First Chōrai Mobile gathered aspiring and experienced electronic music talents in Tokyo

Since last year, I’ve been joining other participants of the Tokyo Electronic Musicians Collective, also known as Chōrai, organised by Katohmy, a music producer in Tokyo. People joining the regular gatherings are fans of electronic music, clustered in groups within, each with its own theme: DJs, singers, hip-hop, etc. Some members are experienced and famous, others have hidden talents they want to polish and show the world. I’m of the latter.

My friend Dan and I discussed about the wide range of apps to produce electronic music on the iPad and the iPhone. We know there are a lot of tools available. But they are so new to us, and there are so many, that we spend more time discovering more things available than we spend time actually producing anything. It was like discovering filters the first time someone uses Photoshop.

While we are exchanging knowledge between us, we thought it might be a good idea to invite others who might want to learn from us, and put their know-how into the mix. So, we have. Yesterday, about a dozen people joined us for the first Chōrai Mobile Monthly.

We spent the evening listening to Dan showing us the hidden power of GarageBand for iOS. (Version 2.1 for iOS 9.2 and up, to be precise.) While I’m not too keen on using its desktop version, and I thought the iOS was a watered-down of what I already didn’t want to us, GarageBand is surprising flexible and polyvalent on iOS. Multiple tracks, volume automation, electronic instruments, automatic drums, loop pads, etc. There are many features that I didn’t even imagine available on that simple-looking app.

Thoughtful Dan also brought a few splitters to let us all listen to the sound of his iPad while he was demonstrating all the features he knew about, and not disturb the customers around us, at the coffee shop where we were.

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“Live Loops,” one of the many features we reviewed in GarageBand 2.1 for iOS yesterday.

Our first assignment for next month is to make up a track by using GarageBand. I can’t wait to hear what others will make, and what I’ll be able to come up with!

The next Chōrai Mobile Monthly will be on Wednesday April 27 in Shibuya, likely in a studio. Location details will be announced on our Meetup page and our Facebook group.

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