Live performance/jamming setups

Hi all, long time reader but first post: what setups (apps, hardware) do people use for live performance with their iPad?

I like to improvise and jam, building beats from scratch, mashing up loops and playing over the top of them, rather than a preplanned set (I'm lazy and seldom finish making tracks). I've had a lot of fun doing this with apps like Rebirth, SoundPrism (Pro and Electro), iElectribe, iKaosscilator, Turnado, Alchemy, Launchkey, Groovemaker, SampleTank, MidiBus, AB of course. I often "hot-swap" them i.e. mute or even stop one so I can load a new sequence, but syncing remains a challenge and my venerable iPad 3 occasionally skips (upgrading soon!) with the load.

I have two setups: "Thunderbird 4" is the full rig with an iConnect MIDI4+, MacBook running Live Suite, Axiom 25 keyboard, Novation X-Station as Synth and interface. But for general jamming and mitigating the risks playing live I have "Thunderbird 4", just the iPad and the X-Station. I am currently exploring putting the Axiom or other controllers into that, and also MIDI syncing with my jam buddies, one on electric violin with a boss loop board and iPad Air on a Focusrtie dock, the other on electric cello with boss effects and looper boards.

Interested to hear of other working like this, issues and solutions, new apps to try - learning Loopy HD properly is next on my list!

Comments

  • My setup is more for jamming with friends, and is way to complicated to explain.

  • Wow, that's great - I do use analog instruments too, through the Novation mic input. I'm thinking about getting a MOTU interface for more inputs or maybe an iConnect Audio. What do you use for MIDI clock?

  • MidiBus on one of the iOS devices usually, although the success rate is hit or miss. Fortunately, in my setup, midi sync isn't too big a deal.

  • For jamming on the train I plug my Tenori-On into an ipad air with cubasis using a roland UM ONE for midi and then record iaa from seekbeats, egoist, thor, magellan, fm7, dm1, animoog, with some audiobus/fx at times, all of which work great in parallel.

    I was delighted to find that once i off loaded midi to a hardware solution just how much you could run and record in cubasis with very little latency to speak of and decent cpu load. virtual mid ports and midi tracks just got way too flakey, buggy and cumbersome for me. Dusting off the Tenori-On and simply jamming with it changed everything. i started using Remote the other day as well and it really lubed up the jam session. So happy! Having started in the 80s i am ecstatic where things are at now.

  • edited July 2015

    I'm using Novation's LaunchKey KeyBoard and iConnectivity's Audio 4 to link up the sound from my iPad and computer.

    http://us.novationmusic.com/keys/launchkey#

  • I plug my iRig Keys into my iPad Air and use an aux cable to output Korg Module to a Bose Soundlink Mini 2 for all my portable teaching purposes!

  • edited July 2015

    @AudioGus said:
    For jamming on the train I plug my Tenori-On into an ipad air with cubasis using a roland UM ONE for midi and then record iaa from seekbeats, egoist, thor, magellan, fm7, dm1, animoog, with some audiobus/fx at times, all of which work great in parallel.

    I was delighted to find that once i off loaded midi to a hardware solution just how much you could run and record in cubasis with very little latency to speak of and decent cpu load. virtual mid ports and midi tracks just got way too flakey, buggy and cumbersome for me. Dusting off the Tenori-On and simply jamming with it changed everything. i started using Remote the other day as well and it really lubed up the jam session. So happy! Having started in the 80s i am ecstatic where things are at now.

    Cool set up. So do you drive all those apps at the same time with your Tenori-On on different channels? Or one at a time?

    Do you you record the midi you send into the iPad in Cubasis?

  • i ussualy do an initial session with about six or seven apps on different channels controlled by the Tenori simultaneously playing back and recording audio in cubasis, sometimes two apps will share the same channel for layering. For egoist and seekbeats i typicaly just use their own sequencer.

    i like to do this for about 30 to 60 minutes just playing around finding things that work together, transposing up and down, changing loop speed, notes etc. i will record midi at times but for the most part i will do that as a more selective overdub if i hear something i really want to try with other sounds later, but mostly if i just want to work on further overdubs without the tenori connected. once a general groove emerges I like using things like animoog and tc11 on top without sequencing or quantizing to keep it nice and organic.

    The cool thing with the tenori is it is easy to store blocks for later recall so I dont feel pressured to keep the midi recording the whole time. But yes i have had six tracks of midi recording from the Tenori (along with audio) and the sync was fantastic.

    anyway, once I have about about ten additonal overdub tracks it is off to samplitude on the pc to edit the whole thing down to a normal sized track of five to eight minutes but sometimes through chaos and happy accidents a couple completely seperate tracks will emerge from the same session.

  • edited July 2015

    Thanks @AudioGus sounds like a very cool way of working. Anything I can hear on soundcloud?

