For starters, you can use Master Record to simply record
audio, either via the iPad’s standard inputs or via an iOS compatible
interface, so at the very least it’s an awesome field recorder with a
bunch of handy bells and whistles. Because of its tape-centric approach,
editing recorded audio is a wee bit fiddly, with tape transport style
functions like fade in/out tools, though it does sport a nice view of
the overall recorded waveform.
If you’re using Master Record in an Audiobus environment,
it can be used as in either “effect’ or “output” configuration for
processing audio on the fly, though you’ll need a newer iPad (generation
2 or later) for that functionality. Even so, it works quite nicely as a
recorder or offline processor, even on the original iPad.
In my experiments, I found Master Record to be a
super-sweet companion to my normal studio workflow by using it for
offline processing of pre-recorded audio. It handily offers
compatibility with WAV, AIFF, MP3, .M4A, and even CAF or FLAC audio file
formats, making it a real team player for a variety of applications.
Customizing the processing is a breeze, although the
terminology of tape may be a tad arcane for the digital generation.
Simply put, you’ve got control over the type and amount of
saturation/drive, two-band shelving EQ, frequency response options for
emulating several types of tape speed and bias, and even flutter
controls if you want to mess up your signal a bit. Speaking of messing
with your recordings, Master Record allows you to add a touch of hiss to
your output with five options that include cassette, reel, tube, vinyl
crackles, and even the subtle drone of an old-school recording console.
Finally, there’s a brick wall limiter at the end of the chain, which can
be used either subtly or dramatically
My approach to integrating Master Record into my tracks
was simply to select an audio file in WAV format and sync it up to my
iPad. From there, I applied the tape effects (it’s great for nasty,
old-school hip-hop overdrive, incidentally) and then hit the “dubbing’
button. This bounces the audio, keeping the original file and creating a
newly processed file with a different name. From there, I re-imported
the audio into my DAW and kept going. I have to admit, this app sounds
so good that I’m sorely tempted to take a finished master and apply a
touch of emulated tape warmth to the final files before releasing it on
my label or shopping it. We’ll see. . . .
As for moving files around, in addition to iTunes syncing
and Audiobus, there are in-app upload tools for Dropbox, SoundCloud,
audio clipboard, and some more exotic WiFi options, so those bases are
All in all, Master Record is a terrific sounding app for a
mere ten dollars, and can impart a lot of warmth and even crunchy dirt
to audio of all types—whether live or as a post-production process. Even
if you simply use it for field recording on your iPad, it’s worth the
cash. This one is definitely staying on my iPad.