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How to connect the ipad to eurorack

edited February 2019 in Off-topic


Hi there fellowship of the iPad,

I’ve taken the leap of faith after studying synthesis for a while on the iPad to get a eurorack project going.
I’m looking for Modules to hook up the iPad to get the best MIDI and CV options out.
The sequencer apps are awesome so I want to use a bunch of those.
ATM I go from iPad to MPK 225 / Dreadbox Erebus V3 gate, mod, cv out.

This is what I got so far:

http://quicco.co.jp/mi1e/

https://intellijel.com/shop/eurorack/umidi/

http://www.twohp.com/modules/midi

http://www.hexinverter.net/mutant-brain/

https://mutable-instruments.net/modules/yarns/manual/

https://www.tindie.com/products/hotchk155/cvocd-a-super-flexible-midi-to-cv-box/

I favor the 2HP MIDI. Does anybody has experience with this?

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Comments

  • ES-8 without any doubt

  • Best option IMO is the Expert Sleepers FH-2

    1- it works as a class compliant USB MIDI device (through the USB C port) for your iPad (the last 3 options you listed are DIN MIDI, so you'll need a USB to DIN MIDI interface as well). The FH-2 can use DIN MIDI too; there are the buffered pins on the back so you just have to wire them to a pair of DIN sockets (no electronics needed).

    2- it works as a class compliant USB host at the same time through its USB B port - this means you can plug in class compliant USB devices to control your modular even without an iPad or computer connected (not just MIDI devices, you can you game controllers too...). With a powered USB hub, you can have several of these connected. And it can handle MPE to CV conversion so you can plug in an MPE device directly (or use a Bluetooth dongle with something like the Roli)

    3- it has 8 CV/Gate outs. Both the Mutant Brain and CV.OCD have 16 outs, but only 4 are CV, 12 are gates only. Need more than 8 outs on the FH-2? You can add output expanders for up to 64 CV/gate and 64 gate-only outputs!

    4- it has 2 inputs. Currently these are clock / reset only, but CV in is on the roadmap. Only the Quicco has inputs and these are only clock / reset (not possible to make them CV in)

    5- the inputs can also be used as a tuner and for automatic calibration of your VCOs (like in the company's Silent Way software)

    6- it has built in clock, LFO, Euclidean gate generation and polyphonic arpeggiator capabilities. Yarns also does this, plus it has a 64 step sequencer. However, Yarns is DIN MIDI, only has 4 CV and 4 gate outs, and takes up 12 hp (FH-2 is 8 hp)

    7- all of this can be programmed from the front panel with its OLED display, but also through a web interface for ease of use.

    8- the Expert Sleepers Disting is a multifunction module that started as a 16-in-1 toolbox. It is currently an 84-in-1 device with new features added regularly. Obviously, you shouldn't buy something based on what it might become, but ES will, almost certainly, be adding features to the FH-2 for several years.

    All that said, you can't beat the size of the 2hp if space is a premium, but I would consider what you want to do

  • @OnfraySin said:
    ES-8 without any doubt

    ES-8 is a great class compliant, DC-coupled audio interface. For use with a computer running Silent Way, Max/MSP, VCV Rack, Reaktor, etc. it's fantastic, but software support on iOS is a bit more limited. Discussed here (note that I don't have experience with zMors)

    Ultimately it depends on what you want to do. Personally I'm leaning more towards lots of MIDI control as the audio/CV options in iOS aren't as flexible. Then use a regular audio interface for additional sounds / processing.

    But with modular it's really a personal decision on where you want to go.

  • @aplourde

    This is the blueprint I want to follow. As I’m a drum freak /fan /maniac it is going to be my drum dream machine.
    Had a Tempest and a TR 8. The Tempest made me learn drum synthesis. The TR 8 was for the quick fix if boom drums were needed. Tempest was to much a computer in my opinion. So I sold that one. I love the modular I have and it is wild. TR 8 was an one trick pony so it had to go too.

    The iPad is a portable touchscreen brain, drum machine, sequencer and my go to machine when I’m at work and don’t have access to the hardwares because I work on a ship at sea.
    It is simply astonishing what can be done and I didn’t find any module that can replace that. I hated the little screen on the Tempest so that was a bad start from the beginning.
    My name isn’t for nothing Blind hahaaha.

  • AAS Plonk is cool for drums and percussion - plus an old iPhone with Impaktor B)

  • @aplourde said:
    ES-8 is a great class compliant, DC-coupled audio interface. For use with a computer running Silent Way, Max/MSP, VCV Rack, Reaktor, etc. it's fantastic, but software support on iOS is a bit more limited.

