For Sample Based Hip Hop Production Which Is Better?: Beatmaker 3 vs Nanstudio 2 vs Cubasis

I've been looking into these 3 IOS DAWs and am wondering which out of the three would be best for hiphop production. I'm kind of leaning more on Nanostudio 2 and Cubasis because Beatmaker 3 has an interface I find annoying. I also considered going back to beatmaker 2 which is one of the app I started with.

Anyone with experience using these three apps please offer your advice because Im stuck and on a limited budget. I mostly want to sample and use synth and instrument sounds. I own other IOS Apps and know I can get more sounds in these DAW's via IAA or Audiobus so that's a plus.

Thank you in advance!

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Comments

  • edited December 2018

    Hi @MarkySo - you might want to check out the BM3 Facebook group as well as most of the posters there are using BM3 to make beats and it’s turning into quite an iOS hip hop community. BM3 seems like such a natural fit with its sampler but obviously the new NS2 has a lot of fans as well. Personally, I’m waiting until NS2 has audio tracks before checking it out as that’s such a key part of my workflow.

  • Well I’d normally say BM3 is the clear choice but if you don’t like it, don’t use it, any of them will get the job done so find a workflow you like.

    NS2 has some big fans but since it doesn’t have audio tracks I haven’t looked too closely.

    One thing I’d add is to try GarageBand, it’s free and actually does a lot.

  • Just to add, I actually make most of my loops in AUM before being them in to BM3.

  • From a pure sampling perspective BM3 still has no real competition on iOS.

    NS2 is quite slow to work with if fast sampling workflow is needed. It is partly slowed down by the need to edit & save the sample before proceeding to record the next sample. Other annoyances is that NS2 'forgets' the bit-depth and destination selection (Library or Project) between each save of a sample. There are no 'slice tools' present, no time-stretching at the moment. But I do feel that NS2 will improve in the future...

    Even though the synth in NS2 is quite capable I still tend to lean towards my trinity of apps (Cubasis, BM3 & Gadget).

    iMPC Pro 2 despite it's 'quirks' is still quite nice to be honest.

  • @Samu said:
    From a pure sampling perspective BM3 still has no real competition on iOS.

    NS2 is quite slow to work with if fast sampling workflow is needed. It is partly slowed down by the need to edit & save the sample before proceeding to record the next sample. Other annoyances is that NS2 'forgets' the bit-depth and destination selection (Library or Project) between each save of a sample. There are no 'slice tools' present, no time-stretching at the moment. But I do feel that NS2 will improve in the future...

    Even though the synth in NS2 is quite capable I still tend to lean towards my trinity of apps (Cubasis, BM3 & Gadget).

    iMPC Pro 2 despite it's 'quirks' is still quite nice to be honest.

    @samu Merry Christmas - iam still getting audio stutter in impc pro2 when trying to record a sequence with the pads Are you?

  • @stormbeats said:

    @samu Merry Christmas - iam still getting audio stutter in impc pro2 when trying to record a sequence with the pads Are you?

    iMPC Pro 2 been pretty 'glitch-free' for me lately. I'm still waiting for the next update to get proper support for multi-channel interfaces as well as input-monitoring when sampling among other 'things'.

    To put it 'nicely' every time I try to get 'serious' with it I realise that my BP goes up and I want to throw the iPad out thru the window, so many things that do not 'click' with the way I roll.

    Some Love it some not so much...

  • @Samu said:

    @stormbeats said:

    @samu Merry Christmas - iam still getting audio stutter in impc pro2 when trying to record a sequence with the pads Are you?

    iMPC Pro 2 been pretty 'glitch-free' for me lately. I'm still waiting for the next update to get proper support for multi-channel interfaces as well as input-monitoring when sampling among other 'things'.

    To put it 'nicely' every time I try to get 'serious' with it I realise that my BP goes up and I want to throw the iPad out thru the window, so many things that do not 'click' with the way I roll.

    Some Love it some not so much...

    I hear that - ok cheers iam still on iOS 11.2.5 so maybe thats the issue

  • edited December 2018

    @MarkySo What do you find annoying about BM3’s UI?

    I’m asking because based on what I’m noticing from forums, there are two very different issues that come up a lot with BM3, and they have a very different solution.

    1) Don’t like the groovebox approach, the pads focused workflow, and/or prefer building songs on a timeline/linear sequencer.

    2) Find navigating the UI unintuitive/cumbersome.

