RouteMIDI is an AUV3 Audio unit which will allow you to direct the output of your DAW tracks to external hardware Synthesizers via MIDI. Which is in itself a very cool thing. The app has come out of the developer’s own personal musical needs, and I think that the best apps come about that way.

RouteMIDI is available on the app store and costs

The developer has also left some useful instructions for set up, which might be helpful in deciding if this app is for you or not


Before diving into the actual guide to operating RouteMIDI, a few words regarding MIDI interfacing the external Synthesizers and modules you will be controlling are in order. MIDI devices go back decades, and so do the interfaces that Computers and Sequencers have employed to connect with them. USB MIDI Interfaces are the most common devices today that you can use to connect your IOS device (iPhone/iPad) to your external Synth/Module – either directly, or even using a Mac as a USB MIDI hub. Some newer MIDI Synths and devices have a choice of either USB “B” type connectors, Micro USB connectors and even the original 5-pin DIN In/Out connectors. The simplest connection, for example, that I have tested RouteMIDI with is a single Lightning-USB cable. Google will be your friend in researching what’s available, but I do promise to attempt to compile some sort of guide resource to point you to sources of MIDI interfacing Hardware/Software.

Setting up…

1. Once you have downloaded RouteMIDI from the App Store, you will notice a new App Icon on your device screen labeled “RouteMIDIApp”. This App is what actually creates the RouteMIDI Audio Unit and installs it on your system. So, go ahead and run this App and after a short time you should see a screen that displays a message “RouteMIDI Audio Unit is now ready for use in a Host App of your choice”. You can now dismiss/exit RouteMIDIApp

2. Since the IOS DAW that most evoked the desire in me to “play” my new Roland D-05 Synthesizer module from tracks of my DAW was Garageband, I am going to write the rest of this guide with Garageband as the DAW we will be using. So then, let’s fire up Garageband and start by creating a new song by tapping “+” in the top right. The first thing to do now is to choose one of the Instrument sources that are displayed when “TRACKS” is highlighted top center screen. Swipe left or right until the “EXTERNAL” panel is showing. Now, tap the “Audio Unit Extensions” icon, and the screen should change to display Icons for all of the compatible Audio Units that are available on your system. Among these Icons you should see the Icon for “RouteMIDI”. Tap it and you should be taken to Garageband track view screen. You should see the first track, which will be displaying the RouteMIDI Icon. Below, you should see the usual Garageband Keyboard, and also the two controls for RouteMIDI.

3. The first control, labeled “MIDI Out” consists of a text field, which displays the names of compatible MIDI destinations or “OUT” devices that RouteMIDI finds interfaced to your system. At the right-hand end of this box there is a “Stepper Control” that enables you to step forward/backward through the available destinations. Assuming that your desired destination is displayed in this text field, you are pretty much done and anything you play or record on this Garageband track will be sent as MIDI to the selected destination/device. If you do not see the destination/device you are searching for despite using the stepper control forward/backward, you should investigate and check that your cables are correctly connected and your external Synth/module is powered up and receiving MIIDI signals using whatever you may have at your disposal.

4. Below the “MIDI Out” control section you will see the “Out Channel” cluster of 16 buttons, each one representing a MIDI channel. Only one button at a time can be highlighted, and the default MIDI channel is 1. You would typically use these buttons when assigning multiple Garageband tracks to a Multi-Timbral Synthesizer where different tracks would be assigned to different MIDI channels in order to acess the different “parts” or “voices” within the Multi-Timbral device.