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.

Current best USB-C audio interface as of August 2021?

I made the mistake of going cheap with a Presonus Studio 24c a few months back. The MIDI in out is what sold me, but it’s the audio that conflicts with iOS and every single DAW to where the signal gradually gets more static-y as the session goes on. Beware buying one.

So I’m joining the long line of folks who’ve had this question. It’s solely for a 2020 iPad Pro, so it’s gotta be USB-C compatible. Buffer power or adapter powered doesn’t matter. A preferred two (2) instrument/mic inputs for stereo guitar and synth recordings, but I’d consider one with more ins/outs if it’s quality and solid with the iPad. MIDI in/out would be nice, but I can still use the Presonus as a MIDI box.

1) What do you use? Do you recommend it?

and

2) If money were not an issue, what’s the toppest of the line and the one you’d buy?

Got a feeling the Focusrite 2i2 will win, and that’s what I’m leaning towards. But I also don’t wanna make the mistake again of having to buy something else I should’ve bought in the first place, so I’ll definitely consider spending bigger. Thanks for any help.

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Comments

  • I just picked up a 4i4 rather than the 2i2 because it has loopback. It’s bus powered but I’m plugging it in to my usb-c hub with the included usb-a connector. Can’t say if it would work with usb-c. All I’ve really done with it is a quick headphone and loopback test but just today KodeLife started crashing on startup if the 4i4 is plugged in.

  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • @oat_phipps said:
    I made the mistake of going cheap with a Presonus Studio 24c a few months back. The MIDI in out is what sold me, but it’s the audio that conflicts with iOS and every single DAW to where the signal gradually gets more static-y as the session goes on. Beware buying one.

    So I’m joining the long line of folks who’ve had this question. It’s solely for a 2020 iPad Pro, so it’s gotta be USB-C compatible. Buffer power or adapter powered doesn’t matter. A preferred two (2) instrument/mic inputs for stereo guitar and synth recordings, but I’d consider one with more ins/outs if it’s quality and solid with the iPad. MIDI in/out would be nice, but I can still use the Presonus as a MIDI box.

    1) What do you use? Do you recommend it?

    and

    2) If money were not an issue, what’s the toppest of the line and the one you’d buy?

    Got a feeling the Focusrite 2i2 will win, and that’s what I’m leaning towards. But I also don’t wanna make the mistake again of having to buy something else I should’ve bought in the first place, so I’ll definitely consider spending bigger. Thanks for any help.

    I have the MOTU M4 and it is very good. They are hard to find in stock right now. I have a couple of the Behringer's too, the 204 and 404. They are fine too. I think the output DAC's, amps, and headphone amp are much better on the M4 than the Behringer stuff I have, but they all work fine.

    Are you sure the problem is with the Presonus? The Presonus stuff is good quality. Which version of iOS are you on?

  • Any Class Compliant USB audio interface works with USB-C. You just need the right cable, and those are readily available.

  • I’m (almost) in the same situation.
    Have my eye on SPL Crimson 3

  • edited August 2021

    @NeonSilicon said:

    @oat_phipps said:
    I made the mistake of going cheap with a Presonus Studio 24c a few months back. The MIDI in out is what sold me, but it’s the audio that conflicts with iOS and every single DAW to where the signal gradually gets more static-y as the session goes on. Beware buying one.

    So I’m joining the long line of folks who’ve had this question. It’s solely for a 2020 iPad Pro, so it’s gotta be USB-C compatible. Buffer power or adapter powered doesn’t matter. A preferred two (2) instrument/mic inputs for stereo guitar and synth recordings, but I’d consider one with more ins/outs if it’s quality and solid with the iPad. MIDI in/out would be nice, but I can still use the Presonus as a MIDI box.

    1) What do you use? Do you recommend it?

    and

    2) If money were not an issue, what’s the toppest of the line and the one you’d buy?

    Got a feeling the Focusrite 2i2 will win, and that’s what I’m leaning towards. But I also don’t wanna make the mistake again of having to buy something else I should’ve bought in the first place, so I’ll definitely consider spending bigger. Thanks for any help.

    I have the MOTU M4 and it is very good. They are hard to find in stock right now. I have a couple of the Behringer's too, the 204 and 404. They are fine too. I think the output DAC's, amps, and headphone amp are much better on the M4 than the Behringer stuff I have, but they all work fine.

