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.

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

Xequence + Audiobus + AUM, best practices for a complete music production environment

Now that the dust has settled a bit, here's a new section in the Xequence manual that's currently being finished, and I wanted to share it with the community because I think it is currently one of the best ways to get a full-featured, stable music production environment using these three apps:

  • Xequence is the central control, composition and arrangement hub.
  • Audiobus is used for fast switching between apps, for central transport control, and storing and recalling the entire project from a single location.
  • AUM is used for hosting the actual synths and provides a comprehensive mixing environment.

Set this up using the following steps:

  • Start with a blank Audiobus session.
  • Go to the Audio screen, and load AUM into an Input (left / top) slot.
  • In AUM, setup a channel for each synth you want to use, go to its menu, enable "AUM Destination", tap "None" under "Channel Filter", and then enable one of the 16 MIDI channels for each synth you load.
  • Back in Audiobus, go to the MIDI screen, and load a single Xequence instance into an Input (left / top) slot (it doesn't matter which MIDI Out you select).
  • Go to the Instruments screen (MIDI icon at the top left), and for each synth you created in AUM, create an Instrument.
  • For each instrument in Xequence, tap the cogwheel to go to its settings, and tap "Select MIDI destination". In the dropdown, do not select "Audiobus". Instead, route the MIDI to AUM directly, and select the same MIDI channels you assigned in AUM.

To save the project, all that needs to be done is tap the folder icon in the bottom right corner of Audiobus, and then save a new Preset.

Everything is saved into this single preset: All Audiobus settings, the entire Xequence project, all connections between the apps, and the complete AUM setup! This can then even be shared easily using cloud services, and restores on any other device with a single tap.

What are your setups / what do you think can be improved? Share your thoughts below :)

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Comments

  • Been trying to use multi instances of BS-16i as a AU with Xequence inside AB3. For the life of me I can’t get BS-16i to keep the instrument I want in each audio/midi slot to remain. Every time I switch back to Xequence the instruments change. Probably a BS-16i problem.

  • I think this workflow ignores much of the power of the AB3 integration. You mention ease of use switching and transport, but then limit that switching to just Xequence and AUM.

    I am getting blissed out by adding everything possible into AB3, with a separate lane on the AB3 midi page for each channel of Xequence I want to use. This gives me maximum access to the AB3 app switching, as well as the ability to start/stop individual instruments, turn AU FX on and off at the press of a button from any app, maximum use of the ability to jump around directly from Xequence, AUM, all the apps, and all the FX, and maximum use of Audiobus Remote.

    The audio lanes still end up in AUM, and a few FX make sense there, especially on the master channel. But I'm all-in with leveraging AB3 now. It totally rocks.

    Not saying your described workflow isn't great - just seems like it's missing a lot of potential power.

  • My fav setup.

    • Xequence in the MIDI input page, one lane for each instrument (channel) I want to use.
    • Target apps (AU or AB3 Midi compatible receivers) in the output for each channel.
    • For apps that can't go into an AB3 midi output slot, first load the app in the audio page, then add a virtual midi output pointing to it on the midi page.
    • All appropriate FX in their lanes on the audio page
    • AUM in the output of each audio lane
    • Remaining bussing, FX, etc in AUM.

    I love things set up this way. I haven't felt this smooth with iOS in a long time. State saving an entire setup like this is awesome, and being able to send an AB3 session between iPhone and iPad and pick up exactly where I left off is awesome.

  • @wim great points there. The one thing why I prefer doing all audio in AUM is the more powerful mixer with sends etc. - but I'm probably not experienced enough with Audiobus to have the last word on it.

    EDIT: That's why I rephrased the topic title a bit now. Open for further discussion and feedback!

    EDIT 2: The office cat is a bit in need of affection right now, first things first! :)

  • So I’m at Dr and not accessible to iPad. But could you let’s say have 6-8 midi tracks to whatever. Then route those individually to Auria? Then mix and what ever from there?

