This week marked a pioneering iOS app release in the shape of Auria from WaveMachine Labs. For what I’m led to believe is an introductory price of £34.99, this astonishing app will transform your iPad into a fully professional digital multitrack recorder and mixer, complete with effect plug-ins. iPad 2 or 3 owners can benefit from an incredible 48 tracks of audio playback, while iPad 1 users are limited to 24, which is still not to be sniffed at.
Auria’s list of professional-friendly features is impressive: 48 tracks of simultaneous mono or stereo playback, up to 24 tracks of simultaneous recording (when used with a suitable interface), 96kHz sample rate support, 8 assignable subgroups, 2 aux sends, waveform editing, full automation, full delay compensation and Dropbox and Soundcloud integration. A vintage-inspired PSPAudioware ChannelStrip on every channel includes built-in Expander, Multiband EQ and Compressor effects.
In addition, AAF import & export promises the transfer of complete projects to and from other DAWs such as Logic, ProTools, Samplitude, Nuendo and others. If you have two iPads, you can run Auria on each for a total of 96 tracks using the AuriaLink feature.
The app comes with some plug-ins included, such as a convolution reverb, delay and chorus effects and a pitch correction tool, but third party plugs from developers such as PSPAudioware, OverLoud, and Fabfilter are available as in-app purchases, alongside WaveMachine Labs’ own Drumagog 5 drum replacer plug-in.
To get the most out of Auria, you’ll need the optional Apple Camera Connection Kit, which for £25 adds a USB port to your iPad’s 30-pin connector. This allows you to connect USB microphones and audio interfaces for the purposes of recording audio. Compatible audio interfaces tested and approved so far include:
PreSonus AudioBox 1818VSL
RME Fireface UCX
Focusrite Scarlett 18i6
Focusrite Scarlett 8i6
Phonic Firefly 808 Universal
Alesis iO Dock
I’ve always been of the opinion that, with the right software, the iPad would make the ideal location recording device because it runs silently – there’s no fan noise like you’d get with a laptop running under heavy load. This app could be just be the game-changer I’ve been looking out for. The only thing it lacks as far as I can see is any kind of MIDI sequencing capability.
When you think what this app offers in comparison to the Portastudios that were the best you could get in terms of portable multitrack recorders just a few years ago, it makes you realise just what the capabilities of the iPad really are when teamed with the right software.
Auria is available from the iTunes Store at an introductory price of £34.99 or $49.99 USD.