What can you do with an ipad (for music) + what version

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
Stefken
KVRAF
2007 posts since 9 Nov, 2016

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:06 am

I've been reluctant to buy an ipad for music although it's mentioned regularly as a good platform.
One thing that stopped me is that it seemed limited compared to my pc running a daw with can play/manage a shitload of vst's at once. I now have several hardware synths so the concept of 1 device only handling one synth is not a 'strange' concept anymore for me ; ) .
(I also acquired the IOS Pure acid app which is great fun but somewhat fiddly on the old small Iphone 5 I got from someone).

But what can you do with an ipad? Can you control it via a seaboard block for example? I guess it doesn't have din midi ports so do you always need a midi usb host? What are the main benefits of the platform?

And what version? I just read that the entry level ipad and the air are getting an interesting update, so it might be a good time to get one. see: https://www.musicradar.com/news/heres-w ... sic-making

The entry level might just suffice.
I can afford the Air, just as a general rule I tend to spend my money in an economical way, so I need a valid reason. (Being a hobbyist I don't buy 2000 euro synths for example even if I can afford it without too much hassle; this is a hobby after all).

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antic604
KVRAF
5899 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:16 am

Stefken wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:06 am
...the concept of 1 device only handling one synth is not a 'strange' concept anymore for me
iPads can be used as a full DAW with AU plugins, e.g. Cubasis or BeatMaker:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dskg4wBN5dM
MPC One / A4 Mk1 / OT Mk1 + Bitwig 3 / Reason 11 / Studio One 5 Pro @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604

Stefken
KVRAF
2007 posts since 9 Nov, 2016

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:52 am

antic604 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:16 am
iPads can be used as a full DAW with AU plugins
Does that mean that you can e.g. use the AU version of Dune 3 on an Ipad?

I assumed you could only use the typical mobile apps from the App store, designed specifically for the Ipad (like Animoog for example).

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antic604
KVRAF
5899 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:04 am

Stefken wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:52 am
antic604 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:16 am
iPads can be used as a full DAW with AU plugins
Does that mean that you can e.g. use the AU version of Dune 3 on an Ipad?
No, not yet at least. Although it's possible that with OSX hardware moving to ARM processors all will be merged into one.

For now iOS supports its own plugin format, but there's a lot of stuff already there, incl. big players like Waves, FabFilter, Korg, Sugar Bytes, etc.
MPC One / A4 Mk1 / OT Mk1 + Bitwig 3 / Reason 11 / Studio One 5 Pro @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604

Stefken
KVRAF
2007 posts since 9 Nov, 2016

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:20 pm

So the regular ipad (even the brand new 8th generation) has a lightning port instead of a usb-c.
What does that mean in practice? Say you want to hook up a midi keyboard or an external sequencer with regular midi din outs.

How does that work? Just a converter cable like this one?
https://www.musicstore.com/nl_BE/EUR/IK ... 016362-000

Any major pitfalls concerning usage of a lightning port instead of usb(-c)?

SHall1000
KVRist
373 posts since 13 May, 2015

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:37 pm

The new 8th gen regular iPad retains the headphone jack which the new air and pro don’t, probably the last iteration that will. May or may not be important to you,

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bharris22
KVRAF
1828 posts since 3 Mar, 2010

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:39 pm

I have found many good and unique sequencers for the iPad. Using these to control my hardware synths/Eurorack is very enjoyable for me. The immediacy of opening a sequencer app on the iPad, rather than loading a DAW with a sequencer VST on my laptop, for example, just makes the experience much better IMHO.

I have the ability to connect via USB cable to my Eurorack (Expert Sleepers FH-2). For traditional DIN midi, I use a cheap USB-MIDI cable plugged into the iPad with an inexpensive lightning connector adapter.

PS - my iPad is an old one - the first iPad Air.

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Branis
KVRian
1308 posts since 21 May, 2004 from Serbia

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:01 pm

For midi you could also go wireless with something like Widi Master

vitocorleone123
KVRian
759 posts since 30 Jun, 2014 from Pacific NW

Post Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:49 pm

iOS devices excel with MIDI: sequencing, generating, manipulating, etc. also very easily done wirelessly if you wish. Also offers great MIDI controllers.

If you have a Mac, you could conceivably use an i device as an outboard synth or effects rack.

You can make entire albums on an iPhone now. And certainly an iPad. Sure, many of the tools may be unfamiliar but not all (eg Fabfilter, toneboosters, cubase, etc). There’s not a lot you can’t do on an i device in terms of music.

Stefken
KVRAF
2007 posts since 9 Nov, 2016

Post Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:22 am

Thanks guys for the great advice. :tu: :tu:
What about hardware version (regular or Air). I'm leaning towards the regular 8th gen 128 GB. With the new A12 processor I guess i'm good. The fact that it has a headphone jack is also a plus, albeit a minor one .

What decisive benefit would a Ipad Air have?
Last edited by Stefken on Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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nachenko
KVRist
393 posts since 13 Mar, 2018

Post Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:27 am

I'm a big fan of Korg Gadget for iPad. Fastest way to sketch a track ever. Several of my songs started there, then I exported to Ableton Live for further work (yes, it exports to Live). You can use external synths on it, you can (optionally) use their own Korg Collection emulations for iOS and you can use a Bluetooth MIDI keyboard such as the Roli Lumi.

An absolute joy to use.
Half music, half random ramblings by a MAN FROM SPACE
https://soundcloud.com/manfromspace

Reefius
KVRian
1078 posts since 7 Dec, 2013 from Earth

Post Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:09 am

For connectivity you can use a lightning to USB adapter. You can then use a USB hub to connect multiple USB devices, just like on a PC or Mac.
Note that the iPad can't provide much power for USB, so it's best to use a decent powered USB hub. Also note that not every USB device will work, but everything that's Class compliant should work as long as it can get enough power (or it has its own power supply).

Stefken
KVRAF
2007 posts since 9 Nov, 2016

Post Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:30 am

bharris22 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:39 pm
I have found many good and unique sequencers for the iPad.
Cool :) . I would gratefull if you could share some of your favorites. 8)

(As a reference : I have been glancing at Toriaz Squid (mainly for the many running directions of the sequence grid) and Blue arp as sequencers of interest ; ) . I also like the Euclidian sequencer from HY-seqcollection 2).

Stefken
KVRAF
2007 posts since 9 Nov, 2016

Post Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:45 am

I-pad is ordered. :hyper: :party:


Branis wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:01 pm
For midi you could also go wireless with something like Widi Master
I seems they just launched a new product:
https://www.cme-pro.com/widi-jack/

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Branis
KVRian
1308 posts since 21 May, 2004 from Serbia

Post Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:35 pm

I think it’ll be a bit of a wait for widi jack, preorders are not open yet. It’s an interesting product though, it can be used with devices that use 3.5mm jacks for MIDI. It can be also powered independently (with a power brick I guess) so it’s useful for devices that only have MIDI in, like Volcas.

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