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iOS instruments to Windows DAW

I use a simple “Y” cable to get audio from my iPad into my Windows DAW. Is there a way to transmit this as midi data instead? E.g. using something like the Digital D1 synth, I’d like to get the notes and the D1 sounds appearing in a midi track in my DAW.

Comments

  • @BillS said:
    I use a simple “Y” cable to get audio from my iPad into my Windows DAW. Is there a way to transmit this as midi data instead? E.g. using something like the Digital D1 synth, I’d like to get the notes and the D1 sounds appearing in a midi track in my DAW.

    Bluetooth MIDI?

    Don't think a synth like Digital D1 outputs MIDI, though. You could only get the notes you input, not the Arp/Seq output.

  • edited February 18

    @BillS said:
    I use a simple “Y” cable to get audio from my iPad into my Windows DAW. Is there a way to transmit this as midi data instead? E.g. using something like the Digital D1 synth, I’d like to get the notes and the D1 sounds appearing in a midi track in my DAW.

    Although most of the AudioKit components are open source, D1 isn't available on Windows unfortuanately. I would just render the audio tracks on iOS and load them in your Win DAW.

  • Hi,
    Theres the option of lightning to midi cables or an iconnect2+. I'm using a 4+ now. Much midi ports in/out to reaper.

  • You can use the iPad as external instrument. So that way you can have the MIDI in your DAW and the sound of the desired app. But of course this will only work as long as the iPad is attached, the same way it would be with a hardware synth or something like that.

  • Thanks for your replies but I am still not sure. D1 is only an example, are there certain iOS instruments that can transmit midi data and their sounds from an iPad to a windows based DAW? If so, what connection is used between the two devices?

    Another one I would love to use in my Windows DAW would be the Alchemy synth in GarageBand, but again, that’s only one example.

  • @BillS said:
    Thanks for your replies but I am still not sure. D1 is only an example, are there certain iOS instruments that can transmit midi data and their sounds from an iPad to a windows based DAW? If so, what connection is used between the two devices?

    Another one I would love to use in my Windows DAW would be the Alchemy synth in GarageBand, but again, that’s only one example.

    I'm not entirely sure what you are trying to achieve. What do you mean with "transfer midi & sound". You can transmit the ouput of any instrument on the ipad into your DAW and record it there. But you won't be able to "manipulate" the instrument in realtime in the DAW after the iPad is removed, since the instrument is on the iPad.

  • wimwim
    edited February 19

    @BillS - MIDI and Audio are two different things. It seems that you've been able to get sound to your windows machine by using the "Y" cable mentioned. So, if I understand you correctly, you're wanting to add MIDI data to that. It's a little confusing the way you state it, as though MIDI and Audio are somehow combined. They're not.

    MIDI is just instructions that tell a synth to play or adjusts the sound, etc.. MIDI doesn't make any sound or have any sound information in it. It's just commands like "Play a C2 note with velocity 100", "Stop playing a C2 note", "Adjust the control mapped to MIDI CC 22 to value 113", etc. A synth that receives these commands then and produces or alters sound based on what they say to do.

    Getting MIDI to a Windows PC isn't always easy. There are a couple of ways to go about it. All require some technical ability. Not all work well. But before spending a lot of time throwing out technical details, it would be best to get a better understanding of exactly what you're trying to do.

    1. What DAW are you using on Windows? What Windows version?
    2. What iOS device and model are you using? Does it have a Lightning port or a USB-C port?
    3. What iOS version?
    4. Is the "Y" cable plugged into the headphone jack on iOS, then the microphone jack on the PC?
    5. Do you have any audio or MIDI interfaces other than your "Y" cable?
    6. Why do you want to do this?
    7. What do you expect to be able to do with the MIDI data once it's on the Windows computer?

    The last two questions are critical.

    If the answer to that last question is simply, "I want to use the MIDI to play synths in my Windows DAW", the answers are different than "I want to be able to play back the MIDI from my Windows DAW and hear the sound from my iOS synth," for example.

  • edited February 20

    Zero Debug’s MIDIMUX for midi or STUDIOMUX for Audio/MIDI ...Still working flawlessly for me all these years later but YMMV. You will also need to set up a Virtual MIDI port with Bome or Virtual MIDI by Tobias E.

