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.

iPad 4 or iPad AiR?

Here's the situation:

I used to own an iPad 4 64gb that i'd scored for a song ( $ 400). I sold it shortly before the AiR's came out (for $ 100 more than I paid) expecting a RAM bump to 2 gigs, and obviously that did not happen, so I've been on the fence about the iPad 4 again, or the iPad AiR. In the meantime it was time for a phone upgrade, so I got the iPhone 5s, which has been great, but the screen too small for some serious work. After reading countless forums complaining about the RAM demands of the 64 bit processor i'm still debating what to do. I'm interesting in hearing from users who have used both the 4 and the AiR for serious use with Audiobus and interapp audio, and how they compare in terms of performance and RAM usage.

So far I've broken down the pros and cons of each:

iPad 4


  1. robust and more durable design with double pane glass
  2. 1 GB RAM running on 32 bit (less likely to overload and crash?)
  3. still decent performing processor
  4. cheaper


  1. heavier and more cumbersome to hold (more an issue with reading and web browsing)
  2. a 32 bit processor with last year's technology
  3. unknown performance with audiobus 2 and heavier interapp audio use.

iPad Air


  1. Latest technology (64 bit)
  2. Between 40-70% more cpu power (how many more simultaneous pro apps and better latency?)
  3. lighter and thinner (easier to hold)


  1. Less durable construction with single pane glass (that feels spongy to the touch)
  2. More crash prone, 1GB RAM being stretched to the limit on 64-bit architecture
  3. More expensive
  4. Could be the next iPad 3 that is quickly replaced by a more powerful unit with 2GB or more RAM?

So given this information, what are your thoughts on the two units, and could you briefly discuss your experiences mainly with the AiR and how it has compared to the 4 since you upgraded.

I want to use 2 or 3 of the more hungry instruments at a time to feed either beatmaker 2 or Auria and use effects slots as well with apps like tornado, and am interested in exploring interapp audio a bit as well. I'm a Cubase user on the PC, thinking about sketching ideas in Cubasis and opening the projects on my DAW.

I was just getting into the whole iOS music thing when I sold my previous iPad, and I've sort of lost my bearings!

Thanks for the help!



  • I upgraded from a 4 to an Air and I don't regret it at all. So much easier to hold, faster, no brainer for me. I never really max out my CPU when I'm writing, so I'm afraid I'm not the best person to ask how much more you can run before it falls over. I use Auria, Nave, DM1, some Fabfilter plugs, and Jam XT together all the time with no issues though, provided I kill all other apps first of course.

  • If you want to use multiple simultaneous apps then you'll want the fastest device available, which at the moment is the Air.

    I don't see it going the same way as the iPad 3. Even if Apple does release an iPad "Pro" in a few months time (which is pure speculation at this point) it won't replace the Air, they'll run side by side. So for the moment the Air is your best option.

  • I don't really think the Air is more crash prone at all. I haven't had such problems with mine.

  • Glass feels spongy to the touch???? Possible you are being a little heavy handed ?

  • edited January 2014

    The "glass" was the only thing I disliked after purchasing the Air. But it's a matter of habit. This is the price for the low weight which is a big advantage over iPad 4.

  • good question, I was asking myself the same thing. Not for now because I'm broke at the moment, but maybe for spring time.

    Is 1 GB RAM enough for the iPad5? I don't know exactly. I think it's sufficient, but not very comfortable. I would need to make a test first.

    Yeah, nothing constructive from my side, maybe some other users with both iPads can comment?

  • I have the mini retina, which has nearly the same spec and have not had any ram or crash issues. Running tabletop the difference in power is amazing. I can run a full screen of modules any the CPU is not even half. I think that there has been some scaremongering about this issue...

  • Mini retina.

  • i've got a 4 and now a mini retina. no noticeable performance difference for me personally. i'd vote ipad4 if you're planning on upgrading in the next year to 18 months. if not get an Air or mini retina.

    there isnt that much of a difference in hardware really. the 64bit ARM in the a7 is faster but having 64bit gains you almost nothing as it's still working 1 gig of ram. the ram is a bit faster in the Air now that its ddr3, but its also off the soc if i remember correctly.

    i'd rather see the new processors go up towards 2.0, rather than see 2 or 3 gigs of ram in the next gen. with 'Bus 2 fast approaching even more so :)

  • A little off topic. When using Auria does anyone still experience a GUI lag on the Air? I love Auria but the lag bugs me! I'm on a 128 gig Ipad 4.

  • With my iPad air I can only get to 50% processor usage before the ram maxes out so this is the Achilles heel for sure.

    But it's a lot lighter and has a bit more zip than the 4, and its a bit prettier.

  • edited January 2014

    ^ try Auria you can get that CPU way over 50% in no time ;)

  • So what are you saying Sideways? Can you run the processor to 80% without the RAM maxing out and causing problems?

  • Sure, I do it when running the Pro-L limiter at 4x oversampling.

  • It's more about what apps you are trying to run and what you are trying to do.
    The CPU and ram usage are not directly linked.

  • ok, thanks.

  • edited January 2014

    Yeah, if I intentionally try to max out the CPU for that purpose I can do before the ram in Auria but in my usage I find the ram always gives out when the CPU is around 50%+.

    This is using Audiobus connecting bm2 into Auria, and bm2 controlling Auria's IAA instruments via midi and then using its effects.

    Absolutely batters the ram in no time.

    CPU still stays strong which is a damn shame as Auria could have had a decent workable and powerful sequencer setup otherwise this gen for sure with more ram.

    I should have been more specific of how I use it.

    Maybe processing a lot of audio it maybe different.

    Auria with no tracks running pro-L 4 x oversampling and 24bits of dither CPU is at 29%, without pro-L CPU drops to zero.

  • edited January 2014

    thank you DaveMagoo, your messages clearly describe how the iPad5 performs for a power user, which was the original question.

    Power users need more RAM, so an iPad5 purchase is not the best thing they can do. Of course it's the best device they can get, but a cheaper iPad4 is probably a better choice until the next generation of iPads.

  • Just displaying Wow filter in Auria chomps 100mb of ram according to Auria's ram usage display its insane.

    When I close it to the background, the ram display in Auria goes back up by 100mb.

    As soon as the next ipad comes out with more ram this ipad air is gone.

  • how long till the next generation arrives?

  • Thanks DaveMagoo! That's exactly the kind of response I was seeking, puts things into perspective. For my purposes I might better off getting an ipad 4 64 wifi cell for $ 500 (got a line on an open box model), and using that for now until the next ipad with more ram hits the street. It bothers me that they didn't upgrade the ram, especially when introducing 64 bit. All a part of planned obsolescence I guess. And here I was thinking it was a smart move selling my previous ipad 4 prior to the release of the air!

  • @Sebastian said:

    Mini retina.

    Does the mini retina use less ram due to the smaller screen or is It all relative ?

  • I thought the mini's had less RAM?

  • edited January 2014

    @DaveMagoo said:

    Does the mini retina use less ram due to the smaller screen or is It all relative ?

    I think the mini retina is exactly the same as the Air in all specifications, so it has the same number of pixels on screen (but obviously a higher pixel density due to the smaller screen).

    @Tarekith said:

    I thought the mini's had less RAM?

    No, the mini retina has the same amount of RAM as the Air. The only difference I know of is that the mini will throttle the CPU much sooner than the Air to avoid overheating the smaller enclosure. Other than that is is essentially the exact same hardware spec in a smaller package.

    Ipad 4 seems to have about 100meg or so of extra RAM available compared to the Air once you launch Auria, this is according to the informal tests we ran about a month ago comparing the various models. The 64 bit architecture in the latest models has a larger memory footprint and thus uses more RAM, even when just the OS is running. This might get worse once more apps go 64 bit, because they will then also use more RAM (64 bit has a 20-30% larger footprint).

  • Ipad air is the new ipad 3 :)

    It's a lot easier to hold for longer though ;)

  • Thanks folks, I'm upgrading from my 3rd gen iPad in a couple weeks and it looks like I'll be doing so affordably and going with a 4 for the time being.

  • I upgraded from iPad 4 to iPad Air, everything runs better now! Yes, it's strange that Auria shows that the RAM usage si more than the iPad4, but now I can run more apps and plug-ins with Auria and record with BIAS using audiobus witout any lag, glitch or stuttering, when I was using iPad 4 it was a pain in the ass recording guitars using audiobus, I used to record in Jamup 8 track and later paste everything into Auria. Now I can forget opened apps in the background when I'm recording without strange surprises.

  • edited January 2014

    It would be a mistake to buy an iPad 4 over an Air. An iPad 4 isn't that much cheaper and the difference in performance is significant. The RAM issue is highly exaggerated by certain individuals and not a problem in the real world.

  • Perhaps, but a 4 will likely meet my immediate needs, and I'll be ready to upgrade when the successor to the Air comes out. And I can get a 4 for around 250 cheaper.

  • @SidewaysGrin said:

    It would be a mistake to buy an iPad 4 over an Air. An iPad 4 isn't that much cheaper and the difference in performance is significant. The RAM issue is highly exaggerated by certain individuals and not a problem in the real world.

    Do you have a real world example ?

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