September 18, 2013 at 10:47 am

Audiobus Warns Musicians Against Upgrading to iOS 7 (Updated)

audiobus ios 7 warning

If you use these or other music-making apps, you might want to hold off on upgrading to iOS 7 until Apple fixes some bugs, about which we hope to have more information soon.

Apple’s iOS platform is widely considered by musicians (at least the ones who care about such things) to be the superior mobile platform for music creation, because Android isn’t up to the task.

However, as millions of iOS users the world over keep checking iTunes and their devices for Wednesday’s iOS 7 upgrade to appear, audio app developer Audiobus warns those who make music on iOS to avoid iOS 7 like the plague, due to “a wide variety of bugs that are causing performance problems, crashes and other problems in a large number of music apps.”

Audiobus, which makes a really neat app for routing audio between music apps (so you can play keyboards in one app, add effects in another, and record the result in yet another, as one example), issued an email to all of its users warning them not to install iOS 7.

Audiobus’ Michael Tyson then took to the forums to hint at what these problems might be, although he was barred by Apple’s NDA, agreeing with which was a requirement for testing iOS 7 early, from going into detail about these problems. But apparently, it’s not just an issue with Audiobus’ ability to route audio, but rather systemic issues that will affect some audio apps even when used on their own.

“This is not a warning specific to Audiobus,” wrote developer Sebastian Dittmann. “Most importantly: We’re just urging musicians to wait for the point release (iOS 7.0.1+). iOS 7 is shiny and new and it might be great for anything not related to music production right from the start.”

If you enjoy making, DJing, producing, writing, or adding effects to music with an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch — or even rely on one for on-stage performance — Audiobus’ warning appears to be the real deal. As Dittmann mentions, this does not mean iOS 7 will have issues for people who don’t make music with iOS.

Update: Audiobus developer Sebastian Dittmann responded with a bit more detail on what’s going on here. The short story: The most serious bug appears to happen when someone calls you, or another audio event happens, as you’re recording. Also, if you use an older iOS device for music creation, the upgrade will slow down your machine to the point that some audio apps won’t work as well.

First of all: We’re trying to not to make a big story out of this, because we don’t want to hurt Apple or annoy them. But we felt like telling users about this because we feel responsible for iOS musicians who want the shiny new OS but don’t know how to downgrade and restore from a backup should they run into problems.

There are a few issues with iOS 7 right now, first of all the lower general performance on older devices (which of course impacts the performance and usablity of audio apps as well). Then there are changes in the OS that require some apps to update the SDKs they’re using (Audiobus and some other third party SDKs). Many developers are really on top of things, but some apps might not have been updated yet. Having said that, we consider Audiobus to be ready for iOS 7 even or especially since now 300 apps are compatible with it.

As with any new OS release there might be problems that we haven’t encountered yet. There have been changes in UI, CoreAudio, network and App Store related components. We’re still investigating some bugs regarding USB audio interfaces but we’re still in the process of nailing them down before we can be more specific.

There’s another bug that we’re considering severe enough to actually make that statement earlier which appears whenever a phone call or another audio event interrupts an existing audio recording session.

While Apple has given users an easy way to download older versions of apps just recently, there’s still no easy way to downgrade to older versions of the operating system. Until that happens, we’re felt obligated to issue a warning.

I’m sure Apple is doing everything they can to fix bugs as fast as possible and I trust they’ll fix all the things I’ve mentioned above in the next point releases.

Another update: Our friends at Create Digital Music agree: People who make music with iOS should not install iOS 7. Yet.

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  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure why and how musicians could use iPads to make music. In my understanding it takes a really heavy duty machine to process spacey sound library measured by TB

  • Sonny Padilla

    Sounds like Audiobus did not prepare well for the new iOS release and wants to blame Apple

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like you’re another Apple defender. Apple is notorious for breaking backward compatibility and screwing developers. I’ve developed software for Apple since 1992, and this is always the case.

  • Anonymous

    Me neither. I’m a composer and the only thing I could see an iPad being used for is a rough sketchpad or maybe creating rhythms. Makes you feel like a hipster though, which is what the mystique is all about.

  • Anders Steele

    Look up Auria, AniMoog, Neo-Soul Keys or check out the many professional audio and MIDI interfaces that are compatible with iOS.
    These machines are faster than computers were just a few years ago, they are silent and… they are dependable, not to mention they have a killer batter life. In addition the touch interface makes great sense for music. I use Pro Tools on a Macbook Pro in conjunction with my iPad to compose – surprisingly, the iPad (and an iPad 2 at that) is more reliable then my 1 year old McBook Pro.


  • mythicimbecile

    > Makes you feel like a hipster though

    That’s one hell of an ignorant statement.

  • Svjatoslav

    It’s obviously not only audiibus. But also traktor and who knows what else… So, apple is screwing everything after Jobs death.