    After this is done install the client from Zero Debugs site. Profit...

    Hope this helps

    https://apps.apple.com/us/app/studiomux/id966554837

  • @wim said:
    @BillS - MIDI and Audio are two different things. It seems that you've been able to get sound to your windows machine by using the "Y" cable mentioned. So, if I understand you correctly, you're wanting to add MIDI data to that. It's a little confusing the way you state it, as though MIDI and Audio are somehow combined. They're not.

    MIDI is just instructions that tell a synth to play or adjusts the sound, etc.. MIDI doesn't make any sound or have any sound information in it. It's just commands like "Play a C2 note with velocity 100", "Stop playing a C2 note", "Adjust the control mapped to MIDI CC 22 to value 113", etc. A synth that receives these commands then and produces or alters sound based on what they say to do.

    Getting MIDI to a Windows PC isn't always easy. There are a couple of ways to go about it. All require some technical ability. Not all work well. But before spending a lot of time throwing out technical details, it would be best to get a better understanding of exactly what you're trying to do.

    1. What DAW are you using on Windows? What Windows version?
    2. What iOS device and model are you using? Does it have a Lightning port or a USB-C port?
    3. What iOS version?
    4. Is the "Y" cable plugged into the headphone jack on iOS, then the microphone jack on the PC?
    5. Do you have any audio or MIDI interfaces other than your "Y" cable?
    6. Why do you want to do this?
    7. What do you expect to be able to do with the MIDI data once it's on the Windows computer?

    The last two questions are critical.

    If the answer to that last question is simply, "I want to use the MIDI to play synths in my Windows DAW", the answers are different than "I want to be able to play back the MIDI from my Windows DAW and hear the sound from my iOS synth," for example.

    Thanks for this:

    1. Studio One Pro V4, Windows 10
    2. 2018 iPad 6th gen lightening port
    3. Latest one...14.4 I think
    4. Headphone jack on the iPad going into two separate inputs (L+ R) into my Focusrite 6i6 audio interface - so this gets audio, in stereo, from the iPad to Studio One
    5. Focusrite 6i6, and I also have an iRig Pro
    6. I have plenty of Windows based VST instruments that I play using either a Roland A-300 keyboard or a normal guitar using the Jam Origin Midi Guitar 2 plugin. However, there are some amazing and cheap iOS instruments that I would use more in Studio One if I could manipulate midi data, rather than simply recording audio from the iOS instruments.
    7. I would like to manipulate the midi data in the same way that I can VST instruments - for example record some notes, then quantise, adjust velocities after the event, copy and paste notes. Also the ability to draw in notes to trigger sounds in the iOS instrument.
  • edited February 20

    @BillS said:
    Thanks for your replies but I am still not sure. D1 is only an example, are there certain iOS instruments that can transmit midi data and their sounds from an iPad to a windows based DAW? If so, what connection is used between the two devices?

    Another one I would love to use in my Windows DAW would be the Alchemy synth in GarageBand, but again, that’s only one example.

    Just to re-emphasize this point; I know of no iOS instruments that output both audio and the MIDI messages used to create the audio. If you use a separate keyboard (or KB app) or sequencer app, you can route the MIDI in Audiobus or AUM, and use it to play an instrument as well. But, if you use an arp/sequencer inside an instrument, you cannot see the MIDI notes generated.

    Edit: From your last response, it sounds like you'd happy to create/edit MIDI on the PC, send it to an iOS instrument, and record the audio in the PC DAW. It looks like the Focusrite 6i6 includes a 5-pin MIDI interface. So you may just need a MIDI interface for the iPad to make this work. See what @wim suggests.

    Further afterthought: You could probably just use another 6i6, or maybe give the 6i6 to the iPad and get a more capable interface for the PC. The 6i6 on the iPad could bring MIDI in and send (higher quality) audio out. Just be sure to check that the iPad interface is USB "Class Compliant", so it will work without special drivers. Looks like the 6i6 is not Class Compliant, at least not mentioned in the manual. You could easily test this by connecting it to the iPad using the Apple USB 3 Camera Adapter (sold in many stores).

