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Can an ipad read midi clock and function as a slave device?
Old 5th May 2016
  #1
Gear Head
 

Can an ipad read midi clock and function as a slave device?

Hi,

We have a mostly hardware setup all connected with an external hardware midi clock box and a five-way midi splitter. We would like to include an ipad in this setup. The keyboard player plays the synth apps with a little Akai minikeyboard hooked up to the ipad.

Is it possible to have that same ipad read midi clock data as a slave so the ipad app arpeggiators are in sync with the master clock?

We have tried the complicated route of using the wireless Link app from a separate laptop running Ableton, but there is a slight delay, and we'd prefer to play without a laptop and soundcard anyway.

Thanks for any help you can provide.
Old 7th May 2016
  #2
Here for the gear
 

Hi Carlier,
Just to make things clear: you've already hooked up an Akai (USB?) Keyboard to your Ipad, so you already have a camera connection kit?
In that case you can connect a USB-Hub (propably a powered one is required) to your camera connection kit and then a midi interface + keyboard to the USB-Hub. The input of the midi interface can then be used as a midi clock in your app, provided that the app (which one are you using btw?) supports it.
However, midi on the Ipad is a somewhat annoying thing: it seems to be difficult to implement it. So some apps have it implemented smoothly, others haven't.
And this is where Ableton Link comes in really handy. From my experience Link works way better than midi-clock.
So I recommend thinking about using Link in your setup!
Just wondering: how did you use Link? Did you slave Ableton to your hardware midi signal and then have Ableton output Link? Haven't tried that, but it sound like it should be pretty reliable.
To sum it up: yes, you can use your Ipad as a midi-slave in your hardware setup. The problem is: I'm pretty sure it won't be much, if any, tighter than your Link approach.
Old 7th May 2016
  #3
VDB
Lives for gear
 

It depends on the apps not all of them have midi clock
If you are using modstep no problem, get the powered hub as mentioned
Otherwise look into the link to midi app, I have had some success with it in the past to sync my iPad to my mpc
Old 7th May 2016
  #4
Gear Head
 

Thanks for these responses. To answer your questions, Larson:

-the keyboard player is using the following apps:

Korg Gadget, iMini, Animoog, Audioshare, Samplr and Fugue machine.

We know that Samplr doesn't really talk to anything else.

-We've tried the route: hardware midi clock (master) --> Ableton --> Link --> ipad apps. The problem we ran into was that it's either or, it seems; once you hook up Ableton as a slave to an outside midiclock sent by a hardware box, the option to use Link disappears. It doesn't seem to allow using both simultaneously. Hence the need to bypass Ableton.

Right now, we are using Ableton with an Maudio soundcard as midi clock master, but it feels unreliable whereas the hardware midiclock always works.

When you say 'midi interface' would one of those cables USB to Midi plug work? Or should we look at something like the Maudio usb midi interface?

I've thought about sending the midi master clock signal to the microbrute, and then hooking its usb cable to the ipad, hoping that both midi input signals and midi clock might be sent. I don't have our equipment here to test that now.

Lastly, many ipad synth apps don't seem to support external midi clock, which surprises me.
Old 7th May 2016
  #5
VDB
Lives for gear
 

Yeah your best bet is to have ableton live as the master
Or look into modstep, it has clock, but the synths still won't
Or lastly link to midi app, it caused some issues for me but nothing to make it unusable
Old 7th May 2016
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VDB View Post
Yeah your best bet is to have ableton live as the master
Or look into modstep, it has clock, but the synths still won't
Or lastly link to midi app, it caused some issues for me but nothing to make it unusable
I also think that using Ableton as your master is the best way to go.

Personally, I'd do it like this:
- I'd use Ableton and Link for all the apps that support it.
- For all the other apps that don't support Link, I'd use midi clock, but not trough a midi-din cable and 2 midi interfaces, but trough studiomux or music io (both are apps for the Ipad that allow you to route midi and audio trough your standard lightning usb cable, when connected to your pc/mac).
- For your hardware setup I'd use the standard midi-din cable.

