Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I Love You Blue Snowball

The Blue Snowball USB microphone is still an important part of my piano studio set-up. In May 2012 I wrote a post about using the Snowball with my iPad. I have since made a few changes to my work flow, so I thought I'd share.

I love you Blue Snowball.

But your USB thinger doesn't fit my iPad mini lightning port.

So we had to take a trip to the friendly Apple Store and pick up one of these for about $20. It's a Lightning to USB Camera Adapter.

Ta-da...beautiful. Not just for cameras.

Now, if you haven't done so already go to the App Store and buy Garageband for $4.99. I know we like free apps, but if you are into making and sharing music this is a good one to have.

Here are some screen shots from my iPad to help you get started. Choose Audio Recorder so you can use your Blue Snowball to record.

The default setting activates the metronome and count-in click. This drives me crazy, so may I recommend that you go to the little wrench in the upper right corner and turn those off.

Also the default only allows you to record 8 bars and then you get cut off. Okay, that is weird. So click the little + sign in the upper right corner and where it says Automatic "Off"...

...change it to Automatic "On". Now you can record any length song.

Let's pretend you've gone ahead and recorded a lovely piece of music. Just click "My Songs" in the upper left corner and you'll come back to your page of music files. Please click the Edit button so you can name your song. Try to get in the habit of naming your files properly to help keep things organized.

Now you have all kinds of options for sharing. Click the arrow button in the upper left corner and you'll see this menu. Wowza, so many choices eh?

These days I'm using SoundCloud as my method of sharing. But you could easily send off the recording by email to a student or share on Facebook.

If you decide to use SoundCloud you will be given all kinds of options including making the file public or private. I use "private" if I'm sharing with a student and I use "public" if I'm sharing with you folks.

Here is a super quick, unedited piano recording using the Blue Snowball and Garageband on my iPad mini. Sorry, the piano is a little out of tune this time of year, but I think this gives you a good idea of what you can do quickly.

I've been working out lead sheets of traditional Irish tunes for my harp, "The Castle of Dromore" was sitting on my piano so that's what you just heard. If anyone would like to download my lead sheet it's waiting for you in Dropbox. Some of my teens are enjoying this one.


  1. Wow, this is great! I've been recording my students using voice notes on my iPhone and it's such a pain because there are no easy sharing options. I will have to give Garage Band a try!

    1. Good morning Leia! Thanks for dropping by. Good luck with Garageband, I love it. Happy teaching, Anne

  2. Thanks for these tips, Anne! I've been recording my students in recent weeks (also with my iPad mini) and it's really paying off! Students are inspired and parents are impressed! So far, I haven't experimented with using an external microphone, but my husband has a Snowball, so I might buy that connector and try it out myself!!

    1. Hi Stace. Recording practice tempos, especially for the duets and trios has been a huge success here. Glad to hear it's working for you too. I should do a little experiment with sound quality: Snowball vs. internal iPad mini mic. I know it makes my harp sound a lot better, not sure about piano. There are always more things to explore.

  3. Hey, I love your approach including your use of technology, surveying to get accurate student information, etc.. What a great idea to use soundcloud for practice tempos. Now that you've opened up that idea, there are so many more options and opportunities.

    If you think you might want to collaborate on our site some time, please just drop us an email or comment. All the best


I enjoy reading your comments! Thanks for visiting.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...