So yes, I finally got an iPad after wanting one for a long time. Despite what some may say, an iPad, or any iOS device can be a useful tool in your musical setup.
It’s all about what you look to do with it. Any tool, in the right hands, can be useful in the creative process.
For me, I use my iPad not only as a mobile sketchpad, but also as a sound module and MIDI touch controller in the lab.
Thing is, while wireless midi is cool, it’s not always needed, and sometimes it can be unstable, so I wanted a good old fashioned hard-wired MIDI connection.
How I could use the camera connection kit, and hook up a class compliant usb MIDI device, but that is pretty much hit or miss.
You can also run into the issue that the usb port on the camera connection kit doesn’t have enough juice to power your usb device, requiring the hookup of a powered usb hub, etc.
Enter the iRig MIDI
What is the iRig MIDI?
While many are just starting to see that the iOS as a musical tool is more than just a fad, IK Multimedia was on the forefront in the music industry by embracing and developing tools, software, and accessories for the platform.
They did this much to the praise of some, and ridicule of others. No matter which side you stand on, it’s pretty easy to see now that IK had a vision, they saw things going where many did not…and they have established themselves as one of the more familiar faces in the iOS arena when it comes to music apps and creative devices for the platform.
The iRig MIDI is a dedicated midi interface for iOS, giving you direct, hard-wired MIDI connection to whatever you have running on your device that supports it.
Another great thing about IK being at the forefront of developing for this platform….almost everything works with or supports the iRig MIDI.
It’s a Core MIDI interface, so support is pretty much built-in to iOS, and many applications support the device with little fuss.
- connectivity: MIDI In/Out/Thru, micro USB (for charging your device)
- price: $69.99
Why do I dig it?
Well, because it pretty much does what it says. I wanted to be able to use the different touch controller applications I have, or trigger the various sound modules and applications I’ve installed, in a reliable way.
I first started with wireless, and while it works, it can be flaky. Plus, I’m not across the room or in a vocal booth so wireless wasn’t a huge desire for me.
Another thing is, I wanted connection to be quick and easy. I take my iPad with me quite a bit, so the idea of having to put it in a dock or something more “permanent” didn’t appeal to me. I wanted something that was just as simple as plugging in my charger.
The iRig MIDI is stable, straight forward, and provides a low latency connection so I can just get on with what I want to do.
I leave the MIDI cables connected to my MIDI interface and just connect the iRig to the port on my iPad when I need it.
It works, and works well, no hung notes, dropped connections, or anything of the sort that sometimes happens with wireless MIDI connections.
It pretty much turns the iPad into a standard fixture in my setup.
So what’s the bottom line?
Well, if you’re using your iPad or iOS device in conjunction with your other gear, and you need a reliable MIDI connection, it’s pretty much a no-brainer…get this joint.
You don’t have to think about drivers, software installs, wireless network settings, or anything of the sort. And the connection is solid, it feels just like any of my other MIDI connected synths or controllers.
This is a standard part of my setup now, I love it. It works perfect with their SampleTank app, and also includes some extra bonus sounds that you get when you register your iRig MIDI device.
check it out: http://www.ikmultimedia.com/irigmidi/features/
How would you like to win one for yourself?
If you have an iOS device and don’t have an iRig MIDI interface yet, today may be your lucky day.
The first reader to answer the following question correctly will get their own iRig MIDI interface as well as a copy of IK Multemedia’s SampleTank app!
Question: How many SampleTank sounds do you get free in the iRig MIDI soundpack when you register your iRig MIDI device with IK Multimedia?
The first person to answer on this post with the correct answer will win the prize. I will get your information so I can mail out an iRig MIDI, and will forward your information to IK Multemedia so that they can get you your free copy of the SampleTank application.
Have fun, and good luck!!