Archive for Audiobus

Street Performing With Your iOS Device – Guitarists, Keyboardists, Synthesists

If you think about it, your iPad or iPhone is the perfect street performer companion. Guitarists, you’ve got loads of amps and effect pedals on your phone with JamUp Pro XT – and a Audiobus to stream your guitar into a looper like Loopy HD (both highly recommended apps). If you’re a keyboardist, you’ve got unlimited sound possibilities from all of the synthesizer and sampler apps like BeatMaker 2 and Magellan, all on a super portable device you can take with you anywhere. There’s no need to bring expensive keyboards or amps, all of the sound can come from your iOS device, and your gear (amplifiers aside - solution) can be powered by your iOS device – even with your iPhone! Here’s a guide to the some apps and gear you can use to start perform with your iOS device on the go!

Note: On iOS 7, you can connect USB gear to your iPhone via the Lightning USB adapter OR with the iPad Camera Connection Kit + Lightning -> 30 pin adapter. If you have an iPhone with a 30 pin port, you can directly connect the iPad CCK as well. See this tread on the iOS Musician Forum to see what gear readers have successfully/unsuccessfully connected to their iPhones without needing a powered USB hub.

Gear

Roland Cube Street

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The Roland Cube street is a battery powered (6 x AA, maximum 15-hour continuous use) portable amplifier ideal for the job. It has dual-channel architecture with guitar/instrument and microphone/line inputs, and a stereo aux in for plugging in an iOS device.

Portable, iOS Device Powered Keyboards

M-Audio Oxygen 49

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This is a pretty large sized keyboard that can be powered by just your iPhone or iPad. A 61 key version is also available but I do not own one so I can not confirm (can you?) that it works with out a powered USB hub. Anyway, thanks to MIDI Learn, you could connect MIDI controllers and assign knobs inside your synth apps to the knobs on your controller to improvise with. If you play guitar too, loop your guitar and tweak a synth over it.

iPad Stands

If you need to use your iPad while you’re performing, an iPhone/iPad stand might not be a bad idea:

iPad – Tablet Adjustable Stand
Talent iCLaw Mic or Music Stand Holder for iPad

Pocket Lab Works iRiffPort Guitar Interface

I recommend this guitar interface over others because it has an attached guitar cable – one less piece of gear to cary around. Also: the iRiffPort also has an extra headphone output on the end that plugs into your guitar which is GREAT for practicing with headphones on as you don’t need to constantly be hunch over your iPad.

IK Multimedia BlueBoard / AirTurn BT-105 / BT-104

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These Bluetooth pedal boards are great. Especially for street performers – no wires. You can assign the pedals to control different things in Loopy and JamUp via MIDI. If you already have a MIDI din pedal board, check out the iRig Pro. It’s a audio (guitar + XLR) and MIDI din interface for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Your MIDI controller may require an external power source, nothing a portable power supply can’t fix.

iPad Camera Connection Kit / Thunderbolt > USB Adapter

ipad usb lightningbolt port

Keyboardists, connect USB MIDI keyboards or MIDI Din gear via USB DIN adapters. If you’d like to connect a MIDI controller as well as a guitar, check out check out the iRig MIDI Interface from IK Multimedia. With it you can connect a MIDI DIN controller as well as a guitar/XLR input. Ideal for connecting a MIDI foot pedal board to control your guitar guitar effects / a looper app…..

Apps

JamUp Pro XT 

First of all, JamUp has the best tone available on iOS. No questions asked. You can assign it’s amps and FX to the pedals on the AirTurn / BlueBoard / Core MIDI compatible pedal board.

JamUp MIDI

If your pedalboard has an expression pedal, you can assign it to the output volume, wah pedal, and pitch shifter FX. You can also switch presets, control JamUps built in tempo clock, sampler, and music player (from the built in music app):

jamup midi control

Loopy  & Loopy HD

If you’re looking to loop your guitar in your performance look no further than Loopy HD (review). Paired with Audiobus, you can stream your guitar into Loopy and improvise over your recorded loops. Clock synth Loopy with a drum machine app like Funkbox and now you’ve got drums, too. Loop some guitars and have a jam session over a drum beat!

You can also assign the pedals on the AirTurn to control Loopy for hands free control over the app…

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Street Performing Tips

Street Performing is all about location and having a clever act, if you’re in the right place at the right time doing something that makes your audience smile, like, say, looping your guitar and sequencing drumbeats all on your iPad to improvise / sing over, your audience will practically throw money at you. Another great thing you can do is talk to other performers to see where/when they’ve had/haven’t had success. Good luck!


Video: Live App Mixing With Auria – Even Closer To VSTs On iOS

This video from John Walden of The Music App Blog shows how you can really use VST like apps in the Audiobus effects slot. I made a similar video using BeatMaker 2 in the output for effects, but with Auria you can send Auria, into anoher app, and then back into Auria! Awesome!

Auria for iPad on the
Auria LE for iPad on the
AudioReverb for iPhone and iPad on the

Smite Matter Auria Interview

Smite Matter has been a big name in the world of iOS music production for quite some time now, releasing one of the first complete albums made with iOS apps in late 2011, Technopolis Lost, and review apps on his blog ever since. David produces everything on his iPad, using his computer solely as a storage unit for musical ideas. I got another chance to talk with David regarding the revolutionary Auria DAW, and how it’s changed making music for him on iOS. Be sure to follow @SmiteMatter and like his Facebook page to keep up with his music and reviews!

Which do you prefer, Auria or Cubasis?

It is no secret that I am a beta tester for Auria. To be perfectly clear, everything I base the following opinions on is with consideration only to the available production capabilities of the app – I obviously cannot share any testing experiences. That said; Auria is in a category of it’s own as it offers the very best environment and tools to make high quality productions. In my opinion, with regard to making electronic music, it is currently the only legitimate app for fully mastering a song. It has by far the best FX, and plug ins, plus it has full automation. It’s GUI however has been something of a sore spot for many users, myself included. “The most annoying issues I ever have, are related to moving within the tracks and regions, like dragging or zooming, and such. Sometimes it doesn’t respond right away to touch or gesture input. Those are mostly not a problem using it with iPads 3 & 4. I find it is especially better on my iPad 4. Really these are nit picky complaints that have no effect on the sound at all.
Auria is powerful and pushes device resources to their limits especially when using its plug ins and FX, making it difficult to use on iPad 2. I don’t know if it can be made any more efficient or not? It’s easy to avoid problems. Limiting the number of simultaneous Audiobus inputs, and taking advantage of track freeze is key to avoiding low memory, low CPU warnings and crashes. The only times I ever run into those issues are when I forget to close a background app, try to run too many inputs, or fail to freeze tracks with plug ins assigned. Wave Machine Labs is really showing (as seen in recent updates) that they’re listening to users and making solid improvements; like the touch/drag duplicate region bypassing the need for a drop down, and touch controlled TimeStretch.

Cubasis on the other hand, is much different and great in an entirely different way. The GUI is silky smooth, responsive and much more enjoyable to work in. It’s Audiobus integration is very good, and I’ve found it to be the most intuitive and reliable of all that I’ve sampled. It’s problem is that the FX plug ins are subpar and cheap sounding at best. I assume that was a decision made to ensure it would be efficient and/or less demanding on system resources making it more suitable for use on any of the iPads. No Automation, and no serious tools to master anything are a big drawback for me. Steinberg is showing signs that they are listening to end users by recently adding a four band “StudioEQ”, and Limiter. If I weren’t already spoiled by Aurias FabFilter ProQ and ProL, these additions to Cubasis would be more impressive. Unfortunately, I don’t feel very impressed by either. It’s a good step in the right direction for sure. There are however existing apps that do pretty much the same things Cubasis does but at half the price. Take away the complaints from both and combine the elements that make them good, then we have the perfect iDAW. Why no one can get all the good stuff into one app to begin with, is bewildering to me. But I am no developer, so there may be very good reasons. If Cubasis had the high end FX, PlugIns, and Automation etc like those in Auria it would be the end all be all. Visa Versa, if Auria had the fluid GUI, Audiobus integration, MIDI, and so on it would be the killer. In the end I’m optimistic for both to cross the finish line, but I’ll be using whichever has the best sonic capabilities. Today, that app is Auria.

Auria on the

Cubasis on the

Technopolis Lost was made before Auria was released, what were you DAW app(s) were using for automation and FX? How has Auria has changed your process?

