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Midi sync on the iPad is better than DAWs
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Software  
Author Midi sync on the iPad is better than DAWs
ugokcen
Today I was in the Apple store and bought the "Lightning to USB Camera Adapter" on a whim. Turns out that it's the best $30 I spent. Plugged it into my Intellijel uMidi and it worked right away, no setup or anything.

The part I did not expect was that the midi sync was pretty dead on when using the iPad as the master clock. In the past I've had trouble with midi jitter both in Logic and Ableton, but luckily I had some extra outputs on my soundcard so I've done what everyone recommends - that is, use an audio pulse trigger to clock the modular. That's why I never bothered to consider the iPad as a proper midi sequencer, I figured the clock would be drifting.

I used the midiSTEPS app on the iPad to sequence a synth voice (loquelic+function+optomix) and Pamela's New Workout for gate sequencing some basic drums. Midi clock out on uMidi provided the external sync for Pamela. It all just works, huh! Better yet, I recorded separate takes of the synth line and the drums in Logic that was free running and later when I manually lined up the first transient the tracks synced up perfectly with Logic's metronome.

Anyways, just thought I would share this info for other iPad fans out there and also get a feel for how popular the iPad is for controlling the modular. Am I late to the party? Are there any problems I'm not aware of? What are your favorite sequencing apps?
Richie Jape
hands down my fav is fugue machine by alexandernaut ...

it's so musical and sending the four tape heads to different places is just beautiful ...

i use it on my ipad2 still heh ... lol
ugokcen
I love the fugue machine. Absolute genius. How do you connect it to the modular though?
Panason
People have done tests that show that MIDI clock jitter on iOS is worse than DAWs... assuming the DAW is running on a well optimised machine.
ugokcen
Could you provide a link? I haven’t done any ‘scientific’ tests but it sounds pretty good to me. Maybe I could replicate their results.
Panason
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=183197
ugokcen
That was an interesting read, thank you.

I think there are some caveats with those results. Both the computer and the ipad were tested using USB audio interfaces which also happen to include MIDI ports. Similar thing on the software side, those DAWs and apps prioritize audio over midi. The setup I was talking about is only about MIDI, the umidi interface and the midisteps app.

I would bet that if the computer or the ipad isn't taxed with processing audio then the MIDI timing improves substantially. Now, I cannot exactly test that claim because I don't have that MidiGal thingie. But I'm interested to hear from other users who are strictly using the ipad as a midi sequencer. Have you done any tests? Are you having problems with jitter?
CF3
ugokcen wrote:
That was an interesting read, thank you.

I think there are some caveats with those results. Both the computer and the ipad were tested using USB audio interfaces which also happen to include MIDI ports. Similar thing on the software side, those DAWs and apps prioritize audio over midi. The setup I was talking about is only about MIDI, the umidi interface and the midisteps app.

I would bet that if the computer or the ipad isn't taxed with processing audio then the MIDI timing improves substantially. Now, I cannot exactly test that claim because I don't have that MidiGal thingie. But I'm interested to hear from other users who are strictly using the ipad as a midi sequencer. Have you done any tests? Are you having problems with jitter?


Also, all apps aren’t created equal. Some have WAY better MIDI handling than others. There’s a lot of caveats, including the model of ipad you’re using. I’ve had wildly varying results.
Richie Jape
ugokcen wrote:
I love the fugue machine. Absolute genius. How do you connect it to the modular though?


hey ...

in through the mother 32 ...

and sometimes oplab ...

sometimes beatstep pro ( i think haha i can't remember if i tried that )

just one modular voice atm and

i use it with hardware midi synths too ... ipad in one of those old alesis docks then midi out through a quadra through ..

haven't done it in a little while so this is just from my *not great memory ...

it's a wonderful app !
Panason
There isn't really any need for "scientific" tests. Just fire up the metronome on the gear you're syncing or use a 1-bar loop playing a short, sharp sound on every beat and listen to how well they sync... I guess if the MIDI stream gets busy the results will be different anyway...
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