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Inside the iPad rig Jimmy Fallon used to duet with Billy Joel on 'The Tonight Show'

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Apple's iPad was the centerpiece of a live performance this week featuring the legendary Billy Joel and "Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon, and AppleInsider has learned exactly what hardware and software producers utilized to make the memorable duet happen.



The performance, which relied the iPad application Loopy HD, proved so popular that even Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook took notice on Friday, tweeting out the clip to his 425,000 followers and calling it "magical." Fallon collaborated with Joel in an a capella rendition of the 1961 hit "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" by The Tokens.

But an iPad and Loopy HD alone were not enough to enable the performance, which saw Joel and Fallon loop their own harmonizing voices for backing vocals. While at his "Tonight Show" desk, Fallon controlled the Loopy HD application on an iPad mini that was connected to an offscreen device via a black Lightning cable, and both he and Joel utilized wireless microphones to input their vocals.

"Tonight" staff member John MacDonald revealed on Friday that Fallon's iPad mini was connected to an Apogee Quartet. The setup put together by Grammy winning producer Lawrence Manchester, who is a music mixer for Fallon's program, made it possible for microphones to be connected to the iPad and Loopy HD.


The Apogee Quartet.


While a second-generation iPad mini with Retina display starts at $399 and the Loopy HD app is available on the App Store for $7.99, the Quartet, a four-channel interface designed for both iPad and Mac, is a high-end piece of professional equipment that sells for about $1,400. Apogee says the device is the first professional multi-channel audio interface for iPad, and also offers direct digital connection to Apple's iPhone and iPod touch.

The versatile hardware is compatible with any application that complies with the Core Audio application programming interface in Apple's iOS. That allows the Apogee Quartet to operate with Loopy HD, or Apple's own GarageBand, and a number of other audio apps for iPad.




The hardware also features a MIDI connection, which enables musicians to simultaneously connect a keyboard or DJ controller, in addition to the Quartet, to an iPad.

Apogee also makes a lower-end version known as the Duet, which is a two-channel audio interface compatible with both iPad and Mac. That device retails for $650.


Loopy HD for iPad.


Since it debuted in 2010, the iPad has been gaining recognition as a potentially versatile tool for musicians to utilize when performing live. Apple itself has even highlighted these capabilities in its "Your Verse" television ads, which showcase an iPad being used onstage while a DJ provides backing music for a pair of live singers at a club.
post #2 of 41
The iPad is just a toy, there's nothing to see here people move along now 1wink.gif

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #3 of 41

Exactly.  And it's only for "consuming content."  If you want to create things of course you need a proper Windows device and MS Office.

post #4 of 41
Just like that monochrome pie chart in the "Get a Mac" ads. I totally see the fun.
post #5 of 41
I just so happened to have watched that clip earlier today, but for a completely different reason. However, I was blown away by that particular use of the iPad. Obviously, there are other apps that enable one to loop vocals or audio tracks, such as Garage Band, but the ease of use of Loopy was very impressive. I wonder how much worse the audio would have been if they had simply used the iPad's microphone instead of the wireless mics and the Apogee. For background vocals for amateur use, it probably would have been fine.

These things are usually rehearsed, but it looked to me like Billy Joel was surprised by the whole thing, including the way the app worked.

It demonstrated once again, just how powerful, yet how easy the iPad is to use. I can see a lot of parents wanting to replicate that experience with their kids. I wouldn't be surprised to see a bump in iPad sales (and a bump in Loopy downloads) as a result.

IMO, Apple should run a "52 apps" campaign. Each week, their ads should target a particular app or two, highlighting the best ones and especially ones that aren't available on other platforms.
post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

IMO, Apple should run a "52 apps" campaign. Each week, their ads should target a particular app or two, highlighting the best ones and especially ones that aren't available on other platforms.

Brilliant.

