Kool Tools: iConnectMIDI
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Kool Tools: iConnectMIDI

Would you like a little "jam" with your iOS device? If so, iConnectivity's iConnectMIDI (http://www.iconnectmidi.com/) lets you connect your iPad, iPhone and iPod touch to digital musical instruments. It supports Mac OS X and Windows XP (or greater computers).

The iConnectMIDI -- which has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of US$199.99 -- is designed for professional and amateur musicians and allows them to connect an iOS device, load up an app, and start jamming. You can connect MIDI keyboards, guitar controllers, pedals, control surfaces, drum pads, DAWs and more.

The iConnectMIDI is the first iOS MIDI interface compliant with the iOS CoreMIDI Framework. It provides APIs [application programming interfaces] for communicating with MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) devices, including hardware keyboards and synthesizers. With it you can connect from an iOS device using the dock connector or a network.

This Apple standard framework opened the doors for many developers to create music-oriented applications -- and they have. Bring your iPad or iPhone, a portable USB keyboard or guitar, add iConnectMIDI, and you have a portable music studio. The iConnectivity product works with any iOS app that's CoreMIDI compatible.

This means beginning and would-be musicians can use the iConnect MIDI to learn a new instrument, piece of music or playing method. The professional can connect all of their MIDI gear to their iOS device. To use you simply load your iOS app, plug your iOS device into iConnectMIDI using the supplied 30-pin dock connector cable to one of the mini-USB ports, your MIDI gear and jam away.

If you're in the music biz, you know that MIDI-based applications are being released regularly. iConnectMIDI is designed to offer true realtime MIDI event response (with low latency) and saved routing configurations loaded at startup. It's capable of huge volumes of MIDI data and sports a lightweight but rugged metal body with a black powder coat finish. Plus, there are indicator lights for showing MIDI traffic and troubleshooting.

Using standard USB hubs, the iConnectMIDI can connect up to eight USB devices. All of these devices can work with your iOS device at the same time. Also, the two MIDI DIN ports support the standard 16 channels each for chained MIDI devices.

Don't have an iOS device? You can still use the iConnectMIDI. It can serve as a stand-alone MIDI interface; going from MIDI to USB systems without a computer is sometimes essential in the studio. The routing configuration can be saved to internal memory that's retained over power cycles, all without a computer in the chain. In other words, the iConnectMIDI operates as a standard MIDI interface that you can use in place of or to enhance your current MIDI gear set-up with your Mac or PC too.
What's more, iConnectivity is working to release a DMX accessory that will provide the appropriate connections for your DMX lighting and control systems. The iConnectMIDI box will then translate the MIDI messages through to the DMX messages. This will allow iOS applications to use CoreMIDI to communicate with DMXs.

iConnectMIDI has two input and two output traditional MIDI DIN ports. Any standard MIDI DIN devices will work with the device. The iConnectMIDI also supports the USB-MIDI 1.0 standard. Any USB MIDI device that conforms to the standard will work. (USB interfaces on Yamaha and Roland are proprietary and not compliant to the standard. For these devices you'll need to use standard MIDI DIN cables.)

iConnectMIDI fully supports the MIDI standard. Sysex and MTC will be routed through the device as configured. In addition, the iConnectMIDI can be configured to filter any MIDI port from passing any special MIDI events, sometimes referred to as MIDI Mute.


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