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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41 years back: We're living in an analog world

Found this in an old "electronic guitarist" magazine from 1979 and just had to share it 😄

What do you think?
Do we have enough digital software today that sounds pleasing enough?
Is it still about "analog or digital" today?

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Comments

  • I love the word "gricky" — he, whoever he is, is right.

    It reminds me of this fantastic quote from Brian Eno's memoir, "A Year (With Swollen Appendices)":

    “Whatever you now find weird, ugly, uncomfortable and nasty about a new medium will surely become its signature. CD distortion, the jitteriness of digital video, the crap sound of 8-bit - all of these will be cherished and emulated as soon as they can be avoided. It’s the sound of failure: so much modern art is the sound of things going out of control, of a medium pushing to its limits and breaking apart. The distorted guitar sound is the sound of something too loud for the medium supposed to carry it. The blues singer with the cracked voice is the sound of an emotional cry too powerful for the throat that releases it. The excitement of grainy film, of bleached-out black and white, is the excitement of witnessing events too momentous for the medium assigned to record them.”

  • @ExAsperis99 said:
    I love the word "gricky" — he, whoever he is, is right.

    It reminds me of this fantastic quote from Brian Eno's memoir, "A Year (With Swollen Appendices)":

    “Whatever you now find weird, ugly, uncomfortable and nasty about a new medium will surely become its signature. CD distortion, the jitteriness of digital video, the crap sound of 8-bit - all of these will be cherished and emulated as soon as they can be avoided. It’s the sound of failure: so much modern art is the sound of things going out of control, of a medium pushing to its limits and breaking apart. The distorted guitar sound is the sound of something too loud for the medium supposed to carry it. The blues singer with the cracked voice is the sound of an emotional cry too powerful for the throat that releases it. The excitement of grainy film, of bleached-out black and white, is the excitement of witnessing events too momentous for the medium assigned to record them.”

    👍

  • One generations set of annoying limitations become the next generation's cherished sounds.

    A lot of it probably comes down to perspective. If your experience was analog making recording more difficult you're going to feel differently to someone who grew up hearing classic rock.

  • I have a good engineer friend who points out that every generation of musicians is recording with engineers who are "solving the problems" of the previous generation. I can't remember the whole spiel, but it involves that totally dead California drum sound from the 70s "solving" microphone bleed from larger amps from the end of the sixites. And the overcompression of weak indie-boy singers in the 90s who got record deals by singing into their bedroom four-track cassette players....

  • Great topic. Wonderful Eno quote!

    In the progression of technology and from the perspective of quality, the best solution is not always the winning one. Factors like popularity, marketability, cost, efficiency, potential, etc. all have an effect. Digital has a lot of advantages and while it isn't truly analog, it has that potential to emulate it. Early iterations were not so great but as the algorithms and underlying technology improve while my hearing gets worse, I'm not sure I can tell the difference as much or at all...

    That quote feels like right about where VR technology is now. Gricky and somewhat nauseating.

  • apple is now working on an analog ipad. it‘s called uStroke2much

  • @dreamrobe said:
    apple is now working on an analog ipad. it‘s called uStroke2much

    With Bluetooth headphones. Yikes!!

  • This thread seems like a strange coincidence because I woke this morning marveling at the degree of accuracy of the old vinyl records I listened to growing up. How can a single squiggly bumpy groove cut physically into plastic reproduce complex musical mixes so that each individual instrument can be so clearly distinguished?

    Then I thought about sound being pressure waves in air. Air isn't a multichannel medium, when waveforms of multiple instruments align in the same moment, every aspect of those waveforms that overlap travel through the air in the same pressure wave. It's the mind that decodes these "information voids" and puts them into a context of separate instrument sounds.

    This would be similar to watching a movie at 30 frames per sec.. The mind fills in the missing information between the frames.

    Perception itself might not be a pure process regardless of the amount of actual data contained in the "analog" (air) transfer medium.

    The way the mind interprets what is heard may be influenced by the experiences of that mind. The way neural connections of a mind develop to understand what is most familiar, provides advantage for survival given any particular environment where a given individual exists.

    Imagine we had a time machine and traveled back to the stone age. Found a group of nomadic hunter gatherers. We remained invisible to them, and play heavy metal rock from an amp, a distance away so they could hear it without being too alarmed by the proximity. How might those primitive nomads perceive what they hear?

    I'd expect their minds would try to reference the sound from the content of their own world experiences. Their music experience might be only as sophisticated as flutes and drums. Electric guitar might cause them to fear some unknown animal is lurking nearby. Their world experience would shape the perception of the sounds they hear. Their mind wound attempt to identify the sounds within a context relative to those sound which they are most familiar with.

    I'd tend to apply this same context of investigation to modern people's perception of difference between analog or digital distortion. Or any other modern musical element.

