New iConnectMIDI4+ Lets You Use Your iPad As A Tangible VST

iconnectmidi4

At the 2013 NAMM Show, iConnectivity introduced the iConnectMIDI4+ – an advanced MIDI interface that lets you connect hardware, software and iOS MIDI devices alike.

I had a chance to talk with iConnectivity founder Michael Loh about the new interface, and it’s a big advance over their original MIDI interface. We reviewed the original iConnectMIDI last year and came away impressed.

The new iConnectMIDI4+ is even more powerful, offering four pairs of MIDI IN/Out and support for 8 more MIDI devices via USB. The new interface now can also charge your iDevices as you use them.

And it supports Audio Pass-Through – which lets you do things like route the audio out of your iPad directly into your computer’s DAW. This effectively turns your iPad and its music apps into a tangible VST.

For example, you could use your DAW to sequence an iPad app via MIDI and the iConnectMIDI4+ interface  and record the output of your app on the iPad directly in your DAW, with no need for an audio interface.

We’re looking forward to checking this out. Here are the details:

iconnectmidi4-plus

Key Features:

  • 4 In & 4 Out Sets of MIDI DIN Connectivity
  • Supports 8 additional MIDI devices via USB Host Port + Powered USB Hub
  • MultiHost Capability – Connect 3 Computing Devices Directly & More via Network
  • Network Connectivity
  • Supports MAC, PC, & iOS Computing Devices
  • Audio Pass-Through Between Up to 3 Computing Devices
  • Integrated MIDI Manager With Snapshot Preset Storage – For MIDI Thru, MIDI Merge, Filtering, and Advanced Routing Control
  • USB MIDI Class Compliant
  • Supports Over 64 Ports of 16 Channels of MIDI I/O Per Port
  • Plug and Play – No Drivers Needed
  • Charge iOS Devices

The iConnectMIDI4+ has an MSRP of US $249.99.


25 thoughts on “New iConnectMIDI4+ Lets You Use Your iPad As A Tangible VST

  1. Hopefully we will have multi channel audio out with a firmware update from these guys and a app update from audiobus.

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  2. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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    • You better get your facts straight before making statements like that.

      The iConnectMIDI devices have the best MIDI transport implementation I’ve ever seen and combine that with hardware filtering and routing. They have no trouble receiving thousands of messages per second and still keeping the latency low and no jitter. Very few MIDI interfaces allow that.

      Then there’s the built-in USB HUB. It’s currently not possible at all to charge your iPad while having a class compliant audio interface connected, the camera connection kit prohibits that. I’ve tried out a lot of other 30-pin to USB connectors, I even went as far as trying to mod the Alesis ioDock. Nothing works. The new iConnectMIDI boxes solve this.

      Then there’s audio pass through. This really is revolutionary, since using a class compliment audio interface would not send the audio digitally from the iPad to the computer, but rather from the iPad to the interface, you’d still need to connect it up afterwards. If you’re in luck your audio interface supports optical Toslink output, which could then be plugged into the digital audio input of some computers, but only some. The iConnectMIDI specs say that you can stream audio digitally between three devices by just plugging them into the USB port.

      There are almost no other devices that allow you to plug in USB MIDI devices (up to 8 with iConnectMIDI) and treat it as DIN MIDI devices with routing and filtering, MOTU sells multi MIDI device boxes just for this purpose and they are several times the price.

      Finally there’s Ethernet MIDI support, built right in, I don’t know of any hardware box that does this.

      I’ve been using the first iConnectMIDI box for a few months and it’s one of those rare products that outdoes my expectations. The implementation is rock solid, the hardware is built for the road, you can even open it up and look inside, the electronics are beautiful, …

      iConnectivity is combining solutions to many iOS musician problems into one box and has done it in such a way that goes far beyond. They open up new ways of connecting modern MIDI and audio devices together. I can’t wait to get the iConnectMIDI4+, it’s a bargain, I’d pay twice the price for it and still not hesistate for a second.

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      • I forgot another great feature, virtual MIDI ports over USB. This makes it very easy to have multiple apps running on iOS devices and send MIDI to them on dedicated ports from the computer. No need to switch around MIDI ports anymore, just use different virtual ones.

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  3. Yes you can get the camera connection kit, and send audio, or midi, or unplug it all and charge it. But try to do them all at once. Their base product the 2+ is going to street for $69… As someone who has used the camera connection kit, I can tell you, it’s not a panacea, and these guys deserve props for making the Swiss Army Knife for iPad audio. This will be lovely paired with Ableton!

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  4. I’m afraid is not that simple…
    Class Compliant audio interfaces convert audio from digital to analogic.
    Same thing happens inside the ipad to give analog signal to the headphones output.
    Normally audio interfaces do it better.
    Often the price difference between audio interfaces is mainly based on the quality of the Digital-to-Analog and Analog-to-Digital conversions.
    You can even buy appliances that do just A-D and D-A conversion and they normally cost more
    than the best audio interfaces out there.

    Same goes for USB hubs. An industrial one… i.e. one that assures you the real Voltage normally expected on a usb port on all the ports without shortcuts, costs you more then the average belkin/whatever auto-destroying hub.