 

Certainly something like that instead of the currently tepid, self-conscious looking (dead-poets-whatever) ones.

post #7 of 41
If Billy Joel looked surprised, and the pondering pause by Fallon to pick an easy song, it's called acting. To say that the whole thing was unrehearsed or unscripted would be naive. It's not broadcasted live either, so it could've been edited. It was an unbelievable performance, nonetheless.
post #8 of 41
The iPad is a tool restricted only by one's imagination of using. I'm equally amazed a the ingenuity of developers to write programs that push the hardware out into directions I couldn't have guessed.
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post #9 of 41
Thanks for the information on how this was done. Yep, everything is easy looking until one realizes that that's why professionals are professionals. They make the hard stuff look easy.
post #10 of 41
Does Android still have latency problems that prevent quality music/audio creation? Sounds like it did as of 4.1, at least:

http://www.androidannoyances.com/post/tag/low-latency-audio
post #11 of 41

Sorry... I was watching Jimmy Kimmel. He's a lot funnier.

post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by justamacguy View Post

Sorry... I was watching Jimmy Kimmel. He's a lot funnier.

And you couldn't press play in the video above? The one we're discussing.

As an non American I find what clips I have seen of Fallon quite amusing. He's as eager as a puppy.

Totally agree on Apples advertising. Time to advertise its apps, it's hardware integration. Time to kiss hipsterism goodbye.
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post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

Thanks for the information on how this was done. Yep, everything is easy looking until one realizes that that's why professionals are professionals. They make the hard stuff look easy.

 

The Apogee they used is pretty nice, but you don't need a $1,000 peripheral to do what they were doing. You can get some pretty good input devices for $200.

 

My kids do stuff like this (8 and 10 years old). I got them an iPad based recording studio for them to play with and they love it. Before I let them play with my gear I figured I'd let them try out something simpler to start to see if they like it (gave them a couple old Shure SM58's as they are rugged as hell, and not expensive if they do break one).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Does Android still have latency problems that prevent quality music/audio creation? Sounds like it did as of 4.1, at least:

http://www.androidannoyances.com/post/tag/low-latency-audio

 

Still does. There are architectural issues with Android itself that need to be corrected before they will get low latency. Although latency has been getting better on Android, it's not because Google has been actively trying to improve it - it's because devices are getting faster and faster making the latency lower. Funny that a Snapdragon 800 phone/tablet can't get latency as low as a 3 year old Apple processor could.

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post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeyondtheTech View Post

If Billy Joel looked surprised, and the pondering pause by Fallon to pick an easy song, it's called acting. To say that the whole thing was unrehearsed or unscripted would be naive. It's not broadcasted live either, so it could've been edited. It was an unbelievable performance, nonetheless.

Correct. There is no such thing as "Live and unscripted" on network television. Even when it looks that way. Even they tell you it is.

post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

I just so happened to have watched that clip earlier today, but for a completely different reason. However, I was blown away by that particular use of the iPad. Obviously, there are other apps that enable one to loop vocals or audio tracks, such as Garage Band, but the ease of use of Loopy was very impressive. I wonder how much worse the audio would have been if they had simply used the iPad's microphone instead of the wireless mics and the Apogee. For background vocals for amateur use, it probably would have been fine.

These things are usually rehearsed, but it looked to me like Billy Joel was surprised by the whole thing, including the way the app worked.

It demonstrated once again, just how powerful, yet how easy the iPad is to use. I can see a lot of parents wanting to replicate that experience with their kids. I wouldn't be surprised to see a bump in iPad sales (and a bump in Loopy downloads) as a result.

IMO, Apple should run a "52 apps" campaign. Each week, their ads should target a particular app or two, highlighting the best ones and especially ones that aren't available on other platforms.

