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.

Got my hands on a real synth for the first time (MS2000), it’s a different world!.

Hi!
So a friend lent me a KORG Ms2000 that he wasn’t using. It’s the first time in my life I play with an actual hardware synth. Blown away by the experience.
It turns out I did know my way around a synth!. All these years struggling with VST and more recently iOS synths proved worthwhile in the first half an hour with a “real” one.
What I found surprising is that the hardware felt 1000 times easier than any software version. It turns out I had the knowledge and as soon as I had some actual knobs it just manifested.

I’ve had and played with so many apps and software synths that the concepts weren’t “fixed” in my brain. Sure, it was always oscillators, envelopes and lfos, but they kept changing shape and position!. As soon as those manifested in actual knobs and buttons somehow it all made sense.
So I’ve learned how to play a hardware synth by using software synths. I can now confidently say this is absolutely the wrong approach!. If there’s anyone “young” 🙃 reading this (unlikely in this forum 😂)… Get a synth!. I feel like an idiot for not having done it before.
When I return it I’m gonna need to buy a synth. Cheap one, maybe a Behringer clone or a second hand Ms2000. I’m obsessed now.

How many times have you read “nothing beats the actual feel of a hardware unit, knobs, faders, bla, bla bla”?. Sure, I knew it was true, but had no idea to what extent. It’s not only about the joy and fun of physical interaction, which I already expected (I own a Digitakt), it’s about how your brain and muscle memory makes it a completely different experience.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and I’d welcome any dirt-cheap synth recommendations.
Cheers!.

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Comments

  • You can't beat having a knobs and buttons. The speed and immediacy is amazing.

  • edited January 11

    Double post

  • edited January 11

    Welcome in club .. Just wait when GAS hits you hard (gear aquisition syndrome). You cannot escape. :lol:

    Btw MS2000 is great synth, cool is it has knob for almost everything - no need of menu diving - menu diving on HW is pain in ass ...

    Look at Behringer Model-D - it sounds soo much better than plugin, especially with more extreme settings - high resonance, fast LFO modulation, stuff like that.

    Here some inspiration :)

  • Coming soon in a forum post near you: "After years of smudging my ipad screen trying to use MPE guitar apps, I got my hands on an actual bloody guitar yesterday. IT'S A DIFFERENT UNIVERSE!!!!"

    To address your question though: I just got me a Microfreak which is really as fantastic a little gadget as all the reviewers say it is - but (for me) it does not offer the magic of the more old-school hardware synths. Which is probably just a sign of me getting old, but there you go. 🤷

  • @ervin
    I just got me a Microfreak which is really as fantastic a little gadget as all the reviewers say it is - but (for me) it does not offer the magic of the more old-school hardware synths

    Totally same experience for me !! Just yesterday sold it :lol: Second time (facepalm) .. i had it already, sold it, then decided to give another chance, but no. Even through good sound and lot of possibilities, there "magic" missing, as you said ...

  • edited January 11

    i Have a Behringer Pro-1 and can thoroughly recommend it.

    It really is nothing like a VST. It's all the bad things about analogue that make it feel real. It's never quite in tune so everything sounds a bit more alive, the oscillators are never perfectly in sync, the same note sounds just a bit different even time you play, it has background noise (sometimes a lot of hiss!) and that makes a big difference too. Ironically it's the most undesirable aspects of analogue circuitry back in the day that are a factor in what makes them feel relevant today.

    The Pro-1, like many old analogues, allows you to patch the output back into the signal path and it adds a lovely distortion effect. I don't think the U-He RePro can do that? I know the Korg iMS 20 can though.

    The main thing with the Behringer clones and the classic monosynths is that they don't have patch memories so you have to just get in there and play and record what you're doing or it's gone (unless you remember to actually write it down in a patch book!).

    That makes such a difference to how you approach synthesis. I'm lazy and if a synth has presets I'll use them. I like being taken out of this comfort zone and actually being a synthesist rather than a preset player.

    The fact that everything is laid out in front of you also makes a big difference. It's easier to approach and there aren't a thousand other plug-ins to distract. You just sit in front of it and play. Sometimes nothing will come of it buy you'll have enjoyed every second. Like playing a guitar just for fun.

    When you record the synth, you end up recording the performance as you can't automate all the knobs and buttons. It's so much less convenient than having everything completely automated in a DAW but sometimes that can be too much and option paralysis sets in (or more likely you go straight in to engineer and producer mode and start mixing rather than allowing yourself to be a musician for a while).

