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.

Download on the App Store

Audiobus is the app that makes the rest of your setup better.

Ableton Live FTW, finally sick of the iPad for music

I've finally given up on the iPad, on iConnectAudio, on everything except Live on the Mac.

Whenever I use the iPad for music, I feel like I'm fighting to get things done. The individual apps are great, but to gather material to complete a song, iPadOS is a monstrous pain.

For example, Koala is amazing, but used an an AU, it often crashes. And while it does Ableton export, there's still a lot of management work to do on the desktop end.

This week, I put Koala and Drambo inside iOS DAWs, hoping to record their audio into tracks, but this seems to be impossible. On GarageBand, nothing records, or MIDI records, but not Koala's sequenced MIDI.

In Cuba's the experience was similar. I know I can freeze midi tracks there, but still.

Yesterday I decided to stop messing with iOS as a system, and just use the individual apps as sound sources for Live. I hooked up my guitar to my Mac, also hooked up an 0-Coast and Novation Launchpad, and I was off. Playing the 0-Coast into Live is a dream, and I can quickly chop the recordings into a Simpler and keep working. The new Moogerfooger FX are nice, but tbh Ableton has sp many great built-in FX I don't need the Moog ones yet.

The upshot was an afternoon spent enjoying music making, experimentation, and all that good stuff. If I want Koala, I can sync it via Link, and capture the audio via iDAM. Ditto Thumbjam.

I'm not trying to say that this is the best way for everyone. Or even anyone else. I also love the iPad for music, both its immediacy, its amazing audio apps, its portability and its touch screen. I also understand that many of you live in Drambo, or AUM. But for me, it's such a pain to do anything that I always give up.

I've been looking at the M1 and M2 iPads, and this made me realize that I might buy an M2 MacBook Air instead. It's about the same price, and would be a way better music machine for me.

Maybe this will change in future, but it doesn't look like it. From now on, I suspect I will be using an iPad only for reading, writing (which it's great at), and for one-at-a-time music apps.

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Comments

  • I’ve found the same recently and now just use iPhone and desktop, that’s why I like the Ableton Note app.
    Also use Gadget and Koala on iPhone for exporting. Koalas export to Ableton drum rack is great for sampling and then putting the track together on desktop.

  • edited October 26

    @mistercharlie said:
    I've finally given up on the iPad, on iConnectAudio, on everything except Live on the Mac.

    Whenever I use the iPad for music, I feel like I'm fighting to get things done. The individual apps are great, but to gather material to complete a song, iPadOS is a monstrous pain.

    For example, Koala is amazing, but used an an AU, it often crashes. And while it does Ableton export, there's still a lot of management work to do on the desktop end.

    This week, I put Koala and Drambo inside iOS DAWs, hoping to record their audio into tracks, but this seems to be impossible. On GarageBand, nothing records, or MIDI records, but not Koala's sequenced MIDI.

    In Cuba's the experience was similar. I know I can freeze midi tracks there, but still.

    Yesterday I decided to stop messing with iOS as a system, and just use the individual apps as sound sources for Live. I hooked up my guitar to my Mac, also hooked up an 0-Coast and Novation Launchpad, and I was off. Playing the 0-Coast into Live is a dream, and I can quickly chop the recordings into a Simpler and keep working. The new Moogerfooger FX are nice, but tbh Ableton has sp many great built-in FX I don't need the Moog ones yet.

    The upshot was an afternoon spent enjoying music making, experimentation, and all that good stuff. If I want Koala, I can sync it via Link, and capture the audio via iDAM. Ditto Thumbjam.

    I'm not trying to say that this is the best way for everyone. Or even anyone else. I also love the iPad for music, both its immediacy, its amazing audio apps, its portability and its touch screen. I also understand that many of you live in Drambo, or AUM. But for me, it's such a pain to do anything that I always give up.

    I've been looking at the M1 and M2 iPads, and this made me realize that I might buy an M2 MacBook Air instead. It's about the same price, and would be a way better music machine for me.

    Maybe this will change in future, but it doesn't look like it. From now on, I suspect I will be using an iPad only for reading, writing (which it's great at), and for one-at-a-time music apps.

    I’ve been doing this for a few years now - the iPad acts as an instrument that I record into Ableton on my Mac. Used to be via IDAM, but that’s stopped working (Big Sur update FTW) so I use an audio line out/in.

