Reflections about a MIDI workflow

tjatja
edited June 2017 in App Tips and Tricks

I am new to music on iOS and even music in general.
Based on the recommendations from this forum, i started with KORG Gadget.
Now, i have many more Apps, Synthesizer, DAWs, Instruments, Sequencer, etc.

More and more, i gravitate to a MIDI workflow:

1) I want to play things with an (virtual) instrument and record it as MIDI.
2) I want to create steps in a sequencer and save it as MIDI.

Then, i want to edit and play around with that MIDI, in a sequencer, in a DAW.
Finally, i want to create my Audio, mix and master it.

Now let´s go back to Gadget and all those Synths:

In such a workflow, i would need to use Gadget as IAA in my DAW, or feed it MIDI and record it's Audio to finally render Audio tracks.
But Gadget can only be started once, as any IAA Apps that is not AU-capable.
The same goes for any other Synth ...
Also, Gadget is not timeline oriented like a DAW, which makes it difficult to exchange MIDI tracks between them.

So, it seems that I need to

1) do things track by track, or
2) with as much different Synths i can use, or
3) directly drop any and all of those Synths incl. Gadget and just use a DAW with it´s internal sound and any AU that i have.

This last approach seems to be much more easy and fast.
I only now start to realize this.

Do i misunderstand something?
How would you handle this situation?

«1

Comments

  • tjatja
    edited June 2017

    Sad thing, that the initial posting cannot be edited anymore.
    In total, a strange forum software...

    EDIT: It can be edited, but only from the overview, one step up - not from within the topic

  • I went through the exact same thought process as you are going through now......
    The honest answer is that i still haven't fully sorted a utopia workflow for including Gadget into a MIDI setup.
    I have tried using ModStep/AUM - Cubasis- Auria Pro.......

    At the end of the day I keep returning to stand alone Gadget for its sheer speed and simplicity (no virtual wiring required). and then export the individual Audio tracks (available export option in gadget) once I am ready to start a proper mix...

  • tjatja
    edited June 2017

    Sad thing, though.

    I love all my new Synths and I still like Gadget.

    Using them early in the work flow, is difficult....

    So, maybe only use them for the final mix and stay in a DAW with internal Synths or AU only till satisfied with the results...

    But I just cannot start with Gadget, needing my instruments and sequencers to start.

  • Are you on iPhone or iPad?

    @tja said:
    Sad thing, though.

    I love all my new Synths and I still like Gadget.

    Using them early in the work flow, is difficult....

    So, maybe only use them for the final mix and stay in a DAW with internal Synths or AU only till satisfied with the results...

    But I just cannot start with Gadget, needing my instruments and sequencers to start.

  • tjatja
    edited June 2017

    Have both, but iPhone plays no real role...
    I do nearly everything on my iPad.

  • Imo gadget is one of those apps that you dont integrate to other apps very much, easily, or properly. Instead you do nearly everything on it or use something else. Your workflow sounds like you should be using something else, unless gadget has a midi export(which i remember it not having, but not sure).

    Why not just use so e sequencer or daws sequencer instead of gadget? I think both cubasis and auria can do what you want.

  • Remember, as long as an app has MIDI OUT you can always feed it into Gadget for recording MIDI and only need to do this if you want to use sound sources outside of Gadget....There are other ways of doing this too with AUM/Modstep for example...or even Cubasis/AUM/ModStep/Many other apps......but I'll use Cubasis as an example.

    Start your Cubasis project.....create some midi tracks and send then to whatever IAA/AU synths you like.

    Now for the 'Virtual wiring' I mentioned before.....
    When you want to use Gadget, load Gadget in Cubasis onto an Audio track (Not a midi one)....make sure Gadget is in 'Advanced MIDI' mode in the settings (this allows you to select different MIDI devices and channels for input into the tracks)
    This Audio track is now acting as a Bus Master for the gadget tracks.....

    Now create more MIDI tracks in Cubasis and send their output to the tracks you setup in Gadget, use the Gadget mixer to balance the gadget tracks together....and use Cubasis for composing the MIDI.