  • @Chaztrip said:
    So I’m at Dr and not accessible to iPad. But could you let’s say have 6-8 midi tracks to whatever. Then route those individually to Auria? Then mix and what ever from there?

    Yes, sending MIDI on multiple channels from Xequence to Auria is no problem whatsoever (I didn't try it inside Audiobus so far, only between Xequence and Auria directly).

  • @wim said:
    My fav setup.

    • Xequence in the MIDI input page, one lane for each instrument (channel) I want to use.
    • Target apps (AU or AB3 Midi compatible receivers) in the output for each channel.
    • For apps that can't go into an AB3 midi output slot, first load the app in the audio page, then add a virtual midi output pointing to it on the midi page.
    • All appropriate FX in their lanes on the audio page
    • AUM in the output of each audio lane
    • Remaining bussing, FX, etc in AUM.

    I love things set up this way. I haven't felt this smooth with iOS in a long time. State saving an entire setup like this is awesome, and being able to send an AB3 session between iPhone and iPad and pick up exactly where I left off is awesome.

    I haven't done more than play with it at this point, but that's the setup I landed on, as well. At least for now.

  • @SevenSystems Been getting a few crashes of Xequence just getting a blank screen see below trying to trigger up to 10 lanes in AUM with low cpu AUs

  • @Jumpercollins said:
    @SevenSystems Been getting a few crashes of Xequence just getting a blank screen see below trying to trigger up to 10 lanes in AUM with low cpu AUs

    Could you send me the Audiobus preset, and also which device model are you using?

  • Yes, that blank screen is familiar, got it myself, but cannot recall in which situations.

  • edited August 2018

    @tja @Jumpercollins the most probable cause for a black screen in Xequence is "Out of memory". Other apps would crash to the home screen in that situation, Xequence turns black.

    10 AUs, even if lightweight, might certainly use around 1 or 2 Gigs of memory. Add to that a few hundred MB for Xequence, Audiobus and the OS, and I can easily see how you would run out of memory especially on older devices.

  • @SevenSystems said:
    @tja @Jumpercollins the most probable cause for a black screen in Xequence is "Out of memory". Other apps would crash to the home screen in that situation, Xequence turns black.

    10 AUs, even if lightweight, might certainly use around 1 or 2 Gigs of memory. Add to that a few hundred MB for Xequence, Audiobus and the OS, and I can easily see how you would run out of memory especially on older devices.

    Ok thanks for the info been using AUM and Audiobus trying different combos to overcome it. We get there!

  • I've seen that black screen on my old Air1. A hard restart has cleared it up so far.

  • @aaronpc OK, confirms the theory about it being a RAM problem.

  • @SevenSystems said:
    @wim great points there. The one thing why I prefer doing all audio in AUM is the more powerful mixer with sends etc. - but I'm probably not experienced enough with Audiobus to have the last word on it.

    EDIT: That's why I rephrased the topic title a bit now. Open for further discussion and feedback!

    EDIT 2: The office cat is a bit in need of affection right now, first things first! :)

    The thing is, on that AB3 audio page all you need to do is stick AUM in any output box and that channel shows up attomatically in AUM. So you can still do identical audio processing in AUM, but with the apps themselves being hosted in Audiobus. It’s brilliant! B)

  • @wim Yep, but one reoccurring problem:

    AudioBus MIDI tends to simplify things, which you sometimes would like to handle in other ways.

    No sending of MIDI to other Apps.
    No getting MIDI from other Apps.
    No rerouting.
    No MIDI through for forwarding.
    No multiple targets or sources.

    Can happen, sometimes.

    In AUM, you can freely route and build chains.

    So, it depends.

