Inter-App Audio Developer Impressions

Immediately following the announcement of the iOS 7 SDK, and Inter-app Audio, developers not attending WWDC begain to dive into the example code to see what it could do and what it would mean for music apps.

I've been hearing from several developers over the last couple of days and they're all very excited about what Apple is bringing to the platform. Although I have to post this all as "unnamed sources" due to Apple's tyrannical tact of secrecy, I want to stress that I am hearing the same sorts of things from multiple sources.

One theme I keep hearing the most is how much of an impact this will have on DAWs. In fact some are saying that inter-app audio is primarily focused on improving DAWs more than anything else. This is definitely something that has been hindering music apps, with various competing DAWs all coming close-but-not-quite to the mark of seamlessness we enjoy on computer platforms.

A major new feature to assist here is "sample accurate sync", which will provide a simple method for DAW apps to keep client apps recording in perfectly synced tracks. This is done in the same way that computer-base DAWs keep their plugins synced.

This theme of "doing it the way they do it in DAWs on PCs" is repeated, with one developer saying:

They try to do it as close as possible to the current DAW-plugin architecture, modify what's needed for iOS, but not more, and hopefully bring the rest like params, preset management later.
- Anonymous Developer, that doesn't want to anger Apple

Indeed it seems that Apple's initial launch of Inter-app audio will not include control over parameters; as we were lead to believe by Apple's private blurb on the subject. However this is definitely in the plans!

No plugin parameter, preset selection or load/save support yet, but transport control and sample accurate sync.
Once the core of all of this is running, adding parameter & preset support should be very easy for Apple in iOS 7.x!
- Yet Another Anonymous Developer, that lives in fear of Apple

Transport control, the ability to trigger start/stop/record, is definitely in the current version, but the implementation of it is one area that will keep Audiobus relevant in the near future. One developer felt that it would be impractical for many apps to try to include on screen controls that trigger these transport functions.

(On adding Inter-app audio specific transport controls to apps):
I mean not every developer will want to add an app picker and connection graph or whatever to their app. The ones that are input or filter apps don't really need it but apps like…. sampler, loopy or other apps that are located in the output don't really have any place in their UI for this.

Nor do all users need that. Then there's the limitation of triggers that apple provides. There's no connection panel and the only triggers that apple gives developers to use are transport related.

It's all very solid tech, but it's catering to DAW like apps, and it assumes you have a play/stop/record button in your input app that can trigger the DAW.

- Apple Victim & App Developer, wow I am uncomfortable including this many anonymous sources.

As Audiobus provides a simple interface, with their slide-out connection panel, developers have been able to easily implement it in their apps; without having to change their interfaces at all to do things like trigger recordings. Another unique feature in development for Audiobus is hinted at in their official announcement yesterday, after spending some face time with Apple's Core Audio team.

We’re excited about the great work the Core Audio team have done on the new functionality, which has some terrific features that only a team at Apple with system-level access could achieve. It validates the work we’ve been doing with Audiobus, and will pave the way for some great user experiences to come.

While we can’t talk specifics, as we’re bound by Apple’s Non-Disclosure Agreement, we believe Audiobus is going to continue to be a valuable member of the community, bringing music apps and devices together. We've got big plans, and we look forward to sharing the results with you!

- Audiobus Team,

Of all the developers I've talked to, it seems iOS 7's Inter-App audio is definitely not including Inter-Device audio. This is a feature that has been in Audiobus beta builds since last May, when I was able to stream audio from my iPad 2 to my iPad 3 over WiFi in Audiobus. That feature did not make it into the final release of Audiobus, but development has continued.

Since JACK does not provide an in-app connection panel for transport controls, and has not indicated any developments on Inter-Device streaming, they may have a harder time maintaining relevancy in iOS 7. I fear the beleaguered but lovable JACK may get the rug pulled out from under them, before they even got their feet under them.

Traktor Z1 - Native Instruments Gets Serious About iOS DJs

Traktor DJ has been met with great acclaim from DJs who want to explore mobile apps, while maintaining the sophistication and organization provided by PC/Mac based setups. Native Instruments are now building on that success by announcing the Traktor Z1.

The Traktor Z1 is both a controller and audio interface. This is all class-compliant, so you can run this on your PC/Mac just as easily as on the iPad, and it will even charge your iDevice! At $200 it is twice the price of IK Multimedia's Mixer, but this is a totally digital interface so you're not fucking around with the noisy iPad headphone jack.

Release announcment:

TRAKTOR KONTROL Z1 is the ultra-portable, professional DJ mixing controller forTRAKTOR DJ andTRAKTOR PRO 2. Its cue section lets you monitor and mix tracks with pro precision. Dedicated controls for two channels give you intuitive, tactile control over volume, EQ, filters, and effects. And the built-in audio interface delivers powerful, club-ready sound.

Get total control and professional sound in a go-anywhere package – it’s pro on the go.

Want to deliver floor-shaking DJ sets with TRAKTOR DJ? Connect your iPad or iPhone to the Z1 and get a complete two-deck DJ setup with ultimate tactile control. Cue up the next track in your headphones while the current track still plays for the crowd. Mix and EQ with pro-grade faders, knobs, and buttons. Apply filters and effects with the ultra-intuitive one sweep knob.

The Z1 even charges your iOS device while you play, so you never have to worry about battery life when your set hits its peak.

The Traktor Z1 begins shipping on the 3rd of July and is available for pre-order on Sweetwater and the Native Instruments site.

Buy Traktor DJ on iTunes: $19.99

Moog App Performance

Ryouichi Harada does a lot of great videos, but he has outdone himself with this futuristic synth odyssey, by combining both Moog apps! Here he's controlling Animoog in the background with a Korg NanoKontrol, while playing on Arturia's iMini.

Meteor Multitrack Recorder, Now with Multitrack Recording!

Following my article in March, Meteor Multitrack Recorder Not Actually Multitrack Recording, 4Pockets have been hard at work to rectify the situation! Real multitrack recording is in today's update! Thanks to readers ZenLizard and Bianca for this news!

What's new in Meteor Multitrack Recorder v1.60:

(Heavily Abridged)
  • Meteor now supports simultaneous multiple channel audio recording.
  • Selectable Inputs for both Audio Sources and AudioBus.
  • Selectable Outputs for each track.
  • The Video plugin now allows you to export a movie with soundtrack to a file or the camera roll.
  • Stacked Recordings (Loop Mode in Single Track Mode).
  • Improved CPU usage and improved quality of Pitch Shifting
  • Improved Quality Time Stretching.
  • Added a Basic Auto Tune for monophonic vocal recordings to the wave editor.
  • Added an Invert Phase option to the wave editor.
  • Added Markers for easier project navigation.
  • Added MIDI Track Event Inspector.

Buy Meteor Multitrack Recorder on iTunes: $19.99

There is also a demo video for some of the new features added.

Rheyne Jam #79

Rheyne had a second jam this week, following the one accompanying his article for DJ Tech Tools.

Video Description:

Live looping with analog keyboards, USB controllers, iOS devices, and Ableton Live. All loops are recorded live, nothing's pre-recorded. iPads running Lemur and Animoog are mirrored on the wall monitors, and Animoog is also wirelessly receiving MIDI from a KMI QuNexus. Lemur is wirelessly controlling Ableton Live's filters, reverbs, and delays in the template (my apologies for blocking the Lemur monitor with my head for most of the jam... I'll move the camera to a different spot for the next jams).

Download or stream the audio at SoundCloud:


  • DJ TechTools MIDI Fighter 3D in MF3D Launcher mode
  • iPads running Lemur and Animoog
  • iTouch running Sunrizer w/ iConnectMIDI
  • Akai APC20
  • DSI MoPho Keyboard
  • M-Audio Oxygen 25
  • KMI QuNeo, QuNexus, and 12-Step
  • Novation Launchpad
  • Moog Prodigy
  • Fender Rhodes w/ MXR Wylde Overdrive
  • PreSonus 1818VSL connected to a Macbook Pro
  • 5x Chauvet Slim Par 56 LED
  • 2x American DJ Mega 50 RGB

Buy Lemur on iTunes: $49.99


Buy Animoog on iTunes: $29.99

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