    I still create short bits and pieces in Gadget, Koala, jams in AUM etc., but they’re captured as audio and exported into Live for proper editing and arrangements. Even then there’s problems - about 25% of my AUM jams fail to record, so most of that now is recorded straight into the Mac, rather than the unreliable built-in option.

  • @monz0id said:

    Even then there’s problems - about 25% of my AUM jams fail to record, so most of that now is recorded straight into the Mac, rather than the unreliable built-in option.

    😩

  • @mistercharlie said:

    @monz0id said:

    Even then there’s problems - about 25% of my AUM jams fail to record, so most of that now is recorded straight into the Mac, rather than the unreliable built-in option.

    😩

    Yeah, no idea why. A few years back I had contact with the dev, probably on here, but it’s still a thing - even on a completely different, newer device. Could be I’m overloading the iPad, or a rogue app is messing things up, but it seems completely random - when I check and find a session hasn’t recorded, I’ll go back and do it again, and it then records the same setup perfectly. Very, very frustrating as I’m capturing one-off ‘performances’, and it’s usually the good ones that get lost forever.

  • For now I treat my iPads as instruments to feed Logic, Renoise, SunVox etc. with ‘stuff’.

    Ironically my M1 iPadPro is a LOT faster than my i5 3Ghz 6-Core Mac Mini but I get more done with Logic on a slower machine…

    Sure I can’t run 15 instances of Model D on the MacMini which I can do on the M1 :sunglasses:

  • @mistercharlie I don’t doubt the truth of your experience, but it made me laugh a lot because, prior to iOS, I’d spent so many, many years struggling with desktop music systems, constantly reconfiguring and troubleshooting and rarely actually making any music.

    Once I accepted I actually enjoyed the tinkering and problem solving I found a greater peace (though still not making much music). Being useful to my less tech literate friends is at least some compensation (as is sharing arcane and otherwise useless knowledge here).

    I hope you find the greener pastures you seek, but there remains a juicy crop growing right here waiting for you - though as you say, it’s never going to be painless… anywhere :)

  • Really interesting — I went through the exact same thought process earlier this month and bought an M2 MacBook Air. Ableton Live has always been a really easy environment for me to work in, but my job switched to full-time wfh in 2019 and the iPad’s form factor was much easier for me to actually enjoy after a long day at my desk. Intel MacBooks had also gotten unpleasantly expensive IMO, but with Apple Silicon I was able to get a massive performance upgrade for a more palatable price.

    The Loopy Pro Facebook group finally convinced me to suck it up and go back to Live. Every time a new update comes out, people start clamouring for more features; I was writing a comment along the lines of, “I can’t wait for MIDI looping and tighter Launchpad integration,” and I realized that if I just went back to Live as my main working environment, I would have both of those things and more. Then I realized I was waiting for effects automation and hoping for relative MIDI in Koala, I was waiting for Patterning to go AU, I was hoping for MIDI feedback and linear audio tracks in Drambo, and the list goes on. iPad is home to some of the most innovative and interesting music-making tools I’ve ever seen and I was unable to fully appreciate them because I was waiting for features that would, in essence, bring the overall workflow closer to a desktop DAW.

    Now it’s Ableton Link and IDAM for the win and so far I’m very happy. Plus the Air has two USB ports and MagSafe, so I can plug in an audio interface and MIDI controller without needing a hub, and the thing has a dang headphone jack.

  • edited October 26

    @jrjulius said:
    Ableton Live has always been a really easy environment for me to work in, but my job switched to full-time wfh in 2019 and the iPad’s form factor was much easier for me to actually enjoy after a long day at my desk.

    This definitely resonates for me. IPad creativity is an antidote to being locked to a computer. Although when I’m not working my multi-screen based day job, nothing gives me more pleasure than firing up the desktop music spaceship (with IDAM along for the party, before I ruin it all by getting Studiomux involved).

  • iPad as a instrument with Samplr, Animoog Z.....and Ableton Note.

    I'm in the process of ditching every other app

  • .

    @monz0id said:

    I’ve been doing this for a few years now - the iPad acts as an instrument that I record into Ableton on my Mac. Used to be via IDAM, but that’s stopped working (Big Sur update FTW) so I use an audio line out/in.

    That’s really not a good thing! I was planning on upgrading my Mac mini maybe next year.

    Is IDAM dead?!

  • @zah said:
    .

    @monz0id said:

    I’ve been doing this for a few years now - the iPad acts as an instrument that I record into Ableton on my Mac. Used to be via IDAM, but that’s stopped working (Big Sur update FTW) so I use an audio line out/in.

