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.

I bought hardware and connecting it makes my brain hurt

I've bought a Roland TB-3, and now I have absolutely no idea how to actually connect and use it with my iPad (Pro / USB-C), if anyone here has one and has some pointers it would be much appreciated. Can this thing do audio and midi over the USB? At the same time? Do I need to buy a mixer?

Currently I have the USB on the TB-3 connected to an Anker thunderbolt hub, and USB-C connections out of that going to an Audient ID4 and the iPad. None of my apps seem to be able to see the TB-3 though, and I can't seem to send midi to it.

Comments

  • Is your hub powered?

  • Yeah, the power brick for it is bigger than the hub!

  • Did you try to connect the Hub directly to the iPad without the Audient interface?

  • I haven't yet, but then how would audio happen?

  • Is the TB3 class compliant? If not, I fear audio over usb can not work.

  • I believe so, the Roland product page says "In addition, you can connect the TB-3 to your computer via USB to send and receive both audio and MIDI data, including MIDI clock information for syncing with external devices and other AIRA units."

    I think this is all down to which cable goes where - the thunderbolt hub thing is a bit confusing. I've got another hub arriving tomorrow with a bunch of USB-A ports which I'm hoping will fix my woes.

  • I'm pretty sure it doesn't work. The Airas only run on the computer with a driver. They are not class compliant and are not recognized by the iPad as an audio interface.

  • Oh damn, guess I'll find out tomorrow. Thanks.

  • You’ve plugged the TB-3 and the ID-4 directly into a USB hub, which is plugged directly into the iPad, correct?

    With this setup, you should be able to send and receive MIDI no problem but the iPad will only recognize the most recent audio device so maybe that’s messing everything up. Try unplugging the ID-4 and see if anything changes.

    It could also be a general issue with the hub. If you have a Camera Connection Kit handy, use that with one device at a time to verify that everything works individually. I don’t have any direct experience with Roland gear but I have an OP-Z that works great with the CCK.

  • @FastGhost - the first rule to remember is: iOS can only handle one audio device at a time. The last one plugged in takes over.

    ( ... on second thought, a more important rule to remember if connecting the TB-3 makes your head hurt: Do not attempt to plug the TB-3 into your head! It needs to be connected to the iPad.)

    Back on topic - if the TB-3 is class compliant, it should work with both audio and midi if it's the only audio interface. Try unplugging the Audient ID4 and see if the TB-3 shows up. I haven't been able to find anything definitive as to whether the TB-3 is class compliant but it seems like it must be as plenty of AB forum members have talked about using it.

    If it doesn't work by itself that's one thing.

    However if it does work and you want to use the Audient ID4 at the same time, things get more complicated. The audio out from the TB-3 will have to go into the ID4 via the TB-3 output jack(s) and from there to the iPad. The iD4 doesn't have MIDI, so you still have to get the MIDI from the TB-3 to the iPad. The most likely thing to work would be to use a MIDI-Din to USB cable such as this one **. This would go from the MIDI ports on the TB-3 to your hub.

    It might work to plug the USB out from the TB-3 to the hub after first unplugging the ID4. If you then plug in the iD4, it may take over as the audio device, leaving just the TB-3 midi part recognized. But there's a high possibility this won't work and you'll need the MIDI adapter.

    None of this is from actual experience with either the TB-3 or the ID4. I'm just surmising from checking the manuals for both.

    ** (I haven't used this exact one, but they all seem pretty similar)

  • Thank you both, @wim's post perfectly sums up why this hurts my brain. Being USB-C, I can't use the camera connection kit, but I also don't have a USB-C to whatever that weird square USB hole is on the TB-3, so when the new hub thing arrives tomorrow I'll try out the various suggestions here. Again, thank you, I love how helpful this place is.

  • @FastGhost said:
    Thank you both, @wim's post perfectly sums up why this hurts my brain. Being USB-C, I can't use the camera connection kit, but I also don't have a USB-C to whatever that weird square USB hole is on the TB-3, so when the new hub thing arrives tomorrow I'll try out the various suggestions here. Again, thank you, I love how helpful this place is.

