Live with the iPad and OT

Had an OT for a while. Sold it, bought an iPad and tons of apps. I love the iPad tons and want to start using it live for generative ambient sets. I started a template in AUM with.

  • 8 channels of synths (4 Zeeon, 2 Ripplemaker, 2 varying)
  • 4 channels of Enso sends
  • 1 reverb send
  • 2 busses for 4 tracks each
  • a master
  • a bunch of MIDI generators (rozetta, fugue machine)

However, my 9.7 2018 iPad 128gb just is not powerful enough for this it seems. I get clicks and pops and apps closing down (which is to be expected I guess). It’s making me rethink picking up an OT for this live show purpose.

My idea is to create a ton of loops in one key which I load onto the OT and mix and match and transpose. Then I send the 2 sets of outputs through the iPad in AUM with send FX, Enso loopers, as well as probably have a microphone and maybe Digitone going through, as well. I could also control the DN or one or two IOS synths internally or with my Novation Remote keyboard (which I’d also use to control AUM channels and such)

Then I could trigger sounds on the OT, loop them in AUM, fade them in and out for transitions, and add tons of ambiance and fx.

Some apps I have are:

  • Audiokit L7
  • AUM
  • Launchpad
  • BM3
  • Nanostudio2
  • Senode
  • Xequence 2
  • KB-1

I’d love to be able to also incorporate Samplr and Borderlands somehow.

Am I overthinking it? Is there a better way to do this without buying an OT and just the iPad and DN. Should I just get another (beefier) iPad and run them parallel to each other? I think it would be hard to justify a 2nd tablet and not a different piece of gear that has a different workflow.

“Justify” to whom?

Why did you sell your OT?

What’s wrong with having two pieces of gear where you like the “workflow” instead of having one that you do and one that (maybe) you don’t?

I think it’s all of the Zeeons that’ll have you maxed out. It’s a heavyweight, like the Moog synths and ODYSSEi and probably a few others too. Ripplemaker is super lightweight. If turning all of the knobs in real time on all of the Zeeons is important for what you want to achieve then yes, you will need more power, but I’d consider other options first and maybe try out a few. Sampling’s a great option to take a load off. Try it out with NS2 or BM3 and your favourite Zeeon patches and see how far you get?

The wife! Haha. I didn’t dislike the OT, I just felt, at the time, that the iPad would get more use since I can easily travel with it and load so much stuff. I think now I see how the OT would fit in nicely to the setup.

I’ve considered the sampling route, hence the OT. BM3 crashes a lot for me but I’ll dive into NS2 more. Zeeon is my favorite synth. Didn’t realie it was such a hug.

Never really gelled with BM3 but NS2’s been a constant source of joy. It’s hard to predict who’ll get into the mindset of a particular environment, so I won’t say which one is better.

It’s NS2. NS2 is better.

(For me).

As for live stuff with an iPad, I’m not there yet myself but it’s always a good idea to reboot/clear the ram, put your iPad in airplane mode and to stress test your setup repeatedly. For like a week or something. You have to trust whatever it is you’re using when you have the attention of The Room. A simple, solid setup will trump a lofty and ambitious Jenga tower (although they’re great for playtime).


I’ll have to look at how to use NS2 live for on the fly generative stuff. I use a lot of Rozetta Collider, plus Senode and possibly Gestrument Pro. I do also have a Kaoss Pad 3+ that could possibly do looping and FX. Guess I have a lot of experimenting to do. Could also use the iPad for mostly FX, samples, and MIDI and the DN and my 0Coast for sound sources.

If you’re doing a lot of MIDI work consider Xequence 2. It’s an amazing MIDI workstation but it does work with a timeline. I find combining it with AUM is pretty great (although you’ll have to deal with some screen switching).

I thought I had read over on the AB forum that NS2 still had issues recording MIDI FX but I might be mistaken.

I have X2 but it’s to linear for me to comfortable improvise. I can’t play for shit, so using generators and rozetta scaler will be necessary. I’m great at the sound design and such, just not the performance.


I’ve found AUM to be incredibly stable for this type of thing, but have noticed that every additional layer of routing taxes the system much more than I expected. For instance I had all my tracks go to 2 buses, rigged a MIDI slider to control a series of volume fades between them crossfader style via CC in AUM, and sent their resulting outputs to a 3rd layer of busing for a master out to record a stereo track from. It all went to shit. Now I just record all tracks independently and sum afterwards. Somehow, AUM doesn’t hiccup doing all the internal synthesis and effects on external inputs while recording a dozen or more stereo 48Khz 24 bit files to disk, but send a bus to a bus and stability goes out the window.