    On (1): it is really a problem with what BM3 is: it’s not about a smooth linear sequencer forcused workflow. Where to go between eg Cubasis and NS2 is a though call, especially because NS2 is a bit of a work in progress (read up on the current features + plans for added features + user feedback).

    On (2): I’ve noticed that TONS of folk find the BM3 UI to have a steep learning curve: imo the expectation should be, BM3 will be confusing and a PITA for a while until it clicks. But from what I’m reading, if it’s the right king of tool for your needs (which it might be since you liked BM2) once you’re past the initial learning curve it should have a great workflow. (I’m personally not good enough with it to experience that, but since I’ve had that in mind, i definitely see the aspects of the UI that make it great to work with once you know it well. (Most of the deep functions are accessible within a few taps from any screen; the sampler in particular makes complex tasks that would normally take a lot of time a breeze once you know it inside out; it’s workflow for sampling from au synths is ridiculously efficient.)

    If your problem is (2), you should seriously consider sticking to BM3 IMO. It’s not the love at first tap type, but it seems to reward invested time.

    If your problem is something else, do say more, I bet it will help folks here make better suggestions!

    Edit: one more thing about (2). It helps to keep in mind that for some types of workflows, the steep learning curve ends up paying off down the line. (So steep learning curve doesn’t always mean bad design.) E.g. Elektron’s top of the line stuff like Octatrack is notorious for its nasty learning curve, but it all pays off with a ridiculously fast workflow once you master the devices.

  • Question re the BM3 workflow. Is it confusing even if you are essentially just going to use it as a sampler/beat slicer that you control from elsewhere?

  • @espiegel123 said:
    Question re the BM3 workflow. Is it confusing even if you are essentially just going to use it as a sampler/beat slicer that you control from elsewhere?

    Not at all. Put it in pad edit view and you are all set. I use it as my main sampler as it has no peers on iOS.

  • edited December 2018

    @espiegel123 I don’t think so, but the sampler has so much power that the sample page does contain a LOT of info. So there’s a learning curve there too. But it’s not the confused until I’m not type curve (like the app as a whole can feel), more like “hmmmmmmm, oh there it is” until you just know.

    To minimize the head scratching, even just for the sampler it’s worth reading the manual and/or watching tutorials too imo.

  • @Samu said:
    From a pure sampling perspective BM3 still has no real competition on iOS.

    NS2 is quite slow to work with if fast sampling workflow is needed. It is partly slowed down by the need to edit & save the sample before proceeding to record the next sample. Other annoyances is that NS2 'forgets' the bit-depth and destination selection (Library or Project) between each save of a sample. There are no 'slice tools' present, no time-stretching at the moment. But I do feel that NS2 will improve in the future...

    Even though the synth in NS2 is quite capable I still tend to lean towards my trinity of apps (Cubasis, BM3 & Gadget).

    iMPC Pro 2 despite it's 'quirks' is still quite nice to be honest.

    I see, thank you so much. I guess with that considered NS2 is off the table.

    I'll look into Impc pro 2 as I have the first one but didn't like it much due to the way it made the samples look and it being glitchy and weird to sample with imo. Maybe it improved with updates but I didn't like it and it seemed to use up a lot of ram for some reason. Impc Pro 2 I hear is way better and the UI seems pretty nice and easy to work with unlike BM3 which is a power house but the UI is horrible.

    What about Cubasis for sampling? Is that a good option and if so how are the software instruments in that as well. Waves also I hear can be used on cubasis so that has me considering it.

    @Samu said:

    @stormbeats said:

    @samu Merry Christmas - iam still getting audio stutter in impc pro2 when trying to record a sequence with the pads Are you?

    iMPC Pro 2 been pretty 'glitch-free' for me lately. I'm still waiting for the next update to get proper support for multi-channel interfaces as well as input-monitoring when sampling among other 'things'.

    To put it 'nicely' every time I try to get 'serious' with it I realise that my BP goes up and I want to throw the iPad out thru the window, so many things that do not 'click' with the way I roll.

    Some Love it some not so much...

    What do you mean by BP? Do you mean Battery?

  • @MarkySo said:

    I'll look into Impc pro 2 as I have the first one but didn't like it much due to the way it made the samples look and it being glitchy and weird to sample with imo.

    There's honestly not much difference between iMPC Pro 1 & 2.
    iMPC Pro 2 has 'Files.app' support making file-exchange a bit smoother without having to use AudioCopy.app.