Ha ha, yep, in iOS terms it was a lifetime ago. I used StudioHD a lot. Probably at least half of Technopolis Lost was made in that app. It had (has) automation capabilities. Nothing like Auria, but StudioHD could automate. Everything that I wanted to automate went through StudioHD. Whatever I didn’t make in Studio HD I would do in Multitrack DAW, and a little bit was done with NanoStudio. My biggest troubles were dealing with the poor reverbs. They didn’t have enough depth, swirl or warmth for my tastes, and the tails were thin and short. I often treat reverb as if its an instrument more than an effect. Most had been, and some still are pretty low quality, very basic, but it was unavoidable because of the demands reverb puts on device resources. It’s the most power hungry effect so lowering the quality was necessary. Not so much anymore. I tried to compensate by recording multiple layers of reverb (in some cases reverb, chorus, delay and or a filter) on some parts, layering it on over and over until I felt it was good. Then to widen the sound further I’d run the same part in multiple tracks with alternating levels, pans, and one dry one simultaneously. Occasionally, certain parts were offset in the tracks a tiny bit. Sometimes a single part of a song would be in 3 or 4 tracks with various differences. It was all very tedious and laborious. When Auria came along, it changed my music world. Everything can be automated in very fine detail. Its different quality reverbs are very nice. The convolution reverb with all the extra I.R.s (impulse recordings) of every imaginable reverb type makes it very versatile. Plus there’re multiple different reverb plug ins available with great, unique sounds. In the past I re-recorded parts and used so many FX from numerous apps before I even started really arranging much. Now it’s much easier, and I don’t have to layer FX or resample nearly as often. It has the high quality FX to get me any sound I want. Arrange, mix, tweak, automate and master, all in one place. It has replaced more steps than apps.

Since Auria doesn’t have it yet, what apps are you using for MIDI sequencing? BeatMaker 2? Genome?

Neither of those to be honest. I haven’t spent enough time with Genome to say anything about it. BeatMaker 2 isn’t my cup of tea in general. Good app, sure enough, just doesn’t do it for me. I really don’t do much work with MIDI to be honest. Yet. Weird, I know. I’ve just haven’t felt much need for it. In the past it was even more rare that I would take advantage of any MIDI. Now, I am starting using it more and more. Still not very much though. When I do actually use Virtual MIDI its almost always with Cubasis. It has been the most comfortable and intuitive for me personally. Gotta love that Cubasis interface too, they did a nice job making it highly intuitive. Everything seems to just connect on their own. It has been the most comfortable for my MIDI experiments. I am expecting to receive a portable MIDI controller/keyboard for my birthday, so I presume that’s when I’ll start looking closer at the whole thing.

What do you think at this point is missing on iOS for your production process? an app? a feature in an app?

I think I have everything I need, and then some. All the needed features exist now. What bugs me is when a new app that does something innovative or is just plain cool launches missing features making it difficult incorporate into my process. It is my general opinion that no music app (other than midi controllers) should be sold without support for Audiobus or at least AudioCopy/Paste. Those are features I’m very bored of not seeing launched in new apps or apps coming “soon.” All too often “soon” means “maybe”. I won’t buy anything that isn’t ready for me to use anymore. I’d certainly appreciate a complete iDAW. By complete I mean having the combination of all the strengths from what the current ones have without the weaknesses, wrapped into one app. The holy grail of iOS music production. Someday, right?

Download Auria

Smite Matter: @SmiteMatter, Facebook, Blog, iTunes, CD Baby

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Loopy App for iPhone & iPad Usage + Mini Review

Loopy (iPhone & iPad – $8 / iPhone only – $4) completely dominates the looper market on iOS. This super solid, feature packed looper has provided for more usage, fun, and musical ideas than all of my previous hardware combined. Thanks to MIDI support, you can connect foot MIDI controllers like the Behringer FCB1010 and control Loopy with your feet while playing a physical instrument – and thanks to Core Audio you can connect HQ, class compliant, audio interfaces. But the most exciting feature has to be Audiobus computability, allowing you to send other apps into Loopy or process Loopy through other apps. Whether you’re a guitarist looking for a looper to practice with on the go, a beatboxer, or an electronic musician working on a track, Loopy’s got you covered.

More

Touch Music Podcast Episode 3

Show notes:

Be sure to follow the podcast on Twitter @TouchMusicPC or like us on Facebook to keep up with the show!

iOS Music: Nomean – Newborn – Jinx Padlock Remix + Interview

newborn nomean jinx padlock

iOS musician Jinx Padlock has been producing under the streets of London for a year and a half now – picking up initial momentum on SoundCloud and landing on Tactal Hots Music for his debut E.P. Colonisation. Primarily producing inside of NanoStudio, the DAW of choice for many iOS musicians, Jinx incorporates a variety of iOS apps in his tracks, keeping the use of desktop software to a minimum and pushing the limits of what can be done on iOS. His latest release is a remix of Nomean by Newborn, read on to learn about production process for the track and what’s in store for his future…

juno download

How did you get the remix rights?

Since joining Tactal Hots Recordings last year I’ve been receiving the remixes emails from the company, always good stuff on there, and pretty diverse. I find remixing a good way of exploring avenues that are normally, sub-consciously hidden from my normal workflow, so I try and do as many as possible. It’s also a good way of keeping my profile active out there!