    Once you've recorded everything and it's in the mix, will you notice the difference between analogue and an emulation? Probably not. But it's the path you take to get the sound that is different. It's definitely not for everybody but for those of us that enjoy the process, it's unmatched with emulations.

    I liken it to playing a guitar. A Strat feels different to a Tele or a Les Paul. all of them have an effect on what you play, on how it feels. The feel of each guitar is a bit different and everything adds to what the guitarist feels. Samewith the amps and pedals. As an engineer you can easily replicate the final sound so that it's indistinguishable in the mix.

    You can't replicate what the guitarist feels and what they feel affects what they play.

    I've spent a lot of time playing the Pro-1. I've not recorded that much. It doesn't' matter.

  • @tahiche
    If you really wanna have fun on a hardware synth then see if you can find a second hand Nord Lead 3. The best hardware user interface I've ever seen.
    I guess I'll keep mine forever 😊

  • So miss my rack2x, though I sold it missing exactly what lead3 brings to the table... ability to use layers properly... maybe one day :)

  • Well, I had a couple of hardware synths in the past but after the experience of actually having them I promptly passed them on.
    Yes, perhaps the sound is better and the knobs and the presence and the out of sync oscillators etc etc.

    First thing that bugged me though was the size, especially the keyboard versions. Then the connectivity: cables everywhere! Then comes inflexibility when it comes to configurations. If you want to mix fm with wavetable and some regular oscillators you’re stuffed unless you get some crazy menu diving beast hardware synth.

    If you can live with all the shortcomings above then yes, it’s definitely worth the punt. If you like sound experimentation though, mixing unorthodox types of synthesis and want to be as mobile as possible than you can’t beat an iPad plus a controller combo.

  • Yep yep! I had to move onto iPad to save room space and create extra opportunities for tinkering time by the portable nature of the platform. But, I still retain a few hardware synths, and yeah, you just can’t beat the feeling of physical interaction with a real piece of hardware, especially if it’s mostly of a knob-per-function design.

    Something else you don’t get with software is that distinct and exciting smell of new parts and electronics when you unbox, switch on and warm it up. Mmm lovely! Just ask Dr. Mix. He agrees on that one! 🤣

  • @klownshed said:
    i Have a Behringer Pro-1 and can thoroughly recommend it.

    It really is nothing like a VST. It's all the bad things about analogue that make it feel real. It's never quite in tune so everything sounds a bit more alive, the oscillators are never perfectly in sync, the same note sounds just a bit different even time you play, it has background noise (sometimes a lot of hiss!) and that makes a big difference too. Ironically it's the most undesirable aspects of analogue circuitry back in the day that are a factor in what makes them feel relevant today.

    The Pro-1, like many old analogues, allows you to patch the output back into the signal path and it adds a lovely distortion effect. I don't think the U-He RePro can do that? I know the Korg iMS 20 can though.

    The main thing with the Behringer clones and the classic monosynths is that they don't have patch memories so you have to just get in there and play and record what you're doing or it's gone (unless you remember to actually write it down in a patch book!).

    That makes such a difference to how you approach synthesis. I'm lazy and if a synth has presets I'll use them. I like being taken out of this comfort zone and actually being a synthesist rather than a preset player.

    The fact that everything is laid out in front of you also makes a big difference. It's easier to approach and there aren't a thousand other plug-ins to distract. You just sit in front of it and play. Sometimes nothing will come of it buy you'll have enjoyed every second. Like playing a guitar just for fun.

    When you record the synth, you end up recording the performance as you can't automate all the knobs and buttons. It's so much less convenient than having everything completely automated in a DAW but sometimes that can be too much and option paralysis sets in (or more likely you go straight in to engineer and producer mode and start mixing rather than allowing yourself to be a musician for a while).

    Once you've recorded everything and it's in the mix, will you notice the difference between analogue and an emulation? Probably not. But it's the path you take to get the sound that is different. It's definitely not for everybody but for those of us that enjoy the process, it's unmatched with emulations.

    I liken it to playing a guitar. A Strat feels different to a Tele or a Les Paul. all of them have an effect on what you play, on how it feels. The feel of each guitar is a bit different and everything adds to what the guitarist feels. Samewith the amps and pedals. As an engineer you can easily replicate the final sound so that it's indistinguishable in the mix.

    You can't replicate what the guitarist feels and what they feel affects what they play.

