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Sounds: Eigenharp and iPad

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written by: ivan

Thanks Technobear :) Maybe eigenharp->Pi->iPad is the route then.

written by: EdisonRex

Thu, 17 May 2012 00:49:51 +0100 BST

I picked up a camera connection kit for my iPad (who actually uses those for cameras anyway?) and hooked up my old Edirol UM-1X to it (works fine apparently). Then I fed it midi from the Alpha.

Turns out a lot of my music apps just plain work. I got Animoog and it works really well, no latency I can feel at all. And Camel Audio has Alchemy player for free on iPad now too.

So that's a nice lightweight addition to my lightweight traveling rig.

Has anybody else tried this?


written by: carvingCode

Thu, 17 May 2012 02:41:22 +0100 BST

I have tried this, although I did presume that MIDI out from Eigenharpnshould work.. Happy for conformation.

written by: Larryheil

Thu, 17 May 2012 12:18:37 +0100 BST

Good. I just got my iPad3 a week ago and I want to use my Alpha to control apps . How do you get usb midi from the Alpha to the "camera connector" on the iPad ? right now I am using a Mac Book Pro with a Saffire Pro 24 audio i/o connected to the Mac Book by firewire. This i/o also has a midi din 5 output which I used to send midi to my Yamaha TX81z. however I do not think that the midi din can go into the camera connector. Maybe if I drove over the din and made it flat it would fit ? (i do have an iConnect midi unit ordered , but i would like to know my other options)
Larry (trying to be the oldest and dumbest Eigenharp owner, pls vote for me :-) )

written by: EdisonRex

Thu, 17 May 2012 19:21:41 +0100 BST

The Camera Connection Kit has two dongles, one is an SD reader, and the other a USB interface. I plug a USB midi interface (in my case Edirol UM-1SX) into the USB port (there is a little switch for "Advanced Driver Mode", that needs to be off). Then midi cables to my MOTU Ultralite.

So what's missing from your equation is a $30 USB to MIDI adaptor, maybe cheaper now.

I'm going to play more with this tonight. I'd also love to hear about how well the iConnect works if someone's got it. The drawback to this setup is the power is on battery and does drain over time on the iPad.


written by: Larryheil

Thu, 17 May 2012 20:33:26 +0100 BST

Thanks. I have a Axiom Pro 49 midi keyboard/controller that I plan to connect to my iPad the same as you did with your Edirol. (my Axiom has a AC power supply so there should be no drain on my iPad usb power)
So the midi out from the Motu goes to a midi in on the Edirol and then into the iPad. Do I have that correct ?
Just got the iConnect an hour ago, I will post here when I get it working, may be a few days. (iConnect has its own power supply)
(it takes me a bit of time to finger out all these new devices and connection setups)

written by: EdisonRex

Fri, 18 May 2012 19:31:26 +0100 BST


Yes, midi out from MOTU to midi in on Edirol. There was no discernable latency in my testing with Animoog, Camel Audio Alchemy or iMS-20 to name couple of apps, there are others that also worked well. Given how much I'm beating up my macbook with Alpha 3 derived setups, offloading some cpu cycles onto other devices seems prudent now for me, and keeping with the "light and simple" philosophy for the amount of kit I want to travel with.


written by: carvingCode

Fri, 18 May 2012 22:08:48 +0100 BST

I picked up an iRig MIDI today. Was able to play iPad-based Alchemy with my Pico without any extra setup (other than making sure the interface's port - in my case, M-AUDIO Fastrack Pro - was selected in EigenD. Also, played/recorded iPad MIDI and audio into Reaper.

I routed the iPad's audio into the FT Pro. The iRig may have a bit of a buzz in its audio out - don't recall the FT Pro having that.

written by: EdisonRex

Mon, 21 May 2012 00:16:48 +0100 BST

Seems to open up a lot of lightweight, literally, options. Good to know.

written by: sunraa

Thu, 9 Aug 2018 16:05:58 +0100 BST

hello, I just want to make sure I got this right. I own a Pico and an iPad pro. i would like to use ly Pico with the iPad on stage.
From what I understand there is a software named eigenD which runs on the iPad and I would simply need to connect the Pico to the iPad with an interface such as iconnect MIDI4+ to play the instrument...
Did I get this all right?

written by: john

Thu, 9 Aug 2018 17:23:36 +0100 BST

You cannot run the Pico from an iPad. Apple made the process of supporting third party hardware connections to the iPad prohibitively difficult and expensive for small companies and we had to abandon the idea. It also proved near impossible to support EigenD on IOS. There is no prospect of this ever changing as far as I am aware.


written by: ivan

Thu, 9 Aug 2018 20:03:28 +0100 BST

I was looking for such explanation. Thanks John.

Is Eigenharp an MPE controller? Some MPE controllers, like Sensel, can be connected directly to iPad and controlled by MPE capable synth. I imagine Eigenharp is much more expressive instrument. But if we limit it only to MPE capabilities, would there be a theoretical possibility for such direct connectivity? Or due to its proprietary protocol there always has to be a "decoder" (like what EigenD does) on another end? Or maybe it is a deeper HW related problem?


written by: TheTechnobear

Fri, 10 Aug 2018 12:47:36 +0100 BST

the Eigenharp are not usb midi class compliant (which is required for iPad connectivity , e.g. sensel, MPE then sits on top of this midi layer) , they run have their own usb protocol - which allows for higher resolution, lower latency, less jitter....

BUT means eigenharps need an application/driver (like EigenD) which then talks this protocol, and then either hosts a sound generator, or converts to MPE/OSC or whatever is required.

unfortunately, Apple are very protective about drivers, as they can harm reliablity, performance and battery life - so their process make it difficult for manufactures to do this, as John already pointed out.

there is some good news though...
as computing devices are getting smaller and more powerful, there are much smaller devices available that are capable of interfacing with Eigenharps..

Recently Ive been using Eigenharps with Raspberry PIs and also an Organelle. as demonstrated on this video - as you can see , these not only do the 'driver' but are also capable of the sound application too - I actually prefer these devices over an iPad, as theres some really interesting patching environments (Pure Data and Supercollider to name just two)

given the rate of technology progress, im sure it wont be too long before, an Eigenharp to MPE 'dongle' could be created.

written by: ivan

Tue, 14 Aug 2018 08:44:48 +0100 BST

Thanks Technobear :) Maybe eigenharp->Pi->iPad is the route then.

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