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Old 05-14-2021, 09:09 PM
indeloon85 indeloon85 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 117
Default Using iPad as Ext Inst

So this may be just a general question but I'm trying to figure out what the best way is for me to use soft synths that exist on my iPad as an external instrument and trigger them with my midi keyboard. I'd like to integrate this with my current setup and wondering if anyone has any recommendations on how best to do this.
I know I can just go from headphones out to my interfaces inputs, but wondering if there's a sleaker way to send the audio to the computer and trigger it with my midi keyboard.
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Old 05-14-2021, 11:08 PM
Bigbottomend Bigbottomend is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 25
Default Re: Using iPad as Ext Inst

Use a second "class compliant" USB audio interface for the iPad, preferably one with physical midi ports, and then connect that to your computer's audio interface to record. There are some audio apps on the iPad that can receive audio as well and process it, so you might want to make the connection bidirectional - and there are also good apps for controlling Pro Tools from the iPad so be sure to make use of these.

There used to be a variety of docks (Alesis etc) available but they've seemingly all been discontinued. You might also need an adaptor such as the lightning to USB connector, depending on your iPad model.

You can connect the iPad midi via wifi, but in my experience the results are pretty mixed. Wired midi is the way to go for minimum latency and dropouts.
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Old 05-15-2021, 02:33 AM
dominicperry dominicperry is online now
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: UK
Posts: 146
Default Re: Using iPad as Ext Inst

If you want to do this there are two approaches.

1) Apple lightning to USB adapter + powered USB hub + plus class-compliant interface, and use a USB port on the hub for a midi keyboard. Probably the cheapest approach but fiddly and you have to get the right hub.

2) All in one (class compliant) interface. My recommendations are:
a) Apogee Quartet which has USB midi in.
b) RME Babyface Pro (fs) which has a pair of 5 pin midi sockets on a breakout cable.
Both will need external powering and only the Apogee will power (charge) the iPad at the same time. For the RME you will need an Apple adapter if you want to charge the iPad while using it. (https://www.apple.com/uk/shop/produc...camera-adapter)

EDIT: One way I've done this in the past, which is more of a bodge, is to connect an iOS compatible keyboard directly to the iPad (and/or through an Apple CCK adapter) and use the headphone jack as an output - record into the PC/Mac audio interface with a 3.5mm stereo to 2x6.5mm jack/XLR adapter or cable. The iPad headphone audio output is pretty good for a straight synth sound and if you have a decent audio interface on your Mac/PC then you can lift the levels without any real background noise. I have an iRig Pro Keys USB 37 for this and it works well - the iPad powers it through the Apple CCK adapter, but of course that means the iPad power is running down all the time it's on. Cheapest option of the lot though and sound quality is indistinguishable from the other options for any kind of sound that is synthesized. (Maybe this is what you're doing already, and want something a bit more 'pro'?)


Last edited by dominicperry; 05-15-2021 at 02:45 AM.
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