Music Writing and Production with the iPad


Authored by Andrea Pejrolo


Course Code: OMPRD-205

Next semester starts September 23

12 Weeks

Level 2

Level 2

3-Credit Tuition


Non-Credit Tuition


In the last five years, the iPad has become a serious alternative to more traditional music production tools, such as laptops or even desktop machines. With just your iPad, a MIDI controller, a microphone, and a small audio interface, you now have the power of a full recording studio. This course will teach you how to create, record, mix, and master music entirely on the iPad. 

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The course starts by exploring the iPad hardware and operating system, and how to select and set up the mobile studio with the correct MIDI and audio interfaces. Then, you will learn how to use applications for specific stages of the music production process, including how sketch out your ideas using GarageBand, sequence MIDI tracks and record live instruments and vocal tracks in Cubasis, mix your session with Auria, and master your final mix with Final Touch. In addition, the course teaches you how to program and create new sounds with a series of cutting edge software synthesizers.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Set up a mobile production studio
  • Sketch musical ideas using the iPad and GarageBand
  • Use the iPad as a creative inspirational tool for music composition and sound design with a selection of advanced software synthesizers such as iPolySix, iMPC Pro, Cassini, and more
  • Sequence and arrange music ideas on the iPad with Cubasis
  • Record real instruments and vocals with Cubasis
  • Mix your projects with Auria
  • Master projects with Final Touch
  • Distribute and share the final production
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Overview Syllabus Requirements Instructors
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Lesson 1: Understanding and Setting Up the iOS Platform

  • iPad Architecture and Set-up
  • iPad Advantages and Limitations
  • Interaction with Other Platforms
  • Gestures
  • Other Tablet-Based Platforms
  • Setting Up Your iPad for Music Production
  • Matters of I/O 
  • Monitoring

Lesson 2: MIDI and Digital Audio Concepts

  • MIDI: A Review
  • Principles of Digital Audio: A Review
  • The Converters
  • Sample Rate and Bit Depth
  • Quantization Noise
  • Connecting Your Audio Interface and Your Keyboard Controller to Your iPad

Lesson 3: Writing and Sequencing Music with the iPad

  • iPad Music Software for Music Production
  • The Portable Digital Audio Workstation (P-DAW)
  • Using GarageBand for Music Production
  • First Recording in Garageband
  • Adding Some "Personal" Touches
  • Adding More Tracks

Lesson 4: Working with Audio Tracks in GarageBand

  • Working with Audio Tracks 
  • Tips for a Successful Recording
  • Editing Audio Tracks
  • Using Loops 
  • Creating a Full Song Using GarageBand "Sections"
  • Final Mix an Effects
  • Export, Share, and Back Up

Lesson 5: Music Production in Cubasis

  • Using Cubasis for Music Production - Basic Concepts
  • The Writing Process
  • MIDI Editing in Cubase
  • Editing MIDI Data

Lesson 6: Mixing in Cubasis

  • Mixing Concepts in Cubasis - Mixing the MIDI Tracks
  • Using Third-Party Software Synthesizers
  • Audiobus
  • Automating Your Mix through MIDI Automation

Lesson 7: Audio Recording and Editing with Cubasis

  • Multi-Track Recording with Your iPad - Setup and Configuration
  • Preamplifiers
  • Microphone Polar Patterns
  • Audio Editing in Cubasis
  • Mixing Concepts in Cubasis
  • Microphone Techniques for Mobile Recording

Lesson 8: Using Third-Party Software Synthesizers in Cubasis

  • Using Third-Party Software Synthesizers
  • Wait a Minute, What is a "Subtractive Synthesizer"?
  • Creating a New Sound in Cassini
  • Using a Sampler: the Akai iMPC
  • Freezing Tracks in Cubasis

Lesson 9: Advanced Mixing with Auria

  • Working Across Music Applications with the iPad
  • Files Access and Backup Solutions/ Techniques
  • Advanced Mixing Concepts
  • Working in Auria
  • Auria's Mixer

Lesson 10: Using the Audio Effects in Auria

  • Using Effects in Auria
  • Workshop: The Compressor Parameters
  • Workshop: EQ Parameters
  • Automation, Groups, and Busses
  • Exporting a Full Session

Lesson 11: Working with Third-Party Software Synthesizers

  • Working with Third Party Software Synthesizers: Korg iPolySix
  • Working with Third Party Software Synthesizers: Grain Science Granular Synthesizer

Lesson 12: Mastering and Distributing Your Work

  • Mastering in Final Touch
  • Final Touch’s Effect Modules
  • Sharing and Distributing Your Work


Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements 

Prerequisite Courses, Knowledge, and/or Skills
A basic understanding of digital audio concepts, MIDI concepts, and some writing/production concepts is recommended.




  • iPad compatible audio interface, along with any cables or adaptors necessary to connect it to the iPad
  • Recommended: iPad compatible MIDI controller such as IK-Multimedia iRig KEYS Pro, iRIG KEYS, AKAI LPK25, or M-Audio KEYSTATION-MINI32, etc.

Important Technical/System Considerations

  • iPad running iPadOS 14 or higher

Student Deals
After enrolling, be sure to check out our Student Deals page for various offers on software, hardware, and more. Please contact with any questions.

General Course Requirements

Below are the minimum requirements to access the course environment and participate in Live Classes. Please make sure to also check the Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements section above, and ensure your computer meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements for all software needed for your course. 

Mac Users

PC Users

All Users

  • Latest version of Google Chrome
  • Zoom meeting software
  • Webcam
  • Speakers or headphones
  • External or internal microphone
  • Broadband Internet connection


Andrea Pejrolo

Author & Instructor

Andrea Pejrolo is the chair of the Contemporary Writing and Production department at Berklee College of Music in Boston. He is a MIDI programmer, composer, and bassist. He is the author of Creative Sequencing Techniques for Music Production (2005) and Acoustic and MIDI Orchestration for the Contemporary Composer (2007) and has written several articles for music magazines, including Sound On Sound and Bass World magazine.

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Andrea has extensive professional experience as a sound designer, audio engineer/producer, MIDI programmer and composer for film, TV, theater, and multimedia. Some of his recent projects include iAcoustica Studio drum library, iDrum Rock Edition for iPhone/iPad in collaboration with Izotope, and arranging and recording with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

Andrea is an active presenter and lecturer for prestigious conferences such as AES and MacWorld. His most recent publications include Creating Sounds from Scratch (Oxford University Press), and Acoustic and MIDI Orchestration for the Contemporary Composer (Focal Press).

Andrea holds a Ph.D. in jazz studies from New York University, a Master in Composition for Film, TV, Theater and Multimedia from the University of Bristol (U.K.) and a Music Diploma in Jazz Performance from Manhattan School of Music in New York City. Read Less

What's Next?

When taken for credit, Music Writing and Production with the iPad can be applied towards the completion of these related programs:

Related Degree Majors


Contact our Academic Advisors by phone at 1-866-BERKLEE (U.S.), 1-617-747-2146 (INT'L), or by email at

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