    That’s really not a good thing! I was planning on upgrading my Mac mini maybe next year.

    Is IDAM dead?!

    IDAM isn’t dead. The Big Sur update happened a few years back and it sounds like it caused issues with this user’s particular setup. But as of late last week it was working perfectly fine on my iPad Air 3 and MacBook Air M2!

  • @zah said:
    .

    @monz0id said:

    I’ve been doing this for a few years now - the iPad acts as an instrument that I record into Ableton on my Mac. Used to be via IDAM, but that’s stopped working (Big Sur update FTW) so I use an audio line out/in.

    That’s really not a good thing! I was planning on upgrading my Mac mini maybe next year.

    Is IDAM dead?!

    IDAM works for me, various iOS (13/14/15) to iMAC 2017 High Sierra and/or Monterey.

  • Yeah, my workflow for many years is AUM into Ableton. Works great. :)
    iPad is a great music tool but just not as the DAW.

    There some key things that AUM is better and more immediate than Ableton though, like Audio and midi routing. I will prefer to jam with hardware synths routed through my ipad as FX unit, into Live it's fine but not as fun. Sequencing external gear via AUM is better for me as the ipad feels part of the gear.
    But then recording captured audio into Live and continuing from there.

    Combining the two platforms with their relative strengths means you have unlimited options :)

  • I like a combination of both.

    The M1 iPad was a game changer for me but I am using Drambo exclusively and not trying to do DAW stuff.

  • @BroCoast said:
    I like a combination of both.

    The M1 iPad was a game changer for me but I am using Drambo exclusively and not trying to do DAW stuff.

    Game changer in terms of CPU headroom? Stability?

    /I’m thinking to take similar route, lately iPad is nothing but headache...

  • I used desktop for decades, the ipad inspire me a lot more. But if I wanted to get things done there is no replacement for a desktop daw.

  • edited October 26

    @0tolerance4silence said:

    @BroCoast said:
    I like a combination of both.

    The M1 iPad was a game changer for me but I am using Drambo exclusively and not trying to do DAW stuff.

    Game changer in terms of CPU headroom? Stability?

    /I’m thinking to take similar route, lately iPad is nothing but headache...

    Yeah a lot more headroom and I can’t even remember the last time I had a crash. Not having to deal with Lightning and a dongle is also fantastic.

    The 9.7” Pro I upgraded from was a total headache. Always crashing, dropping connection with interface etc.

  • I’m finding the opposite - mind you it’s taken me years to get to the workflow that now enjoy. There’s such a massive combination of ways you can get things done - it’s mind boggling. I really like the fact though that you can chop and change your approach.

  • I agree with this as I've begun learning a workflow in Logic Pro. Doesn't avoid headaches, necessarily, but I get a lot more power for my trouble.

    I still love Korg Gadget on iPad and as much as I want Auv3, the closed off system is super stable with tons of great sounds to be made.

  • edited October 26

    Drambo sets you free 😉

    But at the end of the day we each have to find our flow.

    For the rest of the year I’m hitting the MPC+Deluge hard as my creation platform.

    It’s fun having flexibility to push ourselves creatively.

  • @zah said:
    .

    @monz0id said:

    I’ve been doing this for a few years now - the iPad acts as an instrument that I record into Ableton on my Mac. Used to be via IDAM, but that’s stopped working (Big Sur update FTW) so I use an audio line out/in.

    That’s really not a good thing! I was planning on upgrading my Mac mini maybe next year.

    Is IDAM dead?!

    I think it’s actually the iOS update (15.6.1) that borked the connection, since it’s stopped working on an old High Sierra Mac too.

    When I try to connect I get an error message telling me to update my Mac to the latest version - not sure if that’s Monterey or Ventura - but everything else works on Big Sur, so I don’t want to risk it.

    @jrjulius said:

    @zah said:
    .

    @monz0id said:

    I’ve been doing this for a few years now - the iPad acts as an instrument that I record into Ableton on my Mac. Used to be via IDAM, but that’s stopped working (Big Sur update FTW) so I use an audio line out/in.

    That’s really not a good thing! I was planning on upgrading my Mac mini maybe next year.

    Is IDAM dead?!

    IDAM isn’t dead. The Big Sur update happened a few years back and it sounds like it caused issues with this user’s particular setup. But as of late last week it was working perfectly fine on my iPad Air 3 and MacBook Air M2!

