Is Cubasis3 + AUv3 + iPad Pro a viable way to make music (on the go, on the couch)?

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antic604
KVRAF
3697 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Post Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:32 am

As a hobbyist music production enthusiast with a 10h/day non-music related work and family (wife, 3 kids) I don't have a dedicated studio and nowadays I rarely feel like even pulling out the music laptop, audio interface, controller and/or Analog Four out of the closet before I inevitably have to go to sleep...For a brief moment I was considering Deluge as a fully-featured, small & battery-powered tool to realise my musical ideas with, but I wasn't really impressed with its sound in any of the videos I found. I too looked at Akai Force and MC-707, but they're too big and unwieldy.

And then I saw Cubase3 getting released few weeks ago and was really impressed with its feature set! Also, over the last 2 years I was frequently frustrated seeing VST instruments & effects costing (sometimes far) north of $100, whereas their iOS equivalents were priced at 10th of that. And there's apparently lots of them, by now - synths, FX, MIDI utilities, etc!

My needs are pretty simple, as I "do" electronic music exclusively - I'm not gonna record any instruments, synths or vocals, I'll be mostly using MIDI + some light samples (drums, some spoken words, resampling). On the flipside I rely pretty heavily on synth & FX automation, complex sound design & layering, etc. I use headphones exclusively (DT990 Pro or ATH-m40x) and rarely a MIDI controller, so I won't even use an interface.

Do you think iPad Pro + Cubasis + AUv3 is mature enough to pull that off - remember, on a hobbyist level! - while commuting to work, travelling or on the couch? Or perhaps other host would be more up my street?

Here's a track to illustrate what type of music I do:

https://soundcloud.com/antic604/2018-we-come-in-peace
Bitwig 3 // Reason 11 // Studio One 4 Pro @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604
other stuff - Psytrance in Bitwig Studio tutorial

mindnoise
KVRist
182 posts since 2 Feb, 2007 from German Guy in Tokyo

Re: Is Cubasis3 + AUv3 + iPad Pro a viable way to make music (on the go, on the couch)?

Post Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:23 am

Hello there,

first thing: If you get a iPad Pro with a USB-C Port (post 2018) you also need a digital to analog converter, since Apple scrapped the analog headphone jack.

My suggestion is the Audioquest Dragonfly, as it is small and can be powered by the iPad alone. There are 2 Versions - Red and Black (IIRC Red one is better). You also need a (short) USB-C -> USB-A adapter cable. Either this or some Bluetooth headphones.

Cubasis 3 is nice and can be used for a full music production. So, yes, it is capable. There is a free LE 2 version, that yout can try an see if it fits your needs. The workflow is the same as Cubasis 3.

If you are more into MPC-Performance style, have a look at Intua Beatmaker 3.

Also, when you buy an iPad you also get Apple's Garageband for free, which also supports AUv3 and is quite capable. Maybe start from here.

Beatmaker 3 and Garageband can send MIDI to AUv3 music effects. I am not sure Cubasis 3 can do that, yet, if that is something you want to do. I still have to try, did not have the time to test, yet.
Or you need to route the MIDI oustide of C3 to a virtual MIDI-port and back in again.
Also Cubasis 3 still has no Send-Busses as far as I can see.

Korg Gadget might also be an option, for it is about the best and fun to use Groovebox out there, but you can easily sink over $200 into it if you want all the Gadget-Instruments and it has no AuV3 support.

If you are into trackers SunVox is the king. It`s $3 and does everything and way more than the apps above. It`just not as straight forward as the other apps, as it is very, very, very deep.

so far :)
Writing a lot about iOS-Music for http://www.AMAZONA.de - Germany's longest running online musician's magazine.

User avatar
antic604
KVRAF
3697 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Re: Is Cubasis3 + AUv3 + iPad Pro a viable way to make music (on the go, on the couch)?

Post Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:45 am

mindnoise wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:23 am
so far :)
Thanks! I'll have a look on all the options you mentioned :) :tu:
Bitwig 3 // Reason 11 // Studio One 4 Pro @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604
other stuff - Psytrance in Bitwig Studio tutorial

zacha
KVRist
71 posts since 14 Oct, 2018

Re: Is Cubasis3 + AUv3 + iPad Pro a viable way to make music (on the go, on the couch)?

