MIDI Sync Elephant in the Room

I own a mini homemade bass, a mini homemade guitar, a pocket operator 33 sampler and an iPad with an Apogee Jam audio interface. This is my run away from people and go to the woods or the beach to make tunes setup. I primarily like minimal, tight, properly mixed techno but also organic imperfect dusty analog flavours. So on the one hand I am beat focused but on the other I am into recording instruments with the overall goal of having a way to jam out in a snappy way without jitters, cutting or long boring intervals while I am lost on an ipad pushing buttons. At the same time I want to be able to dive more deeply into my productions and polish things.

So I was exited to get into Cubasis. Before, I was limited to Garageband for my stringed instruments and Korg Gadget for my synth and automation heavy tracks. Two separate worlds. When I arranged my new setup over the last few days, I had everything figured out until I hit the limitation.

No Ableton Link support in Cubasis.

I tried various setups: https://forum.audiob.us/discussion/22797/cubasis-midi-clock-w-samplr-or-midi-link-sync

But I found a lot of drifting clock coming out of Cubasis. It seems like Ableton Link is just way tighter than anything else.

What finally worked was using Korg SyncKontrol (free app) to send the clicks out of an iphone and to my Pocket Operator, while also having SyncKontrol hooked up to Ableton Link. This meant I could have apps that support Ableton Link in time with my Pocket Operator. So I found myself in the Korg Gadget app just to see how well it worked. And it worked really well.

But Korg Gadget does not host Audio Units, it does not have sophisticated compressors and limiters, or a handsome EQ. It’s a bit of a toy. It’s snappy and productive. But I was excited for Cubasis.

Is it extremely time consuming to integrate Ableton Link into Cubasis? Is Steinberg slow because they want to have their own standard and they hope the whole Ableton Link thing will fade away? Everyone is running all kinds of external hardware and various softsynths, etc. How could it be that the best (Cubasis) DAW for iPad has not got all this nice and tight?

Midi Flow $6.99 with IAP’s
AUM $18.99
MidiFire $11.99
SyncKontrol $0.00
freEWI $0.00
Link to MIDI $0.00
MIDI Link Sync $0.99

How can I get a tight sync, with few apps and very little cpu drain? I have not tested all of these apps above.

I really wish these apps had one day trials so you could be sure that you are paying for something you need. I also wish we could sell our apps…Where is the appseller app?

This article on Modern sync technologies by Jonatan Liljedah, author of AUM, is very interesting.I enjoyed the comment thread at the bottom. http://lijon.github.io/ios_audio_sync.html

It seems to me that the issue is that Cubasis is not able to be a slave. The old dialectic.

I found this nugget in the AUM FAQ:

"What about MIDI Clock?
Since version 1.2.1, AUM allows sending MIDI Clock to a single CoreMIDI destination. The purpose is to synchronize external hardware. The clock is aligned with the audio output of the device.

NOTE: Trying to use it for syncing other apps or via wireless MIDI will probably not align well! There’s no reason to continue using MIDI clock for sync between apps, when we have Inter-App Audio host sync and Ableton Link.

Inter-App Audio apps and Audio Units should implement host sync, which has been part of the IAA standard from the beginning, and is the natural way for a node to sync to the host (AUM in this case)."

For the price, I wish I could test AUM before purchasing. I bought Elastic Drums a week ago because I like to do synth drums instead of sampled drums, but now it just sits there because I prefer an Audio Unit with a MIDI piano roll, rather than flipping back and fourth between a DAW and a sequencer.