    The weird square hole is probably a USB-B (printer) connector. You can probably get a USB-C to USB-B cable if you want to try it.

    Some hardware lets you configure the USB interface for MIDI, audio, or both. See if you can turn off the USB audio on the TB-3. That would let you use your audio interface, and still have USB MIDI to/from the TB-3.

  • I’m 99.99999% sure it’s not class compliant for midi or audio.

  • McDMcD
    edited July 4

    Apple makes a media adapter for USB-c devices like new iPad Pro’s. I got one and it also has HDMI, USB-A (the rectangle end that could connect to your Roland with a printer cable), USB-C charging port. No headphone adapter thrown in so I got an Anker product that adds 2 more ports: head phone jack and SD Card slot. The Anker requires a minimum 40 watt power adapter to do all this so I got a Nektek 100W beast intended for MacBooks. The standard power adapter for the M1iPad Pro is 20W.

    I just leave the Anker connected for my headphones and to have power too. The dongle blocks powering up. Your iPad may not be as power hungry as the M1 iPad and the Apple adapter might get you going just as the CCK did for Lightning connections.

  • edited July 4

    @AlmostAnonymous said:
    I’m 99.99999% sure it’s not class compliant for midi or audio.

    +0,00001

    from the manual:

    Use a commercially available USB 2.0 cable to connect this port to your computer. It can be used to transfer USB
    MIDI and USB audio data. You must install the USB driver before connecting the TB-3 to your computer.
    Download the USB driver from the Roland website. For details, refer to Readme.htm which is included in the
    download

  • @AlmostAnonymous said:
    I’m 99.99999% sure it’s not class compliant for midi or audio.

  • If it’s not class compliant you may be able to get a MIDI hub that has a USB connection, and connect the TB-3 to the hub with a MIDI DIN cable. Then you can connect the MIDI hub to the USB hub with a USB cable, and hopefully see the device when you connect the USB hub to the iPad.

    This has worked for me with non-class compliant devices.

  • @michael_m said:
    If it’s not class compliant you may be able to get a MIDI hub that has a USB connection, and connect the TB-3 to the hub with a MIDI DIN cable. Then you can connect the MIDI hub to the USB hub with a USB cable, and hopefully see the device when you connect the USB hub to the iPad.

    This has worked for me with non-class compliant devices.

    https://www.samash.com/imioxcxxx

  • wimwim
    edited July 5

    It seems to me that the most likely path to success is this:

    @wim said:
    ... The audio out from the TB-3 will have to go into the ID4 via the TB-3 output jack(s) and from there to the iPad. The iD4 doesn't have MIDI, so you still have to get the MIDI from the TB-3 to the iPad. The most likely thing to work would be to use a MIDI-Din to USB cable such as this one **. This would go from the MIDI ports on the TB-3 to your hub.

    You could substitute Bluetooth adapters for the MIDI-Din to USB cable too.

    that is ... assuming your Audient interface is working as you expect. The TB-3 has choice of mono or stereo out, and the ID4 can accept either.

  • Thunderbolt hub won’t work with a USB-C iPad.

    It will only work with the M1 iPads Pro and Air, which are Thunderbolt, (although Thunderbolt and USB-C use the same connector😵‍💫)

  • @mistercharlie sorry, yes, I'm an M1 Pro with Thunderbolt, I should have mentioned that.

    Thanks everyone, definitely looks like I need some kind of mixer with midi. Anyone have a Behringer X-Touch? Any good?

  • Actually, that's not a mixer is it.

  • There are various choices - do you have any audio/MIDI interface yet and how many hardware devices?

  • I have the ID4 as an audio interface, no midi interface, and there will likely be only a couple more hardware devices.

  • You could get a MIDI interface to use alongside the ID4, I have an Evo 4 and use that with an ESI M4UeX MIDI interface (which has a built in USB hub). But a 1x1 USB MIDI cable would work but would also need a powered USB hub I think. Then also a small mixer - at the moment I only have a large/old one Yamaha O1v.

  • The TB-3 is definitely not class compliant.

  • Roland sucks at hardware sometimes - can’t understand why they seem to be about the only company that doesn’t make their hardware class compliant.

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