iPad MIDI. The Definitive Report.

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LoopStationZebra
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iPad MIDI. The Definitive Report.

Post by LoopStationZebra » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:03 pm

Well, well, well. Here we are. Another iPad/Apple thread. Can we have too many? I think not.

Some of you have been following my ranting about MIDI on the iPad. Suffice to say, I've been doing a lot of research, emailing, buying, and testing. Here goes:

MIDI on the iPad is only half realized. This is not the fault of Apple or the iPad. These are shortcomings of the apps themselves.

You've got 4 basic connection options:
1. Line6 MIDI Mobilizer
2. Apple Camera Connection Kit plugged into a USB-To-MIDI cable like the M-Audio Uno. This is a USB to 5pin connection.
3. A piece of hardware (synth or controller) plugged into the Apple Camera Connection Kit plugged into the iPad.
4. WiFi MIDI - via Apple's MIDI Networking or whatever hocus pocus roundabout system that PCs use.

The problem? There are lots of them.

The App Issues
This is the biggie. MIDI is only half realized on nearly every single app. While app developers have updated their product pages on iTunes to say something like "MIDI support!", it's all just a half-truth. Hardly any of them have offered MIDI send from the app. :x

I was going out of my fucking mind trying to figure out why some apps could receive MIDI data, but were completely dead when trying to send. I'd hook shit up differently, say a prayer, light some candles...no luck. Well, after lots of emailing and forum exchanges, it's because they haven't fucking implemented them in their apps yet. :x How's about a note to that effect on the product page? :x :x :x

I realize that app developers have lives outside of their work, but I don't care. How the fucking Korg iMS-20 ONLY has MIDI IN is just fucking well beyond me. No clock sync, no MIDI out, no Line6MM support. Jebus.



Hardwire Connection Choices
Both the Line6 MM and the CCK are proprietary (CCL in the sense that it ties into Apple's Core MIDI). The app developers need to code their apps to support one, the other, or both. This isn't the universal 'MIDI Works Everywhere' type of thing we've all known and loved - where the hardware or software developers simply follow the MIDI guidelines for implementation. The Apple CCK isn't just an adaptor. The devs must provide code in their apps to work SPECIFICALLY with the CCK/Core MIDI. Does that mean the Line6MM doesn't use Core MIDI? I think it does. It respondes to standard MIDI coding that the devs provide in their apps, but then feeds the MIDI data through their proprietary device - which has some sort of translator code going on...? I think that's what is happening here. Fuck if I really know, but that's a pretty good guess.

Some apps like NLogPro Synth have been written for both. Some just one or the other. And therein lies the first big problem. If you've got the Line6MM, you are shit out of luck in terms of using an external keyboard with the Korg iMS-20 syth app. Same goes if you've only got the CCK, and one of you're fav apps doesn't support that connection type.

I'm already pissed off, but I must maintain my composure. :x

At this point, you may well have to own both types if your library is as large as mine is (about 8 apps or so).

Right now, the Line6MM supports more apps; but that's because it's been out longer. This is likely to change towards the CCK.


Clock Sync
Molten is the only app that's got it. Period. The funny thing about clock sync is that app developers I reached out to and heard back from (about 10) were genuinely perplexed that I was asking for this feature. :x

Them:
"Why would you need that?"

Me:
"Because you use words and phrases like 'professional' and 'taking mobile music to a whole new level' and 'professional/studio grade' when describing your app?"

I'm still scratching my head over this one.


It's NOT THE MOTHERFUCKING CABLE
There's been a number of people I've seen that make claims about the M-Audio MIDI Uno (or a handful of other USB-To-MIDI cables) not working with this or that app or the iPad in general. I'll say this right now: It's Not The Mother Fucking Cable.

I did a simple test. It went like this:

Loaded a great little iPad app called MIDI Monitor onto my iPad. Then I started up a program on my MacBook called *golly!* MIDI Monitor. Then I started up Ableton on the MacBook. The iPad MIDI Monitor app has a window to view MIDI activity, as well as some nice knobs and faders. With the M-Audio MIDI Uno connected to the Apple Camera Connection Kit, I started moving faders on the iPad app. The MIDI out light on the Uno started flashing, Ableton's MIDI signal started flashing, and MIDI Monitor on the MacBook side recorded the activity. That simple test proved that the iPad works just fine with the Uno, and that there's no issues with the iPad itself in terms of MIDI Out. A MIDI IN test on the iPad had the same results. Perfect communication. That means one thing:

Any and all MIDI issues are 100% on the developer side. It's got fuck all to do with your cable brand (unless it's really old), and fuck all to do with the iPad. :x



A SPREADSHEET
A guy named wmpeters over at the Korg forum saw my ranting and came up with this nifty little spreadsheet. It's not complete, and needs a clock sync column, but it's very telling nonetheless.

https://files.me.com/wmpeters/ktpgy3

I'll try to add to that list, or post new findings here.



I think this is a case of ENORMOUS expectations on my part simply not being met. But, I swear to you, in dev forum after dev forum I'm the only douchebag asking about this stuff. I think we'll eventually see everything working properly, but God knows when.

Stay tuned.

:x
I came for the :lol:
But stayed for the :x

squelcht
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Re: iPad MIDI. The Definitive Report.

Post by squelcht » Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:55 pm

I for one really appreciate your insane twisted desire & contribution to this matter Loops :wink: I don't own an iPad (yet) but will look to be in the family soon. The one thing holding me back is my need for better assurance that the whole MIDI thing works promising (without the use of WIFI MIDI--I'd much rather use cable connection right now) WTF is up with those guys you talked to wondering why you were so curious about clock sync?? Seriously? This shit is important :x

Anyhow you kick ass for doing such research & experimenting with this :D I look highly forward to the future of midiCore & iPad awesomeness 8)

Cheers!

And merry Festivus!

LoopStationZebra
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Re: iPad MIDI. The Definitive Report.

Post by LoopStationZebra » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:18 am

I have a tendency to exaggerate a great many things - because I'm awesome and rich and that's what we billionaires do in a vain attempt at adding colour to all of your pathetic little lives.

But in the case of devs wondering why MIDI sync was so important? I didn't stretch the truth one bit.

:x
I came for the :lol:
But stayed for the :x

squelcht
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Re: iPad MIDI. The Definitive Report.

Post by squelcht » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:44 am

wow

LoopStationZebra
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Re: iPad MIDI. The Definitive Report.

Post by LoopStationZebra » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:11 am

I know, bro.

Hey, that cat is looking a little sickly as of late. Has he been to a doctor lately?
I came for the :lol:
But stayed for the :x

squelcht
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Re: iPad MIDI. The Definitive Report.

Post by squelcht » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:52 pm

Ain't no body probing my pussy.

crofter
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Re: iPad MIDI. The Definitive Report.

Post by crofter » Fri Dec 24, 2010 4:21 pm

What's an iPad ?
Core2 quad q660, 4gig ram, Win 7 home premium SP1.
P4 2.8 ghz, Gigabyte GA- 81E2004P, 1.5 gig ram,XP Home, SP3.
dual core pentium laptop 2 gig ram Win 8.
MOTU 8Pre,Tascam FW-1804,Zoom R16, Ableton live 8.4
Cubase 7

djsynchro
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Re: iPad MIDI. The Definitive Report.

Post by djsynchro » Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:58 pm

I love the way you spice up your posts with a certain emoticon for comic effect. :P

wildcon
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Re: iPad MIDI. The Definitive Report.

Post by wildcon » Sun Dec 26, 2010 3:29 pm

Loop,

Cheers for doing this mate.

I've been p'ing around with my new iPad over xmas and it's been great.

However I discovered the lack of midi output on the new Korg synth and was somewhat staggered :x

I'm hoping that as more developers realise the potential of the iPad this will be sorted.

I bloody hope so as the potential is enormous!
MacBook Pro, Mojave, Live 10, Logic Pro X, UAD Apollo & Satellites, UAD, NI Komplete, Izotope, Korg, Audio Damage, Fabfilter, Waves plugs.

beats me
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Re: iPad MIDI. The Definitive Report.

Post by beats me » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:58 pm

LoopStationZebra wrote:Well, well, well. Here we are. Another iPad/Apple thread. Can we have too many? I think not.
There's seriously no reason left to come to this forum other than those. None.

And thanks for the report. I give it about another year until ALL developers start falling in line with a MIDI standard. These fuck nuts think we should just be excited there's yet another softsynth on our idevice. That excitement wore off a long time ago.

Having full MIDI capabilities is as essential as having a photo with a personal ad. Basic bare minimum requirement.

LoopStationZebra
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Re: iPad MIDI. The Definitive Report.

Post by LoopStationZebra » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:57 pm

I need to get back to this MIDI on the iPad thread because, well, many developers still don't seem to give a shit about MIDI implementation. Peter Kirn over at createdigitalmusic was defending the devs in the iPad group forum for a whole bunch of reasons that only a true shill could come up with....

Now, Peter does a great job with that site but I am pissed about this. Instead of offering a comprehensive review of the state of music apps for the iPad - and the state of MIDI for apps for the iPad - we continue to get endless stories about new guitar controllers for Rock Band.

:x

We now get a new and amazing device with the Studio Dock that gives a ton of MIDI and audio options, yet many of the great instrument and controller apps remain with only partial MIDI implementation - if that. How in the world the great iElectribe app can remain without ANY MIDI functionality is completely beyond me.

And don't think this is exclusive to the iPad. Anyone who wants to brave a Droid phone or tablet will face the same issue.

:x
I came for the :lol:
But stayed for the :x

Blue Monster 65
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Re: iPad MIDI. The Definitive Report.

Post by Blue Monster 65 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:55 pm

While it doesn't solve the problems you're talking about, LSZ, have you seen this? http://www.sonicstate.com/news/2011/01/ ... interface/

Dunno - I'm hoping that since Korg, Alesis, and Akai are in the game now, we'll see our concerns addressed. Otherwise, the iPad/iPod platform will be left in the dust when tablet computers hit the market.

LoopStationZebra
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Re: iPad MIDI. The Definitive Report.

Post by LoopStationZebra » Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:38 pm

Blue, yeah mikeMc posted a story about that hub last week. Very cool. The Alesis/Akai iPad StudioDock is essentially the same thing for the iPad, with even more audio features.

It's a truly exciting time for tablets and music making, but somehow these developers need to start thinking WAY bigger picture.

I get that some small time, basement devs might struggle with time and whatnot. But fucking KORG? ffs.

:lol:
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squelcht
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Re: iPad MIDI. The Definitive Report.

Post by squelcht » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:44 pm

LoopStationZebra wrote: But fucking KORG? ffs.

:lol:
Double NO SHIT about the iElectribe not having MIDI functionality. But as I might of said before I still don't personally own an iPad yet due to the fact of the MIDI limitations. But its probably in my favor because once the new iPad comes out & is loaded with new stuff that I wont need for my use I can snag a 1st gen iPad cheap :wink:

I just really hope the whole MIDIcore/iApp thing is worked out soon. I'm crazy excited about the future of what this will be. I can see iApp's rewriting the way we use soft-synths. Soon everything will be VST/AU/iApp compatible...

LoopStationZebra
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Re: iPad MIDI. The Definitive Report.

Post by LoopStationZebra » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:21 pm

There have been a couple of devs who have stepped it up a bit in terms of MIDI. NLogSynthPro is now capable of sending MIDI as well as receive. Still no clock sync for the delay and arpeggiator and whatnot. :x

I'm also returning my Line6 MIDI Mobilizer because, well, it's going to be a dead platform before you know it. Why Line6 couldn't have made this a straight MIDI device as well as proprietary is beyond me. :x I mean, it'll be obsolete within 3 months.
I came for the :lol:
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