Post Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:11 pm

I would think so, especially if you add in the Fabfilter AU unit bundle. You might find yourself adding a Bluetooth midi keyboard (eg KORG Nanokey Studio) over time. You can also export to Cubase on the computer for archiving. The one thing I think Cubasis still lacks is side-chaining, but you could use Auria if that was important (exports to Logic compatible .aaf for archiving)

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BertKoor
KVRAF
11484 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Re: Is Cubasis3 + AUv3 + iPad Pro a viable way to make music (on the go, on the couch)?

Post Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:35 pm

More basic than that is also viable: Caustic
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/caustic/id775735447
We are the KVR collective. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. Image
My MusicCalc is back online!!

bungle
KVRAF
1618 posts since 12 Mar, 2004

Re: Is Cubasis3 + AUv3 + iPad Pro a viable way to make music (on the go, on the couch)?

Post Sun Jan 19, 2020 5:54 pm

Ipad pro gen 3 is terrible for audio, do not buy it, it has bottle necks and glicthes, tested and confirmed by a lot of users, Air3 ks the current power pad for audio.
If your plugin is a C++ creation, please don't say so.
If it is, pop round Marcos, he has just bought you a Mac to port it.

emasters
KVRist
236 posts since 17 Mar, 2010

Re: Is Cubasis3 + AUv3 + iPad Pro a viable way to make music (on the go, on the couch)?

Post Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:11 pm

bungle wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 5:54 pm
Ipad pro gen 3 is terrible for audio, do not buy it, it has bottle necks and glicthes, tested and confirmed by a lot of users, Air3 ks the current power pad for audio.
Interesting... purchased an iPad Pro Gen 3 over the holidays. It is great with my music apps running IOS 13. At first, I was reluctant with USB-C versus Lightening. But it's made me realize Lightening is a connector, USB-C is an external bus. Can't wait to get USC-C on my iPhone. It really is amazing what one can do with a powerful tablet and external bus. I now have a 1TB Samsung SSD that is fast and tiny. Battery life is amazing. Perhaps there are issue others have run into, that I have yet to experience. But as one data point here, no regrets with an iPad Pro Gen 3. Plus the Apple Pencil and Notion provide an effective music scoring environment - something I've always wanted to do is write music with a pen on a staff, electronically.

User avatar
antic604
KVRAF
3697 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Re: Is Cubasis3 + AUv3 + iPad Pro a viable way to make music (on the go, on the couch)?

Post Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:49 am

bungle wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 5:54 pm
Ipad pro gen 3 is terrible for audio, do not buy it, it has bottle necks and glicthes, tested and confirmed by a lot of users, Air3 ks the current power pad for audio.
Can you link to any reliable reports on this?

People usually only post about issues they encounter, whereas thousands that have no problem just don't go on-line to say "everything's fine" :)
Bitwig 3 // Reason 11 // Studio One 4 Pro @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604
other stuff - Psytrance in Bitwig Studio tutorial


Tks32tim
KVRist
31 posts since 6 Jan, 2020

Re: Is Cubasis3 + AUv3 + iPad Pro a viable way to make music (on the go, on the couch)?

Post Wed Jan 22, 2020 10:03 am

Cubasis is really good in fact I bought cubase after using cubasis I was that impressed ,audio damage have some great iPad apps that work fine in cubasis

emasters
KVRist
236 posts since 17 Mar, 2010

Re: Is Cubasis3 + AUv3 + iPad Pro a viable way to make music (on the go, on the couch)?

Post Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:12 pm

Interesting article regarding issues - thx. I've not experienced the drop-outs or issues running multiple apps. I primarily use Cubasis 3. Clearly, the author's experience has been different. But I've also only used the latest version of IOS 13. Regarding only one USB-C connection, the intent is to get a USB-C hub to provide the connections you want. Amazon is filled with various USB-C hubs and adapters.

zacha
KVRist
71 posts since 14 Oct, 2018

Re: Is Cubasis3 + AUv3 + iPad Pro a viable way to make music (on the go, on the couch)?

Post Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:11 pm

Me neither, but I’m on the previous, non USB-C model. I think for me, on the USB-C model, my big question would be which USB hub also has a good quality headphone DAC

mikejade
KVRist
69 posts since 7 Jul, 2004

Re: Is Cubasis3 + AUv3 + iPad Pro a viable way to make music (on the go, on the couch)?

Post Fri Feb 21, 2020 2:10 am

Considering the first reply, I cannot recommend Dragonfly RED for music making with IPAD PRO 2018 version. Pops and clicks ARE present when working with Nanostudio 2 and Cubasis 3, even with very little CPU usage.
Dragonfly RED is a great USB audio device, but only for music reproduction since latency and bit rates are not manualy manageable on IPAD with predictable results (in Cubasis it sometimes works, sometimes not).