I agree...brilliant idea! Why can't think of things like this? You could put me in a room for a million years and I would not have thought of that! :)

 

P.S. My best idea to date is to download some free flamenco guitar music off the internets. Burn some CD's. Print some covers for the CD cases and go to the local Art Fairs with a sound system and two guitars sitting in stands and sell the CD's for $17 a pop. I would sit there with my arm in a fake cast....cuz I can't play that well! :) If I sold a hundred that would be? err?     .....someone help me with the math! :)

post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

The iPad is just a toy, there's nothing to see here people move along now 1wink.gif


Of course it's just a toy.  Look at Fallon and Joel goofing off like kids.  Of course it's a toy!  /s  :)

This was such a great video, and a wonderful promotion for the iPad.  I wonder if Apple was involved in any way to pay for the exposure?

post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

Thanks for the information on how this was done. Yep, everything is easy looking until one realizes that that's why professionals are professionals. They make the hard stuff look easy.

Agreed.

 

One of my most enjoyable experiences lately (musically) was finding Paul McCartney's "Live at Abbey Road" video...the whole thing is on YouTube (in parts).

 

He's basically in the Abbey Road studio of Beatles fame, showing how everything was done.

 

He makes it look so easy! 

 

But then again, he is Paul McCartney. 

 

Check it out. 

 

Best.

post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by justamacguy View Post
 

Sorry... I was watching Jimmy Kimmel. He's a lot funnier.

"more funny"?

 

It isn't just about being funny. Sure this role generally goes to a comedian but it is more about just being entertaining. Jimmy Fallon is an entertainer and I think is able to reach more audiences with his variety of skits and performances than Kimmel. That being said, Kimmel's handsome man club might be one of the best skits to come from these late shows. That was comedic genius.

 

It is cool to see tech that is in most hands (or available to most) being used so simply. The professional equipment clearly was needed for the setting and quality but it is amazing to see how so many have been able to use Apple products and other simple tech to reach the world with their talents.

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post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by justamacguy View Post
 

Sorry... I was watching Jimmy Kimmel. He's a lot funnier.

Yeah, I agree. But Jimmy Fallon does have a unique way of connecting with musicians. I remember he and Mick Jagger clicking on SNL, back in the day!

 

Jimmy Kimmel "connects" similarly with tall, thin, and very handsome men. :)

 

Best.

post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


Of course it's just a toy.  Look at Fallon and Joel goofing off like kids.  Of course it's a toy!  /s  1smile.gif


This was such a great video, and a wonderful promotion for the iPad.  I wonder if Apple was involved in any way to pay for the exposure?

Unnecessary. You know how creative, artsy, music, and Hollywood folks just use Apple products because (shocking) they want to. Most of the haters come from tech circles.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post
IMO, Apple should run a "52 apps" campaign. Each week, their ads should target a particular app or two, highlighting the best ones and especially ones that aren't available on other platforms.

I second what others have said. That is a great idea for a campaign. It should run in a little more depth on the Apple website. The usual ads featuring a wash of 'amazingness' often show impressive images and I often would like to know exactly what hey are doing and how.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by justamacguy View Post
 

Sorry... I was watching Jimmy Kimmel. He's a lot funnier.

Kimmel is funnier but Fallon is good, too. He is a good musician. Did you see his Springsteen with Springsteen? 

post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Unnecessary. You know how creative, artsy, music, and Hollywood folks just use Apple products because (shocking) they want to. Most of the haters come from tech circles.

Jimmy Fallon has a Mac and an iPhone too, he hid the Mac from Bill Gates here:



Bill shared his vision of the future - they're still working on figuring out handwriting. That's what the Surface users have to look forward to and maybe they'll have a way to attach a printer and have robotic pigeons to tie the notes to. This is one reason Apple keeps succeeding - they know how to let go of the past.
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee 
There are architectural issues with Android itself that need to be corrected before they will get low latency.

That can't be right, I heard that it's Apple that's playing catch-up and Android devices can do everything that iOS devices can do, faster and better because of quad/octo-cores and many GBs of RAM, SD cards, that butter they added to the system, the openness, the cheapness. Why pay for Apple's overpriced products when you can buy the next best thing and just keep it in the drawer, knowing you've saved money. You don't need to do things with the products.
post #23 of 41
Yes, just to repeat, the Apogee is high end elite gear. For practical purposes, similar gear $200-$300 would be enough to do a pro job.
post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Agreed.

