NanoStudio music app – v1.40 update adds Audiobus support

Download from iTunes App Storenanostudio logoFor those of you who embraced the wonderful world of iOS music making in its early days, the NanoStudio music app is something you may well have a particular soft spot for. As one of the first really useable music composition tools – combining synths and drum samples into a track-based composition/recording environment – it was something of a revelation when it first appeared and one of the original apps to demonstrate just what iOS music making might be capable of.

I reviewed NanoStudio on the blog back in May 2012 when it was at v.1.32. It was (and still is) a brilliant app for creating electronic, dance-style music with a clean interface that is generally very easy to use. It is also competitively priced at £9.99 (or the $/€ equivalent). And while the competition has most certainly expanded over the last year (particularly in terms of audio recording environments such as Auria and Cubasis), NanoStudio still has a significant and loyal user base.

Hello World

NanoStudio now has Audiobus support - and it seems to work very smoothly.

NanoStudio now has Audiobus support – and it seems to work very smoothly.

While NanoStudio has supported technology such as audio copy/paste for some time, the introduction – and very rapid acceptance – of Audiobus as the unofficial standard for getting audio between multiple iOS apps has perhaps left NanoStudio a little isolated for musicians wanted to build a fully integrated iOS-based music creation environment using multiple apps. Until now, of course, as Blip Interactive have now added Audiobus support to NanoStudio and – if my own initial testing experience is typical at least – it seems to work pretty well.

It's great to see the Audiobus control stip now in NanoStudio.

It’s great to see the Audiobus control stip now in NanoStudio.

NanoStudio can appear as either an Input device or an Output device within Audiobus. For me – and for how I generally use NanoStudio – the Input slot is the most useful position. This allows me to access the sound sources within NanoStudio itself (which I like) and then pass the audio from those sources into my DAW of choice (Cubasis or Auria) to be mixed with other sound sources that I might want to use. Even if NanoStudio is very much your primary compositional tool, you could use it in this way; compose in NanoStudio and then Audiobus that audio to a DAW to add some vocals, for example. Equally, the Output slot position could be used to sample audio from other apps.

For a quick demo of NanoStudio in action with Audiobus, then watch the video….

MIDI man

As well as recording NanoStudio's audio output into Cubasis,  I had no problems sending MIDI from Cubasis back to NanoStudio.

As well as recording NanoStudio’s audio output into Cubasis, I had no problems sending MIDI from Cubasis back to NanoStudio.

One of the other advantages of linking NanoStudio to something like Cubasis is that it gives you more options in terms of MIDI. While I like the MIDI editing functions built into NanoStudio, as a Cubase user on my desktop system, I’m very familiar with the streamlined version of those MIDI editing tools built into Cubasis so this makes (for me at least) for a more efficient workflow.

I had no trouble passing MIDI data from Cubasis to NanoStudio (I did this via MIDI Bridge) and, while the iPad isn’t yet the best place to be running multiple virtual instruments, all playing MIDI data from Cubasis at the same time, this capability does increase your flexibility. Providing I have the MIDI parts as well as the audio from NanoStudio held within Cubasis, I can always go back and edit the performance (and then re-record the audio) if I feel the need.

In summary

NanoStudio was a pioneer in the iOS music making world. There is, of course, a much wider choice of synth and drum tools now available but it remains a brilliant working environment. With the addition of Audiobus support, Blip Interactive have instantly widened the appeal of the app further. If you are new to iOS as a recording and composition environment, then now’s the time to check out one of the classic (can you call something ‘classic’ when it was only first released in 2010? Too bad, I have) music apps. With Audiobus included, NanoStudio is still a classic but now it is also bang up-to-date.

NanoStudio


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