March 1, 2011
Well, That Was Easier Than I Thought It Would Be...
by Chris Randall
I've now submitted SimpleMidiPad to the App Store for review. Normally this sort of thing isn't so quick, but for this particular app, which I dearly wanted anyhow, I had all the parts lying around from other projects, so it was just a matter of piecing them together.
I'll make a video showing it in use, and simple techniques for hooking things up. If you don't have the Camera Connection Kit and a compatible USB MIDI interface, or do your music on an OS X machine, you're kinda outta luck. It defaults to a Network Session MIDI node, and looks for a host on your Wi-Fi network. As those of you who have used this know, it's a little tweaky. For realtime CC it's fine, but I wouldn't want to play a synth over it. But it works.
If you plug in a USB MIDI interface via the Camera Connection Kit, it grabs on to that and stops sending to the Network Session. There are a number of MIDI interfaces that work; I have this one, which works fine, but doesn't have anything in particular to recommend it otherwise, except perhaps that it doesn't have integral cables like so many 1x1 interfaces do (and which I intensely dislike.) I was amusing myself for a bit by driving my modular directly from the iPad. The MIDI->CV interface I have only has two CC out, so I could only use one pad, but it works as advertised regardless.
Anyhow, four pads, and you can set the X, Y, and Z CC destinations for each. (Z is just off/on, of course.) It remembers your previous settings, but I didn't provide any sort of preset mechanism aside from that. I put it in at what Apple calls "Tier 2 Pricing," which is $1.99 in the US and Canada, and whatever your local equivalent is. I'll keep you informed on the progress, of course. Should know in a couple of days if it was approved or not, but unless I made some silly mistake (entirely possible) it'll be rockin' sooner rather than later.
Assuming it is approved and those of you that try it provide some good feedback, I'll adjust the framework accordingly and bang out a couple of the other simple ideas I have. Then we'll give porting the Axon sequencer a whirl, which is necessarily a much more involved process. If you have a request for a specific MIDI generator for the iPad, now is the time to bring it up.