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.

sorry once again. looking for final answer: do i need an audio interface !?

got an ipad pro 2018 and plenty of audio interfaces. I like them and obviously i use them to connect my hardware synths to the ipad for audio & midi.
I use them as well when producing in aum and ios soft synths only - principally because it gives me that sensation of "professionality". But is there ANY - i mean even the slightest - advantage in doing so ? Quality- or latency wise ?
personally i'm not able to hear any difference over using the apple usb-c to headphone adapter. thanks !

Comments

  • For output only?
    No.

  • On newer iPads an audio interface will give you control over sample rates rather than locking you in to a specific rate of 48k which happens when using the Apple headphone dongle.

  • @richardyot said:
    On newer iPads an audio interface will give you control over sample rates rather than locking you in to a specific rate of 48k which happens when using the Apple headphone dongle.

    interesting! thnx

  • edited January 15

    One thing I like about using the iconnectaudio interface is that it charges the iPad. The big reason to use audio interface is to input audio into the iPad. I use it with hardware synth so it works as a little mixer, and then I can hit record if something good happens. I like the 1/4” headphone plug because they are much less prone to damage from accidental yanks. The 5 pin midi lets me use an older synth that doesn’t have USB as a midi controller for iOS, or sequence said synth from iOS.

    But if your adapter lets you plug in a midi keyboard via usb and headphones at the same time, you’re set for making music in the box. I don’t think audio quality is an issue using the internal DAC to run headphones. If you’re working on a recording that is special, on the computer, you would want to record the ipad’s audio digitally anyway.

    The special 1/8” stereo to dual mono 1/4” cable is key for using the iPad sans interface. Good for plugging into a mixer or amplifier, or DI box if you play out. The 10 foot ones are handy, or the 6 foot, with an 1/8” to 1/8” headphone extender, to make it longer.

  • @Processaurus said:
    One thing I like about using the iconnectaudio interface is that it charges the iPad. The big reason to use audio interface is to input audio into the iPad. I use it with hardware synth so it works as a little mixer, and then I can hit record if something good happens. I like the 1/4” headphone plug because they are much less prone to damage from accidental yanks. The 5 pin midi lets me use an older synth that doesn’t have USB as a midi controller for iOS, or sequence said synth from iOS.

    But if your adapter lets you plug in a midi keyboard via usb and headphones at the same time, you’re set for making music in the box.

    The special 1/8” stereo to dual mono 1/4” cable is key for using the iPad sans interface. Good for plugging into a mixer or amplifier, or DI box if you play out. The 10 foot ones are handy, or the 6 foot, with an 1/8” to 1/8” headphone extender, to make it longer.

    the practical reasons (midi/audio in) are clear to me, thnx. The question was related to "producing in the box" only. And if the audio out of the ipad (usb-c to minijack) is worse in quality than it would be with a usb audio interface, when for example connecting it to a mixer or external audio recorder.

    unfortunately the iconnect audio does not charge the newest ipad pro anymore :(

  • edited January 15

    an audio interface with good D/A will certainly sound better than the headphone dongle. I've A/B'd with a decent interface (Audient) and noticed a considerable difference, especially in terms of clarity of the low end and less brittleness in the upper mids. If you're doing long sessions, your ears will thank you. If you're simply dabbling here and there, then you're likely overthinking it.

    My main ios interface is the ica4+ (due to it's midi capabilities and ios friendliness). it doesn't have the best DA conversion by any stretch, but it's still noticeably better than the headphone out to my ears.

    You say you have "plenty of interfaces". you have all the tools.. Why not perform a test yourself? Quash this fomo with a simple listening test. Without knowing exactly what your setup is (what headphones, monitors, etc... you are using. are they set up correctly, in a room that is treated well enough so that they can perform accurately?) it is more or less impossible for anyone on a forum to tell you what will sound best for your needs.

    Trust your ears, and when in doubt.. ask a friend to help with a good ol' blindfold test. Might save you thousands of dollars!

  • edited January 15

    @AlaErt said:

    @Processaurus said:
    One thing I like about using the iconnectaudio interface is that it charges the iPad. The big reason to use audio interface is to input audio into the iPad. I use it with hardware synth so it works as a little mixer, and then I can hit record if something good happens. I like the 1/4” headphone plug because they are much less prone to damage from accidental yanks. The 5 pin midi lets me use an older synth that doesn’t have USB as a midi controller for iOS, or sequence said synth from iOS.

