A Practical iPhone Workflow Solution?

I just upgraded my tiny iPhone 7 to the much more manageable screen size of the XR. I never really bothered using the old phone for music, but now i’m keen to either integrate my new phone into my iPad workflow or just have a separate workflow for the XR.

On the iPad I use AUM for noodling and jamming and Cubasis for tracks. My music “style” ranges from chilled ambient jams to techno/trancey type tracks. I do also, sometimes, make a track or two in Gadget and Egoist; though the results there can be a bit samey.

I’m not finding AUM easy to use on the phone tbh, even with the larger screen, and Cubasis is not universal. So I was wondering how all those iPhone musicians out there use their wonderful phones for making music?

App suggestions and workflows, however crazy, would be most welcome. Or, perhaps, an all-in-one solution.

I’m going out with the family for the day, but I’ll be checking in every now and again. I’m really looking forward to reading (and trying out) what you guys come up with.

Thank you!

Comments

  • Koala, Endlesss and TriqTraq are all great ‘phone’ apps. I’m same as you and find AUM and GarageBand etc a total nightmare on a phone...

  • Gr-16 is ‘ok’ too. Bit fiddly but useable on phone.

  • Caustic used to be fun on my old iPhone 5s.

  • wimwim
    edited April 21

    I primarily use iPad, using the phone only when I need to, so take what I say with a healthy grain of salt. I do use the phone a lot, but it’s not my primary tool. That said, in descending order of preference for me on the phone:

    For building toward finished pieces:

    1. Xequence + AudioBus. Add AUM if things develop to the point of serious mixing and for mixdown. I love this workflow. AudioBus provides the ease of app switching I need on the phone, and most importantly State Saving that works with Xequence. I also love the ease fo sharing the AudioBus session to the iPad and back.
    2. Gadget. All-in-one, everything at your fingertips, fairly seamless sharing between devices, what’s not to like? Well, actually I’m not fond of the song structure in Gadget. But #1 above solves that. Xequence + AudioBus + Gadget is great.
    3. Stagelight. This is a great middle ground. You can jump right in, can use AU plugins, record and loop both midi and audio easily, and share to other devices easily. Workarounds are needed to use AUv3 midi plugins, and midi-out isn’t working yet, though.
    4. Beathawk. It’s a really good all-in one that can also be extended with midi out. This one has fallen by the wayside for me though since Xequence came along. It also takes up a boatload of space on my crowded iPhone. The soundpacks are excellent though.
    5. GarageBand. This should be #1, but for reasons I truly don’t understand, I just do not like to use it.

    For jamming and experimenting:

    1. AudioBus + Atom Piano Roll and/or Photon midi looper + Enso
    2. Substitute AUM or Ape Matrix for the AudioBus.
    3. If I was more heavily into audio looping, I would use Loopy instead of Enso. I rarely deal with audio on the phone though.
  • @wim
    Thanks! Plenty to try there. I’d kind of forgotten about the Audiobus app switcher; this could be a kind of AUM substitute for iPhone. I just need that full screen, even at the expense of state saving.

    @Korakios
    I have Caustic, but never used it on the phone. Definitely needs further investigation! :)

    @EyeOhEss
    Koala is the only app I’ve managed to have fun with on my phone so far. Unsure how it fits a workflow, but definitely good fun on its own. I also own TriqTraq but it had been forgotten about. Endless is an app I know nothing about, but thanks for the tip. Guess I’d better read the Endless thread asap.

    Lots there to check out. Thanks! :)

  • wimwim
    edited April 21

    @Beathoven said:
    @wim
    Thanks! Plenty to try there. I’d kind of forgotten about the Audiobus app switcher; this could be a kind of AUM substitute for iPhone. I just need that full screen, even at the expense of state saving.

    The app switcher is a mixed blessing on the phone. It’s fantastically useful for changing apps, but often takes up needed screen real-estate. You can hide it, but then need to remember which edge of the screen it was on and get that finger swipe just right to not disturb other settings to make it reappear. IMO its more than worth the side effects though.

  • @Beathoven

    Korg Gadget...great for synth and sample based tracks....I then transfer my projects to Ableton Live to finish...

    GrooveRider...great all in one groovebox based on the Korg Electribe’s....can also transfer projects to Ableton Live to finish...

    Garageband I am just trying to get into as a long term solution for using Auv3’s...just downloaded it for Mac so it’s just the start for me on this path...

  • @wim said:
    I primarily use iPad, using the phone only when I need to, so take what I say with a healthy grain of salt. I do use the phone a lot, but it’s not my primary tool. That said, in descending order of preference for me on the phone:

    For building toward finished pieces:

    1. Xequence + AudioBus. Add AUM if things develop to the point of serious mixing and for mixdown. I love this workflow. AudioBus provides the ease of app switching I need on the phone, and most importantly State Saving that works with Xequence. I also love the ease fo sharing the AudioBus session to the iPad and back.
    2. Gadget. All-in-one, everything at your fingertips, fairly seamless sharing between devices, what’s not to like? Well, actually I’m not fond of the song structure in Gadget. But #1 above solves that. Xequence + AudioBus + Gadget is great.
    3. Stagelight. This is a great middle ground. You can jump right in, can use AU plugins, record and loop both midi and audio easily, and share to other devices easily. Workarounds are needed to use AUv3 midi plugins, and midi-out isn’t working yet, though.
    4. Beathawk. It’s a really good all-in one that can also be extended with midi out. This one has fallen by the wayside for me though since Xequence came along. It also takes up a boatload of space on my crowded iPhone. The soundpacks are excellent though.
    5. GarageBand. This should be #1, but for reasons I truly don’t understand, I just do not like to use it.

