I'm looking to do some light recording of voice conversations and field recordings on my iPad using the built in microphone.

GarageBand seems to be the obvious Apple solution, but is too heavy for my needs. By the time I set up a new project, turn off the metronome, etc..., I find myself wishing I just had Voice Memos running on my iPad.

I don't mind paying for the app, but wondered what people are using for both light voice recording as well as longer and more numerous recording / light editing where some tagging and filing might be possible.

4 Answers 4


A different approach is to use an app like Notability or Evernote which not only can record notes, but also integrate with other note taking tools.

Evernote is strong for tagging notes with location and time of capture. Notability is stronger since it allows you to draw notes, sketches or type notes while recording. Once the session is over, you can tap on your notes to queue the sound to the time when you wrote that specific note.

It's got reasonably good options for audio recording, but no audio editing features -- but if the combination of note-taking and audio notes appeals, it's pretty ideal.

If you just need a simple - fast - press one button and go app - try out Just Press Record. It's snappy and works from the Apple Watch to the iPad Pro.

  • Yes - although my mind initially wanted a voice memo replacement - thinking about the real task is far better than just finding the X that matches one app. Can you get in and start recording rapidly with Notability? Does it export the sound files well to use them elsewhere?
    – bmike
    Mar 17, 2012 at 16:22
  • It's pretty easy to start recording, you just create a new note, click the microphone button, and click record. That's not quite as easy as Voice Memo on the iPhone -- a one-button recorder is nice. But as you say, maybe Notability suits your overall task well. It's "on sale" for $0.99 right now. (I use the quotes because it seems like the sale has lasted quite a long time!)
    – Ash
    Mar 17, 2012 at 18:27
  • Despite initially wanting a voice memo, I find that field recording on an iPad is much better when it integrates with note taking. Evernote is my choice if I need OCR and for shorter sessions. Notability is the strong winner for capturing long or in-depth sessions where I will want to review what was said and when.
    – bmike
    Mar 28, 2013 at 18:17

My favorite app is the Voice memos for iPad. It only $0.99 and it supports multitasking!

And if you like free apps, I would recommand using Audio memos free Voice Recorder.

  • Also a nice choice. I'm going with iTalk but it was a close race - thanks for the great suggestion.
    – bmike
    Apr 12, 2012 at 14:58
  • You're mostly welcome. I hope you enjoy iTalk.
    – Michiel
    Apr 13, 2012 at 8:42

I use Griffin's iTalk Premium which costs $2 on the US store.


With iOS 12 Voice Memos is finally available for the iPad. It should be pre-installed but the App Store link is here.

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