  • i had a website years ago but nothing online these days. (Kids and their clouds! ;). i may have a bit over the next couple months i can share.

  • Useful stuff in here, I've got a session with a band later this week so will probably have the MS20 and two iPads routed through a mixer for maximum fun.

  • this is a good question

    what i've been doing recently is loading non-drum samples into samplr. then i load drum patterns into egoist, where i assign them to slots 1-14. i then run samplr in one audiobus channel and egoist in another, with egoist running through turnado for performance fx and samplr running through a delay unit in the FX slot. i also load up loopy to use as a master MIDI clock for samplr and egoist, as it's a very steady clock.

    to actually perform all this, i use an arturia beatstep's first 15 pads to select the drum pattern i want, (slot 15 is intentionally left as a blank pattern in order to switch off drums quickly, pad 16 starts and stops loopy's clock), the left 8 knobs to control turnado, 6 knobs on the right to control various delay parameters, and the last two on the right to move loopy's tempo up and down.

    the main problem i have with it is that when i want to change to a different song i have to switch the project in samplr, switch the project in egoist and adjust loopy's tempo so that everything is set to the song's tempo. so far i have filled this void by using the delay unit in the FX slot on samplr's audiobus channel to make a mini-drone to fill the void between songs as i scramble to load presets, but there's got to be a better way :\

  • Sounds like a creative setup for egoist, i've been loving that app! You should check out Midi Designer with Egoist if you have yet to see it. Seems promising.

  • Interested that you have the same problem switching patches. I do more or less the same thing - mute drums parts and leave a drone, or have another app running in the background and bring the level up. I will have to explore egoist and samplr.

  • Cool method you describe, sounds creative. I've been meaning to get to know samplr better. Seen this? http://discchord.com/blog/2015/7/28/midi-designer-with-egoist.html

  • Cool method you describe, sounds creative. I've been meaning to get to know samplr better. Seen this? http://discchord.com/blog/2015/7/28/midi-designer-with-egoist.html

  • And now we have Link to help us! How have people been finding it? The MIDI Link Sync app is really usefull for being able to reset the Link grid, when jamming with live instruments.

  • I play live in a wedding band and have just made the switch to an iOS rig. I'm using an M-Audio code 61 controller plugged into a Novation 2 x 4 audio hub via USB, then into my iPad via camera connection kit. Apps include: iGrand piano, iLectric piano, Gallileo, Magellan, Korg Module, iSymphonic and Noisepad (the Code 61 drum pads are mapped to control Noisepad samples and well, 'noises'). My plan for a backup setup is: an old Yamaha TG100 sound module as well as an iPod touch (linked via midi). I will set these on their own midi channel so that I can switch to that channel in an emergency iPad crash. All apps go into AB then output to MiMix, the Code 61 faders control the ports of MiMix so I can keep the apps balanced in live performance. Speaker is a Line 6 l2t.

  • @blanksmaiden said:
    this is a good question

    what i've been doing recently is loading non-drum samples into samplr. then i load drum patterns into egoist, where i assign them to slots 1-14. i then run samplr in one audiobus channel and egoist in another, with egoist running through turnado for performance fx and samplr running through a delay unit in the FX slot. i also load up loopy to use as a master MIDI clock for samplr and egoist, as it's a very steady clock.

    to actually perform all this, i use an arturia beatstep's first 15 pads to select the drum pattern i want, (slot 15 is intentionally left as a blank pattern in order to switch off drums quickly, pad 16 starts and stops loopy's clock), the left 8 knobs to control turnado, 6 knobs on the right to control various delay parameters, and the last two on the right to move loopy's tempo up and down.

    the main problem i have with it is that when i want to change to a different song i have to switch the project in samplr, switch the project in egoist and adjust loopy's tempo so that everything is set to the song's tempo. so far i have filled this void by using the delay unit in the FX slot on samplr's audiobus channel to make a mini-drone to fill the void between songs as i scramble to load presets, but there's got to be a better way :\

    This is such a cool setup. really awesome to hear what you're doing with it.

    i've got a home-stereo bose sound interface (i know) that outputs audio to an Alesis dock that then goes into an Alesis dock. I also have an iConnectMIDI2+. I don't have as much time to figure this out as I can, but I'm trying to figure out the best way to use this. With four devices, there are a lot of options - iPhone synth into iPad1 Filtatron into iPad2 Turnado that goes into iCM2+ running Samplr? All of this goes into Ableton. I don't think that I'd want to do a live setup with iPads without Ableton. My ideal setup is to have all the iOS devices as external instruments. I still am playing around with it, but it's a lot of fun to keep playing around with different apps.

