Odessa – MIDI sequencer and control suite for iOS by Bram Bos

Bram Bos – developer of Ripplemaker, Ruismaker and other cool music apps has released its new app: suite of MIDI Audio Unit Extensions:

[appstore id=1292546479]

Odessa Bassline: a monosequencer based on the popular Troublemaker sequencer. 

  • Transpose using MIDI keys
  • Lots of randomization and mutation features
  • 8 Patterns per sequence, with “Follow Actions”
  • Each Pattern can have up to 64 steps


Odessa X0X: classic step sequencer

  • exactly emulates the analog timing jitter of the original 808
  • support for triplets and polyrhythms
  • mutation settings per instrument
  • includes configurable key maps for most popular drum apps


Odessa LFO: 3x MIDI LFO generator

  • configurable MIDI CC output
  • optionally syncs to tempo
  • AU plugin, so it lets you run as many LFOs instances as you want


Odessa Rhythm: the popular Ruismaker Euclidean sequencer

  • Euclidean polyrhythms offer a ‘different’ way to program beats
  • disable LOOP SYNC for free runing polyrhythm mode
  • lots of mutation and randomization features


Odessa XY: configurable XY MIDI Control Pads

  • each instance gives you 2 x XY pads, a MOD wheel and a Pitchbend
  • assign any 4 MIDI CC controllers you want
  • flexible live control over any synth app


Odessa Arpeggio: adds an arpeggiator to any synth you own

  • automatic LATCH mode 
  • syncs to tempo
  • configurable accent behavior



The Best iOS Audio Interfaces – An Overview and Comparison

With iPads and iPhones getting better and more capable of supporting various DAWs, no wonder so many people decide not only to record but mix and master on these portable devices.

But, in order to get the most out of your tablet, you need a good audio interface. While there are many to choose from, some just perform better than others.

Let’s take a look at the best iOS audio interfaces you can get today.

Focusrite iTrack Solo


Focusrite has already proven that they know their business so far, with many amazing audio interfaces. But how does their iTrack Solo perform?

In terms of build quality, this interface feels quite premium. The aluminum unibody case isn’t just sturdy but will look nice on your desk as well.

There are 2 inputs on the front. An XLR for the mic, with its respective gain knob, and one for the instrument with a gain knob as well. Apart from that, the front stays pretty simple. Just a big monitor volume knob, a headphone output, and a direct monitor switch.

A neat feature Focusrite included are the LED halos around the gain knobs. The color of these halos tells you if the signal is clipping, and whether the levels are too high.

The back sports USB 2.0 and Device link connectors alongside stereo line outputs.

If you need a simple yet effective audio interface to use with your iPad, the Focusrite iTrack Solo is a great option, especially when considering it costs around $100.

Learn more about Focusrite iTrack Solo

Roland Duo- Capture EX


If you have any experience with music and instruments, Roland should be a familiar name by now. Their Duo- Capture EX is their take on mobile audio interfaces.

At first glance, this interface looks very sleek, but durable as well. The build quality is on point, and will definitely make this device last you a long time.

With two combined inputs, having both XLR and standard instrument option, you are free to simultaneously record two instruments, an instrument and vocals, or with two microphones. As this feature gives you a lot more freedom, we’re not sure why this isn’t a standard when it comes to audio interfaces.

Two phantom- powered VS preamps are a great addition, especially if you use condenser microphones in your setup. The front, though relatively minimalistic, gives you a headphone output as well as sensitivity and output controls.

Besides standard stereo output, the Duo- Capture offers both MIDI input and output option as well.

For less than $200, the Roland Duo- Capture EX is a good investment, with musicians who use MIDI devices besides mics and instruments on mind.

Learn more about Roland Duo Capture EX


Apogee Duet


That’s my personal favorite!

Marketed as the first professional stereo audio interface for iPads, the Apogee Duet takes a slightly different approach than the other models we’ve mentioned so far.

While the device itself may boast a smaller form factor, it can certainly take up numerous different input sources.

The whole idea is to have a single input to which you can connect a cable that offers multiple connectors. It supports standard instrument cable jacks as well as XLR for connecting microphones.

The input/ output count goes up to four, with 2 combined XLR/ instrument inputs, and 2 standard speaker outputs.

The interface on the device is made up of an OLED screen which delivers visual feedback of the levels of the instruments you’re recording. All of the controls are combined in a single multi- function knob on the top, so in order to adjust different parameters, you simply tap a button to cycle through them and turn the knob to set the level.

If you don’t mind the adapter cable setup and the around $600 price tag, definitely consider the Apogee Duet.

Learn more about Apogee Duet


Tascam iXZ


Switching things up from a relatively expensive option to a very budget- friendly one, the Tascam iXZ is an awesome alternative for connecting your instruments to your iPad, and for less than $50.

When designing the iXZ, Tascam wanted to save as much space as possible. The result was the interface being very slim, with only the input fraction of the device having a slight bulge.

Other than that, the iXZ does feel kind of cheap. But hey, it doesn’t have to look good in order to perform good, right?

A simple switch allows you to toggle between the instrument and XLR input, and a similar switch turns the phantom power on and off. The volume wheel is the same kind you would find on the old cd and cassette tape players.

Performance- wise, it was surprisingly good. The outside looks definitely don’t reflect the audio quality.

So, if you’re looking for a pocket- sized audio interface with a low price and slightly above average performance, the iXZ by Tascam is the way to go.

Learn more about Tascam iXZ

Alesis iO Dock II



Don’t just buy an audio interface to connect your iPad to it. Make your iPad a mini mobile studio with the iO Dock II by Alesis!

The rather unique design which makes the iO Dock II essentially a sleeve over your iPad not only makes your desk more organized but also keeps everything in your reach at all times.

Both the stereo speaker outputs and the 2 combined XLR/ instrument inputs are placed on the upper side of the device. Guitar/ mic line toggles are featured as well as a phantom power switch.

You can even use a footswitch with this interface, gaining even more control.

The sides utilize output level controls, as well as MIDI in and out. Cable management and general I/O design are done in a very ergonomic way.

With a price ranging from $250 to $300, the iO Dock II by Alesis features a great value for the money.

Learn more about Alesis iO Dock II

See also: Alesis iO Mix – 4 channel mixer for iPad

As there are fairly different options you could go for, now it’s up to you to see which one of the mentioned audio interfaces works best for your needs.

We hope that you found this overview of the best iOS audio interfaces helpful. Thank you very much for reading!

Beatmaker 3 – the most complete iOS music workstation

Intua – pioneers of iOS music apps released Beatmaker 3 – version of their powerful DAW. 

Honestly, I never was a big fan of Beatmaker 2 – even though feature-wise it was one of the most powerful apps years ago, from the workflow and usability point of view it was not the best app for me… 

But Beatmaker 3 changes everything for me and thousands other musicians waiting for powerful Maschine/MPC-like DAW. And Intua delivered!

Ripplemaker – 0-coast-like iOS synth

There are not so many truly modular synths for iOS yet. And while all the iPad-sound-designers are waiting for Reaktor, Softube Modular it is really nice to see a new app that was inspired by one of the latest semi-modular synths – Make Noise 0-coast. It is not accurate emulation but rather taking the concept of 0-coast and taking this concept further. 

And it is a great app to get into west-coast style modular synthesis – , FM, low pass gate – things that you don’t find on your normal VA synth… 

Comparing to 0-coast – Ripplemaker adds nice sequencer (available at the standalone app, not AU), noise section (0-coast has only one random s&h output that is hardwired to tempo), LFO and delay.

AU works as an instrument, as it is thing I wish it would operate as an effect as well for some nice FM synthesis or taking advantage of LPG of Ripplemaker. 

It is a really nice app for those who just start with modular synthesis and advanced crazy modular heads 🙂

And here’s Ripplemaker next to 0-coast:

[appstore id=1207806723]

0-coast inspired iOS synth by Bram Bos

Bram Bos – developer of series of great iOS apps inc. Ruismaker shared a new video with his new app: RippleMaker. 

As Bram explains: 

It’s a pre-wired modular (like e.g. the 0-coast) with internally normalized connections. Why? Because this makes it easy to jump in without having a clue about west-coast synthesis. Shit will work without patching a single wire into it 

Then you can go wild plugging cables in willy-nilly and see what happens. It’s much more free-form than east-coast modulars (like the Model 15). You can turn the slope into an LFO, or loop it so it becomes a pseudo oscillator. Or you can route the output of the Lopass Gate into the Oscillator’s FM for screeching chaos, Use the LFOs for triggering envelopes while modulating its rate with random noise, etc. etc.

Audio and control voltages run @ 4x oversampling speeds, so you can abuse anything as an audio signal or vice versa and it’s all at a min. of 176KHz sampling rates.

Audiobus 3 revolutionizes iOS music making again

Audiobus 3 has arrived bringing great new features:

  1. A totally new way to set up MIDI connections between compatible apps. All IAA instruments that are compatible with Audiobus will be usable as MIDI destinations. MIDI controllers will need to update to the newest SDK and support Audiobus 3’s MIDI system. We’re launching with a few of the best MIDI controller apps for that. And of course MIDI filters are a whole new category of apps, of which there will be a handful when we launch, made by Johannes Dörr, the creator of midiFlow
  2. Support for Audio Unit Extensions.
  3. A basic input mixer to adjust volumes of all sound generators
  4. Apps with the new Audiobus 3 SDK will launch into the background. All MIDI controllers and filters with the new Audiobus MIDI system will support this. Combined with Audio Unit Extensions and the new Audiobus MIDI system this turns Audiobus 3 into a really amazing place to set up your whole workflow, save it as an Audiobus preset and then restore it later on.
  5. Support for split view and slide-over on compatible devices so that you can adjust the volume without having to switch apps – just slide in the side panel and use the Audiobus mixer in that. It’s handy.

PPG Phonem Synth for iPad

Wolfgang Palm’s Phonem VST synth was successfully ported for the iPad. Apart that the voice-synth itself is cool and powerful it also has all the main features you can expect from the modern iOS music app: Inter-App Audio, Audio Unit support, Audiobus with state-saving etc.

Phonem synth iOS Audio Unit extension allows you to use multiple instances of the app in the compatible host (Cubasis, GarageBand).

The app requires you to spend some time playing with it to start making sound that make sense. But the synth comes with useful library of 500+ presets – covering basic and advanced sounds.

[appstore id=1088853546]

[asa_item id=”1088853546″]

Learn more at wolfgangpalm.com