Audiobus: Use your music apps together.

What is Audiobus?Audiobus is an award-winning music app for iPhone and iPad which lets you use your other music apps together. Chain effects on your favourite synth, run the output of apps or Audio Units into an app like GarageBand or Loopy, or select a different audio interface output for each app. Route MIDI between apps — drive a synth from a MIDI sequencer, or add an arpeggiator to your MIDI keyboard — or sync with your external MIDI gear. And control your entire setup from a MIDI controller.

Download on the App Store

Audiobus is the app that makes the rest of your setup better.

Interesting comment from Geo Synth's developer asking for something familiar... over a year ago!

This is from the comments underneath Smite Matter's review of Geo Synth, which bemoaned the lack of Audio Copy/Paste in the app. The dev responded, and part of what he said was this:

"It's really ridiculous that every app is supposed to be a controller, a synth, and a little mini track-recorder at the same time. While everybody is busy making a controller-synth-daw full of visual doodads, they are doing stuff that's so wrong that it doesn't actually matter that it works at all because it ends up being unplayable anyway: We got apps that think that a 1024 buffer size is reasonable (holy moly! 23ms buffer and jitter!). Almost every keyboard has keys smaller than fingertips, and either lock you into a scale so that you can't play accidentals, or give you no real octave range, or weak touch handling with respect to note overlaps, and the continued attempt to make keyboards fit onto iPads and iPhones. So given my limited development time, I focused on what I think matters, and just ignore what everybody else is doing better than I can do anyway.So my take on this is to get the controller right. In the future, I want to make a pure controller because it's a waste of resources for every app to be a controller-synth-daw when they can communicate. The sharing of audio resources is a problem too because of all things running in the background you end up with the latency of the worst app. Ideally, ONE app is rendering sound, ONE app is recording, and ONE app is controlling in the foreground, with possibly multiple apps doing some automatic beat-synced stuff in the background (drums, arps).The messaging for correct fretless-capable MIDI is far and away complicated enough to keep me occupied. This controller has replaced my guitars and basses and I have been eating my own dogfood since Mugician. So I picked my battles, and shipped because I have been working on this app for a very very long time – Pythagoras started in January (it became Geo), and will fall apart from inconsistency if it continues to evolve without the restraint of real-world feedback. Geo Synthesizer was created to be the antithesis of a classic techno-synth. It was designed for a genre akin to microtonal Black Metal, for playing Arabic scale tunings; for playing fast, etc. I got a day job, and I have no interest in trying to compete with something that's classical or ordinary anyways. I can deal with complaints that it doesn't have every feature or that it's strange. It's a reflection of my personal values in what matters, which may differ from a lot of other people.:-) So, there's why. I promised Jordan that 1.1 would have ACP, or we would have something better than ACP. I do dislike it though, and think that supporting ACP only prolongs the length of time until a proper solution becomes common."


Anyone know what the dev is up to now? Geo Synth is still on version 1.0!

Here's the review and comments in full:


  • edited December 2012

    Rob's doing this now:

  • edited December 2012

    Also Rob fielding has this app cantor, which primary purpose is a midi controller.

  • Hi, it's me the guy who wrote that quote. I am attempting to get Audiobus wired into Geo in the few hours a week I have to work on it, but had moved on to other things a half year ago. I hope to get it working soon. Geo's code is a much bigger mess than Mugician and Cantor's code (which are up in github if anybody wants Audiobus for those...put it in and sell your audiobus version in the store), so I only got it partially working right now.

    I stand by my quote. Audiobus does indeed address many of these issues. I think Audiobus is always necessary between synth and daw. It's not completely necessary between a controller and a synth though (I may want to add it just to have the audiobus switching buttons perhaps). I never wanted to have an audio engine in any app I shipped. I only did so out of necessity, Mugician predated MIDI, for Geo, voice per channel is not common yet (required to do fretlessness).

    I am a part-time iOS dev (like really, really part-time - my kid, wife, and job take precedence over everything else, every time.) and was spending time taking that statement even further up until AB came out. I was working on a controller that only sends OSC packets and has no sound engine whatsoever (where the sound engine has a script installed in the front - SuperCollider, ChucK, CSound, etc). Beyond controllers sticking to doing one thing well, generally, synths should be driven by an audio language (so users can make and trade their own patches), and controlled over OSC (or perhaps MIDI if your controller doesn't have too many problems with its limitations).

    This kind of limited me to x86 Windows 8 multitouch though. Right now, it's a curiosity that just works on my machine, but I think that this is a correct split on the work. But whatever... iOS apps are a hobby. I come and go as I please, and bow out on the things that others are doing very well.

