The DIY iOS Musician: Operation Neptune Spear


Replicant Theory (RT):  I would like to thank Operation Neptune Spear from across the Atlantic to talk about his latest recordings from an iPad. For those that are not familiar with you or what your music is all about can you tell us a little more about your project / music?

Operation Neptune Spear (ONS):  Don’t Start with the hard ones ๐Ÿ˜ฒ lol

RT:  I could have asked what your favorite guitar picks were?  And how the color was important.

ONS:  Operation Neptune Spear are a one man sonic assault our mission to give light to the pressing issues of the day via the medium of face melting riffs and ear drum bursting vocals

Umm Jim Dunlop ones combat colours lol ๐Ÿ˜

IMG_0628RT:  Nice, Dunlop makes a mighty fine pick. I like the gator grips personally. So when you embarked on Neptune Spear, how did you come up with the decision to use an iPad instead of a computer or physical multi-track?

ONS:  Budget constraints mainly, I didn’t have a computer or a multi track and some guy at work was selling a second generation iPad and I thought GarageBand looked interesting so I bought it

RT:  Did you immediately have a plan on what you were going to do or did you spend a ton of time sorting things out and experimenting?

ONS:  Not a plan as such I had some songs and riffs in my head so I plugged in via my first gen iRig and found a basic drum loop and recorded the first guitar track for the track opening salvo had really played with the app at that point and didn’t realize you could pan tracks so recorded the bass using a guitar amp as there were no bass amps in GarageBand at that point, so yeah uploaded it to Soundcloud with everything going down the middle channel ๐Ÿ˜‚ I did that for a further three tracks then I read online that you could pan tracks at that point I kicked myself and thought maybe I should have experimented first

*hadn’t really played with the app not had really ๐Ÿ˜‚

RT:  I am laughing right now because initially I did the same things… What were your initial thoughts on the iRig interface?

ONS:  I thought it was amazing, I could play and record my guitar with just a lead and a set of headphones instead of having to go to a studio and pay a fortune

RT:  So did you use the build in virtual amps in Garageband or did you try out any 3rd party audio apps?

ONS:  Just the basic built in amps didn’t even bother with the pedals to be honest

RT:  You pulled off a mean guitar tone on all of your songs, that is something to be proud of!  So you ran guitar and bass through the iRig using Garagebands virtual amps and you used the built in drums.  How did you lay down your vocal tracks?

ONS:  I did indeed, now don’t laugh but I put the audio recorder on and shouted at the IPad can you tell?

I still do that

RT:  Dude that is crazy! So by shouting into the built in speaker you get your vocal recordings?!?  You sound like Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead!

ONS:  High praise indeed you are too kind, yes the vocals are done entirely by the built in speaker, I prop the iPad up, point the top at me and let rip

RT:  Ok, so one iPad, one iRig, a guitar, a bass, miscellaneous cables and a speaker or headphones and that is your entire studio?

ONS:  iPad, iRig, Guitar, Bass, set of headphones and a guitar lead yeah that’s it


RT:  So you could go anywhere and work on material, eh?

ONS:  In theory yes as long as there is a power supply to charge the iPad

RT:  When you first started out with this set up, did you think you would pull off professional sounding recordings that sound as polished as they do?

ONS:  Ha hell no and that’s the intriguing thing people have said things like “Killer track, great production” and I kinda think no it’s not I did it on my old iPad but I am my own worst critic

RT:  Same here. I find it absolutely hilarious! So for other musicians looking to get started or pick up where they left off going this route, would you have any advice for them?

ONS:  Get stuck in! GarageBand has a ton of cool features and third party apps and you need minimal space for the setup no excuses really and if I can do it with my ham hands anyone can

RT:  Well said! So if anyone reads this blog, where can they hear Operation Neptune Spear?

ONS:  We are on soundcloud, reverb nation, band camp, youtube, atom collector records, Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer all the usual suspects and if you fancy a bit of banter come find us on Twitter!

RT:  Awesome! Thank you for taking the time to talk to the DIY iOS Musician Blog about the inner workings of Operation Neptune Spear! If any readers have questions or comments please let either of us know!

Have a great day!

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