In addition Cubasis 3 is still a buggy mess when using third party plugins (D1 synth, Octachron sequencer...)

The pops and clicks issue is actually serious and it may not be fully resolved AT ALL. It is down to the way the underlying system handles extra CPU load of different types (graphics, sound, USB transfer), and switches CPU cores on-and-off to save power. I have experienced this issue on my PCs, and the only way to make Ableton Live function properly is turning on the Full Performance mode in Power settings. This way all cores expect the load at all times, and clicks and pops are gone.

I am pretty sure this is the cause, and the possible cure for IPAD PROs as well. But maxing the CPU power and potentially draining the battery in one hour is not something Apple would consider, I'm sure.
Maxing the audio buffers if you have control over them is the only viable solutions for now, but I don't have much luck with Cubasis 3 still.
IPAD AIR 3 has a different CPU architecture, I guess CPU usage is more stable, so yes, it looks like a better choice for now.

danbroad
KVRian
1131 posts since 2 Jan, 2004 from England

Re: Is Cubasis3 + AUv3 + iPad Pro a viable way to make music (on the go, on the couch)?

Post Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:11 am

Yes, it is. Ipad Pro 12.9” 3rd gen working just fine here for me with Cubasis and a whole bunch of AUv3’s. I came from DAW’s and track freezing in the early days and this is just as powerful as that used to be. Having the parameters to move interactively by the touch screen is magic, and screen keys are surprisingly playable for making do when you don’t have a controller.

I use this: Cubasis 3.... Sugar Bytes Factory and Aparillo, Virsyn Tera, BeepStreet Sunrizer and Zeeon, AudioDamaga Continua, Arturia iSEM, Korg Wave [from the Electribe Wave, which is an excellent groovebox in its own right]. That’s a helluva great selection of noisemakers, ranging from the weird-modular-granular-FM through semi-modular beasts to analogue emulations and excellent-sounding VA’s. Virsyn Tera and Sugar Bytes Factory would cost your £300 on desktop alone. Fractal Bits for interesting percussions, and I have a tailored loop collection over the years that fits right into Cubasis Media Bay.

For FX, Eventide stuff is on sale through February 23rd... get the lot and marvel at how much you’ve saved compared to the archaic button-and-dial interface of an H3000 [or buying the stereo guitar pedals and figuring out hardware delay compensation in your host]. FAC Chorus and FAC Alteza [new, an excellent shimmer verb for iOS]. Bleass Delay and Reverb offer the best GUI I’ve ever seen for those FX and I like them a lot. No Sidechain isn’t a problem, I use AudioDamage Pumphouse and it does exactly the same thing for my needs.

I use an AKAI LPK wireless which pairs easily with Cubasis. The ipad Pro speakers are really quite excellent if youre in a quiet room, but for proper listening use a USB-C hub from Amazon [£25 mine cost] which offers pass through charging, a USB-A port and a headphone port for wired phones. With a hub like that, you could also use any old wired USB MIDI controller to save on cash. Bluetooth cans might suffer from latency - Bluetooth LE MIDI doesn’t affect your experience but BT monitoring might. If you want, as the battery life on the 12.9” is so good, you could just use a BT-MIDI controller and use the single USBC port for a 3.5mm headphone adapter and wired cans, and charge before/after your musical sessions. The battery really does last all day.

I miss NI Battery, and be aware that at the moment Cubasis’s Minisampler can’t create user kits [which would be a replicated solution for me] but I’m trying 4Pockets Chameleon as a simple drum sampler instead whilst that update is written.

On the computer, I’m mainly using Omnisphere and Battery/Massive/FM8 - I’d say that a well set up ipad is just as capable as that setup, with the advantage of less mouse work and RSI.
11, 418th in line to the KVR throne

mindnoise
KVRist
182 posts since 2 Feb, 2007 from German Guy in Tokyo

Re: Is Cubasis3 + AUv3 + iPad Pro a viable way to make music (on the go, on the couch)?

Post Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:54 am

zacha wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:11 pm
Me neither, but I’m on the previous, non USB-C model. I think for me, on the USB-C model, my big question would be which USB hub also has a good quality headphone DAC
M-Audio Air|Hub might be an option.

Of course it depends on what you define as 'quality'.
Writing a lot about iOS-Music for http://www.AMAZONA.de - Germany's longest running online musician's magazine.

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