You are here

Getting sound from iPad into Pro Tools with mbox 3

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Getting sound from iPad into Pro Tools with mbox 3

Postby techturd » Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:02 am

So what I want to do is be able to play with music apps on the ipad and record the sounds I'm making, real time, into pro tools. My interface is an mbox 3.

My plan was to get an 8th inch to rca adapter and then two rca to 1/4 inch adapters, go 8th out of the headphone jack on the iPad and then into the two separate 1/4 inch inputs on the mbox. It seems a little convoluted to me so I'm wondering if anyone has any better ideas or if that's the best way, then I just want to make sure I'm using the best/right kind of adapters. It's sort of confusing looking up the adapters online cause you run into a lot of rca to stereo 1/4 inch.

Anyways, I hope this all makes some sense. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks very much.

Sam
www.samlevin.org
techturd
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:00 am

Re: Getting sound from iPad into Pro Tools with mbox 3

Postby zenguitar » Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:13 pm

Hi Sam, and welcome to the SOS forums.

I'm still new to the iPad but I do wonder whether you are making things a little over complicated. There are quite a few devices for getting high quality audio and MIDI into the iPad, but not so many for getting it out again.

Have you considered using one of the iPad recording apps to record the synth aps and then export the audio using iTunes/iCloud? You should get a lot better audio quality than the headphone jack and no cables to worry about. If you just want to start a track on the iPad and then develop it further in Pro Tools that will work just fine.

If you want to add parts to an existing track in Pro Tools you could save a basic stereo guide track and transfer it to your iPad, import into your iPad DAW and then record as many extra tracks as you need to export as before. Again, no special equipment required.

Or you might be able to use MIDI to sync Pro Tools with the iPad DAW if you had something like the iRig Pro in your tool box. That would allow you to play your app synths with a full MIDI keyboard, sync to MIDI tempo messages from Pro Tools, and would give you a great mobile interface if you wanted to record vocals and guitars while away from your main system.

And I am sure others will have other ideas too.

Andy
User avatar
zenguitar
Moderator
Posts: 7422
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Devon

Largely, but not entirely, dysfunctional.


Re: Getting sound from iPad into Pro Tools with mbox 3

Postby G-Doubleyou » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:04 pm

For the scoop on everything musical in the iOS world http://idesignsound.com/

User avatar
G-Doubleyou
Frequent Poster
Posts: 881
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:00 am

G-Dub Studio G-fx 15inch quad-core i7 Macbook Pro Logic9.1.8, LPX 10.0.3


Re: Getting sound from iPad into Pro Tools with mbox 3

Postby Wease » Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:21 pm

techturd wrote:So what I want to do is be able to play with music apps on the ipad and record the sounds I'm making, real time, into pro tools. My interface is an mbox 3.

My plan was to get an 8th inch to rca adapter and then two rca to 1/4 inch adapters, go 8th out of the headphone jack on the iPad and then into the two separate 1/4 inch inputs on the mbox. It seems a little convoluted to me so I'm wondering if anyone has any better ideas or if that's the best way, then I just want to make sure I'm using the best/right kind of adapters. It's sort of confusing looking up the adapters online cause you run into a lot of rca to stereo 1/4 inch.

Anyways, I hope this all makes some sense. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks very much.

Sam
www.samlevin.org

I got a stereo mini jack to 2RCA mono phono lead, alongside 2 phono to 1/4 inch jack converters to wire my ipad headphone output to my focusrite 10/10 from maplins walsall for around £15 to do precisely what you are doing.(the only difference is the size of the converters)

I think the irig headphone output is probably slightly better than the headphone output on the ipad, but it adds £20 plus to you bill....and you'd still have to input a mini jack to your box for monitoring.......and the recording the output and passing it through iTunes is a right faff....for not much gain IMHO...especially as I like to jam out my recordings with synths...and I usually decimate them after in logic anyway...so usually record audio only...makes my ipad a great additional synth!

As an output from the ipad I don't think the headphone out is that bad.....certainly as clean as say my audio out from my ms2000
If I wanted to vastly improve the ipad, the. I'd be looking at a forte or similar....but that would be for the recording ability.

As a synth kinda output, it's as good as any keyboard I have
£15 in maplin...easy

Wease
User avatar
Wease
Frequent Poster
Posts: 791
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Sunny Walsall

Re: Getting sound from iPad into Pro Tools with mbox 3

Postby techturd » Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:31 pm

Hey folks, thanks a bunch for the input. I'll check out all of your suggestions and go from there.

cheers,

Sam

www.samlevin.org
techturd
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:00 am

Re: Getting sound from iPad into Pro Tools with mbox 3

Postby Goddard » Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:24 am

The iPad analog I/O is not really that good (let down by poor ADC and DAC performance). And the iRig truly sucks ime (Tascam's iXY is far superior ime).

