Secret Base Design has a new app, Apollo, which uses Bluetooth LE to send MIDI back and forth between iOS devices, or between an iOS device and a Mac.
Secret Base Design’s Patrick Madden explains his inspiration for the app:
“One of the things that’s annoyed me with the iPhone and iPad hardware has been limited inter-device MIDI. The hardware adapters can be really clunky. WiFi MIDI works in theory — but if there’s a little bit of WiFi traffic, the latency and jitter goes through the roof.
“[But] starting with the iPad3 and iPhone4S, Apple has put in support for Bluetooth LE — this has very low latency, and [we think] it’s a perfect fit for MIDI.”
Here’s how the app works: The app is fairly simple — it connects a pair of iOS devices. MIDI sent to the app on one device will be forwarded to the app on the other device via Bluetooth wireless connections, eliminating hardware adapters, and providing lower latency than is possible with WiFi. From there, it can send the signal to any synthesizers and sequencers the user wants to use.
In addition, with the Mac app, it’s possible to use an iOS device as a wireless controller, or to trigger iOS synths with Logic.
Other uses. In addition to MIDI connections between iOS devices, Apollo can also be used to connect to Mac desktop and laptop computers. Recent iMacs and MacBooks support Bluetooth LE; for older Macs, a USB Bluetooth adapter may be required. The OSX version of Apollo will be available in the Mac app store shortly.
Pricing and availability. The iOS version of Apollo MIDI-over-Bluetooth is available now via the iTunes App Store; the Mac version should be out in a couple of days, according to Madden. The iOS app is $3 for the product introduction (at least through the weekend). The Mac version is going to be free. Additional information is at the Secret Base Design website.