    When you are ready to commit to audio you can either
    Just record the mixed audio from Gadget onto the Stereo Audio track you have it loaded in Cubasis
    OR
    Mute your Gadget MIDI tracks in Cubasis so that only one synth is playing at a time, record onto the Cubasis Audio track, once the track is recorded move the audio onto another Audio track, change the mutes and record the next Gadget track.
    OR
    Create a bunch of 16 bar scenes in Gadget....then record the MIDI from Cubasis into Gadget, then export the Audio as individual tracks from Gadget and import into Cubasis (For this option you will need to use MIDI sync to keep Gadget and Cubasis in sync when recording the MIDI, set Cubasis as MIDI Clock Master and Gadget as External Clock)

    Another option you have is to start something with whatever apps you like, then import the audio into Gadget (Zurich) from your other seq's / synths...and work in Gadget without all the virtual wiring.

  • @AndyPlankton said:
    Remember, as long as an app has MIDI OUT you can always feed it into Gadget for recording MIDI and only need to do this if you want to use sound sources outside of Gadget....There are other ways of doing this too with AUM/Modstep for example...or even Cubasis/AUM/ModStep/Many other apps......but I'll use Cubasis as an example.

    Start your Cubasis project.....create some midi tracks and send then to whatever IAA/AU synths you like.

    Now for the 'Virtual wiring' I mentioned before.....
    When you want to use Gadget, load Gadget in Cubasis onto an Audio track (Not a midi one)....make sure Gadget is in 'Advanced MIDI' mode in the settings (this allows you to select different MIDI devices and channels for input into the tracks)
    This Audio track is now acting as a Bus Master for the gadget tracks.....

    Now create more MIDI tracks in Cubasis and send their output to the tracks you setup in Gadget, use the Gadget mixer to balance the gadget tracks together....and use Cubasis for composing the MIDI.

    When you are ready to commit to audio you can either
    Just record the mixed audio from Gadget onto the Stereo Audio track you have it loaded in Cubasis
    OR
    Mute your Gadget MIDI tracks in Cubasis so that only one synth is playing at a time, record onto the Cubasis Audio track, once the track is recorded move the audio onto another Audio track, change the mutes and record the next Gadget track.
    OR
    Create a bunch of 16 bar scenes in Gadget....then record the MIDI from Cubasis into Gadget, then export the Audio as individual tracks from Gadget and import into Cubasis (For this option you will need to use MIDI sync to keep Gadget and Cubasis in sync when recording the MIDI, set Cubasis as MIDI Clock Master and Gadget as External Clock)

    Another option you have is to start something with whatever apps you like, then import the audio into Gadget (Zurich) from your other seq's / synths...and work in Gadget without all the virtual wiring.

    Wow! This was informational and superb. My head is squeaking right now around this workflow/midi/audio. Right now Ím testing the Auria Pro I bougth a Yeah ago and Never really used as a midi handler for all my plugs and synths. But that only wrecks my head in more troubles. Think Im going back to Gadget witch I really like more and more. And I hope I can start make some audio soon.

  • tjatja
    edited June 2017

    @ToMess said:
    Imo gadget is one of those apps that you dont integrate to other apps very much, easily, or properly. Instead you do nearly everything on it or use something else. Your workflow sounds like you should be using something else, unless gadget has a midi export(which i remember it not having, but not sure).

    Why not just use so e sequencer or daws sequencer instead of gadget? I think both cubasis and auria can do what you want.

    Exactly this is my problem.
    Gadget has MIDI file export, and only to Dropbox - that's all.
    So, it gets more tedious and also more sequential... Track by track

    But in general, this is the case with any Synth outside of a DAW, if it is neither internal or at least an AU.

    So, my reasoning was, that - for my idea of a workflow - it may be best to just start and stay with Cubasis until I am "finished" and can try to use others Synth to get the Audio.

    Just curious how other people think about this and handle this.

  • tjatja
    edited June 2017

    @AndyPlankton said:
    Remember, as long as an app has MIDI OUT you can always feed it into Gadget for recording MIDI and only need to do this if you want to use sound sources outside of Gadget....There are other ways of doing this too with AUM/Modstep for example...or even Cubasis/AUM/ModStep/Many other apps......but I'll use Cubasis as an example.

    I seem to read already about some method to handle MIDI with Gadget, AUM and modstep.
    But I don't know modstep right now.... no idea what would be possible.