    Are you sure the problem is with the Presonus? The Presonus stuff is good quality. Which version of iOS are you on?

    Latest iOS. Maybe I just got a dud. It slowly starts getting faintly static on harder strums, then it grows to where it’s every note until it overtakes the audio. If I unplug it and plug it back up, it’s back to normal, but the process starts again. I’ve made sure via the PC software that the sample and buffer matches the 48k/256 of all Cubasis/AUM/apeMatrix, and it has the same problem with all of those apps. Any idea what could cause that.

    [ As a total idiot question out if curiosity, If I need to change the buffer im say Cubasis to 512, would I need to unplug the Presonus and set it to 512 with the software before plugging it back in to continue? I figured they would communicate with each other and adjust.]

    That Motu looks great, I’d get that if the wait wasn’t so TBD.

    I’m thinkin about starting to sing again. Are the condenser mics offered in the bundles that most of the interfaces have any good?

  • @oat_phipps said:

    @NeonSilicon said:

    @oat_phipps said:
    I made the mistake of going cheap with a Presonus Studio 24c a few months back. The MIDI in out is what sold me, but it’s the audio that conflicts with iOS and every single DAW to where the signal gradually gets more static-y as the session goes on. Beware buying one.

    So I’m joining the long line of folks who’ve had this question. It’s solely for a 2020 iPad Pro, so it’s gotta be USB-C compatible. Buffer power or adapter powered doesn’t matter. A preferred two (2) instrument/mic inputs for stereo guitar and synth recordings, but I’d consider one with more ins/outs if it’s quality and solid with the iPad. MIDI in/out would be nice, but I can still use the Presonus as a MIDI box.

    1) What do you use? Do you recommend it?

    and

    2) If money were not an issue, what’s the toppest of the line and the one you’d buy?

    Got a feeling the Focusrite 2i2 will win, and that’s what I’m leaning towards. But I also don’t wanna make the mistake again of having to buy something else I should’ve bought in the first place, so I’ll definitely consider spending bigger. Thanks for any help.

    I have the MOTU M4 and it is very good. They are hard to find in stock right now. I have a couple of the Behringer's too, the 204 and 404. They are fine too. I think the output DAC's, amps, and headphone amp are much better on the M4 than the Behringer stuff I have, but they all work fine.

    Are you sure the problem is with the Presonus? The Presonus stuff is good quality. Which version of iOS are you on?

    Latest iOS. Maybe I just got a dud. It slowly starts getting faintly static on harder strums, then it grows to where it’s every note until it overtakes the audio. If I unplug it and plug it back up, it’s back to normal, but the process starts again. I’ve made sure via the PC software that the sample and buffer matches the 48k/256 of all Cubasis/AUM/apeMatrix, and it has the same problem with all of those apps. Any idea what could cause that.

    [ As a total idiot question out if curiosity, If I need to change the buffer im say Cubasis to 512, would I need to unplug the Presonus and set it to 512 with the software before plugging it back in to continue? I figured they would communicate with each other and adjust.]

    That Motu looks great, I’d get that if the wait wasn’t so TBD.

    I’m thinkin about starting to sing again. Are the condenser mics offered in the bundles that most of the interfaces have any good?

    What you've described sounds similar to issues I had sometimes on 14.6. Reports seem to indicate that the issue is solved on 14.7. I don't know though because I've moved to the iOS 15 betas. (I don't see any issues on the the current beta related to sample rates or distortion, but it currently crashes every host when you delete an AU.)

    Have you tried the interface on your PC? It could be that there is a hardware issue with the interface. Even something like a bad cap could cause something like you describe. Something like that could even be related to power delivery/available current, but it's likely that if it were the hardware that it would show up on a a PC too.

    The host should communicate the changes to the interface and the interface should respond. Some interfaces don't do this (I suspect that the Presonus does as those that don't tend to be older devices). There can be some additional weirdness that could happen depending on the host and other running audio software that might cause software based sample rate conversion in Apple's audio system.

    I'm the wrong person to ask about mics. I'm weird. I like ribbon mics on everything.

  • @oat_phipps said:

    @NeonSilicon said:

    @oat_phipps said:
    I made the mistake of going cheap with a Presonus Studio 24c a few months back. The MIDI in out is what sold me, but it’s the audio that conflicts with iOS and every single DAW to where the signal gradually gets more static-y as the session goes on. Beware buying one.