One of my most enjoyable experiences lately (musically) was finding Paul McCartney's "Live at Abbey Road" video...the whole thing is on YouTube (in parts).

He's basically in the Abbey Road studio of Beatles fame, showing how everything was done.

He makes it look so easy! 

But then again, he is Paul McCartney. 

Check it out. 

Best.

I just did... and a big thank you for the tip!
http://youtu.be/9elQeVfrLOo
How much fun was that? And seriously curious what the cost of admission was?!

And with all if the great old instruments in that room... what ties it best with the present? That "crossroads company" and their Mac...1smoking.gif
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post #25 of 41

I really enjoyed that. Apple couldn't have had a better moment than that.

 

What would have been an even better song was that theme to National Lampoon's Vacation. That would have conjured up images of Christy in that Ferrari and made the universe whole.

post #26 of 41

Yawn!  It was extremely boring, I watched it.

post #27 of 41
You neglected any details on the two microphones with their wireless transmitters and receivers. An expensive, high-end audio interface like the Apogee is of no use without microphones connected to wireless receivers connected to the Apogee.
post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post


I just did... and a big thank you for the tip!
http://youtu.be/9elQeVfrLOo
How much fun was that? And seriously curious what the cost of admission was?!

And with all if the great old instruments in that room... what ties it best with the present? That "crossroads company" and their Mac...1smoking.gif

Yep, ur very welcome! A once in a lifetime event! Glad you enjoyed it, Bro.

 

I know from Elvis' base to the "whatever that thing was called" for the intro to Strawberry Fields.

 

When he said, "I can see John sitting right over there in the corner!" Magical! :)

 

The best part for me was seeing the chords for "I've Got A Feeling" song from Let it Be. I've been trying to play that song on my guitar for 30 years. B/C of that video I finally got it. (Sort of!)

 

Best regards,

 

Chris

post #29 of 41
They were using GarageBand at the end of the McCartney video?
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post #30 of 41

I have multiple Apogee products, and they work nicely with Macs and iOS devices.

 

Apogee works only with Macs! No Windows users or anybody else allowed!

 

The last Apogee product that I bought recently was an Apogee Jam, to hook up guitars and bass to my iPads. Sounds great and works great!

post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

They were using GarageBand at the end of the McCartney video?

I don't know....but def. they were using Mac's. I would have to watch it again, but I bet they were using Logic Pro. But again, not sure.

post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

I have multiple Apogee products, and they work nicely with Macs and iOS devices.

 

Apogee works only with Macs! No Windows users or anybody else allowed!

 

The last Apogee product that I bought recently was an Apogee Jam, to hook up guitars and bass to my iPads. Sounds great and works great!

Yep...I've been looking for a system to use with an iPad. Just to record voice and an acoustic guitar with. Then add some basic midi piano, rhythm and some other minimal multi-track guff.

 

I just sold all of my old mics/cables/stands and the USB control that connected everything to my iMac. Too ungainly with all the cables. 

 

I would love to have just an iPad , a wireless mic and this unit. 

 

Best.

post #33 of 41
I like stuff like that. Not affiliated, but similarly cool: everyday looper. E.g. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CzQLRPwZjIo
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post #34 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

The iPad is just a toy, 

I don't know. Sure looks like they were having fun. Of course they were both getting paid to play with the iPad.

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post #35 of 41

it may start as a toy, but it will be becoming a big part of recording long term...when there is more power and if there is a large ipad pro..well who knows..

post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Yep, ur very welcome! A once in a lifetime event! Glad you enjoyed it, Bro.

I've now watched it twice, not only because it was enjoyable, but because I was also trying to figure out what software Nigel was using. Below some screen shots from the July, 2005 event if anyone recognizes the layout.
Quote:
I know from Elvis' base to the "whatever that thing was called" for the intro to Strawberry Fields.

