This morning I received the following in my mailbox from an anonymous “reader”:

“Why you hating on Audiobus? In these times, any apps that do not have audiobus input at the very least are useless for mobile musicians. Even your precious Caustic cannot be taken seriously without it.”

Instead of replying to his fake email adress, I respond here:

First, I’m not hating on Audiobus or any method to transfer audio between apps. Likely I was one of the first to adopt Sonoma wire works original audio copy and paste ( ACP) back “in the days of yore”.

I found ACP very useful as it enabled me to transfer content from apps such as Sunrizer, Dopplerpad and other apps into Nanostudio, looptastic producer and similair apps.

The birth of ACP gave rise to many many other apps that could be used seriously as tools to create music on mobile devices. The same thing goes for Audiobus…many apps have appeared such as Fx units, daws, sequencers, big synths and suchlike that can now be used in tandem and that’s great for those that need a whole bunch of apps in their toolbox.

However, I’ve been around doing this longer than most, and prior to iOS, I was using Reason and Acid pro on my custom PC. That PC crashed and I was gifted an iPod touch by my brother in law and the quest for an app ( note the singular) that filled the gap left by Reason began.

Those who have read my writings over the years know that I’ve been hoping for Reason to appear on iOS and it has not yet. Propellerhead released Figure ( who some thought was going to be Reason..) and a big outcry happened because it did not ship with ACP! A very intense public debate happened on idesignsound blog and I fought vigorously for the developing saying people needed to calm down as they would indeed add ACP. I was attacked by the other commentators who were whining over a 69p app just for urging patience.

Guess what? Figure got ACP and more and is one of the best selling music apps of all time..

They also ported Thor ( part of Reason), and I’m certain that they are indeed seeing how Reason would fare on the iPad air ( rhyme unintentional).

However, I do not like the culture of dependancy on audiobus, nor do I like people slamming developers for not adding it.

Further, if someone releases an app such as Caustic, the need for audiobus is actually significantly lesser than say, a synth or drum machine app to actually use it.

We must respect the developers intentions for apps as much as they might respect our own needs for using them.

It pains me to see comments on blogs and the AppStore where users demand features and threaten not to purchase until they are added. Such commentators remain in the minority but act as if they are in the majority.

Further, I’ve yet to hear any music made with audiobus that could be defined as cutting edge.

My own feeling is that Audiobus has its strength in connecting incomplete apps and making a kind of team with them to create music with- primarily live performance based music. And that is its strength. That’s how I’ve used it to make ambient works by routing synths through fx apps and recording performances.

To prove my point further, lets look at Nanostudio:

Anything that can be accomplished via its own implementation of AB, can be done with ACP apart from recording live jams with improvised fx automation.

Nanostudio can be used as an input ( record live stuff via an fx app in the fx slot and another in the output to record). But if you use Nanostudio in the output, the only thing you can do is record into a trg pad and then use that in your sequenced track.

The second scenario can be done as quick via ACP.

But still, apps such as Nanostudio and BM2 were primarily created as complete systems for track production.

BEING DISSASTISFIED with the built in sounds and fx, users want to paste or bus in from other sources into these apps.

However, Caustic is different. It has many more instruments, fx and automation potential than any other app, and I see many are now realising this.

Caustic was created as a standalone. Sure Rej has committed to adding ACP and AB, but many Android users have created very professional tracks with it already.

Think about how and why that is..

The answer is obvious- everything you need is already in Caustic…try create a complete track for yourself. You won’t get bewildered by deciding what to paste into it or what app to route out into, and the automation possibilities are literally endless.

So I’d say Caustic is more useful without AB than it would be with it, because it centralises everything you need all in one app.

Because you’ve spent hundreds of dollars on apps, you want to make use of your investment and I totally get that. But there are two reasons you have so many apps:

1- you have not yet satisfied your urge for a perfect app that suits your workflow

2- you have become addicted to collecting apps and are now victim of the consumer culture that has become the app addicts weekly fare.

Because you are still hoping for the perfect app, you have to use less than perfect apps together but still you hover around the AppStore and the blogs hoping for something even better.

You suffer from frequent app regret and you hurry your tracks so you can post them in soundcloud and get the feedback from your mates.

Despite your output and your expenditure, you are still a nobody and have not released anything that is globally successful and you will continue to spend lots of money trying to find the perfect app.

In the meantime, the developers love you because you buy their apps and they will dangle carrots in your face weekly, and you fall for it.

By the time you have started to understand the inner workings of one app, another releases and you will gravitate toward that!

So you will get that app and spend a couple of hours and make something to put on soundcloud to say “hey, look at me! I got the new app!”.

And that’s great, I’m happy for you, but you are not fulfilled, nor are you pushing the iOS cause further.

So, for me, Caustic is very much like Reason and Acid pro rolled into one core app. My search is over and I wish to focus exclusively on this app and my own output.

Caustic is not going to be everyone’s perfect app, but it is mine, you can even master with it if you take the time.

You can whine about me all you like but you cannot discredit me and my work. I’ve always maintained there is the need for one app that can do it all and I’ve found it. I suggest if you own it too that you spend time with it and try creating a full track ( not an experiment), and still see if you think it needs third party input.

If you cannot or will not do that, then you have no right to criticise me for my own approach and opinions.

If you are dependant on spending lots of money, hoping for the quick fix so you can add dozens more tracks ( that will go nowhere) to your soundcloud, that is your problem and not mine.

I’m addressing those of us that just want to settle into music making and get our music out far and beyond a few hundred hobbyists on soundcloud:)

If iOS music is the future, lets hear something from the future, spend less time talking and make something so great, so different that the world will love it and go “get on the bus”…

This entry was posted in caustic singlecell software, iOS music, music apps and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Some examples of creative, cutting edge (though that may be a matter of taste) music making WITH audiobus:
    So…it is possible to make crative, cutting edge music with audiobus. Am I allowed to speak now? šŸ™‚
    Don’t get me wrong, you’re right about a lot of things. Caustic is a brilliant app for all kinds of electronica music, it’s the most complete DAW app at the moment, and I could have done most of my own album using only caustic. And most of the things you say about the users who complain and demand things all the time instead of getting to work are true, too.
    But however, not all creative music is electronica. I really like caustic and I’d love to do a track like this one:

    with it. To be able to do so, I need Audio Tracks and the possibilty to record guitar and vocals.. There are also apps that do special things that are not part of caustic’s features, for example VirtualANS, thumbjam (not because of the sounds, they can be done with sf2…because of the UI) or guitar amp simulation apps like Bias. And I like to use them in my music. You may say now, that they could be added later on, after exporting the basics I have done in caustic to another DAW. But what if I realise that something I thought was great just doesn’t work with the guitar track? I’d like to do all my work within one DAW, without having to go back and forth again
    Caustic is great as it is, but it would be even better if it had audio tracks and audiobus. I dare say that, with those features, it would be the perfect DAW for any kind of music.
    Anyway, Zac, I wish you a merry christmas and a happy new year and thanks for all your help and for opening the door for me.

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