    Good for you, but it doesn’t work on Big Sur (recent security update, not a few years ago) and most recent iOS v 15.6.1 (security update) for me (Air 4 to Mac M1 Mini).

  • @monz0id said:

    @zah said:
    .

    @monz0id said:

    I’ve been doing this for a few years now - the iPad acts as an instrument that I record into Ableton on my Mac. Used to be via IDAM, but that’s stopped working (Big Sur update FTW) so I use an audio line out/in.

    That’s really not a good thing! I was planning on upgrading my Mac mini maybe next year.

    Is IDAM dead?!

    I think it’s actually the iOS update (15.6.1) that borked the connection, since it’s stopped working on an old High Sierra Mac too.

    When I try to connect I get an error message telling me to update my Mac to the latest version - not sure if that’s Monterey or Ventura - but everything else works on Big Sur, so I don’t want to risk it.

    @jrjulius said:

    @zah said:
    .

    @monz0id said:

    I’ve been doing this for a few years now - the iPad acts as an instrument that I record into Ableton on my Mac. Used to be via IDAM, but that’s stopped working (Big Sur update FTW) so I use an audio line out/in.

    That’s really not a good thing! I was planning on upgrading my Mac mini maybe next year.

    Is IDAM dead?!

    IDAM isn’t dead. The Big Sur update happened a few years back and it sounds like it caused issues with this user’s particular setup. But as of late last week it was working perfectly fine on my iPad Air 3 and MacBook Air M2!

    Good for you, but it doesn’t work on Big Sur (recent security update, not a few years ago) and most recent iOS v 15.6.1 (security update) for me (Air 4 to Mac M1 Mini).

    I am on 15.6 and Ventura on my mac. IDAM works fine.

  • :lol:

    Just kidding. Actually, it's good you still see the advantage of individual apps as sound sources.
    For some time I struggled trying to pinpoint what exactly should be my setup/workflow.

    Recently I realized I have multiple, and just organized the three main ones.
    I have a mobile-centered workflow (iOS and Android), a desktop centered one and the one I consider the most, hardware centered.

    This last one, I use my ol' SP-404 and MicroBR as focal points to record stems and can either record the performance or then drop the stems to some DAW and arrange.

    The point is, if we are not having fun, what's the point?
    So i'm glad you're finding your balance, mate

  • @monz0id said:

    @zah said:
    .

    @monz0id said:

    I’ve been doing this for a few years now - the iPad acts as an instrument that I record into Ableton on my Mac. Used to be via IDAM, but that’s stopped working (Big Sur update FTW) so I use an audio line out/in.

    That’s really not a good thing! I was planning on upgrading my Mac mini maybe next year.

    Is IDAM dead?!

    I think it’s actually the iOS update (15.6.1) that borked the connection, since it’s stopped working on an old High Sierra Mac too.

    When I try to connect I get an error message telling me to update my Mac to the latest version - not sure if that’s Monterey or Ventura - but everything else works on Big Sur, so I don’t want to risk it.

    @jrjulius said:

    @zah said:
    .

    @monz0id said:

    I’ve been doing this for a few years now - the iPad acts as an instrument that I record into Ableton on my Mac. Used to be via IDAM, but that’s stopped working (Big Sur update FTW) so I use an audio line out/in.

    That’s really not a good thing! I was planning on upgrading my Mac mini maybe next year.

    Is IDAM dead?!

    IDAM isn’t dead. The Big Sur update happened a few years back and it sounds like it caused issues with this user’s particular setup. But as of late last week it was working perfectly fine on my iPad Air 3 and MacBook Air M2!

    Good for you, but it doesn’t work on Big Sur (recent security update, not a few years ago) and most recent iOS v 15.6.1 (security update) for me (Air 4 to Mac M1 Mini).

    Oops yes, Big Sur was 2020. I was thinking High Sierra. My apologies! That’s really frustrating.

  • @BroCoast said:

    @monz0id said:

    @zah said:
    .

    @monz0id said:

    I’ve been doing this for a few years now - the iPad acts as an instrument that I record into Ableton on my Mac. Used to be via IDAM, but that’s stopped working (Big Sur update FTW) so I use an audio line out/in.

    That’s really not a good thing! I was planning on upgrading my Mac mini maybe next year.

    Is IDAM dead?!

    I think it’s actually the iOS update (15.6.1) that borked the connection, since it’s stopped working on an old High Sierra Mac too.

    When I try to connect I get an error message telling me to update my Mac to the latest version - not sure if that’s Monterey or Ventura - but everything else works on Big Sur, so I don’t want to risk it.