I have to say: I'm not sure which midi interfaces are compatible. Personally, I use Komplete Audio 6 by Native Instruments, which works fine, but it's obviously too pricey for that purpose. But, if you connect your Ipad to your pc/mac via studiomux/music io, there's no need to buy one anyway!

The way I see it there's basically one question you need to answer: do you want a hardware + Ipad setup or hardware + Ableton + Ipad?

For 1: get an Ipad compatible midi-interface, a usb-hub and hook it all up to your hardware setup.
For 2: get studiomux or music io, connect your Ipad to your pc/mac, and have Ableton as your master as described above.

Studiomux and music io are both 10 Euros (in my country) and, as far as I understand it, you should have everything else, so you might want to try that option and see if you're happy with it.

Btw: If you wonder: Ableton can output Link and midi-clock at the same time, I've just tried that!
Old 7th May 2016
  #7
Gear Head
 

Thanks, Larson, for your detailed response. The information I've read from both responders to my question has been really useful; this is a great forum, and I'm always impressed by the free information sharing that happens here.

My prefered option is #1 . I'm worried though that some apps will read external midi clock and some just won't. I was hoping there'd be an app that would deal with the external midi clock and then make all the apps within the ipad work to that time.
Old 28th June 2017
  #8
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlier74 View Post
Thanks, Larson, for your detailed response. The information I've read from both responders to my question has been really useful; this is a great forum, and I'm always impressed by the free information sharing that happens here.

My prefered option is #1 . I'm worried though that some apps will read external midi clock and some just won't. I was hoping there'd be an app that would deal with the external midi clock and then make all the apps within the ipad work to that time.
Hello! I've been looking for this information too, would like to know how did you go with your setup. Did it worked someway? I want to send midi clock to iPad apps with my loop pedal.

Thanks you!
Old 28th June 2017
  #9
Gear Head
 

Hi Celnetocm,

In the end, we decided to give up on this. For tracks where we need the ipad synced, we have introduced a laptop to the system. The laptop receives midi clock in and passes that on to the ipad.
Old 10th July 2017
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
escape set's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Celnetocm View Post
Hello! I've been looking for this information too, would like to know how did you go with your setup. Did it worked someway? I want to send midi clock to iPad apps with my loop pedal.

Thanks you!
Korg plugkey?
Old 18th February 2018
  #11
Here for the gear
 

This is THE issue of the moment as lots of people are back to hardware but still are eager to add an iPad as slave to hardware. No computer please.
I've tried the Korg plugKEY but Ive had success with only the Samplr app. Auxy uses ableton link only. Figure also supports Link or Wist.
I even tried the Link to Midi app but it can only be the master (as far as I know).

In a live set, using an app as master clock feels just wrong and scary.
Old 18th February 2018
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
escape set's Avatar
Gadget slaved to ableton with plug key is tightest thing I've found. Key is set ableton at 512 and gadget at 256. Then you need to set ext instr plugin at 512 compensation. Remember to turn off monitoring for rec track routed from ext instr plugin. Problem is ~1-2ms jitter that i CAN'T for the life of me get rid of. I know that's pretty good, but all my other ext gear is sub ms jitter.
Old 2nd March 2018
  #13
Id try Ableton->Link->Modstep or AUM->Apps. Modstep & AUM have good midi routing imo. If youre aiming for all hardware, the iconnect devices can send stand alone master clock. Your keyboardist might need to test a few more apps, midi implementation can be flakey.
Old 29th September 2019
  #14
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Offcmd View Post
This is THE issue of the moment as lots of people are back to hardware but still are eager to add an iPad as slave to hardware. No computer please.
I've tried the Korg plugKEY but Ive had success with only the Samplr app. Auxy uses ableton link only. Figure also supports Link or Wist.
I even tried the Link to Midi app but it can only be the master (as far as I know).

In a live set, using an app as master clock feels just wrong and scary.
Hey Offcmd - This is exactly what I’m trying to do, sync Samplr and Minilouge. I’m having some trouble with an audible sync sound. Can you tell me exactly what your setup is?

Thanks!
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