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Entries in Midi (16)

Video Find: Casio Pro Keyboard, iPad 2 and GarageBand MIDI demo

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!

A superb 40 minute GarageBand tutorial video

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.

iPad and MIDI - Create Digital Music goes deep

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.

Playing with iTM MidiLab and iPad (video demo)

Want a free way to use your iPad as an external keyboard with GarageBand (or other DAW)? We did, so we tried out the iTouchMidi (iTM) MidiLab app which lets you do just that, via Wifi.

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:

  1. Button Matrix 4 X 4 with Midi Feedback 
  2. Midi keyboard (C-2 -> C8) with pitchbend
  3. XY Pad, sending CC 18 & 19 on midi channel 1

Quick tip - Shake your iPad to switch between the different interfaces.

Getting Started

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.

iPad StudioDock Looks Promising

Imagine your iPad being the centre of your studio recording or live performance experience, with all the audio and video connectors you need, including XLR, MIDI, USB MIDI, 1/4" in and out, Guitar-direct input straight out of your amp or effects unit and even Composite video out!

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. 

You can read a detailed explanation of the StudioDock over at Alesis' website - the key features are listed below:
  • 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

Akai SynthStation49 - iPad docking Keyboard

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. 

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