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iOS Update: All Things iOS

Welcome to the first installment of the “iOS Update”! In this regular column, we’re going to talk about all things iOS, including the iPad 1 and 2, the iPhone, and the iPod touch, along with all the accessories and apps that make iOS devices so useful (and fun!).

I have to admit, as much of a gear geek as I am (see my editorial on the front page for more on this topic), I put off getting an iPad and an iPhone for a while. Even though I’m a Mac user and have had several different iPods, including a new iPod touch, I didn’t see where I needed an iPad. I especially couldn’t see where I would use an iPad, given that I have a fully loaded studio computer and a laptop that hold my entire life. But the bug bit me hard last year, and I became the proud owner of both an iPhone and an iPad 2.

Good grief, what was I waiting for? Both have become indispensable to me. The iPad, in particular, has changed my life. I use it constantly for e-mailing, browsing, taking notes, practicing guitar, and much more. Geeks of the world, rejoice! This thing rocks! And I’ve found that my laptop gets every bit as much use as before. Having an iPad and a MacBook is the best of both worlds. Factor in the iPhone for photos, movies, notes, on-the-go e-mail and browsing, and more, and you’ve got a completely integrated suite of devices that will rock your world.

Now, with all that fan-boy exultation out of the way, let’s talk about why I’m now a complete iOS convert. (And I’m not alone; I can’t believe how many iPhones and iPads I see out there.) The iOS format itself is simply an operating system that runs on portable devices. What makes iOS devices so powerful, though, are the apps — small, inexpensive (or free) software applications that provide endless functionality and capability for your iOS device. Whatever you want, from foreign-language lessons to diet and exercise tracking, music practice tools to virtual Real Books, drum machines to synths, remote control over your DAW to remote control over your mixer, and much more, there is an app for it! There are thousands and thousands of apps available, with more being released every day.

Then there are the hardware accessories. Check out the list below, but suffice it to say, your iOS device is not limited. By combining the right accessories — from audio interfaces to stand mounts, microphones to guitar boxes — you can turn your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch into whatever you want it to be. Your iPad can even become a full-on live sound mixer or a multi-effects pedalboard!

In future installments of this column, we’re going to be taking a much closer look at the full range of apps and accessories for iOS devices, so stay tuned! And speaking of the future, I have to tell you about one of the coolest new apps I saw at the recent Winter NAMM 2012 trade show: Auria from WaveMachine Labs. Auria is a full-blown 48-track DAW that runs right in your iPad, complete with mixing, audio editing, and even a new version of VST that supports plug-ins. Crazy! Using an Apple Camera Kit (highly recommended for interfacing your iOS device with USB), you can connect an audio interface and get up to 24 simultaneous inputs. As I said, crazy!

The iOS world is exploding, and Sweetwater is staying on top of all the latest developments. Tune in next issue for much more!


A dock provides a mount, input/output connections, and extended features. Many also power/recharge your iOS device.


  • iO Dock
  • DM Dock
  • AmpDock
  • JamDock


  • iPad 2 Dock

Cambridge Audio

  • ID100

Mount your iPad or iPhone/iPod to a mic stand or position it on your desk for easy use.

IK Multimedia

  • iKlip
  • iKlip Mini
  • iKlip Studio
  • StudioKlip


  • iPad StandHolder


  • ShowPad
  • TelePad
  • TelePad 4

Route MIDI signals and messages in and out of your iOS device.


  • iConnectMIDI

IK Multimedia

  • iRig MIDI

Line 6

  • MIDI Mobilizer II


  • i-MX1

Used live or in the studio, these iOS accessories provide hands-on control for DJs.

IK Multimedia

  • iRig Mix


  • iDJ Live

Record audio directly into your iOS device. Many of these microphones feature built-in, latency-free monitoring.

Blue Microphones

  • Mikey 2
  • Mikey Digital
  • Spark Digital


  • AR-4i

IK Multimedia

  • iRig Pre
  • iRig Mic
  • iRig Mic Cast


  • iM2


  • iXZ — Turn your iOS device into a DAW.


  • HP-P1 — Get a 32-bit D/A converter.

Send your guitar output directly into your iOS device for processing in amp/effects apps. You can also turn your iOS device into a stompbox, record your guitar, and more!

Apogee Digital

  • JAM


  • iPB-10
  • iStomp

IK Multimedia

  • Amplitube iRig
  • iRig Stomp

Line 6

  • Mobile In


  • AmpKit LINK


  • iRiffPort


  • iJam

Sonoma Wire Works

  • GuitarJack Model 2

Turn your iOS device into a synthesizer with built-in hardware keys and controls!

Akai Professional

  • SynthStation 25
  • SynthStation 49


  • DL1608 — This full-on live sound mixer uses the iPad as its user interface and remote control.


  • iPad Camera Kit — An iOS essential, the Camera Kit allows you to connect many USB devices, such as microphones and audio interfaces, to your iOS device.

Sound Devices

  • CL-WIFI — It’s a remote control for your 744T recorder.
Mitch Gallagher

About Mitch Gallagher

Sweetwater Editorial Director, Mitch Gallagher, is one of the leading music/pro audio/audio recording authorities in the world. The former senior technical editor of Keyboard magazine and former editor-in-chief of EQ magazine, Gallagher has published thousands of articles, is the author of seven books and one instructional DVD, and appears in well over 500 videos on YouTube. He teaches audio recording and music business at Purdue University/Indiana University, and has appeared at festivals, conventions, and conferences around the world.
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