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Audio/MIDI USB interfaces for the iPad/iPhone etc

Postby BillB » Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:36 pm

Further to my post here,
http://www.soundonsound.com/forum/showf ... ost1115993>/http://www.soundonsound.com/forum
I thought it might be an idea to create a thread in which users can list successful combinations of audio or midi interface and iPads/iPhones/iPods (iDevices). There used to be a list on a website called IOSMusician, but that site disappeared about a year ago. Obviously there are dedicated interfaces (IK, Focusrite, Apogee amongst others) and these can be found on manufacturers' and retailers' websites.

What I am more interested in here is which non-IOS dedicated USB devices can be made to work with iDevices via Camera Connection Kits (CCK) or similar.

Apart from general questions of compatibility, the sticking point of iDevice/USB connection is often the current draw of the USB device, therefore it is usually necessary to have a self-powered (DC or battery) USB peripheral, or to run it through a powered USB hub, so the hub provides the power and the iDevice doesn't need to provide any.

So my list is

Alesis I/O2 > Powered USB hub (belkin) > cheap CCK (30 pin) > iPad 2.
Alesis Photon X 25 MIDI controller > Powered USB hub (belkin) > cheap CCK (30 pin) > iPad 2.
Alesis I/O2 > Powered USB hub (belkin) > Apple Lightning to USB camera adaptor > iPad Air.
iRig MIDI interface (V1) > Apple 30 pin to Lightning adaptor > iPad Air.

I can test the iPad Air/CCK/powered hub combo with with a Roland UA25 EX audio/midi interface, M-Audio Pro Keys Sono and Alesis Photon X25. Will report back.

Meanwhile any other combinations welcome. Richard said in the previous thread "A cheapo USB to Thunderbolt adaptor from eBay arrived today, and it works fine with my Akai keyboard" - perhaps more detail - which keyboard, MIDI and/or Audio?

Looking forward to contributions 8-)
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Re: Audio/MIDI USB interfaces for the iPad/iPhone etc

Postby BillB » Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:43 pm

Actually, thinking about it, I have a few multi-port MIDI-only interfaces (M-Audio/Edirol)which would be interesting to try via the CCK too...
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Re: Audio/MIDI USB interfaces for the iPad/iPhone etc

Postby zenguitar » Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:29 pm

Sounds a good idea Bill,

I'll make it sticky.

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Re: Audio/MIDI USB interfaces for the iPad/iPhone etc

Postby mpvano » Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:11 pm

I've got several devices working nicely here with IOS 7.2.1 on both my iPad Mini and iPhone 5. The Sonic port even works on my wife's iPhone 4.

I haven't done any testing with these devices on earlier IOS releases.

1. Line 6 Sonic Port (directly connects to lightning and even old 30 pin ports)
2. M-Audio Audiosport Duo with lightning CCK (no hub required)
3. Behringer X32 Compact with XUF dual interface and lightning CCK (no hub required but fussy about USB cable)

All these devices work extremely well and reliably, but some software gets confused by the large number of IO connections provided by the X32. Setting it to 8 in/32 out instead of 32 in/32 out helps sometimes.

Surprisingly the Line6 (which is powered by the IOS device) provides me reliable 24bit/44khz recording for more than 4 hours with the iPad and at least 3 with the iPhone! It also has nicely line levels for pro gear without overloading. I just wish it worked on my MacBook - they do not provide a normal USB cable.

All three devices work in 16 or 24 bit modes.

I generally use Twisted Wave (full edition), Audio Tools, Garage Band, and lately have been experimenting with Presonus "Capture" (full edition only) at input counts up to 8 (it gets flakey beyond that).

I'm more involved with trad music, so my instruments don't have pickups and I'm a poor judge of the quality of the emulations, but the Sonic Port's own "Mobile POD" application appears to work well with reasonably low latency on my phone and pad.

It's really handy to connect my iPhone to the X32 via just a lightning CCK and cable and use Audio Tools with it.

Devices that don't work at all here with or without powered hub:

1. M-Audio Transit (needs firmware load from host)
2. Roland UA30 (requires wacky mixed sample rate IO support)
3. Phonic Helixboard 24 Universal with last supported FW/USB firmware that claims class USB support (which won't work via USB on Mavericks either).

I don't own any standalone Midi devices...

