Is there a way to get digital audio from one iPad to another?

I’m wondering if anyone could come up with a clever way to get audio out of one iPad into another one without using an audio interface? I want to avoid extra da/ad and hardware.

Let’s say I want to use some synths in AUM on one iPad and send that audio into AUM on another one for fx, etc... Mainly due to processor usage, lower latency and being able to have full screen controls on the “instrument “ iPad...

Ideas?

It would be pretty cool if there was an AU Bluetooth audio receiver I could put in AUM! 😜

Comments

  • Both Bluetooth and Wifi, the only "non-extra-hardware" communication channels available, have far too much latency and jitter to be feasible in my opinion. On Desktop, when I still had a studio, I used "FX Teleport", which was a VST plugin that did exactly what you described, and I used it between two PCs to share processor load. Even that, with a wired Gigabit connection, only worked reasonably well for sends (reverbs/delays) where latency was not much of an issue.

  • What about some kind of audio interface that could allow two iPads to be connected at once?

    I think the only option would be two audio interfaces but I don’t think that will work well because of latency... I know when I’ve tried to use my iPad as an insert fx on my mixer even at 64 samples you get phasing artifacts.

  • Actually I think this may do the trick... totally forgot about these guys...

    https://www.iconnectivity.com/products/midi/iconnectmidi4plus

    Looks like I can just plug in two iPads...

  • @MonkeyDrummer said:
    Actually I think this may do the trick... totally forgot about these guys...

    https://www.iconnectivity.com/products/midi/iconnectmidi4plus

    Looks like I can just plug in two iPads...

    That's the ticket. Works well

  • The other option is two audio interfaces, one for each iPad. Then use ADAT to pass audio from to another. I'm doing exactly this. One iPad is for synths, and the other is drums. Ableton Link to keep everything in sync.

  • @nondes said:
    The other option is two audio interfaces, one for each iPad. Then use ADAT to pass audio from to another. I'm doing exactly this. One iPad is for synths, and the other is drums. Ableton Link to keep everything in sync.

    Mind telling me what interface you’re using? Most interfaces with ADAT or Toslink in and out are pretty spendy from what I’ve seen...

    Also, got any vids of your playing? Sounds like a cool setup.

  • I’ve done 2 iPads with the iConnectAudio4+ it’s pretty good, but I try to avoid needing two iPads. The iConnect is definitely a good way to do it should you need it though.

  • edited May 12

    @MonkeyDrummer said:

    @nondes said:
    The other option is two audio interfaces, one for each iPad. Then use ADAT to pass audio from to another. I'm doing exactly this. One iPad is for synths, and the other is drums. Ableton Link to keep everything in sync.

    Mind telling me what interface you’re using? Most interfaces with ADAT or Toslink in and out are pretty spendy from what I’ve seen...

    Also, got any vids of your playing? Sounds like a cool setup.

    @MonkeyDrummer No videos yet. Something I'm looking to get setup in the future. Working to get deskspace organized first. :)

    For interfaces, I have a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Gen 1 that I purchased a few years back and got a Behringer UMC1820 a few months ago. Just got around to setting up the Behringer up recently like this. Of the two, Behringer is def the cheaper option if buying new. Buying used or eBay/Reverb.com are also good options.

    iPads are class complaint so almost all interfaces work without issues. The issue with iConnectivity devices is that they have limited mic preamps (4), no ADAT, and only 4 outputs, so incorporating hardware synths or other instruments is not as flexible. If only using two iPads or two other devices, that's ok, but they run around $299 for iConnectAudio4. The Behringer UMC 1820 is $279 retail. I primarily bought it for the purpose of distributing processing across two iPads.

    Since iPad 2018 is also cheap for base model esp on sale, it's a good utility / secondary device / drum machine / FX pedalboard.

