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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How can I use my iPad within Bitwig on MacBook Air (M1)

edited April 2022 in Desktop

The last two years I invested in some hardware and a desktop setup. True analog semi-modular stuff with Bitwig and lots of VST’s from Softube, Arturia, IK, Valhalla and others. I also got my iPad with a lot of apps but don’t know how I could implement it within Bitwig (if what I want would be possible).

Currently my MacBook Air (M1) is hooked up to a powered hub, there it connects to a MOTU Ultralite hybrid MK3, my TD-3 and TR-8s (using USB for MIDI, TR-8S MIDI and individual outputs) and an external SSD.

Within MacOS I created an aggregated device so I can configure all the in and outputs within Bitwig. So all the channels come together in one device (TR8s, MOTU, MacBook, extra virtual channels).

Everything works fine, I can even use the hardware for send fx and even got same spare outputs configured for CV/Gate to use stuff from Bitwig with my semi-modular(s). Running smoothly and even quite low on CPU.

But the iPad……..I cannot get it to work properly. At the moment I Airdrop loops and sounds back en forth, that seems to be the most convenient way. When I hooking it up with iDAM it doesn’t work as I would like to. With the above information in mind, what are my options?

I simply would like to use my iPad Pro, 10.5 inch (2017?) as a separate synth, fx and/or MIDI module.

  • Sending MIDI from Bitwig to iPad, Synth output to Bitwig
  • Using the iPad and AUM as an insert or send fx.
  • Sending MIDI from iPad to Bitwig

Tips appreciated!


  • edited April 2022

    Have you considered one of the iConnectivity USB interfaces with USB audio & MIDI bridging?

    I'd first double check your IDAM setup though, there's a number of threads here about it.

  • edited April 2022

    As rs2000 said the old iConnectivity Audio 2+ and 4+ and the newer 4c audio interfaces are a good solution. I bought a used iCA2+ which can be connected to both, your Mac and your iPad. Then you have 16 virtual mono audio channels and 2 virtual Midi cables between both devices. Then you can host the iPad synths and FX in AUM and use them in Bitwig the same way as hardware devices. This really works rock solid and has very low latency. I believe the newer 4c device is even better but it is quite pricey. The 2+ and 4+ are already out of production.

    There is also a software solution called StudioMux but I find the audio part not very stable. I know some users that use only the reliable Midi part of StudioMux because it offers you an unlimited number of virtual Midi cables between iPad and desktop. StudioMux acts more or less as a bridge and you can mutually use all devices of the other computer. So if you leave out the rather unreliable audio part of StudioMux then you must resort to IDAM as a single stereo audio return but you can drive as many iPad plugins from Bitwig as you need. This gives you enough Midi channels to remote control the iPad plugin's parameters via Midi CCs without conflicts and enables you to utilize Bitwig's great modulation capabilities. Quite a monkey job to create all the mapping, though.

    One final remark. First I was quite eager to achieve this integration of my iPad as a sound module into Bitwig. But honestly I don't do that often. If you want to use Bitwig's cool modulation features then the needed routing and mapping is very time consuming and the modulation is one of Bitwig's great advantages. i use it all the time and very intensively. You also have to always save two projects. Moreover I find the stock synths of Bitwig very good and the Grid... the Grid!

  • edited April 2022

    accidental post

  • +1 @krassmann.
    There are so many great synths and virtual instruments available on desktop OS and the lack of total recall makes me rather start a song on iOS and continue on desktop at some point, if at all.

  • I’ve got to say the ica4+ route is ace, I still get confused with the multitude of options, but once I’ve got it sorted it’s transparent in daily use…

  • edited April 2022

    @rs2000 said:
    +1 @krassmann.
    There are so many great synths and virtual instruments available on desktop OS and the lack of total recall makes me rather start a song on iOS and continue on desktop at some point, if at all.

    That's a good point and very true. Regarding music production I'm a freshman on the laptop. So I decided not to do the same mistake as I did on the iPad and overload myself with plugins but rather go deep into these plugins that I have. Oftentimes I spent more time browsing synths and surfing their presets as crafting my own sounds.

    I bought some good old buddies I know from iOS: DRC and Synthmaster 2. I bought the Waves CR8 Creative Sampler because I think Bitwig's sampler is rather basic. And recently I was tempted by the Arturia sale and bought the V Collection plus Pigments. TBH that's already more than I initially intended to have but it's such a good collection of vintage synths. Regarding effects I really like the Bitwig effects and additionally I have IKM Mixbox from the IKM anniversary deal.

    I definitely want to skip all the free plugins because there are just too many. The only thing I'm still missing is a good drum plugin. I would like to have something like FAC Drumkit - a drum sampler/synth hybrid with envelopes and filters per instrument but I couldn't find anything like that for desktop. I hope to get some advice here:

    I also bought the Korg Gadget synth suite for Mac because that enables me to sketch out songs with Korg Gadget on my iPad export the song als Ableton Live Set, open it with Bitwig and have exactly the same sound as on the iPad. BTW, that is for me also a good way to integrate iPad and Mac.

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