    BM3 which is a power house but the UI is horrible.

    One kinda gets used to it. I spend most time in the sample-editor.
    Do feed what you feel is 'horrible' to the Intua forum :)

    What about Cubasis for sampling?

    Depends on how 'deep' sampling one needs. If it's just adding audio to the time-line with tuning/stretching it works.
    Creating playable 'sampler instruments' is a bit of a chore. But it can be done. Create a 'mini sampler' instrument and drag the samples from the media bay to different keys and save the instrument.

    Is that a good option and if so how are the software instruments in that as well.

    The Cubasis Micrologue is quite flexible and the AUv3 support is among the best on iOS so I do feel it's well covered in that department.

    Waves also I hear can be used on cubasis so that has me considering it.

    Yes, 3 IAP wave's Plug-ins are available.

    What do you mean by BP? Do you mean Battery?

    BP as in 'Blood Pressure', you know when things start to 'boil' in the body :D

    I've been spending some time with NS2 and it is well worth to consider, the time-line sequencer is top-notch.
    No Audio-Track support yet but that will come 'next year' and it will be an IAP from what I know.

    I have not tried Stage Light yet and I do plan to keep my app-o-holism to a minimum and not get every new app that pops up :)

    Current Appstore-credit balance is $150 Yay for Santa :D

  • edited December 2018

    @Samu said:

    @MarkySo said:

    I'll look into Impc pro 2 as I have the first one but didn't like it much due to the way it made the samples look and it being glitchy and weird to sample with imo.

    There's honestly not much difference between iMPC Pro 1 & 2.
    iMPC Pro 2 has 'Files.app' support making file-exchange a bit smoother without having to use AudioCopy.app.

    BM3 which is a power house but the UI is horrible.

    One kinda gets used to it. I spend most time in the sample-editor.
    Do feed what you feel is 'horrible' to the Intua forum :)

    What about Cubasis for sampling?

    Depends on how 'deep' sampling one needs. If it's just adding audio to the time-line with tuning/stretching it works.
    Creating playable 'sampler instruments' is a bit of a chore. But it can be done. Create a 'mini sampler' instrument and drag the samples from the media bay to different keys and save the instrument.

    Is that a good option and if so how are the software instruments in that as well.

    The Cubasis Micrologue is quite flexible and the AUv3 support is among the best on iOS so I do feel it's well covered in that department.

    Waves also I hear can be used on cubasis so that has me considering it.

    Yes, 3 IAP wave's Plug-ins are available.

    What do you mean by BP? Do you mean Battery?

    BP as in 'Blood Pressure', you know when things start to 'boil' in the body :D

    I've been spending some time with NS2 and it is well worth to consider, the time-line sequencer is top-notch.
    No Audio-Track support yet but that will come 'next year' and it will be an IAP from what I know.

    I have not tried Stage Light yet and I do plan to keep my app-o-holism to a minimum and not get every new app that pops up :)

    Current Appstore-credit balance is $150 Yay for Santa :D

    @Samu if possible can you let me know what iOS version your on Iam hoping if I update from 11.2.5 it may help with the glitchy audio stutter I get when recording a sequence with the pads in impc pro2 - impc pro1 is ok but 2 i literally cannot use

  • @MarkySo The UI in BM3 is hard to learn, but that really doesn’t mean it’s horrible. IMO It is designed for super fast access to tons of deep features once users master it. Given what you’re saying about bm2 and now impc I honestly suspect your best bet might be to put more time and energy into learning BM3.

  • Try Stagelight, especially if you feel comfortable with a drum machine type approach to a DAW. Tone of sounds onboard and Sampleverse is super flexible .!

  • edited December 2018

    Sure wish we had an AU Sampler with timestretching and tempo adjustment etc. sigh, Audiolayer... ...sigh

    PS. Haven't kept on Audiolayer, but I assume still no timestretch / tempo adjust etc?

  • @stormbeats said:

    @Samu if possible can you let me know what iOS version your on Iam hoping if I update from 11.2.5 it may help with the glitchy audio stutter I get when recording a sequence with the pads in impc pro2 - impc pro1 is ok but 2 i literally cannot use

    Currently I'm on an iPad Air 2, iOS12.1.1.

    Only thing I've noticed is that some games can feel a bit laggy until the iPad 'throttles up' and after that it's smooth sailing.(iOS12.1.3 should be out soon and fix some iPad Pro related issues).

