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.

My 10 favorite iOS apps - Summer 2014

edited September 2014 in App Tips and Tricks

Here's the original link with the nice graphics and stuff:

Not trying to be blog spammy, so here's the whole article, just without the images (this forum won't let us post them):

Since one of the more frequent questions I get asked is for iOS music app recommendations, I figured it was time to list my favorites as of Summer 2014. I’m not saying that these are the “best” iOS apps out there, just that these are the ones I find myself reach for again and again. With that, and in no particular order, here we go!

  1. Auria.

Easily my most used iOS app, Auria is not cheap for an iOS app but is an absolute steal given how powerful it is. Intuitive and fluid audio editing and mixing, the included plug-ins sound great, and there’s great export options if you want to finalize your mix on the desktop. But considering you can also use all of the Fabfilter plug-ins ported to iOS in Auria (available via IAP), you may not even want to use the desktop again. If you work mainly with audio and not MIDI, this is the iOS DAW you want.

  1. Audiobus.

I’ll admit I rarely use Audiobus these days, preferring instead to access my effects and synths in Auria via Inter-App Audio (IAA). But Audiobus was the app that made me realize the potential of iOS music making, allowing you to finally route and record your apps and effects among each other. A game-changer, everyone should own this just in case.

  1. DM1.

Probably one of my favorite drum apps currently, DM1 comes stock with some great samples of all the classic drum machines, as well as some acoustic kits and even some more unique percussion instruments. Simple to use, a fun randomize function, and great iCloud support. One of the more versatile electronic drum machines out there.

  1. Alchemy Mobile.

While it’s nowhere near as comprehensive as the desktop version, Alchemy Mobile is still one of the synths I reach for more than any other on the iPad. Great sounds, just enough tweakability to personalize the presets for your songs, and a very handy 4 track recorder. One of the best balances between power and ease of use on the iOS platform I feel. The additional preset packs aren’t cheap, but all of the ones I’ve purchased have been well worth it if you want more sounds.

  1. Figure.

My go to when I have the iPhone with me and not the iPad. I like simpler apps on the smaller screen, though Figure has a lot more power and versatility than it first appears. Lots of possibilities for tweaking the (few) included presets, and if you’re a Reason owner you can import your songs into that app on the desktop later. Great sounding, easy to use, and perfectly adapted to the touchscreen.

  1. Nave.

Waldorf’s first foray into iOS is a powerhouse, and considering it takes up almost 300+MB of your RAM on the iPad, you’re going to know it if you have a lot of apps open at once :-) I found the interface a little confusing at first, but once I got to grips with it I realized just how capable this synth is. If it was a little easier on the CPU and RAM this would probably be one of the only synths I need. Still, in terms of matching what’s available on the desktop, Nave is definitely one to try.

  1. Gadget.

Korg made a huge splash with this app when it was released, and for good reason! The synths sound and look amazing, the sequencer is extremely well done and easy to use for simple grooves or full songs, and there’s promised updates on the way shortly. If you only own one app on your iPad, this is the one I would recommend. Even if it only works in portrait mode, which is very annoying.

  1. iElectribe.

The Korg ER-1 was one of my first drum machines, and this app only improves on that concept. All the sound and interface of the original drum machine, with greater export and copy/paste functionality. You can even re-skin it if that’s your thing. Fun to use when you need some artificial sounding electronic drum, it’s in second place for iOS percussion right behind DM1 for me.

  1. Traktor DJ.

There’s quite a few DJ apps out there on the iOS platform these days, but Traktor is the one I use more than any other. Decent effects and layout, ongoing support and updates from NI, and support of all the new NI DJ Hardware as well. Unless you’re dead set on trying to mimic operating a real turntable on your iPad/iPhone, Traktor should be the first DJ app you try.

  1. Sunrizer.

One of the first iOS synths I ever bought, it’s still one of my favorites. I love the way it looks on the iPad, and the sound quality and features still rival newer competitor synth apps today. Based loosely on the Roland JP series of synths, but it’s capable of much more than you’d expect. Fun randomizer, a comprehensive arp/sequencer, and well thought MIDI functionality make this a no-brainer for me to recommend.

Well, that’s the short and quick version. :) What are your ten?


  • edited September 2014

    Gonna check out the blog. But you pretty much nailed how my fav. list would look. Except for Traktor, as I'm not just into DJ apps at all.

    I've had the pleasure to be playing around with an as of yet unreleased/unannounced app. I can't say anything at all about it. Except that it kept me up all night, so needless to say it's an app I'm just in love with. I would put that app in Traktors place, in my top 10 music apps - 2014. If we are not allowed to use unreleased/unannounced apps, I'd probably put Thumbjam in there. Thumbjam was the first app that really took advantage of the iPhones various sensors to really create a really expressive instrument out of phone. And it's just grown and matured since then, and is still the top dawg when you quickly want to create some new instrument with your samples, in an app that uses all available sensors on the iDevice except perhaps the camera. :)

  • edited September 2014

    I can't say anything at all about it. Except that it kept me up all night...

