Every musician knows that you need some kind of tactile setup to work with your computer, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch in order to really start “feeling” how you’re making music. For example, you can play a piano on an iPad screen, or, you can play a piano keyboard and get a totally different sound because your fingers are touching the keys…or banging on the keys…its a totally different effect. So what am I trying to say? You need a MIDI controller in order to achieve this, and you’re in luck, because technology has allowed you to acquire these things for your iOS devices and computer.
If you like using IK Multimedia apps and products, and are using an iOS device or Mac, then you have 4 options: iRig MIDI, iRig KEYS, iRig PRO, and iRig BlueBoard. Here’s the lowdown:
iRig MIDI: You already have a MIDI piano keyboard or other some kind of MIDI controller (like an MPC), and you want to connect it to your iOS device. From the IK website:
iRig MIDI is the only compact iOS MIDI interface sporting 3 MIDI ports: IN/OUT/THRU. These connect to any standard MIDI jacks using the included 2 x 1.6m/5.2′ cables. iRig MIDI also has 2 LEDs for displaying the MIDI activity on the IN and OUT ports.
iRig MIDI also exclusively provides a micro USB port – with included cable – that connects to any standard USB power supply source so that the iOS device can stay fully powered during long sessions.
iRig PRO: You have several devices, you’re a one man/woman recording band…from the IK website:
iRig PRO is the first full-featured compact audio and MIDI interface you can use with your XLR microphones, your guitar and bass, your keyboard or other line-level source and your MIDI controllers. It features an XLR/1/4″ combo jack for connecting microphones and instruments (accepts XLR and 1/4″ TS cables), and a MIDI input for plugging in your favorite controller.
OK, OK…so maybe you just wanna play keys…and you want a frikken keyboard that you don’t have to put in a suitcase, instead, it fits in your backpack! iRig KEYS is the halo on top of your angelic music making head. Here’s the skinny from the IK website:
iRig KEYS is the first ultra-slim and highly portable universal MIDI controller keyboard for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac/PC. iRig KEYS connects directly to the iOS device’s 30-pin dock connector, Lightning connector (Lightning cable must be purchased separately), or the USB port on your Mac/PC. It features 37 velocity-sensitive mini-keys — a full 3-octave range plus one note — takes up minimal space on your desktop and can easily fit in a backpack or a carry-on bag.
Are you a guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, or vocalist using an iOS device or Mac to perform on stage or produce music? Then iRig BlueBoard is your answer…this nifty Bluetooth pedalboard allows you to recall presets and program changes with the tap of your foot. Yeah baby, no more touching the screen…no more stopping your groove…just set it up, and jam. Here’s the MIDI controller for you, (details are from the IK website):
So how does iRig BlueBoard work? It connects to your iPhone/iPod touch/iPad or Mac via Bluetooth, and when you press its foot switches, it sends out control signals that are converted to MIDI by the iRig BlueBoard app.
At this point the MIDI messages are available to virtually any MIDI compatible app you’re running on your iOS device or on your Mac.
The control messages sent from iRig BlueBoard to AmpliTube or other Core MIDI music apps can include bank up/down, MIDI continuous controllers, as well as parameter changes on apps such as IK’s AmpliTube, VocaLive,SampleTank, and iGrand Piano iOS apps plus many others, such as Apple GarageBand.
Learn more about IK Multimedia’s MIDI controllers, iOS apps and interfaces, click here: www.ikmultimedia.com/ios
Thanks for reading Starr Ackerman’s Music Production & Technology blog. Please feel free to comment or contact me for review units of the aforementioned products via IK Multimedia, click here.