Midi over Network Session between iDevices

I have a couple of older devices that aren't useful for much any more. I got to thinking that maybe I could use my ancient iPad 2 as a midi sequencer only - sending to my newer devices. I have Apollo Midi, and it works great for midi over Bluetooth, but the iPad 2 is too old to work with it.

So, that got me to trying to get "Network Session" midi working. Yes, I know that it's subject to latency, etc. but I have some ways of minimizing that, and kinda just want to geek out and get this working.

I'm stumped though. I can't get any of my iDevices to recognize network midi. Using MidiFlow, I can see that apps are sending out to the network session. I just can't get any other devices to pick up on that.

There are dozens of videos and tutorials on how to use an iDevice as a midi controller for a Mac or PC, but I haven't found anything about how to go device to device. I'm wondering if its possible. What I want to do is send midi out to "Network Session" on one device (like an iPhone) and receive it on another (like an iPad) on the same wireless network. I've ruled out my router blocking the traffic by routing through a simple access point, with no firewall or routing, and only the two devices connected.

No big deal. Just checking if anyone has any insight before I find myself sniffing network packets, etc. Which I really don't have time for but will almost certainly not be able to stop myself from diving into. IT OCD is a force to be reckoned with and I am weak...

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Comments

  • 36 Comments sorted by Date Votes
  • Last time I looked network sessions have to have the 'server'/master on a computer pc/mac. Things do change tho!

  • @Richtowns said:
    Last time I looked network sessions have to have the 'server'/master on a computer pc/mac. Things do change tho!

    Rats. I assumed it was just midi data floating around the wireless network and could be picked up by anything. Too bad, but thanks, you saved me many hours of fruitless labor.

  • I don’t know if this is what you are wanting to do but I use MidiFire. Tim from dischord has this explaining it.

    https://youtu.be/pqS4hWWRUN8

  • Thanks @Chaztrip, great video, and it makes me want to get MidiFire. Unfortunately that will only work with BlueTooth Midi. I was hoping to use the "Network Session" midi. That won't work between iOS devices though. Oh well. ;)

  • Are you running a Mac? If so... then the Network Session needs to be "joined" by both the iDevices via the "Connect" tab. Also - make sure your devices on same Network (if your wireless router has a 2.4/5ghz connection).

  • I have done this many times in the past, very often back when I had a iPad 2. It is absolutely possible over a standard WiFi network and with no PC or Mac in the middle.

    It has been a while since I tried this so i can’t confirm if it works on iOS 11. Anyway, keep trying different options. If I have time to check it out I’ll let you know if it still works for me.

  • Yes, you can definitely do this in variety ways, any app that can create a Virtual MIDI port should do the trick, Studiomux works.

  • edited November 10 Vote Up0

    I just tested a quick setup:
    MIDI Designer Pro - sending CC from iPhone SE.
    Model 15 - receives CC on iPad Pro.

    No problems at all doing this, both devices on iOS 11 over Network Session on WiFi.

  • @Hmtx said:
    I just tested a quick setup:
    MIDI Designer Pro - sending CC from iPhone SE.
    Model 15 - receives CC on iPad Pro.

    No problems at all doing this, both devices on iOS 11 over Network Session on WiFi.

    How are you initializing a Network Session with no Mac?

  • @Aud_iOS said:

    How are you initializing a Network Session with no Mac?

    It’s just there. Both apps show “network session” as an option for MIDI in/out.

  • Im ready to eat a big bowl of alphabetty spagetti if Im wrong.

  • @Richtowns Just try it ;-)

    I always prefer to prove myself wrong rather than have some else do it.

  • @Hmtx said:
    I just tested a quick setup:
    MIDI Designer Pro - sending CC from iPhone SE.
    Model 15 - receives CC on iPad Pro.

    No problems at all doing this, both devices on iOS 11 over Network Session on WiFi.

    Oh man, I asked about this recently but nobody answered. I will try it out with one on iOS11 and the other on iOS9.
    I will let you know how it goes.