    For me, this is why I prefer some analog synth sounds over those made "more pure" by digital synth possess. I like sound of the inherent disparities between one analog circuit to the others within the same synth. This could be because I grew up in the era where true analog synth sounds were in music I listened to.

    Might it be that we "learn" to like certain characters of sounds, better than others?

  • @horsetrainer said:
    This thread seems like a strange coincidence because I woke this morning marveling at the degree of accuracy of the old vinyl records I listened to growing up. How can a single squiggly bumpy groove cut physically into plastic reproduce complex musical mixes so that each individual instrument can be so clearly distinguished?

    Interesting. I remember being similarly fascinated when listening to vinyls over headphones on my first quality record player.
    That was just one year before CDs came up which was yet another step up in sound for me. Dire Straits, then Donald Fagen's IGY album. What a great sound. Both very clear but not in an uncomfortable way at all.

    ...
    Might it be that we "learn" to like certain characters of sounds, better than others?

    I'm very sure that's the case. I know that I've been fascinated by synthesizer sounds at a very young age already but I have no idea where that affinity came from. Must have been much earlier in my life.
    Imagine a lifetime audio recording that you could rewind and listen to any sound you've ever heard in your life since birth.

  • edited October 16

    I remember what a shock my first analogue synthesizer was
    it did sound nothing like the records I was listening to
    i had no idea what I was doing ^^

    analog vs digital
    is this still a thing?

    I mean in the last 10 years there is more analogue stuff out that u couldn't get for years
    people will soon realize that a filter pulse is a filtered pulse and return to digital if they haven't already ^^
    subtractive isnt the hotest shit in town, it only has a limited color palette

  • @Max23 said:
    I remember what a shock my first analogue synthesizer was
    it did sound nothing like the records I was listening to
    i had no idea what I was doing ^^

    I guess I have played analog synths for about 50 hours in my music store of choice before purchasing one (Jupiter-8, Minimoog, Juno-6 and finally the MonoPoly which made the way to our home) so at least I knew what I had to expect.
    I didn't have any intentions whatsoever except playing the thing, turning knobs and be surprised 😅

  • edited October 16

    I had a sequential circuits multitrack and a moog prodigy
    and a big fx rack and a patchbay

    looking back
    that shit was expensive as hell and did sound mediocre to what I do on an iPad today while I sitting comfortable on the couch. :)

    I had no way to get total recall to work, I didn't have a computer
    I had a little book and I wrote in it what patches and routing belongs to what song ...
    lol
    not 10 horses can pull me back to that ^^
    digital all the way :)

  • edited October 16

    btw. I dont see young folks buying analogue synths?
    I see middle old man with their childhood dreams ^^

  • @Max23 said:
    I had a sequential circuits multitrack and a moog prodigy

    Would you like to get one of them back just for their sound?

    @Max23 said:
    btw. I dont see young folks buying analogue synths?
    I see middle old man with their childhood dreams ^^

    Oh they do, just not the gear we grew up with. It's more about things like the KORG toys I guess, and maybe elektron or AKAI grooveboxes once they get their first proper job.
    Oh, and let's not forget the huge choice of modular synth gear that some youngsters are at least as fascinated by as we are.

  • @Max23 said:
    btw. I dont see young folks buying analogue synths?
    I see middle old man with their childhood dreams ^^

    I'm 32 and have been buying analog synths since 15. :)

  • edited October 16

    @rs2000 said:
    Imagine a lifetime audio recording that you could rewind and listen to any sound you've ever heard in your life since birth.

    It would be an amazing way of conducting a myriad of various types of psychosocial research... Searching for correlations between repetitive auditor experience, and associated behavioral patterns. Basically extending research into the classic Nature vs. Nurture question.

    We can already see that there are correlations between cultural experience and behavior. Children do learn to live within the culture they are born into. That's mostly just based in logic... People tend to only know of those things which they've had experience with. But I also believe genetics can predispose individuals towards being better suited, and more attracted to different areas of learning and interests, independent of their cultural experiences. But to be interested in any particular thing, one must first become aware that it exists.

    Types of positive and negative childhood environments might certainly also become influential over behavior later in life. The type of home environment one is raised within and experienced "ought to" (and can) become a factor in childhood development. But I've known affluent kids from wealthy families who've grown up to be drug addicts, and kids from working class homes who've grown up to become doctors. I tend to think the most nurturing factor for stable emotional development is having at least one emotionally stable role model in a child's life for them to emulate. But there's a library's worth of material to study on just that one subject.

    This type of subject makes me to think about the way nostalgia seems to become important for people once they are over the age of 40 or so. I know of many people who seek out familiar "stuff" from their youth once they get older. It's usually things like classic cars, vintage keyboards, or people who become "collectors" of certain categories of stuff. It can be things someone had, or the things someone wished they had, but couldn't afford back in the day. But "for some" there's something about growing older and deriving something positive from possessing some esteemed, familiar, relic from the past.

