The tidy toolbar at the bottom shows Audiobus connectivity.

The tidy toolbar at the bottom shows Audiobus connectivity.

Here’s a case where the iPad version of a DJ app has surpassed what even the desktop version does.

On Windows and Mac, Traktor is a powerful app for DJs, to be sure. But there isn’t an obvious way of routing DJ mixes through external effects or connecting it to other production tools. On iOS, now there is. Native Instruments quietly added Audiobus support to its popular iOS DJ app, which opens up the ability to route sound from the DJ tool to other apps.

Why would you want such a feature? Recording mixes probably isn’t strictly necessary, because Traktor DJ already has an internal facility for doing that. More likely, there are two use cases:

1. You want to expand the effects available to Traktor. (Add, for instance, a convolution reverb.)

2. Use Traktor as a production tool and instrument, with other tools in your chain.

Connecting apps via Audiobus - here, a free guitar effect from IK Multimedia.

Connecting apps via Audiobus – here, a free guitar effect from IK Multimedia.

Option #2 is rather intriguing, because Traktor DJ has some nice tools for messing about with audio loops and effects of its own. You could use Traktor not so much as a DJ tool as a remix tool and a sample-based instrument, manipulating waveforms you’ve recorded in the Traktor interface and adding its internal effects to produce loops for other programs.

Unfortunately, Native Instruments implemented Traktor only as an Audiobus source – not a filter. That means you can’t use Traktor DJ’s nice effects on other apps. But there’s still a lot to be done with Traktor as a source.

Someone must want to do to this, because users were already excited about NI’s rival, Algoriddim djay. djay added Audiobus support over a year ago, and djay users have been quick to point out NI was missing the same feature in Traktor DJ. As with Traktor DJ, djay fully supports recording mixes, so it seems mobile DJs are more excited about creative applications.

But yes, now an iPad DJ can add spectral and granular effects to their DJ set. Take that, desktop DJs.

Quick review: to work with Audiobus, you need two things. First, you have to purchase the Audiobus app itself, which costs you US$4.99. Next, you'll need compatible apps, though you can look for those inside the Audiobus app and find some gems. They're organized by how they behave - as sources or "filters" processing external signal. (Some work as both.)

Quick review: to work with Audiobus, you need two things. First, you have to purchase the Audiobus app itself, which costs you US$4.99. Next, you’ll need compatible apps, though you can look for those inside the Audiobus app and find some gems. They’re organized by how they behave – as sources or “filters” processing external signal. (Some work as both.)

And as further proof djay got there last year, here’s a tutorial video someone produced with the earlier app. (The same process works with other Audiobus apps.)

Traktor DJ is US$9.99.

Traktor DJ for iOS

djay for iPad

Audiobus

And it’s time to unveil the (un)official Audiobus theme song.

  • the dude

    what about inter app audio? does traktor dj do that?

    • KE4

      Audiobus + Inter-App Audio says the update description

  • the dude

    what about inter app audio? does traktor dj do that?

    • KE4

      Audiobus + Inter-App Audio says the update description

  • the dude

    what about inter app audio? does traktor dj do that?

    • KE4

      Audiobus + Inter-App Audio says the update description

  • Terrence

    Surely the best way for desktop is Traktor > Sound Flower > Ableton > Main Output

    • PaulDavisTheFirst

      Or JACK, unless that isn’t “obvious” enough.

    • JDFS

      That’s how I’ve been using it! But I do wish they incorporate some kind of ReWire inter-audio routing, because MIDI clock syncing between Live and Traktor (for use of FX like delay) sucks… Too much drifting in my case.

      • PaulDavisTheFirst

        Using JACK would provide you with sample-synced inter-app audio on the desktop, without any of the apps having to know about JACK. It isn’t as simple as Soundflower, but it is a lot more powerful.

        Disclaimer: I’m the original author of JACK, but I was told that JACK was a lot more powerful by the original creator of SoundFlower ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Freeks

          I have tried to replace sound flower with Jack without success. It’s just a bit too complicated to get it running properly.

        • JDFS

          I did use JACK two years ago, but JACK doesn’t provide MIDI clock right? The audio routing was fine, but with MIDI clock Jack wasn’t involved. What I am talking about is this: in Ableton I have synced the MIDI clock to that of Traktor Virtual Output. It never stayed synced.