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Re: Audio/MIDI USB interfaces for the iPad/iPhone etc

Postby BillB » Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:24 pm

Thank you Andy and M - very useful
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Re: Audio/MIDI USB interfaces for the iPad/iPhone etc

Postby BillB » Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:18 pm

One to add:
Waldorf Blofeld desktop > standard USB cable > Apple Lightning to USB camera adaptor > iPad Air.
This is a really nice combination with the Patch Morpher App which edits, or morphs between, patches on the Blofeld. The Blofeld hardware MIDI in port can be used to connect a master keyboard for playing/auditioning. The connection can also be used to send/receive sysex etc dumps eg to MIDI ToolBox App.
Patch Morpher also works with:
DSI Prophet 08
DSI Prophet 12 - including the 32-note sequencer & delay filters.
DSI Mopho
KORG King Korg
Mutable Instruments Shruthi-1
Moog Voyager
Waldorf Pulse 2
Access Virus TI
but I'm not sure which of the above has a USB interface. Any standard MIDI interface should work fine (eg iRig).

Editor software tends to feel a little more natural on the iPad touchscreen than when using a mouse-based interface on PC etc.
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Re: Audio/MIDI USB interfaces for the iPad/iPhone etc

Postby Martin Walker » Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:36 am

BillB wrote:Waldorf Blofeld desktop > standard USB cable > Apple Lightning to USB camera adaptor > iPad Air.

Nice clean setup Bill! 8-)


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Re: Audio/MIDI USB interfaces for the iPad/iPhone etc

Postby Richard Graham » Thu Nov 20, 2014 2:06 am

BillB wrote:Richard said in the previous thread "A cheapo USB to Thunderbolt adaptor from eBay arrived today, and it works fine with my Akai keyboard" - perhaps more detail - which keyboard, MIDI and/or audio?

Hi Bill, just to clarify I meant USB to lightning. Sorry about that. The keyboard is an Akai LPK25 and is MIDI only. This keyboard also worked with a generic 30 pin to USB connector. No hub needed in either case.

The adaptor also works with a generic guitar to USB lead, to get guitar signal audio into GB, without a hub.

I'm still on iOS7. I'm worried going to 8 will break things.
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Re: Audio/MIDI USB interfaces for the iPad/iPhone etc

Postby Andrew Heath » Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:18 pm

Hi All,
Not sure this is useful or indeed relevant to the opening question but my experience is one of frustration.
I'm a Logic user (on my MacBook pro) and have an iPad 4 which I use mainly for Samplr (wonderful). Up until now, I've been taking the audio out of the headphone and just putting into my Focusrite interface. Simple and it works. In an attempt to do away with cables I've just latched onto audiomux, midimux and audiobus. Great I thought... hmm. It works... sometimes. When it does it's great and does what it sets out to do. It's just completely frustrating when it doesn't and I've just had a very 'not working' 20mins. I did download Flux (very nice) but think I'll go back to wires!

Anybody else have similar?

Best wishes,
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Re: Audio/MIDI USB interfaces for the iPad/iPhone etc

Postby tea for two » Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:39 pm

Midi Keyboards
Arturia Keylab, Minilab.
Keith McMillen KBoard.
Novation XioSynth.
Novation XStation.


Audio Interfaces
Alesis control hub &  io hub.
Art USB Dual Pre.
Focusrite Solo, Scarlett 2i2, 2i4.
Presonus Audiobox USB.
Roland UA-22 Duo Capture-Ex.
Tascam iU2.
Zoom G3.



The way to use for instance Focusrite (USB class compliant)
# Portable USB battery charger : ensure outputs 5V 2.1A  (i use EasyAcc12000 expect 75% stated capacity)
# Y-Cable USB A to B  (2x A slots : flat, 1x B : square)
# USB Hub UNpowered : UNpowered Hub necessary else iPad will tell it cant power USB interface
# Camera Connection Kit.


Connecting Focusrite :
/// Connect iPad to USB hub via Camera Connection Kit
/// Connect Y-Cable USB A port (flat) to USB hub
/// Connect Y-Cable USB A port (flat) to USB Battery pack 2.1A 5V
/// Connect Y-Cable USB B port (square) to Focusrite.
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Re: Audio/MIDI USB interfaces for the iPad/iPhone etc

Postby tea for two » Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:38 am

table for two wrote:
The way to use for instance Focusrite (USB class compliant)
# Portable USB battery charger : ensure outputs 5V 2.1A  (i use EasyAcc12000 expect 75% stated capacity)


Reason this route is to stay mobile.
Powered USB hub chains us to wall .... defeating the point of iPad mobile (Recharge make a 6000MAh USB hub = 3x price of 12000MAh EasyAcc).
Thus UNpowered USB hub with Portable USB battery charger & YCable USB AB (as described).


