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.

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Nanostudio 2: what makes it so popular?

I saw that there is great enthusiasm about nanostudio 2 on this forum. I was wondering, what does it have that is so extraordinary compared to Cubasis, since it doesn't even support audio recordings, which makes it so requested? Could someone briefly explain it to me? I am always ready for new inspiration. Thanks.

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Comments

  • Really good UX. Fantastic flexible built in synth and effects that are very low on resource usage. Works well on phone.

    Given the developers history I suspect when it finally gets audio it will be extraordinary

  • Oh and really nice workflow as well

  • Workflow, stability, file handling, built in synth and pad sample player, useability.....

    Having said that, the main thing I’m waiting and hoping for is audio handling.

    I really don’t like Cubasis file management. Sounds petty but it’s outdated and annoying. Apparently a new major is in the works, hopefully they improve this....

  • edited November 2019

    I was wondering the same thing.
    Am a Cubasis user as I need audio as much as MIDI but sometimes would like to be able to work on stuff on my phone.

  • edited November 2019

    Compared to Cubasis it has a better UI, and far more flexible mixer routing. Subjectively I would also say it's more fun to use.

    I think once audio tracks come along it's very likely to be the best DAW on the platform.

    To caveat that though I would add that Cubasis does have a couple of features that NS2 doesn't such as MPE support and AU FX automation.

  • edited November 2019

    Do you know how well the newish 4pockets Multitrack Recorder works in NS2?
    And how does the MIDI piano roll compare to that in Cubasis (which I find a bit fiddly with the 2 handed gestures an’ all)?

  • @TimRussell said:
    Do you know how well the newish 4pockets Multitrack Recorder works in NS2?

    You can't use it to record from an external source (such as a microphone or an audio interface) because NS2 doesn't expose the input to the AUV3 chain, but other than that it does work well. So for example you can use it to "freeze" NS2 synths or import audio into NS2.

  • So I couldn’t, for instance, record audio in real-time along to a midi track I’d created in NS2?

  • @TimRussell said:
    So I couldn’t, for instance, record audio in real-time along to a midi track I’d created in NS2?

    If it's external audio, then no.

  • edited November 2019

    @Faland

    For me, amongst other things already mentioned (deep audio / midi routing capabilities like multiple (theoretically unlimited, slightly limited by UI) levels of channel grouping, unlimited number of audio and midi sends, unlimited number of groups, one of most complex synths available on iOS) it is CPU efficiency. Obsidian synth/sampler and bundled FXs are cpu efficient almost to the level of magic. You can run decent amount of synth instances and insert FXs even on old devices - on new devices, possibilities are almost unlimited. There is good chance, until you use just Obsidian / Slate and bundled FXs, you NEVER hit CPU limit on device with A12 CPU - at least not for any meaningful music. Also bundled FXs have high quality, all basic types (delay,chorus,phaser, multiple overdrive/distortion types, reverb, lofi, eq, filters) are covered at quality level where not much other AU fx will give you significantly better quality, just different UI ;-)

    On other side - i don't think NS2 is significantly more popular than any other current iOS DAW. Every daw has pros and cons, and every DAW has users who really love it, then users who use it just occasionally and then user who are totally not into it ;-) It depends always on workflow, personal needs and preferences.

  • @Faland said:
    I saw that there is great enthusiasm about nanostudio 2 on this forum. I was wondering, what does it have that is so extraordinary compared to Cubasis, since it doesn't even support audio recordings, which makes it so requested?

    First of all, Nanostudio 2 has a sampler that actually works.
    Cubasis claims to have one on board too but once you start using it you'll discover so many limitations and flaws that it's too hard to use it seriously.
    Then, by coincidence, Obsidian is not just a great sampler but also a fantastic synth. I've just started creating a few patches and although it's nothing like NI Kontakt, it has the most relevant features available, like velocity and key zones, 3 oscillators running in perfect phase sync if you need to, a multimode filter that sounds like the Roland IR3109 built into the Jupiter 4/6/8, the Juno 6/60/106, the JX3P, the SH-101 and a few others. By using the sophosticated modulation system, that filter can be made to sound just as "analog" as on the hardware, without the typical lifeless and clean sound coming from many digital filters.
    And confirming @dendy, all at a surprisingly low CPU cost.

