What to use for live use - advice sought please (with my wish list) ...

Hi folks,
I'm currently using a single keyboard controller and my iPad for all sounds. I saw iMidiPatchbay before I saw AudioBus, so I'm using that, with quite a number of preset 'songs' (really used more as patches in my case).
This works quite well but iMidiPatchbay doesn't start up the applications I'm using in the background, so I need to remember to start them all separately. Also cannot easily switch to them and back without using the iPad home key task switching, which is more fiddly when playing live. Currently I'm using iGrand, Korg Module, SampleTank, Sunrizer, Galileo and Thor and looking to add a few others for specific sounds, so it's a bit of a pain to start up for a session.
Once up and running, it's mostly fine, though the display could be better for me if a little different.

Now I've looked at AudioBus and it has the facility to start referenced apps in the background (if I understand right) plus some extra facilities for midi routing (e.g. filtering on note velocity for variable layering as well as note value for keyboard splitting), but it doesn't look to be as geared for live interactive use for switching sounds/presets. It also seems fiddly for setting up routings where iMidiPatchbay is all driven from the one screen (but this could be just familiarity).

I'd be interested to know what people use for a live type of environment, as opposed to a more static studio setup. I'm happy to try AudioBus but want to get most benefit from it.

Also, I'm looking to use a USB keyboard (lighter than my old, full keyboard) with the iPad, but concerned that the power draw of the iPad powering the keyboard (and running all those apps) will be too much. Do people use a powered USB hub to charge the iPad and power the keyboard whilst enabling comms between the two? Is there a particular brand that works well - I looked at the one in the 'recommended kit' thread but it's no longer available and whilst there are many that claim to be okay, I'd rather use something with a relevant recommendation.

Sorry for the long post, many thanks to anyone who gets this far and feels like offering any advice/experience.

Comments

  • Starting to build an iPad-based live rig here. Following with keen interest.

  • I don't know new audio bus 3 very much, but I don't think it is better of imidipatchbay for keyboard live use.
    Why do you have to switch app in foreground live? I use a setup and always have set list maker in foreground, that send program change to imidipatchbay for every song, that send program changes to the apps to change preset, and also make spilt and layer. I don't need to open the sound apps in foreground.
    But you have to use app with good midi implementations, not like Thor.
    If I have to change some value of the app, example cutoff or drawbar, I have assign the values to a controller of the keyboard.
    The only thing I do in the iPad screen is to switch from a song to another in set list maker.
    For launching app, I don't know if new audio bus can opening apps, I don't think so.
    I think you still must open each one.

  • Thanks hrestov, appreciate the response.
    I only need to access the background apps at the moment to start them up initially and because I haven't yet got the controls on my keyboard for all the parameters I'd want to control (e.g. nothing that gives sensible control over drawbars). If/when I get a better controller keyboard that would certainly make much more sense. If I continue to use Thor, then I need to switch to the app because of its lack of control as you say, so maybe that's just telling me not to use Thor :-).

    So do you just start all the background apps manually, for iMidiPatchbay to control? I guess I'm concerned that I'll forget one sometime and get embarrassing silence! I often don't get chance to sound-check through all the songs/sounds ahead of needing them. Basically my ideal would be to open one master app that then opens everything else that it needs - maybe that's just asking too much.

    Is the set-list maker you use the one from Arlo Media (http://www.arlomedia.com/apps/setlistmaker/main/home.html)? I'd not seen it before, but it looks like it could be useful. I'm currently using either the keyboard to send program change or using the buttons on iMidiPatchbay (which is fiddly).

  • @beardykeys said:
    Hi folks,
    I'm currently using a single keyboard controller and my iPad for all sounds. I saw iMidiPatchbay before I saw AudioBus, so I'm using that, with quite a number of preset 'songs' (really used more as patches in my case).
    This works quite well but iMidiPatchbay doesn't start up the applications I'm using in the background, so I need to remember to start them all separately. Also cannot easily switch to them and back without using the iPad home key task switching, which is more fiddly when playing live. Currently I'm using iGrand, Korg Module, SampleTank, Sunrizer, Galileo and Thor and looking to add a few others for specific sounds, so it's a bit of a pain to start up for a session.
    Once up and running, it's mostly fine, though the display could be better for me if a little different.

    Now I've looked at AudioBus and it has the facility to start referenced apps in the background (if I understand right) plus some extra facilities for midi routing (e.g. filtering on note velocity for variable layering as well as note value for keyboard splitting), but it doesn't look to be as geared for live interactive use for switching sounds/presets. It also seems fiddly for setting up routings where iMidiPatchbay is all driven from the one screen (but this could be just familiarity).

    I'd be interested to know what people use for a live type of environment, as opposed to a more static studio setup. I'm happy to try AudioBus but want to get most benefit from it.

    Also, I'm looking to use a USB keyboard (lighter than my old, full keyboard) with the iPad, but concerned that the power draw of the iPad powering the keyboard (and running all those apps) will be too much. Do people use a powered USB hub to charge the iPad and power the keyboard whilst enabling comms between the two? Is there a particular brand that works well - I looked at the one in the 'recommended kit' thread but it's no longer available and whilst there are many that claim to be okay, I'd rather use something with a relevant recommendation.

    Sorry for the long post, many thanks to anyone who gets this far and feels like offering any advice/experience.

