iConnectMIDI 2+ An Actual Game Changer

In the latest episode of Sonic Touch, Gaz Williams and Nick Batt take a look at the new iConnectivity iConnectMIDI 2+.

The iConnectMIDI 2+ may be a little awkwardly named, but it offers some very interesting features – including Audio PassThrough, which lets you digitally send the audio from your iPad directly into your computer DAW.

And, at least according to Batt & Williams, the iConnectMIDI 2+ is an actual ‘game changer’.

Episode Summary:

We catch up on the new iPad Air, and discuss iOS 7, but the real star of the show is the iConnectivity iConnect MIDI 2. A USB/MIDI interface which also offers Audio Passthrough, this little phrase really changes everything – it means that you can now integrate your iPad audio into and aggregate device and bring it into the DAW of your choice as a pair of inputs, and route MIDI directly to the app.

Frankly, we are blown away. At just £79, its a must purchase for any musician wanting to integrate iOS devices into a pro setup.

We are giving it the first Sonic Touch Gold Award for Hardware.

Check it out and let us know what you think of the new iConnectMIDI 2+!

via sonicstate

62 thoughts on “iConnectMIDI 2+ An Actual Game Changer

  1. I have this. It’s everything they say it is. Put it like this – don’t get rid of your iPad 1 as it can now be used as a virtual plug- in. People, this will be the best $90 you have spent in a LONG time.

  2. I hate to admit this, but I’ve been a bit confused by the available solutions. “What will work with my iOS device?” “Do I need a special connector?” “How can I add more devices later on?” This takes care of all of that, and in a way that completely makes sense to me. I need this!

  3. Ive been using the iConnectMIDI 2+ for about two weeks now. I completely agree with the article, it is a game changer. In the studio, it basically turns your iPad into another piece of MIDI hardware. Sound quality is excellent, and there are no plugins for Animoog, or Waldorf Nave, this is a godsend!

  4. We usually think of “future-proofing” as providing connectivity that will adapt to future trends. This is “anti-obsolescence” in that it allows you to keep connective with your MIDI gear. It also provides an elegant and versatile link between old tech & new tech.

    Gaz & Nick ask the burning question. Why didn’t Apple® just provide this degree of functionality (i.e., audio pass-thru, and MIDI i/o to host computer) via the direct USB wired connection to the computer?! Is this part of their goal to keep the system closed and un-hack-able?

    They also mention the iConnect4, which adds the ability to do this kind of routing between devices without a host computer managing the routing.

    1. About the ‘burning question’:

      This type of audio routing will be important to thousands of users; Apple’s going to focus on the stuff that matters to millions of users before they worry about something like this.

      1. Just like the millions of people asking for access to the filesystem (even if its limited to a single “My Document” folder which could be accessed by any apps), or access to plugins or use apps like plugins inside other apps?

        Sadly, Apple’s going to focus on the stuff that matters to their business before they worry about their millions of users asking for a specific feature.

        Some people here might find it surprising that not only me has been asking for this for years, actually access to the filesystem is one of the reason why most IOS users migrated to Android and why Android beat IOS in market shares in the past year.

        Can you imagine trying to work in OSX without any access to the file system?

        1. I only usually reply to comments to offer help or ask for it, but I’m gonna have to say my peace.
          I’m sorry, what? Millions of people are asking for access to the file system? And you’ve been personally asking for it for years?

          If you’ve been into iOS music making for that long, you’ll remember when Amidio tried (and succeeded – for a short time) to have a simple sample pool, but Apple quickly stopped it; yes it’s frustrating at times to use these devices to make music, but they are the only serious game in town at the moment, and everyone that uses them accepts the negatives because there are so many positives.
          Also, where is the proof that all these people are moving to Android, solely to due the limited access to the file system? Come on man!
          One thing I do know is if I wasn’t into mobile music creation, I may indeed choose an Andoid device, but iOS is just amazing for mobile music – the best device/s I’ve ever owned for that purpose alone, and I’ve been making music for around thirty years and into mobile music for around seven.
          At the end of the day, use them or don’t, but please stop saying the same thing every single time there’s an iOS related post.
          Ps I still have two iPad 1s that get used regularly; if you don’t want yours anymore, I’ll happily buy it – you can put the money towards something you do want.

          Oh yeah, I’m waiting for the ICM 4+ Got two iO Docks, but to have something like this just gets me very excited….lol, nearly forgot to actually comment!

          1. Yes I remember the IOlibrary debacle, also Orphion where the dev was forced to remove the finger sensing API which made it unique (Apple was aware and approved it for over two years before suddenly deciding it had to be removed), and more recently Jack.

            “they are the only serious game in town at the moment”

            That is unless you ignore all the other mobile computers like laptops and ultrabooks. A Macbook Air has the same footprint as an ipad and is immensely more useful.

            “Also, where is the proof that all these people are moving to Android, solely to due the limited access to the file system?”

            I never said it was only due to the lack of access to the file system, I only said its one of the reasons people are switching. Everyone I personally know who made the switch was partly because of that, because they wanted files to be accessible to more than one app at a time. Also the (worldwide) firm where I work didn`t even consider IOS because of that. If you need other proofs just look at the numbers.

            Until very recently Apple was in a position to become “the” mobile computing standard, but it missed the boat because of the lack of access to the file system and the forced use of the App Store to publish app, all while rejecting apps that sometimes are truly useful for the users (multi-window, skinning, emulation, multitasking and wireless sync before Apple did it years later…). But not all is lost for them, they did become “the” standard for mobile music.

            That said, I do enjoy my Apple products for what they can do (they are the ones who brought affordable multi-touch to the masses), I just really wish they would open up a bit because it would be useful for everyone.

            Really, who in their right mind would be against being able to have a shared 8gb library of samples between Beatmaker, Nanostudio and any other sampled based apps? Or being able to load any apps in Auria?

  5. I have this.
    Works flawlessly. Easy to setup. Even my hardwares are now connected to midi din ports of this.
    Go buy it, you won’t regret it

  6. Have to admit… Recently there was news of WaveGenerator released as a VSTi for $99 on this site, now we can get the device for less than the VSTi. Granted it doesn’t have multiple instances unless you have multiple iPads, but this should really help bridge the gap between iOS and DAWs.

    1. The VST version of Wavegenerator does much more than the IOS app. Only for being able to use more than one instance makes the 99$ pricing worthwhile, and its easier to automate from your DAW.

  7. Agreed that it is a great buy, and the support is great as well. In the last post about the icm 2+, I stated I was having an issue with it, and one of the guys there invited me to submit another ticket, and he would take care of it personally. A solution was found in one reply and within 24 hrs.

  8. While this does look great, I can replicate the functionality using a tascam iU2 in my home studio. My setup is more clunky and requires more hardware, but I think I have all of the same benefits.

    Setup: iU2 connected to my ipad ‘classic’ (note that the iU2 only plays nicely with ipad 1 & 2 from what I’ve read). spdif out from iU2 is connected to my computer’s audio interface, as are midi in and out.

    I can play a midi keyboard that is connected to my computer, routing the midi to the iU2 input while capturing the digital audio out from the spdif. I can also send midi data (at least in apps that support it) from the ipad back into my daw for controlling VST plugins and the like.

    The iU2 also has analog in and out and charges the ipad. It can also work as a normal usb audio interface for a computer. Not bad for ~ $60 used on ebay.

    Just an FYI in case anyone want’s an alternative but doesn’t want to use the camera connection kit to audio interface approach…

    1. Nice. But I’m liking that the ICM2+ requires no A/D conversion and that everything is done over the single USB connection. Don’t forget the MIDI routing flexibility and the DINs.

  9. It’s also worth mentioning that some USB gear will work on the iPad as long as it is going through an externally powered USB hub. For example, one could connect a USB MIDI i/o to the iPad, and a USB audio i/o, and work out the wired interaction with a host computer. It wouldn’t be a digital audio stream but would eliminate the worrying glitches associated with the buffer size, sample rate differences, etc.

  10. We feel very honored by this review and your comments.

    It is worth mentioning that the audio glitches they were experiencing were because they had set the clock master to the internal audio. This would not have happen if they had set it to the iConnectMIDI2+

    It also can handle more than 2 channels of audio. It actually can also do 4in and 4out @ 16bit 44.1k or 48k or 2in 2out at 24bit 48k

    1. Still gettin glitches and distortion even with the clock set to the IConnectMIDI2+. Even seems to be working well otherwise. Odd…

  11. Al,

    I’m happy to see you frequent the comment sections, it is good for customer relations. I’m really looking forward to the iConnectMIDI4+. I’ve got mine pre-ordered. Yep, can’t wait.

      1. Al

        Yes – thanks for responding to reader questions! It helps readers know which companies are listening to their customers.

        James

    1. Absolutely. Thats what I am using it with for a few weeks now. Works like a charm and has been the best thing that ever happened to my ancient iPad.

  12. …also, i know “aggregate” devices in the past have been a nightmare (at least when I tried it in the past…kinda gave up on it, clocking issues etc…), I use an Ensemble, once in awhile I use my Line6 device for input, and I just change the input in Ableton to that while tracking, …while using the outputs of the Apogee… could it be used in this fashion? (I can’t see why not i guess)

  13. and one LAST question- is there any reason this would not work with an iPhone as well? A lot of us have old iPhones laying around, that might be nice to repurpose….seems my previous question was answered later in the video, but Al, if you mind, will it run on iOS 5.1? Thanks! Seems like a great product, way better then the clunky alesis unit or other workarounds I have tried…

  14. Wouldn’t the problem of lossless audio recording go away if the iPad had an optical out hidden in headphone jack like my old MacBooks did? just dreaming here.

  15. Is the audio interface part of the iConnectMIDI2+ class compatible (on the website it only says that the MIDI interface is class compatible)? I’m wondering if it’s compatible with my Linux PC.

  16. I am using the iConnectMIDI2+ about a month now. On my iPad tons of apps (iPolysix / Launchkey / iMini / Nave / iSEM / Animoog and lots more) and recording in Logic pro X and Live 9 on my Mac.
    Had one small problem routing MIDI from my USB midi/powered keyboard, but the support guys from iConnectivity helped me out.
    It’s really a beautiful and perfect Game Changer. The iPad now works as a real synth and Audio Pass Through is great. And for just € 89…..

  17. Great device!!! But since i don’t want to mess around with another adapter in my setup i really hope they’ll deliver an updated version with native lightning connector soon! Any Infos on that?

    1. I left this exact question on their Facebook page. Answer: “We may eventually offer Lightning connection cables, however we don’t know when that may happen.” Not very satisfying, but the device is amazing, so I’ll reluctantly go that route of buying another adapter…

  18. It’s not for me, because of the lack of audio outputs – I don’t want to use ASIO4ALL!. I don’t have one of the new Lightning iPads, so for now my IO Dock is a better solution than this.

    1. The KMI QuNexus doesn’t appear to have a Din MIDI out. For MIDI devices that just have a USB out you would need to either connect them to a Mac or a PC first and route their signal to the iConnectMIDI2+ via a Daw or something as the iConnectMIDI2+ doesn’t have a USB host port OR you could get an iConnectMIDI4+ (when they finally come out) which does have USB hosting.

  19. Now at first when I realized I really needed to get the $40 apple adapter, and the $45 wall wart (I got the official one just to be safe, damn expensive though) this 90 dollar interface started looking more like $175 but then I realized I spent $75 bucks on my cheap plastic 2×2 midi interface. Considering the phenomenal build quality (as much as I can manage I never buy things made of plastic) I would spend 90 bucks on this if iOS integration wasn’t even a thing. and that with how amazingly well it does function with that, a $85 upgrade to do something id probably pay up to $300 for made me realize that its totally worth it, buy it if you don’t have an iPad! its worth it alone! and having the option to easily sync and pass audio between computers opens up worlds of possibilities in live performances. And if you ever do buy that iPad you’ll be ready to plug in. This is the product that legitimizes the iPad as a production tool (although I do kind of agree with the guys from the video in that it is frustrating that you need this box at all to do this but thats a whole other topic) and it is also the best built midi interface i have seen even beating out the MOTU IMO.

    1. The lightning adapter is not $40, it’s $29. And the iConnect MIDI unit itself can easily be powered over USB, you don’t need a power supply unless you want to charge your device while using it.

      1. The cabled lightning adapter is 40 and the is also the only usable one. the “block” style one is 30 but its so inconvenient its not worth considering IMO, and i feel the power adapter is a necessity too because while doing studio work you don’t want to have to interrupt your session just to charge it or remember to charge it every time before using it. You certainly can but having it die on you is a potential workflow disaster that i wouldn’t want to potentially deal with.