    I'm not sure whether it's appropriate for me to discuss this (especially as my first post here) since I'd basically be promoting an app that I have in development, but there will be another option fairly soon. ;)

    Once that's done and has proved itself I've been considering the possibilities of an Audio Unit that could take MIDI input and send control voltages via a DC coupled audio interface. But there are issues such as how to get audio into the AU for frequency calibration purposes since I'm not aware of any iOS DAW that allows for sidechaining. But I guess that could be done by the AU's container app.

    There's also the question of how much interest there'd be.

  • @Bennie said:
    @aplourde



    This is the blueprint I want to follow. As I’m a drum freak /fan /maniac it is going to be my drum dream machine.
    Had a Tempest and a TR 8. The Tempest made me learn drum synthesis. The TR 8 was for the quick fix if boom drums were needed. Tempest was to much a computer in my opinion. So I sold that one. I love the modular I have and it is wild. TR 8 was an one trick pony so it had to go too.

    The iPad is a portable touchscreen brain, drum machine, sequencer and my go to machine when I’m at work and don’t have access to the hardwares because I work on a ship at sea.
    It is simply astonishing what can be done and I didn’t find any module that can replace that. I hated the little screen on the Tempest so that was a bad start from the beginning.
    My name isn’t for nothing Blind hahaaha.

    Well it looks like you only have 2hp, so...!

    Venturing into the dangerous territory of modular design suggestions I would just say make sure you have enough triggers and modulation sources to really make this stuff shine. Otherwise you might feel like you just have a really expensive drum machine that's just harder to program. Modular in general (and definitely something like the BIA) really come into their own when you modulate the crap out of them. Whether you want to sequence that stuff or rely on crazy modulations and triggers is, of course, a stylistic choice.

  • Why would you want to do that

  • @AlanC3 said:

    @aplourde said:
    ES-8 is a great class compliant, DC-coupled audio interface. For use with a computer running Silent Way, Max/MSP, VCV Rack, Reaktor, etc. it's fantastic, but software support on iOS is a bit more limited.

    I'm not sure whether it's appropriate for me to discuss this (especially as my first post here) since I'd basically be promoting an app that I have in development, but there will be another option fairly soon. ;)

    Oh, really...?

    Once that's done and has proved itself I've been considering the possibilities of an Audio Unit that could take MIDI input and send control voltages via a DC coupled audio interface.

    This is exactly what I was hoping someone would develop!
    Hopefully the other way as well? Obviously audio rate CV should just be recorded as audio, but pitch and gates at slower rates would be great to convert to MIDI.

    But there are issues such as how to get audio into the AU for frequency calibration purposes since I'm not aware of any iOS DAW that allows for sidechaining. But I guess that could be done by the AU's container app.

    Not a DAW, but I think AUM does? Regardless, I think running calibration in the standalone is fine - you only have to do it once (unless you want to get super fancy and have it monitor notes and their return and adjust on the fly.... kidding... sort of...)

    There's also the question of how much interest there'd be.

    Maybe not a ton here, but if you went to MuffWiggler and said you were going to make something that would allow an iPhone or iPad to turn into a super CV modulation source I think you would have a hit on your hands....

  • @aplourde said:
    Oh, really...?

    I'm afraid it's yet another step sequencer :p that does MIDI and CV/Gate.

    Hopefully the other way as well? Obviously audio rate CV should just be recorded as audio, but pitch and gates at slower rates would be great to convert to MIDI.

    The chief issue there is the lack of DC coupled A/D converters; as far as I'm aware the only options are the Expert Sleepers ES-8 and ES-6. The alternative would be the dodge SilentWay uses: generating an audio signal that's sent through a VCA that's being modulated by the control signal and monitoring the result.

    (unless you want to get super fancy and have it monitor notes and their return and adjust on the fly.... kidding... sort of...)

    On-the-fly autotuning on complex waveforms? Not sure I want to go there...

    Maybe not a ton here, but if you went to MuffWiggler and said you were going to make something that would allow an iPhone or iPad to turn into a super CV modulation source I think you would have a hit on your hands....

    It's not something I've seen much discussion of. It seemed like an obvious thing to do: I'd far rather use an iPad or iPhone than a laptop with my modular gear, and the touch screen makes for a much better interface for an interactive sequencer than a keyboard / trackpad.

  • @AlanC3 said:

    @aplourde said:
    Oh, really...?

    I'm afraid it's yet another step sequencer :p that does MIDI and CV/Gate.

    Ugh, that sounds horrible! ;)

    Hopefully the other way as well? Obviously audio rate CV should just be recorded as audio, but pitch and gates at slower rates would be great to convert to MIDI.

    The chief issue there is the lack of DC coupled A/D converters; as far as I'm aware the only options are the Expert Sleepers ES-8 and ES-6. The alternative would be the dodge SilentWay uses: generating an audio signal that's sent through a VCA that's being modulated by the control signal and monitoring the result.