    When you want to use Gadget, load Gadget in Cubasis onto an Audio track (Not a midi one)....make sure Gadget is in 'Advanced MIDI' mode in the settings (this allows you to select different MIDI devices and channels for input into the tracks)
    This Audio track is now acting as a Bus Master for the gadget tracks.....

    Gadget as IAA for the Audio track in Cubasis?

    When you are ready to commit to audio you can either
    Just record the mixed audio from Gadget onto the Stereo Audio track you have it loaded in Cubasis
    OR
    Mute your Gadget MIDI tracks in Cubasis so that only one synth is playing at a time, record onto the Cubasis Audio track, once the track is recorded move the audio onto another Audio track, change the mutes and record the next Gadget track.
    OR
    Create a bunch of 16 bar scenes in Gadget....then record the MIDI from Cubasis into Gadget, then export the Audio as individual tracks from Gadget and import into Cubasis (For this option you will need to use MIDI sync to keep Gadget and Cubasis in sync when recording the MIDI, set Cubasis as MIDI Clock Master and Gadget as External Clock)

    I don't like to record the mixed Audio. Maybe I want to use Auria Pro for further refinement.

    I think, only method 2) or 3) are valid....

    Another option you have is to start something with whatever apps you like, then import the audio into Gadget (Zurich) from your other seq's / synths...and work in Gadget without all the virtual wiring.

    Noooooooo ;-)

    Thanks for your explanation!

  • tjatja
    edited June 2017

    In summary, that seems to mean that I will continue with Cubasis mostly, either directly or together with MIDI capable instruments a DAW sequencers. We will see.

    When ready to produce Audio, I will need to create track by track with whatever Synth I like outside of Cubasis and do this track by track (if not given some multi-track method).

    And Gadget would be used like any other Synth, just feeding it MIDI.

    And final mixing / mastering of those tracks in Auria Pro.

    Is not ideal, but seems reasonable.

    I am still curious about those AUM/modstep/Gadget MIDI tricks ;-)

  • I like Gadget's sequencer and interface and, with its sonic capability, for some music it's the best start of a workflow. Having most of its gadgets, for me it's a reliable sketchpad, with no messing around connecting things, and with a range of sound more than I can get my head around with all the possibilities. It can export all tracks individually as MIDI and audio. If I couldn't put together from scratch a decent start or representation of a song or piece with it, then I wouldn't use it. I'd just use some of the Korg standalone apps in a DAW rather than as gadgets.

  • @lovadamusic said:
    I like Gadget's sequencer and interface and, with its sonic capability, for some music it's the best start of a workflow. Having most of its gadgets, for me it's a reliable sketchpad, with no messing around connecting things, and with a range of sound more than I can get my head around with all the possibilities.

    Yes, I started in the same way...

    But I want to make use of my MIDI sequencers :-)
    Also, currently I have the feeling that Genome fits me better that the step sequencer in Gadget. But I am just exploring, so we will see ...

    It can export all tracks individually as MIDI and audio.

    Yes, but MIDI just as file to Dropbox.
    And, as far as understood, Audi also one by one, not multiple together.

    If I couldn't put together from scratch a decent start or representation of a song or piece with it, then I wouldn't use it. I'd just use some of the Korg standalone apps in a DAW rather than as gadgets.

    I was hesitating to get iM1, iM-20, Module and ARP ODYSSEI from KORG, even if they are on my wishlist.
    First, all them them cost a bunch of money.
    Currently more, that I would like to spend easy - I already have some Synth, too much for my knowledge already.
    Also, they may contain further IAP which cost even more!

    I planed to spend the next money on the Cubasis IAP and some of the Auria Pro's.
    The later are quite expensive in summary :-O

  • My small bunch of Synths:

    Beside the KORG Apps, my list also contains LayR and Model 15 and others, being addicted :-((((((

  • You can export all gadget tracks as individual tracks in one step.

    Aum/modstep has the same limitation, it is gadget only having stereo out.

    Yes in Cubasis load Gadget as IAA on audio track. This is essentially the same thing you would do using aum/modstep.

