down a list of our top 3 keyboards and MIDI controllers for the classroom, but there are a couple which are ideally suited to working with iPad. That means you still get the feedback from using actual keys, but with the benefit of working in iPad apps.

Novation’s Launchkey Range are full sized, professionally specced keyboards that are an ideal match for iPad. The included Novation Launchpad app will have you making beats and triggering loops instantly, with high quality synths, loops and sounds that can be combined in the multi-colour 8×6 Launchpad grid to make and remix music.

If you need something really portable, the M-Audio Keystation Mini is perfect. Featuring 32 mini keys, it’s ideal for doing any composing on the move (it even comes with Avid’s Sibelius First notation software pre-loaded).

Audio interfaces
Using an audio interface, you can even turn iPad into a portable, easy-to-use songwriting and audio recording system. Avid’s Fast Track Solo and Duo are great sounding interfaces, that include direct connection ports for iPad and even come with a copy of Avid Pro Tools or Pro Tools Express digital audio workstation software included.

Also of great interest – but more at the top end of the iPad-compatible audio interface scale – are the RME Fireface UFX and RME Fireface UCX. The UFX offers up to 22 channels of audio in and out of an iPad, and their TotalMix remote control software is now available for iOS too, so you have full control over the internal routing and effects.

If you’re looking to give your students experience working with a mixing desk for recording or live performance, then the Presonus StudioLive desk can be fully remote controlled for Presonus’s free apps via iPad.

Do you want to know more about the audio hardware we recommend for working with iPad in the classroom? Get in touch with the team who will be happy to run through your requirements and options with you.

Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email audio@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, reviews and recommendations, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Rob H
Rob H
Call us: 03332 409 306