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.

Nanostudio 2.0.1 update available.

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Comments

  • @anickt said:
    NS2 is usually 1 - 2 taps to get anywhere. Other apps are no better in that respect.

    Maybe other iOS daws yes (although some are better than others) but not true for hosts like AUM/apeMatrix and AB3 and that's why they're so strong for jamming and sequencing, too many taps adds up to a lot of time when you add it all up.

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  • Yes, I have the same issue when I go back to BM3.

    @EyeOhEss said:

    @Carnbot said:

    @anickt said:
    NS2 is usually 1 - 2 taps to get anywhere. Other apps are no better in that respect.

    Maybe other iOS daws yes (although some are better than others) but not true for hosts like AUM/apeMatrix and AB3 and that's why they're so strong for jamming and sequencing, too many taps adds up to a lot of time when you add it all up.

    And it’s not just about ‘amount of taps’. It’s the visual mayhem of flicking around entirely different visual pages in order to do a simple navigation. Like having to go upstairs and through a bathroom to get to the room that’s right next door to you on ground floor. It just feels disjointed. My number one issue with Beatmaker 3.

  • @EyeOhEss said:

    @Carnbot said:

    @anickt said:
    NS2 is usually 1 - 2 taps to get anywhere. Other apps are no better in that respect.

    Maybe other iOS daws yes (although some are better than others) but not true for hosts like AUM/apeMatrix and AB3 and that's why they're so strong for jamming and sequencing, too many taps adds up to a lot of time when you add it all up.

    And it’s not just about ‘amount of taps’. It’s the visual mayhem of flicking around entirely different visual pages in order to do a simple navigation. Like having to go upstairs and through a bathroom to get to the room that’s right next door to you on ground floor. It just feels disjointed. My number one issue with Beatmaker 3.

    When I first started using the app I thought this, but once I worked out some of the short cuts those issues mostly disappeared. On any screen you're only one click away from the current synth (with an easy way to switch synths), timeline and mixer. You can even set up something akin to AUM in the mixer view

    The only UI inefficiency that I know of currently is the AUFX switching. I hope Matt fixes that soon (report it on the forum and I'm sure he will).

    BM3 on the other hand is just bad.

  • @Carnbot said:
    This is a great update and I've been getting into NS2 a bit more now :)
    I still find some of the workflow a bit frustrating though in some things. Is there a shortcut for going from the midiFX page to the synth view and back again? Seems you have to go to the mixer view first each time.

    I always thought that there could be midi and audio fx shortcut buttons in the main instrument screen with the “Perform”, “Patch”, “Edit”, “Mod fx” buttons. Dividers could keep the hierarchy clear.

    Midi fx comes before the instrument conceptually and audio after placing them after mod/fx would work too I think?

    Then it would be one tap to go between the instrument, audio and midi fx panels.

    When you go to the mixer page, the midi and audio fx buttons can take a bit of hunting for, fun there was a shortcut actually within the instrument section it would get around that feeling of being a little bit lost in the UI.

  • @klownshed said:
    When you go to the mixer page, the midi and audio fx buttons can take a bit of hunting for, fun there was a shortcut actually within the instrument section it would get around that feeling of being a little bit lost in the UI.

    All personal taste/feelings etc. I find myself FAR less lost in NS2 than the other alternatives (esp BM3)....

  • @JohnnyGoodyear said:

    @klownshed said:
    When you go to the mixer page, the midi and audio fx buttons can take a bit of hunting for, fun there was a shortcut actually within the instrument section it would get around that feeling of being a little bit lost in the UI.

    All personal taste/feelings etc. I find myself FAR less lost in NS2 than the other alternatives (esp BM3)....

    BM3 is definitely an example in how to make somebody get lost in a UI

    Ns2 is better than BM3 but it isn’t perfect. It does tend to take you down one way streets a little bit. Different sections are compartmentalised which is fine in most respects but certain tasks take more taps and hunting about than they potentially could.

    If you for example have a track with a synth being sequenced by baseline with a rozeta lfo modulating a parameter in an auv3 fx it’s an awful lot of tapping about if you want to tweak the patch, sequencer, LFO and auv3 fx at the same time in context.

    Just because BM3 makes it even fiddlier doesn’t mean Ns2 couldn’t be better.

