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Pro level interface for iPad Pro 2020
Old 28th April 2020
  #1
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Mighty_Zoltan's Avatar
Pro level interface for iPad Pro 2020

Hi guys,
I have 4 interfaces currently Steinberg AXR 4T, Metric Halo 2882, Apogee One and a Roland Super UA.

The 2882 and Apogee semi work with my iPad Pro but both not great. No proper control over levels etc (Apogee has never bothered to update their drivers for the USB C iPad pros and Metric Halo don't have an app to control the 2882 yet and not holding out for that).

Does anyone have a recommendation for a Small, maybe 2 channel pro level interface that I can use on the go with my iPad? Obviously there are tons of cheaper interfaces like the usb c stein bergs etc but I sort of want it for some vocal tracking to use with a lunchbox and want to get the most out of my nice pre amps.

Any recommendations?

Cheers!
Old 29th April 2020
  #2
I'm looking as well. Will follow this thread.
Old 30th April 2020
  #3
Hi!
Check out the RME interfaces.

I'm using an old Babyface and it works great and you can get Totalmix to do all the routing.

Best, Pelle
Old 30th April 2020
  #4
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The Sonosax M2D2 is a very small, high-quality two-channel interface with two excellent preamps, great converters, very nice headphone amplifier. I don't have an iPad Pro so can't confirm that it works via USB-C on the iPad Pro, but it works on regular iPad (with the lightning camera adapter) and iPhone.

Note that its inputs are TA3 so you'll need XLR to TA3 cables. Also note that the line outs are unbalanced. I only use it as a USB interface so that's not an issue for me, and shouldn't be an issue in general unless you use long cables.
Old 2nd May 2020
  #5
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Mighty_Zoltan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradh View Post
The Sonosax M2D2 is a very small, high-quality two-channel interface with two excellent preamps, great converters, very nice headphone amplifier. I don't have an iPad Pro so can't confirm that it works via USB-C on the iPad Pro, but it works on regular iPad (with the lightning camera adapter) and iPhone.

Note that its inputs are TA3 so you'll need XLR to TA3 cables. Also note that the line outs are unbalanced. I only use it as a USB interface so that's not an issue for me, and shouldn't be an issue in general unless you use long cables.
That actually looks awesome! I’ve never heard of that company or even ta3 connectors! But wow. For a small package that has a lot! Rechargeable battery and even has aes? Pretty crazy.
Old 2nd May 2020
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mighty_Zoltan View Post
That actually looks awesome! I’ve never heard of that company or even ta3 connectors! But wow. For a small package that has a lot! Rechargeable battery and even has aes? Pretty crazy.
I have it and it's amazing. It's expensive but worth it in my opinion. The user interface takes some time to get used to (download the manual and study it before deciding to buy; it'll give you a sense of what you're getting into), but once you have it figured out it's easy to change settings.

