If you use your iPad to produce complete tracks, using MIDI to control synthesizers instead of recording them and import the recordings to a DAW app allows you to not only change the notes they play, but lets you to control the knobs and sliders in the synth throughout you track. This provides for a much more productive (and VST like) workflow as you won’t have to rerecord synths if you change any of their settings or try and record the knob/slider changes yourself – but you’ll still be able to process the synth in a DAW app thanks to Audiobus. Here’s a tutorial on how to use BeatMaker 2‘s MIDI editor and MIDI learn functionality to control a synthesizer app…
First, in BM2 add a keyboard sampler track. When prompted to load in a sample set, select “Empty Preset” – we’ll just be using BM2′s sample synth as a MIDI controller.
Tap on the MIDI options in for the keyboard sampler you just created:
and set the MIDI input and output channels are the same:
In BeatMaker 2 open the ‘MIDI Setup’ menu (tap the home button in the upper left, settings icon, and ‘MIDI Setup’):
Make sure that the synth you’re using is turned on under input and output.
If you’re using Magellan, go to the preferences tab, open the MIDI learn menu, tap the ‘MIDI Destination’ you want to assign, then tap ‘Learn.’
If you’re using Sunrizer, tap the ‘Learn’ button and then the knob/slider you wish to control:
Switch back to the BM2 and open the sample synth settings:
Twist one of the knobs in the the BM2 sample synth (since we’re only using BM2 as a MIDI controller it doesn’t matter which one – but be sure to make a mental note of the one you assign).
Now if you switch back to Magellan, the MIDI CC number for the knob you turned in BM2 will be shown in the CC Map!
Switch back to BM2 and open up the MIDI editor. Select the parameter from the edit menu that you assigned to the knob in Magellan, and draw in some MIDI:
Note: You may want to narrow the grid size to 1/96 instead of the default 1/16, to get more of a smooth control over the synths knobs.
Woohoo! Now BM2 is controlling Magellan’s knobs via virtual MIDI!
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BeatMaker 2 on the
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MultiTrack DAW for iPhone and iPad on the
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Sunrizer XS synth for iPhone on the
Sunrizer synth for iPad on the
NLogSynth Pro for iPad $14.99 > $9.99
NLog MIDI Synth for iPhone $4.99 > $1.99
This is something we covered on the first episode of the Touch Music Podcast, live app looping. You will be able to record new loops in the midst of an ‘app looping session’! Michael even pointed out in the show that you’ll be able to do this with multiple apps! I’ve never wanted Audiobus more than now!