    But if your adapter lets you plug in a midi keyboard via usb and headphones at the same time, you’re set for making music in the box.

    The special 1/8” stereo to dual mono 1/4” cable is key for using the iPad sans interface. Good for plugging into a mixer or amplifier, or DI box if you play out. The 10 foot ones are handy, or the 6 foot, with an 1/8” to 1/8” headphone extender, to make it longer.

    the practical reasons (midi/audio in) are clear to me, thnx. The question was related to "producing in the box" only. And if the audio out of the ipad (usb-c to minijack) is worse in quality than it would be with a usb audio interface, when for example connecting it to a mixer or external audio recorder.

    unfortunately the iconnect audio does not charge the newest ipad pro anymore :(

    Yeah, I agree. I edited my thing to add it is best to get out of the iPad digitally, for recording onto a computer. That’s the best quality transfer. For recording on a hard disk recorder, or who knows, a tape machine, an audio interface would at least give you balanced outs, and would have better spec’d DAC circuitry, sure.

    That’s a bummer about the iconnect and the iPad 2018 with usb C. I feel like the company could fix that but I kind of feel like they have given up on iOS and keeping up with the relentless changes.

  • edited January 15

    @palms said:
    an audio interface with good D/A will certainly sound better than the headphone dongle. I've A/B'd with a decent interface (Audient) and noticed a considerable difference, especially in terms of clarity of the low end and less brittleness in the upper mids. If you're doing long sessions, your ears will thank you. If you're simply dabbling here and there, then you're likely overthinking it.

    My main ios interface is the ica4+ (due to it's midi capabilities and ios friendliness). it doesn't have the best DA conversion by any stretch, but it's still noticeably better than the headphone out to my ears.

    You say you have "plenty of interfaces". you have all the tools.. Why not perform a test yourself? Quash this fomo with a simple listening test. Without knowing exactly what your setup is (what headphones, monitors, etc... you are using. are they set up correctly, in a room that is treated well enough so that they can perform accurately?) it is more or less impossible for anyone on a forum to tell you what will sound best for your needs.

    Trust your ears, and when in doubt.. ask a friend to help with a good ol' blindfold test. Might save you thousands of dollars!

    thanks mate, yes i own a motu, iconnect and some older interfaces (focusrite, novation) For now i'm working with headphones only (AKG 701).
    Well in this case it's my ears - i cannot hear any difference. maybe i should try for longer sessions and with some different synths.

  • maybe i should extend the question also to: is the ipad pro 2018 usb-c to headphone dongle any better than the audio output jack of older ipads. maybe the audio chip and the d/a conversion on the usbc models for some reason is better and comes closer to an audio interface ?

  • edited January 15

    If you play shows with an iPad, one good side reason to use an audio interface, is because the interface has balanced outputs. This is significant because you can run the interface through the snake back to the mixer directly, without using a DI, which are scarce at small venues. You just need 2x 1/4” TRS to XLR male adapters, and ask for “two mic lines” from the sound person. That way you get stereo out the mains, without begging, and can often leave it wired up after a sound check. Better audio quality too, the sound doesn’t have to go through any mediocre transformers in the DI, down to a low level, and then get boosted up again from mic level with a bunch of gain at the mixer.

  • @Processaurus said:
    If you play shows with an iPad, one good side reason to use an audio interface, is because the interface has balanced outputs. This is significant because you can run the interface through the snake back to the mixer directly, without using a DI, which are scarce at small venues. You just need 2x 1/4” TRS to XLR male adapters, and ask for “two mic lines” from the sound person. That way you get stereo out the mains, without begging, and can often leave it wired up after a sound check. Better audio quality too, the sound doesn’t have to go through any mediocre transformers in the DI, down to a low level, and then get boosted up again from mic level with a bunch of gain at the mixer.

    true 👍 thnx

  • @AlaErt said:
    maybe i should extend the question also to: is the ipad pro 2018 usb-c to headphone dongle any better than the audio output jack of older ipads. maybe the audio chip and the d/a conversion on the usbc models for some reason is better and comes closer to an audio interface ?

