iConnectMIDI4+ Overview And In-Depth Tutorial

This series of videos is the official introduction to the iConnectivity iConnectMIDI4+ – a ‘hyper-connective’ networkable 4×4 MIDI interface for Mac, PC, and iOS.

The iConnectMIDI4+ lets you use an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch with a Mac or PC, like a plugin, controller and more.

iConnectMIDI4+ 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 passThru™ 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 a MSRP of $249 and a street price of about $200. See the iConnectivity site for details.

38 thoughts on “iConnectMIDI4+ Overview And In-Depth Tutorial

  1. Nice device – I am hoping that it won’t have the excessive latency issues that plagued the iConnectMIDI2.

    Unfortunately the iConnectMIDI4+’s host port doesn’t seem to work with my class-compliant USB MIDI keyboard (m-audio keystation.) Keyboard works fine with OS X and iOS, just not connected to the iConnectMIDI4+.

    One thing that wasn’t obvious is that in order for the iCM4+ to charge/power your iOS device while you play, it requires a special adapter cable; if you want to power two iOS devices, you can order an extra adapter cable from iConnectivity for $40 plus shipping.

    1. Have you tried going through a powered USB hub? I don’t know what the current draw of the keystation is, but if it exceeds 500mA, you’ll need a powered hub.

      1. He said “to charge/power your iOS device while you play”. The keystation is not an iOS device.
        OT: I’m only interested if they release a version with audio outputs or another way to stream audio. I’m on PC and I’m not going to use ASIO4ALL to combine it with my main audio interface. And did I read that its ‘predecessor’ has latency issues?

        1. He also said the host port wouldn’t recognize his m-audio keystation.
          I realize the keystation is not an iOS device, it also has no reason to charge. That is not the part of the comment I was addressing, but thanks for the condescending reply and assumption that I must have no clue what I’m talking about. Seeing as I own one, I’m pretty familiar with how it works, thanks.

        2. Now that I think about it, the “special adapter cable” mentioned is an iConnectivity proprietary cable for connecting devices. DEVICES, not controllers.
          To expand on that, the device ports are for (can you guess?) iOS/OSX devices ONLY.
          The USB HOST port is for class compliant MIDI controllers. It only provides 500mA at the host port. If your controller(s) draw more than 500mA, you must provide an external power source via power USB hub. You cannot connect your USB MIDI controller to the 3 device ports, it doesn’t work like that.
          That’s not what the OP was trying to do, but I’m starting to think that’s what you were implying, in which case you need to RTFM before you spout nonsense.

            1. I forgot to mention that using the Camera Connection Kit with a USB A to B cable will stream MIDI and audio just fine on any device jack. It’s when you try to also charge an iPad off the iCM4+ on device jack 1 is where that proprietary cable comes into play.

              1. This, I did not realize and is terribly useful. I was having serious issues with justifying spending another 40 on a cable & 30 on a 30pin to lightning converter and was going to hold out for them to release a lightning version of their proprietary cable. This info really makes my day, I already have a camera connection kit. Thanks much!

                1. Cool! The following is from the manual also available for download from the product page on their site. Just in case anyone wants to down-vote me. 🙂


                  These USB 1.0 jacks accept a USB B-standard plug for audio and MIDI connection to a Mac or Windows computer, or the iConnectivity Lightning or 30-pin to USB (B) connector for both audio and MIDI connection to an iOS device. MIDI is transmitted at full USB speed.

                  Jack 1 provides 2.1 amps; it will charge any iOS device.

                  Jack 2 provides 1.0 amps, enough to charge an iPhone or iPod touch, and enough to prevent an iPad (which takes more power) from discharging more than about 1-2% per hour.

                  Jack 3 (rear panel) provides no charging power, so given a choice you would use it for a Mac or Windows computer.

            2. I sit corrected, you are right. I was trying to emphasize that they are not for MIDI controllers, but thank you for the correction.

              1. Bahaha, thanks for the comments, but some of them missed the point (perhaps resulting in downvotes?) To address a couple of them:

                1) I wasn’t claiming that the M-Audio keyboard was an iOS device – it isn’t. The ICM4+ has two iOS device ports…. but it only ships with a single iOS device cable, sadly. But if you buy the other cable, then you can charge your iPhone and iPad simultaneously while you stream audio and MIDI between them!! You need the special cable to keep your battery from draining while you play – nobody wants their music (and fun) interrupted by irritating “5% of battery power” alerts and subsequent auto-shutdown.

                2) Perhaps I should have made this blindingly clear, but the KeyStation problem is not a power issue – powered USB hub does not help (in fact it’s the first configuration I tried). Class-compliant keyboard works fine with the Mac and with the iOS CCK (using a powered hub) but it doesn’t work with the ICM4+ host port. CME Xkey works fine with the host port, but M-Audio keyboard doesn’t alas…

                1. You are not alone. I too have been having issues with the host port recognizing “USB Class Compliant” midi controllers. I have sent multiple request to iConnectivity and have yet to receive an answer or a solution. Frustrating when you purchase a device based on what is stated in the manual and then it does not perform as advertised.

