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MIDI- Coming Soon on a Ipad near you..

The controller world will, once again, get shaken up very soon. In its next Ipad update, IOS 4.2-  now available to developers and ready for public any day now, Apple will officially support MIDI input and output to the Ipad. Are you ready for dozens of midi controller apps equipped with gyroscope, acceleration and multi touch functionality? I know we are! Read on for the Dj TechTools inside scoop on this exciting new development.


I am most excited about the potential of connecting devices like the Midi-Fighter, which consume very little power, to the Ipad which now has access to a full Itunes music library. Together these two could be a micro dj world that promises to be a lot of fun in a very light package! Direct MIDI support means you may actually be able to use existing MIDI equipment, where previously any hardware connected to the Ipad required a special license and had to pay a steep fee!

Alternatively, if you already own an Ipad- you may have soon have access to dozens of virtual controllers that can be endlessly configured and tuned to suit your needs. The new CORE midi functionality on the Ipad means that developers can easily make midi controller apps that work with your dj software. There are some limitations to touch based controllers though.  As we all know, djs love their knobs and faders but the Ipad also brings a lot of exciting new controls to the table including:

  • gyroscope
  • acceleration
  • multi touch functionality

Almost none of which exist on existing hardware controllers meaning this next round of Ipad “dj” apps might be taken a lot more seriously.

Sources tell us:

You will be able to send MIDI over a network (Wifi)

  • Latency can get troublesome over a crowded network
  • Latency can be an issue with interference in the signal
  • Computer to computer networks and dedicated airport express set ups should work the best.
  • This would work right away using traditional midi over network systems that already exist in MAC OS

MIDI IN and OUT will be available over USB

  • This will require the camera adapter
  • USB power will be very limited so the IPAD won’t be able to run power hungry Midi controllers
  • A powered USB hub could be used to solve this issue
  • While using the USB/camera adapter, you can’t charge or transfer juice, so the Ipad may run out of power rapidly depending on the app.

This will all be done via a very similar API to the desktop computers using standard MIDI communication. That means a properly set up app should just show up as a standard MIDI device in your dj software. Configure, map and jam away. Long gone are the early days of sketchy intermediary programs that bridge the gap between Ipad and MIDI. Woop Woop!

  • I can’t wait for this, even a simple thing like ability to sync midi clock with iPad app would open the door to a lot of fun 🙂 im thinking Rebirth synced with traktor… Manual beatmatching is so awkward!

  • enzo

    Can this be done??? Track pad as a touch interface!

  • Golden Ears

    What I want to see is simple..

    I want to see someone map an ipad with the 4 corners representing 4 different effects. Drag your finger in the box to emphasize 1 effect over another or in pairs. With multi touch you could do more.. or draw a circle or even an oblong with your finger in the “effects box” and by moving that oblong ellipse or circle you can change multiple effects at once..moving in a circular pattern could make new effects- particularly if you induce phase shifts.

    Have a “triangle box” to control 3 effects at once..

    square box for 4 effects

    Pentagon for 5 effects

    etc… a duodecagon for 12 effects at once.. (well that would likely be a mess…

    but you get what I mean.

    And a cheap alternative would be to use the magic trackpad which is already coded for multi touch and expose’ and remap it as a Midi device (Someone please do this) now we are talking REAL BATTERY LIFE and ultra portable. You could have something on your desktop showing what the effects are mapped to your trackpad… or even make a track pad overlay.

    Better still why stop at a single trackpad??? Use one for each deck.

    Far cheaper than an ipad.. and they won’t break of you drop them.

  • LKJ

    Itch/VCI-300 support on an iPad please! :O

  • Fluxone

    screw the iPad what about this!!

    Hacked xbox kinect controllers…

  • Sick, this is going to be nuts…..

  • Nobody has mentioned it yet but getting velocity sensitive notes via external midi keys into the ipad apps will be a dream. So much more expressive. Hope the apps also provide good midi mappings so I can use a couple of controllers at once.

  • @JesC: I love you too.

    @Agreed, thanks. I try to do my best with my few resources.

    About article, well the fact is that Peter has better info, sorry dudes… but I still love share info (and fill the gaps) with others though sometimes some of them believe that they cannot learn anything of anybody who knows less in their “job”.


  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    you can turn the mouse pad on your laptop into a midi controller. use this program on a mac:

  • Tyfurious

    I look forward to a USB ipad interface, but not seeing ppl using exclusively ipads to DJ..

  • too much technology destroys the art of DJ.

    cmon who really needs touch displays and acceleration sensors to mix 2 tracks?!

    • picapardillo

      Exactly, technology like that enables you to do much more than just mixing 2 tracks. If u want to mix 2 tracks don’t get it, just do vinyl or cds (i been performing with these platforms very long time) I want an ipad, for mixing 4 tracks, adding samples, controlling 100% daws, vsts, 10 times more efx….that is what i call art, using technology to really make of djing an art.
      Nowadays mixing 2 tracks..its not an art.its a game

  • colin

    so how long will it be until a dj controller is built around the ipad, like those little ipod dj systems.

  • teaches of peaches

    If it’s going to support midi-in, it would be nice to see some sort of native DJ software for the ipad. Like Traktor.

  • Darth Ryva

    [quote comment=””]While using the USB/camera adapter, you can’t charge or transfer juice, so the Ipad may run out of power rapidly depending on the app.[/quote]

    I don’t see this getting to much play if this is the case… it’s no fun planning on your controller to die.

  • ipad+traktor s4 control would be a dreamsetup then

  • Anonymous

    ipad is still gay imo

  • DJ Phaidon

    I’d been posting about this possibility since the iPad came out on the Jazzmutant forums, but they just seemed to roll over and die recently. If they would have ported the software over to iPad, they would still be a functioning company, but it seems all for not. I’m not getting rid of my lemur, but my iPad is going to be more functional than it is as soon as this update hits. It’s a very great thing, and a very sad time for the Lemur community at the same time.

  • djerikt

    ok… dumb question.
    To control software on a computer with an iPad over USB, wouldn’t I need a cable with two A connectors?

  • agreed

    [quote comment=”39691″]…



    Mudo how dare you direct people to more information!

    Good to see your still plugging away.

    Hold it down over there in Spain

  • agreed

    [quote comment=”39726″]I guess that is the end of the lemur….[/quote]

    s why folks were trying to get rig of their lemur’s months before the ipad hit. The lemur is not dead, but no one is going to buy a new one.

  • I guess that is the end of the lemur….

  • great news,,but i agree that a touch screen cant replace the feel of knobs/faders…
    as for effects it should be great…
    its good to see the digital dj world is up to date with technology… a few more nails in the old cdj/turntable coffin..

    i am personally waiting for stuff like the ‘movment cameras’ to be available for controlling dj software..(ex – microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox 360 and ‘PlayStation®Move’)..
    thanks alot djTT for this update..
    am in SF and must come and say hello to you guys..
    see yas soon..

  • Bartboy

    I am just happy about where this will bring the industry as a whole. If this takes off like it should then we will start seeing either bigger and bigger ipad like devices being made into DJ tools and/or forcing the controller makers to include some of the functionality of the new wave of apps about to hit the app store. Say what you want about Apples Walled Garden of Apps but it does allow anyone to build anything within reason.

  • Lantau

    This is going to make the “checking my email” stereotype even worse. Has huge potential but also just as much chance to make things worse… guess we’ll have to see what people do with it! 🙂

  • dual citizen

    9 hrs, 15 mins ago
    honestly, i will never like touchscreen-controllers, since you don’t feel shit and you always have to be looking at the screen. but they are cheap, yes”


    Also, don’t think I would trust wifi for any performance, especially with all the smartphones out there these days.

  • Anon Emus

    This just the prelude to the NEXT iPad. There are alot of knock offs coming. The Samsung (don’t remember the name), Blackberry’s Blackpad, and a windows version (still copying Steve, huh, Bill?) The next iPad will have a ridiculous jump in ram and processor speed. The one thimg we all know about Apple is THEY DON’T GIVE UP MARKETSHARE. This is good for us because by the time the next iPad drops, all the issues with specs and power needed for apps will be known and it will be configured accordingly. Then the price of the original iPad will drop and it will still be a good tool. Most will use it kind of like an x1, but with expanded capabilities. just my .02c.

  • whiskers

    That’s great, but what about the latency? I think the iPad would make a great xy-pad or a fader controller, but that’s about it. However, knobs will never be replaced.

  • mostapha

    [quote comment=”39699″]i’s so glad and excited! But i want iTraktor with soundcard/controller support. Imagine u play with iPad+Xone:DX (S4; VCI+Sound card, etc…) setup![/quote]

    That would be extremely interesting. I’m not completely sure that the processing power, ram, etc. is there, depending on how much you want to do, but something like that…even a purpose-built device…would be extremely enticing.

  • Anonymous

    Was using OSC on my iPad….kinda felt gimmicky… There’s somthing about knobs that just can’t be replaced. My S4 arrived the other day. Now it’s back to hands-on multi-sampling!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    im not familiar with apple hardware.

    will this work when the ipad is connected to a pc aswell, or only on a mac?

  • Awesome news. I’m loving the iPad as a midi controller but removing the intermediary applications will make it much more convenient and practical. Kudos to Apple for including this great feature in their API.

  • From what the article says, yes you ought to be able to have the ipad recognized as a USB controller (MIDI in and out over USB) but I suspect you will still need some intervening software. ipad as a controller to me has a lot of potential and these developments will help that come to fruition … but I’m less excited by the ipad as computer prospects — DJing apps will be able to do some cool things but the power consumption issue kind of makes it impractical, even with a hub I suspect. For now I think you need a computer to be the workhorse, for practical reasons. And if you really need a small light computer you can get a superlight macbook air right now that will probably run Traktor and give you all the options you need, along with more space for more music. Sure the ipad is a bit cheaper (though not all that much), but do you really want to worry about flaky wifi or losing power at a gig?

  • @cabdoctor
    I’m working on a MIDI app for android, the pads are working but I want to include a X/Y panel and some faders till I release it. Server is for Max.
    Fingerplay MIDI is also a really cool looking app, couldn’t test it yet, the java server won’t run correctly.

  • @cabdoctor
    I’m working on a midi app for android, the pads are working I want to include a X/Y panel and some faders till I release it. Server is for Max.

  • Hi Guys and hi Ean,

    Do you know if we will be able to use the iPad as an usb controller?
    I explain better, now I can use touchOSC + OSCulator to control Traktor but everything works through wifi (so with a little latency), i would like to know if we will be able to have the iPad beign recognised from the mac/pc over USB like any other USB-Midi controller?

    Thanks a lot and great post!

    Cheers from Italy!

    – Visit –

  • Cabdoctor

    I wish there was more news on the Android front 🙁

  • Remote

    Everyones iPad just became a ~$900 Lemur.

  • SA

    This is BIG news… I can’t wait to get involved. I’ve always liked the idea of a larger customizable interface (iPad) and integration with high end music software (MIDI) but WiFi was not cutting it… direct MIDI connection could easily spell great things. Lots of good ideas already… =)

  • No gyro? That was what initially got me all a-twitter about this post (which is informative and great though short 😉

    I’m looking forward to DJ-controllers that incorporate the tech from stuff like the new “you’re the conroller” stuff that’s coming out for Wii (sorry, I know I butchered that; I’m not a gamer) – know what I’m saying? Whoa… the possibilities for performance – DJTT challenges would turn into dance-offs…

    Thanks, as always, for fueling my imagination DJTT… <3

  • NZ

    i’s so glad and excited! But i want iTraktor with soundcard/controller support. Imagine u play with iPad+Xone:DX (S4; VCI+Sound card, etc…) setup!

  • I’ve successfully used my iPad to DJ a few gigs already using TouchOSC+OSCulator. I’ve also run TouchAble on a variety of gigs (non-DJ gigs, btw) with great success. I’m very optimistic about where this release will open future developments.

  • lbds

    honestly, i will never like touchscreen-controllers, since you don’t feel shit and you always have to be looking at the screen. but they are cheap, yes

  • Dj Brian

    My god I hope it works, I have an iPad with touchable app and setting up add hoc network working with an iPad is just nasty, I have a camera adaptor so I hope this works with the ios 4.2 and USB

  • JesC

    [quote comment=”39691″]…



    dude, really enough with the ” … ” the whole internet is tired of that.

  • Connor/Dj you.S.bee

    just pointing out that only iphone 4 has gyroscope, no ipad, sorry those who had there hopes up

  • DJ C