Best iPad app for starting projects to be brought into Live?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Citizen
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Best iPad app for starting projects to be brought into Live?

Post by Citizen » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:24 pm

I'm going on the road in few months, and would like to be able to make music on the run with a minimal set up, with a view to bringing those basic ideas into Live later for completion. 8)

I was contemplating taking a 13" Mac Book Pro with me, and using Live itself, but since I'm backpacking, minimising my load to carry is pretty appealing.

Can anyone recommend the best app to fit the bill? So far I've only looked at iMaschine ( WAY too simple) and Beatmaker, which I haven't spent much time with.

The app will need to have enough functionality to be able to get a rough idea fleshed out, and then be able to integrate into Live. Obviously bouncing audio stems is a must, but being able to export MIDI would be good, if I wanted to do further sound design in Live.

Any other insights would be greatly appreciated. :D

Thoughts?

Tarekith
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Re: Best iPad app for starting projects to be brought into Live?

Post by Tarekith » Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:06 pm

It's a shame the export options on Gadget are so poor still, that would be ideal otherwise. As of now you'd have to solo and export each track, and no MIDI. Cubasis and some IAA synths like Alchemy and z3ta+ would get you very far, and both of those synths work with their desktop versions too.

jbw
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Re: Best iPad app for starting projects to be brought into Live?

Post by jbw » Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:21 am

There really is no one single app that covers all that you're looking for. Cubasis is probably the best place to start. It has MIDI and a good amount of decent sounds to work with, along with automation, but the effects leave a bit to be desired.

You can augment it with some inter app audio effects apps. I recommend the ones from Sugar Bytes, Holderness Media, and Kymatica.

Then as noted by Tarekith a few IAA synths might be good too. I recommend Alchemy Mobile (though some people on the AudioBus forum are reporting that the latest update will give you errors when using with Cubasis), Arturia iSEM, and Nave.

While I'm here recommending iPad apps :lol: here are some unique to iOS that are worth checking out:

1. Korg Gadget - Yeah, no MIDI export, but you get a ton of devices in a multitrack environment, effects automation, and it's on sale now too.
2. Samplr - A really great touch screen sampler to work with, with multiple modes of sampling.
3. Sector - Just got this one myself, it slices up samples with different probabilities and playback styles.

For those last two the app AudioShare is handy to have. It's basically a sample manager that facilitates moving sounds between apps.

If I had to pick one of all these it would be Korg's Gadget. I just think overall it's the best, even if it doesn't have the MIDI export.

Citizen
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Re: Best iPad app for starting projects to be brought into Live?

Post by Citizen » Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:30 am

That's some awesome info guys - thanks for the suggestions. I didn't realise that certain synths came as VSTs for iPad apps - and that they have cross compatibility with the desktop versions of the VSTs. 8)

Is that correct, or have I misunderstood?

Ie. if I was using Zeta in Cubasis, would I then be able to export the MIDI and have Ableton recognise that Zeta was the instrument associated with the MIDI? (Provided I owned Zeta on my IMac) :?:

What's the learning curve like on Cubasis? I've never used Cubase before.

jbw
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Re: Best iPad app for starting projects to be brought into Live?

Post by jbw » Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:45 am

You might be able to share patches between an iPad synth app and it's desktop counterpart, but that's as far as the compatibility goes. Check each app's description to see about that.

Cubasis is pretty straight forward as a DAW, with no real learning curve if you're familiar with basic DAW concepts.

beats me
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Re: Best iPad app for starting projects to be brought into Live?

Post by beats me » Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:39 pm

Tarekith wrote: Cubasis

What are the shortcomings? $50 is a lot to drop on an app.


Tarekith
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Re: Best iPad app for starting projects to be brought into Live?

Post by Tarekith » Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:31 pm

beats me wrote:
Tarekith wrote: Cubasis

What are the shortcomings? $50 is a lot to drop on an app.
No idea as I don't need MIDI so I use Auria, but it's the only iPad daw that you can open projects on the computer easily other than GarageBand.

Citizen
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Re: Best iPad app for starting projects to be brought into Live?

Post by Citizen » Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:37 am

Tarekith wrote:
beats me wrote:
Tarekith wrote: Cubasis

What are the shortcomings? $50 is a lot to drop on an app.
No idea as I don't need MIDI so I use Auria, but it's the only iPad daw that you can open projects on the computer easily other than GarageBand.
Auria looks awesome and really full-fledged. Is the only reason you use Auria over Cubasis simply because you dont use MIDI? :?:

If I went with Auria, and had no means to record, then that would mean that I would have to load lots of audio samples onto my iPad in advance of my trip, right? :?:

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Re: Best iPad app for starting projects to be brought into Live?