  • @BillS said:

    @wim said:
    @BillS - MIDI and Audio are two different things. It seems that you've been able to get sound to your windows machine by using the "Y" cable mentioned. So, if I understand you correctly, you're wanting to add MIDI data to that. It's a little confusing the way you state it, as though MIDI and Audio are somehow combined. They're not.

    MIDI is just instructions that tell a synth to play or adjusts the sound, etc.. MIDI doesn't make any sound or have any sound information in it. It's just commands like "Play a C2 note with velocity 100", "Stop playing a C2 note", "Adjust the control mapped to MIDI CC 22 to value 113", etc. A synth that receives these commands then and produces or alters sound based on what they say to do.

    Getting MIDI to a Windows PC isn't always easy. There are a couple of ways to go about it. All require some technical ability. Not all work well. But before spending a lot of time throwing out technical details, it would be best to get a better understanding of exactly what you're trying to do.

    1. What DAW are you using on Windows? What Windows version?
    2. What iOS device and model are you using? Does it have a Lightning port or a USB-C port?
    3. What iOS version?
    4. Is the "Y" cable plugged into the headphone jack on iOS, then the microphone jack on the PC?
    5. Do you have any audio or MIDI interfaces other than your "Y" cable?
    6. Why do you want to do this?
    7. What do you expect to be able to do with the MIDI data once it's on the Windows computer?

    The last two questions are critical.

    If the answer to that last question is simply, "I want to use the MIDI to play synths in my Windows DAW", the answers are different than "I want to be able to play back the MIDI from my Windows DAW and hear the sound from my iOS synth," for example.

    Thanks for this:

    1. Studio One Pro V4, Windows 10
    2. 2018 iPad 6th gen lightening port
    3. Latest one...14.4 I think
    4. Headphone jack on the iPad going into two separate inputs (L+ R) into my Focusrite 6i6 audio interface - so this gets audio, in stereo, from the iPad to Studio One
    5. Focusrite 6i6, and I also have an iRig Pro
    6. I have plenty of Windows based VST instruments that I play using either a Roland A-300 keyboard or a normal guitar using the Jam Origin Midi Guitar 2 plugin. However, there are some amazing and cheap iOS instruments that I would use more in Studio One if I could manipulate midi data, rather than simply recording audio from the iOS instruments.
    7. I would like to manipulate the midi data in the same way that I can VST instruments - for example record some notes, then quantise, adjust velocities after the event, copy and paste notes. Also the ability to draw in notes to trigger sounds in the iOS instrument.

    OK, it sounds like what you want to do is have MIDI on the PC trigger sounds on the iPad, which get routed to the PC. Basically making your iPad act as though it's a VST running on the PC. The good news is you have most of what you need in order to do this. The bad news is ... latency (more on that later).

    The 6i6 has in and out midi ports and is working with your PC. The iRig Pro has MIDI in/out and a Lightning cable to hook up to your iPad. All you need to get midi from the PC to the iPad is a midi cable plugged from the Out port of the 6i6 to the iRig Pro. For audio, sound should be improved if you route from the Pro to the 6i6 rather than from the headphone jack. But, whatever you do, the last one you plug in will take over the audio. So, if you're going out the headphone jack, then plug that in after the Pro. If you're going from the Pro, don't plug into the headphone jack.

    So, you'll need to set up your DAW to send MIDI out to the 6i6, and your iOS host to send MIDI from the Pro to the app you want to play.

    Latency (the time between when a note is struck on the PC until the sound comes out) might be a problem if you hope to play live. It adds up. You have the delay sending the midi to the iPad, any delay the host and app add, the delay sending audio to the iRig Pro, and the delay sending the audio from the 6i6 to the PC DAW. No way around that. Some people have a high tolerance for latency, some don't. Of course if you're not playing live, latency isn't a big issue.

    All that is just based on looking at what you have to work with. I can't try it out, but it seems like it would work. There are some other ways that get pretty messy using an app called StudioMux, and plugging the iPad into the PC with a Lightning - USB cable. But StudioMux can be a royal pain in the butt. A two interface solution is the best, and fortunately you have them.

  • Another way way to do it, if you have an Apple Lightning USB-3 adapter, is to get a USB Midi interface cable and use that to get the MIDI from the 6i6 to the iPad. I don't know any reason why that would be better than utilizing the Pro, but it might seem simpler since it doesn't touch your already-working audio setup.