    I didn't find a definitive answer, but from what I could glean from apple's site, it seems the DAC in their dongle has roughly the same DAC as the iphone 6. Not the worst, but not great either.

    If you're doing everything in the box and don't need the other amenities of an interface, you might consider putting that money into a higher quality dongle with a better DAC, since that's the part of the interface that would make the difference to your ears. Even the most expensive high end dongle is much less money than a nice interface.

    https://www.head-fi.org/threads/usb-c-to-3-5mm-adapters-dac-lets-find-the-best.908839/

  • @palms said:

    @AlaErt said:
    maybe i should extend the question also to: is the ipad pro 2018 usb-c to headphone dongle any better than the audio output jack of older ipads. maybe the audio chip and the d/a conversion on the usbc models for some reason is better and comes closer to an audio interface ?

    I didn't find a definitive answer, but from what I could glean from apple's site, it seems the DAC in their dongle has roughly the same DAC as the iphone 6. Not the worst, but not great either.

    If you're doing everything in the box and don't need the other amenities of an interface, you might consider putting that money into a higher quality dongle with a better DAC, since that's the part of the interface that would make the difference to your ears. Even the most expensive high end dongle is much less money than a nice interface.

    https://www.head-fi.org/threads/usb-c-to-3-5mm-adapters-dac-lets-find-the-best.908839/

    thank you! very useful thoughts

  • For some hard data, measurements, you might want to check out some articles by Ken Rockwell, hardware enthusiast, on audio outputs of Apple devices.

    iPad Pro 2015:
    https://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/ipad-pro-audio-quality.htm
    iPhone 7 lightning audio adapter:
    https://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/lightning-adapter-audio-quality.htm
    more here:
    https://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/index.htm

    He comes to similar conclusions for most. For example, regarding the iPhone 7 Lightning adapter he says,

    "Apple has more smart people and more resources than any other audio company on the planet, so as we see when it comes to audio engineering, the iPhone easily outdoes many so-called "audiophile" products. Most of the mobile DACs and amps I test poop out and can't drive 32Ω loads as cleanly or as strongly.

    For enjoying music, you will probably get poorer performance if you waste your time and money with outboard DACs or headphone amplifiers; the iPhone and this adapter already has the best there is."

    "

  • @hes said:
    For some hard data, measurements, you might want to check out some articles by Ken Rockwell, hardware enthusiast, on audio outputs of Apple devices.

    iPad Pro 2015:
    https://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/ipad-pro-audio-quality.htm
    iPhone 7 lightning audio adapter:
    https://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/lightning-adapter-audio-quality.htm
    more here:
    https://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/index.htm

    He comes to similar conclusions for most. For example, regarding the iPhone 7 Lightning adapter he says,

    "Apple has more smart people and more resources than any other audio company on the planet, so as we see when it comes to audio engineering, the iPhone easily outdoes many so-called "audiophile" products. Most of the mobile DACs and amps I test poop out and can't drive 32Ω loads as cleanly or as strongly.

    For enjoying music, you will probably get poorer performance if you waste your time and money with outboard DACs or headphone amplifiers; the iPhone and this adapter already has the best there is."

    "

    Yes for 32Ω headphones I've never been able to find a significant difference between the headphone jack of an iPhone/iPad and an interface or amp. For higher impedance headphones there will be a noticeable difference, in volume if nothing else.

  • @hes said:
    For some hard data, measurements, you might want to check out some articles by Ken Rockwell, hardware enthusiast, on audio outputs of Apple devices.

    iPad Pro 2015:
    https://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/ipad-pro-audio-quality.htm
    iPhone 7 lightning audio adapter:
    https://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/lightning-adapter-audio-quality.htm
    more here:
    https://www.kenrockwell.com/apple/index.htm

    He comes to similar conclusions for most. For example, regarding the iPhone 7 Lightning adapter he says,

    "Apple has more smart people and more resources than any other audio company on the planet, so as we see when it comes to audio engineering, the iPhone easily outdoes many so-called "audiophile" products. Most of the mobile DACs and amps I test poop out and can't drive 32Ω loads as cleanly or as strongly.

    For enjoying music, you will probably get poorer performance if you waste your time and money with outboard DACs or headphone amplifiers; the iPhone and this adapter already has the best there is."

    "

    Well NOW it's getting interesting ! :)

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