Sunday, 7 November 2010

iOS 4.2 and USB Midi

Finally after months of waiting iOS 4.2 for iPad is due to arrive sometime this month. Speculation went nuts after some news stories mistook Apple's suggestion that the DST alarm problem (which affected me too) would go away after November 7th to be a launch date for 4.2 rather than just being the date that the US changes its clocks!

Ever since hearing that Core MIDI would be in iOS 4.2 I've been waiting to see whether or not that would mean MIDI over USB via the Camera Connection Kit. I have a few MIDI controllers and some USB MIDI controllers too, so MIDI is a big part of what I like to mess around with. Hooking these up to the iPad would be fantastic.

Whilst NDAs seem to block anyone from saying anything, MooCow music put out a video on YouTube that got me all excited. Not only does it show MIDI happily going over USB but that video is an X Station 25. Why is that important? Well the X Station is not class-compliant, and also it has a built in USB audio interface. So that bodes well for compatibility of other devices. I would be keen to know from MooCow if the iPad in the video had its audio in/out taken over by the X Station.

So now (for me) the hunt is on for a 25 key controller keyboard. Mine are all 49 key and not portable in any way. It'll have to be compatible with the iPad and ideally battery powered, to avoid having to use a USB splitter cable and some form of external power source such as the Duracell PPS2.

There's a fair few to choose from, but nothing yet stands out as "perfect" to me, and of course compatibility cannot be guaranteed. I'd welcome any comments from anyone who has tried and succeeded with any of these mentioned (or any other 25 key controllers). So far I'm looking at:

Novation Xiosynth
M-audio Axiom
Novation SL25 MK1
M-audio oxygen
Akai MPK25
Alesis Photon X25
Novation Nocturn 25
Novation x-station
Novation SL25 Compact
Novation SL25 Mk 2

Of these, the only battery powered ones are the Novation Xiosynth, X Station, SL 25 MK1 and the Alesis Photon X25. Any other suggestions?

Looking forward to some awesome times over Xmas. The list of fantastic iOS music apps just keeps on growing, and MIDI support will be mind blowing.

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