Nick Peay

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Apple Music Memos

I, like probably a lot of musicians, use my phone to capture song ideas. Sometimes it’s just a lyric, or it could be a melody, often times it’s a lose verse and chorus that’s less than a minute. There have been times when I’ve recorded rehearsals so that I can critique the song, or performance. Whatever it is, I needed something to capture it in that moment so that I can refer back to it later. Somehow that led me to the new Apple Music Memo.

I’ve often used the Voice Memos on my iPhone to record song ideas, rehearsals and more. It’s nothing fancy. Just a simple recorder that I can capture sound and listen back to. It worked for what I needed. Until I needed to send the song idea, or rehearsal to someone who didn’t have an iPhone and had no way of listening to that file type.

Not that I find that to be the case all that often, but you know, if I have to send it to someone, I want them to be able to listen to it.

So, I casually began looking for other apps for my phone to be able to record things with.

Nothing really caught my eye. Nothing really stood out.

I tried GarageBand on my phone. It was cool. It let me record up to 8 tracks, I could use MIDI to add other instruments, I could mix it (sort of) and send it as an mp3. But while I enjoyed creating music with it, it was too much hassle, when all I needed was a simple recorder.

Then the new iOS came out and I noticed a new app that had been created by Apple for the iDevices with the new operating system. It was called Music Memo. It sounded exactly like what I had been looking for.

I downloaded it and started recording some rough song ideas I’d had. It was simple and easy to use.

When it starts there’s a bit red record button. You can even set it to automatically start recording whenever it senses sound. It also comes with some backing tracks that you can add to your recordings. Once you’ve recorded something, you can add bass and drums to hear what it would sound like.

You can tag your recordings to keep better track of them. You can label them as “chorus,” “verse,” “lyric,” “melody” and others to fin exactly what you’re looking for.

If you click and expand the recording, you get other options like trimming, adjusting the time signature, writing notes, and yes, exporting. You can send the recording in a number of ways. You can even move it over to GarageBand to use.

The coolest thing (in my opinion, at least) is that once you’ve recorded something, it detects the chords you’re playing and generates a chord chart above the sound wave. I’ve even experimented with just singing a melody and playing the generated chord chart later. It’s pretty darn close!

It’s a pretty great app! It’s simple enough for quick recordings, but offers plenty of additional options. I’d highly recommend to any musician.

Any other good apps out there I should check out for recorded rough song ideas or rehearsals?