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M-Audio Venom - Best iPad Audio/MIDI interface/controller!

For iOS (iPhone, iPad & iPod), Android, Windows Phone, etc. App and Hardware talk

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

KVRist
 
70 posts since 10 Jan, 2012

Postby Storms; Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:07 am

I picked up an M-Audio Venom during the $199 sale at Sweetwater. I've been using it with my PC laptop and Ableton Live, however, in the documentation it mentions it's class compliant, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

Connected to my iPad 4, with the USB camera connection kit, it just works! Here is what you get with this keyboard:
  • Class compliant audio interface - 44.1khz 24-bit
  • 4 total inputs - 2 mono Mic/Instr and 1 stereo from the VA synth
  • Class compliant MIDI interface with external MIDI In/Out
  • 49-key MIDI keyboard with pitch bend/mod wheels (no aftertouch)

It's a pretty great combination for playing live, or just jamming as you get MIDI and audio, can connect a guitar and a mic, plus you get a VA synth you can use if you so desire. The VA synth has a separate volume control so if you only want to work with iPad synths just turn the volume down.

Another nice plus - the bank/patch select wheel works in most iPad synths so you can change patches without having to reach for the iPad.

One thing about the Venom VA synth - in order to edit most of the patches and design your own sounds, you need a PC or a Mac and the included Vyzex editor. This is definitely a negative, as it would be nice if you could do sound design without a computer, but, what you could do is edit your custom patches on your computer, save them to the Venom memory, then when you play live just use your iPad and the Venom.

If you plan on picking one up, wait for another sale on Amazon - they have been clearing them out for as low as $167. You can setup a price alert using this website:

http://camelcamelcamel.com/M-Audio-Veno ... B004J96JTO
KVRist
 
70 posts since 10 Jan, 2012

Postby Storms; Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:12 am

I forgot to mention that the VA synth can be recorded directly in any app that supports recording (Beatmaker 2, Multitrack DAW, Auria, etc). This really gives you TI (total integration) on par with what the Access Virus TI keyboards give you. No need to bounce to analog and record back to digital.

I believe this might be the first and only VA synth that can record natively to iPad (through class compliant drivers).
KVRian
 
503 posts since 24 Oct, 2005

Postby nasenmann; Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:48 am

Funny, i just got a usb hub and hooked up my trusty old x-station to the ipad.
I was surprised that it instantly switched to the x-station's audio interface. keyboard, pitch bend and everything work (gotta find an app with aftertouch support to test if that works!)
I could use the phantom powered input and my regular mic to record stuff right away.
Gotta try and see if i can record its internal synth as well. Fully editable on sight, unlike venom :)
Also, insert Fx!
Plus, i'll have to try running my guitar through the Xst into the ipad later and see how good the latency is. Just got Jamup Pro on sale, maybe i wont even need their guitar adapter!
KVRer
 
8 posts since 14 Mar, 2011

Postby SFAudio2011; Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:54 am

This looks really cool. I still haven't decided on a controller Keyboard for my iPad, Desktop and Laptop. I have my main Synths and master controller about 2 feet away from the desk, and they never move anywhere (except my Triton Le maybe).

Most of the controllers out there are missing one vital function for me: Direct preset switching (forget about the stupid key combination nonsense). It seems the Venom can do this via the Bank button and rotary knob. Is that correct?

What I also like is the built in Audio interface and external MIDI input. Keeps things very compact.

The Venom seems to fit my criteria of being portable, allowing presets to be changed quickly and a built-in audio interface.

Liking this so far.
KVRist
 
210 posts since 18 Mar, 2008

Postby hogo; Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:01 pm

Also, don't forget that you can route your iPad synths audio through the VA filters of the venom. They sound pretty good!
KVRist
 
110 posts since 11 May, 2012

Postby monsterism; Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:37 pm

Venom requires to be powered via psu as well?
KVRian
 
503 posts since 24 Oct, 2005

Postby nasenmann; Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:41 am

Sorry storms, but the best controller/interface/onboard synth/preamp/guitar&mic in for ipad has to be the X-Station.
Everything just works. I'm in heaven!
KVRian
 
1015 posts since 20 Dec, 2004
 

Postby Wormhelmet; Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:53 am

monsterism wrote:Venom requires to be powered via psu as well?


Yes. Just got my venom last night. What a synth. Love that thy made it an interface too. Unbelievable value at price I got it. $183 on Amazon Prime during a sale for a brand new one. My ipad is now integrated with DAW if I want or just control it and be able to plug in a few other things too.
"I am a meat popsicle"
Soundcloud Vondragonnoggin
Soundclick Wormhelmet
KVRer
 
7 posts since 15 Aug, 2009, from Mauritius
 

Postby kwerk; Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:21 am

Also tried using my Venom with my 1st and 3rd generation iPads...