    The way I see it is that if one wants to use cutting edge features such as AUv3, Files.app it's better to stay as up-to-date as possible since older iOS version will never get the 'bug fixes'.

  • edited December 2018

    @samu @Retronyms i just worked out the prob - if i set the swing slider to any value before recording the audio stutters when recording - if i leave the slider at default 50% then record and set my swing slider after, it records ok That is crazy silly they made it this way Retronyms fix this as soon as please!!!!! Samu can you check this too if you get a chance

  • @samu try recording with swing slide at 70-75 and 1/16 note its impossible

  • @ohwell said:
    @MarkySo What do you find annoying about BM3’s UI?

    I’m asking because based on what I’m noticing from forums, there are two very different issues that come up a lot with BM3, and they have a very different solution.

    1) Don’t like the groovebox approach, the pads focused workflow, and/or prefer building songs on a timeline/linear sequencer.

    2) Find navigating the UI unintuitive/cumbersome.

    On (1): it is really a problem with what BM3 is: it’s not about a smooth linear sequencer forcused workflow. Where to go between eg Cubasis and NS2 is a though call, especially because NS2 is a bit of a work in progress (read up on the current features + plans for added features + user feedback).

    On (2): I’ve noticed that TONS of folk find the BM3 UI to have a steep learning curve: imo the expectation should be, BM3 will be confusing and a PITA for a while until it clicks. But from what I’m reading, if it’s the right king of tool for your needs (which it might be since you liked BM2) once you’re past the initial learning curve it should have a great workflow. (I’m personally not good enough with it to experience that, but since I’ve had that in mind, i definitely see the aspects of the UI that make it great to work with once you know it well. (Most of the deep functions are accessible within a few taps from any screen; the sampler in particular makes complex tasks that would normally take a lot of time a breeze once you know it inside out; it’s workflow for sampling from au synths is ridiculously efficient.)

    If your problem is (2), you should seriously consider sticking to BM3 IMO. It’s not the love at first tap type, but it seems to reward invested time.

    If your problem is something else, do say more, I bet it will help folks here make better suggestions!

    Edit: one more thing about (2). It helps to keep in mind that for some types of workflows, the steep learning curve ends up paying off down the line. (So steep learning curve doesn’t always mean bad design.) E.g. Elektron’s top of the line stuff like Octatrack is notorious for its nasty learning curve, but it all pays off with a ridiculously fast workflow once you master the devices.

    Both 1 and 2 to be honest but especially 1. I loved the way BM2 worked since it was more straight forward and more a smooth linear work flow as you put it. With BM3 the patterns, scenes and layout seems super annoying and like you have to push extra buttons to do the simplest things.

    Bm3 does seem to have a great sampler but aside from that it seems like too much of an unnecessary learning curve for me at this time. It's not too intuitive and I will have to spend a whole lot of time setting things up when I just wanna pick instruments, drum sounds, chop samples and record ideals. I don't like setting things up with patterns and scenes as that's just not my type of work flow.

    @espiegel123 said:
    Question re the BM3 workflow. Is it confusing even if you are essentially just going to use it as a sampler/beat slicer that you control from elsewhere?

    Interesting but what app would you control it from/Import the samples into after you chop them up?

  • @MarkySo : I wouldcapture the audio in another app (AUM or Auria Pro) which is how I often use Gadget.

    My other use would be beat slicing and exporting to BeatHawk and GarageBand since BM3 can export slice markers, loop markers and tempo info.

  • @AudioGus said:
    Sure wish we had an AU Sampler with timestretching and tempo adjustment etc. sigh, Audiolayer... ...sigh

    PS. Haven't kept on Audiolayer, but I assume still no timestretch / tempo adjust etc?

    Nope. We will see if @VirSyn comes back to it. It's a decent enough sample player/rompler (I use it daily as such), but I guess not what the throngs were hoping for.

  • edited December 2018

    @lukesleepwalker said:

    @AudioGus said:
    Sure wish we had an AU Sampler with timestretching and tempo adjustment etc. sigh, Audiolayer... ...sigh

    PS. Haven't kept on Audiolayer, but I assume still no timestretch / tempo adjust etc?

    Nope. We will see if @VirSyn comes back to it. It's a decent enough sample player/rompler (I use it daily as such), but I guess not what the throngs were hoping for.