  • @SevenSystems said:
    Now that the dust has settled a bit, here's a new section in the Xequence manual that's currently being finished, and I wanted to share it with the community because I think it is currently one of the best ways to get a full-featured, stable music production environment using these three apps:

    • Xequence is the central control, composition and arrangement hub.
    • Audiobus is used for fast switching between apps, for central transport control, and storing and recalling the entire project from a single location.
    • AUM is used for hosting the actual synths and provides a comprehensive mixing environment.

    Set this up using the following steps:

    • Start with a blank Audiobus session.
    • Go to the Audio screen, and load AUM into an Input (left / top) slot.
    • In AUM, setup a channel for each synth you want to use, go to its menu, enable "AUM Destination", tap "None" under "Channel Filter", and then enable one of the 16 MIDI channels for each synth you load.
    • Back in Audiobus, go to the MIDI screen, and load a single Xequence instance into an Input (left / top) slot (it doesn't matter which MIDI Out you select).
    • Go to the Instruments screen (MIDI icon at the top left), and for each synth you created in AUM, create an Instrument.
    • For each instrument in Xequence, tap the cogwheel to go to its settings, and tap "Select MIDI destination". In the dropdown, do not select "Audiobus". Instead, route the MIDI to AUM directly, and select the same MIDI channels you assigned in AUM.

    To save the project, all that needs to be done is tap the folder icon in the bottom right corner of Audiobus, and then save a new Preset.

    Everything is saved into this single preset: All Audiobus settings, the entire Xequence project, all connections between the apps, and the complete AUM setup! This can then even be shared easily using cloud services, and restores on any other device with a single tap.

    What are your setups / what do you think can be improved? Share your thoughts below :)

    You're providing timely and very useful info. I just downloaded and am reading the new manual (and re-reading the older parts.) Haven't had time to set it up yet, and I'm trying to get my head around how to best use Xequence, AB3 and AUM together. Your description is how I see the function of the three acting in place of a DAW for MIDI composing and arranging. Xequence is the sequencer, AUM is the mixer, and AB3 brings everything together. There's still overlap between the apps, and I'm not sure yet exactly where the lines should be drawn. And then how might it best work with so many possible sound sources, MIDI controllers, recording destinations, audio from those recordings... Being slow and simple, I tend to rely on DAWs and closed-system music studio apps, but the ability to stretch out more on iOS with a powerful MIDI sequencer is an exciting prospect.

  • wimwim
    edited August 2018

    @tja said:
    @wim Yep, but one reoccurring problem:

    AudioBus MIDI tends to simplify things, which you sometimes would like to handle in other ways.

    No sending of MIDI to other Apps.
    No getting MIDI from other Apps.
    No rerouting.
    No MIDI through for forwarding.
    No multiple targets or sources.

    Can happen, sometimes.

    In AUM, you can freely route and build chains.

    So, it depends.

    There is very much inaccurate or outdated information in your post. I’m in a bar enjoying an beer and texting on my phone or I would do a point by point rebuttal (not to prove a point, but to set the record straight). Maybe later. Suffice to say, I would have agreed with you six months ago, but much has changed. You may wish to revisit a few things.

    Of course an AUM centric hosting scenario is fine, and best for some things. But there are very compelling reasons to consider shifting back toward emphasizing AB3 once again.

  • wimwim
    edited August 2018

    @tja said:
    No sending of MIDI to other Apps.

    Incorrect. You can send midi to any app that can accept it. In Xequence you have the ability to send to an Audiobus output, or directly to any other app. The app doesn’t need to be AB3 midi compatible. Just load it in the Audio tab. Also, in the output box on the AB3 midi page, there is now a Virtual Midi output that can send to any destination from the midi page if preferred.

    No getting MIDI from other Apps.

    Incorrect. There is now a Virtual Midi input as well on the midi page. Just put that in the midi source, and whatever you want to send to in the destination. Or, just load in the audio page instead.

    No rerouting.

    I’m not completely sure what you mean by this. But there is any kind of midi routing I can imagine.

    No MIDI through for forwarding.

