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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Audiobus is the app that makes the rest of your setup better.

How to map pads to synths

I’m somewhat new to the midi/synth world and having trouble understanding capabilities and how to get started.
My 4pc band wants to implement synth sounds to our gig, but we don’t currently have a dedicated synth player. So, I’m exploring options for accomplishing this on iPad with simplified preprogrammed controls.
For example, we were discussing How we could perform Rush -Tom Sawyer with the vocalist singing and doing the synth parts on iPad.
Conceptually I figured having a preprogrammed midi keypad which had each pad mapped to the synth preset and note. Say, the intro E2 growl synth would be mapped to a keypad, then the verse strings synth would be mapped to corresponding notes, and finally the lead synth notes would be mapped to their own keypads. The singer would play the notes via the mapped keypads rather than relying on loops or traditional keyboard. I hope this makes sense. Is this possible? Can you provide example setups and signal flows/apps that would do this. I have Audiobus and AUM currently. Also have used AudioKit Synth One to make awesome presets. I was able to get close to a usable setup on AB3 internal keyboard with splits (although I’ve realized running multiple instances/presets of Synth One isn’t possible yet without AUv3). Anyway, pads are really the path I’m looking for but can’t find anything free to play around with and wanted a better roadmap with your guys help before buying a bunch of stuff. Thanks!

Comments

  • wimwim
    edited March 5

    Ehhh ... sounds like a recipe for disaster. Too much to go wrong.

    If I understand correctly, it sounds like you want to load synths and/or presets and trigger midi clips when you hit a pad. So much can go wrong there with iOS.

    What’s wrong with triggering samples of the passages you want triggered by hitting a pad. Then all the iPad has to do is play the sample. That seems way safer to me. But maybe I’m misunderstanding what you’re trying to accomplish.

    Or, is all you’re saying that you’d like to 1) Load presets, and 2) Play notes with pads instead of a keyboard. So, your singer has the chops to play melodies on pads, but not keys? If so, then the answer is yes, you can play notes with pads rather than keys. I think you’d want a separate set of pads for loading synths/presets than the set you use for playing melodies though.

  • Wim, thanks for the quick feedback. Your last paragraph sounds like what I was getting at.

    Fundamentally, I was thinking I want a grid of pads (like Launchpad, ChordPadX, Xequence AU pads, etc) that I can organize and map however needed. Pad 1 would be mapped to Note “E2” of Synth A which was set to Preset X. Pads 2, 3, 4 would be mapped to Notes “G3”, ”A3”, “B3” of Synth B which was set to Preset Y. Pad 5, 6, 7.... mapped to Notes “xx” of Synth C, Preset Z..... etc. So, I would have a custom layout of unique pads which played specific notes on specific synths when pressed.

    A step further Beyond the fundamentals above, I may like a pad to trigger an audio loop/midi sequence (like a riff or part that couldn’t be “played” easily. Yet another step, as you mentioned, being able to switch presets on each of the loaded synths. And then maybe have a row of chromatic/scale pads or a standard keyboard that you could play basic melodies or chords during a jam... etc... etc....

    Anyway, I was able to achieve the fundamental concept in AB3 by splitting the AB3 keyboard, but playing the keyboard on iPad (even my 11 Pro) is a challenge, hence the pads idea. I figure pads would give you a larger target area and eliminate notes you wouldn’t want to play. They could also be organized in a layout that was intuitive or easy to maneuver.

    I messed around with live loops in GarageBand originally, but it seemed difficult to balance when I needed the loop to play all the way to the end vs just while holding. There’s also the loop tempo to contend with when playing live. Not to say tempo can’t be controlled, but that’s another layer to my fundamental thought.

    Thanks!

  • he said , hoe 🤣🤣

  • Humm. You might want to take a look at Midi Designer Pro. That would give you complete flexibility in how you set up your control surfaces. You could easily set up rows of controls however you like.

    For instance, you could set up a tab for each song. You could have selecting that tab send the commands to load presets and synths, and the pads arranged however is convenient for playing the song. You could add knobs or faders for adjusting volume, tempo, etc. You’d have complete flexibility.

    And, you could even have separate devices for control and for the synths, using Bluetooth. You could use a less powerful device for control and a higher-end device for sound duties. You could even have a backup controller device with the same MDP template in case your singer goes crowd surfing. ;)

  • The irony of mistyping words using your iPad in a help forum about how to use your iPad as a precision midi keyboard... these tiny buttons! Hoe is this ever gonna twerk! :D

    I was looking at Midi Designer earlier and that does look promising, though more complex and steeper learning curve than I was hoping for right now. Would Xequence AU Pads be mappable through AUM or AB3, at least for note-to-pads on multiple synths?

  • @nrasnake said:
    The irony of mistyping words using your iPad in a help forum about how to use your iPad as a precision midi keyboard... these tiny buttons! Hoe is this ever gonna twerk! :D

    I was looking at Midi Designer earlier and that does look promising, though more complex and steeper learning curve than I was hoping for right now. Would Xequence AU Pads be mappable through AUM or AB3, at least for note-to-pads on multiple synths?

    Any pad in Xequence AU Pads can be mapped to any note on any channel so, sure, that could work. You can color them individually too, so that’s a plus too.