          So how is JACK going to solve this (seriously; or am I just not ‘getting’ it.)

          • PaulDavisTheFirst

            JACK provides sample accurate inter-application MIDI, so it can distribute MIDI Clock (MTC or whatever) in addition to audio.

            However, unlike CoreAudio & CoreMIDI, JACK unifies the handling of both data types in the same realtime context. This means that applications that don’t know about JACK (i.e. just native CoreAudio/CoreMIDI applications) can’t benefit from this timing precision, and instead have to share MIDI data via CoreMIDI (which can be bridged to/from JACK but without timing precision).

            Your problems with sync via MIDI Clock could occur due too issues in either the sender, the receiver or CoreMIDI itself (though the latter is less likely as the source of problems).

          • JDFS

            I’m sorry, I was using Jack for OS X. Is there a big difference between JACK and Jack for OS X? And if what you’re saying is true regarding MIDI Clock, do you maybe have a fine manual to take a dummie like me through it?

          • PaulDavisTheFirst

            JackOSX is just a ready-to-run version of JACK on OS X.

            There’s nothing to take you through – there are almost no native apps on OS X that use JACK (Ardour is one exception, although at one point all Native Instruments apps also had undocumented JACK support). Connecting apps together on OS X for the purposes of routing MIDI between them requires either:

            (1) Using CoreMIDI and apps like Yandell’s Patchbay or their own builtin MIDI connection GUIs

            OR

            (2) Using apps that are JACK aware

            There are no steps that you can take as a user that can make the second one happen; the first one works, but has potential timing issues.

          • JDFS

            So all great and stuff what you’d wrote about JACK, but it has no added benefit compared to SoundFlower for MY purpose – which is routing Traktor to Ableton. And SoundFlower just works if I open Traktor + Ableton, with JACK I had to do 3/4 things before I could get started every time.

        • Rob Carey

          Wow cool! I use Jack all the time!

          It’s always fun to see people involved in these projects in comments.

  • Terrence

    Surely the best way for desktop is Traktor > Sound Flower > Ableton > Main Output

    • PaulDavisTheFirst

      Or JACK, unless that isn’t “obvious” enough.

    • JDFS

      That’s how I’ve been using it! But I do wish they incorporate some kind of ReWire inter-audio routing, because MIDI clock syncing between Live and Traktor (for use of FX like delay) sucks… Too much drifting in my case.

      • PaulDavisTheFirst

        Using JACK would provide you with sample-synced inter-app audio on the desktop, without any of the apps having to know about JACK. It isn’t as simple as Soundflower, but it is a lot more powerful.

        Disclaimer: I’m the original author of JACK, but I was told that JACK was a lot more powerful by the original creator of SoundFlower ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Freeks

          I have tried to replace sound flower with Jack without success. It’s just a bit too complicated to get it running properly.

        • JDFS

          I did use JACK two years ago, but JACK doesn’t provide MIDI clock right? The audio routing was fine, but with MIDI clock Jack wasn’t involved. What I am talking about is this: in Ableton I have synced the MIDI clock to that of Traktor Virtual Output. It never stayed synced.

          So how is JACK going to solve this (seriously; or am I just not ‘getting’ it.)

          • PaulDavisTheFirst

            JACK provides sample accurate inter-application MIDI, so it can distribute MIDI Clock (MTC or whatever) in addition to audio.

            However, unlike CoreAudio & CoreMIDI, JACK unifies the handling of both data types in the same realtime context. This means that applications that don’t know about JACK (i.e. just native CoreAudio/CoreMIDI applications) can’t benefit from this timing precision, and instead have to share MIDI data via CoreMIDI (which can be bridged to/from JACK but without timing precision).

            Your problems with sync via MIDI Clock could occur due too issues in either the sender, the receiver or CoreMIDI itself (though the latter is less likely as the source of problems).

          • JDFS

            I’m sorry, I was using Jack for OS X. Is there a big difference between JACK and Jack for OS X? And if what you’re saying is true regarding MIDI Clock, do you maybe have a fine manual to take a dummie like me through it?

          • PaulDavisTheFirst

            JackOSX is just a ready-to-run version of JACK on OS X.

            There’s nothing to take you through – there are almost no native apps on OS X that use JACK (Ardour is one exception, although at one point all Native Instruments apps also had undocumented JACK support). Connecting apps together on OS X for the purposes of routing MIDI between them requires either:

            (1) Using CoreMIDI and apps like Yandell’s Patchbay or their own builtin MIDI connection GUIs

            OR

            (2) Using apps that are JACK aware

            There are no steps that you can take as a user that can make the second one happen; the first one works, but has potential timing issues.

          • JDFS

            So all great and stuff what you’d wrote about JACK, but it has no added benefit compared to SoundFlower for MY purpose – which is routing Traktor to Ableton. And SoundFlower just works if I open Traktor + Ableton, with JACK I had to do 3/4 things before I could get started every time.

        • Rob Carey

          Wow cool! I use Jack all the time!

          It’s always fun to see people involved in these projects in comments.

  • Terrence

    Surely the best way for desktop is Traktor > Sound Flower > Ableton > Main Output

    • PaulDavisTheFirst

      Or JACK, unless that isn’t “obvious” enough.

    • JDFS

      That’s how I’ve been using it! But I do wish they incorporate some kind of ReWire inter-audio routing, because MIDI clock syncing between Live and Traktor (for use of FX like delay) sucks… Too much drifting in my case.

      • PaulDavisTheFirst

        Using JACK would provide you with sample-synced inter-app audio on the desktop, without any of the apps having to know about JACK. It isn’t as simple as Soundflower, but it is a lot more powerful.

        Disclaimer: I’m the original author of JACK, but I was told that JACK was a lot more powerful by the original creator of SoundFlower ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Freeks

          I have tried to replace sound flower with Jack without success. It’s just a bit too complicated to get it running properly.

        • JDFS

          I did use JACK two years ago, but JACK doesn’t provide MIDI clock right? The audio routing was fine, but with MIDI clock Jack wasn’t involved. What I am talking about is this: in Ableton I have synced the MIDI clock to that of Traktor Virtual Output. It never stayed synced.

          So how is JACK going to solve this (seriously; or am I just not ‘getting’ it.)

          • PaulDavisTheFirst

            JACK provides sample accurate inter-application MIDI, so it can distribute MIDI Clock (MTC or whatever) in addition to audio.

            However, unlike CoreAudio & CoreMIDI, JACK unifies the handling of both data types in the same realtime context. This means that applications that don’t know about JACK (i.e. just native CoreAudio/CoreMIDI applications) can’t benefit from this timing precision, and instead have to share MIDI data via CoreMIDI (which can be bridged to/from JACK but without timing precision).

            Your problems with sync via MIDI Clock could occur due too issues in either the sender, the receiver or CoreMIDI itself (though the latter is less likely as the source of problems).

          • JDFS

            I’m sorry, I was using Jack for OS X. Is there a big difference between JACK and Jack for OS X? And if what you’re saying is true regarding MIDI Clock, do you maybe have a fine manual to take a dummie like me through it?

          • PaulDavisTheFirst

            JackOSX is just a ready-to-run version of JACK on OS X.

            There’s nothing to take you through – there are almost no native apps on OS X that use JACK (Ardour is one exception, although at one point all Native Instruments apps also had undocumented JACK support). Connecting apps together on OS X for the purposes of routing MIDI between them requires either:

            (1) Using CoreMIDI and apps like Yandell’s Patchbay or their own builtin MIDI connection GUIs

            OR

            (2) Using apps that are JACK aware

            There are no steps that you can take as a user that can make the second one happen; the first one works, but has potential timing issues.

          • JDFS

            So all great and stuff what you’d wrote about JACK, but it has no added benefit compared to SoundFlower for MY purpose – which is routing Traktor to Ableton. And SoundFlower just works if I open Traktor + Ableton, with JACK I had to do 3/4 things before I could get started every time.

        • Rob Carey

          Wow cool! I use Jack all the time!

          It’s always fun to see people involved in these projects in comments.

