iPad Pro 12.9" platform - a good buy?
  • I have been saving up my spare change for a long time now hoping to buy an iPad Pro 12.9". That seems to me to be an excellent platform for running Audulus. But when I originally bought Audulus to run on my iPad 4 everything was great ...that is until Apple released the newer iPads (Air, Pro) which was followed by an Audulus upgrade that came quickly to match the capacities of those newer iPads. The end result was, for me, a disaster, since the new version of Audulus became so glitchy and slow that it was almost totally useless.

    I hope to solve that problem now that I have the $ to upgrade my iPad. But my question is, is this a good move at this time? Are there any rumblings about a "new" iPad model that will drive an upgrade to Audulus that will not run on my iPad pro? If there is, will Audulus be quickly upgraded to match the even newer iPad which, if installed on an older iPad pro, will again force me to put Audulus on the shelf until I can afford yet ANOTHER new iPad?
  • I mean, you are probably good for a couple years. I have the iPad Pro 19.9" and find it to be a great device for Audulus and anything else, really. But Apple WILL eventually release a new iOS device that will reduce functionality and all that jazz, this is the sad truth of planned obsolescence. But to reiterate, the iPad Pro is the best portable platform for Audulus as it stands and it will probably be that way for a while.
  • Thanks Robert; I guess if Apple puts out a new iOS platform and Taylor upgrades Audulus to take advantage of it, I could simply avoid updating my Audulus.
  • For timing purchases I use this site: https://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#iOS

    *Entirely* based on rumors, but a decent guide nonetheless.
  • I’d say hold off until Audulus gets fixed. I got the 12.9 iPad Pro, upgraded from an Air 2, and with the iOS update crackle problem it’s worse than the Air 2 was. I was so stoked to have a portable powerful music lab, and then it got pulled out from under my feet. The main reason I payed for the Pro was Audulus. I’m grateful that Audulus is still alive, but it’s a bit balls that something I payed for, (and more importantly) invested a ton of time into, decided to stop working. I understand Taylor is working on a new program, but I feel some priorities are out of whack. There is a whole community here that was working towards something great, and that momentum got put aside. I would have a serious word with Apple and this iOS updating nonsense. They can switch a parameter and wreck your program overnight. Loyal followers loose interest in the downtime and can damage your reputation.

    My understanding is that iOS switched the sample rate to 48 KHz and that messed up Audulus which ran in 44.1 (even though the Windows and Mac versions can run different sample rates). The conversion eats up your cpu. That’s the story I heard. I don’t know if I 100% buy it though... When I got into Audulus I was like “this deal is too good to be true”... The price you pay for the hardware and software is pretty low for all the traditional music lab gear it replaces... And then this “bug” happened... Seriously, how can an established program crash for so long and so hard? If Adobe Photoshop had a bug that cut its speed in half for months, heads would roll. It’d loose it’s title as industry standard. So I’m skeptical about what’s going on here. Is Taylor abandoning the project? If so, let me know, and I’ll start investing in a program that won’t quit on me.

    I keep my fingers crossed that Audulus will get updated and fixed soon. But I’m also just about ready to smash the iPad, get a new AppleCare replacement, and trade up for a Windows Surface. Just like you said, if this iOS problem ruined my Audulus progress once, should I expect it to get ruined again, and again...