    Incorrect. This is completely doable with the virtual midi output destination.

    No multiple targets or sources.

    Incorrect. You can load as many target apps as you like into any lane. You can load as many of one source into as many lanes as you like. It has always been thus. You can load Cubasis, Auria Pro, and Xequence all into the same midi output lane if you like, to record into them all simultaneously (if you’re insane, that is).

    In fact, something like Rozeta or Xequence can be a source and a target at the same time. For instance, last evening I had Rozeta feeding Xequence as a destination, then Xequence as a source passing that midi on to KQ Dixie. When I was ready I recorded the inbound Rozeta midi into Xequence, then disabled Rozeta. All while sending the audio out to AUM.

    In AUM, you can freely route and build chains.

    True, but you can also do much of this in Audiobus if you understand it. If you would like to describe a scenario you think cannot be done in AB3 I would be happy to verify whether or not that is the case.

    So, it depends.

    Of course. I’m only describing my current preferred scenario. I find the advantages of all that AB3 has to offer as a host in conjunction with AUM, but weighted toward hosting in AB3 to be compelling. Ymmv. But at least I hope to present more accurate or at least complete information about the abilities of AB3. It really doesn’t concern me how people choose to do their own work. :) B) o:)

  • @SevenSystems said:
    @wim great points there. The one thing why I prefer doing all audio in AUM is the more powerful mixer with sends etc. - but I'm probably not experienced enough with Audiobus to have the last word on it.

    EDIT: That's why I rephrased the topic title a bit now. Open for further discussion and feedback!

    EDIT 2: The office cat is a bit in need of affection right now, first things first! :)

    Respect! The pussycat comes first. I hope you give it delicious food :)

  • How do people set up drums on the receiving side if they want a separate track for each drum? What app do you use for your own samples?

  • wimwim
    edited August 2018

    @johnfromberkeley said:
    How do people set up drums on the receiving side if they want a separate track for each drum? What app do you use for your own samples?

    Not sure I understand the question, but I can answer in relation to Xequence. One of the nice things about Xequence is you can easily have multiple tracks pointing to the same instrument. So, you can have one separate track for each drum if you like to sequence things that way. I usually have one track with the midi notes for kick and snare, then a separate one for hats, and maybe another for percussion. You don’t need to do anything special on the receiving side since it’s just notes coming out of Xequence whether they’re laid out in separate tracks or not.

    For my own samples I’m not really settled on anything. DrumPerfect Pro is ideal for realism when you have a large collection of quality samples for a realistic kit. BM3 is a beast, for drum samples, but I’ve strayed away from it for lots of my own reasons. Elastic Drums is great for imported samples as well, but for some reason I don’t use it all that much.

    So ... the current most used is AudioLayer. But I haven’t done all that much with it yet. I really like that its AUv3. The nimbleness of Xequence, AB3, and AUM working together is really working for me right now.

  • @wim said:

    @tja said:
    No sending of MIDI to other Apps.

    Incorrect. You can send midi to any app that can accept it. In Xequence you have the ability to send to an Audiobus output, or directly to any other app. The app doesn’t need to be AB3 midi compatible. Just load it in the Audio tab. Also, in the output box on the AB3 midi page, there is now a Virtual Midi output that can send to any destination from the midi page if preferred.

    No getting MIDI from other Apps.

    Incorrect. There is now a Virtual Midi input as well on the midi page. Just put that in the midi source, and whatever you want to send to in the destination. Or, just load in the audio page instead.

    No rerouting.

    I’m not completely sure what you mean by this. But there is any kind of midi routing I can imagine.

    No MIDI through for forwarding.

    Incorrect. This is completely doable with the virtual midi output destination.

    No multiple targets or sources.

    Incorrect. You can load as many target apps as you like into any lane. You can load as many of one source into as many lanes as you like. It has always been thus. You can load Cubasis, Auria Pro, and Xequence all into the same midi output lane if you like, to record into them all simultaneously (if you’re insane, that is).

