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.

A Library of Works … or In-the-Moment Jamming?

Are you steadily building a library of completed tracks (or have that intent)? Or do you prefer to just jam away without recording, living purely in and for the moment?

I’ve always been inclined to the former but lack of both time and finishing power mean I seldom cross the line, which is frankly depressing. Consequently I’m considering saying to hell with that and just enjoying jamming away without the burden of needing to create a finished article. Ever. If I can convince myself.

I guess the question is skewed toward certain musical types/genres but curious how you guys approach music-making in this sense; music for the record or music in the moment?

Music for the record or music in the moment
  1. Are you building a library of your own musical works?13 votes
    1. Yes, I record everything (even though I might only keep a fraction of it)
      53.85%
    2. Never, I just enjoy in-the-moment jamming with no worries about capturing the output
      46.15%

Comments

  • Composition involves a lot of improvising and jamming: when you sit down to come up with ideas or parts, you have no idea what's going to emerge, you just have to accept what comes, and then sift through it later to sort the good from the bad.

    The reason I mention this is that in my mind there isn't really that much difference between composition and improvising. Composition is improvising as far as I can tell. They're both in the moment, and require you to be in that creative state of flow.

    If you struggle to finish things, one approach that has worked really well for me is to simply set yourself a regular deadline, in my case it's to complete at least one finished track every month. It's not particularly hard to do, there's plenty of wiggle room, and in fact some people can create a new track every day ( @LinearLineman for example).

    I think it's important to not put yourself under pressure when writing, and maybe that's why some people find freeform jamming more fun - there's no pressure to complete anything or to try and perfect the end result. But I think you can also take the same approach to writing, just enjoy it and learn to discard the bad ideas that don't work. YMMV of course :)

  • edited January 8

    @richardyot said:
    Composition involves a lot of improvising and jamming: when you sit down to come up with ideas or parts, you have no idea what's going to emerge, you just have to accept what comes, and then sift through it later to sort the good from the bad.

    The reason I mention this is that in my mind there isn't really that much difference between composition and improvising. Composition is improvising as far as I can tell. They're both in the moment, and require you to be in that creative state of flow.

    If you struggle to finish things, one approach that has worked really well for me is to simply set yourself a regular deadline, in my case it's to complete at least one finished track every month. It's not particularly hard to do, there's plenty of wiggle room, and in fact some people can create a new track every day ( @LinearLineman for example).

    I think it's important to not put yourself under pressure when writing, and maybe that's why some people find freeform jamming more fun - there's no pressure to complete anything or to try and perfect the end result. But I think you can also take the same approach to writing, just enjoy it and learn to discard the bad ideas that don't work. YMMV of course :)

    I’ve done some composing…. Musicals, songs…. and I agree, a part of composing is improvising. However, I think a lot of composing is thinking as well. For me the improvisation is as thoughtless as I can manage, but making that improv into a track is 80% thinking and 20% going with an intuitive flow. It’s true that when improvising many decisions are being made moment by moment but, especially if you’re playing fast, thinking cannot keep up with it. The decisions are being made intuitively and viscerally with a lot of muscle memory.

    Ironically, one can improvise from a totally thinking place but I don’t believe one can “compose” from a total feeling place. For me thinking out an improvisation in the form of playing the same licks over and over to ingrain them and then building a structure of those riffs and phrases is not genuine “improvisation “ as I learned it. Again, ironically, one can fake a spontaneous improvisation but one cannot fake a composition. You can duplicate the playing of a composition, but, unless you’re a savant with a photographic memory, you cannot replay an improvisation. I heard a Chopin was able to do that, but who knows. Mozart apparently heard it full blown in his head and just wrote it down… I don’t think that’s improvisation, tho.

    What I do only has compositional structure in retrospect but, even then, you never know when the wheels are gonna go off the track.

    As to the OP’s question…. Do both if one or the other is not satisfying alone.

  • I go through phases. I'll be very productive writing and recording songs for months, and then I like to take a few weeks to just play and have fun. I was never someone who liked the concept of always recording every time I play an instrument, some times you just need to feed the soul.

    Sure, I might miss some good moments now and then, but that's just life innit? More will come, you need to document every good moment for the future :)

  • When my hands feel up to it (which sadly isn't that often anymore) I noodle on my guitar and I never record anything, but when I sit down with the iPad to make the music for my videos I'm almost always recording. Since so much of my music is randomly generated I don't think of it as "composing". I curate happy accidents. I've tried to get into the habit of finishing projects even with limited time and my inner critic screaming,"It's not good enough" but if you are satisfied with playing for the moment, that's really all you need. If I couldn't record anything I would still make music just for the joy of making it. If at some point you do have more time and you feel like you want to lay down a few tracks and mix them, you are free to change your mind.

  • edited January 8

    All the instruments/tools I like to use just naturally create reloadable material so I just always ended up building collections of sketches and tunes. Nothing is lost. Adding them all to a daw as a sort of index I then just start grouping them together in albums that makes sense and then it is no longer about the individual tracks but rather what album I feel like playing around with. In this phase nothing is sacred or special and it just becomes about floating around in music land loading up tracks from months or years ago and continuing to mess around with them. Sometimes I will just work a few minutes on one track then a few minutes on another. I tend not to feel the need to lose myself as I used to as now I am trying to be more production minded. Once I have a few polished albums under my belt I will loosen up again and be more jammy and experimental.

    Having recently got Tonal Balance Control I find I can revisit old stuff and breathe new life into it even moreso. Whatever spark made it interesting is rekindled by figuring out how the problems in the mix were holding me back and made me put it on the shelf. So now over the past few months I tend to want to just evolve or advance old stuff more than make new stuff from scratch. I dont think I ever would have got close to finished tracks without TBC as just using cans on tired old ears I can get too lost heh.

  • I say mine is somewhere in the middle of the two..

  • It doesn't matter if you don't finish tracks; what you're doing is sound design.

  • @richardyot said:
    Composition involves a lot of improvising and jamming: when you sit down to come up with ideas or parts, you have no idea what's going to emerge, you just have to accept what comes, and then sift through it later to sort the good from the bad.

    The reason I mention this is that in my mind there isn't really that much difference between composition and improvising. Composition is improvising as far as I can tell. They're both in the moment, and require you to be in that creative state of flow.

    If you struggle to finish things, one approach that has worked really well for me is to simply set yourself a regular deadline, in my case it's to complete at least one finished track every month. It's not particularly hard to do, there's plenty of wiggle room, and in fact some people can create a new track every day ( @LinearLineman for example).

    I think it's important to not put yourself under pressure when writing, and maybe that's why some people find freeform jamming more fun - there's no pressure to complete anything or to try and perfect the end result. But I think you can also take the same approach to writing, just enjoy it and learn to discard the bad ideas that don't work. YMMV of course :)

    Depends on the style. I like to improvise on ragas with my voice and/or fretless bass. I do this every night. And every night I have some few transcendent moments where I experience harmonicity with the cosmic vibration, but…I can’t imagine anyone wanting to listen to this. Maybe 100 people in the world who would even be interested to check it out based on the description. Seems little point in documenting it. I will play 2-3 more hours of the same tomorrow night.

  • edited January 11

    I record maybe 80-90% but sometimes it’s only small fractions just for sample fodder later or to refer back to in the future. Even the jams get recorded because you never know when you’ll wanna dive in and pull same samples from it. Hell sometimes I’ll jam out and record it purely to get some weird samples.

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