  • Bummer. I cannot get it to work for me. I am not sure if it is because of iOS9, the apps I'm trying to use, not setup correctly, or something else (like user error). Guess I will wait and see if someone else has better luck with this.

  • I haven't tried this in a long while either but I couldn't do it without a Mac in the mix. @Hmtx's report is very promising! I wonder if iOS 11 is the factor here?

    @wim, so long as you're not doing sysex stuff, those cheapo USB<->MIDI things work well enough. CCKs for 30pin devices can probably be had on craigslist for the price of showing up. And/or older 30 pin accessories like the original iRig MIDI or the Griffin Studio Connect (I've saved one of these for exactly this purpose).

  • @syrupcore said:
    I haven't tried this in a long while either but I couldn't do it without a Mac in the mix. @Hmtx's report is very promising! I wonder if iOS 11 is the factor here?

    @wim, so long as you're not doing sysex stuff, those cheapo USB<->MIDI things work well enough. CCKs for 30pin devices can probably be had on craigslist for the price of showing up. And/or older 30 pin accessories like the original iRig MIDI or the Griffin Studio Connect (I've saved one of these for exactly this purpose).

    Agree absolutely. Don't underestimate the value an iPad2 can still bring, and get some cheap used MIDI/Audio interface. If you can afford the space, Akai Synthstation with iPad2 and MidiSteps = superawesome

  • @iOSounddesign said:

    @syrupcore said:
    I haven't tried this in a long while either but I couldn't do it without a Mac in the mix. @Hmtx's report is very promising! I wonder if iOS 11 is the factor here?

    @wim, so long as you're not doing sysex stuff, those cheapo USB<->MIDI things work well enough. CCKs for 30pin devices can probably be had on craigslist for the price of showing up. And/or older 30 pin accessories like the original iRig MIDI or the Griffin Studio Connect (I've saved one of these for exactly this purpose).

    Agree absolutely. Don't underestimate the value an iPad2 can still bring, and get some cheap used MIDI/Audio interface. If you can afford the space, Akai Synthstation with iPad2 and MidiSteps = superawesome

    You guys have put the idea in my mind to try using a couple of cheap USB to MIDI cables connected by couplers. I have a 30-pin CCK for my iPad2 and CCK-3 for my iPad Air2. I have one USB to MIDI cable and the couplers, but have to get another USB to MIDI cable first before I can try it. I see them on Ebay for $5.

    If anyone has similar equipment and wants to try it, please let me know if it worked for you. Maybe someone is doing this already?

  • I do not think that works, but i could be mistaken obviously...

  • edited November 10 Vote Up0

    @iOSounddesign said:
    I do not think that works, but i could be mistaken obviously...

    The USB to MIDI cable is how I connect my KB controller to my iPad. KB has USB output, but the iPads do not recognize it because it is too old. But the USB to MIDI cable works fine without complaints. I was thinking of connecting MIDI-in to MIDI-out for both cables using female MIDI couplers.

    Do you think I might need something else in setup? I am not that experienced with hooking up hardware to iPads, just felt lucky that the simple USB to MIDI cable worked since straight USB didn't when I tried hooking up my KB controller. That cable is super old too but the iPads don't seem to mind.

  • wimwim
    edited November 10 Vote Up0

    @Hmtx said:
    I just tested a quick setup:
    MIDI Designer Pro - sending CC from iPhone SE.
    Model 15 - receives CC on iPad Pro.

    No problems at all doing this, both devices on iOS 11 over Network Session on WiFi.

    Well, that's encouraging, but no combination I've been able to find so far will work. Are you sure there's no PC or Mac lurking about and orchestrating the connectivity?

    If not, then I guess it has to be something to do with my WiFi. I can't think what it might be though since I also tried with just a simple access point, no routing, and no other devices.

    Oh well, @syrupcore & @iOSounddesign, you're probably right, I should go for an adapter. I just hate being defeated by devices, that's all. ;)

    @Hmtx said:
    It’s just there. Both apps show “network session” as an option for MIDI in/out.

