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iPad as DAW extension - did everything just change?

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iPad as DAW extension - did everything just change?

Postby BillB » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:28 pm

I don't want to be too melodramatic, but I just came across this:

It's obviously not a finished product just yet, but the specs seem fairly clear. Not sure I understand all of the possibilities, but the two main capabilities quoted from the page are:

1) "allows for more than one computing device to access the same MIDI resources. This is useful in many ways such as, sending midi from a controller or synth to daw and an iOS device simultaneously, setting up redundancy in a live MIDI environment, sending MIDI from multiple computing devices to one another, and more."

2) "Audio Pass-through. This patent pending technology is integral to using iOS, and multiple computing devices (Mac, PC, and iOS) in a professional environment by enabling the devices to pass not only MIDI data but also audio data from device to device. There are many practical applications for this technology, for example now musicians can use a DAW on their MAC or PC to control a virtual instrument or other music making program on their iOS or other computing device (PC, MAC, iOS) and send the MIDI data as well as audio data back to the DAW without extra cables, or signal degradation or additional analog to digital conversion."

So it looks like one USB cable from the DAW, and a second from the iPad, would allow the DAW to have MIDI and audio connection with apps like AniMoog, iMS20, Sunrizer etc.

Why do this, rather than stick with VSTi's? Some great synths are only available as apps (eg Animoog) plus the touch interface throws up a lot of interesting possibilities with well-programmed apps. Possible disadvantages: only one instance per App and probably only a small number of apps running simultaneously, depending on their demands on the iPad.

It also suggests that transferring "song note pad" ideas from the iPad, to be finished in the DAW, will now be much easier, assuming (MIDI) sync of audio tracks.

And to conclude, it looks like the price will be reasonable: MSRP $89.99, KVR suggests a street price of $69.99, so £??.??

Since I got hold of an iPad, I haven't considered it to be a replacement for DAWs/VSTs, but an alternative way of playing with musical ideas. The prospect of now linking them together - effectively - is really very exciting.
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Re: iPad as DAW extension - did everything just change?

Postby Skerrick » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:16 am

yo man, i reckon its a great thing!
im really curious to see if this device goes any further.. i make a lot of stuff on my ipad but my main gripe is that i cant integrate the stuff ive made into my DAW very easily...
im using FL studio on both ipad and PC which is a bit of a bonus in terms of swapping project files, but to use the ipad as a CONTROLLER is something ive been keen to do for ages.. i know its already doable in various ways but it always seems really complicated..

i made this entirely on my ipad:

so theyre definitely very usable as music making tools... i just wonder if the way this product is advertised to work will be as easy as they make it seem...
im excited about it tbh hah :lol:
get FL Studio for mobile if you havent already... its probably the closest thing to an entire DAW available on the ipad.. its pretty deep. :)

i found this article:

"You’re not limited to one musical instrument either. With iConnectMIDI you can connect up to 16 devices in a chain, controlling all of them with your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch."

^ could this possibly mean that you could link say, a guitar, keyboard and even electric violin, and playing the ipad will trigger the same note across all of these devices simultaneously? sounds like a great tool tbh, really wanna have a little fiddle with one. :lol:
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Re: iPad as DAW extension - did everything just change?

Postby Wease » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:31 pm

We already have access to some controller apps for specific daw based instruments.....I'm thinking alchemy as one I use....I think this trend will continue.....big daw based apps giving free ipad controller apps as an added value service.
I can also see a system such as audiobus being expanded....I can already record my electribe, thumb piano and animoog via audiobus into separate channels of music studio......the only thing really missing is audiobus capability in GarageBand....that would be very useful.

And there are some very interesting sound creation tools coming out for ipad.....utilising the strengths of the touch control

I do think tho that the ipad will hit a ceiling as regards processing power and ram.....I think there will always be room for large and expensive au's/vst's etc that require a high processing/ram/storage ratio....things like massive and the larger sample library based instruments....that will never fit the ipad app format...due to the restrictions of processor etc.

I find that setting up a ad hoc network and sending midi over wifi moderately easy...sometimes.....and I think this will be that we don't even need physical connections to send audio and midi in real time....the op's post indicates this is just round the corner.

I would like to be able to see and control my daw screen on my ipad....I understand there are apps for this but I also hear they don't work perfectly.