  • Thank you - regretfully, I think this is beyond me technically. I have Pro plugged into the iPad's lightening socket. I have a midi cable going from the output of the 6i6 to the midi input of the Pro. That is how far I have got. I don't understand:

    "So, if you're going out the headphone jack, then plug that in after the Pro. If you're going from the Pro, don't plug into the headphone jack".

    Also, I don't know how to take these steps:

    "So, you'll need to set up your DAW to send MIDI out to the 6i6, and your iOS host to send MIDI from the Pro to the app you want to play".

    I don't have either an Apple lightening USB3 adapter, or of course the USB midi interface cable.

    Honestly, you have been very helpful, but I guess I hoped there was a simpler way to achieve this. You don't need to take up any more of your time.

  • @BillS said:
    Thank you - regretfully, I think this is beyond me technically. I have Pro plugged into the iPad's lightening socket. I have a midi cable going from the output of the 6i6 to the midi input of the Pro. That is how far I have got. I don't understand:

    "So, if you're going out the headphone jack, then plug that in after the Pro. If you're going from the Pro, don't plug into the headphone jack".

    iOS only allows one audio interface. If you don't have the Pro plugged in then the audio interface is the iPad's internal system. If you plug the Pro in, it will take over as the audio interface. So, you have to choose: plug in the Pro and use its audio output rather than the headphone jack, or: plug in the Pro, then unplug and re-plug the headphone output so that it takes over from the Pro as the audio device.

    Also, I don't know how to take these steps:

    "So, you'll need to set up your DAW to send MIDI out to the 6i6, and your iOS host to send MIDI from the Pro to the app you want to play".

    Yeh, sorry, I can't help you there. I don't have Studio One.

    I don't have either an Apple lightening USB3 adapter, or of course the USB midi interface cable.

    You don't need either. The pro plugs straight into the iPad with the included cable (assuming you still have it). You don't need a USB midi interface cable either. All you need is the standard MIDI cable you have already connected correctly.

    Honestly, you have been very helpful, but I guess I hoped there was a simpler way to achieve this. You don't need to take up any more of your time.

    I'm happy to stick with it if you want to keep trying. Breaking it down one step at a time is the way to go. I would start with Studio One and see if you can figure out how to get it to send midi out to the 6i6. It shouldn't be too hard, but as I mentioned you're own your own there. ;)

  • edited February 22

    Midi controller - USB, WLAN, or Bluetooth connectivity with (edit “mainly” Mac, that’s what App Store description says... not sure about PC, I thought it worked with PC, posted, then double checked, and now I’m not sure, sorry about that....)

    https://apps.apple.com/us/app/midi-controller-remote-usb/id1470513354

  • Just to complete the information: of course there are Apps that output Midi AND Audio: Gestrument, Gestrument Pro, Xynthesizer (you have to choose between Audio OR Midi,though), StepPolyArpUnit(you have to choose between Audio OR Midi,though), and I guess some more, that I don‘t know of right now.

  • @wim I am getting somewhere.

    My iPad is connected to my Pro via the lightening cable

    My Pro has midi in and out cables connected to the 6i6

    I have set up a midi track in Studio One and set up a new midi out to "My iPad"

    I have entered some random midi notes on the midi track in Studio One. If I now plug my headphones into the Pro, I can hear the random notes being played back correctly by the iOS instrument!!

    However, if I plug the single end of the audio "Y" cable into the headphones socket on the Pro, and the other end into the two main L & R audio inputs on the 6i6, I cannot hear anything through the 6i6. This is an issue, because I need to monitor through the 6i6 to hear other tracks in Studio One - I cannot monitor these other tracks through the headphones when the phones are plugged into the Pro.

    Separately, I don't seem to be able to record midi into Studio One by playing the iOS instrument - perhaps this is not possible.

    Getting closer - any further guidance much appreciated.

  • @BillS said:
    However, if I plug the single end of the audio "Y" cable into the headphones socket on the Pro, and the other end into the two main L & R audio inputs on the 6i6, I cannot hear anything through the 6i6. This is an issue, because I need to monitor through the 6i6 to hear other tracks in Studio One - I cannot monitor these other tracks through the headphones when the phones are plugged into the Pro.