Try limiting your sends. Be sure to force quit all apps and do a full restart, make sure there’s plenty of free disk space, be selective about your plugins (some synths can run 12 instances and work and sound great, some max out a new iPad after just a few), find the highest acceptable latency for performance (it might be higher than what’a comfortable when inputting from a keyboard controller; kinda like how latency can be set much higher when mixing vs when dubbing), and as mentioned turn off unnecessary modules (WiFi, perhaps) and background tasks/notifications/etc.

I try to do things like settle for economical effects/synths live, and more cpu intensive sounds get printed to audio ahead of time, Resampled if necessary. Don’t forget, if you have an iPhone, all your apps are already paid for and with Ableton link you can get them to easily sync. Sometimes I generate AUv3 synths via one iPad, and run fx via my phone, and use another older iPad dedicated for an IAA app or two.


Didn’y know about the sends. I’ll change the routing. Which iPad are you using?

On the set for live I’m working on now I have the following apps hosted in AUM on an iPad 2017 all sequenced by the OT:


On send channels
FX Dedalus Delay
iK7 Delay
Toneboosters Reverb

Shaper (x2) and FC Bandit inserts on synth channels

The OT sequences / sends PC to all the above + Bass Station2. Lexicon MPX1 and H9 output. With this setup, memory spikes at 78 , so I’ve got room for a couple more apps. Have tried adding Effectrix , Mood, iPulsaret Sparkle (not at the same time) and the iPad processor maxes around 90. The only glitch is sometimes caused opening Factory and Aparillio interfaces which causes crackling. Not an issue really as all parameters for tweaking on those synths are mapped to the OT.

AUM transport and clock is slaved to the OT via Audiobus. Everything syncs well, no crashes.

I’m using the iConnectivity Audio2+.

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I was recently on my 2017 iPad. It was alright but things like Model D crushed it. I decided on the Mini 5 a few months back as the best bang for the buck for my needs. The small screen doesn’t bother me but the Apple Pencil a friend gave me does help with some crowded controls or piano roll editing, for instance. It’s currently accepting my digitakt and 4 stereo outs from my digitone keys via an interface and 8 channel ADAT; I sync the iPad via the digitone’s usb, the digitakt via 5pin, and all 5 stereo tracks get a few effects and various midi generators trigger various synths; it works! AUM sadly doesn’t have clock in. I bounce between using other apps, syncing AUM via Audiobus3 slaved to the digitone, using ApeMatrix instead, or even sync8ng via the MIDI to Link App which works fairly well.

I’m mostly using the iPad as a mixer and sound generator, not really live looping things, though…so I’m uncertain just how exact all that would work. But, for instance, there’s no problem programming the digitone via Rozeta, nor triggering Ruismaker Noir via the digitakt.

I admit it’ll take some experimenting to find an entire setup that plays well together, but it’s incredibly flexible, powerful, fun, and the apps are stupid cheap.

@Skypainter I kept my 2017 for various simultaneous use in the setup, indeed it is extremely capable for a $300 2-3 year old machine, isn’t it?? Some plugins give it (and the mini 5 for that matter) a hard time, but honestly, I think most of the time it was poor coding/a bug/memory leak/or the occasional nasty surprise via Apple update, but yeah. It’s great. For live stuff, and even just at home, I try to leave plenty of CPU overhead for random occasional spikes that just sometimes happen on iOS, but they indeed can be pushed hard.

I’ve had occasional crash with the k7 delay, but it is lightweight and sounds incredible. Tone boosters are pretty efficient, too! I’ve retired many reverbs for live scenarios and I too use tone boosters for my reverb send exclusively. I typically try to limit myself to one layer of sends. Having a reverb and delay bus, for instance, is all good. But when I was doing submixes or to a master 2 track post fx sends, that’s when things got weird.

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Is it the 2017 pro or regular?

Regular (5th gen).

Me too! That’s why I like being able to do quick editing.

But I feel your pain. I think right now the biggest hole in using the AUM workflow is some kind of MIDI recorder. But I don’t want to hijack your thread.

For what it’s worth I’ve been using an iPad 12.9 almost exclusively for music and it’s amazing. My workflow sounds like it’s different though.

If you get an OT again, it may be more efficient to use the OT as the looper, both in terms of saving iPad cpu and timing, presuming the OT would be master clock.

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I struggled with the OT as a looper due to the memory limitations. I used it mostly as a sequencer, mangler, and clip launcher

I am just getting my iPad setup to incorporate into my “soon to be ready” live setup. OT is the hub of the setup. I really want to use AUM as the device host but wish the dev would update it to support being a MIDI clock slave. I can set the AUM project to match my live tempo manually but it would be great if it could be done automatically. Just an extra step.

I’m on an iPad Pro 11” (2018) and it can handle anything that I want to run on it. So far it’s 2 instances of Ruismaker Noir, Model 15, Tardigrain, Soundscaper, and various time based effects on all of them. I have a little Nanokontrol 2 that I use for the faders and filter cutoff/resonance where applicable.

Loads of fun so far and I’m only getting started :slight_smile: