iConnectMIDI – What It Does And How It Works

Here are a few videos from the 2011 Winter NAMM Show that gives an overview of what the new iConnectMIDI does – and captures an impromptu jam session.

iConnectivity’s iConnectMIDI is high-speed MIDI interface, designed specifically to have plug and play capability between any MIDI controller type device while connected to iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch iOS devices.

“We wanted to be the first to open the door to the otherwise closed system to get your music out of the iPad.” says iConnectivity CEO Michael Loh. “We want to engage developers to think even more broadly about what their applications can do in the future, the exponentially growing number of music apps is exciting. That being said we had some requests to add lighting control so opened the door for DMX lighting control with the use of small accessory dongle. All of this and more is possible because we are in full support of the new CoreMIDI framework introduced in iOS 4.2.”

Not the most glamorous bit of gear, but it could be very useful for some musicians.

This video demonstrates how to use the iPad, iPhone and iPod to control DMX lighting systems via connectivity to MIDI.

This impromptu jam demonstrates using an iPod touch as a multitimbral sound module, driven by three MIDI keyboards.

Connectivity

  • 2 x mini-USB Device Ports
  • Supports iPad, iPhone or iPod touch
  • Supports computers with Mac OS X or Windows XP or greater

2 x 2 MIDI DIN Ports

  • Standard MIDI DIN at 31250 bits per second
  • 2 In ports
  • 2 Out ports

1 x USB Host Port

  • Standard Full Speed USB Type A Host port
  • Hub capable – supports up to 8 devices
  • Supports USB MIDI Class compliant devices

Power Connector

  • 5 V DC, 1A

Performance / Features

  • Compliant to iOS 4.2 CoreMIDI framework – compatible with any CoreMIDI application
  • Handles tens of thousands MIDI events each second
  • Capable of extremely low latency MIDI data routing and management
  • Fully configurable MIDI routing engine
  • Standalone operation, capable of bridging between MIDI devices including DIN and
  • USB
  • Configurable MIDI data filtering on either In or Out ports
  • Non-volatile configuration storage

Supported iOS Devices

  • iPad WiFi, iPad 3G
  • iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4
  • iPod touch 3G, iPod touch 4G

Dimensions

  • Width:   11.0 cm (4.3 inches)
  • Depth:   7.0 cm (2.75 inches)
  • Height:  3.5 cm (1.4 inches)
  • Weight: 320 grams (0.7 lbs)

Construction

  • Rugged steel body
  • Black powder coat finish

iConnectMIDI is $179.99 USD (MSRP $199.99). iConnectMIDI will be generally available in March / April 2011. Details at the iConnectivity site.

19 thoughts on “iConnectMIDI – What It Does And How It Works

  1. I'm not buying the zero latency claim. It is still a serial message protocol and if you fill up that input/output buffer with enough midi traffic there will be a delay. Maybe in fine print zero latency is defined as less then 3ms or some tolerance. I'm not saying it isn't fast but zero latency, really? Someone talk me down here and explain to me how this is technically possible.

  2. It states on the specs "Capable of extremely low latency MIDI data routing and management" but in the video they are saying zero.

    A usb controller to usb device that was designed to receive MIDI at a faster rate than the MIDI protocol would see a speed increase and very low latency, but an older DIN synth wouldn't see a speed benefit using this box. It is an easy way to connect everything together–old stuff and new stuff.

  3. okay, saying zero latency is an incorrect term – how about non-perceivable latency. By our best measurement, MIDI events are passed through iConnectMIDI in under 2 ms, generally around 1 ms.

  4. Don't forget that this device also bridges the gap between USB only midi devices and standard DIN only midi devices – so for example, you could use a Korg Nanokeys with an MPC, going through one of these – as opposed to having to use a laptop as a go-between. That in itself is enough to make me wanna buy one, then hooking up an iPhone too is the icing on the cake.

  5. meh.

    The Alesis/Akai iPad dock does all the same thing, offers incredible AUDIO I/O options, AND charges your iPad. lol

  6. No, the Alesis product does not do any of this. The Alesis product simply adds two MIDI ports to an iPad and is thus similar to the Line 6 product. It's does not act as a hub for up to 12 MIDI devices. It does not bridge USB-MIDI to DIN-MIDI. It does not support multiple iPads. It does not support iPod touch or iPhone. It does not provide routing and filtering of MIDI data between up to 12 MIDI devices. The Alesis product is simply not the same thing, it's just an iPad stand with two MIDI ports.

  7. lol. Okay, the StudioDock isn't a hub. That's true enough.

    But given that many of us already use robust MIDI hubs and let our DAWs / laptops handle USB to DIN MIDI, this isn't bringing anything new to the table.

    And it's 8 devices, not 12, right?

  8. What apps are compatible with this? They don't talk at all about compatibility, just a big song and dance about latency. If this thing can only control 2 or 3 third party apps then who cares.

  9. iConnectMIDI supports 12 MIDI ports: 8 USB MIDI (with standard USB hubs), 2 USB device (iOS and/or computers) and 2 standard MIDI DIN (IN/OUT). As Ray pointed out, with the routing capability, iConnectMIDI can route any MIDI port to any other port or ports, merge MIDI data, filter on input or output – all at very low latency.

    As for applications on iOS – any application that supports CoreMIDI will work with iConnectMIDI – more applications are being introduced regularly – Music Studio, MIDI Touch, GarageBand – just to name a few.

  10. I bought the Alesis IO Dock. It's got bigtime problems with hanging midi notes. So I'm sending it back. The iConnect device looks very promising. I think I'm going to wait on it to make sure there's no bugs. I'm looking for something for live performance with my iPad.

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