How do I connect a MIDI controller or keyboard to my iPhone, iPad or Mac/PC?


This is a question every budding musician asks themselves when trying to construct a computer music studio, “How do I connect a keyboard or other MIDI controller to my mobile device or computer so I can make music?” There are some new products on the market that can help, considering what you might already have in the studio. Here are some easy-connecting solutions for your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac/PC computer:

New: IK Multimedia iRig MIDI 2: It’s all about the Connection…and the Ports

From IK’s website:

Connectors for iRig MIDI 2, include Lightning, USB and 30-pin (may be purchased separately).

Connectors for iRig MIDI 2, include Lightning, USB and 30-pin (may be purchased separately).

At the center of iRig MIDI 2 is its detachable Mini-DIN connector, which lets you attach a Lightning (included), USB (included) or 30-pin cable (sold separately) depending on the mobile device or computer that you’d like to use. This makes it possible for you to use it with your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad Mini, Mac, PC etc. There’s a list of compatible devices from the IK website for iRig MIDI 2, click here.

Attach at computer, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, external MIDI controller keyboard, etc to make music with your mobile device or computer.

Attach at computer, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, external MIDI controller keyboard, etc to make music with your mobile device or computer.

iRig MIDI 2 features three MIDI ports: IN, OUT and THRU. The ports are standard-sized and require no adaptor or special cable to use — in fact, you can use any standard MIDI cable you’d like. These ports give you all the control and connectivity that MIDI allows: Use the IN port to use external keyboards and controllers to play your favorite software sound modules and synthesizers. Use the OUT port to control external hardware or synthesizers from your mobile device or computer. And you can use the THRU port to send MIDI data to multiple instruments at once.

Still confused? Watch this iRig MIDI 2 Video from IK Multimedia, click here.

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OK, so you don’t have a MIDI Keyboard, or other MIDI controller, but you want to make music? Here are some more IK Multimedia products that can help you plug in and play!

From the IK website:

iRig KEYS with Lightning is MIDI and USB class compliant for a true plug-and-play experience both with iOS devices or Mac/PC. No additional apps, software or drivers are necessary to get it up and running. For total mobility, iRig KEYS with Lightning is also an ultra-low power consumption unit.”

iRig KEYS and iRig KEYS PRO from IK Multimedia, affordable mobile MIDI controllers with USB, 30-Pin and Lightning adapters.

iRig KEYS and iRig KEYS PRO from IK Multimedia, affordable mobile MIDI controllers with USB, 30-Pin and Lightning adapters.

There are two flavors of iRig KEYS. iRig KEYS (37 velocity mini-keys keyboard controller) and iRig KEYS PRO (37 FULL-Size Keys MIDI controller). What are the differences between the two? Well, if you have a backpack, the smaller version (iRig KEYS) is going to fit in there, making it very easy to get around town with just your laptop, or iOS device in tow. The iRig KEYS PRO version is going to be a Full-sized key keyboard controller…which some people prefer to use in the studio (since they might be used to using real piano-sized keys). There is also a cost difference between the two (iRig KEYS costs less money).

Both iRig KEYS and iRig KEYS PRO work equally well in true ease-of-use situations. You won’t need any special software or drivers to install and use these products. Your computer or device will automatically “know” how to use them. If for some reason your computer DAW can sense multiple controllers, you will have to choose iRig KEYS in your “preferences” for MIDI controllers for it to be the main mamma jamma.

Still confused? Here is a video of iRig KEYS PRO in action, click here to watch the video.

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Of course, there are many different keyboard controllers and MIDI adaptors on the market, but none are so versatile and easy to use with all devices to make music with than the three aforementioned products. It’s important to purchase products that will work with new mobile devices, tablets and computers, this way you won’t have to re-invest immediately if you get a new laptop or mobile device.

Thanks for reading Starr Ackerman’s Music Production Blog. ~ Keep Making Music!~

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~ by Starr Ackerman on July 14, 2014.

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