Ipad DAW?

Firstly, apologies if this has been covered elsewhere but I need some help in choosing the next steps!

I currently mainly run an OT, Dn and Minitaur (with some other bits of outboard)

With 2 kids under 4 and a full time job, the amount of time required by the OT in particular is making completing music too time consuming and therefore not massively fun.

I end up unplugging the DN and messing about with that by itself, and accordingly all my tracks from the last year or so are now pattern heavy (sometimes running through several banks) and of differing pattern lengths. Sequencing them from the OT is painful at times, and obviously pattern chaining on the DN is horrendous for this sort of thing (Elektron - let us save the chains please?!!).

I would like to be able to quickly record long chord progressions off the DN (without the fuck around with OT) to free up these voices for drums, melody etc.

I am thinking an IPAD daw would be these easiest method of doing this and managing all the stuff, and quickly recording mixdowns when tracks are completeish.

Can anyone recommend one?

Been looking at Cubasis in particular but am concerned about not being able to route the following audio path:

DN / Minitaur > IPAD > output of all tracks (incoming and recorded audio) > Analog Heat > IPAD for mixdown.

If I was to purchase a 4in/4out would this be possible with routing options in Cubasis?

Thanks in advance.

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I’m going to give you some meta advice since I’m in a similar situation (2 kids under 3.5): do yourself a favor and scale it back.

Getting lost in routings and possibilities is going to wreck your limited music making time.
I would strongly encourage you to work with the OT and the Heat, or the DN and the Heat, and not try to integrate everything at once. I’ve gone down to using “just” the DigiTone and DigiTakt and even that’s a lot sometimes.

Having one or two pieces of gear at the same time in highly portable or immediate setups is going to save you a lot of heartache. You could record the output to your phone or iPad easily for later consumption, or even get a portable recorder.

This stage will pass (allegedly! Lol) but accept for the moment that you can’t use all of your fun stuff. At least all at once. :smile:


Hey, I recently switched from pc to iPad using Auria as a DAW. Before that I was using Reaper and Ableton Live. No regrets so far. I love the touch interface and enjoy a break from the usual computer environment. 2 things to consider:

  1. If you use Auria you need the fabfilter plugins from the in App Store. They are amazing and afaik direct ports from the .vst versions. They are much cheaper than their relatives but you should still factor in their cost when making the translation to iPad.
  2. Do a thorough research which Audio Interfaces work with iOS and work with Auria. When in doubt ask their support they are really friendly.

Have fun and report back :smile:

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I have an Ipad pro with the Apple camera connection kit to connect a Focusrite 18i8 (gen 1) audio interface over USB. Routing and recording on the Ipad in Cubasis works mostly as expected. I see all the inputs and outputs in Cubasis on the ipad.

I would say Cubasis2 is the best DAW that handles audio, midi and interapp and plugins etc etc. Korg Gadget2 is nice as well but quite closed down to other app interop and stuff like that.

Gonna second this. I got lost in various workflow optimisations that stopped me actually making music. I now have two approaches that work depending on mood and situation.

1 - Korg gadget on the tube to sketch out ideas and arrangements, then import into Ableton to finish or carry on working on the arrangement.

2 - bring any of the OT / DN / DT on the tube and work on some parts independently, then mess about with them at home when the family have gone to bed.

We also have a music room/piano at work so I sit there for 10 or 15 during the day when I need a moment to myself and play about with ideas there.

It’s actually quite productive and focused working like this. Basically separating composition/development from finishing. It’s more focused than having Ableton and all my instruments in front of me at the same time.

Also parenting gets easier to cope with. Eldest is 5 now, youngest is 2, and every month me and my partner both feel a little bit more like ourselves and have a bit more time for looking after ourselves.

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not really daws but I like garageband and beatmaker 3 the most

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I’m pretty much switching to a combination of:

Xequence 2 - For putting MIDI together into a more finished composition. Looks great for recording MIDI for a song when you don’t have a particular pattern in mind. It also looks great for helping you put your 16-64 bar patterns together into a song.

AUM - For hosting synth apps, sample player apps to be played by Xequence 2 sequences. Also for hosting generative MIDI apps like Rozeta, certain Mozaic scripts, Pagefall apps,e tc.

Multitrack DAW - For recording audio. Never really had a MIDI section, but with MIDI being handled by Xequence, that’s ok.

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auria and cubasis are the most powerfull daws for ipad at the moment.

auria supports channel groups and more return channels, but the interface is fiddly, so you should choose a 12,9 inch pro and/ or a pen to use it.

cubasis is a bit more basic but easier to handle with fingers. both support auv3 plugins (fabfilter) and usb interfaces.

what you should consider is that latency can be higher than on a pc or mac, so your complex routing setups could be a bit too much for live recording and monitoring at the same time.


This is just one perspective, I know lots of people like iPads for music and DAWs on iPad. But it just doesn’t do it for me.