  • edited May 12

    I use the Scarlett 2i2 and one iPad is powering it by the USB camera connection kit, so it is processing all the sound to my monitors, then my second iPad or iPhone I plug in thru the headphone port into the Scarletts stereo input... And it goes into AUM to get all that sound

  • Adat is cool if you already own some Adat gear, but a single Adat group is 4 stereo channels.
    The iConnectivity software that comes with the iCA2/4+ provides at least virtual 10 stereo channels that can be used from both devices connected to the USB ports.
    Imho it's smoother to operate because the control panel allows routing of physical and virtual ports for both devices under one surface, in particular if it's about software output (which was requested here)... and Midi (routing) is included for DIN and USB connections.

    An iCA4+ is effectively two 4-channel interfaces, so divide the price by 2 and look what's in the market for that amount. ;)

  • That is a fair point re: stereo on ADAT however if you need physical outputs and ok with mono, then it's a good option. I can route UMC 1820's line inputs via ADAT to the Scarlett as well.

  • Btw, I have added some of this information the wiki, here:

    https://wiki.audiob.us/digitally_routing_audio_between_ios_devices

    If anyone has additional information to add, it would be awesome if it got added there. This topic comes up often enough, we can point people to the wiki page in the future!

  • @nondes said:
    That is a fair point re: stereo on ADAT however if you need physical outputs and ok with mono, then it's a good option. I can route UMC 1820's line inputs via ADAT to the Scarlett as well.

    Yes, you can - but you have to operate 2 devices (sender and receiver) and take care of digital clock master and sync, which is essential for Adat operation and sometimes tricky, as not every piece of gear behaves as it's supposed to do (specs versus real life performance).
    The most annoying feature is the degradation of digital signals by clock issues, which can be subtle by rising the distortion rate (THD).

    Btw I'm a big Adat fan and it's also my preferred method to digitally connect desktop DAWs.
    But you have to take care on clock and good lightpipe connections.
    Then it's a great system with very low transmission latency (a full roundtrip from device to external processor and back into device takes about 0.5 ms, or about 5 samples per stage).

    Sidenote: there are lots of very affordable (2nd hand) Adat converter boxes labeled as 16bit devices. Practically all of them feature 18bit hardware conversion, which means you get a near perfect 16bit data stream, as the 2 'unreliable' least bits are stripped off.
    These boxes have been expensive in their prime, but still sound great ;)

  • If you already have a class compliant interface with ADAT and just want to digitally connect a second iOS device, one of the cheapest options is the Class Compliant MiniDSP USBStreamer B.

    This would also be a great way to use an older non-Class Compliant interface (such as older MOTU) with an iOS device. You'd essentially just use the interface as a standalone ADAT to analog converter. Especially nice for integrating with the modular world, considering the MOTU's are DC-coupled.

  • @aplourde said:
    If you already have a class compliant interface with ADAT and just want to digitally connect a second iOS device, one of the cheapest options is the Class Compliant MiniDSP USBStreamer B.

    The USBStreamer on an iPad Air1 with iOS 12.2, wont detect in AUM via USB3 CCK for me.

  • I was just going to ask if USBstreamer works with iOS. Thanks @chris_foster But still I didn't know that something this small and portable existed, and relatively inexpensive. @aplourde Have you had better luck with iOS?

  • @Telefunky Are there ADAT converters that you'd recommend?

  • I have an USBStreamer on my iPad and here with iPad Pro 10 it works

  • although the cheapest solution may be Audreio IAA plugin on each iOS device though it only work in IAA host.

  • @nondes This depends on application, in particular if it's about line level, microphone input or a mix of both signal types.

    A strange matter of fact (published a couple of years ago):
    most converters seem to perform best with their onboard digital clocking - opposed to common studio knowledge that a 'perfect' master clock will always improve any converter.
    In a wide test this prediction did fail with a lot of mid-priced boxes, which delivered audibly better results if their own clock was engaged, even if that signal was inferior to the high quality reference clock.

    As there can be only 1 master clock in any digitally connected system you have to decide which device becomes master and then all the others have to be set to slave mode.
    While this affects input conversion in the first place, clock generally matters on output, too.

    The bottomline (if you need many inputs) may be to replace a 2 or 4 channel interface instead of extending it by an Adat converter of 'unknown' performance.

