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MIDI/Audio interface for iPad Pro (USB-C connection) #3003904 08/18/19 11:02 PM
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steadyb Offline OP
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Anyone have a favorite or preferred MIDI and/or MIDI-Audio interface for the iPad Pro?

Is an adapter cable the only option for the USB-C port on it?

Are there any to absolutely avoid? Fragile, unreliable, poor design...

I'm looking for something good for using specifically with music education apps for reading, timing, chord identification, etc.

And while somewhat on that topic, anyone have a favorite small or portable keyboard for travel and hotel room practicing, writing (see above - reading, timing, etc., not necessarily full two handed piano practicing)?

Thanks,

steadyb

Re: MIDI/Audio interface for iPad Pro (USB-C connection) [Re: steadyb] #3003965 08/19/19 12:50 PM
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Hey... watching with interest on the MIDI interface part. It seems like combined MIDI/Audio interfaces are pretty rare in the iOS lines.


Regarding the keyboard, I just picked up an Arturia MiniLab MkII. The keys are "slim" (they don't call them mini, lol) but the build quality is really great, and it drops in a backpack. I find it plays really well.


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Re: MIDI/Audio interface for iPad Pro (USB-C connection) [Re: steadyb] #3003980 08/19/19 02:30 PM
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I am using the Steinberg UR 44. It is class compliant for iPad, but requires the lightning-camera adapter. It has midi in and out, and, iirc, 6 audio ins.
It's been working well with Cubasis 2.8

Tom


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Re: MIDI/Audio interface for iPad Pro (USB-C connection) [Re: steadyb] #3004083 08/19/19 11:22 PM
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steadyb Offline OP
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Thanks guys!

Re: MIDI/Audio interface for iPad Pro (USB-C connection) [Re: steadyb] #3004140 08/20/19 06:10 AM
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Geoff Grace Offline
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Hey, steadyb, I've heard great things about the iConnectAUDIO4+ and the Komplete Kontrol M32. I haven't tried them myself, but they've come highly recommended.

Oh, and welcome back John! wave

Best,

Geoff


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Re: MIDI/Audio interface for iPad Pro (USB-C connection) [Re: steadyb] #3004164 08/20/19 01:22 PM
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Dr Mike Metlay Offline
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Originally Posted by steadyb
Anyone have a favorite or preferred MIDI and/or MIDI-Audio interface for the iPad Pro?

Is an adapter cable the only option for the USB-C port on it?

Are there any to absolutely avoid? Fragile, unreliable, poor design...

I'm looking for something good for using specifically with music education apps for reading, timing, chord identification, etc.

And while somewhat on that topic, anyone have a favorite small or portable keyboard for travel and hotel room practicing, writing (see above - reading, timing, etc., not necessarily full two handed piano practicing)?

Thanks,

steadyb


Hi steadyb! Seems we keep tripping over each other here and there, hope you're doing well. smile

The jury is largely still out on those "clamp this dock to the iPad Pro and it gives you all kinds of ports" products; some folks love this one or hate that one for reliability or stability issues, etc. The reviews on MacWorld are less sucky than most, I recommend you check there.

As for interfaces, as mentioned before, any class compliant USB MIDI/Audio interface will work. My absolute favorite is the Novation AudioHub 2x4, which is a powered USB hub as well as a neat little backpackable interface, but you'll have to look for a used one as they've recently been discontinued. Works a treat. The other great option if you don't want something super heavy is the IK Multimedia iRig Pro I/O, which has MIDI I/O on DIN-to-minijack adapters, stereo out on minijack, AC power that charges the iPad (beware! other IK interfaces don't), and a Combo jack for XLR mic or 1/4" guitar input. Very handy.

To follow on Geoff's post: as someone who owns and uses two of them, I can say that for your purposes the iConnectivity interfaces are killing a fly with a sledgehammer. They're for people with really intricate setups that need to run two computers at once into one interface, and the tricks they perform to do that without crashing anything are pretty much rocket science...

Portable keyboards? Hoo boy, I could talk for hours, but it would help if I knew what you specifically needed and how much you wanted to spend. CME Xkey Air 25 is fabulous for the money; if you want a sustain pedal and DIN MIDI as an option, the wired (not Air) Xkey 37 is sweet (get the Solar case for it and its accessories). A bit more conventional but heavier is the Arturia KeyStep. The Minilab II as mentioned above is also a cool option. I tend to avoid the "little plastic slab" keyboards as they all have issues either with feature set or playability or both.