        1. I guess i’ll clarify that its an $85 dollar addition if you want to use your iPad OPTIMALLY, which i don’t see why you wouldn’t.

  20. Will the +4 allow me to send audio from Live8 – to Turnado on my iPad – and record the audio back in Live please? I dream of effecting my drum loops with Turnado’s touch system, midi clocked by Ableton and recorded back in Live – all losslessly! Thank you iConnectivity! hurry up with the +4 will ya! 😉

  21. I have this device and the build/sound quality is excellent. That said, the routing has been anything but easy…the way the inputs and outputs are named in such an obscure way… Nick and Gaz say once you have your head wrapped around it it is logical…but guess I’m not there yet.

    Part of it is trying to learn from a combination of tutorials, none featuring Logic Pro X and my PreSonus Firestudio Mobile….how you set up the aggregate device makes a huge difference.

    I still haven’t been able to get multiple channels of sound going from the iPad into Logic – nor have I seen that demonstrated though everyone talks about how it can be done. For me just once synth at a time.

    Also does anyone else have the problem of the adapter not staying connected to an iPad 2? Notice mine will sort of fall out out on one side after having been attached solidly. More obnoxious that critical in a home studio, but I wouldn’t want to gig with it like that.

  22. Totally stoked! How do I get this killer contraption in mainland China? Or, where can I find it crossing into civilization (code for Hong Kong)?

  23. The original iConnectMIDI allowed you to connect a USB MIDI keyboard to your iOS device, but they seem to have ripped this functionality out of the iConnectMIDI2+ unfortunately. 🙁

    If they hadn’t done this it would be a perfect device – as it is the lack of USB MIDI compatibility is a deal-breaker for me at least….

  24. Once they build this into the Scarlett 18i6, then it will be a game changer. The fact that I must use Asio4all and use 2 separate devices at once makes it a pita. I had the iconnectmidi2+ and returned it because the software started locking up and when it did work, I got glitches In the audio from trying to use 2 audio devices in Asio. Top of the line computer… Dedicated Asio drivers are essential, this device just adds complications.. Great concept but seriously needs to be integrated into an already great audio interface with dedicated Asio drivers to be effective. And it’s ridiculous that they don’t include the power adapter. It couldn’t even be a common 1A adapter, had to be this rare 6v 3A adapter so you’re force to buy it from them for 30 dollars. Total bs. I cannot recommend this product to anyone.

  25. Tim is largely correct, in my view, when it comes to the iConnectmidi 2+ when using it on Windows. You can get it to work if you persevere but you certainly wouldn’t think of using it in a live environment. Way too iffy, if you are going to get it to connect or not.

    ASIO4all in the case of the iConnectmidi 2+ is an abomination unless you are interesting in geeking out and doing A LOT of head scratching.

    I have used it in various DAWs but largely stuck with Albeton Live when trying to get it to work. You will see suggestions on the net about turning off exclusive mode in the Advanced Sound Playback section of your audio interface. You certainly have to make sure that you have your audio sampling rate set to 44.1 or 48 before starting but preferrably the former. The best trick I have found to get ASIO4all to recognize the input of the iConnectmidi 2+ is to “stop the AudioSvr process before booting up your DAW, in my case Live. This will stop the iPad from playing in the background before launching your DAW and then ASIO4all will take over the audio routing of your primary audio interface.

    In case you don’t know how to access the AudioSvr process, you hit Control, Alt > Delete and click on ” Start Task Manager”, then click on the services tab and right-click on AudioSvr and click on Stop Service. Keep the window open in case you have to “start” the AudioSvr service to get your regular audio routing back for watching YouTube and other typical tasks involving the use of audio.

    When it works, it sounds great but really this is a proof of concept at this point, at least for Windows. I’m still hanging onto mine. There are just too many outrageously great sounds and tonalities that you can do with apps like Animoog with these alternative controllers that open up the ease of expression with a single synth.

    I am guessing that Apple will have much of this functionality built into iOS but it still may take another couiple of years. Hard to say. But to musicians it just seems like such damn obvious stuff to have audio pass through as part of the OS not just a partial implementation but a full one.

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