NS2 Workarounds

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Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

To get ready for NS2, I have organized my Auv3 apps together so that I can focus on learning them better in 2018. Not many of my apps are AUv3, but hopefully while I am working on the learning curve of NS2 and my AUv3 apps, other apps will adopt the AUv3 standard and maybe, just maybe AUv3 will be implemented into NS2.

I am frustrated by the number of good synth and FX apps I have and want to use, but are difficult to use with NS. Being spoiled by the NS workflow, I haven't been able to get comfortable with other iOS DAW, and have just decided to wait for NS2. I am sure that Obsidian will be a pleasure to use with sonic qualities all its own, but that won't take away the fact that I have other synths I want to use in NS2 that are not AUv3. Since NS2 won't have AudioBus support, I am trying to plan some work-around methods of getting audio from my non-AUv3 synths (the vast majority) into NS2.

The first method with non-AUv3 synths is to just create samples in Audioshare and use Copy/Paste to bring those samples in to NS (assuming that NS2 still uses Copy/Paste). This is my current process with NS1. It is slow and tedious but it works OK for simple pads or single shot drum samples. The multi-sampler functions of Obsidian will be great to re-create synth presets from other apps, but again it will require recording samples to Audioshare (or similar apps) first, and it will mean that I can't use the modulation functions of a synth (Sunrizer, Alchemy, Animoog - and of course MPE is out the window, unless Matt has a big surprise for us).

If I want to play a phrase in a non AUv3 synth app and maybe capture some unique qualities of modulation or whatever, I can record phrases into Audioshare, but then I can't edit them in a piano-roll to tweak the timing. Possibly I can first record MIDI events in NS2 and then tweak the notes in the piano-roll editor, then set the track to MIDI Out to trigger that non-Auv3 synth, and record the phrase into AudioShare. Then import that phrase with Copy/Paste into a TRG pad or eventually into an audio track. This process will be helped if NS2 has Abelton LINK, so that NS could be started in sync with anther non-Auv3 synth app (rather than just relying upon my counting skills).
Anybody have any other ideas? Other apps that could make this process easier?

These workarounds seem 'workable', but not quite as elegant as bringing the audio from a non-AUv3 synth app directly into NS2. Some of the more popular and well maintained apps will likely get AUv3 functionality if that continues to become a default standard, but realistically there are quite a lot of apps that will likely never get AUv3. First I think of all the Korg apps, then all the apps by smaller developers that lag way behind on implementing these standards, and finally of the apps that either are or will become abandoned. There are many apps that will likely always be AB compatible only.

Perhaps there is a really good reason that I don't know about to prevent AB support in NS2, but it does seem that one 'con' against AB is that Blip will have to update AB code in NS2 because it seems like Apple is always changing things that forces AB to need to be updated. This is a drain on time that could be put to better use, especially if we all knew that all synth & FX apps will have AUv3 in the near future. Is there inside info that we don't know about which would put this in a better light? Or is is possible to justify AB support (I'm thinking just in the receiving audio/MIDI slot) in NS2 if that were bundled with the audio tracks IAP? I am certainly willing to pay extra for that IAP.

Jim Hanks
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Joined: 06/14/2011

NS2 won't have AB support? I guess I missed that bit in the feature threads. That really does limit the connectivity options. The only other work around I can think of would involve a second device and feeding the audio from that device into NS2.

syrupcore
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Joined: 09/26/2010

NS2 will have MIDI out. You can host non-AU synths in something like AUM and just point an NS2 MIDI track at it. Edit your face off and when you're satisfied or ready to mix the whole thing down, record the entire track into AUM and import it to a pad as a sample. Or use AUM to record perfectly trimmed longish loops to import. That is, until audio tracks land in NS2—then you can just import the entire recording to an audio track.

Think the only thing we'll be missing from AB is the handy sidebar to jump to the target app. Surely, AUv3 will take over before long and there will be no need to jump to a separate app anyway.

