iOS’ most essential music-making app gets a massive update

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AUM should be on every musician’s iPad.
AUM should be on every musician’s iPad.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If you’re an iOS-using musician, then AUM is an utterly essential app. It’s an audio mixer, but that description hides its power. AUM does let you mix the audio from various apps, but it also hosts audio units (like plugins), routes audio between them, records those channels, and more.

This week, AUM got a huge update, adding a whole bunch of great new features.

More MIDI in AUM

Check out the new MIDI strip on the left.
Check out the new MIDI strip on the left.
Photo: Cult of Mac

MIDI apps have exploded on iOS this year. MIDI is the way that bits of musical gear talk to each other, and to computers. It’s been around for decades, and on iOS it lets apps control each other.

A custom, chord-only keyboard app could control a piano app, for example, but the reality is way more complex. One MIDI app could auto-generate melodies, another could transpose them on the fly, before a third turns the MIDI triggers into notes.

AUM is arranged in channels. Inputs go at the top, outputs at the bottom, and effects apps go in between. MIDI apps don’t affect audio, so they don’t need to be in this “signal chain.” That’s why the new version of AUM introduces a new MIDI strip — a kind of dock for MIDI apps — so you can keep them all in one row, instead of having to clutter the screen with a channel strip for each one. You can add as many of these MIDI strips as you like.

You can also easily duplicate a channel strip, making setup much faster.

Merge sessions

AUM saves your configurations as sessions, making it easy to switch setups. Now you can load a session into your existing session. For instance, you could have a session that is only for passing your guitar through the Stark amp simulator, and maybe some other effects. That session can now work as a kind of module that you can load into your current AUM session any time you need to record a guitar.

More great features in AUM

There’s a ton more in the latest version of AUM, from updated Ableton Link with start/stop support (finally!), to saving sample rates with your saved sessions. If you’re already an AUM user, you’ll love these changes, and you won’t have a to pay a penny more. If you’re a musician who uses iOS, and you don’t already own AUM, what are you waiting for?

AUM – Audio Mixer

Price: $18.99

Download: AUM – Audio Mixer from the App Store (iOS)