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.

Notion/Symphony Pro 5/Finale/MusicXML/MIDI

I feel complimentary this morning...

In 1974, as part of an MA Music curriculum, I took a course in music manuscript preparation. There were three primary ways to create music masters at that time, Letraset transfer, music typewriter, and handwritten. As computer printers improved, I watched the process evolve into the software apps available today. Before the iPad, I chose Finale as the program to best meet my needs, but since apps have become available for creating manuscript on the iPad, I purchased Symphony Pro 5, then most recently Notion.

I congratulate all three for their excellent implementation of the MusicXML standard for export/import. Each have their strengths and weaknesses for entering notes/symbols/etc into a project, but as a result of the MusicXML feature, manuscripts can easily be moved from one platform to another.

On top of that, the export to MIDI has been a fabulous way to sketch ideas on a staff and easily move it to a MIDI program (my choice is Xequence). After I purchased Notion, I created a short piece for three instruments, exported it to MIDI, opened the MIDI in Xequence, connected it to AUM, assigned sound sources and recorded the audio, all without a hitch, and in a very short amount of time. As a classically-trained musician, it’s easier and faster for me to put my thoughts on a staff, so I can get what I hear in my head to what I hear with my ears much more conveniently. Being able to get it into digital form then makes exploring ideas a snap.

For the iPad platform naysayers, I’d like to say that the ability to carry this functionality around with you wherever you go is priceless.

Just sayin’.....

Comments

  • You should check out StaffPad for rendering on the iPad. It's default orchestra puts Notion's
    to shame. It accepts MusicXML and MIDI file input.

  • @McD Ignoring internal sounds, how does the actual score-editing in StaffPad compare with Notion? I'm more interested in actual music manipulation rather than the bells and whistles required by composers to produce finished scores to give to orchestral/band musicians.

  • edited September 22

    You need a Pencil-supported iPad and a Pencil for input. No soft keyboard or MIDI-In.

    StaffPad’s goals are based around -

    . make writing music easier
    . make creating music easier

    The goals are so simple and they make the app clutter-free and elegant.

    https://www.staffpad.net/it-s-here-the-staffpad-2020-update

    https://www.staffpad.net/blog

    https://www.staffpad.net/

    youtube.com/StaffpadNet1

    https://www.youtube.com/c/StaffpadNet1/videos

  • @markk said:
    @McD Ignoring internal sounds, how does the actual score-editing in StaffPad compare with Notion? I'm more interested in actual music manipulation rather than the bells and whistles required by composers to produce finished scores to give to orchestral/band musicians.

    Actual music manipulation involves the sounds you may generate. That means you want articulations and musical effects: pizza, Bartok Pizz, harmonics, open strings, portamento,
    glissando, etc. For me that's where Notion just doesn't cut it. Notion is MUCH better using a MIDI controller for note input. So, I would use Notion with a MIDI controller and export XML
    Music into StaffPad for audio rendering. Notion without a large investment in sounds is an excellent add-on for StaffPad. But buying Desktop Quality Sample Libaries from Spitfire, Orchestral Tools (Berlin Symphony) and CineSamples gets you "actual music" in the results.
    Notation is just a way to trigger the correct sample that uses the right "Attack, Decay, Sustain, Vibrato and Release"... these are the synth terms that are digital analogs of the
    traditional music instructions to the string section.

    I'm spending a lot of time on the distinctions for the lurking reader since you're probably
    happy with your workflow and don't have the same expectations from the results that I do.
    Audio demo's of Notion are pretty lame compared to Staffpad but I'm sure there are music
    genres that don't have the same goals of duplicating an orchestra that I seek in an IOS app.
    I'm trying really hard to avoid Desktop tools and prices. The $100 library add-ons for StaffPad are $500 libraries on the Desktop. Maybe with more features but I'd rather be amazing with $500 in IOS spend versus $5,000 in desktop investments. Tradeoffs. But this effort to avoid Desktop prices is a hallmark of this Forum.

  • Thank you for pointing to Staffpad. Your points about cost were well taken. For me, at least, it’s a dream, however, even at iPad prices. But it’s always good to be aware of what’s available.

  • @motmeister said:
    Thank you for pointing to Staffpad. Your points about cost were well taken. For me, at least, it’s a dream, however, even at iPad prices. But it’s always good to be aware of what’s available.

    What fascinates me about StaffPad is the way it breaks audio rendering into small bites.
    Every time you enter the notes for a complete bar it renders that bar into audio. So, there's never this "Freeze" to audio event that takes minutes to hear the current status of the project. After every bar it goes dark for a fraction of a second and you may bit play and hear all the instruments currently "notated". That's a huge benefit compared to Cubasis freezing
    of iSymphonic and closer to the importing of quality samples into NanoStudio 2.

    But it carries the requirement to notate which is a bridge too far for many but someone could make a MIDI DAW that acts in a similar way by batch freezing from completed bars in the piano roll for example. It would be a great way to really use the AUv3 apps like BeatHawk, iSymphonic, Pure Synth Platinum, Ravenscroft 275, AudioLayer, etc. A super simple idea that requires a genius developer to make it real.

    StaffPad is truly one of it's kind. For $90 you can stop buying all those apps that you just can't use in the DAW's that cost $50 on more than a few tracks. If the DAW used batch rendering we could use them all on one project. ALL. If Cubasis rendering actually worked I'd
    never have purchased StaffPad. I would have been OK with IOS "AS IS". I started down the
    AudioLayer/SynthJacker path to NanoStudio 2 and then 50+ instruments were made available. But I still haven't learned NanoStudio 2. Now, I probably never will. But a DAW that uses mini-Batch rendering would get my attention if I can use the $300's in AUv3s with IAP's
    I already own in my work. If Cubasis just worked... I'd use it. But, no dice.

  • I have tried Notion, Flat and a few other apps.
    Notion produced a few notes incorrectly while importing MIDI.

    Flat is the only app that produced notes correctly. Also, they have a community within the app and on their site where we can share our scores and view others’ scores. We can use their app or the website to compose and manage account. They have web integration which means we can embed our scores into any web page using a few lines of HTML code and visitors can interactively use the widget, play, pause, edit, print, etc (also comes with an API for serious developers). They are are heavily into education. They have a Free option (store up to 15 scores), subscription models and also one time payment option which come with unlimited storage forever and full history/versioning of every edit we made to our scores that we can restore from if necessary.

    https://flat.io
    https://flat.io/help
    https://flat.io/settings/upgrade
    https://flat.io/help/en/music-notation-embed/
    https://flat.io/help/en/general/developers-api-embed.html
    https://flat.io/help/en/general/flat-for-google-docs-music-notation.html
    https://flat.io/edu
    https://flat.io/edu/pricing
    https://flat.io/popular
    https://flat.io/popular/weekly
    https://blog.flat.io

    Slurs/legatos are not part of MIDI files and so the imported files will not have slurs in the score. I gave them an idea of identifying slurs from overlapping notes while importing MIDI, they liked it and said they would implement it soon.

  • Thanks for the interesting posts.

    I'm interested in Notion and StaffPad simply as alternative midi editors in order to make electronic that's not meant to be played by people reading a score. An alternative to a piano roll. I used to use the score editor in Logic the same way, years ago. In terms of things you can do to midi data: copy, paste, transpose, move, edit, load, save, send or transform in more interesting ways, how does StaffPad compare with Notion?

    Their internal sounds aren't too important to me as the midi will be used elsewhere.

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