Heard: A Practice Recording App with a 5-minute Buffer

Edison Gold Mould Record wax cylinder
Edison Gold Mould Record wax cylinder (Photo credit: NFSA Australia)

Recording during practice is something all the best players do. Sometimes, searching through a long recording can be a total pain. For those who remember recording onto cassette tapes, you remember it was even more of a pain to try to find something you’d recorded. It was probably even harder on the first recording device, a wax cylinder,  like this one, invented by Edison and his team of muckers.

It can be tough to know exactly what to record beyond a specific performance of a song or section. Sometimes, when I’ve been improvising or goofing around during the warm-up, or making a “creative error” while transcribing a solo, I really like the results. When I stumble across a neat musical idea, if I don’t stop to capture it by repeating it or writing it down, it’s gone, usually never to return. During a gig, if you’re improvising, stopping to record a cool idea is never an option. If you record the whole concert, trying to find a magical moment is time-consuming.

Now there’s an app to alleviate some of the drudgery and pain-in-the-neck of recording your ideas. The app, called Heard, is available as a freemium, but only records 12 seconds. You’ve got to upgrade to the $1.99 version to get the 5-minute buffer. Also, the app probably uses a lot of juice to keep that buffer going, so I’d suggest plugging in if you’re going to use it.


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