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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What are the best sources of pianos on iOS?

I have AudioLayer, with imported pianos from Pianobook and Spitfire Labs (thanks Marcus Manderson). I have and love Ravenscroft. I have Korg Module Pro, and am choosing one (or both) of the pianos in that. I also use all the pianos I can find, in other synth apps.

But which are the other best sources of pianos (preferably editable), that I can also use in AUM or other DAWs on iPad?

Comments

  • Someone on Facebook iPad Musician group recommended Colossus, but hasn't used it. I'm not keen on the interface, and wonder how good the pianos are, so if anyone uses Colossus, I'll be interested to hear.

    I am also going to be using pianos from Spitfire, Arturia, Native Instruments, and Felt Instruments on my laptop, once I upgrade it.

    But any further suggestions would me most welcome for mobile practice and composition on my iPad.

    Can anyone share a comparison between the different paid pianos in Korg Module? I want to purchase whilst they're on offer.

  • Ravenscroft is top notch

  • @mlau said:
    Ravenscroft is top notch

    I love it very much, and hope to afford the Mac version one of these days.

  • I also have a specific question about pianos in Module Pro.

    I downloaded the trial of each of the two. But only the Ivory American D is showing up in the presets, the Ivory Mobile Grand isn't showing up (the German Steinway). The American D is listed with AmD on the right hand side of each preset, and under category has it's own section, but the Ivory Mobile Grand isn't. I tried restoring, and even rebooting my iPad, but I can't identify the presets for the German grand, so it's difficult to compare the two.

    What am I missing here?

  • @andowrites said:

    What are the best sources of pianos on iOS?

    I have AudioLayer, with imported pianos from Pianobook and Spitfire Labs (thanks Marcus Manderson). I have and love Ravenscroft. I have Korg Module Pro, and am choosing one (or both) of the pianos in that. I also use all the pianos I can find, in other synth apps.

    But which are the other best sources of pianos (preferably editable), that I can also use in AUM or other DAWs on iPad?

    Track down the full salamander piano download. In my opinion (and blind listeningsby others) it bests Ravenscroft. Note that many versions of salamander one finds have been slimmed down.

  • @espiegel123 said:
    Track down the full salamander piano download. In my opinion (and blind listeningsby others) it bests Ravenscroft. Note that many versions of salamander one finds have been slimmed down.

    Looking for it now.

  • @andowrites said:

    @espiegel123 said:
    Track down the full salamander piano download. In my opinion (and blind listeningsby others) it bests Ravenscroft. Note that many versions of salamander one finds have been slimmed down.

    Looking for it now.

    The full salamander is a download a bit over 1 gigabyte and was at 48k 24-bit, if I remember.

    Alexander Holm (the creator) used to have a site. I think the downloads on this page might be mirrors of what he hosted

    https://musical-artifacts.com/artifacts/3

    P.s. even though he didn’t sample every key, I think he did a better job sampling than the Ivy in 182 which sampled every key (round robin style)

  • OboObo
    edited November 21

    I’m in no way a seasoned ear with these things but I think Colossus sounds better than Ravenscroft. If you end up buying all the different pianos, you end up with a lot of sounds to choose from and to me, it sounds about as good as you can get.

    I’m not a fan of the user experience on Colossus though. It just doesn’t have a good feel to it at all, especially at the price tag. If you have any of the developers other apps, you an get a feel for what it’s like (same dev that made Heavy Brass and Oriental Strings, and I’m pretty sure at least one more that I’m drawing a blank on).

    If I was going to re-buy one app and I could only have one (gasp! The anxiety felt just uttering that phrase, I feel it in me bones!). I’d buy Ravenscroft. It sounds amazing and the overall user experience is much cleaner.

  • Here are the other apps, @Obo:

  • @andowrites, the Hamburg in Module, IMO, is inferior to the American D. The upright inapp in PureSynthPlatinum is quite good, IMO, but not a grand like sound.

  • @LinearLineman said:
    @andowrites, the Hamburg in Module, IMO, is inferior to the American D. The upright inapp in PureSynthPlatinum is quite good, IMO, but not a grand like sound.

    I've been running the 7 day trial of both in Module, and I have to agree with you. I'm going to buy the American D, I'm loving it's palette of sounds.

  • Watch for a Ravenscroft 275 sale. It's sound and stability will pay huge dividends over time. You can tweak the sound dramatically with a good Parametric EQ (FabFilter, ToneBoosters, BlueMangoo, 4 Pockets). I used to tweak my pianos with ApeFilter because
    a great solo piano often needs a lot more treble in a complex mix to standout. Yamaha's have famous highs and steinways are beautiful dark. Jazz = Yamaha. Classical Sonatas = Stenway. The main difference is a simple EQ.

    I think we could do A/B experiments with the major pianos and just by tweaking more highs
    most listeners would prefer that version unless it was Moonlight Sonata and then they would go for the tweak with the rich low end. But that's a trend and everyone has personal tastes... like Fender Strat vs Les Paul guitars: highs vs lows.