  • @marcuspresident said:

    @AndyPlankton said:
    Remember, as long as an app has MIDI OUT you can always feed it into Gadget for recording MIDI and only need to do this if you want to use sound sources outside of Gadget....There are other ways of doing this too with AUM/Modstep for example...or even Cubasis/AUM/ModStep/Many other apps......but I'll use Cubasis as an example.

    Start your Cubasis project.....create some midi tracks and send then to whatever IAA/AU synths you like.

    Now for the 'Virtual wiring' I mentioned before.....
    When you want to use Gadget, load Gadget in Cubasis onto an Audio track (Not a midi one)....make sure Gadget is in 'Advanced MIDI' mode in the settings (this allows you to select different MIDI devices and channels for input into the tracks)
    This Audio track is now acting as a Bus Master for the gadget tracks.....

    Now create more MIDI tracks in Cubasis and send their output to the tracks you setup in Gadget, use the Gadget mixer to balance the gadget tracks together....and use Cubasis for composing the MIDI.

    When you are ready to commit to audio you can either
    Just record the mixed audio from Gadget onto the Stereo Audio track you have it loaded in Cubasis
    OR
    Mute your Gadget MIDI tracks in Cubasis so that only one synth is playing at a time, record onto the Cubasis Audio track, once the track is recorded move the audio onto another Audio track, change the mutes and record the next Gadget track.
    OR
    Create a bunch of 16 bar scenes in Gadget....then record the MIDI from Cubasis into Gadget, then export the Audio as individual tracks from Gadget and import into Cubasis (For this option you will need to use MIDI sync to keep Gadget and Cubasis in sync when recording the MIDI, set Cubasis as MIDI Clock Master and Gadget as External Clock)

    Another option you have is to start something with whatever apps you like, then import the audio into Gadget (Zurich) from your other seq's / synths...and work in Gadget without all the virtual wiring.

    Wow! This was informational and superb. My head is squeaking right now around this workflow/midi/audio. Right now Ím testing the Auria Pro I bougth a Yeah ago and Never really used as a midi handler for all my plugs and synths. But that only wrecks my head in more troubles. Think Im going back to Gadget witch I really like more and more. And I hope I can start make some audio soon.

    Yw......for Auria you do it the same ways as described above.

  • @tja said:

    @AndyPlankton said:
    Remember, as long as an app has MIDI OUT you can always feed it into Gadget for recording MIDI and only need to do this if you want to use sound sources outside of Gadget....There are other ways of doing this too with AUM/Modstep for example...or even Cubasis/AUM/ModStep/Many other apps......but I'll use Cubasis as an example.

    I seem to read already about some method to handle MIDI with Gadget, AUM and modstep.
    But I don't know modstep right now.... no idea what would be possible.

    When you want to use Gadget, load Gadget in Cubasis onto an Audio track (Not a midi one)....make sure Gadget is in 'Advanced MIDI' mode in the settings (this allows you to select different MIDI devices and channels for input into the tracks)
    This Audio track is now acting as a Bus Master for the gadget tracks.....

    Gadget as IAA for the Audio track in Cubasis?

    Yes

    When you are ready to commit to audio you can either
    Just record the mixed audio from Gadget onto the Stereo Audio track you have it loaded in Cubasis
    OR
    Mute your Gadget MIDI tracks in Cubasis so that only one synth is playing at a time, record onto the Cubasis Audio track, once the track is recorded move the audio onto another Audio track, change the mutes and record the next Gadget track.
    OR
    Create a bunch of 16 bar scenes in Gadget....then record the MIDI from Cubasis into Gadget, then export the Audio as individual tracks from Gadget and import into Cubasis (For this option you will need to use MIDI sync to keep Gadget and Cubasis in sync when recording the MIDI, set Cubasis as MIDI Clock Master and Gadget as External Clock)

    I don't like to record the mixed Audio. Maybe I want to use Auria Pro for further refinement.

    The process for Auria is exactly the same

    I think, only method 2) or 3) are valid....

    Another option you have is to start something with whatever apps you like, then import the audio into Gadget (Zurich) from your other seq's / synths...and work in Gadget without all the virtual wiring.

    Noooooooo ;-)

    Thanks for your explanation!

  • @AndyPlankton said:
    You can export all gadget tracks as individual tracks in one step.

