Inter App Standards

One of my biggest pet peeves is that not all interapp audio synths or sound modules are easy to record with via midi.
Some open up as an instrument in a DAW, while others have to be opened as an input on an audio channel to show up, like Korg Module, Roland Sound Canvas and Geoshred.

I'm starting to think everything should just be an audio unit and function like a VST. Or....can't we just have VSTs? Would it be that difficult? it's also weird for me that 3rd party apps all exist outside of the DAW instead of inside the DAW, like VSTs do.

It also seems like, even though Apple has the only platform worth writing music making apps for, that they would cater to this slice of users a bit more, rather than think of it as a novelty group of users that don't seem to matter to them that much....yet. I'm thinking as this group grows and more people come on board, Apple might realize we might eventually make up a substantial part of the overall IOS users community, but for now it seems like we are an afterthought.

I feel sorry for the developers that have to completely rewrite their code at times when Apple comes out with a new version of their operating system. So none of these things are going to stop me...I'll always find a work around, but sometimes I spend an hour or more on a workaround when I could be making music. That's the most frustrating part for me.

Comments

  • edited October 4

    Apple is generally concerned with base technology and leaves the bloody details to 3rd parties. They earned their reputation in pro-audio by a company named Digidesign in the late 80s.
    When they switched to the Intel platform, they aquired Logic and snipped off Garageband to complete their portfolio - exploiting 3rd party efforts to their own advantage.
    Early IOS had a basic IAA communication path, but few apps used it.
    The thing only started to take off with Audiobus, which was much appreciated to open up a way to DAW-like results, but without having a 'classic' DAW involved.
    Aa usual: again it was a 3rd party product that opened the doors.

    Only after that Apple came out with Audio Units for IOS. Which imho is more a side effect of unifying their developement environment, but not targeted at any particular solution.
    The (economic) relevance of audio is very small for Apple, but they shurely appreciate it's 'coolness factor' in marketing.

    I'm not exactly amused about Apple's policy in recent years, but they ARE an extremely smart company. The good boys released a ton of research results into the public as open source, but beware if you happen to pick out some goodies for the real next 'game changer'.
    The lawyers will remind you politely that ALL basic technology is patented by Apple. ;)

    Though not directly related to the topic it may give you an impression about how Apple 'ticks inside', but that's of course jmho.

    While I'm a sucker for smart timeline editing, I'm not a DAW fan of the Cubase style at all.
    My hope (when starting in IOS) was that a different paradigm would evolve from this kind of new system.
    Those recent desktop fake approaches are rather disappointing...

  • With Apple introducing new "standards" faster than the majority of developers can follow, I can hardly imagine a time that all apps support one standard and work well together.
    Not even all developers share the same opinion - some will spend quality time fixing what has been available for a while (take IAA as an example), while others will readily hop on new standards.
    That naturally leads to a highly inconsistent app world in terms of interoperability.
    If more developers joined forces, they could design an open-source de-facto standard for iOS, but they might as well have endless discussions about what to include and how to do it.
    We have seen @Michael let a new standard become reality wih Audiobus.

    VST is owned by Steinberg and I doubt that everyone would agree to implement a proprietary standard to begin with, apart from the fact that the SDK is not available for iOS.

  • @rs2000 said:
    With Apple introducing new "standards" faster than the majority of developers can follow, I can hardly imagine a time that all apps support one standard and work well together.
    Not even all developers share the same opinion - some will spend quality time fixing what has been available for a while (take IAA as an example), while others will readily hop on new standards.
    That naturally leads to a highly inconsistent app world in terms of interoperability.
    If more developers joined forces, they could design an open-source de-facto standard for iOS, but they might as well have endless discussions about what to include and how to do it.
    We have seen @Michael let a new standard become reality wih Audiobus.

    VST is owned by Steinberg and I doubt that everyone would agree to implement a proprietary standard to begin with, apart from the fact that the SDK is not available for iOS.

    Steinberg is actually owned by Yamaha since 2005 who I believe either tried to acquire Korg at one point but Korg bought their company back, I can't remember the specifics. It's too bad what happens when business gets too big and becomes corporate. They often become these giant monsters with a mob mentality that has no individual conscious and could no longer care less about the common man/woman.

