Archive for MIDI

Bluetooth MIDI on iOS: the first steps!

I’ve been thinking about Bluetooth MIDI on iOS for a while now, and it’s finally happening! I shot the developer an email yesterday asking if he had plans to add Virtual MIDI to his upcoming ROTOSynth app. This would allow any app that supports Virtual MIDI, to also support Bluetooth MIDI simply by using ROTOSynth as a ‘bridge.’ Also, we wouldn’t have to wait for every developer to add Bluetooth support. He replied with

That’s a fantastic idea that I hadn’t really thought of. In fact, maybe it’d be best to just have a really basic app that just implements my Bluetooth stuff and sends/receives MIDI messages to other apps with Virtual MIDI. ROTOSynth still has dev to be done on the synth engine, so this way, I could get the BT stuff out without having to finish ROTOSynth first. I’m thinking about taking the project to Kickstarter, I’m just a really busy grad student and I almost need a little startup company to get this going.

…I’m TOTALLY going to back that Kickstarter.

Jay put a page up on his site that details the hardware, software, and some latency stats that YOU HAVE TO SEE. He’s looking for some positive feedback before getting started so if this is something you’d like to see LEAVE HIM A COMMENT HERE!

See also:
Post: MIDI over Bluetooth: Why it’s ideal for iOS

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MidiBridge, MidiVision, and FreEWI updated with MIDI OMAC fast switching

Audeonic has updated all of their apps with MIDI OMAC fast switching! They all respond to OMAC switching messages and MidiBridge has a facility for binding incoming MIDI messages from MIDI equipment or software to an app including the provision of ‘next’ and ‘previous’ controls. If you’re a developer and you would like to add MIDI fast switching to your app, see this thread.

A user guide is available. App list coming soon.

MidiBridge on the MidiBridge - Audeonic Apps
MidiVision on the MidiVision - Audeonic Apps
FreEWI on the FreEWI - Audeonic Apps

See also:
Video: OMAC Fast-switching demo with MIDI switching
Thread: Switch between apps using MIDI controller

MIDI over Bluetooth: Why it’s ideal for iOS

Update: BlueMidi: Bluetooth MIDI for iOS is here! & It has Virtual MIDI!

MIDI over Bluetooth on iOS would be a breakthrough in convenience, portability, as well as save you some money. MIDI controllers with Bluetooth built in would be wireless (obviously) providing for more portability, as there would be no need for an interface or cables. If there was a keyboard like the nanoKEY2 that supported Bluetooth, your mobile studio could be expanded with a physical instrument that you could take with you on those hour long train rides to work. Also, there would be no need for a WiFi network, and your dock connector would be freed up for an audio interface.

Another thought: A free app could (has beenApp Store link) be developed that sends MIDI received via Bluetooth to another app via Virtual MIDI instead of waiting for every developer to add Bluetooth support. Similarly, a physical Bluetooth MIDI plug could allow you to use the hardware you already own.

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Synthesia (Guitar Hero like program for piano) on iPad

Via Twitter:


New iOS Musician YouTube Video: BeatMaker 2 sending MIDI to Sunrizer and MoDrum Clock Syncing with BeatMaker 2

Here’s a complete walkthrough of Virtual MIDI in BeatMaker!

Here’s a tutorial / demo of BeatMaker 2 sending MIDI to Sunrizer synth (VMP list), and MoDrum Clock Syncing (list) with BeatMaker 2. I thought this was a pretty significant use of music apps because it allowed three apps to work together at the same time. I usually find myself only using one app at a time, or maybe copying from app a to app b, but this was almost like Sunrizer and MoDrum were VSTs in BeatMaker. Audiobus could take this idea even further, fingers crossed!

BeatMaker 2 (iOS universal) is

BeatMaker 2 - INTUA

MoDrum (iOS universal) on the MoDrum Rhythm Composer - finger
Sunrizer synth for iPad on the Sunrizer synth - BeepStreet
SunrizerXS synth for iPhone on the SunrizerXS synth - BeepStreet

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Walk through: BeatMaker 2 controlling other synth apps with Virtual MIDI

Check out this Core MIDI Clock Sync + Virtual MIDI video walk through!