    Everything shows it as an option, but no traffic passes for me. I'm so damn curious what makes it work for you.

  • edited November 10 Vote Up0

    @CracklePot said:

    @iOSounddesign said:
    I do not think that works, but i could be mistaken obviously...

    The USB to MIDI cable is how I connect my KB controller to my iPad. KB has USB output, but the iPads do not recognize it because it is too old. But the USB to MIDI cable works fine without complaints. I was thinking of connecting MIDI-in to MIDI-out for both cables using female MIDI couplers.

    Do you think I might need something else in setup? I am not that experienced with hooking up hardware to iPads, just felt lucky that the simple USB to MIDI cable worked since straight USB didn't when I tried hooking up my KB controller. That cable is super old too but the iPads don't seem to mind.

    USB to Midi Cable is class compliant and works of course, but i don't think you can connect two ipads via a simple MIDI connection (with the adapters you mentioned) with no "controlling" entity in between. I might be wrong, but i have a very feint memory of this being the case, since i think i asked myself the same question i think like 6 years ago or so.

  • @iOSounddesign Thank you. You have probably saved me $5 and some wasted time. Much appreciated. :)

  • @CracklePot said:
    @iOSounddesign Thank you. You have probably saved me $5 and some wasted time. Much appreciated. :)

    I certainly hope so, but i feel to remember there is no "flow" of signals in a connection like that. Theres no actual communication taking place. Hope i'm not wrong :)

  • edited November 11 Vote Up0

    @wim said:
    Well, that's encouraging, but no combination I've been able to find so far will work. Are you sure there's no PC or Mac lurking about and orchestrating the connectivity?

    I would like to discover this Mac lurking about, but I’m quite sure there’s nothing of the sort. ;-b

    Everything shows it as an option, but no traffic passes for me. I'm so damn curious what makes it work for you.

    What apps are you trying to use to send MIDI? I’ve always used MIDI Designer Pro which never had any trouble. I’ve also used TC-orbiter.

  • @Hmtx said:
    What apps are you trying to use to send MIDI? I’ve always used MIDI Designer Pro which never had any trouble. I’ve also used TC-orbiter.

    Interesting. Yes, MIDI Designer Pro works. I can send from my iPad and see the MIDI pass to MidiFlow on my iPhone. No other app I’ve tried (too lazy to list them all) has worked, including TB Midi Stuff and Lemur, as well as several other midi capable apps.

  • Does anyone know if MidiFire is able to utilize the Network Session between iOS devices as MIDI Designer Pro can? I'm a long-time MidiFlow user, but I can't get it to work using the Netowrk Session.

    If MidiFire can handle the midi Network Session between devices, I'll definitely pick it up. It needs to be able to send to the Network Session, then be able to receive on the Network Session on another device, without having to go through a Mac or PC.

  • @wim @Hmtx Does it seem like the ability to host a network session in an app is possible, but only implemented in a few rare cases? If AUM could(does it already?) host the network session it would be ideal for me.

  • wimwim
    edited November 13 Vote Up0

    Curiosity got the best of me and I grabbed MidiFire anyway. Unfortunately it doesn't work using the network session between devices, but I've been informed that it will be in an upcoming release. :)

    It looks like it'll be just what i need to squeeze some extra life out of my ol' iPad 2.

  • @CracklePot I can’t really say I’ve looked beyond MIDI Designer Pro. It has always worked great so I don’t know if or why other apps don’t seem to connect over Network Session.

    @wim since you have MIDI Designer you might be able to use it as a middle man routing app. Send data to it, then from there to Network Session for the other iOS device.

  • @wim said:
    Curiosity got the best of me and I grabbed MidiFire anyway. Unfortunately it doesn't work using the network session between devices, but I've been informed that it will be in an upcoming release. :)

    It looks like it'll be just what i need to squeeze some extra life out of my ol' iPad 2.

    Sweet. Wonder if that means it will get included in his MIDIBus library? I know several developers use it.

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