Backpack-friendly rigs on the cheap are yours – if you know how to put them together. Fortunately, we’ve got some expert help.

For starters… fancy tools? No. Sync? Who needs it. Just a Korg Kaossilator and the Propellerhead Figure app are part of a little jam here from our friend Jakob Haq.

That’s relevant, too. The Kaossilator is an old one Jakob had around – and you get them pretty cheap at this point. Figure for its part will run on any iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad capable of loading iOS 9. That means a lot of old iPads are in the running – also available cheap. So you’ve got a rig that’s simple, mobile, and inexpensive.

To look at it another way, with all the tools we’ve got, often times your best first step is just to limit yourself to a couple of favorite instruments – and let your creativity take it from there.

Jakob is also offering up some powerful tricks for working mobile, if you haven’t kept up with his YouTube feed. For instance, in this next case, he shows how you can use a USB mixer via either the old (and weirdly named) Camera Connection Kit, or a new Apple Lightning to USB 3 connector:

Here are some of my other favorite recent tutorials, having to do with this question of how to get all your fun mobile music gadgets working in harmony.

Answering a question that troubles lots of mobile music users, Jakub gives you some advice in thinking about MIDI controllers and power with the iPad:

That aforementioned Lightning to USB 3 connector can be used with multiple devices:

The MIDI Splitter hardware here allows Jakub to combine the powerful Steinberg Cubasis app with our own MeeBlip and the KORG volca – here’s how he set it up:

An iPad and OP-1 make a nice combo, too: