Entries in Midi (16)
Sure, this GarageBand tutorial video from iPad Music is a little on the short side, but if you've found the drum kit section of GarageBand a little daunting (we certainly have!), then this could be for you. I was able to play along to the basic beat demonstrated on the video after only a couple of viewings.
Source: iPad Music
Further Reading: GarageBand Posts
How cool is this? Jordan Rudess uses MIDIBridge to play IK Multimedia's SampleTank with Geo Synthesizer as the controller. The possibilities for music making on just the one iPad continue to amaze us.
Here's our review of SampleTank (and the iRig MIDI).
We think this pilot of a new iPad and Music show from UK based electronic music mavens Sonic State has definitely got potential. This is the second pilot episode.
We certainly hope the show goes ahead and we're looking forward to subscribing.
Tide of Creativity
There is currently a virtual flood of music creativity out there using iOS and iDevices like the iPad. We are seeing new creations, new Apps, and new ideas every day.
Giuliano has posted a video on his YouTube channel showing how he created the track below. In it he used the apps:
- MultiTrack DAW
coupled up with some hardware that included:
- Roland TD3 Electronic Drumkit
- iRig MIDI
- Boss GT-8
- Camera Connection Kit
- iPad and iPod Touch
This is Feelings of the Soul (Demo):
When we raved about the professional quality audio samples in IK Multimedia's new SampleTank app (still 50% off until 13th November), we wanted to show you how good these sound, but to be honest we don't have the skills. Fortunately, IK do, and they have added a page of video demos showing just how amazing their SampleTank app sounds.
Sometimes, we are guilty of taking all this for granted but remember, this is all happening on a portable tablet device, a computer that you can take with you wherever you go and plug it in to any MIDI keyboard via things like the iRig MIDI. Future-tech of our childhood is here!
On with the Demos
We have included a few of our favourites video demos below, to see the rest check out the page at IK Multimedia. For now though, grab a pair of headphones and listen to the quality of these samples, we think you will be impressed.
The nylon guitar and Sax sounds in this one are amazing, they sound better than our real nylon guitar
Beautiful piano sounds in this one
Ok, let's get straight to the point: If you don't already have a MIDI input device for your iPad/iPhone, if you want one and can afford it, go and order the iRig MIDI right now!
We can't think of any major reason why you wouldn't. But if you want to know a bit more about iRig MIDI, why we think you need it and IK Multimedia's new SampleTank for iOS software, be sure to watch the video below and then read on for the inside scoop...
iRig MIDI Hardware
In the box, as well as the iRig MIDI, you get:
- 2 x 5.2' standard MIDI cables - DIN to 1/8" jacks
- 1 x very short USB to Micro USB charging cable
- Quick Start guide
The iRig MIDI has 3 MIDI ports: In, Out and Thru with two Red LEDs which reasurringly light up to indicate throughput in and out.
Setup is very straight forward. We had no trouble at all using our M-Audio Oxygen 8 test keyboard controller with any of the CoreMIDI compatible apps we had installed on our iPad.
We tested the iRig MIDI with a fairly simple setup but the Thru port also allows some more complex setups and a few alternative use cases are detailed on IK's site.
The only real problem we had was the ridiculously short USB charging cable. This cable connects your standard iPad/iPhone charger to the iRig MIDI and charges your iOS Device while in use, which is handy and very useful.
In the end we used a 4-gang extension cable and had this sat on the desk, which took up precious work space and got in the way a bit, but it's not the end of the world and the extra sockets were handy.
Update: We heard from IK Multimedia after posting this review and apparently they wanted to include a longer cable, but doing so would not meet Apple's power rating requirements to charge the iPad and so they had to go with a cable of this length to get approval. Still, as they pointed out, at least you do have the option of charging the iPad with iRig MIDI and they supply the cable in the box.
This issue aside though, the iRig MIDI worked flawlessly with our MIDI Keyboard and apps like GarageBand, Addictive Synth, Animoog and NLog Pro, all recognising the Pitch Bend and Modulation wheels without any further setup (as you would expect with Core MIDI) and there are over 100 apps that are compatible with iRig MIDI listed on IK Multimedia's site.
The iRig MIDI is highly recommended by iPad Creative. For us, it certainly lives up to the promise. Go and get one.
SampleTank for iOS by IK Multimedia
If you want to start using multiple MIDI Channels or layering with your iRig MIDI, then you will probably need to use IK Multimedia's own SampleTank app, which comes in a Free version (available now from the app store) with a limited sample set initially.
In-app purchases can be made for different sample packs as you need them. The range of options for upgrades and add-ins is a bit complex to be honest, but it does give you the chance to add what you want if not everything suits your musical or playing styles.
The best value seems to be the upgrade to SampleTank for $9.99 (£6.99). Upgrading to the whole lot will set you back around £30 ($39.99) though, making it a more considered purchase for many of us.
All the samples are taken from IK's well respected desktop version of SampleTank which has been used in many professional and commercial projects.
The app has been designed for live use and its design allows you to switch between one of the four instrument banks, play over riff loops and/or presets using a midi controller and the onscreen keyboard simultaneously.
The samples sound really good for the most part, just take a few minutes and give them a listen in the video demo below.
The main features of SampleTank for iOS are:
- 4-part multi-timbral live sound module
- Over 900 MB on-board sound library with over 400 instruments in 16 categories
- Huge selection of melodic and rhythmic patterns for accompaniment or groove creation
- Instruments are processed using 20 different insert FX with up to 4 simultaneous inserts per part
- Master reverb effect with individual sends
The full set of samples takes the app up to just under 1GB, which meant a bit of app juggling on our 16GB iPad. This gives you a great range of sounds with a nice batch of Presets to get you started. The presets cover a good selection of styles from Pop through Reggae to Rock and a few Thrashy ones. There are also 3 pages of empty Presets for you to save your own customised versions.
We were especially impressed by the quality of the samples in the Woodwind sections such as the Sax samples and also the Piano and Keyboards sounded great.
A Few Issues
As impressed as we were with the sounds in SampleTank for iOS, we thought we should mention the two issues we had:
- We know the app was designed with live performance in mind, but we really missed a recording function. (Update: IK Multimedia have said that a recording feature is on the wish-list but there is no timescale as yet)
- The app is currently not Universal, so on the iPad we have to use it in 2x mode. It isn't the ugliest app at 2x we've seen on the iPad, but the text and keys do look pretty fuzzy and the lack of clarity gets annoying after a while, especially for those of us that rarely use iPhone apps on the iPad precisely because of this. But, an iPad version is on the way according to IK and hopefully it won't be long. (Update: IK Multimedia have confirmed to us an iPad version "is on the way and it WILL be Universal", plus it will be a Free upgrade for those who have already paid for SampleTank for iOS)
These issues are not deal breakers, and we know that both of them can/will be addressed in future updates.
Because SampleTank for iOS is initially a free download and includes a selection of IK Multimedia's professional sound samples we would definitely recommend you download the app and have a look.
Because of the onscreen keyboard you don't need to have an external controller, so SampleTank for iOS stands alone.
Combined with iRig MIDI and an external controller though we think IK Multimedia have provided live performers with a fantastic way to incorporate their iPad and favourite Core MIDI compatible app into their setup.
We heard from IK Multimedia after posting our review, with a bit more information on the reason that such a short charging cable is included (Apple's power requirements), on the upcoming Universal SampleTank iPad app and the wish-list recording feature.
We have added these notes in Italics at the pertinent points as we were happy to clarify the text.
Despite it's erroneous claims to be "the first professional synthesizer designed for the iPad", a PR statement which has caused a flurry of disgruntled comments from some of the music press and a number of very fine iOS Developers, Animoog by Moog Music Inc is definitely a great sounding Synth app with a fine looking UI.
We have only just begun to play with it but we are very impressed with what we see and hear in Animoog.
We are, of course, not synth experts or Moog purists by any means, but we do know that this synth app has a fantastic range of sounds and offers some interesting and creative interactivity as a musical instrument.
These interactions are delivered, in part, via the Fairlight-esque wave modulation front screen and the unusual keys which respond to vertical movement of your fingers to effect modulation of the notes.
Then there are the backscreens which let you fiddle to your heart's content with the built in modules, some modelled on classic Moog hardware so that you can, as the Moog website says, "quickly sculpt incredibly fluid and dynamic sounds that live, breathe, and evolve as you play them."
We had no problem getting Animoog to work with our MIDI keyboard using iRig MIDI into the iPad.
Apparently it will work with Virtual MIDI in a future version.
30-Day Bargain Price
Animoog will normally cost you, a slightly too pricey in our opinion, $29.99 (~£20) but for the first 30 days it will only set you back $0.99 (69p) and for that price you have to download it and see for yourself what it can do.
Here is a video overview, including some helpful interface clues, from Moog themselves:
We love Kickstarter, it gives inventors a chance to make the gadgets we want to see and provides a constant source of creativity.
We also love Music, Guitars and iPads. Mash all of these things together with some serious credentials in making musical instruments (for the likes of Vernon Reid, Chemical Brothers and Lou Reed) and you have the iTar.
What is it?
With a prototype that looks part 80s classic headless guitar / part frying pan, the iTar has some serious potential in our opinion. It is guitar shaped with a MIDI key fretboard and can act as an instrument, soundboard, lighting board or pretty much anything else controller.
The $200 price tag for an actual production unit might be a little high for some, but there are plenty of funding options if you want to support the project towards its $50,000 funding target.
A serious option
If you really want to integrate your iPad into live performances and/or your music creation workflow, it's actually not a bad price when compared to many instrument interfaces and it's probably a small fraction of what you would normally pay for a custom made instrument from the iTar's makers StarrLabs.
We think the iTar has some real potential, especially for live performance.
Check out the promo video below from StarrLabs, plus get the full back story and funding options on the Kickstarter page:
Be sure to let us know in the comments if you think this one has got potential, especially if you plan on backing the project.
Here's a video demo that shows just how good the sound modelling is in Apple's agressively priced GarageBand for iPad.
We thought it was pretty impressive, what do you think?
IK Multimedia are at it again, throwing their considerable weight behind the iOS device platform as a viable tool for Musicians and Music Producers.
iRig Midi looks awesome, just watch the video below! More soon...
Ever wondered what GarageBand for iPad sounds like in the hands of a pro?
Here's a video demo from B's Music Shop in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. In the video Jeff Dunmire from Casio demonstrates just how good the $4.99 GarageBand app sounds on the iPad.
It made us smile!
Sure it's a bit frantic, but this Butterscotch 40 minute video is required viewing for just about everyone new to GarageBand for the iPad. If you haven't got time to watch it now, please be sure to bookmark it for the later, you really don't want to miss this GarageBand overview.
Be sure to check out all of our GarageBand coverage, you really won't be dissapointed!
We found this really interesting video on YouTube and wanted to make sure you had seen it. Peter Kirn from Create Digital Music (CDM) demonstrates music creation on the iPad via the Camera Connection Kit and various external hardware devices.
If you want to get your audio/MIDI geek on, this video is backed up by a brilliantly in-depth column over at CDM. There are a lot more videos and some great commentary on the vagaries of using the iPad and MIDI devices/software in that article, which we highly recommend reading.
iTM MidiLab is actually an iPhone app and is promoted as "a dynamic showroom allowing for new users to experience the iTouchMidi concept" and a "gateway to iTouchMidi".
Just The Basics
So the app is limited in functionality, providing just the basics, but it is useable enough for amateurs and the MIDI-curious to get an idea of what can be done with MIDI controllers or just to play around with different instruments (and to save us from the awkward 'Musical Typing' mode).
In this free app you get three different control interfaces, the site lists them as:
- Button Matrix 4 X 4 with Midi Feedback
- Midi keyboard (C-2 -> C8) with pitchbend
- XY Pad, sending CC 18 & 19 on midi channel 1
Quick tip - Shake your iPad to switch between the different interfaces.