    So I’m joining the long line of folks who’ve had this question. It’s solely for a 2020 iPad Pro, so it’s gotta be USB-C compatible. Buffer power or adapter powered doesn’t matter. A preferred two (2) instrument/mic inputs for stereo guitar and synth recordings, but I’d consider one with more ins/outs if it’s quality and solid with the iPad. MIDI in/out would be nice, but I can still use the Presonus as a MIDI box.

    1) What do you use? Do you recommend it?

    and

    2) If money were not an issue, what’s the toppest of the line and the one you’d buy?

    Got a feeling the Focusrite 2i2 will win, and that’s what I’m leaning towards. But I also don’t wanna make the mistake again of having to buy something else I should’ve bought in the first place, so I’ll definitely consider spending bigger. Thanks for any help.

    I have the MOTU M4 and it is very good. They are hard to find in stock right now. I have a couple of the Behringer's too, the 204 and 404. They are fine too. I think the output DAC's, amps, and headphone amp are much better on the M4 than the Behringer stuff I have, but they all work fine.

    Are you sure the problem is with the Presonus? The Presonus stuff is good quality. Which version of iOS are you on?

    Latest iOS. Maybe I just got a dud. It slowly starts getting faintly static on harder strums, then it grows to where it’s every note until it overtakes the audio. If I unplug it and plug it back up, it’s back to normal, but the process starts again. I’ve made sure via the PC software that the sample and buffer matches the 48k/256 of all Cubasis/AUM/apeMatrix, and it has the same problem with all of those apps. Any idea what could cause that.

    [ As a total idiot question out if curiosity, If I need to change the buffer im say Cubasis to 512, would I need to unplug the Presonus and set it to 512 with the software before plugging it back in to continue? I figured they would communicate with each other and adjust.]

    That Motu looks great, I’d get that if the wait wasn’t so TBD.

    I’m thinkin about starting to sing again. Are the condenser mics offered in the bundles that most of the interfaces have any good?

    If you have a Sam Ash nearby, call them and see if they have one on hand. The one by me ALWAYS has one in stock which I found weird because no other place has them. They're website does not show their stock. I went there one day and they had an M2 and a M4. I grabbed the latter. Every time I've been there since they have had one.

    As for mics, I would recommend an SM57/58. $100 legendary mic. Condensers are really only amazing in treated environments because they pick up everything in the room. Dynamic mics are great for untreated rooms because they only pick up what's right in front of them. And the MOTU have enough clean gain to drive them.

  • I use a Focusrite Scarlett 18i8. Never had an issue with Focusrite Scarlett interfaces and iPads so happy to continue to stick with that brand.

  • I got the Motu M2 off Amazon last year and it’s great. I figured I didn’t need the M4 extras and so far so good.

  • Thanks everybody. Gonna go with the Focusrite and an SM57 for vox, mostly so I can double its use recording guitar, and stop overthinking it.

  • edited August 2021

    A few months ago I obtained a secondhand one of these at a very irresistible price on eBay, it was in very good condition. I didn’t have time to use it immediately but a few weeks later I used it to test on my MBP in LPX, and it made a total mess, just failed to work at any normal sample rate and just stopped working after a short while on each recording attempt. I looked at the software on the web site and it needed special Steinberg software rather than being class compliant, and it also needed firmware updating. I tried downloading the firmware updates but in order to use this I had to install something else first, and so on, so I just shelved it and forgot about it. I’m not going to install random drivers on my MBP.

    A short while ago I tried it, just to see, on the iPad Pro via a lightning to USB lead. There’s an app for this device to enable the reverb and dsp stuff, should you want it (I probably wouldn’t), and I think what happened was the app actually updated the unit for me. Which was nice. On the iPad Pro (trying it briefly in Auria etc) it seemed very good indeed, and I’m glad I got it in the end, even if I only use it for the iPad Pro.

    Apparently on the iPad it works as class compliant.

    https://www.musicradar.com/reviews/steinberg-ur22c-review

  • I got the Behringer 204HD and I’m happy with it. I can do fake loop back using the 3-4 outs back into the inputs, very handy. You can do “poorman’s bounce in place” or route audio between non routable apps, from AUM to Zenbeats, for example.

