iOS Music Production

MIDI and Audio Routing iOS to OS X with Ableton Live

9ce7bebd-083f-46c8-822a-a30b75764e02There’s not much, and oftentimes very confusing information about how to route Audio & MIDI between the desktop and i-Devices.

Let’s make it simple:

Connect your i-Device to the Mac via Lightning to USB

Open Audio MIDI Setup on the Mac

Click Window –> Show Audio Devicesscreen-shot-2016-11-17-at-10-12-58-am

Click Enable for the i-Devicescreen-shot-2016-10-19-at-5-30-59-am

Create an Aggregate Device by Clicking + on the Audio Devices Tabscreen-shot-2016-11-17-at-10-11-01-am

Add in your iPad and whatever your normal Audio Output Device is.

Right Click on the Aggregate Device – Click Use This Device for Sound Output.screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-10-14-07-am

Now Click Window –> Show MIDI Studioscreen-shot-2016-11-17-at-10-14-29-am

On MIDI Studio Click on IAC Driverscreen-shot-2016-11-17-at-10-09-34-am

on the IAC Driver screen Click Device is Onlinescreen-shot-2016-11-17-at-10-09-50-am

Back on MIDI Studio Click Networkscreen-shot-2016-11-17-at-10-41-57-am

on the Network Screen Click + Under My Sessionsscreen-shot-2016-11-17-at-10-10-10-am

Click the Box  Enable the Network Session

Your i-device should now be visible in the Directory – Click Connect

At this point we’ve accomplished setting up your i-Device to send/Receive Audio via the Aggregate Device, and to send and receive MIDI via an IAC Bus.

Important to know that any app receiving and sending MIDI will be sending it to the IAC Bus via the Network Session. As you’ll recall, we connected the iPAD to the IAC bus by Connecting it to the Network Session we created. You can think of the IAC Bus as a passenger-Bus… and the Network Session as the passengers riding the Bus.

Any iPAD app can now Send/Receive MIDI back to OS X via the Network Session. So whichever apps you use, you’ll want to Send/Receive MIDI by selecting the Network Session as MIDI Input/Output. In My Example I’m using Elastic Drums.img_0199

On the IAC Bus, separating MIDI By Channels is also easy and possible, but here we’ll just be doing a single channel.

Now let’s open up Ableton Live, and make the final connections.

You’ll need to Open Live’s Preferences 1st, Click the Link/MIDI Tab and Turn on Track/Sync/Remote, for both Input/Output for the following:

Network (Session 1)

IAC Driver (Bus 1)

Your APP (Elastic Drums in my Case)screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-10-04-04-am screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-10-03-32-am screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-10-03-04-am

Now Click on the Audio Tab in Preferences:
Select Aggregate Device for the Audio Input Devicescreen-shot-2016-11-17-at-10-09-03-am

Select Built-in Output  for the Audio Output Device (Or whatever your regular Output is)

Now Close Preferences.

Create a MIDI & Audio Track (or use one from your Default set etc)

On the MIDI Track Click: Network (Session 1) for MIDI From screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-10-23-22-am

Select a Channel you wish to Receive MIDI From (IN) (this will be the Channel your APP is Sending MIDI TO (Out).

Click Network (Session 1) for MIDI TO.

On the Audio Track Click Ext. In for Audio From

For Audio To Click Master

Great, that’s it! Success! 

Now if you have Hardware, and would like to MIDI-Learn your Apps (Presuming your app has this functionality), you can easily do so. I create another MIDI Track:

Select your Control Surface as MIDI From

Select Network (Session 1) for MIDI Toscreen-shot-2016-11-17-at-10-25-43-am

Just make sure you are sending and receiving MIDI on the Channel you are using, both for the Control Surface and the App. As you see from my picture, I’m sending MIDI out on Channel 8 from Elastic Drums, and Sending MIDI out from my LaunchControl XL on Channel 9.

Once you’ve got this setup going, you won’t have to do all this initial connecting over-and-over.

VIP Tip: It’s very important to Disable the i-device from the Audio Devices Window in Audio MIDI Setup BEFORE disconnecting the i-Device’s Lightning Connection to the MAC. Not doing this can cause a problem where the MAC and iPAD won’t recognize each other… frustrating.

Going Forward, when you connect the Lightning Cable to your Mac from the i-Device, you’ll just need to Enable the i-Device from the Audio Devices Window, then join the Network Session from the Network Icon in the MIDI Studio Window of Audio MIDI Setup. Then fire up your Daw and you’re good to go.

Last tip, when you use a new App, you’ll want to Enable it from Live’s Preferences. I sometimes forget this step! If you run into any issues, don’t panic… all of this is default functionality and doesn’t require any special tools. Drop me a comment and I’ll be glad to help troubleshoot.


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