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I was playing for some friends and it got me thinking about what my phone could do to enhance the experience. Oftentimes, you will be visiting friends and they pick up their acoustic guitar and ask you to play for them. However, there are challenges. For example getting a decent balance of vocal and instrument volume, and a lack of a drum track.

So it struck me that most of the tech to do that is in my pocket. Would it be possible to have an app that uses my little BT headset as a mic, and then had a built in drum track and the built in mic to grab the audio from the guitar. Then it could grab all those audio sources, perhaps even with some limited effects, mix them and play them on an external speaker.

Is that a crazy idea, or does something like that exist? I understand you aren't getting studio quality, but is it enough to enhance the experience in a buddy's living room?

  • A "phone" these days is in reality a computer with a small screen and an added chip to support cellular connections. What you can do with it is only limited by the physical I/O connectors available and your ability to find or write software compatible with the underlying OS. – Carl Witthoft Aug 6 '18 at 13:41
  • This does exist and asking about what apps can do this is off-topic, but asking which apps do this is off-topic here. Also, you can't have real-time music reinforcement over BlueTooth because BlueTooth has too much latency, but you can do this with wired connections. – Todd Wilcox Aug 6 '18 at 13:46
  • @ToddWilcox you say it does exist, can you point me to where I might find it? – Fraser Orr Aug 6 '18 at 14:04
  • sounds to me that you are describing a digital audio workstation (daw). think pro tools on your computer. when i was young we had 4 track tape recorders. there are apps that mimic a 4 track recorder. – b3ko Aug 6 '18 at 14:10
  • The iPhone app store, of course. – Todd Wilcox Aug 6 '18 at 14:14
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Technically something like the GarageBand app on iOS does this but it's not exactly great...

In all seriousness, back when I was in a band in college I would write a MIDI drum track, put it through something like GarageBand to get it to sound nice, and export it as an MP3 to play through my external speakers. If you keep your music track in your-music-editor-of-choice, you can play around with the levels of each track individually too. You're just asking for horrible feedback problems if you use an open mic which can hear its own output though - I'd recommend using a DI for guitar recording without headphones.

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