Does anyone use an iPad as their sample manager?

Now that the iPad has USB disk support, I’m curious if anyone has found success in using it to manage their sample library and import from/export to the OT.

I gave this a shot last night using the AudioShare app—everything went great until I tried to export the files I had organized. It seems like the iPad is really, really, abysmally slow to copy files around. It took about 30-45 minutes to copy even a small sample set from AudioShare to Google Drive (~1GB). After that, I didn’t bother trying to copy it onto CF. Does anyone have a good workaround for this, or am I stuck managing samples on a laptop?

I have not tried it, but why not copy directly to ipad files rather than google drive, might be faster?


Should have clarified—copying to iPad files (“On My iPad”) is just as slow as Google Drive. It’s pretty slow to move files no matter where they’re going.

I use an iPad2 with a Kingston MobileLite to edit & transfer to MPC500 - so it’s local wifi from iPad to USB (MPC connected or an ext CF card reader).

A small sample set for me is 10-20MB - even on the Octatrack :slight_smile:

I was using an Acer A500 tablet w. built-in fullsize USB for this but Android updates literally killed it.

Are you trying lots of files at once? What ipad? Ipad connected directly to OT or via CF reader?

As mentioned I have not tried it yet, but I did transfer a 11mb file from a USB thumb drive and it took less than a few seconds, so I don’t think the ipad is necessarily the cause of the slow speed.

Are you trying lots of files at once?

Aha! Thanks @darenager, this led me to a discovery. My sample library had the Adventure Kid single-cycle waveforms pack in it, which is very small in terms of file size, but contains a metric ton of individual files. I deleted that and the copy speed increased dramatically.

I did some more testing to confirm and it appears that the iPad—in this case a 12.9” Pro—is quite fast to copy one large file, but trying to copy many small files is very slow.


Glad you got it sorted, yeah I had speed issues with other devices copying lots of small files in the past too, so thought it worth checking.

This is true for basically any computer or device. It’s probably faster to zip, copy and unzip at destination.


Oh for sure, but the iPad was exceptionally bad at it. I don’t think the file system is optimized much.

Fun fact: after this experiment, the Files app started crashing when I tried to browse Google Drive, and it remains broken to this day. Be careful out there!

This bump reminded me that using iPad connected directly via USB to flash drives (including the OT) isn’t worth the risk, I have had a few corruptions since replying in this thread a year ago.

I think that because there isn’t a safe unmount function (presumably because Apple don’t really want you to have independent backups, they’d rather you use iCloud, but USB storage is a selling point so they give a barely functional implementation) the flash device can get corrupted. I’m always very careful not to disconnect until I’m certain that the drive is no longer being accessed, but still I have had 2 SD cards get corrupted.

So now I just use wifi for backups.


Yeah, I gave up on managing samples with iPad. Syncing stuff back and forth is a pain. I just use Finder on my MacBook now and occasionally load stuff into AudioFinder if I need to normalize, etc. It’s a shame—there really don’t seem to be any applications out there with a fluid UI for sample management.

Yup, inside Audioshare.

The trick is to open 2 instances of the Files App side-by-side. (In the photo below, on the left is Audioshare, on the right is the ‘1TB’ HDD in my Akai.)

But I agree, iPadOS/iOS stinks at handling many files, especially thousands of those single-cycle waveforms (I have >100K). It also likes to copy them, when you tell it to move them.

1 Like

Look at audioshare. I use it as my sample manager for iOS apps. You can do simple things like preview, trim, fade, normalize.
Integrates with the files app so directory structure is the same (also wifi drive, dropbox, etc)
Also acts as a AAI host so you can process audio right in it.
One of my most used apps on iOS.
Also supports slideover which helps

Oh yeah I really like Audioshare. The problem is that I don’t do any actual production on the iPad, and I don’t want to connect it directly to my OT because of the unmounting issues mentioned above. So I have to copy or sync files to the iPad, then edit them in Audioshare, then copy them back to my computer, then put them on the OT, and all of that ends up being more work than just using Finder.

Although I’m actually thinking more and more about leaving samples unorganized and just sampling them directly into OT as audio when I want to use them. My setup is a lot more laptop-oriented than it used to be!

In case anyone is interested, there’s a new audio editor for iPadOS.

After using Sound Forge on the desktop since 2003, I’m finding Auditor on the iPad to be pretty damn good. At least for prepping samples for HW samplers, auto-slicing loops by transient detection, making sample chains, batch processing folders, etc. Basic stuff, so no Melodyne or spectrum extraction.
1 Like

I don’t really edit in audio share. It’s just really an organizer and an easy way to preview.

I also use blocswave as a sample manager and stem builder.
You can sync it to your midi/link clock of you hardware and preview samples in tempo/loop. Just requires a few more clicks to export to an external sampler than just find it in the files app via AudioShare.

The randomizer in blocs is helpful too. I don’t really use it as a production tool. Just a sample manager and a quick stem generator against hardware.

I’ve been considering using my iPad but just to organize and find sounds and then sample into DT or OT. Anyone do this?