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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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AudioVeek Piano Roll MIDI sequencer AU

Hey folks!

There’s been talk lately about having a proper piano roll sequencer for AU hosts such as AUM, apeMatrix etc. A piano roll would upgrade these modular mixers to allow for a fully-fleged DAW-like experience.

For the past few months I’ve been working on such a beast, and I’ve come sufficiently close to release to feel comfortable announcing this on the forum, and asking around for what you all would expect from such a plugin.

I'm aiming to release this soon. Beta testing should start in a week or two.

This piano roll aims to achieve many things:

  • Editing experience that mimics NS2 and Xequence, which I really enjoyed the efficiency of
  • State saving as AU presets, so midi sequences are automatically saved and loaded
  • Fully scalable UI, universal app
  • Loop record, unlimited bars, as well as manual export and import
  • Clip launching, delayed triggers, quantised to various beats
  • Fully fledged MIDI velocity and aftertouch editor
  • Automation editor that outputting MIDI CC messages
  • Keys and scales support, with overlays
  • …some more surprise stuff :)

After the initial launch, I’m going to continue work on a multi track and scenes launcher AU, which is what you’d expect: multiple clips on multiple tracks, each with its own piano roll and sequence.

So here’s where you come in. What features do you expect to have?



  • Finally!!!!!!

  • This! Nicely done, really looking forward to this.

    Will this be able to handle different time signatures? Triplets?

  • Absolutely, I already baked in support for any kind of time signature (including custom beat duration, so you're not limited to N/4 time signatures). It defaults to the host settings, which can be overridden.

  • Is this just intended for notes, being a piano roll.....CC's ? And in particular NRPN's and 14 bit cc's ?

  • @blueveek The list that you posted is plenty good enough for me - especially that automation editor. Really looking forward to this!

  • Bless you.

  • tempo ramps and the ability to change a time signature during a song would definitely put it over the edge.

  • edited February 2019

    • Is there an overview of all tracks and their data? Or is there a piano roll in each channel for each instrument?

    • Is there scale "fold"?

    • Can you assign colors to keep track of the various instruments?

    • Loop overdub recording?

  • You'll be able to edit automation for any CC messages, in an overlay interface so you can see the midi notes at the same time you define the automation. The CC messages are outputted from the AU, and then it's your job to route them to the proper parameters (AUM etc. makes that simple).

    I'm still debating whether or not this should make it for initial release. If it doesn't (want to release this asap), it'll come in a near future update.

  • This is a great one. I have the code for it, just prioritising which features to polish for the initial release now. The original intended functionality was to allow multiple playheads, similar to Fugue Machine.

  • edited February 2019
    1. Yes, there's ways of overlaying multiple clips, similarly to how FL studio works on desktop. This will be part of the initial launch. I'll release a multi-track editor AU, with multiple clips and a piano roll for each (classic DAW experience) later. Along the ride there's also going to be another similar AU, also with multiple clips but Ableton-style. You'll bee able to use them interchangeably.
    2. Scale "fold" isn't there yet, but there's highlights for rows in scale. So you can go outside of a predefined scale if you want to, but there's visual guides that help you stick to the proper rows.
    3. I like the colours idea, I'll add it.
  • Great work! Really looking forward to this...

  • edited February 2019

    Wow! With your description so far this looks like an instabuy for me.

    As you mentioned “same experience that mimics NS2 and Xequence” I have a question about recording from a MIDI keyboard and CCs passthough. Xequence does a very good job at it. However, I bought NS2 hoping to be able to record from my MIDI Keyboards but it turned to be a useless sequencer for me since it does not support Sustain Pedal (CC64) and Modwheel (CC1). Actually, it does support those CCs, but it doesn’t pass them through to the hosted AU and there’s no way to properly map them, so I can’t use any piano app at all (it’s like driving a car without pedals) or modulate some synths from my MIDI keyboard.

    I don’t know how you are managing CC recording and pass through -and specifically Sustain Pedal, Modwheel, Pitch Bend, etc- since they are standard parameters for anyone who actually play keys and uses the piano roll only for MIDI editing and not just for manually drawing notes.

    So the question would be: if I record MIDI using my MIDI keyboard, will your app properly record and then pass all that MIDI data (and specifically Sustain Pedal, Modwheel, Pitch Bend, etc) to the target app when playing back the MIDI clip?


  • Thanks!

    I'm recording everything that comes in, and passing out everything as well. All CC data should be post-editable as well, in a unified automation editor that handles velocity, aftertouch as well as any other CC message. Now, I don't have a means of properly testing your specific scenario, but the fact that my code doesn't discriminate based on which CC message comes in/ goes out, should mean that it'll work properly. If it doesn't, it's definitely going to be a top-priority fix.

  • oh very nice.... much needed. let me know if i can help beta test for you

  • How about some simple reverse and invert buttons for clips or selected notes?

    One thing I would love, but haven’t seen on iOS yet in any of my apps, is the ability to arbitrarily scale a group of notes. You select some notes and a box widget appears around them. You can drag the edges of the box around to scale in all directions (basically independent X and Y, with negative scaling allowed). Maybe have an option to scale note lengths or preserve them. If the box could be a 2d lattice with a setting to change the number of divisions in X and Y, that would be amazing.

  • OK cool, will the automation overlay allow editing of NRPN's and 14 bit CC's ? These work like normal CC's but in if you try and edit them using a regular CC editor the timing of the pairs gets all messed up.

  • @blueveek seems to be a good job there, and glad to see Xequence as a kind of "reference" for other developers :) I would have released Xequence's Pianoroll editor as an AU myself shortly anyway, but maybe the priorities will get shifted a bit if this keeps its promises :)

  • Maybe if you could copy from one and paste to the other? Never tried to edit this type of CC data myself, but maybe that could work. What do you think?

  • Very nice!

    A multi take midi recording feature.....

    1. Reverse and invert sounds like a great idea, that's simple to implement. I'll add it for the initial release
    2. Time remapping (scaling groups of notes horizontally, either preserving duration or not), is already implemented! It was supposed to be a surprise feature, heh.

  • Probably not, you want different values in the CC's making up the pairs....also the timing would be the same, the second CC needs to come immediately after the first.....

    Because the CC editors filter the editing to 1 CC at a time you cannot move the pairs together.....and even if you could, moving the individual CC's would be very tricky and easy to mess up. It needs a CC editor that recognises both NRPN's and Hi-Res CC's and to display them as a single entity in the editor.

  • I know what you mean, and yeah you'd need explicit support for this from the editor. Combining two 7-bit numbers into one is not just editing two values, it's having to edit a single 14-bit value.

    No support for this yet for the initial launch, if there's more demand from other people I'll consider adding that in an update. It doesn't seem too complicated to implement, but priorities priorities :)

  • Yeah, that totally makes sense. I read @blueveek reply and it sounds pretty tough to get it just right.

  • Ok one thing - will this export?

  • Yes I understand .. Will MORE DEMAND from a single user do it, I can ask multiple times more if that would help :D

  • Looks like this will be a quick and simple solution for quick arranging, which is why so many of us prefer AUM to a daw, it'll be great for the kinda jam sessions that need to be sequences and layed out quickly on the fly... Almost like a reverse spa of sorts

  • This looks very promising! Can you describe what you mean by clip launching? I think it'd be cool to have an arp mode so that we could play clips manually from a keyboard rather than exclusively launch locked to the transport/quanta. But that could be a different app, I suppose?

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