I posted a full review of AppBC’s Audiomux iOS music app when it was first released. Audiomux allowed you to stream audio between your iOS device and OSX desktop computer using nothing more than the standard USB charging cable that is supplied with your iPad or iPhone. It also complemented AppBC’s Midimux app that does the same sort of data transfer for MIDI data.
Both apps seems to work very well from the off and, used together, they make integrating your iOS music making technology and your desktop music making technology a much simpler affair; no unpredictable wireless connections, no other hardware required… just the apps, the associated ‘server’ apps for your Mac (free from the Audiomux website) and a cable Apple have already supplied for you. An update soon after the initial release introduced multi-channel audio support allowing you to stream up to 16 channels of audio at the same time.
I also covered v.2.0 of Audiomux which bought some big changes. First, Windows support became ‘official’ and, second, the app moved to an approach based around a VST and AU plugin for easy integration with the host desktop DAW. This is, of course, the same approach adopted by Music IO although, if you prefer the ‘aggregate device’ approach of the original Audiomux release, this is still available (at least, it is still working under OSX and, for recording – as opposed to just monitoring – audio from your iOS hardware, it does offer a somewhat easier configuration).
When v.2.1.0 arrived, this bought a further significant change; the functionality of Audiomux and Midimux was merged into a single new app; Studiomux… although Midimux is still available if you just want MIDI connectivity. I was impressed with the flexibility the app offered and, while there are a few hoops to jump through in order to get it configured with your desktop DAW of choice, it is a remarkably cost-effective means of getting bi-directional multitrack audio and MIDI between your iOS hardware and your desktop system.
Now we have v.3.0.0 of Studiomux – it arrived on the App Store yesterday – and this brings some interesting changes and developments for the app. The most obvious headline is that the app is now ready for the AU v3 standard – Apple’s new iteration of their Audio Units protocol. While this is perhaps less of a big deal for OSX users, AU v.3 might well – eventually – be a big deal for us iOS musicians as it will (hopefully) iron out some of the AU ‘issues’ that had faced developers and encourage/enable more of them to add AU support to their apps; fingers crossed.
Amongst other changes in this release of Studiomux are the option for unlimited effects on each track, automated state saving and a new plugin browser. There are, of course, also refinements under the hood for smoother operation. I’ve not yet had a chance to fully explore the new features but, when I do, I’ll post a few further thoughts….
There are still some operational difference between Music IO and Studiomux and differences in the details of the feature set and/or workflow so I still think it is difficult to pick an obvious ‘winner’. Both, however, do bring the full integration of iOS music production tools into the desktop world a little closer. There are still some workflow issues that are perhaps not ‘ideal’ but both apps do make this a serious proposition for those keen to explore it.
In addition, neither are particularly expensive technologies… and if you have to buy both to see which might work best yor you, it will not break too many banks. Anyway, if you are interested in integration of your iOS music software with your desktop music production system, Studiomux, at just UK£7.99/US$9.99, is well worth checking out – alongside the obvious competition – whether you are using OSX or Windows as your desktop platform.