Everything you always wanted to know about making music on the Ipad
February 3, 2011 9:30 PM   Subscribe

Getting your music out of an Ipad. A fairly thorough overview of connecting an Ipad to external gear, covering input and output, as well as midi and audio.
posted by not_that_epiphanius (14 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
This article is awesome. I've been doing a little bit of stuff with an iPad and OSC, to make an ersatz Monome. The interface possibilities are opened up considerably.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:46 PM on February 3, 2011

This article is awesome.
Yes. I just saw this a few minutes ago and had to close the tab before I freaked out.
posted by danb at 9:47 PM on February 3, 2011

And this is why JazzMutant stopped making the Lemur. there is no way they could complete with a relatively open platform that supported multitouch. When I bought my iPad I was comparing it to the Lemur, and it was a bargain comparatively.
posted by Brent Parker at 12:23 AM on February 4, 2011

Recently, I've been dipping my toes back into making music as a result of buying an iPad. (I used to futz around back in the early '90s with midi, mods, loops, etc.) I haven't actually produced anything worth sharing, but I've been having a grand old time making noise and just experimenting. The other day I bought Expression Pad. The damn app crashes left and right, but when it doesn't it's a total blast. I've got Everyday Looper, Funkbox, Beatwave, Moog's Filatron, Rebirth, Korg's iMS-20, BeatMaker, and a bunch of free synth and drum apps. Plenty to keep me occupied/entertained.

Of course, the other day I saw this and kinda wanted an MPD instead of an iPad. Grass is always greener...
posted by shoepal at 2:21 AM on February 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

Thanks, I've been wondering how the iPad scene's developing. After reading Kirn, it looks to me that the apps are still very rudimentary. Since it's a closed platform, what hope is there for really innovative software?

With only 20ma USB power under iOS 4.2, it looks to me like the iPad can't be the core of a serious (hardware I/O) setup at present. Also as Kirn says, the "tiny 30-pin dock connector is very, very delicate." Unless I'm missing something, the best musical use of iPad at present is as a MIDI controller/simple sequencer peripheral. Where are the videos showing how much more it can/will do?
posted by Twang at 3:18 AM on February 4, 2011

I should have fleshed this post out with some apps I know of, including:

an oscilloscope

a powerful synth for 99 cents

two beauties from Korg

and even a hardware knob.

There's a thread at the Ableton forum with other Ipad goodness.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 7:08 AM on February 4, 2011

And.... I borked the knob link( it was too late for me last night and too too early today.)

There's an attempt at a guitar as well.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 7:17 AM on February 4, 2011

Goodness, that Alesis dock looks cool.

Is a USB port on deck for iPad 2.0? I don't trust that dock connector at all.
posted by mintcake! at 7:40 AM on February 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Goodness, that Alesis dock looks cool.

Indeed it does. I guess it's unlikely that Apple will ever allow for digital audio outputs... too bad.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 8:45 AM on February 4, 2011

I use an Akai Synthstation25, myself (I'm a Touch guy, not a 'Pad guy) with Nanostudio, and between that and my live rig, I can show up at a gig on my scooter with as much soundmaking potential as my old rig, which took up the trunk, back seat, and passenger seat in my car and constantly gave me fits with its analoguey/early digital unreliability. I am increasingly joyous, with my little machines.

In regards to this "closed platform" stifling innovative software, I beg to differ.
posted by sonascope at 9:51 AM on February 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Does anyone know whether honeycomb will finally allow Android users to get in on this action? My understanding is that, as of 2.3, Android didn't allow control of certain fine-grain audio manipulation, which meant that serious audio apps weren't really feasible.

Any chance of this changing? I'm drooling on my G1 over here!
posted by Squid Voltaire at 1:58 PM on February 4, 2011

So, sonascope, I take it you'd recommend the Synthstation25?
posted by shoepal at 3:44 PM on February 4, 2011

If anyone uses Live, I highly recommend Griid and Cliip.
posted by neuromodulator at 3:53 PM on February 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

I have to give the Synthstation25 a somewhat qualified yes. For my music, it's wonderful, but I tend to play very very slowly. When I play more quickly (drums and such), there's just a hint of some kind of awkwardness, like latency. I tend to chalk that up to the iPod Touch running at full tilt, but it might be something else. It's velocity sensitive, though, and gives the Touch a nice solid little cradle (I've managed to wear out my iPod's phone jack with too much gesticulation) that's a neat little instrument the size of a largeish book. For a hundred bucks and the fifteen for Nanostudio, it's a dang good deal. Just having a sampler available in that form factor is joyous.
posted by sonascope at 5:38 PM on February 4, 2011

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