Pitch-shifting app to use w/ audiobus

edited August 2015 in General

I have one of those guitar multi-effects pedal boards, and I used to use it to do (sort of) looping, and one day I discovered that I could go into its preferences and change the order of the signal path, so that the "whammy pedal" effect came after the delay, and then I was able to do some really neat stuff with my loops. But the problem was it wasn't a real looper; I was just using a digital delay effect and setting the feedback to 100. So it was pretty limiting, and so I was delighted when Loopy came out and I was able to do real elaborate looping sessions on my iPhone. But the one thing I can't do is that pitch shifting stuff that I was doing with my pedal board.

So what I'm asking is, does anyone know of a good pitch-shifting app for iPhone that I can use on my loops (via audiobus)? I need something with a linear pitch-shifting control, like a whammy pedal. I could just route my iPhone into my guitar effects board, except it doesn't have a stereo input, and plus it would just be a lot simpler to have the pitch-shifting happen right in my iPhone.

Any recommendations? (bearing in mind I only have an iPhone, not an iPad)


  • I believe JamUp Pro has a whammy emulator in it. It's also AudioBus compatible. I've used other effects on JamUp. Nice stuff.

  • Thanks for your reply. I'm looking at their app page, and I can't see any specific mention of a whammy pedal. Do you know how the user interface for whammy works? Like, would you just touch the screen and drag up and down to slide the pitch up and down? That's basically what I want.

  • Everything I've seen was someone using an external pedal, but I'm sure you can.

  • Oh now this is something you might like. It most definitely does not work with Audiobus. Just pasting in prerecorded files. And only 1 octave up/down.

    It's called Audiostretch.

  • edited August 2015

    Also if I were you I would download ToneStack Go. (Free app)

    Then look up the PolyOCT fx pedal. It's pretty brilliant for $3.99

    Wait, wrong pedal. Don't get PolyOCT. What you really want is the "Wanger" pedal in ToneStack. It is freaking amazing. I had no idea this was even there before tonight. Does exactly what you want. Set the whammy pedal to shift your signal by 24 steps up or down.

    And if you have an actual MIDI expression pedal it can be set up to work with that.

  • Cool, thanks! Hey, does anyone have a recommendation for a good midi expression pedal to use with it?

  • So I'm looking at midi expression pedals, and they all seem to use quarter inch TS jacks, and I'm wondering how you would connect this to an iPhone?

  • yeah, it may get a little complicated. I think you would have to have a MIDI pedalboard that has an expression pedal input jack. The IK Blueboard is probably the cheapest I have heard of.

  • I was checking out the IK blueboard, but then it occurred to me that if I plug that in, I won't be able to plug-in the sonic port, which is what I'm using to connect my guitar. Is there anyway to connect them both?

  • @Explodey - the Bluebeard is Bluetooth, so it doesn't get hard connected to your iPhone. The add-on expression pedal then plugs into the blue board. You do need an iPhone that has Bluetooth 4.0, not sure what version iPhone hardware it started with. I have an iPhone 5 which has it, not sure about the 4.

  • @Hmtx - I just got the blueboard, which I'm using to connect an expression pedal to my iPhone. I can see that the blueboard app recognizes the movements of the expression pedal, but so far I haven't found any way to map the expression pedal to any parameters in tonestack. Any ideas? Thanks.

  • @Explodey - under "Settings > Midi", make sure you have "Midi In" enabled. I assume it would be the Virtual midi apps, since it will be coming from the blue lard app. From there use the learn. The main controls are under "Midi learn (app controls) and the individual devices are enabled under "Midi learn (units)". For the devices (units) double tap them in the normal layout mode and each knob can be set. For the expression pedal, you should just be able to tap the knob and then move the expression pedal for it to be learned.

  • @Ganthofer Thanks again for all your help. I feel like I've almost got this licked, but I'd really appreciate it if you could help me with one last step. I followed your instructions and I enable to midi learn, and I went to the pedal "sweep" parameter in the Wanger pedal. Then I get to the screen in the attached screenshot, and I don't know what to do from there. It's clearly recognizing my expression pedal, because the channel number changes to 16 when I move the pedal. But I still can't get my pedal to actually control anything, and I don't know what else to do! Please help!

