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G4s 22nd July 2020 03:59 PM

Audio and MIDI Interface For iPad

Complete novice getting into music apps on iPad. Looking to add an audio interface with line in and out functionality and also MIDI in and out. It's 6th gen iPad with lightning connectivity and would like to have iPad receive power while audio interface is connected too.

Budget up to £250 but happy to spend much less if there's a good and relatively inexpensive option that will do the job. It's for home use and to help me link iPad with MPC Live.

Any suggestions will be much appreciated.



Moonwhistle 22nd July 2020 11:39 PM

Inexpensive & good = used Steinberg UR22 or UR44 Mk2.

Hozay 23rd July 2020 12:30 PM

Look at the MOTU M series interfaces (M2 & M4). To power the Lightning iPad and interface you’ll need the Apple USB 3 Camera Adapter. The Apple adapter is expensive but more reliable than cheaper knockoffs, IME.

Goa-Dubs 28th July 2020 07:45 PM

Look at IConnectAudio 2 or 4,plugs with cable straight into lightning port and also charges it.Has midi.Also can be used at the same time with computer via USB!!!!!Low latency and sounds very good.I got the 4 input one.

G4s 6th August 2020 06:15 PM

Thanks all for the replies. Much appreciated thanks.


Cpl. Punishment 6th August 2020 06:38 PM

Just a bit more information on lightning-based iPads:

The iPad pro 13" operates at USB3 speeds, where the 9" version only operates at USB2 speeds. These are the seventh generation, and all the previous versions also operate at USB2 speeds as well...

There are a number of interfaces that are (supposedly) specifically designed to work with iPads like the Tascam iXR and Focusrite iTrack Solo, but further investigation shows that's not really the case at all -- they're based on a switched USB interface.

As stated before, you need the Lightning Camera Connection Kit (CCK) that has both USB and lightning ports; this is crucial because you need the USB port for data, and the lightning port for power. For use with an iPad you'll need that CCK, a powered USB hub, an extra USB cable and (of course) your interface.

This is the hub I purchased:

SmartDelux Powered USB Hub - 7-Port USB 3.0 Hub with 4 USB 3.0 Ports, 3 Smart Charging Ports, Power Adapter, Long Cord, LEDs - Black Aluminum

... which is because I bought an iPad Pro 12.9" and wanted USB3 speeds, even if I didn't get those speeds out of the interface (I went with the Tascam iXR). The main hub data output goes to the USB portion of the CCK, while the standard USB charging cable goes to one of the "power only" ports on this hub and into the lightning port on the CCK, then the CCK gets plugged in to the iPad. It's important that you use only the USB port on the interface, and not the "iPad" port which is usually just a micro-USB connector. And yes, you will have two cables going into your iPad CCK.

re5etuk 16th August 2020 11:48 PM

probably worth checking compatibility ... but i have one of these
the ipad pro doesnt fit, but can lean into the small groove along the bottom and still be usable (it connects via lightning).
theyre quite old now so you might be able to grab a bargain.

more recently i use Digitakt with class compliant audio..but its not as flexible as a proper interface (which i also consider getting).... this is plugged in via Camera connection kit.

Cpl. Punishment 17th August 2020 12:01 AM


Originally Posted by re5etuk (Post 14919170)
probably worth checking compatibility ... but i have one of these

I was actually thinking about getting one of the smaller iPads just to go into one of these.

The problem is, at least as I see it -- and probably everyone else in the world who made iPad/iPhone peripherals -- is Apple seems to be of the mind that once someone else makes some cool hardware for the Apple ecosystem, Apple says "Quick! Someone made something we didn't -- change the interface!!!"

Seven generations of iPad, three different interfaces.

re5etuk 17th August 2020 01:07 AM

Exactly , it came with 30pin and lightning adapter which is now out of date

This is why I no longer buy iOS specific hardware unless I do lots of research... I wouldn’t go near a iOS case / battery combination as once phone changes shape when they upgrade it it’s not compatible any more. And you end up dumping it in a drawer ( or I do anyway ).

Or end up buying ‘dongles’ for£35 just to get things working again.

Remember all those 30 pin speakers that had mounts for iOS devices. They’re probably in landfill .

Again , maybe consider it if it’s still compatible and cheap. I think novation has a similar thing out years ago that might be very cheap too.

The previously mentioned higher end units would at least also work with pc /Mac.

Cpl. Punishment 18th August 2020 03:44 PM

I'd settle for a nice dock that:

a) Works with both lightning or USB-C iPads
b) Comes with a shallow low-profile right-angle lightning connector
c) Has 4 USB3-A ports
d) Has 2 USB3-C ports
e) Has HDMI/displayport output
f) Has an RJ45 LAN port
g) Can be externally powered and powers the iPad though the primary connection
h) Has a built-in multi-card reader
i) Has lightning pass-through
j) Has RCA R/L audio, TOSLINK audio port
k) dedicated headphone/microphone jacks
l) Has a firewire-400 and firewire-800 port

This is not asking a lot IMO. Look up any "laptop dock" and most of the above are common features. The rat's nest of ugly that I have to cobble together to actually use my iPad for any practical application is what prevents me from actually using it.