  • edited January 2013

    Rob, as far as I'm concerned, you're the man. Geo is one of my two favourite instruments, and that's completely down to the playing interface. I'm overjoyed that you're still developing it at whatever pace and I'll look forward to Audiobus compatibility whenever you can spare the time to get it done.
    I shall also hope and pray that at some point you'll enable the velocity sensitivity that rumour has it you had working at one time. Thanks for giving us such a great expressive and versatile instrument.

  • Rob. Just to say I think Geo is fantastic and clearly there's a lot of love for cantor around here. Good luck whatever you do

  • I have been talking with @rrr00bb on twitter about updating cantor for AB, just to get the buttons, for the last month. Now that he's posted that the code is free for redistribution, if anyone wants to work on this with me I have some great ideas to make it a better controller as well as adding AB. Obviously it's awesome now, but you know, could be better. :-)

  • And I also understand that some users are pissed off that Audiobus support isn't in it yet. (JR is very anxious for me to get it done, as you can imagine.)

    Geo (named Pythagoras in the beginning) 1.0 was released after a lot of tumult that changed the basic character of the app more than a few times. It initially used libpd, but I could not handle 10 fingers. Then I put in Mugician's sound engine. Then Virtual MIDI came out, so I had to support MIDI on a controller that finds all of the MIDI protocol's flaws by design - meaning that it would create a support nightmare to have MIDI. I put it in, knowing that the collaboration might be cancelled for adding it. Then SampleWiz came out and I was on hold for months, if not on my own. Then we added SampleWiz import, which was like the third audio engine in this app. Then at the last minute we had to pull the finger-area sensing. The builds a month before it shipped played much better - but we were not sure that it was a public api at the time. I announced that I was going to quit Geo and start a new project that does one thing well, and it was decided to wrap it up and ship it instead. As a playable fretless-capable instrument in practice, it had been ready for months and months. I have a pile of guitar equipment to run it all through, and that was all I needed.

    I pushed updates for the post 1.0 version into our shared repository a year ago and alerted the guys, and it just never got turned into an update that went out to users. The updates were just for top two or three bugs that caused Wizdom support emails. (Switch to increase latency to handle Sunrizer/Animoog's 512 buffer sizes, and a crash that users would sometimes get on first-launch. - We were incompatible with the two most popular apps because we could play it so fast that we just had to have the smaller buffers.)

    I hope people don't look at it like we did nothing. I post buildable source code for what I can, posting all kinds of technical details, and being a good sport about helping people who are building similar apps (ie: iFretless - that's a good app).

    Anyways... this is an Audiobus forum. I have the SDK, and I am trying to get it wired in. Even after I get it working, it will take a while because it needs to be cleaned up so that it doesn't become unstable.

  • @rrr00bb That's funny, I was going to ask you if you had anything to do with iFretless. I still like cantors playability better but there are deffinite similarities.

    I don't think people look at it like you did nothing, a lot of people love your work. It's just frustrating when you love an app so much and the dev(s) aren't working on it like you'd hope. I understand what you've done and that it isn't your full time job to work on apps. :-))

  • @rrr00bb Absolutely. Funny about your iFretless involvement, that's my other favourite instrument. :)

    I understand your frustrations with the scope creep of Geo, but personally, I think the Samplewiz engine works really well with Geo, provided it's with the right samples. I get a surprising amount of expressiveness out of it, considering there's no velocity/dynamics.

    Take time to do Audiobus right. We can wait.

  • edited January 2013

    Don't read a lot into that! (I wasn't in on iFretless in any way. I first discovered it when it showed up in a search on "Geo Synth" in the Apple store. And I had recognized his name from previous conversations.) I have conversations with all devs about the same stuff: fretless MIDI issues, the MIDI source in Cantor (was in DSPCompiler project at the time, in AlephOne on github now), finger area sensing, and how much I hate ACP. :-)

    I declare this the last post here please. It's the Audiobus forum. :-)

  • Wow that was an interesting insight into the world of an iOS developer.

    Thanks Rob.

  • - I'm on it, but nowhere near submitting. There are still bugs in navigating around that need to be fixed, stuff that I am still doing wrong because of how I followed the ABSender example without fully understanding the API. I moved from 32-bit sound to 16-bit sound to play nicely with the others (not sure what that will mean for sound quality), need to tweak some magic numbers. The background noise is just my USB tether, and the glitches are probably just where I need to adjust the number that I used to convert from float to 16-bit numbers.

  • Looks like you're getting there though. :)

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