    I think once NS2 has audio tracks (that I hope/pray has pitchshift/timestretch and simple tape style speed adjust) that I and many of the throng shall be all sorted.

  • @AudioGus said:

    @lukesleepwalker said:

    @AudioGus said:
    Sure wish we had an AU Sampler with timestretching and tempo adjustment etc. sigh, Audiolayer... ...sigh

    PS. Haven't kept on Audiolayer, but I assume still no timestretch / tempo adjust etc?

    Nope. We will see if @VirSyn comes back to it. It's a decent enough sample player/rompler (I use it daily as such), but I guess not what the throngs were hoping for.

    I think once NS2 has audio tracks (that I hope/pray has pitchshift/timestretch and simple tape style speed adjust) that I and many of the throng shall be all sorted.

    Really? I'm still holding out for an AUv3 sampler. But great that NS2 is working for you!

  • @lukesleepwalker said:

    @AudioGus said:

    @lukesleepwalker said:

    @AudioGus said:
    Sure wish we had an AU Sampler with timestretching and tempo adjustment etc. sigh, Audiolayer... ...sigh

    PS. Haven't kept on Audiolayer, but I assume still no timestretch / tempo adjust etc?

    Nope. We will see if @VirSyn comes back to it. It's a decent enough sample player/rompler (I use it daily as such), but I guess not what the throngs were hoping for.

    I think once NS2 has audio tracks (that I hope/pray has pitchshift/timestretch and simple tape style speed adjust) that I and many of the throng shall be all sorted.

    Really? I'm still holding out for an AUv3 sampler. But great that NS2 is working for you!

    Yah, I don’t really have hardcore sampler needs so much as fairly rudimentary ‘sound range playback’ with perks. The BM3 sampler is about 90% overkill for me.

  • Depends on the type of hip hop. If you’re into low rider west coast or gfunk, Dre, snoopish, Eminem Synth heavy hip hop I imagine NS2 would be great. It’s a beautiful app and very much worth the $30 if you like linear DAWs and pretty UI.

    That said I’d recommend BM3 or Stagelight for hip hop over NS2. BM3 is significantly better equipped for the task. In fact, for me, don’t even know if there’s a better tool for it outside of Ableton or MpC Live.

  • edited December 2018

    My answer is this:
    Spend time
    With the BM3 manual, it will help you to find everything and develop a muscle memory of the app. BM3 is untouchable for sampling on ios and it also has tremendous power when comparing to hardware such as mpclive/x. I agree it is a little hard to navigate at first...but it pays off in the end!

    Cubasis, is a negative for sampling in my book...at least it doesnt ever cross my mind as being good here at all...

    NS2 is legit I can’t say alot about it other than its design includes sampling but it is not based on sampling...its a beast though! I havent had much time to give it a real spin, but I don’t think there’s a chop feature at all...at least I haven’t found it yet in the manual.

    Impcpro1 or 2: i want to like this app, because I own an mpclive...but i just cant recommend this app yet. It would be great if it was an Audio Unit and you could pull it up in NS2! But so far this isnt happening...and i really doubt it will, as Retronyms usually distance themselves from compatibility and bugfixes.

    Imaschine: I like this, but its limited limited limited, unless you own an actual maschine!

    Beathawk: this is an audio unit! It has amazing sound quality, and very good libraries. The chop on here will have to be old school copy pad and individually edit each...but hey the mileage here might be decent if that dont bother you.

    Samplist: if this get AU might be a solution.

    Gadget: closed system, but you can get the job done if you need to with bilboa! Fully expanded Gadget has over 8000 patches.

    Stagelight: Ive still gotta dive deeper in this ugly thing, but sampleverse seems kinda powerful.

    Hopefully this is helpful

  • @AudioGus said:
    Sure wish we had an AU Sampler with timestretching and tempo adjustment etc. sigh, Audiolayer... ...sigh

    PS. Haven't kept on Audiolayer, but I assume still no timestretch / tempo adjust etc?

    I wish they would just take the sampler and make it au as a separate app. My dreams would come true.

  • edited December 2018

    @stormywaterz said:

    @AudioGus said:
    Sure wish we had an AU Sampler with timestretching and tempo adjustment etc. sigh, Audiolayer... ...sigh

    PS. Haven't kept on Audiolayer, but I assume still no timestretch / tempo adjust etc?

    I wish they would just take the sampler and make it au as a separate app. My dreams would come true.

    Well, the template is there for someone to (cough) take inspiration from.

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