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.

Dawless toe dipping

I’m thinking about having a go at this, mostly because daws I have are all missing features such as au midi, sidechain, etc. Not being tied to a particular daw means I can hopefully figure out my own ways of achieving things depending on what each song needs.

Host

So I have AB but gather AUM can record a session when finished so sounds like a better option.

Piano Roll

Probably atom? Or is there better options now?

Sequencer stuff

This is the bit I don’t get. If I have several atom rolls setup, how do I tell one to start when one finishes? Or do I have the wrong idea?

Also automation - can atom handle this or do I need something else?

That would be enough to get going I guess. How are people getting on with this type of workflow?

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Comments

  • edited August 31

    For piano roll, Atom is the best unless you want a full sequencer like Xequence 2.

    For step sequencing, StepBud all the way, per step automation and lots more; for drum sequencing, Octachron.

  • Atom was supposed to get automation of midi cc parameters to my understanding but this has not happened.

  • wimwim
    edited August 31

    Based on my understanding of what you want to do, I recommend Xequence 2 + Audiobus 3 + AUM. There’s virtually nothing you can’t do with this combination. (Well, except side-chaining, can only be done with certain plugins.)

    Atom doesn’t have any way to trigger the patterns from individual instances. It’s great for building individual clips, but not as much for arrangements.

    I host Xequence 2 and every plugin that doesn’t need to be on an FX bus in Audiobus. AUM goes in each Audiobus audio output position. The rest of the FX that don’t make sense to host in Audiobus go in AUM. It’s the best, most fun and efficient DAW-less workflow I’ve found.

  • @wim said:
    Based on my understanding of what you want to do, I recommend Xequence 2 + Audiobus 3 + AUM. There’s virtually nothing you can’t do with this combination. (Well, except side-chaining, can only be done with certain plugins.)

    Atom doesn’t have any way to trigger the patterns from individual instances. It’s great for building individual clips, but not as much for arrangements.

    I host Xequence 2 and every plugin that doesn’t need to be on an FX bus in Audiobus. AUM goes in each Audiobus audio output position. The rest of the FX that don’t make sense to host in Audiobus go in AUM. It’s the best, most fun and efficient DAW-less workflow I’ve found.

    Absolutely. It’s the best solution, in my opinion.

  • edited August 31

    @wim said:
    Based on my understanding of what you want to do, I recommend Xequence 2 + Audiobus 3 + AUM. There’s virtually nothing you can’t do with this combination. (Well, except side-chaining, can only be done with certain plugins.)

    Atom doesn’t have any way to trigger the patterns from individual instances. It’s great for building individual clips, but not as much for arrangements.

    I host Xequence 2 and every plugin that doesn’t need to be on an FX bus in Audiobus. AUM goes in each Audiobus audio output position. The rest of the FX that don’t make sense to host in Audiobus go in AUM. It’s the best, most fun and efficient DAW-less workflow I’ve found.

    Thanks. This sounds absolutely perfect. Presumably Xequence 2 sequences automation and drum patterns etc as well?

    Also do I save the ‘project’ in AB and that will call everything else, or do I have to save something in AUM as well?

  • wimwim
    edited August 31

    @gregsmith said:
    Thanks. This sounds absolutely perfect. Presumably Xequence 2 sequences automation and drum patterns etc as well?

    Yep. It has outstanding configurable automation controllers and editing. It also has configurable drum pad sets, making working with different drum apps as easy as possible.

    Routing gets a little trickier when you want to do something like use a Rozeta LFO to produce some automation, but is completely doable, and you can then record that automation into X2 patterns.

    Also do I save the ‘project’ in AB and that will call everything else, or do I have to save something in AUM as well?

    Well ... in theory, saving the AB preset saves everything except IAA apps that don't support state saving. In practice, it doesn't work 100% of the time. I always save an X2 project with the same name as the Audiobus preset just in case. I would probably do that as a backup in AUM as well, but I'm mostly involved with AB, so the AUM setup is a little less important to me. If I'm working with another app like Gadget, that doesn't have state saving, then I do the same there as well - save a project with the same name as the Audiobus preset.

