Everything about the iPad is about portability. Thinness. Ever-changing interfaces. Functionality hidden behind a pane of glass.
But, hey, now that you’ve slimmed down your computational device, why not go hog wild with tangible controls and a sprawling DIY MIDI controller?
That’s what Jakob Haq, the nearest thing to an iOS music celebrity we’ve got, has done with his rig. He’s got a video showing off a very simple, easy, friendly-to-everyone solution that fits in your pocket — versus a one-of-a-kind custom creation that will fit in your pocket if you’re wearing a camping tent.
Let’s look at each of those.
First, KORG have an exceptionally useful interface called plugKEY MIDI. Via one Lightning connection to your iPhone or iPad, you get audio out (via jack connections), headphone out, MIDI input, and charging (via standard microUSB). My only complaint is, you don’t get MIDI output, so you can’t use this for sequencing – you’ll need a different interface for that. But it’s still one of the handier options out there.
That is, this seems a quick way to get audio out, charging, and MIDI in. For more I/O, you have the iConnectMIDI offerings, or my current go-to solution, IK’s iRIG Pro Duo (which does audio in and out and MIDI in and out).
It’s what Jakob is doing with that MIDI in that’s most interesting, though.
It says something about the post-PC age. The iPad is thin, and barely there, but it does give you visuals. By connecting Jakob’s monster MIDI controller to the input, he can get as much physical control as he would hardware.
The video with the KORG shows a bit about that, but have a look, too, at how he got there:
Heavy stuff. And beautiful – a merging of the computer and GUI interface with more conventional physical controls.
As usual, I can’t wait to see what Jakob cooks up next. More links in his YouTube channel.