Audiobus – revolution starts with a fizz… waiting for the BANG

I know this is possibly going to come across (or be taken) as being negative by some, but it is not meant to be. Hopefully it will be appreciated for what it is, a pointer to what is still missing from the world of app support for Audiobus and hopefully a plea to the Dev’s who put such excellent apps together… This is what i think we (the Users) are crying out for.


The introduction of Audiobus has indeed been an auspicious event, pretty much unprecedented, certainly in the iOS music world. But for me there is still so much missing to deliver the completely new working environment and potential for the users… the customers.
Yes, we have a large number of synths, drum machines and micro-composers squirting a channel of audio through a seperate effect app and into either another synth (or sampler), a looper or into a MultiTrack DAW channel. We can do this with individual sequences or through live performance on some truly excellent synths. We can even put together a sequence on a synth and record that through Audiobus with it sync’d through WIST or virtual midi with other apps running other sequences in the background.
In isolation the Audiobus feature is fantastically impressive, the ability to do these things, but to compose a complete song like this is thoroughly impractical. There is more mucking about than there ever was using Audio Copy/Paste and currently for me it really is just not worth the hassle. If i find this a problem, i really wonder how many others are too.

As a purely electro composer (of many varieties), writing on my travels with just me and an iPad, when i write a song i get a riff or a tune going, add harmonies, a beat, maybe some sound effects if i have any ready and in mind, working on sections and segments of the song as i go, jumping around as things come to me. I tweak the track on the fly, i edit and alter the sounds as i go, this i cannot do with Audiobus.

The only thing i believe we need though (if any Devs are reading this) is a low cpu impact virtual midi sequencer. Able to record and edit both Note and CC data (midi learn type function would be ideal) is all it should need and keep it within a tiny cpu footprint. Something like Genome but timeline based (like all the typical and best selling DAW’s there are). I want to record my modulations so i can edit and perfect the performances before committing to the audio file, then i can revisit later to edit and remix the midi file if needs be before creating a fresh recording. I can sequence an entire song, even sequence effects settings if the app is virtual midi enabled… How awesome would that be?
By the time i’m ready to record i have a track written with all the midi control done, all that’s needed is the recording (track by track) into an iDAW for which we really hope the choice will increase soon. From there we add lyrics or vocal effects through ACP or recording through Audiobus to the iDAW and then master the track from there.
The two methods, Audiobus and ACP, will never replace the other and both will always be required, no matter what you think of them.

Currently Audiobus is a wonderful tool if recording live performance or a looping progressive ambient/trance track (listen to the AudioBus soundcloud group) but composing a regular, structured track remains an absolute headache, Audiobus does not yet come into it.

We need this last piece of support, this simplistic virtual midi sequencer to write our compositions and really explode the possibilities of Audiobus’s potential and drive iOS music up to a level not yet achieved.

Come on guys, give us what we need (please!!!), or give us an inkling that something like this is on its way.

I hope this does not disuade poeple from investigating Audiobus. Check out whats happening with it on YouTube and Soundcloud.


P.S. i know Genome is a virtual midi sequencer which could do this, but it is pattern based and a bit of a pig to bash out your inspiration on. Try it and tell me i’m wrong. Plus, not a great method.

P.P.S. it is also heavily rumoured that Cubasis and BeatMaker2 (still in Beta) are due to implement Audiobus alongside their current virtual midi possibilities, however both of these have features eating up resources and leaving less cpu for the synthesis we want to be running while composing. Plus we are still waiting for more news on these updates. Not a great method.

P.P.P.S. Auria. With Audiobus is a wonderful idea. With a virtual midi sequencer too means you’ll have to run this massive, hungry package when you need your resources for the sound generating apps while composing. Not a great method.

Disclaimer… If i do have any key points incorrect, please let me know and i will revise and apologise. If i do have errors it is due to the many different news posts and rumours flowing around the iOS world, however the base point of this post still remains.


~ by carbonishsound on 06/01/2013.

3 Responses to “Audiobus – revolution starts with a fizz… waiting for the BANG”

  1. I think you make a very good point, midi wise. But one other thing should improve as well: cpu power and increased ram memory. Ultimately, we want an iPad with the power of a desktop or laptop computer right? That’s my iOS studio dream in the end 🙂

    • ‘Tis true, better and better hardware will breed even heavier featured apps enabling even greater possibilities! However at the same time this will be driving the older iPad models into obselescence, and for the sake of most users i hope this doesnt happen too quickly. Most people can’t even contemplate upgrading their ipad every 2-3 years, let alone the rate they seem to be coming at the moment!

      Mind you, a quad core A6 iPad with Retina screen does sound a pretty good thing to aim for initially 😉

  2. […] after my last blogpost (Audiobus sequencing post) i thought it only fair to investigate the options for supporting Audiobus with a currently […]

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