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iPad Pro 2018 (USB-C). MIDI + audio. Possibly without a Mac. Mobile Apps
Old 31st March 2019
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iPad Pro 2018 (USB-C). MIDI + audio. Possibly without a Mac.

Dear all,

Sorry if it's a dumb question.

I have an iPad Pro (2018, no 3.5mm jack, USB-C) and I'm messing a little with Animoog.
I'd like to sync with other gear and record the audio signal.

The audio directly from the jack, with adaptor USB-C--->3.5mm, is, to my ears, and visually via software, great.
But of course this way I occupy the only physical out. So no way to have midi (or I'm missing something already at this point??).

Another secondary issue. No charging, being the USB-C occupied.

Connecting the iPad to a Mac is the only way to have both signals (and charging!)?
Which are the options to consider?

Thank you for your precious tips!
Old 1st April 2019
Here for the gear

a too much dumb question?
or not interesting?

Old 2nd April 2019
Here for the gear

I’m in the same boat. There are a few options, but they all involve dongles. Apple sells a combo dongle that has usb-c, hdmi, and usb-a connections. I plug power into the usb-c, and an irig duo into usb-a. The irig gives me midi in-out, audio in-out, and a headphone jack. If you’ve got a full battery, that 3 way dongle can take a usb-a midi controller (class compliant of course!) and a headphone dongle.

You could also use a usb hub that has both a and c connections to support the headphone dongle and usb-a controller. Not sure if there’s one that’ll charge it too.

Finally, the Apple Pencil rocks for apps with tiny interfaces or piano rolls. Xynthesizer is so much easier with the pencil! Good luck, and post what you go with, it’s good to know what works.
Old 3rd April 2019
Lives for gear
Diametro's Avatar

I have the 2018 12.9" iPad Pro with Apple multi-port adapter and it works great ... USB for audio interface and USB-C for charging ...

In theory, it seemed like "the dongle" would be an inconvenience, however un/plugging one connector is pretty easy and visually it's not distracting ...

Along with MOTU Ultralite AVB, this setup rocks and has pretty much replaced my Mac ...
Old 3rd April 2019
Here for the gear

Thank you MC_JanHammer and Diametro for your replies.

(MC_JanHammer, I really appreciate your first post is a reply to my question!)

To Diametro: that would be the best solution probably.
If I had already an audio interface with a midi in/out.
I just have a 1248... lots of channels, no midi ports.

The options MC_JanHammer proposed are all valid.

I will dig a little more this.
Maybe I'm just annoyed by the idea that finally,
opening Mac is the easiest solution and going Mac-less is just naive nowadays...

Old 5th April 2019
Here for the gear

I was compelled to jump in because I just bought my latest and greatest 12.9 inch iPad 10 days ago after much research and agonizing. The larger screen makes some of the tiny interface apps reasonable to use, and although it isn’t a single solution replacement for a traditional computer, but it does some things better than a MacBook or PC:

1. Piano roll style editing with the pencil feels so much better than a mouse.
2. Portability is better, footprint is smaller.
3. iOS apps are cheaper than VST or AU plugins, and can sound really good to spectacular. (Of course after you drop 10-15 bills on an iPad, interface, and dongles the cost evens out)
4. Touchscreen with an x/y controller (Animoog, SoundScaper etc) inspires jamming out (or improvisation if you’re a serious artist) in a way that a traditional computer never has for me.
5. If you have MIDI synths or sound modules, it excels at sequencing external hardware (once you connect all the dongles and wires).

I’ve hit (or reconfirmed) some limitations as well:
1. A fistful of dongles. Not really any worse than the newer MacBooks in this regard, but it isn’t as sleek and portable if you need an extra bag full of wires.
2. Every DAW seems like a compromise. If you’re used to a pro-ish DAW on your computer, you’ll hit an annoying limitation at some point.
3. Playing one part in one app is easy; tying it all together into a track is exponentially harder. Audiobus vs Aum, IAA vs AU, GarageBand vs Cubasis vs Auria vs Gadget vs BeatMaker vs BeatHawk vs iMaschine vs I don’t know what else. I find it a great way to start tracks, but I often move to Logic on my MacBook to finish them.

To be fair, traditional computers had a 25 year head start over tablets on all the pesky user interface questions, and most of us have way more experience with traditional interfaces. Those old school PCs also weren’t designed and sold as primarily content consumption machines. Apple isn’t selling iPad pros at a loss, but you can rest assured they know how much the average iPad buyer will spend on movies, music, tv and apps over the life of the device.

The iPad isn’t a perfect solution for music creation, and if I had to choose only one music making computer thingee I’d go with a MacBook. As a supplemental music creation machine that also does a bunch of non-musical things, it’s pretty cool.
Old 11th April 2019
Lives for gear
DirkP's Avatar

I love the iPad for music creation. I have only the 2018 iPad but use it with all my interfaces (Mou and SPL and even my Zoom H6) and with midi. For me - rather being a musician than an audio engineer or producer - it makes such a difference to have an iPad on a K&M stand in reach instead of a notebook, a keyboard and a mouse. It distracts me much less from making music than a notebook or computer...
Old 19th April 2019
Gear Addict
barbital's Avatar
No matter what you choose, there is ALWAYS a compromise. Be it software, hardware, plugins.

Reason for this is because every DAW maker, every software/hardware maker and every plugin maker has a different opinion on what works best and what doesn't. Mix that all together and you're gonna have to accept a compromise at some point or another.

I think the iPad Pro is good for some things and not so good for others. For working out what chords sound good there is the Suggester app. You can even create entire chord progressions in that app and export it to MIDI.

There are also plenty of training apps on the iPad that you can use to great effect.

Would I use an iPad over say a PC to complete a full project? Nope, not a chance, but I could certainly use it to get some ideas together and write rap lyrics, choose the chords that I think sound good and some beats. But the chords and beats do not a song make. I can export MIDI and then work off the PC...or I can go right ahead and plug in the Babyface Pro and just record the rap vocals as it were, then export and deal with them on a full scale DAW.

The iPad certainly has a place for music projects but doing everything at once isn't its forté. It's still eminently useful and I don't think any serious musician should be without one.

At the end of the day, use what works for you. Try different things. Don't refuse to use something just because it isn't perfect because if perfection is what you seek you can rest assured you'll never find it. Not now, not ever.

Try different things. Use what works.
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