Post by Tarekith » Wed Jul 09, 2014 2:15 am

I own Auria and use it all the time, I don't own Cubasis :)

You don't need samples, you can also use something like Audiobus and a whole bunch of awesome synths and samplers for iOS. It's just like using plug ins with a DAW for the most part, especially if they're IAA compatible. Nave, Thor, Sunrizer, iSEM, DM-1, iElectribe, Gadget, iPolysix, z3ta+, etc.

There's far more happening in the iOS music world in terms of new software than on our desktops, lots of really awesome options these days.

Citizen
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Re: Best iPad app for starting projects to be brought into Live?

Post by Citizen » Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:49 am

Tarekith wrote:I own Auria and use it all the time, I don't own Cubasis :)

You don't need samples, you can also use something like Audiobus and a whole bunch of awesome synths and samplers for iOS. It's just like using plug ins with a DAW for the most part, especially if they're IAA compatible. Nave, Thor, Sunrizer, iSEM, DM-1, iElectribe, Gadget, iPolysix, z3ta+, etc.

There's far more happening in the iOS music world in terms of new software than on our desktops, lots of really awesome options these days.
Oh, wow 8O - thanks for the awesome info. I'll have to plead ignorance re. iPad apss for music - haven't fully looked into it. :oops:

I don't fully understand IAA - I take it that this is some 'inter-app' protocol? Kinda like a 'bridging' function, like J-Bridge or something? :?: I take it that if you are running IAA synths in Auria, you still can't record MID from them?

Those synths - are they available as iOS versions, or is it that if you have the VST versions on your main machine, that you can route them to your iPad DAW?

I'm guessing that I'm gonna need a whole lot more space on my iPad to fit all those synths and apps? Also, is the CPU hit on the iPad pretty harsh when running those sort of VSTs? 8O
Last edited by Citizen on Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

beats me
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Re: Best iPad app for starting projects to be brought into Live?

Post by beats me » Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:50 am

Tarekith wrote:
beats me wrote:
Tarekith wrote: Cubasis

What are the shortcomings? $50 is a lot to drop on an app.
No idea as I don't need MIDI so I use Auria, but it's the only iPad daw that you can open projects on the computer easily other than GarageBand.

WHAT? :x

You recommend a $50 app you don't use.

Then you mention a different app that you do use...that is also $50. :x

I struggle enough trying to finish a track on my desktop with thousands of dollars in music software on it and unlimited options but am intrigued (delusional?) that iPad music production might be the next source of inspiration for me. But then you say the big selling point is you can dump your music into your desktop DAW (which I can already do so much more with without the iPad).

FUCK.

:x

jbw
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Re: Best iPad app for starting projects to be brought into Live?

Post by jbw » Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:13 am

Citizen, Auria doesn't have MIDI yet, only audio in. If you want to record from another app you use IAA or the app AudioBus, but you have to make sure the app is compatible (most synth and sample based apps are, but some are not, should say in the description). Cubasis has both MIDI and audio. For those synths listed, they are iOS versions.

beats me, iOS music isn't quite up to desktop standards but there's certainly things worth checking out, especially the iOS exclusive ones like the ones I mentioned above.

There's also some iOS MIDI controllers worth checking out: Gestrument, Changeling, ChordPadPoly, and Arp Pro. Add all these different apps up and it makes for a bit of a scattered mess, but pick and choose based on what you're looking for and there is stuff to be found no question about that.

Citizen
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Re: Best iPad app for starting projects to be brought into Live?

Post by Citizen » Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:26 am

Dude, (beats me) the iPad is for on the road production, sketches, etc.


Of course one may eventually want to transfer the music to a full DAW and make use of a bigger feature set and processing of the more powerful CPU.

Tarekith
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Re: Best iPad app for starting projects to be brought into Live?

Post by Tarekith » Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:36 am

Fwiw, the tracks I start on my iPad I almost always finish on my iPad, including mastering. For that Auria works great, I think it's probably my favorite DAW period. I know enough people that use Cubasisi to do the same thing, but also with MIDI that I'm comfortable recommending it. For me the draw of Auria over Cubasis is the Fabfilter plug ins, other people might not care about that. Most of the tracks on my site tarekith.com from the last year were done almost solely on the iPad, no desktop software at all.

Certainly CPU is something to keep in mind, I can manage about 12 tracks on my iPad Air in Auria before th ui gets sluggish. It'll do more tracks, but it's not fun at that point. The bigger issue on the iPad is actually memory, so you need to make sure you close all other apps and restart once in awhile to give the music apps as much as you can.

Honestly, I find that when I travel any music making I do is very quick in nature and I only have time for rough ideas. I don't use the big guns like Auria much when on vacation, I'm more to reach for something like gadget, ikaossilator, or Figure. Good enough to get workable ideas, but I don't need to zone out on everything around me for an hour to get something useable.

Just my $2,000

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