Mellotron - Paul got rather humorous at that point 1smile.gif
Quote:
When he said, "I can see John sitting right over there in the corner!" Magical! 1smile.gif
Nostalgicly sad(!) I'm sure I heard Paul's voice crack for a moment.
Quote:
The best part for me was seeing the chords for "I've Got A Feeling" song from Let it Be. I've been trying to play that song on my guitar for 30 years. B/C of that video I finally got it. (Sort of!)
As everyone knows, Paul didn't even learn to write music until he was in his 50's. He has "magic fingers" with a brain all their own, so I don't doubt that the contortions they go through in a song are easily copied, so don't be hard on yourself. Those fingers have a life all of their own so to speak. I wonder how often through the years Paul himself looked up with astonishment on his face and thought, "How'd I do that? That's cool!!! Can I do it again?"
Quote:
Best regards,

Chris
Back at ya... 1smoking.gif

*** The screen shots. Sorry for Lo-Res. Taken from a Chinese (?) cut on YT. I watched the original program twice, but thought these would suffice as a quicky **



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post #37 of 41

I agree that Kimmel is funnier, but I think Fallon is "funner."

post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by coxnvox View Post
 

I agree that Kimmel is funnier, but I think Fallon is "funner."

I had to read that twice...but spot on. When Russell Brand was on and Kimmel said, "Suddenly, I feel very uncool!" Or words to that effect. Very funny! 

 

Best!

post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post


I've now watched it twice, not only because it was enjoyable, but because I was also trying to figure out what software Nigel was using. Below some screen shots from the July, 2005 event if anyone recognizes the layout.
Mellotron - Paul got rather humorous at that point 1smile.gif
Nostalgicly sad(!) I'm sure I heard Paul's voice crack for a moment.
As everyone knows, Paul didn't even learn to write music until he was in his 50's. He has "magic fingers" with a brain all their own, so I don't doubt that the contortions they go through in a song are easily copied, so don't be hard on yourself. Those fingers have a life all of their own so to speak. I wonder how often through the years Paul himself looked up with astonishment on his face and thought, "How'd I do that? That's cool!!! Can I do it again?"
Back at ya... 1smoking.gif

*** The screen shots. Sorry for Lo-Res. Taken from a Chinese (?) cut on YT. I watched the original program twice, but thought these would suffice as a quicky **



That's right, Melotron. Yep, Paul was funny. And wasn't he great with Heartbreak Hotel?

 

There is another video of him singing "That's Alright Mama" with Elvis' old band. Paul sounded just like Elvis...at the end one of the band members says, "Hey, that was pretty good. We should get a job, go out on the road, get a bus!" Pretty funny! :) McCartney nails it! :)

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXdkVesppd8   (Sorry, the video and sound are a little out of sync)

 

Yep. Thanks. The Beatles Complete music book had "I've got a feeling" in the right key but just used the basic A chord (I think) and Paul is playing a bar chord! With a kind of simple walk-down to a D. Which sounds much, much better. I was in a guitar store a few weeks ago and strumming it on a $5,000 Martin (wonderful, btw) and two employees came over and said, hey that's our song. They knew it from the Let it Be album. Pretty cool. Never happened to me before! Made my day! When I was younger, I'd pull out my guitar and my 3 sisters would get up and leave the room! That felt really good! :)

 

I agree, whenever he mentioned John, there was def. some emotion in his voice! :)

 

As far at the screen shots. I don't know. But I do remember seeing the apple logo on some hardware, a laptop, or maybe an iMac during the show. Sorry.

 

I've watched it few times, too. There was no one in that room that wasn't enjoying it immensely. 

 

Enjoyed chatting to you about it! Fun. And, again, glad you enjoyed it! :)

 

Chris

post #40 of 41
It's definitely a mac, given the menu bar.
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