There’s a new, easy way to play live iPad instruments directly into Logic Pro and other DAWs that support Apple’s Audio Unit plug-in format. It’s called Audreio. Not only can you stream live sound from your iPad to your Mac using very low latency WiFi, but even better, you can connect a standard Lightning cable and stream at near zero latency. You open Audreio on the iPad, then launch the instrument you want to play from within it. The Audio Unit plug-in on the Mac receives the audio from the iPad allowing you to record the incoming instrument live onto a track right there in your DAW of choice.
In this article, I’ll show how to set this up with Logic Pro. We’ll first install Audreio on both the Mac and on iOS. Then, we’ll save a Library Patch in Logic as a shortcut to save you (and your sanity) from a lengthy manually setup every time! Follow the semi-complex setup below only a single time, and you’ll have created a near instant path to getting audio from your iPad into Logic with Audreio.
First download the $5 application for your iPad, then head over to their website (www.audre.io) and buy the $20 Mac Audio Unit and install it. Remember that Logic must be completely quit then restarted for it to read any new plugins installed.
I highly recommend using an actual Lightning cable directly plugged in to the Mac from your iPad. This will result in the lowest possible latency.
On the Audreio iPad App, click the plus button on the left side and a list of all your compatible instruments and Apps will appear. Choose the instrument you want to play/record into Logic. You’ll see its icon replace the plus button. Tap that icon and the instrument will launch.
To keep things simple and less confusing, open a new EMPTY project in Logic and add a new audio track from the menu. Not a software instrument… this is all done with audio tracks. Choose not to open the Library by unchecking the “Open Library” button; this way no unnecessary effect sends are auto-created. Once the track is in the workspace, label it “Record iPad HERE” like in the image below.
Press the X key to open the Mixer. From the mixer’s local Options menu, choose the first option “Create New Auxiliary Channel Strip.” The track will be created in the mixer. Add the Audreio Audio Unit plugin as an Audio FX to the new Aux channel. In the Audreio plugin you should see your iPad listed in the center white area. Click the Blue “Connect” button and the white area will go dark when it’s linked. The channel’s volume slider is all the way pulled down by default. For now set it to zero decibel, but later we’ll use this Aux track’s slider as a recording level control. Name the track by double clicking at the bottom and change it to “Audreio.”
Change the Aux track’s output to Bus 1 by clicking and HOLDING on its track output row in the mixer. It will currently read “St Out” or “Stereo Out.” When the menu appears, move down to the Bus menu and choose Bus 1. A new Bus will appear automatically in the Mixer.
Logic can record from its own built-in sources, from third-party interfaces, and from buses. We’ll be using this Bus 1 track (created in the step above) as the Input for the Audio track you created in step 4. We don’t however want to hear it both on the Bus itself AND on the audio channel when recording. To fix this, simply change the Bus’ Output to “No Output” by clicking and holding on its Output row that currently reads Stereo Out (like you did in the previous step). Rename this channel “Bus.”
We’re almost there! Now that you’ve created the Aux track that Audreio must reside on, then output it to a Bus, then turned off that bus’ output, you’ll now simply choose Bus 1 as the input on the Audio track you created above. Still in the mixer, from the Audio track’s (the one you labeled “Record iPad HERE”) INPUT menu select “Bus 1” from the list.
In Logic’s workspace/arrange area click either the audio track’s I or R button and start to play your instrument of choice on the iPad. This should work if you followed the instructions above, but if not, go back and check your steps carefully. Once you’ve got it working follow the next steps to save this whole crazy setup as a Library Patch.
Whew... you made it! All your hard work is about to pay off in this last step. Still in the Mixer, Shift-click both the Audreio Aux track, and the Bus track (you labeled them in the steps above right?). Once they’re both selected, right-click/control-click on any of the selected tracks and from the menu that appears select “Create Track.” This adds the two additional tracks to the workspace. Select all three tracks now in the workspace, then from Logic’s track menu select “Create Track Stack.” Select “Summing Stack,” then click the Create button. Now save the Track Stack itself to the Library. You do this by pressing Y to open Logic’s Library, then onto the “Save” button at the bottom of the Library. When saving, you’ll have the option to categorize and name the patch. I created a new folder I labeled as “iPad Streaming,” and I named my patch “Audreio.” That’s it! You can now recall this saved Library Patch in any song and start recording from the iPad.
When looking for your saved Library Patch, remember that it’s an AUDIO Library Patch and not a software instrument one. When you open it in your song, click to open the Track Stack. Within it you’ll see the three tracks. Click the track labeled Audreio, open the Audreio plugin and click the connect button. Next, click the audio track labeled “Record iPad HERE,” click it’s R button to arm the track for recording and begin playing on the iPad. The Aux track’s volume slider (labeled Audreio if you followed along) can be used to adjust the recording level! Try it out.