Mobile music creation on Apple's iOS devices

Remote Control for iOS

Quite a big buzz was created by the AudioBus team leading up to yesterday’s release of their second app, AudioBus Remote. This looks to be another true advance for iOS music makers; specifically for those of us with (newer) multiple iOS devices. The requirements: iOS 8.3, and iPad3/iPhone4 and up.

In the picture of my iOS setup you can see: iPad-mini 2 running AudioBus Remote; iPhone6+ has AudioBus in the foreground (including an input, two EFX, and a recording app).

AudioBus Remote app

All current AudioBus apps (about 700) are compatible with AB Remote, however a few apps have already added updates to include a new Remote Trigger feature. The function for this will vary by app, but it allows app developers to create their own Remote Triggers that can appear on the AB Remote screen on your 2nd iDevice.

An example: on iPhone I had DrumJam playing patterns sitting in the AB input slot with EchoPad in the EFX slot. On the iPad, the AB Remote app, EchoPad area is where I tapped the very convent up/down icons that switched presets…I did this while I switched patterns in DrumJam. It was and easy and led to much noodling.

Needless to say that test created quite a sonic trip which helps one to realize that care must be taken with these powerful tools (it got a bit loud and the echoes into infinity were mind boggling).

Game changer?

No, the AB Remote app is not a game changer like the original release of AudioBus. For those with more than one iDevice, this makes working with multiple apps much easier and can lead to new creative possibilities, especially when combined with apps that have the Remote Trigger feature.

It will be interesting to see what others apps get updated for the new Trigger feature and which controls they elect to include. Flipping through presets was certainly a ton of fun, but as We use this more, and more, I’m sure many of us will discover new ways of using these features.

A true game changer:

The app that helped me gain my 15 Micro-Seconds of fame*, iSymphonic Orchestra, from Crudebyte, just received an significant update but it was a bit overshadowed by the AB Remote news. The update for iSymphonic contained some bugs fixed and includes a new optional soundpack that has more strings and things, but features orchestral percussion, and that is something I’ve been desiring. However, there was one other feature added that was a nice, big surprise.

iSymphonic Orchestra in AudioBus

Crudebyte, an independent app developer, had created a system called Jack that allowed for music apps to work together. This never took off since AudioBus was already a growing force. When Apple added Inter-App Audio (IAA) to iOS it allowed for music apps to work together in a limited way and Crudebute has included the IAA feature in all of their music instrument apps. With the history of Jack, it is not surprising that they had never included AB support…until now:

The big news: as of yesterday — iSymphonic Orchestra is on the bus!!! Meaning it is Auidobus compatible…works in the Input slot.

The above is huge news for iSymphonic users since AudioBus is a much better and more stable way to use multiple apps than IAA (even though under the hood, AudioBus runs on or with IAA). It will be easier to play and record, and now with AB Remote, it will be fun noodle with an EFX app while say having a sequencer run patterns into some lush strings.

I am hoping that Christian over at Crudebytes goes ahead and adds AB support to his other wonderful apps: Oriental Stings, iCathedral Organ, and CMP Grand.

It’s been a big week for AudioBus developers, and users…it will be fun to see what creations spring up from folks that use (and get inspired from) the new AudioBus remote app.

Be seeing you
— Bourne 24Jul15

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