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Korg Module sounds and Korg Gadget sounds (and IAA and AUv3)

Got a new midi keyboard recently with full size keys, larger than I've had in the past, and so I've been having fun playing keyboard with a lot of various app sounds. One thing that struck me with these two Korg behemoths:
Gadget sounds are more interesting to me and, in my opinion, just plain sound better than Module sounds. (I know Module sounds are in Gadget, I'm talking about the ones that aren't.) This surprised me because Module seems positioned as having more "premium" sounds, and has AUv3. The Module sounds are fine, the acoustic pianos are very nice, and the KA Pro strings, sampled E Piano, and the add on organs are extremely high quality; but as soon as I get into anything synthy, digital or analog-emulated, the Gadget instruments just blow Module away, and also seem to blow many individually available apps away that offer similar sounds. The Gadget instruments are shockingly good even compared to some $20-30 standalone synth apps I have!

So this has me torn between which I want to use as a go-to sound module type app (and potentially invest more IAP in). I love AUM, and primarily use AUM when playing music on iPad. In the past I've leaned toward AUv3 apps, because that's what AUM is about after all right? But in practice, is the only difference between AUv3 and IAA in AUM that the screen will temporarily change if I want to adjust something in Gadget? I can still use all the routing features of AUM with Gadget (or any other IAA app)? Is the only difference really that there is no mini window designed to work in AUM or a similar hub? IAA doesn't seem like a huge deterrent from use then, at least for how I'm using it (like a keyboard sound module).

Comments

  • @tsamba said:
    So this has me torn between which I want to use as a go-to sound module type app (and potentially invest more IAP in). I love AUM, and primarily use AUM when playing music on iPad. In the past I've leaned toward AUv3 apps, because that's what AUM is about after all right? But in practice, is the only difference between AUv3 and IAA in AUM that the screen will temporarily change if I want to adjust something in Gadget? I can still use all the routing features of AUM with Gadget (or any other IAA app)? Is the only difference really that there is no mini window designed to work in AUM or a similar hub? IAA doesn't seem like a huge deterrent from use then, at least for how I'm using it (like a keyboard sound module).

    As I see it, the key limitations of IAA in AUM are:

    • No state saving. When you save a Session in AUM, it stores the current parameters of the AUv3s, but it cannot access the IAA. So, reloading the Session will restore all the AUv3s to their prior states, but it will only load the IAA. The IAA will start in whatever condition the app developer chose, and this may not be correct for this Session.
    • Some IAA do not start gracefully, and may require manual startup by the user.
    • An IAA may receive MIDI directly from Core MIDI as well as through virtual ports connected to AUM. This can cause confusion (double notes), or possibly response to unintended controls.
    • IAA is deprecated, which means it's likely not being updated by Apple, and it may cease to exist when iOS updates make it incompatible. So, it's good for now but is likely not a long-term solution.
  • Thanks uncledave. The future uncertainty around IAA compatibility, as well as the potential for double notes you mention, is concerning. State saving also seems like a massive benefit for AUv3, although in my personal use-case, I don't especially need.

    The not-clearly-stated concern I have that may or may not be obvious is, of course, whether or not I want to "invest" in extras in either (I do already have Pro and unlocked versions of each). In either case, I feel it's probably "safe," because Korg has been with iPad since its launch, and seems to value the platform—so hopefully both will remain supported.

  • edited January 13

    Just idly dreaming now, but with Module sounds available in Gadget, I wonder if it might be feasible for the developers to put Gadget sounds (at least some of them) in Module. Since Module is already AUv3.

  • Since the app (Gadget) is currently being actively maintained, you could hope that Korg will keep it working if/when IAA goes away. But you might fear that an AUv3 replacement might be a new app with new IAPs. And they may view Gadget as a DAW itself, not mainly an instrument for other hosts to use. So they might simply drop IAA, leaving your system broken.

    The problem with MIDI only arises if the app has limited MIDI filtering. So, check if Gadget lets you select which specific MIDI ports to listen on. If it does, you should be good, if not, you may only be able to separate MIDI streams by carefully managing MIDI channel numbers.

  • For a sound module? Definitely Korg Gadget.
    I know a lot of people are a fan of AUv3 as a standard, but Korg Gadget is an awesome stable app as a standalone. You can do the MIDI mapping with/without using AUM with your controllers using the Advanced menu, and setting specific CC for the project you do.

    Think of Korg Gadget as a single instance AUv3 app that contains multiple synths. You do the customization directly in Korg Gadget

    State saving is a fair argument. But hear me out...on Korg Gadget you can send or Airdrop a project with a variety of synths and combinations and it’ll work on another device that has that app.

    Sure I’d like AUv3. But it doesn’t take away from the fact that Korg Gadget, even as of today, is a fantastic Groovebox and sound module. That’s the reason I switched to Korg Gadget/Drambo as my main Groovebox app.

  • Yeh, I think if I was just looking for a single app with the broadest range of sounds to use as a sound module, I'd use Gadget.

    The only drawback to me is it having somewhat lackluster FX and only a single stereo out. But I'd trade that for simplicity and stability in a live situation, I think.

    Not under battery power though. Gadget can be a huge battery suck at times.

  • Seems like we have been consistently uncertain about the future of IAA for years now..

  • I agree with others above, just work from within Gadget (save your project with everything set up the way you want).

    Gadget consumes less battery when in the main screen. Once you open one of the gadgets and have the piano-roll above it (with the sequencer running) it uses a lot more battery.

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