    True, I think the ES models are the only ones, but there is the workaround and regardless it would be amazing to have!

    (unless you want to get super fancy and have it monitor notes and their return and adjust on the fly.... kidding... sort of...)

    On-the-fly autotuning on complex waveforms? Not sure I want to go there...

    Maybe not a ton here, but if you went to MuffWiggler and said you were going to make something that would allow an iPhone or iPad to turn into a super CV modulation source I think you would have a hit on your hands....

    It's not something I've seen much discussion of. It seemed like an obvious thing to do: I'd far rather use an iPad or iPhone than a laptop with my modular gear, and the touch screen makes for a much better interface for an interactive sequencer than a keyboard / trackpad.

    Exactly!

    I bet lack of discussion stems from a lack of understanding of what can be done with iOS devices these days. But also, I think that what does exist isn't quite what the typical modular user is looking for. I.e. while Audulus and zMors are "modular" environments: a) they're a bit lower-level than what the typical modular aficionado is used to and b) their fully open-ended nature is actually a bit contrary to what modular users really want. It's the "blank page" effect of having too many choices and no limits. While modular synths are often touted as being unlimited, there are the very real practical limits of cost and space that give any particular system strict limits. Apart from the massive appeal of the tactile nature of these things, I think the limits of any particular system is part of the appeal. Limits give us the framework to hang our creative ideas off of.

    Anyway, this is a longwinded way of saying that I believe the burgeoning field of AUs on iOS is more at the level the typical modular user is looking for. Coupled with the possibilities of a flexible touchscreen control (not, necessarily in your product, just in general), providing an interface to that world is a desperately needed link and I believe a nice demo showing how this works would generate a ton of interest.

    One suggestion: In addition to a direct MIDI to CV tool (obviously with 14 bit capability and smoothing) I think a CC controlled wide-range audio oscillator would be great. I.e. MIDI controls the pitch of an oscillator that goes from LFO up to audio rates. Direct control is great for drawing out precise controller curves, but you can't really do audio rates with MIDI.

  • @aplourde said:
    One suggestion: In addition to a direct MIDI to CV tool (obviously with 14 bit capability and smoothing) I think a CC controlled wide-range audio oscillator would be great. I.e. MIDI controls the pitch of an oscillator that goes from LFO up to audio rates. Direct control is great for drawing out precise controller curves, but you can't really do audio rates with MIDI.

    Audio rate oscillators would be eminently doable (I was thinking about wavetable oscillators as an alternative audio source) and making them MIDI CC controllable wouldn't be a problem.

    It's really quite surprising to me as a developer just how powerful the newer iPads are: the 10.5" Pro I use as my main test device will run 16 channels of CV/Gate/Modulation on the low power cores with the app using about 8% of the CPU, or less than 1% if another app, such as a synth, has forced everything onto the high performance cores (which appear to be about 14 times faster). So there's plenty of room for stuff like oscillators and envelopes...

  • People do interesting things interfacing iOS Audulus with Eurorack using the Expert Sleepers interface from what I understand (which is admittedly limited).

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  • edited February 2019

    https://tutuapp.uno/ https://9apps.ooo/ https://showbox.run/
    Seems like a solid (and relatively cheap) solution to me! I wanted to do something similar but ended up with an Expert Sleepers ES-8 and Audulus/other software, which I can run on both my computer and my iPad.
    Forgot to mention, I do have a BSP (bought after the ES-8) but I don't have sync with it, indeed. I do have clock sync, but I 'build' that myself in Audulus.

  • edited February 2019

    I'm using an Endorphin.es Shuttle Control for iPad integration into Eurorack since years. There are two options for the connection:

    • iPad -> CCK -> Shuttle Control USB 'to host' input
    • iPad -> DAW (with standard charging cable and Midimux), routing in DAW -> Shuttle Control USB 'to device' input

    Works stable and reliable. Also, the Shuttle Control has every thinkable MIDI modification and modulation implemented. For example, there are several envelope generators and LFO's which respond to MIDI CC values, as well as noise and 808-sound generators. Very useful in a small rack. 16 presets. Online editor and offline Lemur (iPad) editor. Shuttle Control is also a power distributor, accepting 12-20V input and powering up to 7 modules. Not cheap, but very good for small skiffs.

    For simple CV-gate integration there are more affordable modules available. Expert Sleeper's Disting MK4 might be a good option, for it incorporates many other features. I don't have it myself because I don't need it, but the feature list is immense. And there appear more MIDI-CV modules every month.

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  • edited February 2019

    @Max23

    It is only an idea. It will change along the way of building.

    I have a Erebus V3 & NYX aside the modular which gives me a switcher, mult, S&H, a shitload of modulators, noise, LFO etc. I also have Rebach envelope, LFO and attenuators

    which are not in the blueprint.

