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.

DAW suggestions for a new rig?

So I’m finally taking the plunge and putting together a more serious studio rig, and I’d appreciate some advice on choosing a DAW to serve as the front end to the whole setup.

Here’s the general idea (stolen shamelessly, in large part, from Andrew Tasselmyer, who has some good YT video explaining how it works): the hub of the whole thing will be an iConnectivity AUDIO4c, which will pass audio and MIDI back and forth between a MacBook, an iPad, a couple of hardware effects (an H90 and a Loupé) and an undetermined number of MIDI control surfaces. The MacBook will also have an HX Stomp plugged in, which will serve as a guitar input and processor, and occasionally serve double duty as an additional effects processor (you can route audio to and from the Stomp via USB, so you don’t need additional AD/DA conversion steps). I need a DAW for the MacBook that will make it easy to do the following, in rough order of importance:

-Handle routing of audio and MIDI signals between the MacBook and the other devices;
-Bring some interesting instrument/effect plugins to the game;
-Be accessible to a relative-n00b DAW user in terms of composition and recording.

Top of the list right now are Logic and Ableton, so I’m especially interested in your head-to-head opinions on those, but if there are other options I should be seriously considering in the $300 or less category (preferably a purchase rather than a subscription), let me know.

Comments

  • wimwim
    edited February 12

    Logic would be the clear choice for me. I like Live, but Logic is the biggest bang for the buck in terms of included instruments and FX, and it provides the option to transition projects between the iPad and desktop should you be in a situation where you want to detach from the studio.

    [edit] nvm. Changed my mind. https://forum.audiob.us/discussion/comment/1302173/#Comment_1302173

    There's no need to subscribe, or keep paying subscription on the iPad when you aren't using Logic there, then it's only $5 for a month if you decide you need it for something.

    There are plenty of ways to route midi and audio in the Mac that don't depend at all on which DAW you use. Blackhole can route audio anywhere, and MidiPipe can do anything you need with midi routing.

  • I am totally biased. I chose Logic in 1993 and am still using it today.

    Logic on the Mac + Logic on the iPad is working nicely for me. It means all the tracks I want to start on the iPad are easily transferred to the Mac without any messing about other than bouncing tracks I don't have plug-ins for on the Mac. There are things about Logic I find I would rather not live without.

    Live is a great DAW too and works with a few apps on the iPad but there's nothing like the integration of Logic projects between devices.

    I don't tend to use the iPad attached to the Mac other than using the iPad as a remote for Logic on the Mac. It is a workflow that doesn't work for me, but YMMV obviously.

    I bought Logic Pro 10 in 2014. I've had it 10 years now and haven't paid for a single update so $49 per year to use it on the iPad is still a bargain in my opinion and I can stop if I don't use it.

    I am very much Mac first and haven't even thought about switching DAWs. I'm set with Logic. It does everything I need and more and the built in stock plug-ins are great. I use the stock EQ, compressors, delays etc. a lot. I also use many of the stock instruments and the sampler is fantastic. Apple have added a ton of extra plug-ins for free over the years including two of my all time favourite fx; CamelPhat (now Phatfx) and Camelspace (now stepfx).

    I don't think it's easy for anybody to give a completely objective opinion. We all have our favourites.

    I think whichever DAW you get, my advice is to stick with it and learn it inside out. Logic or Live can make any music you can think of, sometimes with different methods, but neither is going to stop you in your tracks.

    One last piece of advice. Whichever DAW you get, learn to use it rather than fight it. There's no point getting angry if something doesn't work the way you think it should. As long as it works, just roll with it. Demo them both and see which one you have to fight the least and stick with that one. :-)

  • edited February 11

    depends a little on how you make music, live has clips and also max for live devices and Ableton note which is an iOS app and the Note projects open up in the Ableton live so maybe that is useful to you...

  • @wim said:
    Logic would be the clear choice for me. I like Live, but Logic is the biggest bang for the buck in terms of included instruments and FX, and it provides the option to transition projects between the iPad and desktop should you be in a situation where you want to detach from the studio.

    There's no need to subscribe, or keep paying subscription on the iPad when you aren't using Logic there, then it's only $5 for a month if you decide you need it for something.

    There are plenty of ways to route midi and audio in the Mac that don't depend at all on which DAW you use. Blackhole can route audio anywhere, and MidiPipe can do anything you need with midi routing.

    I would agree this is good advice. I too use Live, but Logic is very much my go-to for more straightforward recording tasks or integrating my iPad.

    It still irritates me that I could buy Logic outright for my Mac but can’t do the same on my iPad. Nothing I can do about that though I guess.

  • I vote Live, cleaner interface and easier to get up and running with. Also the routing options are a lot easier to learn and see at a glance.

  • Additional question: can Logic sync to an external MIDI clock? If not, that’s a deal-breaker for me - the Loupé doesn’t sync to anything else, so there are definitely times when I’m going to start with a loop there and let it drive the bus timing-wise.

