Saturday, July 30, 2011

Laptop, IPad, and 225e (part One)

I've been traveling and brought both my Ipad and laptop on the road with me. While away I saw this post on Muff Wiggler by forum member "eldancer" about using an Ipad and the app TouchOSC to control a 200e via midi. I've seen video demos of Ipads and midi and have tried to figure out all the connections and such before but never quite got there. That post was so cool I decided to try again and with some tenacity and some luck I finally got things working between a PC laptop, USB midi interface, software/apps, and an Ipad.

This is a demo video showing how I set this up. It's more of an instructional thing and doesn't go into great depth but it does cover all the points needed for starting from scratch and then playing music so I hope it's useful to folks on a few levels.

One thing I can say about the 225e is that it makes very basic midi functions VERY easy to program. For over 20+ years I have only used midi for very rudimentary functions like hooking a controller up to a module or doing a backup or single sysex patch dump. I've tried various midi and other controllers with software like the Peavey PC1600, Monome, and quite a few Akai and M-Audio things. Given my Midiot status (and no real desire to spend the time to change it) I just figured I'd never be bale to tap into the wealth of control the 200e offers. Well, I am happy to say the set up for this interface between the Ipad and the 200e, while not dead simple, was relatively painless and more importantly for the first time ever the process seemed intuitive and just worked.

The lion's share of that was how the 225e lays out it's midi controller functions, it's clear programming screen and multiple buttons to work with it, and the all analog patchable interface. Since getting the 200e I have never uttered these words but I'm happy to report the 200e design actually makes it easier to do things than on other synths. In this case those things are advanced programmable midi functions which is not insignificant.

For midi skeptics or folks who have a 225e and have never tried it I encourage you to take a second (or third) look at the process. You're not getting a poor mans touch controller here but you can make a custom interface that meets your exact needs and delivers very powerful results wihtout ever leaving the comfort of old school patching and tweaking (once things are set up of course).

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