  • @wim said:

    @gregsmith said:
    Thanks. This sounds absolutely perfect. Presumably Xequence 2 sequences automation and drum patterns etc as well?

    Yep. It has outstanding configurable automation controllers and editing. It also has configurable drum pad sets, making working with different drum apps as easy as possible.

    Routing gets a little trickier when you want to do something like use a Rozeta LFO to produce some automation, but is completely doable, and you can then record that automation into X2 patterns.

    Also do I save the ‘project’ in AB and that will call everything else, or do I have to save something in AUM as well?

    Well ... in theory, saving the AB preset saves everything except IAA apps that don't support state saving. In practice, it doesn't work 100% of the time. I always save an X2 project with the same name as the Audiobus preset just in case. I would probably do that as a backup in AUM as well, but I'm mostly involved with AB, so the AUM setup is a little less important to me. If I'm working with another app like Gadget, that doesn't have state saving, then I do the same there as well - save a project with the same name as the Audiobus preset.

    Excellent, thanks, all sounds sensible.

    I don’t use IAA at all so that part won’t be an issue. I want to play with au midi fx like FAC envolver but should be able to figure out the routing.

    The biggest potential dealbreaker is that I work with iPhone and iPad so need to be able to freeze tracks to save cpu on iPhone.

    I’ve read through this https://forum.audiob.us/discussion/26765/aum-does-it-have-a-freeze-function#Comment_504766
    And it sounds like there isn’t a really good solution unless I can get the aum file player to work. Will give it a try. Do you have any experience of this?

  • wimwim
    edited August 31

    @gregsmith said:
    I’ve read through this https://forum.audiob.us/discussion/26765/aum-does-it-have-a-freeze-function#Comment_504766
    And it sounds like there isn’t a really good solution unless I can get the aum file player to work. Will give it a try. Do you have any experience of this?

    Unfortunately, there are no simple or particularly elegant solutions to track freezing. I've used Enso for quick track freezing ... but that comes with potential instability and other issues. (https://wiki.audiob.us/tutorial_lower_session_cpu_usage_with_enso). Loopy HD is great, but not so much for arrangements, only for looping.

    There's potential I haven't explored yet with a Mozaic script called Orchestrator, combined with AUM file player, I believe. But that's getting too complicated for my taste.

    I wish, wish, wish, @SevenSystems would add the ability to add audio clips into X2. That would simplify so many things. He's reluctant to do it though, feeling it would be a halfway effort, which I can respect.

    So yeh, that part isn't ideal.

  • @wim said:

    Atom doesn’t have any way to trigger the patterns from individual instances. It’s great for building individual clips, but not as much for arrangements.

    >

    I thought you should be able to trigger the start/stop button in aum to trigger individual atom sequences but I can only get it to stop, not start. Quite frustrating. I wanted atom to trigger atoms. Doesn’t work.

    So close yet set far...

  • @klownshed said:

    @wim said:

    Atom doesn’t have any way to trigger the patterns from individual instances. It’s great for building individual clips, but not as much for arrangements.

    >

    I thought you should be able to trigger the start/stop button in aum to trigger individual atom sequences but I can only get it to stop, not start. Quite frustrating. I wanted atom to trigger atoms. Doesn’t work.

    So close yet set far...

    Yes, this is the most frustrating thing with Atom. I don't understand why the dev didn't implement this functionality. In my opinion, this should be easy to do. The problem is most probably somewhere else (not enough sales, etc). I still hope an upgrade will be provided one day

  • @wim said:

    @gregsmith said:
    I’ve read through this https://forum.audiob.us/discussion/26765/aum-does-it-have-a-freeze-function#Comment_504766
    And it sounds like there isn’t a really good solution unless I can get the aum file player to work. Will give it a try. Do you have any experience of this?

    Unfortunately, there are no simple or particularly elegant solutions to track freezing. I've used Enso for quick track freezing ... but that comes with potential instability and other issues. (https://wiki.audiob.us/tutorial_lower_session_cpu_usage_with_enso). Loopy HD is great, but not so much for arrangements, only for looping.

    There's potential I haven't explored yet with a Mozaic script called Orchestrator, combined with AUM file player, I believe. But that's getting too complicated for my taste.

    I wish, wish, wish, @SevenSystems would add the ability to add audio clips into X2. That would simplify so many things. He's reluctant to do it though, feeling it would be a halfway effort, which I can respect.

    So yeh, that part isn't ideal.

    Orchestra script for Mozaic is great. It's for summing parts into Xequence

  • Gotta dip into that one this weekend.

  • edited August 31

    @wim said:

    @gregsmith said:
    I’ve read through this https://forum.audiob.us/discussion/26765/aum-does-it-have-a-freeze-function#Comment_504766
    And it sounds like there isn’t a really good solution unless I can get the aum file player to work. Will give it a try. Do you have any experience of this?

    Unfortunately, there are no simple or particularly elegant solutions to track freezing. I've used Enso for quick track freezing ... but that comes with potential instability and other issues. (https://wiki.audiob.us/tutorial_lower_session_cpu_usage_with_enso). Loopy HD is great, but not so much for arrangements, only for looping.

    There's potential I haven't explored yet with a Mozaic script called Orchestrator, combined with AUM file player, I believe. But that's getting too complicated for my taste.

    I wish, wish, wish, @SevenSystems would add the ability to add audio clips into X2. That would simplify so many things. He's reluctant to do it though, feeling it would be a halfway effort, which I can respect.

    So yeh, that part isn't ideal.

    I have Enso so can give that a try. To be honest I wouldn’t mind having to record a channel into the fileplayer in AUM as long as it’s easy enough to disable the original channel and recall it later. Is this doable yet?

    I like to finish a song with a completely frozen timeline in Stagelight ready for mixing/mastering so would probably aim to do this so the whole track exists in AUM by the end.

  • wimwim
    edited August 31

    @gregsmith said:

    @wim said:

    @gregsmith said:
    I’ve read through this https://forum.audiob.us/discussion/26765/aum-does-it-have-a-freeze-function#Comment_504766
    And it sounds like there isn’t a really good solution unless I can get the aum file player to work. Will give it a try. Do you have any experience of this?

    Unfortunately, there are no simple or particularly elegant solutions to track freezing. I've used Enso for quick track freezing ... but that comes with potential instability and other issues. (https://wiki.audiob.us/tutorial_lower_session_cpu_usage_with_enso). Loopy HD is great, but not so much for arrangements, only for looping.

    There's potential I haven't explored yet with a Mozaic script called Orchestrator, combined with AUM file player, I believe. But that's getting too complicated for my taste.

    I wish, wish, wish, @SevenSystems would add the ability to add audio clips into X2. That would simplify so many things. He's reluctant to do it though, feeling it would be a halfway effort, which I can respect.

    So yeh, that part isn't ideal.

    I have Enso so can give that a try. To be honest I wouldn’t mind having to record a channel into the fileplayer in AUM as long as it’s easy enough to disable the original channel and recall it later. Is this doable yet?

    I like to finish a song with a completely frozen timeline in Stagelight ready for mixing/mastering so would probably aim to do this so the whole track exists in AUM by the end.

    It's easy enough to disable plugins (not channels) in AB and AUM, but I'm not so sure that actually frees up resources. Maybe some overhead, but not all.

  • @wim said:

    @gregsmith said:

    @wim said:

    @gregsmith said:
    I’ve read through this https://forum.audiob.us/discussion/26765/aum-does-it-have-a-freeze-function#Comment_504766
    And it sounds like there isn’t a really good solution unless I can get the aum file player to work. Will give it a try. Do you have any experience of this?

    Unfortunately, there are no simple or particularly elegant solutions to track freezing. I've used Enso for quick track freezing ... but that comes with potential instability and other issues. (https://wiki.audiob.us/tutorial_lower_session_cpu_usage_with_enso). Loopy HD is great, but not so much for arrangements, only for looping.

    There's potential I haven't explored yet with a Mozaic script called Orchestrator, combined with AUM file player, I believe. But that's getting too complicated for my taste.

