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Midi clock problem - anyone else?

edited November 2014 in App Tips and Tricks

I'm probably a fool for trying to make my iPads play nice with my DAW, but I want to check if anyone else is having the same problem, or if it's something to do with my setup.

Basically, all apps that can receive midi clock from my computer and can indicate bpm, indicate that they get a very erratic pulse. If my DAW is set at 120 bpm, they're jumping back and forth between 119.2, 120.8 and so forth, reasonably close to the actual bpm, but never steady. It's not the DAW either (I think), because Logic and Ableton do the same thing, and it happens with SeekBeats, Funkbox, DM1 to name a few. It's also not the MIDI setup per se (I think), because I tried Apollo before, and now I'm using iConnectMIDI4.

Is this a well-known, general problem, or is it only me?

Comments

  • Don't know about hardware - but midi clock syncs is not perfect on ios yet.

  • Not perfect? With midi is that not like being just a little pregnant?

  • I wonder what's so difficult about midi clock sync. It's a pretty ancient technology. You'd think it would be pretty easy to implement in a modern system.

  • "Midi clock problem - anyone else?"

    thanks, I just spit coffee all over my keyboard...

  • edited November 2014

    Technical it IS possible with iOS. In very few apps MIDI clock is well and stable implemented, e.g. in Stroke Machine. I have the feeling that proper MIDI synchronization has a low priority for the most developers. While integrating sync support you have to test it with so many other apps and hardware constellations as possible. This fact seems to be a problem for many developers.

  • Try the Midibus app as a clock source and see if the same thing is detected. Also note that depending on your purposes, measured BPM jitter may not actually affect your real world sync, as long as it averages out and doesn't drift. So do what you're trying to do and only worry if you exhibit problems with drifting.

  • It's really common to see the bpm fluctuate by a couple of tenths, even if the chain is entirely hardware.

  • Well, the reason I asked in the first place was not to try to be a comedian, but because I do in fact experience some pretty bad drifting problems and I wanted to know if this was common (which it apparently is). So thanks for that information.

    I should have added that the couple of tenths of a bpm are the good cases, in some cases it's more, so it's pretty notable. I haven't made any of my favorite drum apps work to my satisfaction yet. Might try stroke machine, though - thanks for the tip.

    I've been working with huge hardware chains in the '90s, so I know about that too, but we never had any detectable problems. Maybe we were just lucky.

    Regarding Midibus: That's not going to help me keeping apps synced to a DAW, though, is it? Did you mean just to check the individual app, or something else?

  • Also, I should add that many apps have much worse problems when it comes to trying to clock sync to a DAW than just fluctuating BPM, which makes it impossible to use them anyway...but that's probably common knowledge too.

  • edited November 2014

    Sorry, I mis-read the original post, and had your sync source reversed. You are correct, that syncing to clock is a harder thing for apps to get right (vs producing it), even given a solid midi event delivery setup.

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