    I assume that each of your apps are set to different midi channels with controller to select app and patch? If this is your setup and the setup relies on midi a lot and you use splits and layers, then imidipatchbay is probably your best bet. The problem you'll run into (that I am currently running into) is that not all apps are AB3 ready, which unfortunately means that some cannot be used with the midi implementation MF split etc. For example, I see that you use Module, this is my main app and it cannot be used with the [MF for AB3] apps. You're safe with iGrand and Galileo, not sure about the others. It's a bit frustrating and hopefully Korg apps will become compatible. I like AB3's internal mixer function so right now I run a slightly different setup approach. I am using Module, iM1 and Magellan all on midi channel 1 and I use the mute, solo and volume controls to determine which app sounds (sometimes layered together and panned). This works out fine for me with just the 3 sound apps plus AB3 however as you know, the more apps your run the more issues arise especially if you set all apps to channel 1 as I do.

  • edited April 2017

    Are you playing splits and layers on the masterkeyboard in one song from different apps?
    Or do you just play one app after the other? And just change the sound sometimes via Programm change ?
    Do you need to switch sounds in the same song?
    There are little gaps between the songs?

    It will need some time to adapt to the new ab3 as it just came out,
    For things like Lauch in the background
    So if your gig is next week this won't work like that now

  • @mptrin Yes currently I have different apps on different MIDI channels so they don't interfere. I use Module quite a bit, though I'm sure I could get the same sounds from something AB3-ready if there were a big advantage to AB3.
    @Max23 - I do have some songs that use sounds from two different apps together but mostly it's one at a time.
    I do generally avoid switching within a song, yes there is usually a gap between songs for the switch (or I work the transition with the same sound and switch when I can). I'm not in a great rush - what I have works but feels like it could be improved.
    Thanks guys.

  • edited April 2017

    That's easy to setup with ab3
    You need to use apps that support state saving.
    Then just make an ab3 preset for each song.
    That way you can't forget what belongs were (cant forget to open apps )and you always have the right sounds for each song without messing about.
    https://audiob.us/apps/capability/state
    This works right now.
    Split and layer also works and can be saved with the ab preset you need the midi apps for this.
    „Midiflow für Audiobus 3 – Leistungsstarke MIDI-Sender und Effekt-Apps“ von Johannes Doerr
    https://appsto.re/de/WtoWib.i

    (Only The auto open apps thing will take some time to be adapted by the other developers)
    So need to tab once on apps you haven't used in the session before
    You can't forget this they show you an "I am sleeping" icon

  • edited April 2017

    Hi @beardykeys!
    I'm in the same boat but coming from amateurism keys (so I'm still learning) but checking a lot for backing tracks and keyboard setups.
    AudioBus3 with the new midi plugins from midiflow dev seems a good investment if you don't have AUM and/or midiflow apps (as me) since you can ever split layers and audio midi routing in AB3 seems improved (and sooner or later their mixer will be also midi mappable). Of course the combo AUM/midifow can do it now and even a bit more in audio routing (busses mainly). To know about the differences between the two options check the post...
    https://forum.audiob.us/discussion/18138/how-is-audiobus-3-different-from-aum

    ITOH there are some other apps and workflows that could suits your needs or make a great companion with one of the mentioned solutions. Keep in mind I suppose you need some kind of backing tracks since you switch between apps but if not... the just take it as informative for open new "worlds".

    The first to me is Blocswave/launchpad app with novation launch series hardware. IMHO Blocs makes a great task as backing track composition tool meanwhile Launchpad makes the proper in live gigging. Exporting all to audio will make you less some control over synths but keep yourself focused in playing the most usual ones over instead having lots of apps open. Also ideal for loops and one shots samples.
    In your situation I will check launchcontrol xl to complement your regular keyboard and if you are considering buying one then go for launchkey mk2 series (it's the one I have ATM)

    Another approach for arranging setup style could be the combo MidiBand/Bismark i16 (or Roland Soundcanvas/Sampletank/Korg Module...) in junction with AUM/AB3 for control the levels. Midiband is midi only so needs any kind of sound module (designed for external keyboard workstations without arranging options) that's why I say combo.

    Next could be Xmure app with iReal pro. Using the second to export sheet music songs into MusicXML into the first. It has its pros and cons against the previous one.

    Finally I found recently Prime which is a standalone multitrack audio arranger with loop points, realtime key transpossing... but it also has some drawbacks (a bit personal if you ask me) but promissing as all you need.
    https://forum.audiob.us/discussion/17795/prime-free-app-for-backing-multitracks

    So I hope it helps you!
    D

  • Wow, what a lot of info - thanks. I don't use backing tracks at the moment, but it all looks interesting - an evening watching videos and checking out apps is ahead, I think. Many thanks.

    @Max23 - thanks, I'd not realised that even without auto-start you could start the apps from within the main AudioBus app (not having to find them in iPad screens), that's useful in itself. Shame there are a few things I use now that don't support the state saving - I guess AudioBus won't send program change messages when the patch/song is changed (which is what iMidiPatchbay does)?

    So much choice - and all so much cheaper than buying a new main keyboard - we've a lot to be grateful for! Thanks again for the responses.

  • Audiobus has state savement for the apps that support it, so when you load the audio bus patch it recall all the internal parameters of each app. So it isn't necessary that it send bank/program change. But in audio bus you can't select patch through program change, so for me isn't useful.
    The lack also is that not all apps support ab3.

    With imidipatchbay I use less apps that I can, generally 3, max 4 (sampletank, Galileo, im1, DRC) so it's less difficult to forget to load an app.. But I use app only for a 50% of my sounds, the other are from my hardware keyboard. I prefer to be tranquil when I play, hot to think too much To the tablet.

    Yes , set list maker by arlomedia

  • Midiflow allows you to make Bluetooth midi connections between different iPads. Better than using one iPad to do too many things. No latency in my experience.

  • That's great info, thanks people. Multiple iPads? Luxury! Nice idea, though.

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