  • I'm not sure what your screenshot is showing, but I don't think you need to go into midi learn options. Just go into "MIDI settings and turn on "MIDI Learn(units)"

    Then go back out of settings and everything that can be bound to MIDI is now green. Tap the Wanger pedal and it will turn red, which means TS is listening to any midi actions. Move your exp pedal and TS should bind that movement to the Wanger pedal.

  • Success! I followed your instructions and it works. The funny thing is that even though I can use the expression pedal now, I can't actually assign any of the Blueboard's stomp buttons to the Wanger's bypass button. TS just doesn't seem to see those buttons, which is weird, since it's the Blueboard that's hosting the expression pedal. But I decided screw it -- I'll just use my finger to turn the bypass on and off. The important thing is I can now control pitch bending with my expression pedal! Woo hoo!

  • Oh bummer! I chained Loopy together with ToneStack via Audiobus, and everything seemed to be working great, until I realized that ToneStack had completely hijacked my bluetooth connection! Loopy is completely unresponsive to the Blueboard while ToneStack is running -- even if Loopy is the one that's currently active. I checked my settings in Loopy and all the bindings are still there; they just don't work. So I guess only one app can have a bluetooth connection?

  • You can disregard my previous message. It turns out that I forgot I changed the blueboard's channel number when I was desperately trying to get it to control the bypass button in tonestack. So I have all my key bindings in Loopy back now, but there still doesn't seem to be any way to get tonestack to recognize any of the stomp buttons. I also just discovered that the wanger actually collapses a stereo signal down to mono. I really need to keep the left and right separate for this project that I'm working on, so unfortunately its value is somewhat limited for me now. Oh well, I'm still glad that I know how to do it now, and I appreciate everyone's help!

  • Bluetooth must run in the foreground in iOS so you can either run Loopy or Tonestack in the foreground at one time. I get around this by using the SideCar app, which makes use of the side panel feature in IOS 9 to keep Bluetooth in the foreground and redirects MIDI messages to apps in the background.

  • @lukesleepwalker That's the way I always thought it worked too, but no -- Tonestack will respond to the Blueboard regardless of whether it's in the foreground or the background. My only problem now is that the "Wanger" pitch-shifter pedal collapses the stereo signal down to mono.

  • Huh. Is the BlueBoard relatively new? I understand it now supports Bluetooth MIDI (which is cool!). Oh, and are you using the IK app?

  • I'm not sure how new it is, but yes, I am using the IK app. I think you have to have it running in the background to use the blueboard with any non-IK apps.

  • Makes sense. Thanks.

  • @Hmtx I actually worked out a different way to route the signal using AUM, so now it doesn't matter that the Wanger pedal collapses the signal to mono. I just have one other question about using midi controllers in TS Go. I can't seem to get the blueboard's four stomp buttons to do anything other than completely change the whole effects chain. Is there any way to assign one of those stomp buttons to a single discrete parameter? I set it to "midi learn" mode like you suggested, and I tried to assign one of the buttons to the Wanger's bypass control, but instead of learning the control when I stomped the button, it changed to a completely different effects patch!

    I'd really appreciate it if someone could help me make it stop doing that, or even just tell me what to look for in the manual. Thanks.

  • If you can detect how the effects patches are being cycled by the blueboard button push, then you'll have a better sense for which MIDI command the blueboard is sending to TS Go. For instance, if you notice that it's always going "back" one patch, then you know that you are sending a certain program change (PC) message; if it's always going "forward" on patch, etc.

  • @lukesleepwalker But I'm not trying to use the blueboard to change patches. I'm just saying that I want to assign a blueboard button to the Wanger pedal's bypass control, but it won't let me for some reason.

    I'm not stuck with the default button assignments, am I? I've never heard of a midi controller that won't let you customize it!

  • @Explodey right, in order to re-assign, you need to understand what MIDI message it's sending "out of the box". (I'm assuming you are using the newly released BT MIDI features that IK is now supporting.)

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