  • edited August 2021

    Well, turns out I couldn’t resist this once I read up on it, especially about how good the headphone amp is. Probably a bit of a boutique premium paid there, but what the hell.

    https://www.blacklionaudio.com/store/interfaces/revolution2x2/

  • @oat_phipps said:
    Well, turns out I couldn’t resist this once I read up on it, especially about how good the headphone amp is. Probably a bit of a boutique premium paid there, but what the hell.

    https://www.blacklionaudio.com/store/interfaces/revolution2x2/

    Looks good, sadly for me needing 4 outs it was out of contention early on. The whole "great sound" angle appealed to me as a singer looking for great pres in an interface. Hope it works well for you!

  • Best source I've found for interface reviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0HrD4cTsQpAZ8KK9jPzzGg

    I use both a MOTU M4 and an Audient iD4 mk2 and never feel like I need something "better". We're lucky to have so many excellent, affordable options.

    Also, if the SM57 falls short, consider the Beyerdynamic M88 TG. I have more mics than sense but if I could have only one, it'd be the M88. Aim it at any voice or instrument and it usually sounds great, even in crappy room.

  • @128BPM said:
    I’m (almost) in the same situation.
    Have my eye on SPL Crimson 3

    Go for it! You will not regret. The “Phonitor Matrix” is very useful, the whole thing is built like a tank, looks very nice and professional on the desk and sounds amazing. You can find many useful routing examples in the manual.

  • @Schmotown said:
    Best source I've found for interface reviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0HrD4cTsQpAZ8KK9jPzzGg

    I use both a MOTU M4 and an Audient iD4 mk2 and never feel like I need something "better". We're lucky to have so many excellent, affordable options.

    Also, if the SM57 falls short, consider the Beyerdynamic M88 TG. I have more mics than sense but if I could have only one, it'd be the M88. Aim it at any voice or instrument and it usually sounds great, even in crappy room.

    At that price you might as well just get an SM7B

  • @Lil_Stu07 said:

    @Schmotown said:
    Best source I've found for interface reviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0HrD4cTsQpAZ8KK9jPzzGg

    I use both a MOTU M4 and an Audient iD4 mk2 and never feel like I need something "better". We're lucky to have so many excellent, affordable options.

    Also, if the SM57 falls short, consider the Beyerdynamic M88 TG. I have more mics than sense but if I could have only one, it'd be the M88. Aim it at any voice or instrument and it usually sounds great, even in crappy room.

    At that price you might as well just get an SM7B

    The SM7B is popular for good reason but I find the M88 to be more versatile. So far I've used it to record vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, acoustic piano, trombone/trumpet/tuba, drums and percussion, melodica... pretty much anything. Anyway, they're both excellent mics.

  • edited August 2021

    RME
    May be a bit expensive at first look, but you can forget about interfaces for the next 10-15 years if you want to. Absolutely problem free operation under any OS (desktop, mobile), best drivers, good sound quality, extensive feature set.
    There are and will always be trendy interfaces, focusing on various aspects (design, compatibility, connectivity, features, sound quality - A/D/A preamp) but for me RME strikes the best, easiest compromise.

    Edit:
    Careful with SM7B, while it’s probably the best dyn mic that in many cases can give better results than mics 3x the price, you won’t be able to drive it properly without dedicated amp, most interfaces just don’t offer the range it requires.

  • @0tolerance4silence said:
    RME
    May be a bit expensive at first look, but you can forget about interfaces for the next 10-15 years if you want to. Absolutely problem free operation under any OS (desktop, mobile), best drivers, good sound quality, extensive feature set.
    There are and will always be trendy interfaces, focusing on various aspects (design, compatibility, connectivity, features, sound quality - A/D/A preamp) but for me RME strikes the best, easiest compromise.

    Edit:
    Careful with SM7B, while it’s probably the best dyn mic that in many cases can give better results than mics 3x the price, you won’t be able to drive it properly without dedicated amp, most interfaces just don’t offer the range it requires.

    True. They require 60 dB of clean gain. Motu m2 and m4 can drive it. Also Mackie Profxv3 mixers can also. I believe the Tascam Model series can as well.

  • edited August 2021

    Well, reporting back with initial impressions of the Black Lion Revolution. Started second-guessing after seeing some detailed performance reports on the web and YouTube about pretty average or even below average benchmarks compared to others. But, I realized after giving it a shot and deciding whether to keep it, expecting I’d send it back, that it sounds awesome. I’ve had Presonus, Focusrite, and Apogee interfaces, and I used to just figure that with consumer/sub-‘professional’ non- rack-level interfaces (except for the Babyface or Apollos) that there would be no real difference in audio quality. I was wrong.

    I can understand refusing to support a product that doesn’t meet the benchmaks it should based on price. But the thing is all these tests were done with the preamp cranked to max, and I simply don’t know anyone who would do that. That’s not really an “everyday use” case, so it doesn’t matter to me. For example, the noise floor harped on in the reports is not an issue at all at normal instrument/mic levels of gain.

    Quality build, parts, and heft. And unless it breaks soon, extremely happy with it and would recommend it to anyone who wants a step up from the entry levels. I think the Motu still looks very impressive and would have satisfied me too, but I wasn’t willing to wait an undetermined amount of weeks and probably several months to get one.

  • @Ploe said:

    @128BPM said:
    Have my eye on SPL Crimson 3

    Go for it!

    Thank you. The features,sound and build quality seems great. I just don’t know if I should upgrade for more outputs/sends (several monitors and external efx ) or downgrade for easier transport, and then get a dedicated monitor controller.
    I really like the design and ergonomics.

  • I've used Focusrite Scarlett interfaces for years but decided to opt for the M-Audio AIR 192|14 when upgrading to a USB-C interface and couldn't be happier. The latency is crazy fast.

    But what I ended up doing is using the M-Audio on the desktop and the Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 with my M1 iPad Pro (the most flexible hub configuration with passthrough charging being the driver here). And at 96k Hz the latency is still negligible on the Scarlett so it was a win/win situation.

  • edited January 19

    It's January 2023. I need an audio interface.

    My current gear is iPhone SE 2020, (Lightning), iPad Air 4 (USB-C), and MacBook Pro 2020. I want to be able to send audio to and from any of these devices (to and from Ableton Live on MacOS). I haven't a clue how to choose an audio interface. Please can someone help advise me so I can avoid buying the wrong thing?

    In the not-too distant future, I may also wish to connect a Novation Circuit Rhythm, Korg Volca Sample and Modular, to my iOS devices and my Mac. So it would be shrewd to take that into account now. I occasionally podcast, so might wish to connect a mic with 3.5mm and XLR or USB mic to any of my devices.

    What might my options be? My main concern is a low noise-floor, and I would prefer a low noise-floor interface that meets my needs now, and upgrade to account for additional gear later. Three years ago, I rolled with a super simple Native Instruments Komplete Audio interface, and loved the quality of the sound I got out of it. I've looked at Arturia Minifuse recently too. But I'm wondering what else I should be considering?

  • Steinberg UR22C is worth looking at.

  • When looking for advice on a new gear to buy, the budget should first be established, otherwise it is impossible to discuss anything

  • @recycle said:
    When looking for advice on a new gear to buy, the budget should first be established, otherwise it is impossible to discuss anything

    Well, not impossible, just more likely to have exceedingly expensive gear suggested

    I have a Steinberg UR22C by the way, I like it

  • edited January 19

    @andowrites said:
    Three years ago, I rolled with a super simple Native Instruments Komplete Audio interface, and loved the quality of the sound I got out of it. I've looked at Arturia Minifuse recently too. But I'm wondering what else I should be considering?

    Do you still have the Komplete interface? If you do, you could just stick with that and get a different cable / usb adapter. You don't necessarily need to have a bespoke USB-C audio interface for a USB-C / thunderbolt computer (forgive me if that's already obvious to you).

    IDAM is built into Mac OS and is how to send audio digitally from iOS to MAC, it goes on a usb-c or usb to lightning cable (not via an interface). If you want to send audio both ways then things get trickier... Studiomux (iOS app) did do it, but it's not working in iOS 16 and is apparently (tragically) abandoned. iconnectaudio (audio 4C) and Lewitt (connect 6) make bi-directional audio interfaces for laptop & iOS combinations, but not necessarily a good option for the technically faint-hearted... and budget is not really the issue here as there's not anything else (to my knowledge) to choose from.

    My advice for what it's worth, would be to get setup with a modest 2 or 4 channel interface and think about the bi-directional bit later (you could always go for analogue inputs with a mixer and your other hardware). I would argue that what you really want hasn't quite been invented yet, or if it has then no-one's told me.

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