    I've spent a lot of time playing the Pro-1. I've not recorded that much. It doesn't' matter.

    I have the Pro-1 too and agree with what you have said, but I haven’t noticed any hiss or background noise from mine.
    It’s sound cuts through the mix beautifully doesn’t it. A little bit limited, but it’s a great tool to have in the box. > @tahiche said:

    Hi!
    So a friend lent me a KORG Ms2000 that he wasn’t using. It’s the first time in my life I play with an actual hardware synth. Blown away by the experience.
    It turns out I did know my way around a synth!. All these years struggling with VST and more recently iOS synths proved worthwhile in the first half an hour with a “real” one.
    What I found surprising is that the hardware felt 1000 times easier than any software version. It turns out I had the knowledge and as soon as I had some actual knobs it just manifested.

    I’ve had and played with so many apps and software synths that the concepts weren’t “fixed” in my brain. Sure, it was always oscillators, envelopes and lfos, but they kept changing shape and position!. As soon as those manifested in actual knobs and buttons somehow it all made sense.
    So I’ve learned how to play a hardware synth by using software synths. I can now confidently say this is absolutely the wrong approach!. If there’s anyone “young” 🙃 reading this (unlikely in this forum 😂)… Get a synth!. I feel like an idiot for not having done it before.
    When I return it I’m gonna need to buy a synth. Cheap one, maybe a Behringer clone or a second hand Ms2000. I’m obsessed now.

    How many times have you read “nothing beats the actual feel of a hardware unit, knobs, faders, bla, bla bla”?. Sure, I knew it was true, but had no idea to what extent. It’s not only about the joy and fun of physical interaction, which I already expected (I own a Digitakt), it’s about how your brain and muscle memory makes it a completely different experience.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and I’d welcome any dirt-cheap synth recommendations.
    Cheers!.

    You’re on a slippery slope now, but an enjoyable one.

  • This is going to be a dangerous thread... :smiley:

    Yeah, software has lots of advantages, space and cost being two of the top, but hardware has magic, and it's a break from today's screen-based reality.

  • @rs2000 said:
    @tahiche
    If you really wanna have fun on a hardware synth then see if you can find a second hand Nord Lead 3. The best hardware user interface I've ever seen.
    I guess I'll keep mine forever 😊

    Good luck finding one. Those are quite pricey compared to other hardware out there… but I’d really like to check one out someday. I’ve got some old Roland synths I haven’t touched for ages since I made it my mission to go all-software and all-iPad for years now.

  • Hell yeah, hardware is where it’s at for me. I have a model d Behringer that I love and can recommend. It’s very user friendly and sounds great. I have a werkstatt that I love but it’s very limited and not very plug and play. I will warn you that if you like not being completely broke, stay away from euroracks. I ruined my life by getting into modular cos it’s basically my entire life now

  • the problem I have always had with my hardware is that I have a hard time motivating myself into going to my studio space and working-

    but with the iPad I can get so much more done - and work all of the time because I can just grab it and work anywhere anytime- and while I do like a nice hardware instrument I actually love to interact with the touchscreen more-

    subsequently I have honed my studio down to just a few portable synths that I can grab and take with me to plug into my iPad and work wherever-

  • @setAI said:
    the problem I have always had with my hardware is that I have a hard time motivating myself into going to my studio space and working-

    but with the iPad I can get so much more done - and work all of the time because I can just grab it and work anywhere anytime- and while I do like a nice hardware instrument I actually love to interact with the touchscreen more-

    subsequently I have honed my studio down to just a few portable synths that I can grab and take with me to plug into my iPad and work wherever-

    👍

  • edited January 12

    An iPad running TC-Data (or Oscilab/Aphelian) as Midi controllers can drive hardware synths into completely new regions...
    because you simply can‘t perform the same actions by knob twiddling ;)
    My 1st test of TC-Data was driving the Access Virus in Pro Tools TDM (which is the exact code replica of a Virus A). An amazing experience. Knobs are cool for certain actions, but can be quite limiting, too. o:)

  • Hardware is the best!

  • If you have the money available and feel like you’re truly in it for the long haul, do thorough research/listening, find THE synth you want, and get it. Learn it, master it, and you won’t feel like you need another one, then another one. Unless money is tight, don’t cheap out because you’ll just want something better.

    I went through several dinky synths that never satisfied me (and ended up adding up to the cost of the ideal one I wanted) until I got the holy grail I wanted all along Now I truly feel like I won’t ever need another one. Not saying that cheaper synths can’t be totally awesome, just to find the one that seems right for you instead of getting something that you think will do for now.

