WaveMachine Labs Auria Pro by louparte
I'm not a professional engineer. I'm strictly a home user. So if I left some details out or got something wrong, please correct me.
I'm using an iPad 2 with an Alesis i/o Dock. I also use Presonus Audiobox. I bought Auria this week for $49.95 at the App Store. I also bought the optional two reverbs and the Micro-Warmer plugs.
There is good news and bad news. I think the good news outweighs the bad news. But I'll give you the bad news first. This is an iPad app. The limitations to the software are mainly imposed by Apple. The low grade I gave for "Features" was caused by the limits Apple has placed on the iPad.
For example, you can't just stick in a USB stick or SD card into your iPad and load an audio file. No no no.
You can buy an Apple camera connector - but even that won't load audio files onto your iPad & Auria. (If I'm wrong about that - someone please correct me. I bought one and tried it today. It was a no-go.)
In order to load existing audio files into this app, you have to use the cloud somewhere. Dropbox is one option provided for by Auria. iTune file-sharing is another. And loading from Dropbox takes a long time if you're working with wave files.
Here's another bit of bad news and it's related to the first. Since you can't just import audio files in a simple way. You can't export them in a simple way either. Auria exports in a format called AAF (Advanced Authoring Format). Some DAW's are compatible with AAF files. Others aren't. Caveat emptor.
A partial way around the format limitation might be to make a .wav or .mp3 project from the beginning. Then drop it in Dropbox. But you are still working through the cloud. Dropbox, iTunes File Sharing (which I have not mastered) and Soundcloud are the options for exporting your files in the Auria file management menu.
The last bit of bad news - and it's not Apple's fault. The knobs on the console aren't so easy to turn for me. But I've had that problem on a lot of software DAW mixing consoles - not only on the iPad. I've had it on Windows-based computer systems too.
Now for the good news. This is a fantastic, easy-to-use portable DAW. It would make a fantastic live recorder. And I intend to use it exactly for that.
This is very easy to use once you acclimate yourself to doing it the Apple way. The sound quality is excellent. You can choose rom 16/24/32 bit and 44.1/48/96 khz. It gives you up to 24 tracks on the iPad 1 and 48 tracks on the iPads 2 & 3.
The effects are very good. I like the Micro-Warmer quite a lot. You can buy the DAW and all the optional effects for around $100. The stand-alone App is only $49.95 and it comes stock with a channel strip containing an expander, equalizer and a compressor. It is really a fantastic deal, if you don't mind the hassles Apple has imposed for importing and exporting files.
Buyers should have a digital audio interface that works with the iPad. I use the Alesis I/O dock and it's a brilliant gadget. The Camera Connecter of iPad should connect USB devices to it like mixers or D/A interfaces. Finally, as I mentioned above, buyers need either an iTunes file-sharing account or a Dropbox account to import files. And buyers need either a Soundcloud, iTunes or Dropbox account to export.
After you get around those hassles - this is a fantastic app. And it's very inexpensive.
I've worked with this for several months now. I have gotten to know it better. I like it a lot .In fact, I think this will be my DAW henceforth. It works fine to compose in the Auria and then upload it as an MP3 to drop box
When you are finished with a mix, you can select Mixdown to MP3 & Upload to Dropbox all in one tap. From Drobox, I download it on my laptop and if it needs more tweaking, I edit in Soundforge 9.0. But it doesn't usually need any tweaking.
But some basic editing in Auria is more difficult than with a computer screen and a mouse. It's more difficult to select sections within regions with precision. It's more difficult to move them with precision. It's a different way of working and it takes some time.
Auria crashes a lot if you use too many plugs on too many tracks. And I have never gotten near 48 tracks on this DAW. 10 is about my limit. I doubt my 64G iPad 2 can handle even 16. But on the + side, some of the plugs are fantastic. I love the Old-Timer plug and the 'Session Master' selection in the channel strip. I like the Mico-Warmer and the different compressors that are available throughout Auria. I'm not crazy about Classic Verb though.
Anyway this product is so good, despite its limits - I will be using it for my DAW from here on out. It doesn't do MIDI. But I can do that with my Sonar or Korg M3m. Once I'm ready to record though - Auria is what I will use.