    Could you possibly explain for the dumb like me?

    How exactly to do this?

  • If you export and choose Dropbox, you have option for All tracks.....this is only available for Dropbox as AudioShare and audio copy only handle single files

  • tjatja
    edited June 2017

    Ahhhhhh, thanks!

    Good to know.

    I still hate Dropbox as hell and avoid it like the plague :-)

    EDIT: That forum software does not even understand the most common emojies :-O
    Does it think, that people change their habits and search some fitting graphic from a list?!?

  • @tja said:

    @ToMess said:
    Imo gadget is one of those apps that you dont integrate to other apps very much, easily, or properly. Instead you do nearly everything on it or use something else. Your workflow sounds like you should be using something else, unless gadget has a midi export(which i remember it not having, but not sure).

    Why not just use so e sequencer or daws sequencer instead of gadget? I think both cubasis and auria can do what you want.

    Exactly this is my problem.
    Gadget has MIDI file export, and only to Dropbox - that's all.
    So, it gets more tedious and also more sequential... Track by track

    But in general, this is the case with any Synth outside of a DAW, if it is neither internal or at least an AU.

    So, my reasoning was, that - for my idea of a workflow - it may be best to just start and stay with Cubasis until I am "finished" and can try to use others Synth to get the Audio.

    Just curious how other people think about this and handle this.

    Well i dont have one clear path to anything ios, stuff is always changing. Im pretty sure ill stick with bm3 when it comes out, i currently do have the beta and its exactly what i want. Before it i didnt have any strict path, but it was always changing. What i ended up to before bm3 was AUM as the mixer and synth/app host, sometimes ab2 as well. Basically i have found that AUs are so handy that there arent many synths i use that arent AU(odyssei and model15 are the only ones i think, and troublemaker for its nice sequencer), and i dont use any effects that arent AU, except maybe filtatron again one day. Basicaly i hosted all apps to aum or audiobus then routed them to blocs wave to record the audio(some apps i recorded early on, some only at the end), these loops i exported to ableton to build the structure of the song(i like this way more than using ipad daws for this). Example would be something like these running on AUM or on AB fed to AUM: imaschine for drums, one shots and maybe some synth pattern, troublemaker for not a 303, few instances of poison 202 as AU with FX AUs fed into blocs wave and recorded without sequencing, or sequenced with midisteps for example.

  • tjatja
    edited June 2017

    I get it that ODYSSEi, Model 15 and troublemaker are worth it ;-)
    Dully noted.

    I don't understand "one shots" (an App?) and 303...

    I like your workflow, but it makes use of things outside the iPad. I want to stay within.

    Also, I would like to stay at MIDI while composing the song and I hope that my sequencers will allow to do so.

    I started initially with using Auxy Classic (with MIDI out) for this, which is very nice as you can easily create and manage loops, while exporting them to Cubasis as MIDI.

    Sadly, Auxy is not AB compatible... and the new version out of heaven dropped MIDI Support (what a strange idea).
    Will try with AUM.

    I still don't know my new sequencers (Genome, Infinite Looper, Thesys and modstep) good enough to say more - esp, modstep and Thesys are still unknown to me.

    I do not think that I would be happy with MidiSTEPs, though...

  • Both Medley and BeatWave show up in AB, but not Auxy :-(

    Sadly, the older, MIDI capable Auxy has no repeat timer for loops, so no song structure.

    So it is better for live play or recording, which I tested successfully with Cubase and Auxy
    ;-)

    Sad thing, as I very much love Auxy's step sequencer!
    Great editing and copying capabilities.

    But I will check Infinite Looper for this.

  • Auxy Classic (MIDI) is gone from the App Store :-O

    And I don't have it on my iPhone, just the iPad :-(

  • @tja said:

    @lovadamusic said:
    I like Gadget's sequencer and interface and, with its sonic capability, for some music it's the best start of a workflow. Having most of its gadgets, for me it's a reliable sketchpad, with no messing around connecting things, and with a range of sound more than I can get my head around with all the possibilities.

    Yes, I started in the same way...

    But I want to make use of my MIDI sequencers :-)
    Also, currently I have the feeling that Genome fits me better that the step sequencer in Gadget. But I am just exploring, so we will see ...

    It can export all tracks individually as MIDI and audio.

    Yes, but MIDI just as file to Dropbox.
    And, as far as understood, Audi also one by one, not multiple together.

    If I couldn't put together from scratch a decent start or representation of a song or piece with it, then I wouldn't use it. I'd just use some of the Korg standalone apps in a DAW rather than as gadgets.

    I was hesitating to get iM1, iM-20, Module and ARP ODYSSEI from KORG, even if they are on my wishlist.
    First, all them them cost a bunch of money.
    Currently more, that I would like to spend easy - I already have some Synth, too much for my knowledge already.
    Also, they may contain further IAP which cost even more!

    I planed to spend the next money on the Cubasis IAP and some of the Auria Pro's.
    The later are quite expensive in summary :-O

    I don't have a single workflow. I don't aspire to have one. Gadget is just one great way to make music in an all-in-one easy package. It can either be an experimental environment to discover and put together ideas, or if you already have a more developed concept, you can choose if Gadget's a good place to start realizing it.

    Auria Pro and Cubasis are very nice DAWs. There are an overwhelming number of other apps to generate sounds and sequence them, and I use many of them too. I don't really see an app as a set of limitations -- rather as opportunities -- but Gadget isn't best for everything. When not, use other apps. Put them together in whatever ways work best for that situation.

    DropBox is my main cloud storage and works well for me. Exporting audio from Gadget is somewhat slow in data transfer, but it's very easy to initiate export of all audio and MIDI tracks. Once exported, there are countless ways to incorporate those tracks and other apps into a final product.

  • My mobile connection allows for maximum 2GB per month ;-)
    That pretty much means that I use any Cloud storage only from WLAN / WiFi, which I do not always have access to.

    Dropbox is no real option for me.

    Transferring data between Apps on the same iPad should NOT require network access!

    Imaging the same situation on your PC / Mac.... you would just never accept something like that from a companies applications ;-)

    I try to find a constant, reliable workflow.... and am on a good way, I hope :-)

  • tjatja
    edited August 2017

    Okkkkkkk.
    I have a strange question ...

    Instruments, Sequencers and MIDI recorders

    1. You can use an Instrument App like SoundPrism Pro
    2. You can use an Sequencer App like Xynthesizer or midiSTEPSs
    3. You can use a MIDI recording App (mostly also a Sequencer) like modstep or Cubasis or Genome

    So, you can record your Instrument plays / performance in the MIDI recorder.
    And you can create patterns in the Sequencer and record them in the MIDI recorder.

    Everything ends in the MIDI recorder.
    Or, you can let parts stay in the Sequencer.

    From the MIDI recorder (or Sequencer) you can then control Synths to produce audio.

    AudioBus

    From the view of AudioBus, this means:

    AudioBus MIDI page:

    Instrument --- Filter --- Recorder

    or

    Sequencer --- Filter --- Recorder

    Sound from Synths

    BUT ... in this case, i see no way to directly use any Synths when playing an Instrument or Sequencer, just because any Synth would need to sit where the Recorders sits in AudioBus:

    Instrument --- Filter --- Synth

    The Question

    How would you handle this?

    Can a Synth be mounted in parallel to the Recorder?
    Would you just skip the Synths and use the sounds from your Instrument, Sequencer or the Recorder instead?

    I seek a way to play / create while using the final Synths!

    Example:

    SoundPrism ---> Cubasis

    But i want to play Animoog.

    So, would you do something like this:

    SoundPrism ---> Cubasis+Animoog

    So, that the MIDI from SoundPrism would both reach Cubasis for recording and Animoog for actual sound while playing.

    I am just missing a straight line .... and need to get away from my dabbling here and there.

    Any help appreciated ;-)

  • To continue this, i tried around with AUM, to get what i am seeking, but could not create anything working, so far.

    Trying to add an AudioBus source, it just says "Connect other Apps to AUM in the Audiobus app, ..."

    But adding Cubasis near AUM in the MIDI page as receiver did not work.

  • edited August 2017

    OP

    Tell me what type of music you want to make?

    I THINK that matters, but that is just me.

  • Uh. What I wrote was pretty generic...
    The type of Music should play no role.

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