Overbrige 2.0

I thought that this was an exciting feat of engineering. It got me thinking about how Audulus could grab the overbridge multitracking, moving forward. There are quite a few incredible features here. I think it’s fascinating to imagine the interfacing we are heading into. Audulus is such a master brain — could it become hospitable to overbridge 2?

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I haven’t looked at the docs for Overbridge 2 but I think you should be able to feed the USB audio out from Overbridge directly into Audulus by selecting Overbridge as your system audio interface.

Yeah I am not sure, since the big claim is that it actually works through the plugin so you don’t have to use it as an audio interface. My MacBook is down and out right now so I’ll just have to wait.

It has a stand-alone app as well as the plug-in. I believe that the stand-alone app can act as an audio and MIDI interface without the need to use a DAW.

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@futureaztec I just picked up the Analog Heat Mk 2 after watching the RedMeansRecording demo on YouTube. It is an incredible effects box, which I used some of my government stimulus money along with some discounts and I got it for 20% off of the regular price tag. I have some big ideas in mind for it now that I just received it via Fedex on Saturday.

Anyhow, I wanted to post a note for you about OverBridge v2. My Heat is fully compatible as an effects box sending audio to my iPad over USB, which I have been recording using the Capture Duo app (iirc, it was free with no strings). I just had to navigate to the Settings menu > System > USB CFG and then check the box for USB Audio/MIDI.

I think it should work the same for your Digitakt, as I have been reading the details on the OverBridge page at Elektron.se, and it seems to indicate that all of their hardware on the list (Digitakt, Digitone, Analog Rytm, Analog Four, etc.) is also capable of doubling as an external sound card, along with its regular functions. Just wanted to let you know, since I remember you mentioned that your MacBook is currently OOC. I hope this helps you out with your use case! :smiley:

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I think it’s only the Heat that’s a class compliant USB audio interface at the moment (they updated the firmware recently), so the Digitakt won’t show up as an audio interface on your iPad. Overbridge is something different and requires special drivers which are only available for Windows and macOS, the Digitakt does support that in addition to most other Elektron devices (Octatrack being the exception).

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Yes, this is why I was wondering if there could be a way to steal the signals, given the fact that it runs through a plugin in a DAW. The surprising part of overbridge, if I understand it correctly, is that it does not operate as an audio interface. It’s different, which is why multiple electron machines can be simultaneously multichannel mixed and tracked with automation etc.

I imagine that it is just a matter of time before the intuitive idea that you can connect an iPad to the digitakt will get cooked into the firmware and made available through iOS. At the same time, that might be years away which fits with elektron’s larger sense of time with their devices.

What’s really missing is isolated hardware in an iOS device that is dedicated to the core functions of audio production. Perhaps it could be addressed with an external box that takes on the processing duties. So far as I can tell, presently, clock syncing takes up way too much processing power, just as DSP calculations do.

Apple needs to start an audio focused wing of their company, partner with the big players like elektron and then start with audio production as the core focus of a tablet. But they will ignore this, sit a desk with their feet up, bounce a ball off the wall and pay junior executives to tell them “what’s hot?” It may be the case that as they do this, the audio production community will develop their own set of tools and push Apple out of the conversation for good. I mean, the lap top as a performance tool is intuitively mistrusted any way. It always looks like “the computer is doing it.” Let’s go see that guy play the iPad. Not happening. So I think Apple would need to become a supporting element in a standard worked out by the audio geniuses. I don’t think they have the humility for that move. “elektron, tell us what to build for you.” Nope, not likely.