    This iConnect thing passes digital audio through the connected machines so bypasses all the A-D or D-A conversions back and forth…

    And that’s not all…

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  5. It has possibilities, but without multichannel audio streaming I prefer using “regular” audio-MIDI interface connected to iPad and (via cables) – connected to my MOTU 828mk3 interface which I use with aditional ADAT in my studio…

    Connectivity of this New iConnectMIDI4+, “linking” computers and iOS devices is great idea, but still it is not what I wish – especially for THIS PRICE.

    In studio I rather would use MIDI and audio over LAN to connect two or even four computers into powerfull system (MIDI over LAN CP + FX Teleport + AudioPort Universal), it allows me to treat other computers in this system as a VST instruments with 32 channels of audio (AudioPort), or “virtual VST FX without limitations (FX Teleport).

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  6. The 4+ with audio pass through was one of the most exciting things at the show for me personally. With this and my current audio interface I will be able to connect and use a few DIN only synths, a couple of iOS devices, a Mac and several midi controllers all at once. Cannot wait for it.

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  7. This is brilliant. I’m particularly interested in this:
    MultiHost Capability – Connect 3 Computing Devices Directly & More via Network

    I’ll be able to connect the laptop, desktop, iPad and iPhone and share all my MIDI enabled equipment. Calling this a Swiss Army Knife seems like an euphemism ;)
    This is a MIDI spaceship, the USS Enterprise of MIDI managers, to boldly go… Yeah, I’m excited about this. I hate cables and having to connect and disconnect them. Beam me up, Scotty :)

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  8. I must admit I was skeptical about iOS audio production, but things are really starting to ramp up. I see a ton of cool stuff on the horizon – this very much being on of them.

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  9. What if we didn’t want to use the iOS element and only wanted to sync our DAWs in a live situation?The first time this was posted a week or so ago, I got that impression. Looks to be a wonderful device even if I misunderstood its purpose.

    Ideas?

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  10. The new iConnectMIDI2+ and 4+ are on my must buy list. BUT, saying it turns an iPad into a VST seems to be overstating it quite a bit! When I read this headline I had a nerdgasm, thinking there would be an actual VST/AU we could load in our DAWs that would automap to any MIDI controls, basically an iOS version of Access’s Total Integration idea on the Virus.

    I’d like to know if you could use the iConnectMIDI2+ and 4+ at the same time? Like if a friend brought their’s over? Or could you plug two ipads into one so we could collaborate with audio and MIDI?

    If you could link these up and chain iPads, mac and windows, linux laptops, (+ android when it get it’s latency act together.) and it actually works, it’ll be groundbreaking in terms of using collaborative electronic music instruments! A lot of what we do as electronic musicians is effecting audio and making structures interact and there isn’t a great way to do this with other people. Sure you can do it before with a ridiculous number audio + MIDI cables along with workarounds, but to me this is something new.

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  11. you can use this with out a computer at all. this means you can sync gear that only has midi over USB with gear that only has standar midi. That’s the selling point for me.

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    • Do you know if it’ll work as a stand alone midi patch bay without a computer/iThing (assuming you’d already configured the routing previously)?

      Cheers

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  12. I was all set to pick up an Apogee Duet for my iPad until I really stopped to think about the possibilities with the audio pass-through feature.. No A/D conversion – straight digital streaming to my DAW. (thinking man pose…hmm).. I’m going to freak the hell out of Renoise with this thing,

    .I have the original iConnectMIDI and it is invaluable as a hub between my iDevices and PC. Only thing missing is the ability to charge the iPad and now that’s fixed in the new rev.

    Yeah, I’m buying this Day One – they can’t release it fast enough. MIDI accessory of the decade. .

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  13. All good so far. But it does not specify if iOS controllers such as keyboards will be powered by this device, of equal importance to charging iOS devices. If so, this is a definite must-have utility.

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  14. The capacity for dual audio and midi pass-through for up to 3 devices seems like a real game changer!

    I’m so looking forward to checking this out. Thanks for the write up.

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  15. Anyone not blown away by what this promises at this price or 2x this price needs to get some perspective. I have IConnectmidi and it’s fantastic, but this solves a ridiculous number of problems.

    PS Use a USB hub to power connected keyboards.

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  16. I’m new to the iOS world with an iPad 4, which i try to combine to Mac and PC audio.
    I can’t quite get the directions ..in which the iConnect 4 box works ..but does it mean
    that i can “move” all the audio outputs (formerly on the mac via firewire soundcard) to
    the pc with superfast pci soundcard ..JUST by using the pass-through feature? That
    would be something ..i haven’t thought about. Having Midi&audio on one cable is
    good! With the external power supply (i guess) on the iConnect 4 box, the iPad gets
    also charged ? That would be something. (that seems all a bit of a miracle to me :-)

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  17. almost one year after the presentation, the iconnectmidi 4+ is still not available !
    as the iconnectmidi 2+ cannot do the hosting of USB MIDI synths we have to wait for the 4+

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