  2. I am still baffled as to why Apple just doesn’t enable iOS devices to show up as class-compliant audio and MIDI devices.

    1. It’s because they aren’t devices they’re hosts just like any other PC/Mac even during sync over USB. iCM4+ makes that not only a non-issue but a benefit by applying the old idea of a router to some normally non-routable protocols. The PC/Mac/iThings connected to it see it as a single dedicated device and they’re essentially unaware of the other hosts. You basically have a single box that takes on the roles of many MIDI and Audio devices exposing one to each host at each jack and “secretly” aggregating and rerouting as needed. It really is a little babel fish device.

      1. Trust synthtopia readers to completely miss what I was saying. I was saying two things:

        1. The M-Audio KeyStation, a “class-compliant” MIDI keyboard that works out of the box on iOS when connected to the Apple USB Camera Connection Kit does not work at all when connected to the ICM4+’s host port. Every other keyboard controller I have (e.g. CME Xkey, QuNexus) works fine with the ICM4+, but the M-Audio does not. It’s not a power issue!!! Connecting the KeyStation to a powered USB hub does not help at all. And, as I mentioned, it works fine when connected directly to the iOS device via the Apple CCK. There is currently no resolution to this problem, although previous M-Audio devices have also had problems with previous iConnectMIDI devices, and the ICM4+ FAQ blames the devices for not actually being class compliant even though they are advertised that way and even though they work fine with Mac OS, iOS and Windows without any special drivers or software.

        2. One of the fantastic things about the ICM4+ is that it powers your iOS device while you play!! Another awesome thing is that you can connect two (!) iOS devices, like an iPhone and an iPad, to the ICM4+ simultaneously!! However, in order to power your iPhone or your iPad while you play you need to 1) connect it to the appropriate front port and 2) connect it with a special cable made specifically for iConnectMIDI devices. The ICM4+ includes one of these cables, but in order to connect two devices you need to acquire another special cable. You can’t use a regular USB cable – it will not charge the iOS device!! I bought another special iConnectivity cable and it works great. The 30-pin cable also works with the Apple 30-pin-to-lightning adapter, but I may buy a special lightning version of the cable as well.

        1. By the way, another cool thing you can do is simply to use the ICM4+ to connect USB MIDI devices to 5-pin MIDI synths. This enables you to use the Xkey to play a Prophet ’08, which is fantastic because it enables the use of polyphonic aftertouch, which the Xkey produces and the P’08 recognizes.

          1. Of course, you can also use a full-blown computer – or a little computer like a Raspberry Pi – to do this. I am sure that the ICM4+ is basically a little computer like the Pi..

    2. Oh, they just did! From iOS 8 iOS and Mac devices will show up as MIDI devices using Bluethooth LE with no noticeably latency 😀

      1. Wait, are you saying that BlueTooth MIDI enables me to send MIDI from my Mac to the iPad (e.g. from Ableton Live on the Mac to/from Animoog on the iPad) and back seamlessly, wirelessly, and with low latency?? That sounds utterly magical!

        Now if they could just figure out low-latency audio streaming…

  3. Can someone explain exactly what audio pass through is? Does it work like a sound card? Sorry if this is a basic question just not sure how it’s implemented

  4. Audio pass thru allows you to send audio from one midi device out to a DAW that can receive midi/audio. So you can play an app on your iPad, and without reaching for an audio cable, have it appear as audio by setting up the correct midi connection in Ableton. It works flawlessly too.

    1. This product is not an iPad sound card. It is an advanced midi routing device that supports mac, pc and IOS. Its very useful if you have an iPad, but its also the most advanced midi router available (as far as I am aware), so its hardly IOS specific.

      1. But then why is there never any articles about products from Motu?, or Presonus? or M-Audio? or anybody else for that matter? Yet there are articles about the Iconnect once about every two weeks.

        1. “Yet there are articles about the Iconnect once about every two weeks.”

          Not sure where you’re getting that – there hasn’t been a lot of news on this since it was announced at NAMM. In fact – I think a lot of us were waiting for an update on this.

    2. shisdf – the iConnectMIDI4+ isn’t an ‘Ipad sound cards’. It’s primary role is as a MIDI interface, and it works with Mac, PC, standalone devices, USB MIDI, DIN MIDI plus iOS devices.

      The fact that it can route digital audio from an iOS device is a very unique feature for a MIDI interface, which is newsworthy.

  5. I have owned this thing since it came out. I had it on pre-order. I passed on the ICM2, because I knew the 4 was coming. I basically waited 18 months for the thing.