    Me, I'm happy with a really good emulation of vintage synth software. I feel like actually having the vintage hardware would be cool, but it's not practical without the space to keep it. I tend to be more of a minimalist these days. iPad apps don't count because they take up no physical room. I can hoard as many Apps as I like and not technically be a hoarder.

  • @horsetrainer Wow. You just elaborated on a lot of thoughts that I had.
    Being aware of all that can be a great catalyst for moving forward in your own life.

  • edited October 16

    @rs2000 said:
    @horsetrainer Wow. You just elaborated on a lot of thoughts that I had.
    Being aware of all that can be a great catalyst for moving forward in your own life.

    My mind is always thinking about finding the order within the chaos.

  • edited October 17

    @rs2000 said:

    @Max23 said:
    I had a sequential circuits multitrack and a moog prodigy

    Would you like to get one of them back just for their sound?

    No.
    I found some old demo mini discs a few years ago.
    gee stuff was so noisy
    u could tell this is a home production at once.
    ^^

  • @Max23 said:

    @rs2000 said:

    @Max23 said:
    I had a sequential circuits multitrack and a moog prodigy

    Would you like to get one of them back just for their sound?

    No.
    I found some old demo mini discs a few years ago.
    gee stuff was so noisy
    u could tell this is a home production at once.
    ^^

    Minisiscs! 😍
    I'm still using them at times.

  • @horsetrainer said "Their world experience would shape the perception of the sounds they hear. "

    this made me think of language and perception, and the Himba tribe and the colour "blue"

    the 'shortcuts' that language creates in the mind

    ...

    frames of reference,,, and how the latest '<<"fit_your_genre_name_here">>' track fits into what we know,,,

    if all you listen to is Genesis, is everything Genesis-like?
    ...

    the range of sound and possibility in this relative slither of handheld glass, make it, for me, the most magical of magical instruments [at least 'til the power goes out, then i'm back to a bag'o'bells'n'shakers ;]

    but, like scissors, and many other magical things,,, for those born into a world where these things are 'already here',, there is less "wow!"

    "of course you can do it on an ipad, you can do anything on an ipad"

    i feel this (maybe) why, it appears (to me), many of us enthralled by apps are pre-www,,, we saw this magic arrive! we experienced the 'before'

    young people, like young people have always done, crave the physical,,

    ======

    @oddSTAR's comment brought to mind the Terrence McKenna quote about our machines becoming 'telepathic',,, it seems that this moment is almost, if not already, upon us,,, [a simple swipe of "recommended advert, etc"]

    and how 'synchronicity' in the age of the machine will become commonplace

    and this adds another layer of ponderation to the possibilities of "what is..." to synchronicities in the "physical world",,, do we, as many mystics/<<"fit_yr_descriptor_here">>say, "get what we are thinking of"?

    do our thoughts create this "reality"?

    ======

    as for the intangible not taking up hoarding space,,, i'm not so sure,,, as someone with a desire for order , and a usb full of unsorted photos,,, i still feel their wait in me :)'

    (((p.s. i still find vinyl and ✈ quite quite magical 🎶 )))

  • edited October 17

    @simonnowis

    Thank you for your very interesting and thought provoking insights.

    I googled, and did some reading about Namibian Himba Tribe color perception. That's some fascinating research!

    On the subject of how a listener of a single musical genre might first perceive the unknown genre. I think most of us can relate to that question by thinking back and remembering the first time we heard some type of music from another culture. I think for myself I'd describe those long ago moments of hearing such music for the first time as "unfamiliarity".

    I'd speculate the most familiar recognizable element of most music from different cultures would be rhythm.

    I recall reading research that found Rhythmic Drumming, chanting, singing, etc.. can have physiologic and neurological effects such as mood altering, trance inducing, lowering or raising of heart rate and BP, and other effects.

    My personal theory about such mind and body effects relative to rhythm. is that music/rhythm provides the mind with a predictive sense of the future/ or a sense of order. It's the familiarity of knowing what is coming next that provides the neurological effects.

    When I listen to any very familiar piece of recorded music, a major part of what makes the song enjoyable is "knowing it", it plays as I remember.

    I suppose an interesting experiment might be randomly splicing together short segments of well known rock songs, but create one track that retains the same rhythm from one splice to the next. A second track would be arranged so the rhythm continuously changing and interrupted.

    I think most would find the track that holds the rhythm most tolerable. The rapid change of "unfinished" familiar songs and scale/tuning changes might be the most "shocking" part of that first track. But the rhythm would be the part the listener focuses on.

    The continuously interrupted track would probable just be annoying. It would be like scanning through radio stations playing different stuff in a random manner. The focus would probably revert to just recognizing parts of songs, and the overall musical context lost.

