Audio & MIDI Interfaces For The iPad

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Developer 4Pockets, the people behind the iPad music apps Aurora Sound Studio, Meteor Multitrack Recorder and StompBox, offers their take on audio and MIDI interfaces for the the iPad.

Devices covered include:

  • IK Multimedia iRig
  • Peavey AmpKit
  • Using USB audio interfaces
  • The Apogee Jam
  • The Alesis iO Dock
  • E-Mu MIDI Tab

There are already a wide range of audio interfaces for iOS users, from the cheap and basic to more expensive digital audio interfaces. If you’ve got an existing USB audio interface, getting a Camera Connection Kit will probably offer the best bang for the buck, as long as your audio interface is IOS compatible.

What do you think the best way to go is?


17 thoughts on “Audio & MIDI Interfaces For The iPad

  1. I am still looking for a good piece of kit. I would like to see a break-out cable that offered many of the options of the Alesis iO dock but without the hardware dock limitation. The MIDI mobilizer is too expensive for just a MIDI connection.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
  2. Got to agree on that.

    Why can’t somebody make a cable that hooks to the ipad or iPhone and has midi jacks on the other end for $30 or so?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
  3. what i want to know from these ipad users, is how bad is the latency on these interfaces? you know when you hit a note, and dont hear it for half a second?… also if you are running multiple audio tracks, how responsive is the system to your commands, and does it stutter or lag?…

    curious…. but for an interface to your regular DAW/ console, the ipad seems like the thing…. i have seen guys using it live to walk around a venue to adjust their consoles…. way cool…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
    • I use iRig with Amplitube Fender and GarageBand on an iPad 1. The latency hasn’t been an issue for me and seems comparable to a desktop Audio/USB interface.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
    • Be vewy, vewy careful. Lots of defective units out there. Check out the reviews on Amazon. I just purchased one. Gorgeous on paper, utterly defective. It’s going back via UPS tomorrow. Check the forums, google “Alesis IO Dock Noise.” be educated before you buy. In fairness, some people appear to love their units. Mine reinforced the problematic reviews.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2
  4. while it is now discontinued (foolishly) by Novation, the X-Station is one of the best companion pieces for making iPad music. it gives simultaneous audio and midi input and output to the iPad. the controller side of the x-station works perfectly with iPad synths that support midi, and the audio routing works great. for example, the X-station has a built-in synth in addition to being a controller and audio box. I can route the synth audio into Moog Filtatron, mess with it, and send it back out effected to my mixer. or since it has a mix knob for input and output you could blend the built-in synth with the effected filtatron output. filtatron has adjustable latency as well, down to 128 samples, so its not too bad. amazing piece of gear, highly recommended for iPad.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
    • Hi Hank,
      Thanks for your information that the Novation X-Station could work as an audio interface with the iPad. Would you please let me know can I use the X-Station as a stereo audio input interface to the iPad? Could I record a pair of external stereo audio signal into the iPad just through the X-Station’s input? Thanks a lot!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
    • Hi. You mean connecting a USB cable from the X-station to the iPad camera connection port gives both MIDI and audio bidirectional communication? Is the Xstation a “class compliant” device? Thanks.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
    • hiya, i was excited to see that i could connect an x-station to the ipad as i had an x station hanging around. howev er, everytime i connect them via an apple camera connection kit i get a message that the device is not supported. any ideas for settings etc, thanks in advance, jim

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  5. It says on novation website that xstation is class compliant. I connected mine into ipad via apple camera connection kit but got a message saying that USB accessory needs too much power. Would a powered USB hub help with this? Ie plug the xstation into hub and then hub to iPad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  6. I too have this message, hopefully someone can answer. GarageBand is a neat app and the x station would be perfect for guitar and midi

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  7. The X-station can run on batteries or an adapter. Maybe if you power it that way it will be ok?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  8. My site iosAudio.co is creating a list of iOS compatible audio and midi devices.

    This list is update-able by users of the site.
    http://www.iosaudio.co/devices

    It contains the specs for each device and iOS device relavent information such as whether the device needs a powered usb hub or a power adapter.

    As well as adding and updating audio/midi devices users can also add “Usage Reports” which contain:
    iOS device used
    iOS version
    Whether midi or audio work
    comments/bugs

    I haven’t see a good list of devices that is update-able by users. Please help us grow this list.
    http://www.iosaudio.co/devices

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
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    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
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