If I read the documentation correctly, Overbridge will run as a standalone app as well as a plug-in. However the app is only available for macOS and Windows. Because Overbridge requires drivers to communicate with the Digitakt, it isn’t currently available for iOS. In theory it would be possible to build an iOS compatible AUv3 that communicated with the Digitakt, but given how long it took for version 2.0 to become available, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

I believe that Elektron and the other hardware vendors see their products more as the master controller in a music setup, rather than as a accessory to a computer, whether it’s an iPad, Mac or PC. The Overbridge is a welcome addition to their product line and certainly adds flexibility but is really more focused on a studio/DAW environment, rather than live performance. Given that iOS isn’t generally used in a studio situation, iOS compatibility probably isn’t a high priority. I do however expect that their future products are more likely to be class-compliant and therefore more compatible with iOS.

It seems unlikely that Apple will become more accommodating to musicians going forward. We are a very small user group comparatively speaking, so there isn’t much financial incentive for Apple to invest resources in improving things for music related apps. I think it’s always going to be the other vendors who will need to adapt to Apple rather than vice versa.

Historically Apple has been the platform of choice for music production. CoreAudio and related APIs made it relatively easy to develop high performance DAWs using Apple operating systems. As the company has evolved, that focus on the creative professional has slowly waned. I believe that macOS still has an edge over Windows for music related software but it’s certainly not Apple’s core priority.

As far as the iPad is concerned we were very fortunate that Apple chose to port much of their existing framework to iOS. The availability of CoreAudio made music on the iPad at least possible. Things have slowly improved over time. Initial versions of iOS provided almost no support for music related apps at all. There was no way to even send audio from one app to another until the Audiobus app was released. Apple responded with IAA and later the AUv3 standard. iOS has added support for MIDI via USB, ethernet and Bluetooth, and supports multi-channel audio I/O with appropriate hardware. We could still use an Audio/MIDI setup utility and more flexibility in audio routing.

All things considered, I still believe that the iPad is the best tablet available for music production. Compared to the other music related hardware available it’s pretty good value for money.

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Today’s Logic Pro X update does show that Apple still somewhat cares about the creative professional :slight_smile:

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Yeah, I don’t think they’ve given up entirely. The MacBook Pro, iMac Pro and Mac Pro as well as Logic Pro, Final Cut etc. are indications that there is still some interest at Apple in the professional market. Even the iPad Pro line is really targeted at the power user. My point was that as a percentage of Apple’s overall market, professional systems and the people that use them have a smaller impact than they did in the past. I don’t believe that Apple will abandon us entirely, but I also don’t expect them to devote a lot of resources to meeting our needs.

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Yep, you’re right. It took a little more digging to find this for myself. Apologies, guys…I hope I didn’t provide any false hope, as that was not my intention in any way. Sorry for the disappointment :confused:

I think it’s pretty likely that class complaint USB audio will come to the Digitakt and Digitone at some point though, the Model:Cycles and Model:Samples also already have it in addition to the Heat.

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Personally, I feel fairly feature satisfied — to the point where I am not actually looking that forward to Audulus 4. (Happy it’s coming but I don’t see it as the necessary object that will invigorate my creativity. I have found more motivation through looking backward. Mind you, my skills are limited whereas others may have mastered much of the synthesis techniques already). I see synthesis as very much a knowledge based discipline, more than a tool based one. Kinda like musical instruments or skateboarding. At the same time the Digitakt is missing that plug and play feeling between it and iOS. I am actually mostly excited about Audulus 5 :rofl:

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I don’t expect that Audulus 4 will be revolutionary, but rather evolutionary. Aside from cleaning up the code base and refreshing the UI look and feel, I expect several new features with A4. It’s important to recognize that the work that has gone into improving the code will have long term benefits for stability and maintainability. From my point of view the AUv3 is probably the most exciting. IAA and Audiobus have provided an easy way to interconnect Audulus on iOS with other apps, but the same cannot be said of the macOS version. The current AU is pretty much unusable with the current generation of patches. With Apple deprecating IAA on iOS, AUv3 is definitely the way to go. Multi-channel support will be welcome on both platforms. Better MIDI support and possibly built-in sync might also be on the radar. I can’t speak for @Taylor and don’t believe that the feature set has been finalized but the testing is proceeding and progress is definitely being made…

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