iConnectAUDIO2+ direct monitoring from iDevice to laptop

edited August 16 in General

I start to use my Ableton laptop again, but still want to use mostly AUM/apeMatrix and absolutely need to use also TChelicon VoiceRack FX iOS app as there is nothing similar in VST format.

Buying an iConnectAUDIO2+ makes more sense to me than buying a TCHelicon hardware pedalboard, as I can use it also for iPhone/laptop integration.

I tried sending iRig Pro IO audio plugged to iPhone with AUM/VoiceRack FX to Behringer UCA222 plugged to laptop/Ableton, and with UCA direct monitoring that works pretty well. But there is of course quality loss from multiple conversion and also some bleeding inside UCA unit.

So my question is simple: does Auracle software allows to send iConnect hardware zero latency mic (non monitored) dry signal to iPhone/AUM/VoiceRack FX, and then monitor iPhone output with iConnect direct monitoring (while recording in Ableton Live). That way there should have only iPhone latency which should not be worst that with any other audio interface.

Also, subsidiary question: are Windows drivers good quality? Low latency? No glitches? My Lenovo Thinkpad laptop is already very stable even with Asio4all.

Comments

  • Imho you'd be better off with the iCA4+ because it can serve an iPad and a laptop simultanously, plus adding the IK to analog inputs 3/4.
    It's not that much more exoensive considering 2 more io-channels and PSU and ios-charging cable included (which are extras for the 2 channel version).
    No idea about the Auracle software, I'm using the regular control panel for such setups require that you're in control about the routing, not an obscure piece of software.

    Routing is a sensitive point anyway - as you can easily double signal/monitor pathes with unintened results, but that's a natural 'feature' in this domain.
    No rocket science, though - just make up your mind about from and where a virtual cable goes.
    Sometimes you want to monitor the raw input, sometimes the processed one.

    Been using the iCA4+ a bit more under Windoze 7/64 recently, no problems.
    (but the company kind of sucks with their gimmicky releases instead of finishing what they started - If the interface didn't have this unrivaled flexibility, I would have parted from it long ago) o:)

  • edited August 16

    Thanks for your answer @Telefunky

    Auracle or older software, I just want to check that what I need is possible with that audio interface. If it’s as powerful as it seems to be that should be ok. I will certainly have to try to be sure latency in that context is ok and no more than iPhone + iConnect hardware/internal routing.

    ICA2+ seems to be able to manage a laptop and a iDevice from what I read here: !?:

    https://www.iconnectivity.com/products/audio/iconnectaudio2plus/

    I don’t need ICA4+ four XLR inputs nor USB midi hub as I use mostly BTLE controllers. Most importantly I prefer to have an USB powered audio interface as I need to keep some « wall plug less » mobility.

  • I also have been using an ICA4+ powered via a smallish powerbank. Works well and is portable enough and can run for a reasonable amount of time to get things done before recharging. It is highly configurable and has handled anything I throw at it...although sometimes it's difficult to get your routing set exactly right. I have been using it with a Mac + iPad and mix the devices through AUM on the iPad.

    To me, the great benefit is having the USB host port to connect additional USB MIDI devices.

    Auracle software is not ideal (somewhat limited) for my use of the ICA4+ so I use the older iConfig software. I don't completely understand your routing requirements but I think it is highly likely you could achieve your desired results with ICA4+/iConfig. Note: the iConfig iOS app has issues connecting sometimes - Royal PITA.

    The ICA2+ seems to fit your needs though. Does it only work with the Auracle software?

  • edited August 16

    @Vaultnaemsae said:
    I also have been using an ICA4+ powered via a smallish powerbank. Works well and is portable enough and can run for a reasonable amount of time to get things done before recharging. It is highly configurable and has handled anything I throw at it...although sometimes it's difficult to get your routing set exactly right. I have been using it with a Mac + iPad and mix the devices through AUM on the iPad.

    To me, the great benefit is having the USB host port to connect additional USB MIDI devices.