I wouldn't say the preamps are entirely neutral; in another thread on this preamp a poster said it sounds more "hi-fi" than the preamps on another highly praised Sonosax product, the R4+ recorder, and I think that's true. I did some tests against my Sound Devices MixPre 6, and the recordings made with the Sonosax had a noticeably warmer sound.
Old 4th May 2020
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Apogee has a brand new interface coming out that is supposedly compatible with USB C iPad Pros called Symphony Desktop. But personally, I don’t see what the point is if you only need a couple inputs. Evo 4 from Audient and M2/M4 from MOTU have been getting great reviews.
Old 4th May 2020
  #8
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Mighty_Zoltan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiskeyWhiskers View Post
Apogee has a brand new interface coming out that is supposedly compatible with USB C iPad Pros called Symphony Desktop. But personally, I don’t see what the point is if you only need a couple inputs. Evo 4 from Audient and M2/M4 from MOTU have been getting great reviews.
That interface does look awesome, but I’m kind of avoiding Apogee to be honest. They don’t seem too reliable with updating their drivers. They are still selling Ones, Duets and quartets that say they are iPad compatible but still haven’t updated Maestro for iOS almost 3 years after the first USB C iPad Pro came out. That is ridiculous. I have to plug my One into my phone or computer to change settings and then attach it to my iPad.
Old 7th May 2020
  #9
Gear Nut
Following this thread, I'm currently running a UR22C which is great for the price but looking for something as a step up, but also needs DIN MIDI IN and OUT.
Old 7th May 2020
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theshinenz View Post
Following this thread, I'm currently running a UR22C which is great for the price but looking for something as a step up, but also needs DIN MIDI IN and OUT.
Also looking for one with MIDI. The best 2 options I’ve found so far are the Motu M2 and the Irig Pro Duo although I’ve read that the M2 is more stable.
Old 7th May 2020
  #11
Gear Nut
I'm kind of a newbie when it comes to Ipad, I normally run hardware, and the interface is primarily just to get sound from IOS synths to my PA, so preamps are not a big deal to me as not using the inputs, really want the best possible sound quality output. I'm guessing my UR22C would be close to the ones you mentioned in terms of sound.
Old 7th May 2020
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mighty_Zoltan View Post
That interface does look awesome, but I’m kind of avoiding Apogee to be honest. They don’t seem too reliable with updating their drivers. They are still selling Ones, Duets and quartets that say they are iPad compatible but still haven’t updated Maestro for iOS almost 3 years after the first USB C iPad Pro came out. That is ridiculous. I have to plug my One into my phone or computer to change settings and then attach it to my iPad.
Agree with you on apogee. Still annoyed they stopped releasing drivers for the firewire duet —it's not as if they have produced tonnes of devices over the years. The duet 2 does look to be the most compatible with the ipads, even powering up from the ipad itself but I don't quite trust them to keep releasing software after they have your money...
Like others here I'm leaning towards the M2, though the SSL ones look decent as well. Hoping others chime in with positive experiences of using an interface with ipad, as I hardly ever read them.
Old 9th July 2020
  #13
Gear Head
Centrance Mixerface

http://https://centrance.com/mixerface/


Mixerface. This is like a poor persons Sonosax SX-M2D2.
The 'Plus' model for $350, has the battery but not the recorder, perfect for IOS.
(No MIDI for the folks in this thread that needed MIDI.)
Old 10th July 2020
  #14
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maestro's Avatar
Forgive if hijacking thread. Do these interfaces need an apple adaptor to connect to the iPad Pro 2018? It never seems to be clear on manufacturers' websites and I have searched for the answer.
Old 10th July 2020
  #15
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Mighty_Zoltan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by maestro View Post
Forgive if hijacking thread. Do these interfaces need an apple adaptor to connect to the iPad Pro 2018? It never seems to be clear on manufacturers' websites and I have searched for the answer.
If you are using a usb c cable then no. If you are using old school usb then yes.
Old 10th July 2020
  #16
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maestro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mighty_Zoltan View Post
If you are using a usb c cable then no. If you are using old school usb then yes.
Thank you for that. I will get a USB C cable.
Old 15th July 2020
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mighty_Zoltan View Post
If you are using a usb c cable then no. If you are using old school usb then yes.
Think quite a few need a powered hub including the motu m2/4...please correct if I'm wrong.
Old 15th July 2020
  #18
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Mighty_Zoltan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjmmuir View Post
Think quite a few need a powered hub including the motu m2/4...please correct if I'm wrong.
If it's a bus powered interface like say the current Steinberg interfaces then no. The USB bus of the iPad Pro provides enough power. You'd need it for an older iPad with a lightning connector.
Old 17th July 2020
  #19
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mighty_Zoltan View Post
If it's a bus powered interface like say the current Steinberg interfaces then no. The USB bus of the iPad Pro provides enough power. You'd need it for an older iPad with a lightning connector.
The MOTU M Series is 100% plug and play with USB C on an iPad Pro. (I have the M4.) Super easy and no extra power required, although it does draw from the iPad's battery. It also sounds so good that aside from some critical feature, like ADAT or AES/EBU, it would be hard to justify spending a lot more for an interface, IMO.
Old 18th July 2020
  #20
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maestro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hozay View Post
The MOTU M Series is 100% plug and play with USB C on an iPad Pro. (I have the M4.) Super easy and no extra power required, although it does draw from the iPad's battery. It also sounds so good that aside from some critical feature, like ADAT or AES/EBU, it would be hard to justify spending a lot more for an interface, IMO.
Do you ever leave iPad plugged in with a USB Hub? I want to buy a reliable and versatile hub
Old 19th July 2020
  #21
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by maestro View Post
Do you ever leave iPad plugged in with a USB Hub? I want to buy a reliable and versatile hub
Yes. After reading a number of reviews, I bought the Kingston Nucleum because it seemed to be the most reliable for audio. If you find the cable on the hub too short, you can get a USB C extension cable on Amazon. I've also used the M4 successfully with an Anker powered USB 3 hub as well as the USB C hub built into a Dell monitor.
Old 19th July 2020
  #22
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maestro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hozay View Post
Yes. After reading a number of reviews, I bought the Kingston Nucleum because it seemed to be the most reliable for audio. If you find the cable on the hub too short, you can get a USB C extension cable on Amazon. I've also used the M4 successfully with an Anker powered USB 3 hub as well as the USB C hub built into a Dell monitor.
Thanks for that. I know Kingston as a well reputed brand.