  • edited February 11

    @celtic_elk said:
    Additional question: can Logic sync to an external MIDI clock? If not, that’s a deal-breaker for me - the Loupé doesn’t sync to anything else, so there are definitely times when I’m going to start with a loop there and let it drive the bus timing-wise.

    Yes it can. It can even still sync to SMPTE striped tape. I often sync it to my Drumbrute with the Drumbrute providing clock. I’m talking about the Mac version — not tried midi sync with the iPad. If I need to connect stuff I just use my Mac. I find that far easier. I only ever use my iPad unthethered.

  • @klownshed said:

    @celtic_elk said:
    Additional question: can Logic sync to an external MIDI clock? If not, that’s a deal-breaker for me - the Loupé doesn’t sync to anything else, so there are definitely times when I’m going to start with a loop there and let it drive the bus timing-wise.

    Yes it can. It can even still sync to SMPTE striped tape. I often sync it to my Drumbrute with the Drumbrute providing clock. I’m talking about the Mac version — not tried midi sync with the iPad. If I need to connect stuff I just use my Mac. I find that far easier. I only ever use my iPad unthethered.

    Can you explain how you have that configured? This Logic support page from Apple says explicitly that Logic does not sync to MIDI clock: https://support.apple.com/guide/logicpro/synchronization-overview-lgcpfffd9371/10.8/mac/13.5

  • Live has a larger ecosystem for underground electronic music which can be an advantage of you want to learn from others.

    What kept me away from Logic on the desktop for a long time was the coupling to newer OS versions. The current version needs at least Ventura, while Live 11 can still be used on the old Sierra.

    I've used a MacPro which got converted into a Hackintosh for over a decade and also know other musicians who are stuck on older Macs for their music making. All use Live.

    I gave Logic on the ipad a try and like it so far. Now that I own newer hardware and can upgrade without issues I might give Logic on the desktop a go as well and switch over from Live. Either that or get a iPad pro with good extended desktop support.

  • I prefer Live but I never use iPad and desktop at the same time though so maybe Logic is better for that.

    I’d get Live lite and the start the Logic trial and see which one you prefer.

    I’ve never liked the Logic/GB interface.

  • @celtic_elk said:
    .... I need a DAW for the MacBook that will make it easy to do the following, in rough order of importance:

    1. Handle routing of audio and MIDI signals between the MacBook and the other devices;
    2. Bring some interesting instrument/effect plugins to the game;
    3. Be accessible to a relative-n00b DAW user in terms of composition and recording.

    4. Top of the list right now are Logic and Ableton, so I’m especially interested in your head-to-head opinions on those, but if there are other options I should be seriously considering in the $300 or less category (preferably a purchase rather than a subscription), let me know.

    I edited a little the post :

    1. Reaper because of efficiency (running on ultralow buffer size / small latency)
    2. There are plenty of AUs,VSTs , I wouldn't choose a DAW for the built-in instruments / fx
    3. This is very subjective , that's why there are many DAWs , but
      a. You can try it for free without limitations
      b. There is plenty of information of how-to on reaper forums and videos
    4. Reaper :p
  • Can Logic on the Mac use VST's, or only AU's?

  • @wim said:
    Can Logic on the Mac use VST's, or only AU's?

    AU's only...

  • wimwim
    edited February 12

    @zzrwood said:

    @wim said:
    Can Logic on the Mac use VST's, or only AU's?

    AU's only...

    nvm then. I take back my opinion that Logic Pro makes more sense. Ableton Live ftw.

    (I mean, there probably aren't that many VST's one would want to use that are Mac compatible and don't have AU builds, but still ... limitations bug me.)

  • @wim said:

    @zzrwood said:

    @wim said:
    Can Logic on the Mac use VST's, or only AU's?

    AU's only...

    nvm then. I take back my opinion that Logic Pro makes more sense. Ableton Live ftw.

    (I mean, there probably aren't that many VST's one would want to use that are Mac compatible and don't have AU builds, but still ... limitations bug me.)

    If I understand it correctly, from a developer's perspective, creating an audio unit from a VST3 is pretty trivial...

  • @wim said:

    @zzrwood said:

    @wim said:
    Can Logic on the Mac use VST's, or only AU's?

    AU's only...

    nvm then. I take back my opinion that Logic Pro makes more sense. Ableton Live ftw.

    (I mean, there probably aren't that many VST's one would want to use that are Mac compatible and don't have AU builds, but still ... limitations bug me.)

    I haven't found any. The only vst only plug-ins I know of are windows only. The converse is not true though, there are plenty of plug-ins that are AU only, epically those that also work on iOS.

    The worst thing about desktop plugins isn't the format, but the copy protection system. Some of the hoops devs make you jump through are pretty customer hostile.

    The App Store, for all it's ills, makes installing plug-ins fairly painless.

  • I would recommend Bitwig but it doesn’t do AU.

    @klownshed is right: Logic for macOS is unrivaled

    I say go for Logic if you intend to rely on the macOS/ipados but if not, CUBASIS 3

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