I do miss the old AB workflow when we could sample directly into Eden. But since that hasn't worked in a couple of years, I don't think I'll be missing it any more than I do now once NS2 lands. :)

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

Thanks for that tip syrupcore! I haven’t tried using AUM, so maybe I should do a dry run of that technique using some other app that has MIDI out so that I get familiar with AUM.

jwmmakerofmusic
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Joined: 01/12/2012

Xequence, Slam-Cut. Xequence. The MIDI input is very similar to NS1, and this hooks up to AUM beautifully.

I myself can’t wait for NS2 though. MIDI out direct to Gadget, and everything else handled in the app itself. ^^ Obsidian will be getting one helluva workout.

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

I have nearly every Korg synth and haven’t used a single one in any tracks since I got an iPhone 3gs because of the difficulty using them, aside from one aborted attempt within Gadget. I hope NS2 will enable those synths to be a part of my workflow.
I don’t want to spend more money or time on an app I won’t need once NS2 is out, so instead of buying Xequence I want to try using MusicStudio, since I own it. The description says it has MIDI out, but I’m having trouble finding that function. I also fiddled around with AUM (which I’ve had since it came out but never used - notice a theme of unused apps?), but that didn’t get too far before my brain started frying and I tried to find answers in the manual. Not quite sure how AUM channels fit in this technique. Is the MIDI out (in this case from MusicStudio) to synth app (Animoog for this experiment) happening outside of the AUM channels? Should AUM just be routing audio from Animoog to Audioshare? Wondering if AB wouldn’t be just as good...

Harisonzamperla
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Joined: 10/25/2014

Why not include audiobus?

dendy
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Joined: 07/28/2010

Inevitable evolution ... Only way how to push synth / fx developers to properly implement AU in all their new synths is simply drop AB/IAA suport inside DAWS .. somebody have to be first. NS1 was visionary app and NS2 will do it again :-)

I already deleted all not-AU synth/fx on my iOS devices :)

nano
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Joined: 03/06/2016

okay , ios11 = no nanostudio = i celebrate the caustic
@
intua 2 = good two rows keyboard for caustic (midi)
.. but i do not like that pitch wheel @
keyboard should be fullscreen ..
@
getting ready for .. ( ns2 & caustic ) .. ;)

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

@dendy: “I already deleted all not-AU synth/fx on my iOS devices :)”

Wow! That’s extreme. I apprecuate your enthusiasm, but we can still use non-AU synths, just a matter of how to do it in NS2 with least amount of headache. MIDI out + AUM is a method syrupcore suggested, and it may be that MIDI out + AB3 could work. I don’t know enough about the audio routing with NS2. Where is the audio going to come from for audio tracks? Certainly external audio, but maybe there is a way to set up the internal audio so that even if NS2 doesn’t directly support AB, it can still get audio out from AB. I dunno. Maybe even a direct connection from app to NS2... If nothing else there is the old school method of external audio out from an iPhone to an iPad.

Cinebient
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Joined: 11/08/2017

I get bored about workarounds on iOS. About time that it will just be usable for a full production :)
So.......where the hell is that damn NS2?
I just need that, Zeeon and DRC for iOS. That´s it so far.
C´mon Matt.....surprise us with a NAMM release.
Just kidding. Take your time and beware i will take it and mangle it to the limits :D

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

@Cinebient: I haven’t tried DRC. How is it and what do you like about it? Is it AUv3?
Are you still into Mitosynth?