Can I ask how you use monitors or headphones with your setup?

Last edited by maestro; 19th July 2020 at 08:46 PM.. Reason: added info
Old 21st July 2020
  #23
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by maestro View Post
Can I ask how you use monitors or headphones with your setup?
Yamaha HS5 monitors and Sony MDR-7506 headphones. Here's a view of my setup with the iPad Pro. I use a standing desk with the monitors at ear level and you can see the MOTU box under the right monitor:
Attached Thumbnails
Pro level interface for iPad Pro 2020-ipad.jpg  
Old 21st July 2020
  #24
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Mighty_Zoltan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hozay View Post
Yamaha HS5 monitors and Sony MDR-7506 headphones. Here's a view of my setup with the iPad Pro. I use a standing desk with the monitors at ear level and you can see the MOTU box under the right monitor:
Looks cool. Are you using your iPad as your main computer? I love it the you can plug into monitors so easily now.
Old 22nd July 2020
  #25
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mighty_Zoltan View Post
Looks cool. Are you using your iPad as your main computer? I love it the you can plug into monitors so easily now.
Yeah, the big monitor is wonderful. And it's great to use a proper keyboard and trackpad with the iPad. I've been moving toward using the iPad for almost everything but I still use a MacBook and Logic for most recording projects. With the announcements about Mac transitioning to Apple Silicon (ARM) I'm hoping that more Mac software, like Logic, will soon run on the iPad.
Old 29th July 2020
  #26
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hozay View Post
The MOTU M Series is 100% plug and play with USB C on an iPad Pro. (I have the M4.) Super easy and no extra power required, although it does draw from the iPad's battery. It also sounds so good that aside from some critical feature, like ADAT or AES/EBU, it would be hard to justify spending a lot more for an interface, IMO.
Hello, and if you connect condensed mics (phantom power), does it work without extra power yet or it needs extra power?

Thank you very much!
Old 30th July 2020
  #27
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicator2020 View Post
Hello, and if you connect condensed mics (phantom power), does it work without extra power yet or it needs extra power?

Thank you very much!
Yes! Answered in another GS thread here.
Old 30th July 2020
  #28
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hozay View Post
Yes! Answered in another GS thread here.
Thank you very much again, it’s a great help for me!
Old 16th August 2020
  #29
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re5etuk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hozay View Post
Yamaha HS5 monitors and Sony MDR-7506 headphones. Here's a view of my setup with the iPad Pro. I use a standing desk with the monitors at ear level and you can see the MOTU box under the right monitor:
can you explain this setup?

i guess its going through usb hub..? what do you use to share screen on the monitor?

are you using bluetooth keyboard/trackpad and mouse ?..
setup looks nice.. i use ipad more than anything else at the moment with AUM as the main mixer.
Old 17th August 2020
  #30
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by re5etuk View Post
can you explain this setup?

i guess its going through usb hub..? what do you use to share screen on the monitor?

are you using bluetooth keyboard/trackpad and mouse ?..
setup looks nice.. i use ipad more than anything else at the moment with AUM as the main mixer.
Thanks for your interest, re5etuk. I chose the Dell U2520D monitor specifically because it has a USB-C hub built in. One cable, connected to the iPad Pro or MacBook, carries data, audio, and video and provides power to the device. The monitor has another USB-C port and three USB-A ports and those are connected to the MOTU M4, a little MIDI keyboard, and an external drive. It’s been the perfect plug-and-play arrangement.

A really good alternative is the Kingston Nucleum hub which provides all the same functionality.

Yes, I often use an Apple bluetooth keyboard and trackpad with the iPad, however, I just ordered the Apple pencil which I think will be better for working on music, photos, etc.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
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