    Some people here have received my first SH-101 for Obsidian patch uploaded on patchstorage.com very well so I'll continue building and uploading such patches.

    @TimRussell said:
    So I couldn’t, for instance, record audio in real-time along to a midi track I’d created in NS2?

    NanoStudio can do that by itself, no need for a third-party plugin. It's just one more different concept to get used to: You don't record onto a linear timeline but you record a sample first and then launch it by a MIDI note in the timeline, with all synthesis features available (fade-in becomes ENV attack, fade-out becomes ENV release etc). Sample editing is available too.

    @TimRussell said:
    And how does the MIDI piano roll compare to that in Cubasis (which I find a bit fiddly with the 2 handed gestures an’ all)?

    I find it amongst the best available on iOS, and although the piano roll in Cubasis has received a noteworthy overhaul, the one in NS2 is still much less fiddly and faster than the one in Cubasis.

  • “NanoStudio can do that by itself, no need for a third-party plugin. It's just one more different concept to get used to: You don't record onto a linear timeline but you record a sample first and then launch it by a MIDI note in the timeline, with all synthesis features available (fade-in becomes ENV attack, fade-out becomes ENV release etc). Sample editing is available too.”

    Presumably I can, for instance, send the output of NS2 into AUM and record my audio into AUM whilst my existing NS2 track is playing??
    And once the sample is in NS2 can I edit it like a standard audio file?

  • Personally, I think NS2 has the best UI and workflow of any iOS DAW, bar none. It took me a little while to become acquainted with it, but once the initial learning curve is done with, it's easy - and, just as importantly, great fun - to work with. There are definite downsides that mean I often have to resort to AUM - poor compatibility with midi effects and no audio tracks - but for sheer usability there is nothing, to my mind, that comes close to NS2. And like someone said above, so slick is NS2 that one suspects that when proper midi effect compatibility and audio tracks are integrated into it, the result will be jaw-droppingly good. The dev is clearly very talented, not only in getting the technical stuff right, but also in terms of creating a DAW whose workflow is so intuitive it's almost like having a personal assistant. I try not to use Cubasis anymore because it looks ancient by comparison, but I'm hopeful a new version of it will come good, too. Happy days.

  • The love all stems from the incredible UX and UI combination. Simply put, NS2 feels great to use and it’s really well laid out.

  • @TimRussell said:
    “NanoStudio can do that by itself, no need for a third-party plugin. It's just one more different concept to get used to: You don't record onto a linear timeline but you record a sample first and then launch it by a MIDI note in the timeline, with all synthesis features available (fade-in becomes ENV attack, fade-out becomes ENV release etc). Sample editing is available too.”

    Presumably I can, for instance, send the output of NS2 into AUM and record my audio into AUM whilst my existing NS2 track is playing??

    I haven't tried but the way I'd do it: Select the range to export in NS2, mixdown and load the audio file in AUM.

    And once the sample is in NS2 can I edit it like a standard audio file?

    Yes. The internal wave editor supports standard tools like remove DC, reverse, trim (cut redundant start and end), set sustain loop, export selection, mute selection, phase reverse, fade in, fade out and normalize. I wish AudioShare had this...

  • Thank you all for the answers.
    It would seem a sequencer more than worthy of interest, and of course it has just been on sale, I always arrive too late to decide, my fault, but if the product is excellent I am also happy to pay the dev the right price.

    What annoys me is that, over time, I bought all the Cubasis iaps, but it is true that sometimes it is a bit cumbersome and, above all, it does not have, and perhaps never will, busses and groups.