  • edited October 17

    @Max23 said:
    I remember what a shock my first analogue synthesizer was
    it did sound nothing like the records I was listening to
    i had no idea what I was doing ^^

    analog vs digital
    is this still a thing?

    I mean in the last 10 years there is more analogue stuff out that u couldn't get for years
    people will soon realize that a filter pulse is a filtered pulse and return to digital if they haven't already ^^
    subtractive isnt the hotest shit in town, it only has a limited color palette

    You can hardly make wrong/thin/unpleasant sounding analog synth, but there is shitload of thin sounding mediocre digital synths, with ugly sounding filters, especially resonance, filter stepping, nasty aliased oscillators, all kinds of weaknesses which digital synths are suffering in case thst coder did not good job diring DSP coding - both HW and SW...

    Don't get me wrong, there are amazing dogital synths like whole Nord Lead serie, old good Supernova, Korg Radias, Virus TI, Yamaha SY77, Microwave XT and few more. I really like them. But i see vastly more great sounding synths in analog synth category, than in digital (especially in terms of filters and oscillators or more extreme modulations like fast lfo mod and stuff like that)

    Example - NOTHING digital sounds soo much organic and living like Model D (i mean real thing, even Behringer clone - plugin sounds like crap, especialy with high resonance, when compared face to face with real thing - did't believed how big difference it is until i didn't tried it)

  • CD vs. vynil/tape is different story, it's a actually pretty funny because today most of people are listening music not even in CD quality but as poor MP3s on poor cheap headphones :-))) And except of small group of purists, everybody is ok with that

  • edited October 18

    @dendy said:

    @Max23 said:
    I remember what a shock my first analogue synthesizer was
    it did sound nothing like the records I was listening to
    i had no idea what I was doing ^^

    analog vs digital
    is this still a thing?

    I mean in the last 10 years there is more analogue stuff out that u couldn't get for years
    people will soon realize that a filter pulse is a filtered pulse and return to digital if they haven't already ^^
    subtractive isnt the hotest shit in town, it only has a limited color palette

    You can hardly make wrong/thin/unpleasant sounding analog synth, but there is shitload of thin sounding mediocre digital synths, with ugly sounding filters, especially resonance, filter stepping, nasty aliased oscillators, all kinds of weaknesses which digital synths are suffering in case thst coder did not good job diring DSP coding - both HW and SW...

    Don't get me wrong, there are amazing dogital synths like whole Nord Lead serie, old good Supernova, Korg Radias, Virus TI, Yamaha SY77, Microwave XT and few more. I really like them. But i see vastly more great sounding synths in analog synth category, than in digital (especially in terms of filters and oscillators or more extreme modulations like fast lfo mod and stuff like that)

    Example - NOTHING digital sounds soo much organic and living like Model D (i mean real thing, even Behringer clone - plugin sounds like crap, especialy with high resonance, when compared face to face with real thing - did't believed how big difference it is until i didn't tried it)

    You see how many flavors of sound do you get out of the SY or the microwave vs a minimoog ;)
    That analog stuff is just bread and butter
    It’s just another filtered saw or pulse or white noise in the end
    If it came out of this or that doesn’t matter much in the end
    I want new and fresh and exotic sounds and not recreate the 70s

  • that’sa cool find!

  • edited October 18

    the analog vs digital argument is beyond silly.

    this album was recorded the same year as that clipping from 1979 using a digital synclavier. Sounds pretty damn good to me. One of my favorite concrete albums.

  • 👍

    @ExAsperis99 said:
    I have a good engineer friend who points out that every generation of musicians is recording with engineers who are "solving the problems" of the previous generation. I can't remember the whole spiel, but it involves that totally dead California drum sound from the 70s "solving" microphone bleed from larger amps from the end of the sixites. And the overcompression of weak indie-boy singers in the 90s who got record deals by singing into their bedroom four-track cassette players....

  • @palms said:
    the analog vs digital argument is beyond silly.

    this album was recorded the same year as that clipping from 1979 using a digital synclavier. Sounds pretty damn good to me. One of my favorite concrete albums.
    ...

    Interesting. Never heard of this album. I love the Synclavier! It has an extremely wide sonic palette.
    This album emphasizes its brighter spectrum of sounds.

    Maybe the people who dislike(d) "digital" just weren't into that kind of sounds?

  • edited October 18

    slave to the rhythm was a 12 bit master, it sounds great.
    you just have to follow your ears and dont treat digital like analogue ...
    ppl hated on digital because they had no clue and were using it wrong.
    oh surprise pushing it into the red doesnt work. ^^
    oh a dx 7 isnt as easy to use as a minimoog ;) ^^
    oh my transistor compressor isnt an opto compressor ^^

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