Virtual MIDI in BeatMaker 2 is a little bit more confusing than in other apps, so I thought I’d make a walk through to clear up any confusion. Virtual MIDI has opened up iOS music making to several interesting and useful possibilities. You can record synths that don’t have MIDI sequencers, experiment with new synths for your track using a sequencing app like BM2, or make an entire song using sounds from several different apps at once by controlling them all with Genome MIDI Sequencer. This tutorial should contain everything you need to know to get BeatMaker 2 controlling other Virtual MIDI apps.

Set up and settings

First, open up BeatMaker 2 and another Virtual MIDI app of your choosing. In BM2 you’ll want to create a blank keyboard sampler track. To do this, click the add instrument button, and select keyboard sampler (or drum machine). The app will prompt you to load an instrument, click the X in the upper left corner and the track will be created with no sounds loaded. This is exactly what you want because you’ll be using the sounds from other apps. Make as many tracks as synth apps you’ll be using, and assign each a MIDI channel…


Assign a MIDI channel for this specific track to send MIDI through:

Here I have no MIDI channel going into the track but have it sending MIDI out on channel 2.

From this menu, you can also set up a CC to control stuff like volume or pan or save/load a MIDI configuration if you want to load it to a different track/project.

Next we need to tell BM2 to actually send out the MIDI to other apps.

Go to the main menu and tap on the ‘i‘ in the upper right corner:

Hit MIDI setup,

and plug in these settings:

This page is the command center for MIDI coming in and out of BM2. If you wanted to control BM2 with another app – say, Slide Control, which doesn’t generate any sound on it’s own – you’d need to turn it on in the inputs column. If you want the MIDI being played in BM2 to control another synth app, you’d need to turn on said synth in the outputs column. Here I’m recording Cassini Synth for iPhone (using Cassini’s built in audio recorder) with the MIDI being played in BM2. Using sequencing apps with Virtual MIDI ports like BeatMaker 2 or Genome is a great way to get that perfect recording in synth apps that don’t have a sequencer.

After you’ve set that up, go back to the synth(s) you want to send the MIDI to and make sure audio background is turned on in it’s settings. This will tell the application to continue generating sound after you leave the app (press the home button or double tap the home button and switch apps).

Background audio in Cassini synth for iPhone:

Background audio in SunrizerXS synth for iPhone:

MIDI Channels

There are 16 MIDI channels. Channels are used to send MIDI data to certain destination (in our case, a synth app) so that you don’t end up sending the notes generated in one place to two places by accident. If you want to trigger multiple apps at the same time, set each track in BeatMaker to a different MIDI channel.

Troubleshooting: OMNI mode sends all of the MIDI notes generated on any channel (1-16), to every channel. If OMNI mode is on in BeatMaker or some random synth app, you might run into sound issues (this has happened to me before with Sunrizer, but not Cassini), if something doesn’t sound right try turning off OMNI mode and setting up a specific channel.

If you’re looking for more apps with Virtual MIDI, check out my regularly updated list!

BeatMaker 2 - INTUA

SunrizerXS synth for iPhone on the SunrizerXS synth - BeepStreet

Sunrizer synth for iPad on the Sunrizer synth - BeepStreet

Cassini for iPhone CASSINI Synth for iPad - iceGear Cassini for iPad CASSINI Synth for iPad - iceGear

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Quick App Tip #18: Record in Sunrizer synth for iPad via the background with Virtual MIDI sequencer

Check out this BeatMaker 2 Virtual MIDI walk through!

I was playing with Sunrizer synth the other day when came up with some pretty cool ideas that I wanted to record, which can be tricky on an iPad. So I thought I’d record the MIDI and fix any mistakes in Genome, and then send it over to Sunrizer via Virtual MIDI to get a perfect recording. Turns out, it is possible to continue recording audio in the background (multitasking) with Sunrizer. Before you try this, make sure that the Start on first touch option in the utilities menu is on and that audio background is enabled.

Happy synthing!

For more Virtual MIDI apps, check out my regularly updated list.

More Quick App Tips

Sunrizer synth for iPad on the Sunrizer synth - BeepStreet

Genome MIDI Sequencer for iPad on the Genome MIDI Sequencer - White Noise Audio Software