The best way would be to use an iPad-compatible audio interface with an S/PDIF digital output connected to the Mbox 3's S/PDIF input.
User avatar
Goddard
Frequent Poster
Posts: 997
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:00 pm

 


Re: Getting sound from iPad into Pro Tools with mbox 3

Postby Goddard » Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:05 pm

Goddard wrote:The iPad analog I/O is not really that good (let down by poor ADC and DAC performance). And the iRig truly sucks ime (Tascam's iXY is far superior ime).

The best way would be to use an iPad-compatible audio interface with an S/PDIF digital output connected to the Mbox 3's S/PDIF input.

Edit: That should have been "Tascam's iXZ" (rather than "iXY").

Btw, there is also an "Apps and other computer/OS" forum here where iPad related info can be found.
User avatar
Goddard
Frequent Poster
Posts: 997
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:00 pm

 


Re: Getting sound from iPad into Pro Tools with mbox 3

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sat Jan 11, 2014 12:42 pm

techturd wrote:My plan was to get an 8th inch to rca adapter and then two rca to 1/4 inch adapters, go 8th out of the headphone jack on the iPad and then into the two separate 1/4 inch inputs on the mbox. It seems a little convoluted to me...


Difficult to think of a simpler way, unless you make up a custom cable. The minijack to 2 x phono is probably the most common cable in the computer-music world, you very likely own one already. The adapters are also common items in all our toolboxes.

Recording internally on the iPad then transferring the file would be a lot more convoluted. And anyway, you say you want to do this in real time.

As said, audio output quality of the iPad is not wonderful. But it's not THAT bad, and we're talking emulated synths, not purist acoustic recordings. Isn't a bit of grunge GOOD?
Exalted Wombat
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5652
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:00 am
Location: London UK

You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont. Go fishing instead.


Re: Getting sound from iPad into Pro Tools with mbox 3

Postby Richard Graham » Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:01 pm

What could be simpler than taking a lead out of the audio output of one device (the ipad) and plugging it into the input of another (the audio interface)?

It isn't rocket science and the quality of the iPads audio out is perfectly good enough for synths.
User avatar
Richard Graham
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1707
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: Gateshead, UK

"If a nail is bent, stop hitting it."


Re: Getting sound from iPad into Pro Tools with mbox 3

Postby Goddard » Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:00 am

The analog audio output via the iPad mic/earphone jack routes through the headphone amp. Otoh, the analog output via the dock (or "lightning") connector is a nominal line-level output. One can find "dock" line-out adapters.

Softsynths are actually capable of outputting rather higher fidelity audio streams (e.g. utilizing all 24 bits for signal) compared to the output of most ADCs (where the low bits are just quantization noise). Yes, that is right, synthesized audio typically has greater dynamic range and SQNR than recorded audio.

So, taking the digital output from iPad (via the dock/lightning connector) is preferable for preserving fidelity as compared to going out via iPad DAC (and headphone amp) and then into Mbox 3's line amp and ADC which path will only degrade fidelity and add noise.

If one wants "grunge", there are fx for that.
User avatar
Goddard
Frequent Poster
Posts: 997
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:00 pm

 


Re: Getting sound from iPad into Pro Tools with mbox 3

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:39 am

Goddard wrote:Softsynths are actually capable of outputting rather higher fidelity audio streams (e.g. utilizing all 24 bits for signal) compared to the output of most ADCs (where the low bits are just quantization noise). Yes, that is right, synthesized audio typically has greater dynamic range and SQNR than recorded audio.

But it's the source quality that matters! Wouldn't you rather have a 22.05/12-bit sample of [name your favourite singer] than a 96/24 one of a sine wave?
Exalted Wombat
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5652
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:00 am
Location: London UK

You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont. Go fishing instead.


Re: Getting sound from iPad into Pro Tools with mbox 3

Postby Goddard » Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:43 am

Exalted Wombat wrote:
Goddard wrote:Softsynths are actually capable of outputting rather higher fidelity audio streams (e.g. utilizing all 24 bits for signal) compared to the output of most ADCs (where the low bits are just quantization noise). Yes, that is right, synthesized audio typically has greater dynamic range and SQNR than recorded audio.

But it's the source quality that matters! Wouldn't you rather have a 22.05/12-bit sample of [name your favourite singer] than a 96/24 one of a sine wave?

What are you talking about now?

The OP wants to play music apps (iow, virtual instruments, softsynths) on iPad and record them into PT on a computer.

And no, i would rather have a 24/96 recording of a singer (which is quite possible to accomplish with an iPad) along with 24-bit softsynth backing tracks. And if I want to output audio from iPad into another DAW I would prefer to do so digitally in a bit perfect manner (which is also quite easily accomplished).
User avatar
Goddard
Frequent Poster
Posts: 997
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:00 pm

 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests