Alesis io Dock by louparte
The iPad is an amazing but very limited gadget. No USB ports. No multi-tasking. It's difficult to import data. This breaks you out of that iPad prison cell and lets you use it as part of your DAW or your live setup. Plus - it charges your iPad battery. This is by far my best gear purchase of 2012. It works beautifully.
I use this with an iPad 2. I bought both the iPad and the iO dock used. I use it with Auria 48 track DAW, Korg iMS20, Animoog, Geosynth, iMaschine and several other apps. I have MIDI Out from an M-Audio Axiom 61 controller going into the iPad via the MIDI In on the iO Dock. I have not run MIDI output from the iO dock to any of my hardware devices yet.
The audio outputs on the iO dock are run into my 16 track Yamaha MG 16/6 FX mixer. The sound is played back on Alesis M1 Mk2 monitors.
My audio interface is a Presonus Audiobox. My main MIDI interface is an old MAudio 4x4 Midisport. Although I have others as well.
I'm happy to say it all works together well. I understand this product had serious problems with background hiss and sound quality. But I have no problems on mine. Alesis put out a firmware update 1.07. It claims Apple Core Audio IOS 5 has a problem. But others say the problem was solved with the firmware update. I don't know. I do know my sound is clean.
On the Back:
There is a main output & two guitar jack/XLR inputs. There is an RCA video output and a foot-pedal in. The on/off switch is on the back also.
On the left side (as you face the device):
There is a MIDI out & a MIDI in. There is also a USB MIDI port.
On the right side (facing the device):
There is a headphone jack with volume control & a main volume switch.
How to operate:
1. Turn it on.
2. Connect your audio and MIDI cables.
4. Slide the iPad into the top of the iO Dock. Note: For iPad 2's & 3's there is a plastic adapter to make it fit. Mine came with it.
The mic pre's probably aren't very good. But I won't be plugging mic's directly into the iO Dock. I use it for MIDI playback into my mixer and for audio from my mixer into Auria DAW.
According to Alesis, the iO Dock does not transmit sysex.
According to Alesis, the iPad is limited to 16/44.1 . I'm not sure that's correct. I think my Auria mixer does better than that. Maybe someone else can clear that up.
This device looks and feels like cheap plastic. But mine works brilliantly. And it has busted me out of the iPad Gulag. As I said in paragraph one, this is my best gear purchase - by far - of 2012. I am very happy with this cheap bit of plastic. Because of this - the synths I buy in the future will mostly be iPad apps. The iO Dock has really changed my outlook and my workflow.