iPad and iPhone owners got a nice gift recently. Over the Christmas holiday week, a whole slew of new iOS updates rolled in, perhaps caught in the holiday rush. Many of the improvements centered on Audiobus, a proprietary technology that, via a host app, allows iOS users to connect different apps for input, recording, and processing. And with those updates, the picture on Audiobus has become significantly clearer.
Magellan, Magellan, Jr. Since Moog and Korg get plenty of attention, let’s start with the dramatic improvements to Magellan. Earlier this month, Magellan’s industrial-strength iPad app got a hand-sized companion in the form of Magellan, Jr. If the idea of using an iPhone to play a synth doesn’t appeal, presets are compatible between the two versions, so you could create some sound designs on the go, then play with them on the iPad later. See Synthtopia’s write-up from mid-December.
In Version 2.0 of iPad app itself, Audiobus support joins numerous improvements, particularly around touch control (for built-in controls) and MIDI (for external playability). Watch:
Version 2.0 has arrived! Just when you thought we couldn’t add any more awesome features to Magellan… BAM! Our demo here shows off new 2.0 features including Audiobus, enhanced touch pad features (adjustable glide, note-snapping, new voice-control destinations), touch-sensitive velocity, expanded recording features (record a set number of measures for easy looping), new MIDI features (over 350 learnable MIDI CC destinations, UI animation), and more!
Check out our website for more info: http://www.yonac.com
Magellan on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/magellan/id544119998?mt=8
Animoog 2.0: Animoog adds Audiobus support, too, along with control and recording enhancements – whether or not you have Audiobus, this is a major update. And yes, it seems the developers at Moog heard user feedback.
- 3D tilt/accelerometer control for modulation.
- Note hold and scale lock.
- Load and save MIDI control maps.
- Audiocopy/Audiopaste integration (and yes, for some users, this will suit workflows just as well as Audiobus.
- “Holiday gift” 4-track Recorder with internal recording, iTunes Library import, split, loopy, copy, paste, and sharing of songs and clips, with SoundCloud integration.
Hurry: the 4 Track Recorder is free now through New Years’ Eve, but becomes a US$4.99 in-app purchase after that.
The price of the app if you don’t have it yet is now US$14.99 for iPad and US$4.99 for iPhone. Filtatron is also US$4.99.
KORG: The entire suite of popular apps from Korg has added support for Audiobus. (See this forum post if you have trouble seeing those apps.)
KORG has also brought other modern iOS music-making features to many of their apps:
- Virtual MIDI (iPolysix, iElectribe, iMS-20)
- Retina Display support (iMS-20, iElectribe)
- iKaossilator iPhone 5 display dimension support (to use the full size of its screen)
- iElectribe “Beat Flutter”
- iPolysix song sharing
And yes, their apps are on sale, too. See Sonicstate’s recent write-up.
And more important Audiobus updates: Compatibility with apps out of the gate was the biggest complaint from readers. Audiobus is only useful if your app adds explicit support – and, since many of you are loyal to certain apps, taht left some of you disappointed.
That said, a steady stream of new apps should start to remedy the situation. In addition to these, some of my favorite recent releases with Audiobus additions:
- PPG WaveGenerator
- AudioShare – significant as it’s a file manager, something sorely needed for music making and field recording and absent in iOS’ dumbed down sharing options (grumble, grumble)
- Grain Science (Well, because it’s cool)
- KAOSS-style effects, seen in a teaser on Synthtopia, should also be a big deal when that app arrives. The app was just submitted to Apple, so keep your eyes peeled.
If app compatibility still is lacking, though, here are two vital resources:
When will [insert favourite app name here] be getting Audiobus support? on the Audiobus forum answers your question.
And if you’re still not satisfied, here’s a hack/workaround for using non-compatible apps with Audiobus. Spoiler alert: it involves two devices and a recording cable, so, uh, you could also just record – interestingly, already the workflow for a lot of iOS users:
That said, looking at Audiobus, virtual and hard-line MIDI, and other enhancements, it’s terrific to see these apps mature. New and shiny is nice, but these are the sorts of updates that make tools more usable in actual production work.
Let us know which apps you’re using – and this should give you something to do on a New Years’ holiday. Skip the party, stay in and make music?