    Sorry, I have no idea why headphones would work in the pro but not the Y cable. Unless maybe there’s a mix knob somewhere on the 6i6 and the external input is muted?

    Separately, I don't seem to be able to record midi into Studio One by playing the iOS instrument - perhaps this is not possible.

    Depends on the app (instrument). Some output midi, some don’t. Are you playing the keyboard in the app or the AUM keyboard? If the AUM keyboard, then you just need to route the AUM keyboard to the PRO as well as to the instrument. If you’re playing the keyboard in the app, which app?

  • @BillS I think the 6i6 headphone output may be listening to the monitor output from your PC, i.e. the DAW. You'd need to create a track for the iPad instrument and monitor it.

  • edited February 22

    @uncledave That solved it straightway - thank you.
    @wim When I play my physical Roland midi keyboard, midi data is recorded correctly - it is not recorded if I use the keyboard in the app, but that's OK - I would much rather use the Roland anyway, I just didn't realise it would work! All of this applies to instruments I am using within the iPad version of Garageband - the Alchemy synth for example. It also applies to the Digital D1 synth in standalone mode on the iPad, although that app seems to crash quite regularly using this set up - not had that before when using purely on the iPad. Bizarrely, if I play the D1 through Garageband, it seems stable!

    I am chuffed to bits - this is potentially amazing for my creativity. Thank you so much. Any great iOS synths you can recommend?! I have some heavyweights in the VST world - Omnisphere, Trillion, all the included Presonus ones in Studio One Pro, but some of the iOS ones provide fantastic sounds at a fraction of the cost.

  • I'll chime in with a few of my faves. I tend to go for low to moderate price.

    • Model D. Classic MiniMoog, now free.
    • KQ Dixie. FM classic. Loads DX7 patches directly; thousands to download.
    • SoundFonts (the app). Lots of free soundfonts available. Good way to get a specific instrument. Some very nice pianos at Soundfonts4U.
    • DRC. Excellent 2-osc. synth, with many presets.
    • Poison-202. Another nice 2-osc. design, more flexible architecture.
    • Drambo. Modular, build your own. Takes getting used to, but possibilities unlimited!
    • Zeeon. Another very nice 2-osc. synth.
  • wimwim
    edited February 22

    Hi @BillS - Synthmaster One is something to consider because it's cross-platform. I have the iOS version, then got the Windows and Mac versions when they were on sale. Now I have the actual synth available on the desktop. Sometimes it's nice to be able to go native rather than trying to ship data back and forth between platforms. Synthmaster One is a beast of a synth.

    It's great that you plowed through and didn't give up. I'm glad it's working. 👍🏼

  • @wim OK - next question please. I have a midi track in Studio One with the output routed to my iPad (call it Track 1). As @uncledave suggested I have an associated audio track which enables me to hear the sound generated by the iPad - call it track 2.

    I now want to add a different instrument from my iPad. So, I create another midi track (track 3) and audio track (track 4) as I did before for tracks 1 and 2. I then change the instrument on my iPad, but this changes the sound I can hear coming from track 2 from the original instrument to the new one.

    How do I overcome this?

  • @BillS In this setup, the iPad is working like a hardware instrument. You can change its sound, but the DAW still sees the same hardware on the same track. I think you need to "freeze' the audio on the first track, so you can create another track using the same instrument (different iPad synths to you, but the same instrument to the DAW).

  • @uncledave yep, as I thought - and that’s workable, but I wondered if there was a way round it that didn’t involve freezing to audio as I went along, like using different channels or something. Thanks

  • Yeah. I don't think there's an easy way around, since the DAW persistently sees that single hardware instrument connected. It'd be in the DAW, if it could temporarily turn the instrument off for that track.

  • One approach is to send a mix of the iPad instruments to the audio track. You would need to set both apps up in AUM with the mix going to the audio track on the PC. The two midi tracks would each need to send on a separate MIDI channel. Then in AUM you would set the two apps to listen only on the appropriate channel.

    When finally bouncing to audio, you’d need to solo each track one by one and then move the recorded clips to other audio tracks in your daw. But before then you could still hear all the instruments, just in one track as a mix.

    Hope that makes sense. Typing on my phone and in a rush. ;)

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