    It is pretty nice. the MIDI functionality is great. I stopped using Wi-Fi MIDI. And with the ICM4+ configuration, I can easily switch between iPad A sending MIDI to iPad B or iPad A sending MIDI to the DAW. It is also very easy to send MIDI back out to the iPads from the DAW. The MIDI routing options are very flexible, so also slightly complex. Each USB host device gets 16 ports. (not channels, ports). So, you kind of have to know that if you want to send from DAW to iPad 1, then go out through port 5. go out port 6 to get to iPad 2. This was a bit confusing. I struggled with routing for a bit after initially receiving this box.

    There is audio latency. But, I think some of that is determined by the audio interface as opposed to the ICM4+. For me to get the ICM4+ working well, I have to turn the buffer sizes down to a point where there is sometimes crackling in my monitors. For me, this is around 256 samples. When recording from the iPad, I believe you hit the buffer on the way in, and then again when going out to converters and monitors. If you try to route the DAW to FX on the iPAd, then you hit the buffer an additional time – I have not been doing much of that. I’m mostly just using iPad FX on iPad apps via Audio Bus. I’m using VST FX inside the DAW. But, I am using a ton of iPAd sound modules like Animoog, Arturia, Nave, etc. And, it is nice to not have to mess with the 1/8 jack, docks, or RCA cables. And, you never have to worry about your ipad running out of power.

    In summation, the MIDI routing options are nice, but you can do all of that with Wi-Fi or BlueTooth. I personally feel that using the ICM4+ simplifies MIDI routing, though, especially if you are mostly going to be using the iPads, the DAW, and maybe one or two external pieces of gear. You could also record audio using the 1/8 inch jack on the pad. But, this is where I really do like the ICM4+. It cleans up your desk tremendously.

    Final note, I am using Ableton to record audio in, so the latency is also helped by Ableton’s warping capabilities. Even without latency issues, I very rarely am getting timing right. It sounds right in my head as I am jamming out. But, I almost always have to adjust warp markers and timing post recording. In Ableton, this is really almost as easy as quantizing MIDI. So, using the ICM4+ with Ableton I think is a winning combo.

    1. As deep as configuration options can go, out of the box it works well using the default configuration. So if you have things to plug into any of those ports you’re good to go anyhow. Reading the manual is recommended after you get over how everything is suddenly communicating with each other.

      1. Out of the box works pretty much perfect for basic MIDI routing. It just took me a while to figure out that USB host 3 is the computer, USB host 3 port 5 out goes to USB 1 by default, etc.

        It’s nice, though now. With any iOS app, I pull up MID routings and just select USB 3 to send MIDI to DAW. Select USB 1/2 to send MIDI to either iPAD. I’m currently using two iPADs through iCM4+. I think a good config might be two iPads connected to the ICM4+ with a 3rd ipad connected over the air to use solely as a DAW/MIDI controller with no audio output.

        1. Yeah that wireless MIDI idea works quite well. I have something similar where I have an iPad leaned up against my MS2000BR using MIDI Designer to change some of the mod sequencer parameters while leaving the MS2K knobs at their default assignments. Same thing with my guitar processor. That Ethernet jack is proving very useful.

  6. I have a comment and a question. First the comment.

    Note: I do not own an ICM4+ yet. I will have one a few weeks though.

    I think Scott got the essence of this device right. To some wondering just what the device really is I’d say it is an amazing MIDI device which can tie together MIDI over USB, over DIN and over WiFi. That’s huge: send anything MIDI to anything that processes it.

    The Audio pass through has been described by others as a VST/AU for iOS synths like Thor, Animoog and Sunriser. Now, from my PC Ableton rig I will be able to play Thor from a sequence in Ableton and print the audio back out to an audio track (I’m not sure if I can use and external instrument for this). It can do a lot more than that of course but for me that is a huge realization of my investment in iPad apps.

    The digital audio never gets converted to analog between iPad and PC when flowing through iConnectivity cables/device/ASIO, Core Audio chain. – The IConnectivity audio inputs appear as inputs to your DAW but must be associated to an aggregate device in ASIO4All or use OSX core audio to hear anything in your headphones or monitors. The only time conversion happens is when your DAW sends out a mix to your audio interface outputs. Of course if you are going out to hardware inserts then you will also get conversion, but by then you are not talking audio pass through any more.

    My Question:

    The most common set up for audio pass through is 2 iOS devices and 1 PC
    PC DAW
    | |
    @ @
    iPad iPad

    has anyone tried audio pass through connecting *two* PCs and one iPad?
    PC DAW
    | |
    @ @
    PC Slave iPad


  7. I’ve had terrible luck with the 4+ . Midi is slow – ipad apps are providing very crunch audio – my faves – animoog and nave – and I just don’t like the ASIO4ALL dependency this thing requires. I think they should have their own drivers to aggregate devices – seems like a missed opportunity.

    Buffer messing has got me weary.

    Both the 2+ and 4+ are going back . And I was so into the idea , shame.

    1. ASIO4ALL on Windows is a third-party Kludge and iConnectivity is trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

      Until Windows and Android take audio seriously, users are going to be stuck with more audio performance problems than OS X/iOS users have to deal with.

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