  • IAA and AU apps suffer a similar fate, as Apple creates these standards but lends very little insight, information and support to the developers. Here’s an example of how IAA Generator instruments are handled in Cubasis:
    Cubasis and IAA Generators
    Some IAAs don't fully follow the IAA spec as they were designed specifically for AudioBus but since AB joined the IAA protocol they will work as IAA Generators. Unlike other IAA Host, Cubasis handles IAA Generators differently than IAA Instruments. For IAA Generators in Cubasis:
    1) create an audio track
    2) click on routing
    3) click on mono input
    4) change it to "inter-app"
    5) choose your IAA Generator from this list (If your IAA Generator does not load, you'll need to start the IAA Generator app first then select from Cubasis)
    6) create a new MIDI track
    7) click on routing
    8) point it to your instrument
    9) also set the MIDI track instrument to no instrument
    (Otherwise you will hear both the Cubasis piano and your IAA)

  • @Telefunky said:
    Early IOS had a basic IAA communication path, but few apps used it.
    The thing only started to take off with Audiobus, which was much appreciated to open up a way to DAW-like results, but without having a 'classic' DAW involved.
    Aa usual: again it was a 3rd party product that opened the doors.

    Only after that Apple came out with Audio Units for IOS. Which imho is more a side effect of unifying their developement environment, but not targeted at any particular solution.
    The (economic) relevance of audio is very small for Apple, but they shurely appreciate it's 'coolness factor' in marketing.

    Actually, Audiobus came before IAA, and used their own technology (mach ports?). Then came a port of JACK Audio Connection Kit (which had been standard stuff on Linux systems for long). Then Apple came up with their own system (IAA) and closed the "loopholes" that Audiobus and JACK used. It lead to Audiobus switching over to IAA, and the JACK port died. Long after this, Audio Unit v3 came (for iOS and macOS).

  • @j_liljedahl said:

    @Telefunky said:
    Early IOS had a basic IAA communication path, but few apps used it.
    The thing only started to take off with Audiobus, which was much appreciated to open up a way to DAW-like results, but without having a 'classic' DAW involved.
    Aa usual: again it was a 3rd party product that opened the doors.

    Only after that Apple came out with Audio Units for IOS. Which imho is more a side effect of unifying their developement environment, but not targeted at any particular solution.
    The (economic) relevance of audio is very small for Apple, but they shurely appreciate it's 'coolness factor' in marketing.

    Actually, Audiobus came before IAA, and used their own technology (mach ports?). Then came a port of JACK Audio Connection Kit (which had been standard stuff on Linux systems for long). Then Apple came up with their own system (IAA) and closed the "loopholes" that Audiobus and JACK used. It lead to Audiobus switching over to IAA, and the JACK port died. Long after this, Audio Unit v3 came (for iOS and macOS).

    This sounds right. I remember how audio flowing between two apps seemed like a miracle. Audiobus made it happen and as usual Apple ‘sorted’ it out.

  • edited October 5

    thanks @j_liljedahl for correcting my statement about the early phase of Audiobus.
    (which even more emphasizes the 'Apple mode of operation')
    In fact my very 1st thought on Audiobus was something like: why didn't Apple provide this service right from the beginning ?

    ps: my Apple experience reaches back to the original beige Mac Plus. Developement rules and guidelines have changed a lot over time. Before Y2K they were quite reliable and very concerned about developers.
    Maybe it's due to (current) rapid changes in hardware and competition that things are (or rather have to be) rushed out without caring too much on previous systems.
    I still consider them the 'better' option on todays market. o:)

  • edited October 5

    Despite the painful journey. We now how have AUv3 which gets the job done.

    People new to iOS production should have a better experience, Especially once a new generation of drum AUv3 developers starts to flow.

  • @bedheadproducer Dude I completely feel your pain! I just got through, bitching, raging and finally learning about what others have done to survive the headaches of midi related to IAA.

    As it turned out sometimes app synth developers don't support midi channels and I was surprised to learn I was the proud owner of two apps with this sort of laziness in app development. The fact that there was no midi channel support in one of my apps, crashed an entire live set. At the time I had no idea that was the source of my issue but after more trouble shooting (I was working on this late last night), that's what I have discovered

    So to me the one standard that I believe EVERY synth app developer needs to have in their next dream synth is make sure it is either Auv3 or if it is IAA it MUST have midi channel support, in and out. Period.

  • as long as IAA have midi in/out plus a switch to host button I don't mind them too much.

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