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Review: WaveMachine Labs Auria Pro

WaveMachine Labs has upped the ante with the release of Auria Pro ($49), the Pro version of Auria that offers increased functionality and brings a truly professional, no-compromise DAW environment to the iPad.

Since its 2012 debut, Auria has been considered the optimal iOS DAW choice. While a slight step down in functionality from its desktop-based counterparts, Auria still offered pristine sound and more features than any of its iOS counterparts (Garageband, Cubasis, etc).

WaveMachine Labs has upped the ante with the release of Auria Pro ($49), the Pro version of Auria that offers increased functionality and brings a truly professional, no-compromise DAW environment to the iPad. It includes a comprehensive multi-track sequencer with full MIDI capabilities as well as real-time audio warping, flexible internal bus routing, audio quantizing, audio transient-to-MIDI conversion, groove templates, transient slicing, unlimited tracks, and powerful software synths. While it will function with any current iPad model, the iPad Pro’s large screen size, large memory potential and increased processor speed makes it the perfect Auria Pro companion. To fully maximize the iPad’s potential, Auria Pro incorporates a CPU meter, track freeze, bounce in place and back-up support for iOS compatible hard drives.

Like Auria, Auria Pro is a two-window based workspace that features Mix and Edit views. It supports 24-bit recording at sample rates of 44.1, 48 and 96 kHz. It allows up to 24 tracks of simultaneous recording when used in conjunction with iOS-compatible audio interfaces that support 24 inputs. I successfully recorded 24-tracks simultaneously for 15 minutes without a single glitch.

Auria Pro is bundled with a comprehensive plug-ins collection that includes convolution and algorithmic reverbs, chorus and delay plug-ins from PSP, and an amazing PSP-designed ChannelStrip incorporating Expander, EQ and Compressor modules into a single plug-in and MasterStrip. PSP makes some of the best sounding plug-ins I’ve heard, so having their algorithms built into Auria is fantastic.

Auria Pro adds support for MIDI tracks, incorporating extensive sequencing capabilities including a piano roll editor, real-time quantizing and powerful, flexible automation. The touch interface makes it quick and easy to move, add, delete and change notes. To provide immediate access to the MIDI functionality, the DAW includes a trio of instrument plug-ins: Lyra (WaveMachine Labs’ powerful sampler instrument) and FabFilter’s One and Twin 2 synths. While the MIDI functionality is implemented well, I found that utilizing a piano roll with a touchscreen isn’t nearly as natural as implementing an actual keyboard. I’ve been using iK Multimedia’s iOS-compatible 25-key iRig Keys Mini and it works amazingly well. The robust controller is rock-solid and can connect directly to the iPad Pro (no Camera Connection Kit needed) or to the iPad via the iConnectAudio4+ Interface.

It only took one flight from Nashville to LA to become comfortable mixing with Auria. The automation implementation is extensive allowing volume, panning, aux send levels and all plug-in data to be fully automated. The DAW incorporates full delay compensation on all tracks, subgroups, buses and aux sends insuring that utilizing multiple plug-ins doesn’t adversely affect the audio quality. Adjustable metering modes, including pre- or post-fader, RMS and peak make it easy to configure the DAW to the user’s specific needs. The DAW sounds amazing, this is no doubt due to the 64-bit double-precision floating point mixing engine. It supports unlimited mono or stereo tracks; each has a dedicated PSP ChannelStrip and six aux sends. Also included are eight subgroups and flexible buses of which each can accept four plug-ins.

I love the sound of the Convolution Reverb. It provides more than enough flexibility to work on vocals, acoustic instruments and drums. The PSP MasterStrip, which is included on the eight subgroups and the master fader, features EQ, compression, and brick-wall limiting and it sounds amazing. Mixes can be output as .m4a or .wav files and exported directly to iTunes, Soundcloud, or Dropbox. Alternatively, sessions can be exported as AAF sessions that can be imported directly into Pro Tools, Nuendo, Logic, Digital Performer or and other DAW that supports the AAF format. I love this.

WaveMachine Labs