Cinebient
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Joined: 11/08/2017

I like DRC because i have it on my iPhone and my mac. Zeeon is a special one and in a league with some of the bigger players on desktop. It really has balls.
Otherwise i don´t use any iOS apps these days. Logic 10.4 has everything and more i need plus all my plug-ins i collected over the last years.
I like DRC because i felt in love with vintage/analog juicy and saturated sounds and DRC fits here well. Zeeon falls into this category too.
But they are also far away from my favorite 2 synths on my mac.
So i´m a bit scared that an iPhone version of NS2 is a long way off still. I´m not really interested in iPads or iOS but especially the Obsidian synth looks like fun and worth to make some presets for. And maybe finally some better FX on iOS.
I mean i still would prefer that all on mac but NS2 might be the only iOS app i will buy this year.....i mean if it will be finished and released this year ;)

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

Since NS2 is in Beta testing, I’m sure it will come out soon. I got Zeeon, but haven’t delved into it yet. Since it’s AUv3 I will probably be using it with NS2. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s inside.

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

Since NS2 is in Beta testing, I’m sure it will come out soon. I got Zeeon, but haven’t delved into it yet. Since it’s AUv3 I will probably be using it with NS2. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s inside.

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

So I’ve been trying AUv3 inside GB to get a feel for it. I assume it’s the quirky UI of GB that is the source of my troubles, but I have to say that my first attempt with AUv3 is a complete disaster. I’ve tried several synths, but currently working with an instance of Kauldron. There is a sound, probably from a Kauldron preset, but I have no way to change it. The keyboard just looks like a GB keyboard, although it is the Kauldron icon displayed for that track. Is there some magic spell necessary to make AUv3 actually behave the way I’ve read about? I will also assume that the NS2 UI will be much superior to the dystopian-happy style of Apple, and using AUv3 in NS2 will be much more like watching unicorns fly over rainbows. Right...?

Edit: Just tried Kauldron as AUv3 on my iPad Air iOS 10 and the AUv3 popped right up. Strange that AUv3 in GB on my iPhone 8+ on iOS 11.BS doesn’t work. I am not amused.

kitejan
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Joined: 04/05/2011

I've done a lot of stuff in the last couple of years using AUM as the host for IAA and AU3 synths and fx - and I have to say.... AU3 is by far the easiest way of working (especially when recalling projects in a live environment). All settings and presets are just "there" in AUM when using AU3 "devices". For IAA I have to go into each one and choose the settings/presets I require - which can be a little time consuming (and stressful if you are trying to do this as part of a live performance!). Much as it pains me I do think AU3 is the future - now I try to only have one none AU3 device in my AUM projects now.

PS Cant comment about AU3 under Garageband/anything else. Its always been NS1 and AUM (and now some Ableton) for me :-)

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

That’s good to hear. I should get back to trying AUM. I was doing an experiment in AUM when ADD kicked in and I tried an experiment in GB. AUv3 work in GB on iPad, but I haven’t figured how to bounce down the AUv3 track to audio. Too many instances of synth apps worries me, both for live performance (less to go wrong with an audio track) as well as archival purposes. I’m thinking of how iOS 9 broke the AB functionality in NS1. That could happen in the future with a synth app that becomes abandoned and not updated to work with the newest iOS. Future proofing our projects is a wise strategy, although I know there are limits.

What do you use to sequence in AUM?

kitejan
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Joined: 04/05/2011

@Slam-Cut: Perhaps a bit more explanation about what I do with AUM with give some background :-) Unlike Nanostudio (or my painful attempts in Caustic) where I do sequence and spend days/weeks (and in some cases years) getting a finished track, I use AUM for quick single take "performances" - sometimes at home, sometimes out in the countryside. I load up my "template" in AUM, populate the synths with usually a pad type synth, something to do an ARP, and something else (lead/another pad/whatever), setup loads of FX on channels (almost always using the AUM filter) but the "Zero" series as my goto reverb/chorus because they are AU3 along with Duplicat tape echo (iPad only sadly) and Frekvens (love this one :-) ) as and where appropriate. TapDelay (so happy that is AU3 now) and Muckracker/Nebulizer (i hope they get turned in to AUs) are often get used. I then either use a looped ambient recording either by itself, or that plus the microphone catching the ambient sounds of where I am. After that I setup the keyboard - sometimes I use an external controller keyboard along with the onscreen AUM keyboard (effectively controlling 2 apps) or I either layer the apps, or do a split (say ARP notes on the bass notes on the keyboard), pads on the upper and so on. I route all outputs to AUM mixbus "H" then I then just jam along and record everything on the master output (i.e. Mixbus H) to stereo. I usually do a few takes - and usually adjust the exact setup between takes.