  • edited January 12

    Thank u all for the comments,very interesting stuff. Longtime GAS addicts here!.
    Let’s be clear, I already have GAS and I’m an appaholic. I might just add tequila to the mix.
    I want to say again that I expected to love the knobs and physical interaction. But it goes beyond that. I could find my way around and build sounds a lot faster and more confident than with any synth app. Some brain thing!. With synth apps I feel a bit like a noob whereas with the real thing I felt pretty confident, reaching for the lfo to do this, head to the matrix for that… I didn’t expect that.

    @oat_phipps said:
    If you have the money available and feel like you’re truly in it for the long haul, do thorough research/listening, find THE synth you want, and get it….., just to find the one that seems right for you instead of getting something that you think will do for now.

    This is like asking someone to think about marriage after they get laid for the first time!. I’m gonna be stinky dinky at first for sure. For example I love my Digitakt but at the end of the day I dont use it much. After all I’m more of a guitar/string plucker and singer. And I spend 90% of my music-making time in…. This forum… 🙃
    First I’m gonna try to keep the ms2000 for as long as I can!. What do you guys think of it?. I like that’s it’s very versatile, though It does sound sound a bit cheesy sometimes… I’m thinking one of the Behringers, someone recommended the Deepmind… I think it should be polyphonic (or at least paraphonic, read the difference a dozen times and can’t really tell yet) for pads and such… I’ve been eyeing the Microfreak for a while but I can see just what @ervin and @dendy point out, it might be a bit like an iPad + controller… not “knoby” enough for the current need.

    @klownshed When you record the synth, you end up recording the performance as you can't automate all the knobs and buttons. It's so much less convenient than having everything completely automated in a DAW but sometimes that can be too much and option paralysis sets in

    Agree!. Actually Loopy Pro has pushed me in the “record to audio and move on” mood, it’s liberating and a lot more fun. Also the fact that you might never get that exact sound again is very seductive, I’m an imperfectionist.

  • @tahiche said:

    ...

    @klownshed When you record the synth, you end up recording the performance as you can't automate all the knobs and buttons. It's so much less convenient than having everything completely automated in a DAW but sometimes that can be too much and option paralysis sets in

    Agree!. Actually Loopy Pro has pushed me in the “record to audio and move on” mood, it’s liberating and a lot more fun. Also the fact that you might never get that exact sound again is very seductive, I’m an imperfectionist.

    Yup. These days I treat all iOS audio as transitory. Projects are just there for the moment and I don't worry about being able to come back to them years later. I just record everything as audio and it's way more fun. And productive. Hardware synths are the same. I used to want to be able to recall a session in full, but now once it's done it's done. If I want to change it it's easier to just play it again. and I don't worry about apps becoming incompatible or disappearing from the app store. If they make a bar or four of audio they've done their job!

    I have been playing around with iOS audio since the days of the iPhone 3G. But I stubbornly tried to use iOS audio the same way I use Logic and it was never satisfactory. I was totally stuck in my ways and I'm a little disappointed in myself that it took me so long to allow myself the freedom to enjoy things for what they are rather than get frustrated with what they're not.

    That minor 'epiphany' has also re-fuelled my love of hardware synths and drum machines and use them just like I use iOS. Or a guitar. Make some sounds, record them if anything cool happens, done. Any interesting bits that don't have an immediate requirement in a song end up in a folder on iCloud drive and often also in blocs wave for future re-discovery.

  • Please monkey get out my shoulder😂😂😂
    I’ve already ask to my wife to gift me one real synth for my 40th birthday😂😂😂

  • @tahiche said:
    First I’m gonna try to keep the ms2000 for as long as I can!. What do you guys think of it?. I like that’s it’s very versatile, though It does sound sound a bit cheesy sometimes…

    4 voices would be far too limiting for my taste, I need enough voices for layering to build great pads and sounds that go beyond the 70s polysynth character.

    I’m thinking one of the Behringers, someone recommended the Deepmind… I think it should be polyphonic (or at least paraphonic, read the difference a dozen times and can’t really tell yet) for pads and such… I’ve been eyeing the Microfreak for a while but I can see just what @ervin and @dendy point out, it might be a bit like an iPad + controller… not “knoby” enough for the current need.