    Any word on the crackle fix ETA? Is anyone elso upset about this? I want to write a letter or something to Taylor and/or Apple. I lived and breathed Audulus when it worked. It’s heartbreaking.
  • @eall123 I have been using the beta version of Audulus and haven't encountered the crackle problem yet. Here's hoping that the same goes for you once the update goes live.
  • I hope so. I had a noise that came and went. I went to an Apple service center and told them it was Audulus and Audioshare doing this noise. Next iOS update it was fixed. Software issue I guess. But yeah, Audulus seems to run hotter than it did, and I read something in these forums about this sample rate thing. Like, it “clips” at lower cpu %. On my Air 2 you could push into the 90’s. I read that this was because a conversion of sample rates that would hog some of yer cpu. But, it’s the internet and who knows what’s what? Maybe I’m imaging this slowness or confusing it with another thing or something. I’ll test it more tonight. I gave my old iPad Air 2 away, so it’s hard to compare. I need to get myself to the city and test out my Pro to another Pro at the actual Apple store.
  • Other than that, the big screen and *extra processing power*?* are sweet.
  • @eall123 I upgraded to a 10.5" iPad Pro from an iPad Air 2 a few months ago. I find Audulus starts to crackle at around 50% whereas, as you point out, the old iPad Air 2 can be pushed up past 90%. That means that the patches that can be run In terms of CPU limits end up being about the same on the two machines. That’s a little silly, but it’s still been possible to do a lot even though some of STS’ more complicated creations, for example, are out of the question even though they should be possible. I’m hoping that it all gets ironed out in the next update.

    That said – other than the frustrating crackle problem – I’ve been really happy with it. Even with the 10.5" the slight increase in screen size ends up making a bigger difference than I’d anticipated and I find myself using the pencil quite a lot when working with Audulus, over and above using it for drawing and notes. It’s a wonderful device and its great to have Audulus in such a portable form.
  • iOS 11.2 beta 2 has some fixes to the audio “• Fixed an occasionally occurring issue with audio latency or distortion on iPad Pro (12.9- inch) (2nd generation) and iPad Pro (10.5-inch). (33844393)” Hopefully the tweaks will help.
  • @Rudiger - have you tried plugging lightning headphones in, and does that help? There's a sample rate bug in the iPhone version at the moment, not sure if it affects all iPads too (it doesn't affect my iPad pro). Also I'm hoping Taylor can bring some fun pencil features to Audulus now that he knows all about it from designing his new app (that I finally have tried out in beta and is REALLY cool!)

    But in general, there is no "crackle fix" per se - the crackle = dropped samples from overloaded CPU. I'm not sure why it does seem to hit a wall earlier now, but I will talk about this with Taylor. It could be that there are background processes the iPad is doing (especially if you're updating the iOS a lot) that might suck some extra CPU juice? I really have no idea. But it's clear even though it starts crackling earlier you can load much larger patches onto iPad pro than you can on my old Air 1.
  • I looked into the crackle on mine more yesterday. One thing I think I didn’t realize was that the cpu load counter in Audulus on the Pro (2nd Gen) probably runs at double the refresh rate (120hz) and you can’t really make out the numbers. They are going by so fast that they are a blur. I started freezing screenshots and it became apparent that what I thought was a number in the 40% range actually spiked into the 90’s and 100’s. Hence the mystery crackle. These spikes you can’t see in the blur. On the old Air 2 you could make out the numbers at 60hz. Need some sort of scrolling graph. That’s sweet that the sample rate bug doesn’t effect the Pros. I was thinking there was some downsampling extra conversion going on, or that the switch to 48 from 41.1khz would just slow stuff down just because it’s more data. I was under the impression that Apple could just change the system wide sample rate of iOS, without considering that people have running projects maxed out on the old 44.1 system. Can’t just make all those old patches now run too hot at 48khz. Backwards compatibility, it’s essential for the long run IMO. Anyway, any good apps out there for measuring cpu load in iOS?
  • @Rudiger - Yeah, it’s silly that they seem to run equal. $1500 silliness isn’t too funny though. I was too busy playing with pencil apps to fully test Audulus in the return period though. Had I cought it, I may have returned it. Thankfully it does run faster. Twisted Manatee wouldn’t run on the Air 2. I’ll try to borrow back my Air 2 from my brother for some benchmarks.
  • Here’s a quick crackle test in which I actually get more out out of my iPad Air 2 than the iPad Pro 10.5:

    I’ve simply loaded up STS Turing Machines coupled to an oscillator until the audio starts to crackle. I can add 20 on the iPad Air 2, at which point it starts to crackle a bit with the CPU at around 80%. On the iPad Pro I reach that point with 19 Turing Machines at just over 50% CPU. Interestingly the crackling is slightly less with regular headphones plugged in.

    @eall123 Interesting discoveries with the screenshot CPU stats.

    @biminiroad I haven’t tried lightning headphones (I don’t have any) and I don’t have any sense of it being related to background processes. Also disappointed to hear that this issue won’t be fixed in the coming update. I was holding out and hoping for that. With the Branch in the Path patch that I posted recently the CPU on the iPad Pro is running around 33% – which is fine until you want to make an adjustment and edit something while the patch is running and the crackling kicks in. I had to continually stop it running or switch off audio as I was working on it, which was frustrating to say the least.

    Cracklebox cracklegate.
    68FD0B86-60F0-48A0-AE25-6B3B80DF79F9.png
    2224 x 1668 - 1M
    Turing Test iPad Air 2.audulus
    3M
    Turing Test iPad Pro 10.5.audulus
    3M
  • iPad Pro (2nd Gen) 12.9 inch - fullscreen:
    - 12 machines when Audulus is in the foreground, running @ 50-60%
    - 51 machines brings it close to 100% and it won’t crackle if Audulus runs in the background

    Taking screenshots spikes the cpu meter :(

    I’m going to factory reset my system and try again.
    A1061CA6-D6A5-4F0C-B99E-F5579A266FA5.png
    2732 x 2048 - 697K
  • @eall123 I guess it makes sense that there aren’t any crackles when it’s running in the background since the Audulus graphics are out of the equation. I noticed to the making a screenshot that with the iOS screenshot feature Audulus would continue running in the background crackle free, before dismissing the screenshot window.

    A reason for only reaching 12 Turing machines on your 12.9" iPad Pro might be the bigger screen. I've just tried opening the test patch in split view and one can see the CPU load increase as one increases the size of the Audulus window.

    Even opening the new file browser in the 3.5 update reduces crackling slightly since there's less of the regular Audulus window.
  • iPad Pro (2nd Gen) 12.9 inch - 1/4 screen:

    - 38 machines @ 65 cpu load
  • iPad Pro (2nd Gen) 12.9 inch - 1/2 screen:

    - 34 machines @ 60 cpu load
  • Does Audulus use the hardware graphics chip? The screen split is a neat trick, but it ain’t really ideal. I’m going to try to “render” some heavy songs when Audulus is running in the background.
  • @biminiroad I borrowed some lightning headphones to test the crackling, but there's no difference.
  • Hey @Rudiger @eall123, since the iPad Pro's screen is high resolution (and larger), there is more CPU devoted to rendering the graphics. This is why you see better performance in the background when rendering is shut down. We'll continue optimizing the graphics. I've been looking at it a bit lately and I have some ideas.
  • @Taylor Good to hear. Looking forward to it.
    So it’s not so much an audio rate thing?
  • @Rudiger Sample rate is 44.1kHz in most cases.
  • just got a 1st gen ipad pro 12.9 and i have to say that the screen size is perfect for Audulus, it's night and day in comparison to iphone :P hope the new gfx optimization goes well and i'm eager to try the new gfx app Taylor is programming :)
  • I've been using Audulus on a 1st gen ipad pro 9.7 for awhile and am looking forward to not kicking it to the background to record through other apps! I would much rather turn knobs in real-time with the recording rather than figuring out a way to automate every little change in the larger, spaghetti-plate-like patches so it doesn't overload the CPU with the beautiful Audulus UI animations. It would always make me a sad panda when I couldn't play around with the UI while recording.
  • @Taylor: Thanks man! Audulus is my favourite app by far. biminiroad said something a while back about feeling that the Audulus project is the start of something big, and I feel the same way. I know there are other modular programs out there, but the tight little iPad package really puts it into a category of its own. So cheers for keeping it alive and evolving. Good luck on your next project.