Once you have the MidiLab app on your iPad, all you do is download a bit of server software for your Mac or Windows Computer (or even transfer it from the MidiLab app itself via browser file sharing), install and run the server on your Computer, select your Computer name from the MidiLab startup screen on your iPad and you are away.
We liked the idea so much that we put together a hastily recorded video for you to see how simple it is and importantly, how little latency there seems to be.
On a technical, iOS, note: We recorded the video with an iPhone which was held in the other hand so it is a bit shaky but the whole thing was edited entirely on the iPad with ReelDirector, a bargain at $1.99.
If you want more advanced functionality iTouchMidi sell standalone interface apps which are a little pricey at $5.99 each, but they do allow more control and add functions like Velocity (by hitting the top of the keys for a louder sound) and Program/Bank changing in iTM Keys for example.
Let us know what you think and if you try out iTM MidiLab yourself. We would be interested to know if your experience was similar to ours, especially with the low latency.
Enter the StudioDock from Alesis which is sat waiting for Apple approval, announced yesterday at NAMM. Here are a few product shots to whet your appetite showing the iPad docked and in place, with views of the multitude of interfaces included.
The StudioDock includes a power supply so it will charge your iPad whilst it is docked which is useful, but it is the shear range of connection options within the dock that impresses us and our brains are now spinning with all the things we could do with this thing including stuff we hadn't considered before with the video out.
There has been no announcement at the time of publishing this post about pricing though, we have scoured the Internet looking for any resellers offering pre-orders but we haven't found anything yet.
We are guessing it is going to be fairly pricey as it is aimed at the professional level but we would love to get our hands on one and run it through its paces.
- The world’s first pro audio dock for iPad
- Connect microphones and instruments including guitar, studio monitors, PA speakers, headphones, and MIDI controllers
- Universal device works with virtually every audio and MIDI app in the App Store; Core MIDI compliant
- Perform, craft, create and play back music in virtually any conceivable manner or location
- Video output for connection to TVs and projectors
- Inputs: two combo XLR-1/4" for use with audio gear, instruments, and computer audio
- Input channel gain controls and switchable phantom power for use with condenser microphones
- Guitar-direct switch for use with amplifier- and effects-modeling app
- Outputs: pair 1/4" and 1/4" headphone with separate volume controls
- Control: MIDI In, MIDI Out, USB MIDI, and assignable 1/4-inch footswitch input
When Akai Professional brought out the SynthStation25 with integrated iPod Touch/iPhone dock we were desperately scouring the Internet for hacks that would allow a dock extender to work with our iPads but most reports were that the full functionality was not going to work this way.
But worry no more, Akai have just announced at NAMM 2011 the iPad version with a larger keyboard to match, the SynthStation49 (with 49 velocity-sensitive keys as opposed to the 25 keys of the smaller version).
The SynthStation49 is iOS CoreMIDI compatible so should act as an interface to pretty much any App using MIDI but it also has an onboard USB connection so that you can hook it up to your computer / DAW and control that too.
We think this might just be what live gigging musicians have been waiting for to use some of the awesome iPad apps in a real context.
The iPad is charged when docked and can be adjusted to different viewing angles so it looks like they have put a lot of thought into the iPad integration.
We hope that Akai have addressed the latency issues that some were reporting with the SynthStation25 but we are sure we will hear about that soon enough!
You can read more details and a full description of the features on the SynthStation49 webpage, but here are the main ones from the announcement:
- Portable, velocity-sensitive keyboard with pitch and modulation wheels
- Nine velocity-sensitive MPC-style drum pads which light when triggered
- Dedicated transport control buttons including Play, Pause and Record
- Play MIDI keyboard and drum pad performances into an iPad via CoreMIDI or AkaiConnect apps
- Built-in, adjustable dock charges your iPad while positioning the screen at the perfect angle
- USB port for connecting to a Mac or PC, receiving power and controlling MIDI music software
- Professional ¼" stereo outputs with volume control to connect mixers, speakers and recording equipment
- Headphone output to practice and compose in private
If this is just what you have been looking for or you have any thoughts about SynthStation49 let us know in the comments.