    I wish, wish, wish, @SevenSystems would add the ability to add audio clips into X2. That would simplify so many things. He's reluctant to do it though, feeling it would be a halfway effort, which I can respect.

    So yeh, that part isn't ideal.

    I have Enso so can give that a try. To be honest I wouldn’t mind having to record a channel into the fileplayer in AUM as long as it’s easy enough to disable the original channel and recall it later. Is this doable yet?

    I like to finish a song with a completely frozen timeline in Stagelight ready for mixing/mastering so would probably aim to do this so the whole track exists in AUM by the end.

    It's easy enough to disable plugins (not channels) in AB and AUM, b I'm not so sure that actually frees up resources. Maybe some overhead, but not all.

    Ah. I’ll have to experiment a bit on my phone. I have AB already so can do this before dropping anymore cash.

  • One thing that's super nice about X2 + AB3 + AUM is the ease of transferring a session between the iPhone and iPad. With share / Airdrop it takes seconds to do so. Sometimes it doesn't work 100%, so those backup projects I mentioned need to be transferred too, but most of the time it does work in one quick step.

  • @wim said:
    One thing that's super nice about X2 + AB3 + AUM is the ease of transferring a session between the iPhone and iPad. With share / Airdrop it takes seconds to do so. Sometimes it doesn't work 100%, so those backup projects I mentioned need to be transferred too, but most of the time it does work in one quick step.

    Great, that was gonna be one of my questions. Thanks for all the help. Looking forward to getting going.

  • I'm not sure what happens with AUM when you transfer the AB preset. Hopefully any file player channels come through intact. I'll be interested to hear how it goes.

  • @cuscolima said:

    @klownshed said:

    @wim said:

    Atom doesn’t have any way to trigger the patterns from individual instances. It’s great for building individual clips, but not as much for arrangements.

    >

    I thought you should be able to trigger the start/stop button in aum to trigger individual atom sequences but I can only get it to stop, not start. Quite frustrating. I wanted atom to trigger atoms. Doesn’t work.

    So close yet set far...

    Yes, this is the most frustrating thing with Atom. I don't understand why the dev didn't implement this functionality. In my opinion, this should be easy to do. The problem is most probably somewhere else (not enough sales, etc). I still hope an upgrade will be provided one day

    See this thread from earlier this year:

    https://forum.audiob.us/discussion/32574/best-way-to-trigger-stop-start-in-atom-in-aum

    The Atom dev emailed me that it was surprising that you could even automate the STOP. It didn’t sound like it was even on his radar.

  • @wim so I’ve bought Xequence 2 and already have Audiobus. Do I actually need AUM or can I record from AB to somewhere?

  • edited September 1

    @gregsmith said:
    @wim so I’ve bought Xequence 2 and already have Audiobus. Do I actually need AUM or can I record from AB to somewhere?

    You can route each audio out from Audiobus to Multitrack DAW, which hosts fx as well

    Then you would technically no longer be DAWless although MT DAW is really just a multitrack audio recorder.

    The audio end of the chain opens doors to all kinds of actual DAWs that work as destinations for AB3 audio, but MT DAW is probably the most elegant CPU friendly endpoint
    And it’s universal

  • @gregsmith said:
    @wim so I’ve bought Xequence 2 and already have Audiobus. Do I actually need AUM or can I record from AB to somewhere?

    You can use Audioshare rather than AUM, but only for recording one track at a time. Twisted Wave can do this also.

    MultiTrack DAW is also a really good "just audio" option, but not as flexible as AUM in terms of mixing power. It would be ideal if it had full midi clock sync with timeline position, but it doesn't.

    You mentioned that you had other DAWs. If you have Auria Pro or Cubasis, it's possible to load those into the output positions of audiobus when ready to record, and grab the audio into them directly. You mentioned iPhone, so I'm guessing this might not be the best route. Audio Evolution Mobile is universal and might work for this (not sure, I haven't tried).

    But AUM is kind of an iOS essential, and a perfect compliment to Audiobus. I recommend considering getting it at some point.