MIDI worked fine, but I ran into issues with the audio interface. Latency was quite good actually, but I got annoying crackling noise and stuttering after a few minutes. I've tested most synths (Sunrizer, Alchemy, Cassini, Animoog, iMS20, etc...)...no dice! It appears to be a buffer underrun issue.

Playing music via the iPad's music player works fine through the Venom's audio interface though...

On the other hand, I've successfully used a combination of Novation Nocturn as MIDI keyboard controller with an Edirol UA-25 as audio interface; both powered via a USB hub without issues. The Edirol UA-25's optical digital-in and out functioned perfectly. Unfortunately the UA25's MIDI ports are not detected as they are not class-compliant. Yamaha keyboards with USB MIDI interface such as Clavinovas also worked without issues as keyboard controllers. Same for Behringers BCR2000 and BCF2000 MIDI controllers: all knobs ans faders send appropriate MIDI data and the built-in MIDI interface is properly detected by all apps.

A friend is also using a Novation X-Station for both audio and MIDI with a 1st gen iPad without issues.
KVRist
 
70 posts since 10 Jan, 2012

Postby Storms; Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:06 am

SFAudio2011 wrote:This looks really cool. I still haven't decided on a controller Keyboard for my iPad, Desktop and Laptop. I have my main Synths and master controller about 2 feet away from the desk, and they never move anywhere (except my Triton Le maybe).

Most of the controllers out there are missing one vital function for me: Direct preset switching (forget about the stupid key combination nonsense). It seems the Venom can do this via the Bank button and rotary knob. Is that correct?

What I also like is the built in Audio interface and external MIDI input. Keeps things very compact.

The Venom seems to fit my criteria of being portable, allowing presets to be changed quickly and a built-in audio interface.

Liking this so far.


Yes, absolutely. That is one of the coolest features - you can switch bank A/B/C/D and patch with the rotary knob, so no more reaching for your iPad touch screen to change synth patches.
KVRist
 
70 posts since 10 Jan, 2012

Postby Storms; Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:08 am

nasenmann wrote:Sorry storms, but the best controller/interface/onboard synth/preamp/guitar&mic in for ipad has to be the X-Station.
Everything just works. I'm in heaven!


Nice! Didn't know the X-Station would work as well, but it does seem like some of theses VA synths are perfectly designed as iPad interfaces.

Perhaps Novation ought to take a hint and add an iPad dock right onto their keyboard... :D
KVRist
 
110 posts since 11 May, 2012

Postby monsterism; Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:09 am

I was tempted by the x station but the sounds are so garbage that i proabbly buy the venom.
KVRist
 
70 posts since 10 Jan, 2012

Postby Storms; Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:10 am

kwerk wrote:Also tried using my Venom with my 1st and 3rd generation iPads...

MIDI worked fine, but I ran into issues with the audio interface. Latency was quite good actually, but I got annoying crackling noise and stuttering after a few minutes. I've tested most synths (Sunrizer, Alchemy, Cassini, Animoog, iMS20, etc...)...no dice! It appears to be a buffer underrun issue.


Hmm... that doesn't sound right. The iPad 3 has more than enough horsepower - even iPad 1 will work fine with Sunrizer.

Did you try rebooting the iPad and closing all background apps? I used to have iPad 1 and iPad 3 and never had issues with external audio interfaces. I have not tried them on the Venom, however.
KVRer
 
7 posts since 15 Aug, 2009, from Mauritius
 

Postby kwerk; Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:39 am

Storms wrote:Hmm... that doesn't sound right. The iPad 3 has more than enough horsepower - even iPad 1 will work fine with Sunrizer.

Did you try rebooting the iPad and closing all background apps? I used to have iPad 1 and iPad 3 and never had issues with external audio interfaces. I have not tried them on the Venom, however.


Yes, I tried rebooting and closing all other apps to no avail...

The iPads worked fine with the other external audio interfaces I tried (Edirol UA-25 and X-Station)...only had audio issues with the Venom. :(

Would have been really nice to have a single all-in-one MIDI controller with audio interface. The ability to use the iPad as a sound source and process it via the Venom's filters and FX is indeed a great feature....too bad I can't get it to work without crackling noise and stuttering...

Hopefully, the Venom will one day receive a firmware update that will make it fully compatible with the iPad...
KVRist
 
70 posts since 10 Jan, 2012

Postby Storms; Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:34 pm

kwerk wrote:Hopefully, the Venom will one day receive a firmware update that will make it fully compatible with the iPad...


There is at least one firmware update - mine got an update when I first installed the software from M-Audio's website. Maybe that would help?
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