Audio Units (AU’s) In iOS 5…

It looks like iOS 5 will include seven new Audio Units which means the flood gates are about to be opened for entry level developers wanting to make Synth apps and such on iOS. This could also mean that Apple is laying down the foundation for what could potentially be Logic for iOS down the track. Maybe not right away but the fact that they are building the first few AU’s into the OS is great news. It’s this level of design that shows Apple cares about music production and why iOS will continue to dominate the music realm compared to say Android and…well Android.

 Back in June I uncovered what changes we’re coming to iOS 5 with regards to audio development and now here is the official list:

  • Audio-session routing information is now specified using dictionary keys. There are also new modes for managing your application’s audio behavior:
    • Voice chat mode optimizes the system for two-way voice conversation.
    • Video recording mode configures the device for video capture.
    • Measurement mode disables automatic compression and limiting for audio input.
    • Default mode provides iOS 4.3.3 behavior.
  • Core Audio adds seven new audio units for handling advanced audio processing features in your application, such as reverb, adjustable equalization, and time compression and stretching. The new Sampler unit lets you create music instruments, for which you can provide your own sounds. The new AUFilePlayer unit lets you play sound files and feed them directly to other audio units.
  • The 3D Mixer audio unit is enhanced in iOS 5.0 to provide reverb and other effects useful in game audio.
  • You can automate audio unit parameters in an audio processing graph, which lets you build a music mixer that remembers fader positions and changes.
  • You can now use the advanced features of Apple Core Audio Format files in iOS. For example, you might create new voices for the Sampler audio unit.
  • There is now programmatic support for adjusting the audio input gain.
  • Core Audio now supports 32-bit floating-point audio data for applications that need to provide high quality

This list has huge potential for developers who are probably already hard at work implementing and utilizing them. Exciting times ahead…

4 thoughts on “Audio Units (AU’s) In iOS 5…”

  1. Those upgraded AU could also be something the GB devs could be relying on to update the current GB. Take some of the processing duty away from the app and put it on the OS and then more can be done with less resources being drained.

    If the OS is already handling the heavy lifting the app will just have to tell it where to go rather then come up with the calculations itself.

  2. It’s hard to believe that apple will be doing this, I’m totally stoked and looking forward to porting over some of my older au’s if this is legitimately happening.

    I am a bit confused about apples strategy here though. If apple allows au’s or iau’s or whatever they might call them, how will this be implemented? Will they show up in the app store? Will they be in app purchases for GarageBand (or any other app that might use au’s)? One of the strengths of au’s I have always thought was the simplicity of dragging a collection (mine is a rather large collection of open sourced au’s) into a directory and I’m ready to play. Will apple allow users to import au’s through iTunes?

    Another case of apple coming out of left field. Can’t wait to hear about the criteria for au’s for iOS so I can start porting.

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