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.

Simple things

Why is it so difficult for writers of music apps to include simple things like getting their programs to sync properly?
Sebastian is asking on another thread about what synths are lacking on ios platform. Forget the new stuff lets get the existing apps to at least be able to sync properly with each other and that includes iphone apps!!
Rant over!!!!



  • "Because it's not a simple thing" gets my vote.

  • As a hobbyist coder, I can feel the pain of iOS developers. I am certain they want (well most of them) to create an app that works well within the bounds that Apple provides. It is a well known fact that Apple has not published any documentation concerning iOS's Inter App Audio to developers. It seems it is mostly a guess of how to implement these functions with other apps at present.

    Prior to iOS 7, syncing was still at best a gamble. Now that Apple realizes that audio apps earn a right to be recognized (yes this is still a optimistic hope), perhaps we will see a more conformed audio/MIDI standard that we have all seen via our desktop/laptop computers.

    Only time will tell.

    Or as the comic Stephen Wright once said, "Time will no longer tell".

  • @syrupcore - seconded. Contrary to Clifford Simak's classic, "Time is the Simplest Thing", no it's not.

  • Is it just me or are most of you guys coders of some level or the other..?

  • I can appreciate the complexity the devs face when writing these apps. As a user though that had a few beers and was frustrated at the time of posting it was a simple requirement. :-)

  • I think it has to do with Apple's Virtual Midi API.

  • Sounds like a few coders here @Rhism. Not least not since I worked with Pascal years ago.

  • Because syncing apps is incredibly hard.

    Actually I don't even want to talk about it because it's so frustrating.

    MIDI sync was designed for a different system than today's applications. It's 30 years old, everybody still wants it but it should just be replaced with something new that works. But because of the insane amount of cool gadgets that support MIDI nobody really wants to throw away the old system because then users complain that they can't user their old stuff anymore.

    I just deleted a page of ranting about other problems. If you'd like to hear more about them you can contact me directly.

  • Sebastian, I wasn't trying to be derisory in any way to you or the writers of the apps. Please accept my apologies if I have caused any offence.

  • edited October 2013

    No offence taken at all.
    It's really an annoying problem and I agree that it looks very easy to solve but it simply isn't.

  • Maybe if you had a few beers...

  • @dwarman The Simak reference brought to mind an old favorite novel not remembered for years and a smile to my lips today. Thank you.

    No clue how to solve the synch problems. I give up set, every apps BPM, hope they're close and align the audio tracks in Cubasis.

    Don't desktops use MTC instead of midi clock?

  • @TedBPhx I thought MTC stood for Midi Time Code...... Isn't that just the proper name for the act of using the midi clock?

  • edited October 2013

    So then @Sebastian, what's your thoughts on Audeonic's Midibus technology?

  • @Audiojunkie Midi Time Code and Midi Clock both serve a similar purpose, but operate very differently from each other. MTC is known for being more reliable but is still far from perfect. Lots of good literature on the web regarding the technical differences between the two if you're interested.

    @TedBPhx Yeah I never really understood why iOS developers have pretty much excluded MTC. But after spending some time here I just figure it's another added layer of complexity to an already complex mess.

  • MTC on iOS is quite different from MTC on computers. The same with MIDI clock. On computers and hardware sequencers, it simply works. On iOS it may work, and often with limited functionality.

    For example, in Auria, MTC gets transmitted, but without start/stop. One has to enable MIDI clock as well on both sides to make Auria start and stop. And still it's limited (time code is only transmitted in play mode, not in stop mode). If it's a limitation of iOS or Auria, I don't know.

  • It isn't a case of one being "better" than the other, MIDI Time Code and MIDI Clock are each designed to do different things. MIDI Time Code is designed to sync two time-based devices together (like analog tape, or video, or digital audio recorders), and MIDI Clock is for syncing tempo-based devices together (like drum machines and MIDI sequencers). Auria supports both, but if you're trying to sync a sequencing/keyboard/drum machine app to Auria you -must- use MIDI Clock - that's the only one that communicates info like tempo, bars/beats, etc.

  • How about WIST on the same ipad ?

  • WIST doesn't work as far as I know because it's based on GameKit and that doesn't work app-to app on one device.

  • edited October 2013

    @sebastian, I'm all for dumping 30 year old protocols but like you said, MIDI is established and actually works. Seems as the implementation is a miserable unrewarding experience though. WIST works absurdly well and if coming up with something new would mean all my apps would work absurdly well together, I'll happily adopt it. MIDI be damned. Wont take long after that for an app to come out that translates [new-standard-x] to MTC anyway. :)

    @rhism I'm a web developer by day. And occasionally by night.

  • I don't know anything about MIDI Clock, but the success rate of MIDI Clock in iOS apps combined with my experience just integrating MIDI into guitarism tells me that a new thing would probably fare better. The main challenges with a new thing would be (1) adoption by app devs, and (2) lack of backwards compatibility with legacy MIDI-compliant hardware and software (external MIDI keyboards / sequencers, PC/MAC based software etc).

    I suspect if the AB team did something new to replace MIDI Clock, adoption would not be as hard since they already have a strong network of developers. But the backwards compatibility would still probably be a problem. Which leads me to the question: do people care about time / tempo-syncing iOS apps with external hardware and/or PC/Mac based software? Or is it mostly about syncing iOS apps with other iOS apps?

  • If MTC and MIDI Clock work well on hardware and computers, why not on iOS? Is it that Apple has provided only a half-arsed MIDI implementation in iOS or is it due to something more subtle?

    The fact that MIDI is 30 years old is no justification for replacing it. If, for reasons beyond my limited technical understanding and abilities, a proper MIDI implementation is simply not possible in iOS then, yes, do things differently within iOS. But do maintain a 'bridge' to the established standards in the outside world.

    I mean, aren't these arguments rather like saying "Internet Protocol is decades old and Apple hasn't implemented it properly so let's reinvent it for iOS"?

    @dwarman: Aren't you a MIDI wizard and steeped in the ancient art? What's your take on this?

  • I only care about synching iOS to iOS on the same device.

  • If a system was developed purely to sync apps on the same device reliably could that then have an encoder thay would allow it to transmit to external devices without the interference of ios problems?
    My only concern though is reliable sync between apps on the same device by whatever means makes it possible, that I would pay for!

  • I thought IAA sorted this ?

  • @Washboy It's got a lot to do with the iOS implementation of it - at least on the MIDI notes/CC side that's a big part of the problem. I don't know the details of the MIDI Clock issues. Are there any apps on iOS that do MIDI clock well?

  • The closest I get to being a coder...

    ....very satisfying when completed though! :)


    Sent from idevice thingy...

  • @rhism funkbox is a champ with clock sync. Loopy usually is too but sometimes updates seem to break it in different ways for a bit.

    Part of the problem with answering a question like 'who is doing it well' in this case is that it definitely takes two to tango with clock sync.

  • @syrupcore Two to tango - yep, though I suspect the work of the sender (of clock messages) is easier than the work of the receiver, so it'd probably be more important to find out which apps are good receivers. Perhaps we should ask the funkbox developer to donate his midi clock code to the public domain :) Or maybe the loopy developer... oh, right!

    So perhaps this is the secret third feature of the AB update!

  • [noob]

    Isn't OSC supposed to address most of these concerns? Is that a viable standard worth support by devs?


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