Community Tip - Using Your iOS device As A Midi Controller In PT On A Mac

09-12-2013 10:00 AM

With the support of iLok, more tips & tricks from the community. Here is one from Brian Russ…
It’s probably not well discussed, but you can use your iOS device as a midi controller in Pro Tools on a Mac. And whats really cool, is you can do it over wifi. It does require the purchase and use of an app that utilizes core MIDI on iOS but it works amazingly well! Here’s how:

  1. First, make sure your iOS and Mac have wifi connection enabled.
  2. On your Mac, open the Audio Midi setup utility.
  3. Click on the purple “Network” icon. The Midi Network Setup window will open.
  4. In the lower left you should see your iPhone/iPod/iPad listed in the “Directory” box with a little green light indicating it’s on and active.(If it’s not, check to make sure the device hasn’t gone into sleep mode. Once it wakes up it should appear)
  5. In the upper left corner you’ll see the box that says “My Sessions”. Click on the “+” button to create a new session. It will say “Session 1” as default but you can double click and rename it if you like. This will effectively become the name of your new midi port in Pro Tools (and will appear as such in all your Mac midi applications) Using “Iphone” “iPad” or “iPod” as the name will help identify it if you have more than one midi device. Click the check box next to it.
  6. On the right hand side in the “Session” dialog box your iOS device should be listed in the “Local Name” box. Above it click the “Enabled” blue check box. It may be already. Down below you’ll see the device’s IP address.
  7. In the Directory box,click on the your device and then click the “Connect” button below. In the session dialog on the right your device will now appear in the “Participants” box with a latency setting. You are now ready to use your iOS device in Pro Tools!
  8. Open a Pro Tools session. Open a midi or instrument track. click and select the device as the input midi port. It should appear as “Network, iPhone/iPad etc.

Now to trigger notes you will need an app on your iOS device that can send midi information. The best apps I have found are Pro Chords 2 and Chord Map Midi. Another app is Pad Midi.
Use it when writing to lay down chords or melodies (using Pro Chords 2 or Chord Map Midi) This works especially well using Step Mode in Pro Tools. Remember to enable MIDI Thru in Pro Tools and control hardware synths and drum machines.
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