    It also has ring modulation. Together with my Drips this gives me 7 oscillators which is plenty.

    Will buy a Moog Mother 32 because they go cheap these days on the second hand market

    The new arrived MI Stages is something too, much modulation variation.

    The klavis mix switcher is an little animal with many functions in one. Invert, mix, switch, sequence...

    A lot of modules seem to do the same but i've put this together to do research by modulargrid.

    The erica sample drum is definitely coming into my rack this thing does so much it seems.

    Don't know about "wavefolder" stuff. Whats that? I've had a slew on the Neutron but it was pretty useless to me.

    As you see it is in progress. Thanks for your input mate.

  • The 2HP arrived yesterday and I can confirm it works with my iPad Air2 latest iOS. Which is pretty [email protected]#$ awesome!!!

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  • Nah. I’ve had de TR8. Boring stuff. Had the Tempest. It was complicated to get my own sound out of it. Fun machine but I wasn’t meant to be. So I know my drummachines. I like where this is going. The iPad is great when traveling but I prefer the machines. Thought of the Digitakt first. After a while I decided to take the dive and go into the modular delirium. 🤪

  • Because nothing sounds as good as the modular. 


    I got an iPad a couple of weeks ago and so far I think of it as an "extra", not really an essential piece. I should say my wife got an iPad because she uses it for school a lot more than I've used it so far. But I've hooked it up to sequence the modular a couple of times and it was fun. My system is a small 6u and I have a mono MIDI interface. I can imagine that with a bigger system and a multi-channel interface, an iPad sequencer would instantly be more useful. 


    So far the only sequencer app I've tried is Little MIDI Machine, which is a free app. Check out some YouTube videos of it. It's a graphic step sequencer that is really easy to use. I got TouchOSC too but I haven't figured that one out yet. I should check out the Lemur thing too. Anyway, I don't think I would buy an iPad just to use with the modular. It's been more useful for other things. Also, if resale value is important to you at all, keep in mind that this thing is a mass-market computer, so on a long enough timeline it will be worth as much as a paperweight, while something like the Modcan Touch Sequencer will likely hold its value.

  • Check out CVOCD. It’s a small, cheap, standalone midi/clock to cv/gate. It’s awesome.

  • Apparently, a number of Eurorack developers use Audulus+Expert Sleepers during development. Audulus can do both DSP stuff and interesting things in the creation and modulation of CV.

  • Is it possible to use the 2HP Midi with iConnectaudio4+ and its USB host feature? I'm trying to sequence the modular with 2HP Midi using AUM on an iPad, but can't get it to work. Straight from the iPad to 2HP Midi works fine. But when the iPad is connected to the iConnectaudio4+ and from that to the 2HP midi, nothing happens. Works fine with everything else, like a Keystep or other midi stuff. But just not the 2HP midi. Anyone know how to fix this, if possible?

  • It should work, I used the Doepfer one with the iCA4+.
    Does the 2HP show up in iConfig? If so, did you remember to route it?
    Are you connecting the 2HP directly to the USB Host jack on the iCA4+, or using a hub?

  • Thanks for answering, ocelot. Appreciate it!
    Whenever I try to open iConnectivity iConfig on the iPad, I either get “Communication lost” or the app crashes. I’ve tried both connecting the 2HP directly to the USB Host jack and using a powered USB hub. Also tried connecting the iCA4+ to the computer. Doesn’t crash there and when connecting to the powered USB Hub, I can see my Launch Control and Keystep, but not the 2HP Midi. Also tried the 2HP straight to the USB Host, but nothing.

  • Well damn, the 2HP MIDI is class-compliant too. Does it appear in AUM's list as a MIDI output when connected directly to the iPad? If it doesn't, but still works, then maybe a 'USB billboard device' issue. Hmm, I can't think of any other culprit...

    They said they were going to update iConfig, but it's been years, and the new app stinks. You could try emailing them, maybe you'll have better luck than I did.

    Maybe your best bet is to try the Muff Wiggler forum (Eurorack Modules section), lots of helpful people there: https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/
    And while you're investigating, email 2HP (I believe they're part of Qu-Bit): http://www.twohp.com/contact

    Also in the meantime, try a $100 Korg SQ-1, it worked with the iCA4+ last time I checked. In additional to its CV/Gate sequencer, it can function as a very basic 2 channel MIDI>CV/Gate converter, but only when the sequencer is not running.

  • Argh, I just remembered - some USB MIDI interfaces (and audio interfaces) only work when connected directly to the Host. No middlemen like hubs allowed. The 2HP might be one of them. i.e. - IIRC, the early Midiman/M-Audio USB MIDI interfaces were like this. Try emailing them.

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