    In fact, something like Rozeta or Xequence can be a source and a target at the same time. For instance, last evening I had Rozeta feeding Xequence as a destination, then Xequence as a source passing that midi on to KQ Dixie. When I was ready I recorded the inbound Rozeta midi into Xequence, then disabled Rozeta. All while sending the audio out to AUM.

    In AUM, you can freely route and build chains.

    True, but you can also do much of this in Audiobus if you understand it. If you would like to describe a scenario you think cannot be done in AB3 I would be happy to verify whether or not that is the case.

    So, it depends.

    Of course. I’m only describing my current preferred scenario. I find the advantages of all that AB3 has to offer as a host in conjunction with AUM, but weighted toward hosting in AB3 to be compelling. Ymmv. But at least I hope to present more accurate or at least complete information about the abilities of AB3. It really doesn’t concern me how people choose to do their own work. :) B) o:)

    There’s one huge gaping hole in my argument. :s

    AUv3 automation. Unless I’m missing something, AB3 doesn’t have a way to map cc’s to AUv3 parameters, does it? If not then AU apps that don’t publish cc’s need to be in AUM.

    Hopefully @Michael has something planned to address this?

  • tjatja
    edited August 2018

    Hello @wim, trying to make it short:

    Of course, all of my above points where right and not incorrect.
    But of course, they do not apply for every situation and every App and esp. they do not apply all together!

    I tried to make that clear by "Can happen, sometimes" and by "So, it depends".

    And esp. I did not write nothing about Xequence, which indeed is not chained by AudioBus, what I greatly love!

    But as I said, there are lots of other Apps, they behave greatly different - most of them just tell you, that MIDI is controlled by AudioBus and you cannot change nothing in their MIDI configuration!

    This will be bad, if you want to send MIDI to multiple Apps, but use the resulting MIDI in addition to the original MIDI and also the MIDI from the first App.
    For example, when you send MIDI to both StepPolyArp and ChordPolyPlay and then use the original MIDI, the one from ChordPolyPlay, the one from StepPolyArp and also send ChordPolyPlay to StepPolyArp!

    This is just one of the many example.

    But yes, you are right in that Xequence is a bright light in regards to this!
    And don't get me wrong, I use AudioBus to a great extent and am not saying that it is less usable than AUM.

    I can do AUM things partly in a DAW, but AB things can only be done in AB ;)
    More clear now?

  • @wim said:
    AUv3 automation. Unless I’m missing something, AB3 doesn’t have a way to map cc’s to AUv3 parameters, does it? If not then AU apps that don’t publish cc’s need to be in AUM.

    Hopefully @Michael has something planned to address this?

    Working on that as we speak =)

  • tjatja
    edited August 2018

    @wim, about your CC automation argument, I don't use automation yet.
    But I tend to use IAA in AudioBus and AU in AUM, when using both together.

  • wimwim
    edited August 2018

    @tja said:
    More clear now?

    Nope. Not even a little. I can’t make sense of a thing you said. But no matter. You and I see things from almost polar opposite personalities. I doubt we ever understand each other, much less agree on the subject. :D

    -peace o:)

  • @Michael said:

    @wim said:
    AUv3 automation. Unless I’m missing something, AB3 doesn’t have a way to map cc’s to AUv3 parameters, does it? If not then AU apps that don’t publish cc’s need to be in AUM.

    Hopefully @Michael has something planned to address this?

    Working on that as we speak =)

    Yay! ‘Cause I’m having more fun with the way AB3 works now than I’ve had with iOS music making than at any time since I started. B)

  • Not sure if this the right thread to ask, but I’m having a recurring problem with the state saving. It’s like the state of Xequence is not saved - when I reopen a session it reopens the last one not the saved one. Not sure what I might be doing wrong or if it’s a bug. Will investigate.

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