    "Knobby" brings the fun and I wouldn't want to go without it either.
    If you don't like the NL3's red color, the Roland JD-800 would certainly be another great option.

    Sound-wise, I'd also highly recommend the Korg Wavestate (imho the most flexible out of the team with OPSIX and ModWave) but although it has many knobs, I'm hesitating to recommend it as an accessible and easy to use synth. It's not. You'll have to spend some time learning.

  • edited January 12

    I used to own a complete synth studio, with synths, modules, efx units, samplers, hardware sequencers, grooveboxes. To keep it connected and up running for me was enormously time consuming. Samplers are especially a pain, with SCSI zip and jazz disk drives, and slow sample loading.

    I sold everything when Korg Gadget v1 was introduced, that little app sounded better than most of synth gear. And I realized I was only making sound with my synth rig, no real music. So I think a hardware synth for me is like a guitar, you have to play the thing and use it as a performance instrument, moving knobs is not enough.

    But I can understand the magic feeling a hardware synth gives you.

  • @rs2000 said:

    @tahiche said:
    First I’m gonna try to keep the ms2000 for as long as I can!. What do you guys think of it?. I like that’s it’s very versatile, though It does sound sound a bit cheesy sometimes…

    4 voices would be far too limiting for my taste, I need enough voices for layering to build great pads and sounds that go beyond the 70s polysynth character.

    I’m thinking one of the Behringers, someone recommended the Deepmind… I think it should be polyphonic (or at least paraphonic, read the difference a dozen times and can’t really tell yet) for pads and such… I’ve been eyeing the Microfreak for a while but I can see just what @ervin and @dendy point out, it might be a bit like an iPad + controller… not “knoby” enough for the current need.

    "Knobby" brings the fun and I wouldn't want to go without it either.
    If you don't like the NL3's red color, the Roland JD-800 would certainly be another great option.

    Sound-wise, I'd also highly recommend the Korg Wavestate (imho the most flexible out of the team with OPSIX and ModWave) but although it has many knobs, I'm hesitating to recommend it as an accessible and easy to use synth. It's not. You'll have to spend some time learning.

    I don’t mind the red in the Nord Lead 3, I mind the price!. Same goes for the JD-800. I’m sure they’re worth every penny but I can’t spend that kind of money 💰
    That’s why I’m looking at the Behringers or even second hand MS2000 are reasonably priced. Im curious about the Volcas too, nice little things, but those tiny knobs don’t seem very pleasant.

  • This one goes for less, I've seen it between 400..500 Euros second hand. Waldorf blofeld engine. Miles ahead of the MS2000 ;)

  • edited January 12

    Notation circuit mono stations are currently going for peanuts secondhand (I’ve seen a couple go for
    £180 or less recently).

    They’re fantastic little synths and I’m willing to bet the prices will start to rise fairly soon. They were recently sold off cheap When they were discontinued which I think is affecting the second hand prices at the moment (coupled with the tracks and rhythm being the new shiny).

    If you can get one for under £/€/$ 200 it’s a hell of a deal. You get 95% of the bass station Ii synth with all the knobs you can need coupled with the circuit sequencer.

    Each step can be a completely different patch. You can record every parameter to each step individually and it includes a separate CV/Gate sequencer track to sequence any CV/gate mono synth such as any of the Bwhringers in addition to and independent from the built in synth. And you can obviously also send MIDI out too to sequence anything (monophonic).

    It’s also 2 voice paraphonic which can make for some really interesting sounds. It has a separate sequencer track for each voice!

    It’s particularly good at nasty/gritty sounds. The distortion is lovely.

    It’s way more than the sum of its parts.

    If you are looking for a hardware synth to start with, it will tick a lot of boxes and be useful as a controller/sequencer and I am fairly confident you’ll mKe money if you don’t like it and want to sell it in 6 months or so.

    I reckon it will be a Future classic. You can’t have mine :-)

  • Totally agree with the post! But let me raise the bar further, each of your hw synths should have keyboard! Multiple sound modules controlled with a master keyboard is still meh.

  • @rs2000 said:
    This one goes for less, I've seen it between 400..500 Euros second hand. Waldorf blofeld engine. Miles ahead of the MS2000 ;)

    I like this one!. This or the Behringer Deepmind are in the right price/features mindset!.

  • Looks like Casio might be coming up with something new...

    My first synth was a CZ3000. Loved it. Very easy to programme. I also had a VZ-1. It was totally inscrutable! One of the few bits of audio gear I actually sold!

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