I can see room for a mastering type the sonnex pro coder thing...purely for iTunes/web formatting...and I can see re-issues of classic synths from the likes of Roland and korg increasing....korg are even re-issue ing "classic" the I-ms20...I can see this field increasing

But...I think the most challenging issue for the developers is cost and profit. even the most expensive app I believe is Cubase for ipad...and that's around £35 quid.....or the price of an alchemy sound bank.....I just don't think people will pay enough money for an ipad app for any real groundbreaking music tools to be made.....and you can't sell on the app becomes financially worthless once brought...which would put me off least I can sell on my licence with plugins.....and I suppose this fear has lead to the rise in 500 series/modular synth/dsp type (UAD) retains some sort of value and physicality when purchased.

It is an interesting time for apple based musicians....ipad is an interesting tool and has some scope for replacing some plugin instruments....but maybe better placed augmenting larger daw based plugins with greater/more unusual control.

Logic 10 I suggest will have some ipad linkage....probably via GarageBand.....that could be interesting....I don't know of an Apple Mac app that doesn't link in with mobile devices in some form.....I don't suppose logic will be any different

And I think, especially for us poorer project studio peeps...there is going to be a more integrated way of sharing our music via ipad to the Internet world....

Finally (thankfully) there is a growth in the ipad audio connection market....focusrite, alesis etc....which kinda gets the ipad into portastudio/small live mixer/recorder area.....a sketch pad for songs that will sync to your mac daw immediately....could you one day record your vocalist live in Scotland, your guitarist in Wales from a session in London with no perceived latency through gear equivalent to what you have in the studio?

Sorry bout the long post.....had staff meeting this evening and want to talk about something that actually interests me! :headbang:
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Re: iPad as DAW extension - did everything just change?

Postby BillB » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:26 am

Skerrick, thanks for your thoughts. I keep wondering about FL Studio, as it is one of the few PC/iOS DAWs at present with file transfer, but there seem to be quite a few people on the FL forums with issues transferring files between the two platforms - although hopefully they will get resolved. It's still early days.

What interested me about iConnectMIDI2+ was the idea that any sequence/loop created using an app with Midi sync (say a Loopy track or tracks) could be played in sync from a PC master DAW and recorded into the DAW, without any D/A and A/D conversion, just using 2 USB cables and iConnect - if I understand it correctly! So any MIDI syncable iPad app becomes another track to any PC/Mac DAW.

Ooh, ooh! Just thought of another one. You create a backing track on your DAW, and want to record vocals, so bounce the master mix across to an iPad multi-tracker, turn off the PC/Mac and record your vocals/acoustic instruments into the iPad. Why? - because the iPad is completely silent. Then bounce your audio tracks back to the DAW for mixing.

More obviously, the iPad becomes a digital sound expander to any DAW. Wease, you are right, there are processing limits to what can be acheived on the iPad, and it won't take over from DAW plug-ins which require DAW power and capacity. There is a debate on the SOS Keyboard forum about using an iPad and MIDI keyboard for gigging. Fact is, there is no iPad app about to provide the facilities of a gigging keyboard from the big manufacturers. The only suggestion was Garageband, which has some acceptable sounds, but not the sonic flexibility of a modern rompler keyboard.

But coming back to the DAW link idea, if you have picked up a few good iPad synths for near pocket money prices, it would be great to use them as plug-ins!

I agree that iOS app profit margins look to be small, but it is interesting to see strategies developing where software and hardware manufacturers see iOS apps as possibly supporting: their hardware (eg Yamaha with its Motif XF editing app); some developing complementary and mutual promotion of products (eg Korg's iMS20 and Mini MS20); FL Studio app and DAW, Cubasis app and Cubase DAW. And what is better for Akai - to sell an MPC hardware unit at maybe £150-200 profit, or sell 100 iMPC apps at £2 profit, simply because anyone with a passing interest in MPC-style music (and an iPad) might buy one on impulse? The possibility with apps has always been to sell to the global market, and that is presumably why app development still appears to be so vibrant.

Coming back to the iConnect, it's probably another reason to develop clever apps, because it gives an audio/MIDI hotline into any DAW on any OS...

Here's a bit more info and NAMM video link
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