    For technical execution in a piano you must have excellent disk streaming... Ravenscroft and Salamander in Auria Pro's Lyra Sampler are the best. But Auria Pro is a walled garden and RC 275 is a plug-in that "just works". Colossus is a great walled garden and a poorly implemented plug-in... it crashes and refuses to record in most DAW's. It consumes so much memory in it's disk streaming that the DAW is obligated to crash the plug-in.

    The only way to benefit from Colossus that I have found is to use it on my iPhone and record it on the iPad as an external sound module. I have purchased about 5 Colossus products and they are all excellent for my tastes. But they take hours to re-load the products... days really since only one at a time works and if it fails for any reason... you must re-start. Insane. But my iPhone has the storage... I bought 512GB just to hold all my purchases and thankfully Colossus supports iPhones.

    Once you get that massive Salamander the technical implementation of the SFZ player will become critical. I gave up. It's only marginally better and makes the problem of no disk streaming even more difficult. AudioLayer is reported to do the job... I had too many crashes just trying to load the SFZ and I have heard it in Auria Pro which loads it's easily. It's better for solo work but in a mix it's extra "air" is lost to me.

    The Korg Module Ivory Am is very good... excellent choice and with the recent support for AUv3 for Module it's a contender but not sure about stability in DAW's compared to the rock of all AUv3 Pianos which is... RC 275. Should be available at $18 for Black Friday. You will never regret it.

  • Actually, I think the Module AmD works better in Cubasis 3 than Ravenscroft which boosts the DSP considerably.

  • @LinearLineman said:
    Actually, I think the Module AmD works better in Cubasis 3 than Ravenscroft which boosts the DSP considerably.

    "works better" in what way? DSP consumption? I'm intrigued because you rarely use Module AmD in your work.

    Just for the record... a little discourse on Acronyms:

    DSP - Digital Signal Processing (i.e. Algorithms a programmer uses to manipulate audio)
    CPU - Central Processing Unit (in IOS: a multi-core chip)

    So, a DSP consumes CPU resources. It's also softened stated as the CPU is busy running DSP code. Many DAW's give uses some metering of DSP/CPU usage as a percentage of capacity.
    It's a very general value and very often tells us things we misinterpret and use to make decisions that don't help. People get upset when they load 2 AUv3's and the DSP/CPU usage doesn't just double in a linear fashion. There may be reasons and the meter just isn't accurate for that simple view of what the iPad is doing and how the DAW can report on it.

    So, the best way to test an AUv3 is to run multiple instances to see how many you can use before the system "crackles" or something crashes (DAW or AUv3 instance). That's useful to compare 2 products. I haven't done that and most of use don't write music for piano octets anyway. We are more likely to put more hands on one grand... and that tests the MIDI implementation which is also a great way to test a product in a useful manner. Throw a lot of notes at the sound engine... does it drop and notes? Can you tell? or does it just fall over?

    Korg and UVI are great at these types of sound engines.

  • edited November 21

    I much prefer Ravenscroft to Salamander which, to me, needs a lot of EQing to sound natural.
    Once becoming familiar with Ravenscroft, creating a few presets and using it in a few things I’ve never felt any need to even try anything else.
    I also very much like the upright expansion in PSP but I’m a fan of the upright sound, having always had one in whichever house I’ve lived in.
    The one thing all iOS pianos lack is half-pedalling. The desktop version of RC275 has this, I really hope UVI bring it to iOS one day.

  • @TimRussell said:
    I much prefer Ravenscroft to Salamander which, to me, needs a lot of EQing to sound natural.

    This raises a good point: BS-16i has the tools to EQ an SF2 instrument. SoundFonts does not.
    I find BS-16i to have too many features that make it unstable when used as an AUv3 plug-in
    but excellent as a standalone MIDI "sound card" emulator for General MIDI uses... similar to a Roland Sound Canvas card or module.

    Once becoming familiar with Ravenscroft, creating a few presets and using it in a few things I’ve never felt any need to even try anything else.

    The défault is just wonderful in most cases when used as a Plug-in. Sometimes, I might turn off the reverb to hear the qualities of an external reverb but I typically just load and go
    in most cases.

    I also very much like the upright expansion in PSP but I’m a fan of the upright sound, having always had one in whichever house I’ve lived in.

    Colossus has some killer uprights but Crudebytes fails in the "sound engine" department for plug-in purposes. NOTE; Crudebytes has many products with iSymphonic being the best orchestral sampled library until StaffPad has replace it for me. StaffPad requires pencil notation input with a severely broken MIDI import capability... a recent update improved the MIDI import (reportedly).

    The orchestras in Staffpad rival the products on the desktop for control and realism because they do something a DAW can't. They render the audio (run the DSP code) after each bar is entered so when you hit "play" it always just play for dozens of instruments. A DAW could implement this approach for piano-roll MIDI but none do. Render (convert MIDI to audio) when the user hits a button or opens a new MIDI channel/instrument.

    If "freeze" to audio worked better in Cubasis I'd probably live there but it didn't and I got hooked on the "high" of AUM immediacy and a new way of thinking about assembling instruments. AUM with Xequence or LK is a more perfect DAW but the AUM tool that acts like a classic multi-track studio doesn't exist yet... IMHO.

  • @McD said:
    Watch for a Ravenscroft 275 sale. It's sound and stability will pay huge dividends over time. You can tweak the sound dramatically with a good Parametric EQ (FabFilter, ToneBoosters, BlueMangoo, 4 Pockets). I used to tweak my pianos with ApeFilter because
    a great solo piano often needs a lot more treble in a complex mix to standout. Yamaha's have famous highs and steinways are beautiful dark. Jazz = Yamaha. Classical Sonatas = Stenway. The main difference is a simple EQ.

    I think we could do A/B experiments with the major pianos and just by tweaking more highs
    most listeners would prefer that version unless it was Moonlight Sonata and then they would go for the tweak with the rich low end. But that's a trend and everyone has personal tastes... like Fender Strat vs Les Paul guitars: highs vs lows.

    For technical execution in a piano you must have excellent disk streaming... Ravenscroft and Salamander in Auria Pro's Lyra Sampler are the best. But Auria Pro is a walled garden and RC 275 is a plug-in that "just works". Colossus is a great walled garden and a poorly implemented plug-in... it crashes and refuses to record in most DAW's. It consumes so much memory in it's disk streaming that the DAW is obligated to crash the plug-in.

    The only way to benefit from Colossus that I have found is to use it on my iPhone and record it on the iPad as an external sound module. I have purchased about 5 Colossus products and they are all excellent for my tastes. But they take hours to re-load the products... days really since only one at a time works and if it fails for any reason... you must re-start. Insane. But my iPhone has the storage... I bought 512GB just to hold all my purchases and thankfully Colossus supports iPhones.

    Once you get that massive Salamander the technical implementation of the SFZ player will become critical. I gave up. It's only marginally better and makes the problem of no disk streaming even more difficult. AudioLayer is reported to do the job... I had too many crashes just trying to load the SFZ and I have heard it in Auria Pro which loads it's easily. It's better for solo work but in a mix it's extra "air" is lost to me.

    The Korg Module Ivory Am is very good... excellent choice and with the recent support for AUv3 for Module it's a contender but not sure about stability in DAW's compared to the rock of all AUv3 Pianos which is... RC 275. Should be available at $18 for Black Friday. You will never regret it.

    I haven’t had any crashes with AudioLayer for ages ..., have you had crashes louding salamander with recent AudioLayer versions? I use it pretty much daily.

  • @McD, yes, I believe DSP is higher with Ravenscroft than Module American D.

  • @espiegel123 said:
    I haven’t had any crashes with AudioLayer for ages ..., have you had crashes louding salamander with recent AudioLayer versions? I use it pretty much daily.

    Good to know. The last thing I did was load a "Kontakt" Felt Piano instrument from "Piano Book" just importing the raw wave files. It worked great. I really need a new iPad to do much with AudioLayer since I constantly fight for disk space. I wish we could share our AudioLayer efforts but most of the instruments have sources that deserve a bit of ethical protection. Go figure.

    Felt pianos are very cool and there a 6 or so on Piano Book along with hundreds of other home sampling efforts... all free to download and play with.

  • My thoughts about that.
    To get the piano sound and feel, there's no way. Only the piano — the real stuff.
    On the stage? anything like Yamaha 120, 110, or something like that. In the iOS world? That's the question!
    To me, any piano app from Crudebytes and Ravenscroft is the best. Then Korg's, but I don't feel responsiveness with them. Electric? Crudebytes! When I hit the key, then I feel the response. Vintage Electric is good too, but it has too much original distortion. (Crudebytes need to be attenuated in AUv3 version — way too loud).

  • @VoytecG said:
    My thoughts about that.
    To get the piano sound and feel, there's no way. Only the piano — the real stuff.
    On the stage? anything like Yamaha 120, 110, or something like that. In the iOS world? That's the question!
    To me, any piano app from Crudebytes and Ravenscroft is the best. Then Korg's, but I don't feel responsiveness with them. Electric? Crudebytes! When I hit the key, then I feel the response. Vintage Electric is good too, but it has too much original distortion. (Crudebytes need to be attenuated in AUv3 version — way too loud).

    That CrudeByte E-Piano Collection with 6 models is $20 in Colossus. It's is pure heaven for solo work, IMHO. The 2 EP IAP's in Korg Module (Rhodes and Whurly) are great too. I suspect I'm not that picky about response times... as a drummer I learned to adapt movement to a groove so I don't get bothered by Synth or Guitar app latency until it's way above 100 msecs.

    Colossus has a lot of IAP"s to choose from... the whole set is something like 30GB of samples:

    1. Colossus Concert Grand $49.99
    2. Japanese Grand $12.99
    3. Colossus E-Piano Set $19.99
    4. Upright Piano $19.99
    5. Classic B Grand $15.99
    6. Baby Grand Piano $26.99
    7. Pianino $12.99
    8. Vintage Upright $9.99
    9. Historic S Grand $9.99
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