Audiobus 3 launched – iconic iOS music app moves to v.3.0

Download from iTunes App Store

As I’ve posted recently, long-standing iOS music makes have been waiting with some anticipation for the the arrival of Audiobus 3. Well, the wait is now over; Audiobus 3 arrived on the App Store this morning.

As promised by the Audiobus team, the new version has three new headline features. First, the app provides MIDI routing between compatible apps, making it easier to configure your overall arrangement of apps within a specific Audiobus project.

Audiobus 3 has arrived…. along with new MIDI and mixing features accessible via the tab buttons at the base of the main screen.

Second, Audiobus will now support Audio Unit plugins as well as Audiobus and IAA compatible apps. This is obviously an important development given that AU is now making considerable progress under iOS and, for some iOS musicians, is perhaps meaning that an app such as Audiobus might be less critical in their workflow. Adding AU support means that you can get the best of both worlds within Audiobus; it’s proven app connectivity features and access to all the new AU apps.

Audiobus now supports AU instruments and effects including, of course, multiple instances.

Third, Audiobus 3 includes an input mixer allowing you to balance volumes of all your audio sources. Again, this is a very useful addition, particularly for those using Audiobus within a performance context and running multiple apps; it makes it much easier to control the balance of their various audio outputs from a single, convenient, screen.

The AU support provides access to the instrument (or effects) AU control panel from within Audiobus itself.

The combination of these new features, alongside the inter-app audio connectivity that Audiobus already provides, plus the fact that all your project configurations will be saved for instant recall, will, of course, allow Audiobus 3 to perform a much more comprehensive role as an ‘music app hub’ than the current version. Current Audiobus users will, therefore, undoubtedly be very keen to start using the new version.

Anyway, you can download now. The app requires iOS10.2 or later, is universal, a 47MB download and is priced at UK£9.99/US$9.99. There are no IAPs to purchase; all features are included in the base price of the app. And if you don’t wish to move to the new version, Audiobus 2 is going to stay on the App Store as a separate product.

Audiobus 3 includes basic mixing features for your various audio sources.

I think ‘new product’ – as opposed to ‘free update’ – is inevitable for such a major update to Audiobus, both in terms of starting with fresh code (and only having to carry a minimum of backwards compatibility stuff into the new code?) and an income stream to support the considerable development time involved. Given what the Audiobus team have given to the iOS music making community over recent years, I don’t think we can have too many complaints about this approach.

Also launched today and eight new MIDI-based apps from Midiflow development team and that are designed specifically to make use of the new MIDI routing features within Audiobus 3. These look like very useful utility apps and I’ll post a separate news item on these later today….

There are also a new range of Midiflow app released today for use with Audiobus 3.

Of course, there are alternatives. While Audiobus was perhaps an essential app for every iOS musician for a number of years, with the advent of Audio Units in iOS9 (and the somewhat wider adoption of AUv.3 with iOS10) and the launch of AUM back in February 2016, some iOS music makers have adopted a different route to their inter-app connectivity. Indeed, given the headline features of AUM – IAA/AU/Audiobus app hosting, MIDI routing, mixer, flexible audio routing – it will make for an interesting comparison between the detailed specifications in each of these areas when I get around to doing a full review of Audiobus 3.

That will follow shortly; until then, check out the launch videos below and then hit the download button to find out more via the App Store :-)

Audiobus 3

Download from iTunes App Store

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    1. Wow. Simply wow. Though I still haven’t come around to actually try it yet, having wathed the videos both on AB3 and the MIDI fx suite, I’m certain that this is going to radically change IOS music. What an awsome development we are going to experience. Insta bought not only AB3 as well as the MIDIflow bundle and StepPolyArp. And now for some serious playing…
      PS If there ever was an update derving to be paid for, this is the one, imho.

    2. I haz no idea how john outputs such detailed reviews/previews on a daily basis.
      I must confess that I have had to give up trying to create any piece of music outside of Korg Gadget on iPad. Endless problems with virtual midi and the various DAWs like Cubasis. Having to load the patch back for each synth app when using with Cubasis or other apps.

      Will Audiobus 3 make it easier?

    3. Mick Glossop says:

      How does MIDI sync work in a complex Audiobus 3 setup using several sources all being routed to a DAW?

      Will the DAW provide master sync to all sources, clocking time-reflated effects like delays and tremolo?

      Is it possible to make one of the sources provide master MIDI clock sync?

    4. AB3 looks to be everything I’d hoped for. Wish I had more time today to check it all out but that’ll have to wait for a bit…and when I’m ready in a couple of days, I’m sure there will be more videos and reviews to check out. For iOS music makers these are exciting times.

    5. Still not available on UK IOS app store.

    6. Luis Miguel says:

      What we need is AUDIO UNITS in the music apps. NOT THIS !!! I’m professional. Music toys are not for me.

      • Sebastian says:

        Audio Unit Extensions *are* Audio Units. It’s just their name on iOS.
        In fact, all apps use some sort of Audio Unit. Audio Unit Extensions can just have multiple instances, they run inside of Audio Unit Hosts.

        • Luis Miguel says:

          Yes, correct, and what we need is to open the musical apps freely within the Audio Units in Cubasis or Auria. This AB3 is similar to AUM. Doesn’t even have a MIDI sequencer. Where is the MIDI sequencer to can edit our music? I hear people saying this is brilliant is because they use it just for fun and not for music production in a way it would be.

          • You can use third parties apps like Fugue Machine or MidiSTEPS to send midi data, audio or both to Cubasis.

          • Hi Luis…. I agree that, for recording duties, the AU format, and a suitable AU host like Cubasis or Auria Pro, might mean that Audiobus or AUM are less obvious choices now for some iOS musicians…. but I still think there are lots of folk who have built a solid workflow around these tools and, in particular, those using their iOS setups in a live performance context…. In that situation, perhaps recording/sequencing is less of an issue…. but the audio/MIDI routing is valuable? Very best wishes, John

            • I’m also a DAW-centric person so I see where Luis is coming from. I am enjoying AudioBus 3 though…but production is focused around DAWs with Audio Unit Extensions. I hope AudioBus will eventually become a DAW. I doubt AUM will.

    7. Can you explain why you think AB3 is a toy?

    8. Is it possible to highlight any differences between what ab3 offers vs AUM?

      • Hi Daniel…. yes, I’d hope to look at that comparison at some point in the review….. very best wishes, John

    9. I like AUM because I can map external controllers and hardware. Can this be done in AB3? I don’t want to spend $10 to find out it doesn’t do what I can do with AUM.

    10. Luis says ” I’m professional. Music toys are not for me.”

      Fine. Don’t buy it then. Everybody else will…

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