    However changing I would lose the audio, and being I, mainly, a guitarist, this is a not indifferent problem, even if lately I use the midi more than anything else.

    In this regard, how good is the midi implementation and the AU support in NS2?

  • edited November 2019

    @Michael_R_Grant said:
    The love all stems from the incredible UX and UI combination. Simply put, NS2 feels great to use and it’s really well laid out.

    Also, the love for the dev who just silently, diligently keeps delivering the goods. Alot of good will was built up in how he treated and treats his cumstomers with the og Nano and now with NS2. The guy is amazing. This gives me confidence that NS2 will reach the goals he stated for it.

  • NS2 Midi editing and workflow is the best of any iOS app (or desktop app) I've ever used. It's spoiled me rotten.

    That said, AU support for MIDI plugins is currently limited. Apps like DigiStix and EG Pulse can't write to MIDI in NS2 without some painful workarounds. I think Rozetta and Mozaic are also fairly limited without workarounds. I'm hoping the developer addresses these issues in a future update, as it would make the app perfect for me then.

    Even with the Midi plugin issues above, there's still nowhere else I'd rather compose/record/produce music than in NS2. More than any other iOS app it is a joy for me to work in/with, and it runs so well on my iPhone SE (even though more often that not I need to wear my glasses when using it on that small screen...TB Reverb has me seriously squinting).

  • MIDI is excellent in NS2. It has a really good sequencer interface. It's also almost the only DAW that supports time signature changes and tempo ramping (the implementation of these is top notch incidentally - intuitive and effective). It does lack some of the midi editing functionality that you might like (inverse, transpose by a third, etc). Also the swing implementation is destructive, which sucks. I believe fixing swing is on the road map, but I can't imagine it's high on the list currently.

    MIDI plugins are not very well supported, so if that's important it could be an issue. You can make them work, but it's not super great TBH.

    I'd also add on the plus side. The way audio routing works in NanoStudio is based upon Reaper, only the interface is more intuitive. That means you get huge flexibility and power, in a design that is quite easy to wrap your head around. You can set up some very flexible and powerful effects chains in NanoStudio very easily.

  • Thanks @peanut_gallery and @cian
    Actually, I use Rozeta a lot for midi automations and bass and drums sequencing. If I can’t use it within NS2, that’s a real issue. How hard is the workaround?

  • Well I was gonna respond, but it seems like others have all the bases covered. If you do convert to NS2 be sure to check out my website and get some free (or paid 😉) sample kits and more for NS2

  • I'll add another voice to the "Good UX" chorus. I found that the UI helped me keep my mind focused on song construction, which pieces fit where and what sort of automation the individual tracks needed to come together as a whole In contrast to a UI that lets me get sidetracked into endlessly fiddling with individual sounds and sequences.

  • @Faland said:
    Thanks @peanut_gallery and @cian
    Actually, I use Rozeta a lot for midi automations and bass and drums sequencing. If I can’t use it within NS2, that’s a real issue. How hard is the workaround?

    It's not hard so much as clunky. I've not done it a whole lot so somebody else is probably in a better position to comment on the best workflow. The easiest is to us an AU3 Midi recorder.

  • @cian said:

    @Faland said:
    Thanks @peanut_gallery and @cian
    Actually, I use Rozeta a lot for midi automations and bass and drums sequencing. If I can’t use it within NS2, that’s a real issue. How hard is the workaround?

    It's not hard so much as clunky. I've not done it a whole lot so somebody else is probably in a better position to comment on the best workflow. The easiest is to us an AU3 Midi recorder.

    I have the MIDI Tools suite, it should gets the job done.

  • I'm sure others have covered some of the below, so this will be my own personal experience.

    1. Obsidian blows Cubasis' built-in synth out of the water. You have various synthesis types including subtractive, FM, wavetable. Obsidian's built-in sampler is pretty much the best there is (only topped by BM3's sampler). The IAP packs (especially both acoustic ones) sound amazing.