Tell me more, I'll advise more.


Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, whoop de doo)
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Re: MIDI/Audio interface for iPad Pro (USB-C connection) [Re: Dr Mike Metlay] #3004310 08/21/19 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr(!)Mike Metlay
Originally Posted by steadyb
Anyone have a favorite or preferred MIDI and/or MIDI-Audio interface for the iPad Pro?

Is an adapter cable the only option for the USB-C port on it?

Are there any to absolutely avoid? Fragile, unreliable, poor design...

I'm looking for something good for using specifically with music education apps for reading, timing, chord identification, etc.

And while somewhat on that topic, anyone have a favorite small or portable keyboard for travel and hotel room practicing, writing (see above - reading, timing, etc., not necessarily full two handed piano practicing)?

Thanks,

steadyb


Hi steadyb! Seems we keep tripping over each other here and there, hope you're doing well. smile

The jury is largely still out on those "clamp this dock to the iPad Pro and it gives you all kinds of ports" products; some folks love this one or hate that one for reliability or stability issues, etc. The reviews on MacWorld are less sucky than most, I recommend you check there.

As for interfaces, as mentioned before, any class compliant USB MIDI/Audio interface will work. My absolute favorite is the Novation AudioHub 2x4, which is a powered USB hub as well as a neat little backpackable interface, but you'll have to look for a used one as they've recently been discontinued. Works a treat. The other great option if you don't want something super heavy is the IK Multimedia iRig Pro I/O, which has MIDI I/O on DIN-to-minijack adapters, stereo out on minijack, AC power that charges the iPad (beware! other IK interfaces don't), and a Combo jack for XLR mic or 1/4" guitar input. Very handy.

To follow on Geoff's post: as someone who owns and uses two of them, I can say that for your purposes the iConnectivity interfaces are killing a fly with a sledgehammer. They're for people with really intricate setups that need to run two computers at once into one interface, and the tricks they perform to do that without crashing anything are pretty much rocket science...

Portable keyboards? Hoo boy, I could talk for hours, but it would help if I knew what you specifically needed and how much you wanted to spend. CME Xkey Air 25 is fabulous for the money; if you want a sustain pedal and DIN MIDI as an option, the wired (not Air) Xkey 37 is sweet (get the Solar case for it and its accessories). A bit more conventional but heavier is the Arturia KeyStep. The Minilab II as mentioned above is also a cool option. I tend to avoid the "little plastic slab" keyboards as they all have issues either with feature set or playability or both.

Tell me more, I'll advise more.


I'm so glad you mentioned the IK Multimedia iRig Pro I/O, that has been the one I was most leaning towards, but wanted to check in with the really smart folks here first. Thank you. Regarding a portable (for hotels, fit in a suitcase, etc.) keyboard, I want something just so I can keep practicing when traveling for work. Scales, reading, exercises...even if it has to be one hand at a time. Please, recommend away! smile

Re: MIDI/Audio interface for iPad Pro (USB-C connection) [Re: steadyb] #3004431 08/22/19 12:37 AM
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Dr Mike Metlay Offline
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Originally Posted by steadyb
Originally Posted by Dr(!)Mike Metlay


As for interfaces, as mentioned before, any class compliant USB MIDI/Audio interface will work. My absolute favorite is the Novation AudioHub 2x4, which is a powered USB hub as well as a neat little backpackable interface, but you'll have to look for a used one as they've recently been discontinued. Works a treat. The other great option if you don't want something super heavy is the IK Multimedia iRig Pro I/O, which has MIDI I/O on DIN-to-minijack adapters, stereo out on minijack, AC power that charges the iPad (beware! other IK interfaces don't), and a Combo jack for XLR mic or 1/4" guitar input. Very handy.

Portable keyboards? Hoo boy, I could talk for hours, but it would help if I knew what you specifically needed and how much you wanted to spend. CME Xkey Air 25 is fabulous for the money; if you want a sustain pedal and DIN MIDI as an option, the wired (not Air) Xkey 37 is sweet (get the Solar case for it and its accessories). A bit more conventional but heavier is the Arturia KeyStep. The Minilab II as mentioned above is also a cool option. I tend to avoid the "little plastic slab" keyboards as they all have issues either with feature set or playability or both.

Tell me more, I'll advise more.


I'm so glad you mentioned the IK Multimedia iRig Pro I/O, that has been the one I was most leaning towards, but wanted to check in with the really smart folks here first. Thank you. Regarding a portable (for hotels, fit in a suitcase, etc.) keyboard, I want something just so I can keep practicing when traveling for work. Scales, reading, exercises...even if it has to be one hand at a time. Please, recommend away! smile


The main problem with the iRig Pro I/O is that when you have it all set up, it's sort of a cable octopus, with leads sticking out all over the place. Velcro cable wraps are your friends!

Also note that it's very finicky about power. You'll burn through a lot of batteries before you give up and buy the PSU 3A power supply, which is a dedicated model made by IK that uses a bizarre voltage and relatively unusual-size barrel connector... it's just easier to throw money at the problem than try to DIY something. I wish they included the wall wart with the thing, but hey, gotta keep costs down...

...and it just occurred to me, it doesn't come with a USB-C cable. The various cables included with it (Lightning, OTG Micro, USB-A) all share a multipin connector to the interface, so an off the shelf USB-C cable won't work...

As for the keyboard, thanks for the further data. If you're talking about practicing while traveling, you want something with keys reasonably close to conventional size. Fortunately the CME Xkey series is not too far off that, certainly closer than most travel keyboards. If you've never played one before, they're fascinating designs: the keys are individual sensors built into a frame that's basically a thin, rigid aluminum sheet, so it's light, sturdy, and pretty much the same size as the keys with no wasted space. They don't have a lot of travel, but for fingering practice and that sort of thing, they work very nicely.

Here's a thought, though... are you planning to have anything other than the keyboard hooked up to your little interface as you travel? In other words, is the keyboard the ONLY MIDI device you'll be using? If so, then Bluetooth wireless MIDI is your friend! Get an Xkey 25 or 37 Air, wirelessly connect it to your iPad Pro, and all you'll need is an audio hookup... any small stereo DAC with the right cable would work.

Depending on whether you worried about keeping the iPad charged as you played, you could use a headphone dongle, any USB audio interface with a headphone out, an ultraportable DAC interface like the Ultrasone NAOS, or my personal favorite: the Fulla Schiit, which is a stupid-great D/A for the money and would only need a USB-C to USB-Micro-B cable for audio hookup (and a USB-C to USB-A cable to plug into your iPad's wall charger if the iPad Pro won't power it). It won't keep your iPad charged, but it's cheap as dirt, sounds amazing, and is even smaller and more portable than the IK box. (The NAOS is also stupid-good, but only bus powered and a bit spendy, even though it does come with a USB-C cable...)

Sorry I am rambling, but I don't have a USB-C iPad so I am constantly second guessing my traditional solutions, which usually involve a Lightning hookup...


Last edited by Dr(!)Mike Metlay; 08/22/19 12:55 AM. Reason: Added data and product link URLs

Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, whoop de doo)
Wordsmith - Musician - Tech Freak - Amiable Zany
Everyone on this forum is a friend I haven't met yet
-- except for Bryce, who's, well, YOU know.
Re: MIDI/Audio interface for iPad Pro (USB-C connection) [Re: steadyb] #3004472 08/22/19 05:49 AM
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Groove On Offline
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Originally Posted by steadyb
anyone have a favorite small or portable keyboard for travel and hotel room practicing, writing (see above - reading, timing, etc., not necessarily full two handed piano practicing)?

1. Roland Go Piano (61) - light-weight, luggable, 61 full-sized but spring-loaded keys, I dislike the micro-USB connector but so far it's lasted 2 years.
2. Yamaha CP - my favorite travel piano, but only 37 mini keys. a big plus+ it fits in your check-in luggage or a large backpack, sounds great with small built-in speakers and whole bunch of MIDI & Audio connectors

Re: MIDI/Audio interface for iPad Pro (USB-C connection) [Re: steadyb] #3004526 08/22/19 03:32 PM
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steadyb Offline OP
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Thanks very much, guys!!!

Re: MIDI/Audio interface for iPad Pro (USB-C connection) [Re: steadyb] #3005718 08/30/19 03:23 AM
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I just use an M Audio Uno for MIDI to use my iPad Air 2 with my DAW. Works flawlessly for me every time.


Devon
Re: MIDI/Audio interface for iPad Pro (USB-C connection) [Re: DevonB] #3008372 09/17/19 01:34 AM
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I’m using the MAudio Uno, Apple camera connector and a 2019 iPad Air. Once IOS 13 arrives and see how the apps play with it I’ll add the updated AUM.


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