  • Had a go at a proof of concept today, and this setup is pretty great.

    I’m struggling with automating controls on au’s - do I have to look up what their cc number is every time or is there a better way?

    Also I’ve managed to make the Xequence project save once when saving the AB preset. Every other time it hasn’t saved or hasn’t updated, and when I reload the preset none of my changes show. I must be doing something wrong?

  • wimwim
    edited September 1

    @gregsmith said:
    Had a go at a proof of concept today, and this setup is pretty great.

    I’m struggling with automating controls on au’s - do I have to look up what their cc number is every time or is there a better way?

    If you use the MIDI learn capability of Audiobus, you can create any cc to parameter mappings you like, and they will be saved as the default for that relationship. I'll confess I'm not the most knowledgeable about this process, but it is basically a process of enabling midi learn for a parameter and then sending a midi cc to it from X2. I believe the first time you do this for a plugin, it's saved as a default mapping, which you can also override in other sessions. (Don't count on me for this. I could be totally off.)

    Also I’ve managed to make the Xequence project save once when saving the AB preset. Every other time it hasn’t saved or hasn’t updated, and when I reload the preset none of my changes show. I must be doing something wrong?

    No, you're not doing anything wrong. It just goes through phases like that. It's not clear whether it's X2's problem or Audiobus's. I think X2's developer has given up trying to make it 100% after months and months of trying everything he can. As a beta tester, I've spent many hours trying to figure out what circumstances make it succeed or fail. There doesn't seem to be any pattern. If you save within Audiobus and you see a message about Xequence 2 settings being saved flash at the bottom, you're most likely good. If not, it may not have saved. This is why I always, always save an X2 project with the same name as the audiobus session.

  • edited September 1

    Thanks for all the help. Glad I’ve got on board with this - exciting times!

    I’ll definitely get AUM.

    Just one thing @wim , when I save the X2 project as the same name, will it then be forever ‘unlinked’ from the AB3 preset, or will it re-link at some point when the saving is working again?

    I’ll have a play with the CC stuff, just need it to click in my head.

    Edit. Got it!

    I had an instrument track in X2 linked using Audiobus rather than Audiobus midi.
    This was working fine for notes and cc’s that I knew, but to use the parameter mapping in AB you have to choose Audiobus midi as the track destination.
    Makes sense I guess. Just means having to have 2 instruments in X2 rather than 1 (I think!)

  • wimwim
    edited September 1

    @gregsmith said:
    Thanks for all the help. Glad I’ve got on board with this - exciting times!

    I’ll definitely get AUM.

    Just one thing @wim , when I save the X2 project as the same name, will it then be forever ‘unlinked’ from the AB3 preset, or will it re-link at some point when the saving is working again?

    I’ll have a play with the CC stuff, just need it to click in my head.

    The X2 project save and the audiobus session save are two separate things. They're not linked at all. AB session save, when it works, saves everything as it is at that moment in X2 within the AB session. It doesn't update any files in X2 though.

    So, lets say on Monday you saved the X2 project and an AB session. At this point they're the same. The next day you saved the AB session but not the X2 project. Loading the AB session would load Tuesday's work. If you then loaded the X2 project, you'd revert to Monday's work because that's what was saved in the X2 project file.

    It doesn't take much to develop the habit of saving in both. Also, since neither AB nor X2 have auto save, it's a good idea to do this regularly. Its a pretty stable combination, but nothing is crash free.

  • @wim said:

    @gregsmith said:
    Thanks for all the help. Glad I’ve got on board with this - exciting times!

    I’ll definitely get AUM.

    Just one thing @wim , when I save the X2 project as the same name, will it then be forever ‘unlinked’ from the AB3 preset, or will it re-link at some point when the saving is working again?

    I’ll have a play with the CC stuff, just need it to click in my head.

    The X2 project save and the audiobus session save are two separate things. They're not linked at all. AB session save, when it works, saves everything as it is at that moment in X2 within the AB session. It doesn't update any files in X2 though.

    So, lets say on Monday you saved the X2 project and an AB session. At this point they're the same. The next day you saved the AB session but not the X2 project. Loading the AB session would load Tuesday's work. If you then loaded the X2 project, you'd revert to Monday's work because that's what was saved in the X2 project file.

    It doesn't take much to develop the habit of saving in both. Also, since neither AB nor X2 have auto save, it's a good idea to do this regularly. Its a pretty stable combination, but nothing is crash free.

    The fact that you can save the AB preset from the sidebar helps with this :)

  • Yeah thanks Wim! I’ve been using this workflow and it has allowed me to be more creative and the setup has been rock solid.

    @wim said:

    @gregsmith said:
    Thanks for all the help. Glad I’ve got on board with this - exciting times!

    I’ll definitely get AUM.

    Just one thing @wim , when I save the X2 project as the same name, will it then be forever ‘unlinked’ from the AB3 preset, or will it re-link at some point when the saving is working again?

    I’ll have a play with the CC stuff, just need it to click in my head.

    The X2 project save and the audiobus session save are two separate things. They're not linked at all. AB session save, when it works, saves everything as it is at that moment in X2 within the AB session. It doesn't update any files in X2 though.

    So, lets say on Monday you saved the X2 project and an AB session. At this point they're the same. The next day you saved the AB session but not the X2 project. Loading the AB session would load Tuesday's work. If you then loaded the X2 project, you'd revert to Monday's work because that's what was saved in the X2 project file.

    It doesn't take much to develop the habit of saving in both. Also, since neither AB nor X2 have auto save, it's a good idea to do this regularly. Its a pretty stable combination, but nothing is crash free.

    @wim said:

    @gregsmith said:
    Thanks for all the help. Glad I’ve got on board with this - exciting times!

    I’ll definitely get AUM.

    Just one thing @wim , when I save the X2 project as the same name, will it then be forever ‘unlinked’ from the AB3 preset, or will it re-link at some point when the saving is working again?

    I’ll have a play with the CC stuff, just need it to click in my head.

    The X2 project save and the audiobus session save are two separate things. They're not linked at all. AB session save, when it works, saves everything as it is at that moment in X2 within the AB session. It doesn't update any files in X2 though.

    So, lets say on Monday you saved the X2 project and an AB session. At this point they're the same. The next day you saved the AB session but not the X2 project. Loading the AB session would load Tuesday's work. If you then loaded the X2 project, you'd revert to Monday's work because that's what was saved in the X2 project file.

    It doesn't take much to develop the habit of saving in both. Also, since neither AB nor X2 have auto save, it's a good idea to do this regularly. Its a pretty stable combination, but nothing is crash free.

  • edited September 7

    So I’ve had about a week with this setup and it’s great!

    It’s great to have the routing and midi features that I’ve been waiting for the daws to get (in particular being able to use FAC envolver!)
    I’ve been trying to recreate a song I had started in stagelight.

    I’ve not reached a cpu limit on iPhone or iPad yet so haven’t had to worry about freezing or bouncing to audio yet.

    One thing I’ve had is my AUM state getting confused. I have 3 DRC instances running in AB, AUM picked them up initially as DRC A, B and C. Now DRC A has become Audiobus, DRC B is now A and C is now A in AUM.

    Have you seen anything like this @wim ?

    Also did you say you could temporarily disable tracks in AUM and AB? I can’t figure it out.

  • I don’t use AUM that much. I put everything I can in Audiobus instead. All I have in AUM is FX on busses, etc. I just prefer that workflow much better. So unfortunately I don’t have any feedback about the naming changes. Is the midi routing still going to the right channels, or is that being messed up too?

    In AUM, to “disable” a track, you drag the plugins to the left until the little up arrow thing shows. That may or may not free up their resources. I’m not sure.

    In Audiobus, I gave you some inaccurate information. There’s an ON/OFF toggle in the top bar in AB, the sidebar in other apps, and the Bypass button on the mixer page. But this is actually only for midi AUs and for FX. But on the upside, they can be midi-learned.

    In the limited testing that I did using Enso as a pseudo track-freeze, disabling apps only marginally improved CPU utilization. Usually I had to completely remove them to get a decent performance improvement.

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