Finally I trim and rename the recordings in Audioshare then pass my favorite take(s) through FinalTouch.

I haven't really "released" any of these recordings - but there are some example on Soundcloud / Youtube (I tend to use these for timelapse videos I do at the same time) if you want an example "Sunglitter" is a fairly recent: https://soundcloud.com/acollectionofnotes/sun-glitter-seignosse-le-penon...

Its pretty much this setup I use live - along with a Novation Circuit (e.g. "It was not death for I stood Up" was a single take live performance): https://soundcloud.com/acollectionofnotes/it-was-not-death-for-i-stood-u...

If I had more free space on the iPad I would record the individual channels (or use channel groups) so I could at least remix later - but I quite like the "immediate" aspect of these - kind of musical sketches of a specific time and place.

Its not an approach that would work for everyone. I have looked at adding a sequencer but it gets a bit messy project-wise. Rozetta might be useful as it seems to compliment AUM - maybe one day :-)

As for managing the projects - if AUM has the AU3 then I believe so long as you have the app installed everything you need is included in the AUM project file. You just need to sort out the IAA apps and get the right presets loaded. So I just move the AUM file off into the project folder on my computer (along with the FinalTouch file).

Hope that gives some background to what I do.

syrupcore
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Joined: 09/26/2010

Rozeta is pretty great but it definitely complicates the AUM layout. J Lilla is working on a new MIDI view at some point that should bring the clutter down. 3 synths, 3 rozeta sequencers a couple of effect sends and a mix bus and you're scrolling and scrolling. And it's basically unmanageable (for me) on iPhone.

I love AUM but can't wait for AB3 to support MIDI plugins for exactly this reason. With separate MIDI and Audio pages, it'll be a lot cleaner. Can still pipe the AB lanes into AUM for effects, recording, etc.

Also, per Slam's question... while Rozeta is a great collection of interesting little sequencers, it's still not something like NS where you can really lay out songs. The sequencers are meant to be played live. It's fairly rare because the overhead isn't worth it for me but I've used modstep, cubasis and even BM2 to do more 'song style' sequencing of synths hosted in AUM. It works but AUM really is meant for mixing/jamming. I do really enjoy midiSteps->AUM but that's also more 'live' sequencing than laying out songs.

I doubt Bram will ever do it but I'd gladly pay for a "Rozeta Master" app that could host N rozeta plugins and had some sort global pattern change/transposition mode for laying out longer songs.

Actually, one of the reasons I grabbed BM3 while it was free was because it supports Rozeta plugins including parameter automation. I *think* that means you could use BM3 tracks to automate changes across several rozeta plugins at once. Alas, I still haven't opened the damn thing yet. At least I didn't pay for it this time!

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

All very interesting. It seems a combination of AUM and AB could be quite useful, as soon as I get the sequencing aspect sorted. That will have to wait for NS2. I appreciate the evaluations of Rozeta, BM3, & Caustic - those just won’t do. Meanwhile I have been watching Youtube videos on AUM to try to get an idea of how to get that in to my workflow. Some experiments will be in order.

nano
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Joined: 03/06/2016

leaked : ns2 is out , but under another name .. :D

https://www.google.com/search?q=ios+baby+piano&newwindow=1&hl=sk_SK&dcr=...

Slam-Cut
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Joined: 09/07/2011

Perfect! A rainbow colored keyboard is just what we need for Obsidian. :-/

nano
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Joined: 03/06/2016

no nanostudio ? .. no problem ! = baby piano ;)