    For jamming and experimenting:

    1. AudioBus + Atom Piano Roll and/or Photon midi looper + Enso
    2. Substitute AUM or Ape Matrix for the AudioBus.
    3. If I was more heavily into audio looping, I would use Loopy instead of Enso. I rarely deal with audio on the phone though.

    Very interesting!
    In how far does your iPad workflows differ from this?

  • I’m all over the place on the iPad! I haven’t settled on any preferred workflow. I’ve ruled out some (which I won’t go into). The most productive for jamming by far is AudioBus + Loopy + AUM if it goes anywhere. The most productive for finishing things ... uh ... I’m never productive for finishing things. :# (Though I do have fun!)

  • @wim said:
    I’m all over the place on the iPad! I haven’t settled on any preferred workflow. I’ve ruled out some (which I won’t go into). The most productive for jamming by far is AudioBus + Loopy + AUM if it goes anywhere. The most productive for finishing things ... uh ... I’m never productive for finishing things. :# (Though I do have fun!)

    Hehe, i also never finish anything, but still have fun doing so :)

  • edited April 22

    Why not simply use GarageBand? Unless you have specific automation needs, I don’t see why you need anything else.

    Honestly, I think people waste far too much time screwing around with multiple synths, reverb apps, etc then trying to figure out how to make it all work using an unnecessarily complicated “workflow”. If you enjoy playing with apps that’s completely fine, but rarely (if ever) do I hear anything on this forum that couldn’t be done using one simple app, GarageBand. I was doing the same thing. Buying a bunch of apps, running one app through another, etc. After a while I realized I was just wasting time. Most of the sounds you hear in your head can be produced in GB with a little creativity, and the simple, one-app approach removes the major distraction of searching for sounds/inspiration in other apps. I’m also a guitar player of 30 years, and the same holds true in the world of guitar. Many guitarists spend more brain space and time tweaking countless pedals, amps, etc than they do actually playing the guitar.

    Sure, there may be a specific synth tone, reverb, or delay, or whatever in some random app that sounds ever so slightly different than those found in GB, but nobody would ever notice something like that if the song itself is any good. Less time learning and navigating apps means more time making music.

    My “practical iPhone workflow solution” is-

    1.) Open GarageBand
    2.) Create

  • Thanks guys! I’ve been busy on the phone and have come to some sort of a resolution.

    I’ve been jamming in Audiobus with IAA. It’s not a slick workflow by any means, but the full screen UIs and the app switcher make it useable for me.

    And, I actually think I could make a track in GarageBand on my phone. This has been a revelation. It’s all there. I’m loving Alchemy again (though, it’s not quite the same as the old Alchemy). The whole UI is clever and actually very useable.

    Thanks again for your suggestions and advice. :)

  • @AnalogCortex said:
    Why not simply use GarageBand? Unless you have specific automation needs, I don’t see why you need anything else.

    Honestly, I think people waste far too much time screwing around with multiple synths, reverb apps, etc then trying to figure out how to make it all work using an unnecessarily complicated “workflow”. If you enjoy playing with apps that’s completely fine, but rarely (if ever) do I hear anything on this forum that couldn’t be done using one simple app, GarageBand. I was doing the same thing. Buying a bunch of apps, running one app through another, etc. After a while I realized I was just wasting time. Most of the sounds you hear in your head can be produced in GB with a little creativity, and the simple, one-app approach removes the major distraction of searching for sounds/inspiration in other apps. I’m also a guitar player of 30 years, and the same holds true in the world of guitar. Many guitarists spend more brain space and time tweaking countless pedals, amps, etc than they do actually playing the guitar.

    Sure, there may be a specific synth tone, reverb, or delay, or whatever in some random app that sounds ever so slightly different than those found in GB, but nobody would ever notice something like that if the song itself is any good. Less time learning and navigating apps means more time making music.

    My “practical iPhone workflow solution” is-

    1.) Open GarageBand
    2.) Create

    Totally agree. Also, you can always use an AU app inside GB if you really want its sound.

  • GarageBand truly rules on the iPhone. My creation combo of choice is GarageBand + Audiobus. I don’t use that much internal GB sounds, mostly drummers and loops, but GB also works so well with AUV3. Truly a mini DAW on the iPhone. iFretless bass is a dream on iPhone and GB. As is BeatHawk, Ruismaker Noir, and other AU synths and fxs. Audiobus allows to convert GB midi clock to Link, so you can sync Blocs wave or Rozeta stuff in Audiobus to play GB instruments. I also love to record AB audio in GB, using modulations and real-time automations with Rozeta LFO and XY via midi learn. Atom also extend capabilities here. Gadget also works very well with GB. So you can do everything with internal GB sounds or you can use it to record anything possible from other iOS apps, and it’s the best at doing that for lot of different reasons IMO.

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