::::::


This list was on iosmidi.com now on seosocially.com
Should check compatibility with iOS version


Audio Midi interfaces that work

Akai EWI USB
Akai LPD8
Akai APC-40 (via powered USB hub)
Akai LPK25 (has power issues for some users)
Akai MPK49 & MPK61 (via powered USB hub)
Akai MPK25 (via USB hub)
Akai MPK Mini (plug in while iPad is in sleep mode and wait for connection)
Akai RPM3 (audio only)
Akai Synthstation (works via USB hub)
Akai Synthstation 49
Alesis DM6
Alesis DM10
Alesis iO Dock
Alesis iO2 (older model, via USB hub)
Alesis Photon X25
Alesis Q25
Alesis Q49 (works via USB bus – no external power necessary)
American Audio VMS4 DJ (works with power supply, audio on channel 1 works also)
Arturia Analog Factory ‘The Laboratory’ 49 Key (using supplied power adaptor)
Arturia Minilab
Axiom 49 (2nd Gen)
Axon AX 50
Audiotrak MIDI Mate
Behringer BCF2000 (experiment with output ‘modes’, U-4 works well for in & out)
Behringer BCR2000 (experiment with output ‘modes’, U-4 works well for in & out)
Behringer iAxe 323 USB Guitar (audio only)
Behringer UMA25S (audio & MIDI)
Behringer UMX25
Behringer UMX61
Behringer UMX490
Bespeco MIDI Cable
Carillon M1X1
Casio DG-20 Guitar Synth
Casio Privia PX-130
Casio WK7500
CME U2MIDI
CME U-Key 49 Mobiletone
Digitech GNX4 (audio & MIDI)
DSI Mopho Keyboard
DSI Tetra
Doepfer Dark Energy
Doepfer Dark Time
E-MU X MIDI 1×1 Tab
E-MU Xmidi 2×2
EDIROL PCR-M80 (use settings to set USB driver to ‘generic’ [see instruction manual] – thanks Lorenzo!)
EDIROL PCR-1 (via USB Hub, audio interface also works)
EDIROL PCR-A30 (via adaptor or USB Hub, audio doesn’t work)
EDIROL PCR-30 (set USB mode driver to ‘generic’)
EDIROL PCR-300 (set USB mode driver to ‘generic’, works with Boss PSA-120T power adaptor, and PSB1-U also. PSU rated at +9.6 VDC 200mA center-negative.)
EDIROL PCR-800 (set USB mode driver to ‘generic’)
EDIROL UA-1D (via USB hub, adds noticeable latency)
EDIROL UA-25EX (via USB hub, audio only)
EDIROL UM-1ex (set USB mode driver to ‘generic’)
EDIROL UM-1sx
EDIROL UM-2ex (NB: Roland UM-2 [not EDIROL] does not work)
Elektron TM-1
ESI KeyControl 25 XTESI M8UESI Midimate IIEvolution MK-361C (works without external power or hub needed)
Focusrite VRM Box (via USB Hub, hardware only)
Genovation 900-MPC Midi Patch ChangerHDE USB->MIDI Cable ($5 on Amazon!)
JamHub TourBus (via USB hub)
Kawai MP8II
Korg KP3 KAOSS PAD
Korg Kaossilator Pro (instruction manual [PDF] has useful info for settings)
Korg K25
Korg Kontrol 49 (with power adaptor)
Korg microSAMPLER & microKONTROL
Korg M3
Korg M50
Korg microKEY 37 (via USB hub)
Korg MicroXKorg MS-20 (via hub)
Korg nanoKEY, nanoPAD & nanoControl
Korg Pandora PX5D
Korg R3 (using supplied power supply)
Korg RADIUS
Korg Triton TR Series
Korg X50
Kurzweil PC3
Livid Block (via powered USB hub)
Livid Block Ohm64 (via powered USB hub)
Lexicon Omega
Line 6 Pocket POD (MIDI only)
LogiLink USB MIDI Cable
Logitech Premium Notebook USB Headset (audio only – boom works for audio input, headphones monitor iPad output)
Mackie XD-2
Mistar MidiLink (may need a few tries to be recognised)
M-Audio Axiom 49 (1st gen) (mixed reports – try a USB hub)
M-Audio Axiom Pro 61M-Audio Evolution X-Session (with 9V DC center-positive adaptor)
M-Audio Keystudio (via USB hub or with external power)
M-Audio O2 (when plugged in)
M-Audio Oxygen 8 (with batteries/adaptor, via USB hub)
M-Audio Oxygen 8 3rd Gen
M-Audio Oxygen 25 3rd Gen
M-Audio Oxygen 49 (via powered hub)
M-Audio Oxygen 61
M-Audio Prokeys 61
M-Audio Prokeys 88
M-Audio Prokeys 88SX
M-Audio Uno 1×1 (Note: older models when M-Audio was called Midiman do not work. M-Audio changed name in 2002, newer/current models work fine.)
M-Audio Keystation 49a (set USB Driver to ‘generic’)
M-Audio Keystation Pro-88
M-Audio KeyRig
M-Audio XSession ProM-Audio Venom (USB audio works well, MIDI a little patchy)
Moog Little Phatty Stage II
Moog Multipedal (Moog’s MIDI In get’s routed into the iPad also)
Novation Remote 25 LE
Novation Remote SL series
Novation Remote Zero SL MK1 (via hub or battery)
Novation X-Station (with power adaptor)
Novation Xio 25 (audio & MIDI)
Presonus Audiobox USB (audio & MIDI, via powered hub)
Prodipe Midi USB 1i1o
Roland A-300PRO (A-500PRO, A-800PRO, and equivalently named Cakewalk products should also work – TBC)
Roland Cakewalk A-500S Master Keyboard (with batteries, advanced driver off)
Roland FP-7F
Roland HP 305
Roland Lucina
Roland Octapad SPD-30
Sequentix Cirklon
Sonuus i2M Musicport
Studiologic VMK-161 (via powered hub)
Studiologic VMK-188
Swissonic MIID-USB 1×1
Terrasoniq MIDI ONE
Terratec Axon AX 50Turtle Beach USB MIDI 1×1 (via powered hub, sometimes works without)
V-Machine VST PlayerWaldorf Blofeld (desktop version)
Yamaha E430Yamaha Ez250i
Yamaha KX-8Yamaha PSR-S900
Yamaha S90ES
Yamaha Stage Piano 3P00 (external power needed, set local control off, MIDI on)
Yamaha UX-16
Yamaha WX-5 EWI (with adaptor, via USB hub)
Yamaha YDP-V240
Yamaha YPG-235
Yamaha YPG-625
Zoom A2.1u (audio only, via USB hub)
Zoom H4n (audio only)
Zoom R16 (audio only, via USB hub)
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Re: Audio/MIDI USB interfaces for the iPad/iPhone etc

Postby BillB » Sat Jun 11, 2016 6:55 pm

Time to add to this...

Alesis Photon X25 (DC powered) > CCK > iPad Air
M-Audio Prokeys Sono (DC powered) > CCK > iPad Air
Novation XioSynth 25 (DC powered) > CCK > iPad Air
Audio (iPad out) and MIDI working in all cases
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Re: Audio/MIDI USB interfaces for the iPad/iPhone etc

Postby Martin Walker » Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:23 pm

Here's one from me that I'm currently enjoying:

Prophet-12 > standard USB cable > CCK > iPad Air running on battery (running Jazzman's excellent Patch Morpher utility).

Connects via MIDI in both directions (send/receive)


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Re: Audio/MIDI USB interfaces for the iPad/iPhone etc

Postby paul tha other » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:42 pm

slightly of topic kinda but i got a behringer istudio for xmas this year..i have to say its pretty good for the cost which was £62.50 from gearformusic

i recorded my self singing(if you can call it that) and was impressed with its sound..was a bit on the hissy side but pass-able

at the last band practise i had the ipad with me for lyrics and the odd sample here and there.i plugged in my guitar and plugged the istudio into my amp..couldnt believe what came out..wasnt the best sound ive ever heard but it was perfectly good for a back up system, it would get you through a gig if your pedal board or multi effects blew up...

it has midi in and out..perfect..now i take my midi controller with me and i can play synth with it...some of the synths you can get on the ipad are great

it also has a video out(it an old s-video out type of thing) havnt used that

now im looking for a vocoder type thing for the ipad..anyone use any of them????, there isnt many to pick from
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Re: Audio/MIDI USB interfaces for the iPad/iPhone etc

Postby BillB » Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:04 pm

Hi folks
Important development here. Apple has released the Lightning USB/3 adaptor (they usually refer to these as CCKs, Camera Connection Kits.