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  • Talking of UI issues, I would love to be able to see a GarageBand-style mini timeline while I'm recording an instrument.

    It's all too easy to lose track of where you are in the song without something like this. No visible timeline is OK if you just record shorter loops, but not so good for longer performances.

  • edited May 16

    @EyeOhEss said:

    I haven’t used ns2, just going on what @Carnbot said. That particular processs Sounded Like the general Beatmaker 3 lack of focus/streamlining via missing buttons etc. Sounds like it’ll be easy sorted in ns2 for this one though.

    Yeah, NS2 has a much clearer flow (IMHO) than BM3 and a much more focussed UI.

    Going between sections of the same track (midi fx, keyboard, instrument patch, audio fx) could be a little smoother for example.

    But on the whole there is no comparison between Ns2 and BM3 when it comes to clarity of Ui.

    It’s lot harder to make a UI easy to navigate for the iPad than Mac for a complex DAW as you don’t have multiple windows which solve most of the issues above as you can just keep all the windows you want open at once in Logic (for example) but on the iPad it inevitably requires lots of taps to achieve the same thing.

    But a couple of shortcut buttons would help a lot I think. No major redesigns required, just helpful little tweaks ;-)

  • edited May 16

    @klownshed
    If you for example have a track with a synth being sequenced by baseline with a rozeta lfo modulating a parameter in an auv3 fx it’s an awful lot of tapping about if you want to tweak the patch, sequencer, LFO and auv3 fx at the same time in context.
    @EyeOhEss
    I haven’t used ns2, just going on what @Carnbot said. That particular processs Sounded Like the general Beatmaker 3 lack of focus/streamlining via missing buttons etc. Sounds like it’ll be easy sorted in ns2 for this one though.

    As i wrote on previous page .. i like the idea of being able to switch from instrument view with one simple tap back to mixer track detail tab where i was, before i switched to instrument (no matter if it was midi Fx, audio Fx, sends, whatever) - initial @Carnbot request. This would solve a lot searching "where i should tap to return back where i was"

    I see the way how to do this in intuitive simple way, i wrote to Matt one proposal, we will see if it will pass through his UI/UX guidelines :-)

  • @JohnnyGoodyear said:

    @klownshed said:
    When you go to the mixer page, the midi and audio fx buttons can take a bit of hunting for, fun there was a shortcut actually within the instrument section it would get around that feeling of being a little bit lost in the UI.

    All personal taste/feelings etc. I find myself FAR less lost in NS2 than the other alternatives (esp BM3)....

    Agreed. It is very intuitive, stable, while still offering a lot of power. The audio routing capabilities in this thing are really great, and Obsidian is really nice.

    Matt just shared this on the nanostudio forum:

    The project is available as a demo in Nanostudio and well worth looking at.

  • Seems like a lot of the problems people have stem from them using external apps and fx. Which is fine but I must say, I’ve been using nothing but slate and obsidian and there is so so much there to explore I don’t really want for anything. And for the most part I’ve had zero problems with the UI though I do agree, the track details screen should be accessible from more than just the mixer view.

    But bottom line, it really feels like the developer thought of just about everything to me. Either that or it’s so versatile that I’m able to do cool things within it that weren’t really intended workflows. I dunno I just really like this app a lot now.

  • A lot of this could be solved, or at least mitigated, by using popup windows to host plugin UIs, like i.e. AUM does. Yes it's a dreaded "desktop" thing, but it allows the user the most flexibility in combining "stuff" on a single screen and has worked on the desktop since 1984 ;)

  • edited May 16

    @db909 I cannot say i'm not using AU's ;) .. Yes, 80% of my project is usually Obsidian and build-in FX's ... but i also cannot imagine my projects without few my favourite AUs - FAC Transient, some stuff from Bram Bos (rozetta arp, troublemaker, ripplemaker), Bleas Delay, few other things.. probably 5-6 instruments and same amount of FX's - my favourite AU dreamteam of rock solid trustful plugins :)

    @SevenSystems I don't know - i really don't like "windowed" approach. In my head it goes completely against iOS philosophy. For me it's simply mess. I understand that other people may like it, but it's simply not for me...

  • @dendy said:
    @SevenSystems I don't know - i really don't like "windowed" approach. In my head it goes completely against iOS philosophy. For me it's simply mess. I understand that other people may like it, but it's simply not for me...

