Create Digital Music’s Peter Kirn put together this excellent introduction to working with audio and MIDI on the iPad.
In his video, Kirn covers the two main options for connecting hardware MIDI and audio interfaces to the iPad:
- The Camera Connection Kit – which lets you connect many audio interfaces and MIDI adapters; and
- The Line 6 MIDI Mobilizer – which is a very compact iPad MIDI interface.
Wireless connectivity may be the future – but hardware MIDI is a universal language that works now, has low latency and opens the door to connecting the iPad to nearly 30 years of instruments and MIDI controllers.
This means that the iPad can be used as a cost-effective multi-touch step sequencer or a customizable MIDI controller for just about any gear you might have. You can add 36 knobs to your synth, for example, and interact with it in a new way.
One thing that may not be clear from the video is that audio and MIDI IO on the iPad is still very immature. You can’t assume that it just works. As Android develops as a tablet platform, expect it to face similar growing pains.
If you decide that you’re interested in exploring the possibilities, though, don’t miss our dozens of iPad music software posts.