    Auracle software is not ideal (somewhat limited) for my use of the ICA4+ so I use the older iConfig software. I don't completely understand your routing requirements but I think it is highly likely you could achieve your desired results with ICA4+/iConfig. Note: the iConfig iOS app has issues connecting sometimes - Royal PITA.

    The ICA2+ seems to fit your needs though. Does it only work with the Auracle software?

    If you don't mind me asking how are you powering it via battery ? I'm genuinely curious. Mine doesn't seem to power up over USB...

    @Janosax 1 important thing that doesn't seem to have been mentioned. The Ica2+ doesn't include a lightening cable to connect to iOS devices. They sell it for an additional 40$. The Ica4+ includes it for free. When you take that into consideration the price difference between the 2 devices is negligible. It's just better to take the Ica4+.

  • @Vaultnaemsae said:
    I also have been using an ICA4+ powered via a smallish powerbank. Works well and is portable enough and can run for a reasonable amount of time to get things done before recharging. It is highly configurable and has handled anything I throw at it...although sometimes it's difficult to get your routing set exactly right. I have been using it with a Mac + iPad and mix the devices through AUM on the iPad.

    To me, the great benefit is having the USB host port to connect additional USB MIDI devices.

    Auracle software is not ideal (somewhat limited) for my use of the ICA4+ so I use the older iConfig software. I don't completely understand your routing requirements but I think it is highly likely you could achieve your desired results with ICA4+/iConfig. Note: the iConfig iOS app has issues connecting sometimes - Royal PITA.

    The ICA2+ seems to fit your needs though. Does it only work with the Auracle software?

    I’m interested too: which power bank/wire do you use? 3S Lipo battery with voltage regulator and custom wire?

    I have no preference between Auracle or iConfig as I don’t know the product. As I know I will do complex routings I certainly will go for iConfig.

    @gonekrazy3000 said:

    @Vaultnaemsae said:
    I also have been using an ICA4+ powered via a smallish powerbank. Works well and is portable enough and can run for a reasonable amount of time to get things done before recharging. It is highly configurable and has handled anything I throw at it...although sometimes it's difficult to get your routing set exactly right. I have been using it with a Mac + iPad and mix the devices through AUM on the iPad.

    To me, the great benefit is having the USB host port to connect additional USB MIDI devices.

    Auracle software is not ideal (somewhat limited) for my use of the ICA4+ so I use the older iConfig software. I don't completely understand your routing requirements but I think it is highly likely you could achieve your desired results with ICA4+/iConfig. Note: the iConfig iOS app has issues connecting sometimes - Royal PITA.

    The ICA2+ seems to fit your needs though. Does it only work with the Auracle software?

    If you don't mind me asking how are you powering it via battery ? I'm genuinely curious. Mine doesn't seem to power up over USB...

    @Janosax 1 important thing that doesn't seem to have been mentioned. The Ica2+ doesn't include a lightening cable to connect to iOS devices. They sell it for an additional 40$. The Ica4+ includes it for free. When you take that into consideration the price difference between the 2 devices is negligible. It's just better to take the Ica4+.

    ICA2+ has different USB ports implementation from ICA4+. 2+ use regular lightning wire, no need to buy their wire separately.

  • I stand corrected - messed the vertical USB port labeled 'iPad' with the USB-Midi-Host thing on the 4+.
    In fact this might be the better design for that 'special cable' with charger electronics wasn't too reliable afaik. Never had problems with mine, but it DOES get rather hot on duty.

  • edited August 16

    @Janosax it won't charge your iPad though if you use the lightening cable. The whole point of this interface over others like the novation audiohub is that it keeps the iPad charged. Apps like the model 15 can drain the iPad at a ludicrously fast rate. If the 2+ works for you it great. But take it from a person that owns too many interfaces. The Ica4+ stopped me from constantly upgrading. And I've actually used the 4 inputs even though i thought I'd never need that many.

  • edited August 16

    @gonekrazy3000

    Yes I definitely take that into consideration too. Also ICA2+ uses optional powering bloc only if used with iPad which will be charged that way too. It could also perhaps works with CCK3 and iPad/standard USB wire on PC/MAC1 but this has to be tested. I use that way my iRig pro IO and that works perfectly as it’s just a class compliant interface.

  • edited August 16

    @Janosax said:
    ICA2+ uses optional powering bloc only if used with iPad which will be charged that way too. It could also perhaps works with CCK3 and iPad/standard USB wire on PC/MAC1 but this has to be tested. I use that way my iRig pro IO and that works perfectly as it’s just a class compliant interface.

    I've used the cck3 to charge the 2nd iPad with my Ica4+. It works well with 2 idevices even letting you send upto 20 channels in whatever configuration you want. I have it set to 16/4 towards the master device. You can technically even use 2 cck3's and not use their proprietary cable. 1 advantage you might not have considered about the midi hub is all 7 devices connected to that port are accessible on both PC/Mac/iPads. So connecting my launchpad pro let's me quickly choose what synth it's triggering just by switching channels on it. Although the launchpad itself shows up as 3 devices. With port 3 being able to send midi to external synths.

  • @gonekrazy3000 said:

    @Janosax said:
    ICA2+ uses optional powering bloc only if used with iPad which will be charged that way too. It could also perhaps works with CCK3 and iPad/standard USB wire on PC/MAC1 but this has to be tested. I use that way my iRig pro IO and that works perfectly as it’s just a class compliant interface.

    I've used the cck3 to charge the 2nd iPad with my Ica4+. It works well with 2 idevices even letting you send upto 20 channels in whatever configuration you want. I have it set to 16/4 towards the master device. You can technically even use 2 cck3's and not use their proprietary cable.

    Nice to read that!! :) Seems that ICA2+ and CCK3 is a nice combo for my mobility needs. With laptop + iPhone setup, laptop USB port should even be able to feed cck3 so no need for ICA2+ wall plug nor battery powerbank.

  • edited August 16

    @gonekrazy3000 said:

    @Janosax said:
    ICA2+ uses optional powering bloc only if used with iPad which will be charged that way too. It could also perhaps works with CCK3 and iPad/standard USB wire on PC/MAC1 but this has to be tested. I use that way my iRig pro IO and that works perfectly as it’s just a class compliant interface.

    I've used the cck3 to charge the 2nd iPad with my Ica4+. It works well with 2 idevices even letting you send upto 20 channels in whatever configuration you want. I have it set to 16/4 towards the master device. You can technically even use 2 cck3's and not use their proprietary cable. 1 advantage you might not have considered about the midi hub is all 7 devices connected to that port are accessible on both PC/Mac/iPads. So connecting my launchpad pro let's me quickly choose what synth it's triggering just by switching channels on it. Although the launchpad itself shows up as 3 devices. With port 3 being able to send midi to external synths.

    Yes I thinked about that too. I tend to buy only Bluetooth midi controllers as I have an iPhone 7 Plus. Typically, with that ICA2+ I plan to use my Nanokey Studio in BTLE mode paired with my laptop. I suppose its output can be routed to ICA2+ via Ableton and then to iPhone via iConfig? Same thing with my BlueBoard pedalboard, I should be able to pair it with iPhone then route it to ICA2+ and then use iConfig and Ableton to control clips? The only USB device I plan to buy is McMillen SoftStep2, I suppose I can be used the same way as NKS?

    Not having to use wall adapter is really essential for me as I produce usually in my living room but record my sax in the kitchen, I don’t want too much wires to carry from room to room as having an ICA2+ with laptop/iPhone is already a much more complex setup than laptop or iPhone only. I also need being able to record outside without any wall plugs. Mobility addicted I suppose :)

  • @Janosax said:

    @gonekrazy3000 said:

    @Janosax said:
    ICA2+ uses optional powering bloc only if used with iPad which will be charged that way too. It could also perhaps works with CCK3 and iPad/standard USB wire on PC/MAC1 but this has to be tested. I use that way my iRig pro IO and that works perfectly as it’s just a class compliant interface.

    I've used the cck3 to charge the 2nd iPad with my Ica4+. It works well with 2 idevices even letting you send upto 20 channels in whatever configuration you want. I have it set to 16/4 towards the master device. You can technically even use 2 cck3's and not use their proprietary cable. 1 advantage you might not have considered about the midi hub is all 7 devices connected to that port are accessible on both PC/Mac/iPads. So connecting my launchpad pro let's me quickly choose what synth it's triggering just by switching channels on it. Although the launchpad itself shows up as 3 devices. With port 3 being able to send midi to external synths.

    Yes I thinked about that too. I tend to buy only Bluetooth midi controllers as I have an iPhone 7 Plus. Typically, with that ICA2+ I plan to use my Nanokey Studio in BTLE mode to my laptop. I suppose its output can be routed to ICA2+ via Ableton and then to iPhone via iConfig? Same thing with my BlueBoard pedalboard, I should be able to pair with iPhone then route it to ICA+2 and then use iConfig and Ableton to control clips? The only USB device I plan to buy is McMillen SoftStep2, I suppose I can be used the same way as NKS?

    I'm curious though. Doesn't the latency bother you ? I can't stand the latency on my seaboards so I actually use them wired. Even though it's basically 13ms latency it's still 2ms too far for me :/

  • edited August 16

    With midi controllers I can manage that kind of latency no problem, I find Nanokey Studio to be very playable in BTLE, even if it’s faster via USB. For sax audio monitoring it’s really different, it’s hard for me to play with anything higher than 128 buffers/8ms, 64 should be even better. Perhaps Seaboard is a different animal, you need to feel connected with its expressive polytouch?

    What is the lowest latency buffer setting on ICA4+?

  • @Janosax said:
    With midi controllers I can manage that kind of latency no problem, I find Nanokey Studio to be very playable in BTLE, even if it’s faster via USB. For sax audio monitoring it’s really different, it’s hard for me to play with anything higher than 128 buffers/8ms, 64 should be even better. Perhaps Seaboard is a different animal, you need to feel connected with its expressive polytouch?

    Nah. As a piano player I've always found any latency above 11ms too high. Just feels like the instrument isn't responding in time. I actually keep my latency on PC below 7ms so that even after tons of effects chains in ableton it still is below 11ms.

  • edited August 16

    @gonekrazy3000 said:

    @Janosax said:
    With midi controllers I can manage that kind of latency no problem, I find Nanokey Studio to be very playable in BTLE, even if it’s faster via USB. For sax audio monitoring it’s really different, it’s hard for me to play with anything higher than 128 buffers/8ms, 64 should be even better. Perhaps Seaboard is a different animal, you need to feel connected with its expressive polytouch?

    Nah. As a piano player I've always found any latency above 11ms too high. Just feels like the instrument isn't responding in time. I actually keep my latency on PC below 7ms so that even after tons of effects chains in ableton it still is below 11ms.

    I was supposing you were a piano player ;) That makes sense.

    ICA2+ hardware direct monitoring with some reverb/delay in Ableton will be a nice thing for my sax playing/recordings.

    My first desktop back in 2000 was able to play VST-i at minimum 1024/20ms. That was hardly playable with my WX5 wind controller or Roland midi keyboard for sure!! :D

    It’s too bad TCHelicon don’t have a Windows version of VoicerackFX, their pitching effects have really something special, works really great with sax. I try some VST FX’s demos at this moment, Izotope Vocalsynth 2 is really interesting and has low latency settings. But I still need VoiceRackFX, as apeMatrix, AUM, Rozeta, BlocsWave, Loopy, Model D, Zeeon and others in my workflow, ICA interfaces seems to be perfect for that iOS/Ableton integration.

  • edited August 17

    If you don't mind me asking how are you powering it via battery ? I'm genuinely curious. Mine doesn't seem to power up over USB...

    I'm using an Omnicharge20. I set it to 12V DC output and use a little barrel-to-barrel cable.

    Also, it has two 5V USB charging ports so you can use a regular USB cable + CCK w/USB3.0 port + lightning cable to charge the iOS device while it's connected to the ICA4+. It's a bit cheaper than the iConnect cable. In Australia iConnect lightning cable is $120 AUD. The CCK was $60 AUD and the mini Lightning cable was $2 AUD.

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