How to send audio from one iOS app to another with Audiobus

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Audiobus mixer on a piano
Audiobus is like a set of virtual patch cables for musical apps.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

If you want to make music on iPhone or iPad, you can choose from an embarrassment of fantastic iOS apps. You’ll also find plenty of music effects and recording apps on the platform.

The problem is using two types of apps together, because iOS isn’t nearly as flexible as macOS when it comes to digging into the system. But with a $10 app called Audiobus 3, you can route audio between apps. That means you can send music from, say, a drum machine to an audio recorder, or from your guitar to a sampler.

Further, you can route audio from many apps at a time, letting you create as complex or simple a setup as you like. If you think of Audiobus as a set of virtual patch cables for your iPhone or iPad, you’re on the right track.

How to plug your guitar into your iPhone and rock out

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guitar iPhone setup
Recording guitar into iPad is sometimes painful.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Short of learning air guitar, hooking a guitar up to your iPhone is just about the easiest way to get started playing music. But it’s not just for practice, or goofing around at home. You can record and edit serious music with an iOS device, and even produce whole records.

But we’re already getting ahead of ourselves. Today, we’re just going to hook things up and rock out.