    2. The interface is loads better. For example, it's easier to program MIDI notes. It's easier to edit audio. It's easier to move MIDI around.

    3. The built-in effects are much better. External AUs (instruments and effects) don't crash it. Toneboosters, Fabfilter, VirSyn, DDMF, Klevgrand, Beepstreet, 4Pockets, UVI (Beathawk), etc just work. I've only experienced one crash in the 11 months I've used it, and that was from the (I think it's called) VirtualRoom plugin, not from NS2 itself.

    4. As mentioned by others, audio routing. Cubasis doesn't have bussing, doesn't have sidechaining (where I use sidechaining subtly duck non-essential instruments out of the way of vocals), doesn't have sends (with the exception of preset send effects), etc.

    5. NS2 works with bluetooth headphones, whereas Cubasis sounds like pants with bluetooth headphones. Cubasis either sounds tinny when used on its own, or if route through Audiobus, sounds normal with the exception of a ton of crackling and stuttering.

    6. Most everything built-in is automatable. My only gripe is one must use track automation to automate internal effects, which I think sucks. I'd rather do everything with clip automation, but there are workarounds by using internal effects for things.

    7. NS2 currently lacks audio tracks, but those are coming probably within six months give or take. I just usually use Slate (the drum module) to trigger audio loops and vocals as a workaround.

    8. NS2 is UNIVERSAL. Ever since it went universal, I've been mostly building my tracks on my iPhone and have been loving every minute of it.

    9. I've managed to finish far more tracks with NS2 than with other apps combined.

    That's about all. :) Cheers.

  • I loved using NS2 for the first two months and was blown away by how smooth sequencing and track building was. Track groups and midi routing were a delight as well. I went back to BM3 for the AUfx automation and audio chopping ability. With NS2 audio tracks (with track freezing / audio clip editing etc) and if AU automation improves I may end up going back to it but will no doubt always miss things about BM3.

  • Thank you very much @jwmmakerofmusic really comprehensive. Very kind of you.

    @AudioGus isn't AU automation good in NS2?

  • @richardyot said:

    @TimRussell said:
    Do you know how well the newish 4pockets Multitrack Recorder works in NS2?

    You can't use it to record from an external source (such as a microphone or an audio interface) because NS2 doesn't expose the input to the AUV3 chain, but other than that it does work well. So for example you can use it to "freeze" NS2 synths or import audio into NS2.

    Wow, didn’t know that. That would be the main reason I’d buy it, to record external audio into it i side of NS2. Can it record external audio using it with AUM?

  • I like NS2 because it feels fast and fluid, and it lets you change tempos and time signatures in the song, however atm if does feel incomplete as a Daw by not having audio tracks and I sing and play guitar so I end up in Cubasis for audio and as of lately ZenBeats a lot. If you don’t need audio tracks it’s great.

  • edited November 2019

    @TimRussell @rs2000
    I haven't tried but the way I'd do it: Select the range to export in NS2, mixdown and load the audio file in AUM.

    You can load NS2 as IAA generator in AUM so recording from NS2 into AUM recorder is easy like breeze

    @Faland
    In this regard, how good is the midi implementation

    As good as it can be. Matt (dev) invested serious amount of time to keeping midi stream as much tight as possible, down to sample plrecision (i mean syncing midi with audio). You can adjust latency compensation for MIDI Instrument in positive / negative values:

    Sequencer uses internal PPQN precision 4096 (in contrast of Cubasis, which uses just 48)
    Fortunately, MIDI clock/MMC is not implemented yet, but it is on todolist.

    AU support in NS2?

    • AU instruments supported including automation (but you cannot record notes into sequencer usimg AU instrument build in keyboard or pads, you need to use NS build in keyboard or external HW controller.)
    • Audio AUfx (no automation, on todo list)
    • MIDI AUfx (fully working, just cannot record output of MIDIfx back to sequencer, you can just drive instrument by midifx output, signal route is sequencer -> midifx -> instrument)
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