Since 2014 I’ve gone back and forth with the iPad in various musical use cases: music all done in the iPad, as a sequencer, as a sound module, as a tactile instrument, as a daw for recording other hardware. The problem is that I’ve found it to be a bit “worst of both worlds” in terms of software vs hardware. It has the lack of limitations and inability to form meaningful muscle memory and lack of immediacy that software has, but without the “professional workstation” quick/precise/batch editing workhorse aspects that a proper laptop/desktop has. I really have wanted to love it, but I always sort of fizzle out.

Maybe consider getting a cheaper laptop and using a non-iOS daw on that?

For the record: I think iPads work great if you’re just working on a single midi (fugue machine) or audio (particularly sampler/granular) app that’s intrinsically designed and synergizes with a touchscreen interface. When an iPad tries to be more than one instance of one instrument things get clunky fast.


yeah im not a fan of ipad as a DAW, although I love it for music making and use it for that pretty much every day.

It’s fine for one or two tasks, like recording main outs, using as a synth, using as a sequencer but it’s never going to be like using ableton.

Since it seems like you want to do some fairly basic recording stuff I think it would work fine. Any class compliant USB audio interface should work, the iPad wont be able to power it though.

What you described you could do in AUM/Audioshare, record the file, trim it in audio share, play it back using aum fileplayer.

I prefer Cubasis over Auria, it is more DAW like, Auria seems like it was designed for recording bands, its UI is ugly and the way they implemented MIDI comes across fairly hackish. A lot of the more complex daw like apps have bizzaro interfaces.

I am not getting on with my OT to be quite honest and I am currently trying BM3 as it can do sequencing and recording which is all I really need. I would do any serious mixing in ableton on a desktop machine.

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I agree with everything you said. I would add Audiobus 3 to the AUM/Audioshare combo. Also, look for AUV3 compliant apps as they are going to be far more stable than IAA and work best with AUM. AUM’s new midi channel keeps everything nice and tidy.

Anyone know if it’s possible to host Xequence inside AUM? Or do I need to manage them as separate apps and separate projects?

With IAA, yes. Xequence 1 & 2 will work. The ideal situation is as I mentioned earlier, with AUM and Audiobus. Xequence has a section in the manual called “Demo Projects” and if you scroll down a few pages in that chapter there is a section called “ Using Xequence + Audiobus + AUM together.” This gives a great walkthrough on connecting the three to create a stable workflow. Ps, it works with Xequence 1 & 2. Link:


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Not inside an AUM channel strip, but as mentioned, it’s easy enough to use Xequence and AUM together and this is covered in the Example Setups section of the manual that was posted.

So far I’ve been getting on fine with using Xequence and AUM but will probably add Audiobus to my workflow, for the reasons stated in the Xequence 2 manual.

Apps that are loaded into an AUM channel strip tend to look noticeably smaller than when run standalone. Xequence 2 is more of the kind of app that you want to take the full screen, especially when you’re doing a lot of MIDI editing and rearranging.

I like gadget exactly because of this. The UI feels usable, and as a quick sketchpad its a fun bit of kit.

I do find auria fiddly at times, but since I dont have a computer to fall back on (at home), I just use it for what I need to and move on.

I do share many sentiments with you wrt “iOS as a musical device”. But the practicality of the 10" slate is woth the hassle for me personally. I dont have to specifically plan to take it along with me when I leave the house.

Good idea, to focus only on using the DN. My advice would be to just learn how to record DN audio into your iPad multitrack recording app of choice, and save the idea of routing audio out from iPad to Analog Heat and back to iPad for later.

Get the basic stuff to work first before adding complicating factors.

That said, here’s an idea… Look into converting your DN synth tracks to MIDI tracks. What I mean is, get your DN to those long chord progressions that you mentioned as MIDI. Then you can use Xequence 2 on iPad to record those chord progressions… as MIDI. I have no idea, however, about how hard it is to convert a synth track in DN to a MIDI track. If it’s a true PITA then feel free to ignore the rest of my post.

Once those chord progressions have been recorded into Xequence 2 as MIDI, you can edit them - as MIDI - however you like. You can MIDI timestretch them, copy-paste, transpose, whatever. X2’s workflow for editing MID is unbelievably fast and smooth - superior to Cubasis or Gadget imo.

When you’re ready to record those chords as audio, just have Xequence 2 sequence your synth of choice (DN or iPad app) and record the audio of that synth.

completely agree

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With Multitrack daw. Does the abelton link ( Which I think it has ) Allow you to place the audio track of something that were sequenced in xequence 2 and then press play. which will trigger the audio track in daw and sequences in xequence?

This is Multitrack DAW. No MIDI. No Ableton Link.


Somebody on that thread I posted today asked about how to trigger audio from Xequence 2. There were a couple of suggestions - one being use the Audiolayer app by I think Virsyn, or was it SugarBytes. And a cheap bastard alternative - sorry I really did forget the cheapskate alternative. Check out the thread.