    Not a description of my first marriage.

    Must be lovely to be a sly inside dog, can you at least take a wild stab at when this blow-up doll of an app might be made commercially available to us lonely bachelors?

  • edited September 2014

    @JohnnyGoodyear said:.

    Must be lovely to be a sly inside dog, can you at least take a wild stab at when this blow-up doll of an app might be made commercially available to us lonely bachelors?

    Ha! I got lucky, that's all. :) I can't say when exactly this doll will be available. But looking at it, I'd say they got most holes in the right places at this point. You'll be able to plug it in by this fall I'd say.*

    *without really knowing at all when it will actually be available

  • Now we know it is, in fact, a doll of some sort.

  • edited September 2014

    My 2014 favorite list


    PPG WaveGenerator/Mapper

    Tonestack effects



    IMPC Pro


    Bias glassy pack



    Different Drummer


  • I keep forgetting to try the PPG stuff.

  • edited September 2014

    My 2014 list is the same as 2013, with the addition of Sector

    BeatMaker 2:
    Allows me to use my EWQL and NI instruments on iOS. Universal app, disk streaming keyboard and drum sampler, midi import/export, Dropbox support, IAA/AB, great midi editing, audio tracks, chop shop, etc. BM2 packs the sample-centric features and is CPU friendly

    Great for working out an idea, huge instrument library. Parts export as midi to Dropbox, open in BM2, then render with EWQL/NI instruments

    The moving force behind much of what I see as progress in iOS music. Good forum too

    Excellent mixing and mastering on mobile, at a relatively high price. If a $400 investment doesn't get me to sort out this whole mastering thing what will?

    Deep, rich sound, plenty of shaping options, great midi learn w/BM2 for automation, light on CPU

    The hub; without rival in handling audio files

    Magically light on CPU, a wide array of beautiful sampled instruments

    With Sector, my favorite way to work with sample loops, whether percussive or melodic

    Love the way that this syncs up with BM2. Would be happy to pay again for a way to layer tracks within the app.

    Alchemy Mobile: Still a favorite. New libraries, often updated, top 10 app for me.

  • Sector, another one I keep forgetting to try. :)

  • Different Drummer (shocked?)










  • edited September 2014

    @DarbyA Very nice round-up.

    And just in case the Sector Dev is listening, I would also happily pay for layers to turn your chessboard into a three dimensional one.

  • Yeah, the OP almost nailed it for me as well. My edits would be to replace DM1 with Seekbeats(as I've no experience w/DM1), Gadget with Animoog or Impaktor, and Traktor DJ with Thumbjam or Audioshare.

  • Those I use the most:

    Beatmaker 2









    Magellan fx

  • @supadom said:

    Those I use the most:

    Beatmaker 2









    Magellan fx and I are close! I'm only missing Samplr. Maybe I need to quit putting that one off.

  • It's well worth it. I don't use a lot, but it's great for deconstructing loops and whatnot.

  • edited September 2014

    Great minds....@Thomas I've dug up samplr recently and since it start/stop/BPM syncs up with loopy I've included it into my looping set up. This thing covers so much ground that other samplers don't it should really be on every progressively thinking musician's list. You can pretty much make some spectacular stuff with it on its own.

    Edit: I've recently added some synth loop and use them in arpeggio mode, also great with speech samples or any other general loopiness. I think it's even more rewarding if you use your own samples. I'm still discovering new ways of using it and I'm sure there's still plenty more to chew on.

  • I'm telling you, we need thirty hour days.

  • My to ten is based on how much an app can get me into and help me stay in the creative zone + the level of tweakability/experimentation possible + quality of sound











    Honorable mentions:

    SynthX - love it!, but no AB nor IAA and I'm afraid this one really is abandoned. I'm still keeping it...

    Tera Synth - a new favourite, let's see if it stands the test of time.

  • Thumbjam is one I just never bonded with. I liked it for what it was, but I just never found it was something I was reaching for that often. If ever. :(

  • My top ten of mostly used apps this summer (Audiobus and Audioshare anyway)
    1. Loopy
    2. Auria (with its plug ins)
    3. DrumJam
    4. ThumbJam
    5. DrumPerfect (more than DM1 I guess)
    6. Samplr
    7. Gadget
    8. Alchemy
    9. iSEM
    10. Bias (ToneStack since mothership landed)

    Much love for earhoof, TC-11, node beat, sector, humble tune apps and MitoSynth
    For autumn DifferentDrummer and werkbench are waiting to get on the list.

  • edited September 2014

    Nice list. I wanted to mention sunvox cause I didn't see it on here yet. It's one app that I keep coming back to. It's not for everyone, but it has so many features. I don't use it as much anymore cause I don't want to always use a tracker for making music, however, I find the fx are pretty useful through audio bus.

    You can get sunvox for free on your computer if you download from their website. Nice to tryout before buying it for one of your devices. It has been a pleasant experience on the IOS for me.

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