  • So, I got Xequence AU Pads (and Keys) and it did the trick. However, I realize some limitations, unless I’m missing something.
    In AUM, I have AU Pads as midi input and routed to 3 different synths on channels 1-3. When mapping the notes for each pad It seems I can only map one note through one channel per pad. Though it’s not a dealbreaker, it seems limiting. Am I missing something? What if I wanted to have a pad play a chord? What if I wanted a pad to play a chord through two+ synths at the same time? Is that not possible with AU Pads?

    I looked at Midi Designer Pro some more and that really looks promising, but would that have the same limitations? How’s the best way to approach this next step.

    Sidebar: I experimented with recording a loop in AUM using the pads and thought it would be cool if the loop could sync to a live tempo that fluctuated slightly (also thinking I could have a tempo footswitch controller to tap during a live show). The loop changed speed effectively when tapping new tempos but unfortunately it also changed pitch. How could I navigate this issue? To that note, would midi designer allow me to have a tap tempo function on the same layout as my pads so that I could tap it on screen or with a footswitch... and without affecting pitch? I suspect a midi sequence would handle this better than an audio loop, but playing live I may need ability to create a live audio loop.

    Really cool to experiment and begin learning more about midi and incorporating new sounds to our gigs. This really brings a lot of new options to the table and the sound quality blows my mind... all from an iPad. And wow, the AudioKit Synth One is really great and for free. Considering D1 also. Awesome stuff!
    Thanks!

  • edited March 7

    Tonality might help. Mostly it's an app to help with music theory, but has an AU component that lets you build any chord you want, have any instrument play it, and map it to any controller for triggering (well I use it with midi notes, note sure if CCs etc work.)

    I'm experimenting using it with a foot controller to play chords with my feet. Which is hard to do otherwise :)

    As it's an AU, you can use as many instances as you want on individual channels.

    It's also ridiculously cheap and the dev is great. He recently added a whole bunch of features directly from feedback on a thread on this forum. So you can actually ignore all the music theory features and just use the chord pad AU. There's another app called tonally, it's not that one.

    https://apps.apple.com/us/app/tonality-piano-guitar-chords/id1467552236

  • wimwim
    edited March 7

    @nrasnake said:
    So, I got Xequence AU Pads (and Keys) and it did the trick. However, I realize some limitations, unless I’m missing something.
    In AUM, I have AU Pads as midi input and routed to 3 different synths on channels 1-3. When mapping the notes for each pad It seems I can only map one note through one channel per pad. Though it’s not a dealbreaker, it seems limiting. Am I missing something? What if I wanted to have a pad play a chord? What if I wanted a pad to play a chord through two+ synths at the same time? Is that not possible with AU Pads?

    Two synths could be played if you routed the output to them both. Chords, no. There are some apps such as ChordPolyPad that can do that though. ChordPolyPad is an excellent app, but isn’t AUv3, which would make saving easily loadable configurations problematic

    I looked at Midi Designer Pro some more and that really looks promising, but would that have the same limitations? How’s the best way to approach this next step.

    Midi Designer pro would have no practical limitations other than that it isn’t AUv3. However, since it has multiple tabs available, each of which can be a full performance configuration, that is of no consequence.

    Midi Designer Pro seems like the best fit to me, though possibly more work to learn and set up.

    Sidebar: I experimented with recording a loop in AUM using the pads and thought it would be cool if the loop could sync to a live tempo that fluctuated slightly (also thinking I could have a tempo footswitch controller to tap during a live show). The loop changed speed effectively when tapping new tempos but unfortunately it also changed pitch. How could I navigate this issue? To that note, would midi designer allow me to have a tap tempo function on the same layout as my pads so that I could tap it on screen or with a footswitch... and without affecting pitch? I suspect a midi sequence would handle this better than an audio loop, but playing live I may need ability to create a live audio loop.

    Yes, you could have a tap tempo function on your control surface in MDP. There are plenty of audio loopers out there that can preserve pitch while changing tempo. There will always be a sound quality hit though. I don’t think I’d go that route in a performance, but ymmv.

  • @nrasnake said:
    So, I got Xequence AU Pads (and Keys) and it did the trick. However, I realize some limitations, unless I’m missing something.
    In AUM, I have AU Pads as midi input and routed to 3 different synths on channels 1-3. When mapping the notes for each pad It seems I can only map one note through one channel per pad. Though it’s not a dealbreaker, it seems limiting. Am I missing something? What if I wanted to have a pad play a chord? What if I wanted a pad to play a chord through two+ synths at the same time? Is that not possible with AU Pads?

    I looked at Midi Designer Pro some more and that really looks promising, but would that have the same limitations? How’s the best way to approach this next step.

    Sidebar: I experimented with recording a loop in AUM using the pads and thought it would be cool if the loop could sync to a live tempo that fluctuated slightly (also thinking I could have a tempo footswitch controller to tap during a live show). The loop changed speed effectively when tapping new tempos but unfortunately it also changed pitch. How could I navigate this issue? To that note, would midi designer allow me to have a tap tempo function on the same layout as my pads so that I could tap it on screen or with a footswitch... and without affecting pitch? I suspect a midi sequence would handle this better than an audio loop, but playing live I may need ability to create a live audio loop.

    Really cool to experiment and begin learning more about midi and incorporating new sounds to our gigs. This really brings a lot of new options to the table and the sound quality blows my mind... all from an iPad. And wow, the AudioKit Synth One is really great and for free. Considering D1 also. Awesome stuff!
    Thanks!

    I love D1 too, that's why I did a number of samples and presets for it, there's just one thing to be aware of: Some (not all!) sample banks are rather large because they've been extensively multisampled and loading them can take 1-2 seconds.

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