    Yes, but the problem is: as soon as you allow your users to use plugins, there's arbitrary functionality being added to the mix, and combinations thereof... so new arrangements of the user interface that you could not foresee in your UI concept might suddenly make sense. You're already seeing this -- users say that "using only Obsidian and internal FX is fine, but if I use this and that plugin, it would be great to have that and this other plugin together on the screen"...

    This can really only be solved with windows or maybe a grid-based "compartment" approach :)

  • @SevenSystems said:
    A lot of this could be solved, or at least mitigated, by using popup windows to host plugin UIs, like i.e. AUM does. Yes it's a dreaded "desktop" thing, but it allows the user the most flexibility in combining "stuff" on a single screen and has worked on the desktop since 1984 ;)

    If by worked you mean it's a thing that people can do, sure. I wouldn't describe it as particularly efficient, or good though. And on smaller screens it becomes really annoying quite quickly (I seem to spend a lot of my time switching between windows, or repositioning them, or resizing them). It certainly wouldn't work in Nanostudio.

  • I get the feeling with AUFX is that Matt didn't have the time to properly think through the workflow. It lacks the polish that you see for all the other stuff in the app. Also automation... :)

  • edited May 16

    @dendy said:

    @anickt
    NS2 is usually 1 - 2 taps to get anywhere. Other apps are no better in that respect.

    I understand Carnbot's issue. It's "just" 2 taps from synth (or generaly any) screen go back to mixer detail tab - but i understand that it needs some level of attention "where i should tap to get exactly at place where i was before" - which can work as distraction especially if you're in "creative flow" mental stage ..

    @Carnbot we will think about "one tap" solution for returning back to track detail view tab from synth / sequencer / part editor screens .. for sure it would be handy, there are some ideas how to do it - we need to evaluate them.

    Btw. any UI/UX idea is always welcome, but ideally directly on NS forum as separate thread so we can discuss it and most importantly Matt can check that discussion, all ideas and opinions and eventually put it to his queue ;-)

    NS2 is certainly the navigation high bar for me on iOS, particularly given how much it contains. It really is stunning.

    I can think of some handy (for me) navigation shortcuts (for both NS2 and BM3) that I would love but haven't bothered mocking them up because of the ever looming iphone versions.

    Eh, I should mock em up anyway. I have an idea for being able to access any AUfx or midifx or internal effect from the timeline view.

  • edited May 16

    I've come to believe that touchscreen keyboards are the bane of iOS interface design. They take up so much space that could be used for sound design/sequencing/other functionality, and they're the only part of the interface that can be rendered redundant by cheap and widely available peripherals (midi keys).

    If someone really wants to use a touch keyboard, then apps should offer that option as an overlay or something, but designing the entirety of major UI portions around huge redundant keys just drives me nuts.

    Edit: NS2 touch keys are actually better than most, but I can't help but imagine what more useful stuff could be taking up that space.

  • wimwim
    edited May 16

    @legsmechanical said:
    I've come to believe that touchscreen keyboards are the bane of iOS interface design. They take up so much space that could be used for sound design/sequencing/other functionality, and they're the only part of the interface that can be rendered redundant by cheap and widely available peripherals (midi keys).

    If someone really wants to use a touch keyboard, then apps should offer that option as an overlay or something, but designing the entirety of major UI portions around huge redundant keys just drives me nuts.

    Edit: NS2 touch keys are actually better than most, but I can't help but imagine what more useful stuff could be taking up that space.

    Good post. I think being able to float the keyboard in NS2 would alleviate any complaints I have about workflow. I don’t think I’d need app windows, timeline overview, side keyboard in the piano roll, or shortcut to the midi FX (well ... maybe that one), if it had just that.

    IMO, keyboard should be available, if wanted, anywhere you are in the app. The default could be as-is to keep from disturbing the current UI, but with a button to float it in a preferably resizable window.

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  • edited May 16

    I love touch keyboards. The fact they exist right alongside the apps is great. Saves money and space for me and they are scale lockable. Honestly wouldn’t be making music on iOS if it weren’t for the touch instruments. I get people use external stuff and it gets in the way, but it wouldn’t be iOS if it didn’t have a touch keyboard. Might as well forget the platform altogether and go back to desktop. Touch keyboards (and touch everything really ) are a staple of the medium and if they were to ever fade away it would be a sad day.

    Frankly I think iOS daw developers should be looking more into including alternative touch instrument interfaces in their apps as options. I’d love it if the built in instrument layout for a daw was something like Soundprism. Or MPE by default and you have Animoog type blades, choose each note you want. It’s the old hardware vs software paradigm all over again just with instruments. You either love the flexibility and ease of use of the touch instruments or you pay more money for “the feel” of the physical stuff. Same shit, different day. Go touch instruments!

  • @wim said:

    @legsmechanical said:
    I've come to believe that touchscreen keyboards are the bane of iOS interface design. They take up so much space that could be used for sound design/sequencing/other functionality, and they're the only part of the interface that can be rendered redundant by cheap and widely available peripherals (midi keys).

    If someone really wants to use a touch keyboard, then apps should offer that option as an overlay or something, but designing the entirety of major UI portions around huge redundant keys just drives me nuts.

    Edit: NS2 touch keys are actually better than most, but I can't help but imagine what more useful stuff could be taking up that space.

    Good post. I think being able to float the keyboard in NS2 would alleviate any complaints I have about workflow. I don’t think I’d need app windows, timeline overview, side keyboard in the piano roll, or shortcut to the midi FX (well ... maybe that one), if it had just that.

    IMO, keyboard should be available, if wanted, anywhere you are in the app. The default could be as-is to keep from disturbing the current UI, but with a button to float it in a preferably resizable window.

    @db909 said:
    I love touch keyboards. The fact they exist right alongside the apps is great. Saves money and space for me and they are scale lockable. Honestly wouldn’t be making music on iOS if it weren’t for the touch instruments. I get people use external stuff and it gets in the way, but it wouldn’t be iOS if it didn’t have a touch keyboard. Might as well forget the platform altogether and go back to desktop. Touch keyboards (and touch everything really ) are a staple of the medium and if they were to ever fade away it would be a sad day.

    Frankly I think iOS daw developers should be looking more into including alternative touch instrument interfaces in their apps as options. I’d love it if the built in instrument layout for a daw was something like Soundprism. Or MPE by default and you have Animoog type blades, choose each note you want. It’s the old hardware vs software paradigm all over again just with instruments. You either love the flexibility and ease of use of the touch instruments or you pay more money for “the feel” of the physical stuff. Same shit, different day. Go touch instruments!

    Yes!! This is what I've been screaming....i prefer, during the sound design, track sketching, getting Things set up stage, to have access to the on screen keys at all times.... This is why I love AUM, audiobus, stagelight, cubasis, you can be anywhere in your process and play your instrument without having to bounce back to a particular screen, the mixer page and effects pages are places that are crucial for me to be able to play my instrument to get effects levels Amd mix levels resolved, honestly it's the only thing holding me back from ns2, the keyboard being hidden is the main reason and then a couple of jumps you have to take to get around, but I can get over that with keys on board!
    I don't like using midi controllers most the time and I don't want to use my keys as an effects

  • We discussed the back and forth between Obsidian/Slate and mixer sub-panels (MIDI IO, midi effects, audio effects...) during the initial beta period. Matt is aware and would like to improve the flow—it's really just a matter of time. Time to consider the best way to do it (taking into account all of our various use-cases and technical considerations like the iPhone's size) and then saying "no" to some other feature we're all asking for so he has time to actually build it.

    My vote was always for a new tab on the left side of all instrument views labeled [MIX] that would bring up the mixer's Track details view (along with the channel strip on the right). Adjusting MIDI effects is the main topic in this thread but adjusting audio effects, sends and just basic volume/panning are also common things.

    Alternatively, specific to MIDI Effects and Obsidian, I could see the those being directly available in the Perform screen as a new top tab (knobs | dual keyboard | big keyboard | AU MIDI effect).

    Matt'll come up with something clever.

  • @SevenSystems said:
    A lot of this could be solved, or at least mitigated, by using popup windows to host plugin UIs, like i.e. AUM does. Yes it's a dreaded "desktop" thing, but it allows the user the most flexibility in combining "stuff" on a single screen and has worked on the desktop since 1984 ;)

    I could not possibly agree more. It's the one thing that keeps me using AUM over the others (ok, Apematrix is cool, too.. just haven't used it as much). I've tried to love AB3, but the separate pages for everything gives a claustrophobic feel and breaks up the flow for me that I can get into in AUM.

    I don't see NS2 adopting popup windows anytime soon, but it would certainly make a great piece of software even greater imo. The ability to edit the piano roll or work the mixer with an instrument or fx panel on the same screen is hugely helpful to my workflow. Isolating everything to its own page isn't nearly as smooth or fun.

    My desire to get away from menudiving and tapping and clicking incessantly instead of playing music has led to my present setup:

    hardware sequencer (squarp pyramid*) controlling NS2 (running in the background, mainly using slate and obsidian for drum sounds) and a few hardware synths
    AUM as my mixer for hardware and a handful of other ios synths and FX busses, with most useful controls mapped to a usb midi controller and midi keyboard for playing things in real-time, creating sequences as I go.

    It's a super fun setup - very tactile with minimal need to dive into any menus. And with AUM's new ability to open plugins via midi and even use program changes for apps that don't have proper PC message for presets.. It's nearly ready for prime time.

    Now if NS2 would implement midi PC for patch changes, I'd be in business! :)

    *however Xequence is my go to when I'm away from my studio :-) truly a wonderful sequencer!

  • edited May 17
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  • @EyeOhEss said:
    Yep it seems iOS daws all get one thing right, one thing wrong.

    From memory Cubasis has keyboard thing well implemented. I think Stagelight too. Keyboard should be available at bottom of screen EVERYWHERE. All pages. Show/hide.

    And every page should be accessible directly from every other page.

    Besides that, copy/paste button should always be to hand quickly (Stagelight sucks for this. Long press > copy/paste menu feels really sluggish....)

    Seems they all make at least one really obvious design mistake. Not sure what the reason is. Trying to reinvent the wheel or just the devs having different workflow/controller setups etc.

    I don’t think many iOS devs take enough advantage of two finger select, double tap, triple tap. Things they could be using to compensate for lack of right click/left click on mouse and keyboard shortcuts. With such tiny screens those desktop input methods are sorely missed in busy gui apps like daws.

    Or things like ‘shift’ button that you find on hardware where real estate for buttons is an issue.

    IKR ! THEY ALL HAVE ONE THING MISSING THAT THE OTHER DAW HAS 🤣
    LIKE I JUST WANNA PICK N CHOOSE LIKE A SALAD BAR LOL.

    ACCESS TO EVERY PAGE FROM EVERY SCREEN, JUST HAVE THEM SELECTABLE FROM THE TOP IN A TOOL BAR.
    KEYBOARD AVAILABLE ON EVERY PAGE.
    COPY / PASTE QUICKLY.
    ABILITY TO RECORD MIDI FROM MIDI AU.
    AB / IAA.
    FREEZE OR LET YOU RECORD FROM A MIDI CHANNEL INTO AN AUDIO CHANNEL.

    MY MAIN NEEDS

  • @richardyot said:
    Talking of UI issues, I would love to be able to see a GarageBand-style mini timeline while I'm recording an instrument.

    It's all too easy to lose track of where you are in the song without something like this. No visible timeline is OK if you just record shorter loops, but not so good for longer performances.

    +1

  • I don’t think many iOS devs take enough advantage of two finger select, double tap, triple tap.

    problem with double and triple taps is that they are "hidden" .. they are not obvious, you need to remember what double or triple tap does in that particular part of UI. That's not much intuitive. In NS2 almost all main bottom icons (in sequencer or on part editor or audio editor) have some handy "double tap" action ( - but to my experience lost of users even never discovered that :))

    Seems they all make at least one really obvious design mistake. Not sure what the reason is. Trying to reinvent the wheel

    This is more about different workflows. There is no chance somebody made "perfect" DAW which will fit needs of all users simply because those needs are too different. Dev simply must choose one UI/UX path and then hold on this path.. of course small improvements can be always done, that's something different. But i bet there will be NEVER DAW on iOS which fill fit needs of 90%+ users. There is not such DAW even on desktop :))) That's why there is room for soo much different DAWs on desktop or ios, and they all have users who are perfectly happy with them but also users who would never use them :))

    Perfect APP is myth :lol:

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