    @jrjulius said:

    @zah said:
    .

    @monz0id said:

    I’ve been doing this for a few years now - the iPad acts as an instrument that I record into Ableton on my Mac. Used to be via IDAM, but that’s stopped working (Big Sur update FTW) so I use an audio line out/in.

    That’s really not a good thing! I was planning on upgrading my Mac mini maybe next year.

    Is IDAM dead?!

    IDAM isn’t dead. The Big Sur update happened a few years back and it sounds like it caused issues with this user’s particular setup. But as of late last week it was working perfectly fine on my iPad Air 3 and MacBook Air M2!

    Good for you, but it doesn’t work on Big Sur (recent security update, not a few years ago) and most recent iOS v 15.6.1 (security update) for me (Air 4 to Mac M1 Mini).

    I am on 15.6 and Ventura on my mac. IDAM works fine.

    15.6 or 15.6.1? 15.6.1 was an important security update.

    If 15.6.1 works with Ventura, then I guess at some point I’ll have to bite the bullet and update the Mac.

  • edited October 26

    @jrjulius said:

    @monz0id said:

    @zah said:
    .

    @monz0id said:

    I’ve been doing this for a few years now - the iPad acts as an instrument that I record into Ableton on my Mac. Used to be via IDAM, but that’s stopped working (Big Sur update FTW) so I use an audio line out/in.

    That’s really not a good thing! I was planning on upgrading my Mac mini maybe next year.

    Is IDAM dead?!

    I think it’s actually the iOS update (15.6.1) that borked the connection, since it’s stopped working on an old High Sierra Mac too.

    When I try to connect I get an error message telling me to update my Mac to the latest version - not sure if that’s Monterey or Ventura - but everything else works on Big Sur, so I don’t want to risk it.

    @jrjulius said:

    @zah said:
    .

    @monz0id said:

    I’ve been doing this for a few years now - the iPad acts as an instrument that I record into Ableton on my Mac. Used to be via IDAM, but that’s stopped working (Big Sur update FTW) so I use an audio line out/in.

    That’s really not a good thing! I was planning on upgrading my Mac mini maybe next year.

    Is IDAM dead?!

    IDAM isn’t dead. The Big Sur update happened a few years back and it sounds like it caused issues with this user’s particular setup. But as of late last week it was working perfectly fine on my iPad Air 3 and MacBook Air M2!

    Good for you, but it doesn’t work on Big Sur (recent security update, not a few years ago) and most recent iOS v 15.6.1 (security update) for me (Air 4 to Mac M1 Mini).

    Oops yes, Big Sur was 2020. I was thinking High Sierra. My apologies! That’s really frustrating.

    No worries. Yes really annoying, since IDAM was working perfectly before I updated the ipad, and there’s a slightly noticeable loss in quality going via audio connection.

  • @KirbyMumbo said:
    I still love Korg Gadget on iPad and as much as I want Auv3, the closed off system is super stable with tons of great sounds to be made.

    The ‘1 stable app’ approach works best for me too. Early on with iOS and decided that combining all these different apps together wasn’t working for me. Too many unreliable things being dependent on different devs, etc. Don’t have time/energy for that.

    Sometimes I’ll use AudioShare to truncate/normalize/import a sample. But most of the time it provides all the sounds I need.

  • Been back and forth, but currently in iPad season again lol

  • Been having this discussion in my head for a while and go around in circles...

    Happy with Cubasis 3 + piano apps + sample-based instrument apps (decent sampler, Audio layer). Doing this all on my iPhone SE 2020 with a MIDI keyboard connected. I am trying to make piano/strings/synth based ambient style music.

    If I were to return to iPad, I would get a Gen9. In the past when I had an iPad, I've used Gadget to make up to the rough mix, then export the stems to finish mixing in Auria Pro + fabfilter IAPs.

    If I were to go to PC, I'd probably use an old Intel i3 laptop I have around. But I don't really have any software purchased on PC for music, so I'd have to start with all free stuff (Waveform, Surge, Supermassive, Plogue Sforzando for pianos, Spitfire Labs, BBC Orchestra and whatever free EQs/Compressors/Reverbs etc. I could find.)

    Most likely for what I do as a hobby, if I upgrade from my iphone for music making, I would just buy the Gen9 iPad and use all the apps I've purchased, instead of trying to start over on a PC.

  • Yeah, but then again your precious Mac doesn’t have AUDIOBUS FORUM! Ha ha!!

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