Sidecar Brings New Control Options To iOS 9

Secret Base Design’s Sidecar is designed to work with the slide-over and split-view features of iOS 9 on the iPad and to bring new control options to iOS music making.

Sidecar is an iOS app designed for slide-over and side-by-side view on the iPad (with iOS 9). It features IAA hosting, a mixer, built-in audio recording, and a web server for recording access. It can also stream audio over WiFi to Apollo Sound Injector.

Sidecar also features ten pages of configurable MIDI pads, that can be set up for notes, chords, or either CC or PC messages.

Here’s a video intro:

Here’s a preview of new features in the latest version, 1.2:


  • Easy MIDI Configuration – With ten separately configurable MIDI destinations you can quickly set up a set of assignments for each of the MIDI apps that you use. Have a set of chords for Animoog, choose different presets for ToneStack, or assign pads to different samples for DM1. Each MIDI destination has ten configurable pads, which can be assigned to chords, single notes, a program change message, or a controller change message. For notes and chords, the touch position controls note velocity. For controller change messages, the location of a touch on screen can be used to determine the controller value.
  • QWERTY Keyboard Support – Toggle on support for the external keyboard, and you can switch between the ten MIDI destinations quickly (using the keys in the QWERTY row). Toggle on or off any of the ten pads by pressing the number keys. The two lowest rows of keys are mapped as a standard piano keyboard, providing a musical play surface with an ordinary text keyboard. Note that QWERTY keyboards only send “key press” information to your iPad — to silence a sounding note, you simply tap the space bar.
  • Game Controller Ready – Sidecar also supports the iON iCade game controller, mapping the buttons of the iCade to the pads. Because the iCade was designed for games, it sends button press and release information, which makes it easy to toggle on and off the pads.
  • MIDI Relay – If you have an external MIDI controller, you can have it send MIDI events to Sidecar — and these will be relayed to any of the ten MIDI destinations you select. Use this to quickly switch from one synth to another.
  • Control Background Synths – Because Sidecar sends MIDI messages, it can be used to control background synthesizers, sequencers, and effects apps.
  • Features for guitarists – Sidecar is a great companion to the pitch-to-MIDI app MIDImorphosis — you can set up the mapping to control processing of notes, and to toggle between polyphonic and monotonic mode, or to toggle on and off support for pitch bend. MIDImorphosis has opened up a world of synthesis to guitarists, and Sidecar makes it even better. Because Sidecar uses MIDI, you can have MIDImorphosis in the background, and still control it. And with support for QWERTY keyboards, you have an inexpensive remote pedal controller. The app is a great addition to guitar effects apps too.
  • Sidecar is designed to work along side your other iOS music apps, and takes advantage of the latest features of iOS 9. For slide-over, you must have an iPad Air or an iPad Mini 2 or better. For split-view, you’ll need and iPad Air2 or an iPad Pro.

Sidecar is available now for US $3.99 in the App Store.

If you’ve used Sidecar, leave a comment and share your thoughts on it!

via palmsounds

3 thoughts on “Sidecar Brings New Control Options To iOS 9

  1. Ableton Link support will happen with the update after the coming one. Version 1.2 is currently waiting for review, and adds the IAA hosting, mixer, streaming over WiFi, and stuff like that. Looking at my schedule and what I’ve got on the plate, 1.3 should happen in a couple of months.

    I’ve been playing with the Link SDK; nicely designed, and I’ll add it to Sidecar, a MIDI looper that I’ve got in development, and it may make an appearance in musicIO as well. After who knows how many years, it seems like someone has finally gotten sync right (now lets hope that it gets adopted everywhere, rather than having yet another competing standard).

    Playing with Link highlighted a glaring hole in Sidecar, though. Sidecar doesn’t have MIDI start/stop messages…. That’s an easy but important thing to fix.

    (And thanks for covering the app!)

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