  • Yur2die4

    I was inspired to use the Traktor app this morning. I again ran into problems with syncing tracks when the grid would not allow me to align with transients. I don’t even see the point of having the option to re-align a grid if it snaps to something against your will. A grid is meant to Fix that issue. Even cue points are based on the grid, so it just ruins my workflow :/

    • TJ

      hombre I’m with you. WHY OH WHY CAN I NOT SLIP FREELY ACROSS MY WAVEFORMS

  • Yur2die4

    I was inspired to use the Traktor app this morning. I again ran into problems with syncing tracks when the grid would not allow me to align with transients. I don’t even see the point of having the option to re-align a grid if it snaps to something against your will. A grid is meant to Fix that issue. Even cue points are based on the grid, so it just ruins my workflow :/

    • TJ

      hombre I’m with you. WHY OH WHY CAN I NOT SLIP FREELY ACROSS MY WAVEFORMS

  • Yur2die4

    I was inspired to use the Traktor app this morning. I again ran into problems with syncing tracks when the grid would not allow me to align with transients. I don’t even see the point of having the option to re-align a grid if it snaps to something against your will. A grid is meant to Fix that issue. Even cue points are based on the grid, so it just ruins my workflow :/

    • TJ

      hombre I’m with you. WHY OH WHY CAN I NOT SLIP FREELY ACROSS MY WAVEFORMS

  • dither

    do we need Ios 8 for this one?

  • dither

    do we need Ios 8 for this one?

  • dither

    do we need Ios 8 for this one?

  • DJ Hombre

    All very nice, but for me using DJ Player to send Midi clock signals over USB to my TR8 is very useful, blending DJing with live electronic instrumentation and all in sync!

  • DJ Hombre

    All very nice, but for me using DJ Player to send Midi clock signals over USB to my TR8 is very useful, blending DJing with live electronic instrumentation and all in sync!

  • DJ Hombre

    All very nice, but for me using DJ Player to send Midi clock signals over USB to my TR8 is very useful, blending DJing with live electronic instrumentation and all in sync!

  • KE4

    So iMaschine is getting an Audiobus update as well?! Let’s hope so.

  • KE4

    So iMaschine is getting an Audiobus update as well?! Let’s hope so.

  • KE4

    So iMaschine is getting an Audiobus update as well?! Let’s hope so.

  • heinrich zwahlen

    This is a game changer indeed !

  • heinrich zwahlen

    This is a game changer indeed !

  • heinrich zwahlen

    This is a game changer indeed !

  • CoopEram

    Forgive my unexperience but i really hope to see a Kontakt Player on Ios but as far as Apple won’t boost their attitude to cripple devices with just 1GB or Ram,maybe could be this th reason why NI never landed a piece of gear like that..ok i understand,just for small multisample programs but would be amazing.

  • CoopEram

    Forgive my unexperience but i really hope to see a Kontakt Player on Ios but as far as Apple won’t boost their attitude to cripple devices with just 1GB or Ram,maybe could be this th reason why NI never landed a piece of gear like that..ok i understand,just for small multisample programs but would be amazing.

  • CoopEram

    Forgive my unexperience but i really hope to see a Kontakt Player on Ios but as far as Apple won’t boost their attitude to cripple devices with just 1GB or Ram,maybe could be this th reason why NI never landed a piece of gear like that..ok i understand,just for small multisample programs but would be amazing.

  • Freeks

    Problem that i have with AudioBuss is the lack of real multitasking in iOS.
    It starts to look that Apple will never implement it. (Unless the 13″ iPad Pro comes)

    What i want is to run Moog Filter in same screen as i have Traktor or in split screen. In many apps i don’t like to jump between screens.

  • Freeks

    Problem that i have with AudioBuss is the lack of real multitasking in iOS.
    It starts to look that Apple will never implement it. (Unless the 13″ iPad Pro comes)

    What i want is to run Moog Filter in same screen as i have Traktor or in split screen. In many apps i don’t like to jump between screens.

  • Freeks

    Problem that i have with AudioBuss is the lack of real multitasking in iOS.
    It starts to look that Apple will never implement it. (Unless the 13″ iPad Pro comes)

    What i want is to run Moog Filter in same screen as i have Traktor or in split screen. In many apps i don’t like to jump between screens.