The important bit is not the USB3 (apparently only the iPad Pro has the necessary chip to take advantage of the speed increase) but that as well as the USB connection (which provides the functionality discussed in the post above) it also has a Lightning charging port. So you can finally use the iPad with class-compliant USB audio / midi peripherals AND have it charging at the same time. A first, with the exception of a few dedicated units like the iconnect4 units which also feature an internal iPad charging path.

If you already have USB interfaces you like to use with the iPad, this is a good option. Unfortunately Apple Store has just (mid Jan 2017) raised UK prices so $ = £ (thanks Brexit) so what was £30 is now £39. However, just picked one up on Amazon UK for about £29, so get one soon if you are interested!

The device is nicely explained here:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=i2mrmmpnvLc

I'll report back when I get chance to try it :thumbup:
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Re: Audio/MIDI USB interfaces for the iPad/iPhone etc

Postby tunningman » Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:10 am

Hi, Bill thanks for this post. I will bookmark this for future refrence.
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Howdy everyone 


Re: Audio/MIDI USB interfaces for the iPad/iPhone etc

Postby BillB » Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:48 am

First report back on the Lightning-USB3 adaptor - it works!
Much of my kit is in storage at the moment, but I have been able to try the adaptor with my iPad Air and a Midibox 4x4 MIDI interface and a Novation Xio.

Both are, or can be, powered over USB, and both received enough power when the interface itself was powered (it has a Lightning charging connector) AND the iPad charged at the same time. I was expecting the iPad to charge, but as suggested in the YouTube video above, I wasn't expecting the attached USB device to be powered. I expected to either have to power that via DC or insert a powered USB hub.

Obviously different kit will have different power demands, but if the Xio with its backlit display is OK, then that bodes well for other gear. Worst case, a powered USB hub may be required. Having now read the instructions (!) for the adaptor, it says (remember that this is regarded as a camera connector) "To charge your camera battery while you import photos, you can connect a lighting to USB cable from the lighting port [on the adaptor] to a USB power adaptor". So it is officially designed to power the attached USB device as well as the iPad.

This is all good! If, like me, you searched for devices which would charge the iPad whilst providing a USB interface, you will find a lot of people on the interwebs asking why Apple, and other suppliers, don't provide a device to allow this to happen. Well now they do, introduced without the fanfare it deserves, in the guise of a USB3 camera connection kit.
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Re: Audio/MIDI USB interfaces for the iPad/iPhone etc

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:03 am

BillB wrote:This is all good! If, like me, you searched for devices which would charge the iPad whilst providing a USB interface, you will find a lot of people on the interwebs asking why Apple, and other suppliers, don't provide a device to allow this to happen. Well now they do, introduced without the fanfare it deserves, in the guise of a USB3 camera connection kit.

:thumbup: Yep, this seems to have been a fundamental limitation waiting to be solved by Apple.

I still think it's overpriced at £39 for what it is though :headbang:


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Re: Audio/MIDI USB interfaces for the iPad/iPhone etc

Postby BillB » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:57 am

Well, it was £30 a few weeks ago...
Overpriced and Apple seem to go together, but I do have to admit, it 'just works' - as do items like the Lightning to VGA adaptor, which seems to work better than most of my Windows laptops.
The alternatives are to purchase dedicated IOS interfaces (iConnect etc) which I'm sure are good, but also quite expensive. This Lightning-USB3 adpator holds the prospect of working with that big list of MIDI/audio devices further up this thread, potentially without further power requirements.
Although, having said that, I would think it generally best to use device power where available and let the charging port just charge the iPad.
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Re: Audio/MIDI USB interfaces for the iPad/iPhone etc

Postby ManFromGlass » Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:07 pm

I've just ordered one. $49Cdn including taxes. I've been waiting a long time for this. It's going to be fun!
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