  • Anonymous

    Few years ago I had a medium setup PC and I try loading Colossus library on Kontakt and use it in Cubase. Turned out it takes 10 minutes to load a channel and there’s no way I can work on my PC. I just don’t believe right now several iPads can replace an expensive powerful platform specifically built for these kind of job. I can understand if some people prefer using iPads to make a draft but I’d rather make my draft on the real thing.

  • Christopher Frame

    Heres a DAW
    Heres a couple synths
    Write beats with this
    Add some old school sounds
    Record your Guitar and Vocals to the DAW
    Use the iPad itself as an legit experimental percussive instrument
    The iPad, while rarely advertised as such, is revolutionizing what is assumed one needs to write, design, compose, produce, and record music. My guess is due to the higher prices of the apps. Most people look for apps that are either free or ride under the $10 ceiling. Many serious audio apps start well above that mark.
    Here is an example from strictly using just the Beatmaker2 app. All sounds were individually tweaked, and recorded on a per-note level. i.e., actually played. No preproduced loops were used.
    It’s absolutely possible to compose with the iPad. Provided one takes the time to actually LEARN to write music in the first place ^_^

  • No Name

    If the world listened to developers, we would never see an update. I know it takes time, effort and money to develop an app, but Apple is providing you a career. Think developing an apps is hard, try an OS. Stop blaming Apple, suck it up and learn how to make your apps better. Audiobus, get on the stick, your customers deserve better than your RANT.

  • TUKK

    Then count me as one of the ignorant.

    I’ve worked with Logic, Reason, Ableton Live, and ProTools (which is garbage by the way. They just now incorporated REAL TIME bounce capabilities? What a joke).

    Auria, the iPad DAW, beats the pants off of the others. It’s simple to use, IT’S NOT BLOATED, and EVERYTHING is sonically balanced. No artifacts. No glitches. Nothing.

    The reason I turned to the iPad is because of the touch capabilities. I ABSOLUTELY HATE using a mouse and keyboard to edit. Not to mention I can take my mix with me if I want to make adjustments on the road. Now that is not to say that there isn’t a place for an actual computer. I have several Universal Audio plugins that, of course, will not work on iPad, so therefor the computer is still an essential tool in the arsenal. But that is what it is: a tool. Just like the iPad. F

    or all you individuals who make it your mission to criticize and put down something just because it doesn’t interest you, well….it makes you look ignorant. As long as a TOOL lets you create and have fun then what’s the problem?

  • TUKK

    I wish there was a way to edit this stuff. For the ProTools thing I meant OFF LINE bounce. Duh.

  • ebog

    I have not upgraded to iOS 7, lucky too. I think it is not complete immediately, since it first came up lacking, not worth the risk because it gives

  • Anonymous

    No, audiobus had MONTHS to prepare for iOS 7. The OS was released to the developer since JUNE!!!!!! Yes, JUNE!!!! They had all this time to get the app working under the new OS, and looks like they are now just starting to look into the new OS, when they should’ve been doing that ALL SUMMER LONG!!!!

    Apple gave developers enough warnings that some of API are not backward compatible, and provided enough time for devs to come out with new solutions.

  • Mick

    If you read the article which you obviously didn’t you would see that audiobus is ios 7 ready. Ignorant fool.

  • Anonymous

    Of course I know. But all the API changes needed to run Audiobus was announced IN JUNE, enough time for the developer to make changes. And don’t call me ignorant fool, you troll.

  • CJ

    I noticed it too …audio cuts in n out…after 1day using os7 for ipad2…i thought it was my digital av adaptor but after unplugging it from my ipad2 i had the same issue coming from the ipads speaker as well

  • BongBong

    Biggest actual bugs I’ve seen thus far have to do with the iOS Music app (tracks get misidentified, playback is spotty and have had numerous crashes) and with Audiobus, the MIDI function results in some very choppy, “stuttery” triggering…and I have an iPad 3, so processor speed isn’t really an issue.

    Using Audiobus to route a guitar input mixed with a pedal simulator app into GarageBand was completely fine, it was just the MIDI that was the problem.

    This stuff will be cleared up over time, it’s just irritating.

  • Happy

    My music app now no longer has the speaker selector that I need to listen using my home stereo/ airport!!!! Help!!!

  • BongBong

    What is the name of your music app?

  • Pinkz

    I updated the IOS7 on my ipad2 2 days ago but last night I can no longer play music and videos because no sounds at all…I need help.

  • BongBong

    iPad 2 running iOS 7 is really pushing it. You may want to either wipe the device and reinstall (hopefully you made a backup of your data first)…or get a new iPad. My iPad 3 is working great after some initial hiccups.

  • Haja

    The main reason is that there is an API, included natively in ios7, which can bypass the need for having the Audiobus app to work with audio. That bothers Audiobus guys for sure! You don’t need to buy their app anymore. So they make noise now to convince you somehow to stay with theme ;-)