    Example: if a budget interface with (only) Adat input is extended by a quality 8 mic preamp Adat box, then this external box must be clocked (slaved to) the budget device.
    Which will most likely degrade the expensive microphone signal conversion.
    (you can't slave the interface to the external box if the interface lacks Adat input)

    Sorry if this reads confusing, but digitally syncing often is.
    Also worth considering: competition in audio interface market made prices drop significantly in recent years, so more channels cost a lot less than before.

    For Adat line signal io-conversion I'd choose RME or Ferrofish, both quality brands with a flawless history of products.
    As a mic/instrument input extension (8 channels) the Audient ASP800 is very affordable.
    (I know the 6 standard preamps from the ID22, and the 2 retro channels have extended saturation settings)

  • Thanks @Telefunky that's helpful.

    Cool @Jeezs Worth considering a purchase down the line.

  • @nondes said:
    I was just going to ask if USBstreamer works with iOS. Thanks @chris_foster But still I didn't know that something this small and portable existed, and relatively inexpensive. @aplourde Have you had better luck with iOS?

    I don't have personal experience yet. I was communicating with the company and from other sources heard that things were working on iOS. It's not advertised for iOS, but it's Class Compliant and several people use it that way.

    I've been considering it for the reason I mentioned above: giving me access to the DC-coupled outputs on an older MOTU 828 MkII. Or connect the MOTU to my MacBook and have 8 channels of direct, bi-directional, digital connection between the two.

    What @chris_foster is saying is concerning however. Chris, I assume you're running the latest firmware and that it your unit does work on a Mac or Windows system? Have you tried other hosts or apps that can use external interfaces?

  • edited May 14

    @MonkeyDrummer said:
    Actually I think this may do the trick... totally forgot about these guys...

    https://www.iconnectivity.com/products/midi/iconnectmidi4plus

    Looks like I can just plug in two iPads...

    Afaik (from reading the manual and specs, I might be wrong) the ICM4+ Audio passthru needs to take over audio I/O on iOS devices. They claim the normal workaround for monitoring what gets piped to/from iOS to audio passthrough is by having a Mac/pc with its own audio interface as one of the computing devices on the audio passthru network. I’m not sure there’s a way to monitor the audio using the ICM4+ with iOS devices only.

  • @ohwell said:

    @MonkeyDrummer said:
    Actually I think this may do the trick... totally forgot about these guys...

    https://www.iconnectivity.com/products/midi/iconnectmidi4plus

    Looks like I can just plug in two iPads...

    Afaik (from reading the manual and specs, I might be wrong) the ICM4+ Audio passthru needs to take over audio I/O on iOS devices. They claim the normal workaround for monitoring what gets piped to/from iOS to audio passthrough is by having a Mac/pc with its own audio interface as one of the computing devices on the audio passthru network. I’m not sure there’s a way to monitor the audio using the ICM4+ with iOS devices only.

    This is correct. For monitoring with the same device you'd need one of the iConnectAudio interfaces.

  • @lukesleepwalker said:

    @MonkeyDrummer said:
    Actually I think this may do the trick... totally forgot about these guys...

    https://www.iconnectivity.com/products/midi/iconnectmidi4plus

    Looks like I can just plug in two iPads...

    That's the ticket. Works well

    Just to echo others... iConnectAUDIO4+ works perfectly for this. You probably don't want the MIDI versions because of the monitoring hassles involved (see above). The AUDIO versions don't have this problem (though they come with fewer DIN MIDI sockets).

  • @aplourde said:
    Chris, I assume you're running the latest firmware and that it your unit does work on a Mac or Windows system? Have you tried other hosts or apps that can use external interfaces?

    I updated to latest firware - USBStreamer_Up_ADAT_v6_ID4 (v6.B3) and.....

    It works! I can see 8 I/O in both AUM and Cubasis :)

    I planned on using the USBStreamer with my 'Yamaha AW4416' (ADAT card, 24 motorised/learn-able faders) to interface Bitwig on Win10, but hooking it up with iOS could be a blast.

  • Nice! I'm definitely interested in trying this out in the future. Much more portable than another audio interface.

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