Explain the process from receiving the media to mastering a mix…

If I’m doing this purely mobile, which is 95% of the time, I’ll Dropbox the audio stems into Auria and from there chop out what I think I’ll need. Sometimes you’ll just get 8 bar loops, sometimes its full stems of the track. If its the full stems its good to get one last listen to the track as it originally stood. I have one simple remixing rule which I never break – once work starts on the remix, under no circumstances must I listen to the original until the mix is final and sent off. I find too closer a relationship with the source material offputting and counter productive – best to let instinct take the mix wherever it sees fit. Once I’ve got my samples roughly cut up, it’s copied into NanoStudio, where I’ll do the real intricate chopping and tuning. I try and keep it neat, I’ll bring most of it into a TRG to sort, then break those into drums, bass, fx etc. Its always a fight if you’ve got a lot of usable stuff to leave room for Jinx Padlock TGS! I treat it like a normal tune, working in the 8 bar loop, getting everything leveled and EQed, then adding parts to it from iOS synths. I sometimes get supplied with MIDI by the original artist but have never used it, I think its better to create something new. I do all my MIDI work in Cubasis, I like the clean approach to hooking synths up. I’ll play stuff into Magallen, NLog, Animoog etc and either directly ACP into NanoStudio, or take them through Audiobus. My main workflow of choice regarding Audiobus is usually going through one of two effects – LiveFX or JamUp. I’ve actually been having a lot of fun with the JamUp amplifier simulations. Great for adding a crispy live feel to sound. Its a perfect device for the DM1, which pretty much takes care of all of my drum needs these days – get a pattern looping and fire it through a marshall stack. LiveFX is great for FX performance – just jamming FX into AudioShare, sometimes you capture some real magic. When I’m happy that I’ve got enough ammunition in the 8 bar loop, and after trying a few dropouts in the mixer, I’ll start to populate the song arrangement. It was pretty clear from the moment I sampled it that the vocal was going to be the hook, line and sinker of this tune, so it was a matter of getting to it in an interesting way, then letting it rip over some building synths. It was a fairly painless arrangement, I was happy to let it fall into an almost standard club tune and resisted the urge to go into crazier territory, it was working and grooving along so nicely – those vocals were getting me quite excited, needed to finish it! The mix took 4 days of commuting to completely arrange and mix, about 9 hours. I was really happy with Newborn from a clarity point of view – impressed with getting this amount of punch and flow out of NanoStudio‘s mixer. I never master directly on the track in NanoStudio, preferring to leave a -3/-6 db headroom and no compression, then get it into Auria to push it through the master bus. I find the key to that process is ignoring any of the preset mastering setups and starting from scratch. Every track is different so every track deserves a individual master. Newborn was a fairly easy final, no need for any extra EQ on the stereo track itself, it all went through the master bus. I tend to then live with a tune for a day or so, listen to it on a few different devices – ALWAYS the car stereo – learned this years ago from a professional engineer, even better than NS10s – if it sounds good on a standard car stereo, you’ve pretty much got it! Once I’m happy, it gets dropboxed to the label and, if passed, off to the distributors. Then, I wait…

Any other remixing in the pipeline?

There is a mountain of JinxPadlock mixes hitting this year, almost one a month, I’ve been really busy with it, almost forgot to get my new E.P. finished! There’s a few remixes that I’m really happy with, both new acts, exciting stuff – Pop-Up Machines, mixed two of their tracks, Fools in a Goldfinger Bond style, the other Good Clean Woman in a more bouncing breaks / house groove, great tracks to start off with, lovely vocal performances. Another is an act called OhBoy, I’ve remixed their track “Berlin”, taken it into a dark techno space, again driven by it being an excellent tune originally. Going to be fiddling with another of their tracks soon. Just finished mixing Eick – “Tattletail” – something that I discovered one day in my SoundCloud stream and instantly loved – pestered Eick for the parts and made a massive acid mess of it! I also plan to have another bout of remixing other iOS / NanoStudio / SoundCloud users stuff like I did last year, it was a lot of fun and quite revealing to see how differently people were using the software. I’ve already got my eye on a couple of candidates! Must finish the new Jinx Padlock e.p. first, not far off now, you’re in for a very loud treat!

You can follow Jinx Padlock on Twitter, Facebook, and SoundCloud to keep up with his new tracks and thoughts on iOS production.

Touch Music Podcast – Episode 2

We’re back with episode 2 of the Touch Music Podcast!

Show Notes:

In case you missed episode 1, we are Tim Webb from Discchord and Chip Boaz from iOS Music And You. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes to keep up with the show!