  • edited April 2016

    This is my ipad guitar setup: http://i.imgur.com/7AoSHz6.jpg I now have ur22 mk2 and ipad or mac hooked on it. Also have some shitty midi keyboard hooked on the interface. There is one eq and one compressor channel before amp and one compressor and eq channel after amp before interface.

    Cant be arsed to list all apps, but mainly use auria pro(trying to learn it atm and move from cubasis), dm1, genome, thor, nanologue, dfx, ampkit+(just for chorus etc pedals, no need amp simulation or overdrive), blocs wave, launchpad, final touch, turnado, wow, firo, fiddlewax blue and yellow, audiobus and remote.

  • edited April 2016

    Interesting thread. Thanks for sharing your setups, everyone.

    Been performing live using these apps:

    AUM+AB+ABr
    modstep
    Loopy
    Samplr
    Thumbjam
    Viking
    Patterning
    AUFX: Series + Crystalline
    WOW

    I use an MPD controller to keep things flowing and also perform with a bass instrument that I modified for purpose.


    Obviously there's an incredible and almost unlimited amount of performance potential in there. So much so that the list is pretty meaningless on it's own and each instrument has so much depth itself that it'd take a thesis to explain what I did in each and how they all worked together. This setup covers about 3 different repertoires for different artists that I work for, as well as being the primary sound source for my own major project: 'Udagan'.

    The incredibly shortened version is that Audiobus is a patch bay and vessel for ABr, AUM is mixer and MIDI/audio flow monolith. Thumbjam does smart things with midi note values and provides it's sample library. Lots of rhythmical things going on, seqs and pads sharing the sound sources for processor optimisation, couple of nice effects and a whole lot of bus sends. The MPD has it's tendrils in EVERYTHING. Loopy mainly just gives me a 'tap tempo' button but it's useful to 'hand off' parts to it in order to keep things flowing and get more milage out of the limited (yet excellent!) selection of sound sources.

    Most of the really interesting stuff comes from the application of the instruments in performance, the samples I've collected and how they are used in creation. I'm beginning to pick up steam with my Facebook artists page so there will be somewhat regular bulletins going into specific features and use cases up on there.

    https://www.facebook.com/oscarsouthbass/
    I'll schedule a post for tomorrow morning going into a bit more detail on how Thumbjam has it's grubby thumbs on a lot more functionality than just it's own sample banks (and how bloody cool it is!!).

    O

  • edited April 2016

    Current gear in my live setup.

    I keep the rack to the side of stage. iPad on top of rack handles keyboard modules (Nanostudio, BS16 and Nave) and runs my Lemur script for managing all gear settings and foot controller chord sequences. iPod touch runs Tonestack and Flux for guitar. Rack includes powered hub which also houses Furman Triple Play midi guitar dongle.

    I keep the QuNeo, QuNexus and 2nd iPad mounted on a stand at front of stage. iPad handles dual purpose set list (Band Helper) and lighting (Luminaire) control. Powered hub keeps the iPad powered and helps with the long USB cable run to these controllers.

    Foot controller is a Line6 FBV short board in USB mode and switches are split between guitar control, chord sequence control and lighting control. Second pedal controls guitar synth volume and filters.

    I run the 4 main outs from the ICA4 to the snake as stereo guitar and key channels, and have the headphone out running to an on stage monitoring system that I can control the stage volume from the main knob on the ICA4.


  • Interesting thread! Thank you all for sharing.

    I play keyboards live with different artists, mostly soul, gospel and rock. My current setup consists of Midiflow, AUM and, ForScore, an 88 key midicontroller of choice and an Akai midimix.

    AUM hosts all my AU instruments and effects. I use Ravenscroft piano, Beathawk electric pianos, galileo organ (the only IAA app, because there isn't any AU organs that I know of), iSymphonic Orchestra, Heavy brass and three instances of poison 202. I use Zero reverb as a send and RoughRider2 compressor on the master channel.

    Midiflow is of course the midi brain that does all the necessary splitting and layering of the sounds and it also sends program changes mostly to Poison 202. I also use it to revert the 9 faders on the midimix so that it operates like real drawbars for galileo. I also have made incoming controller assignments in midiflow so that the buttons on the midimix work as program change buttons, so I have 16 (or really 24 because 8 of them also have a "shift state") quick access sounds, or "favorites". Awesome for random cover gigs to pull up bread and butter sounds without fiddling on the iPad.

    Akai midimix also has plenty of rotary knobs that I have assigned as individual volume, one master volume, master compressor, individual reverb, etc etc..

    I read sheet music with ForScore, which also is capable of sending program changes to Midiflow so I'm ready to go in half a second :)

  • Oh, and I use an iPad air 2 and iConnectaudio4+ and sometimes yamaha md-bt01 bluetooth midi adapter. Ocassionally also a Novation X-station.

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