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iConnectivity iConnectMIDI4+ - 30-pin Edition Reviews

3.0 stars based on 5 customer reviews
  • Greg Surla
    from Gibsonton, FL May 21, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Great Device

    I had decided to replace a 5 port midi interface that I was having computer connectivity issues with something that would allow me to incorporate my iPad Air into my setup. The iPad Air was previously only used as a song writing scratch pad but I wanted to save some money by using it to control some of my synths, both hardware and software, via a sequencer app instead of buying a separate hardware sequencer. I figured I could work on the sequences while I'm away from my synths. Anyway, installation of the MIDI4+ was pretty easy except for one hiccup that I'll get to in a second. When testing with a Moog Sub Phatty and the Sugar Bytes Thesys app on my iPad, I did not have to plug the interface into my computer. This was very nice because sometimes I just like to get on my synths and play around without having to get the DAW ready. The Thesys app immediately started sending its sequences to the Sub Phatty with no configuration changes on either the synth, the iPad, or the MIDI4+. Now on to that hiccup - when I first connected the MIDI4+ to a Windows 7 laptop, I was able to configure it countless times but something happened along the way and the device started giving me a driver error. After reinstalling the Windows configuration a few times, Windows would not see the device properly. I sent iConnectivity an email at around 2 pm and by 4 pm I had a response from support with a list of things to try. One of them was to use the iPad configuration app so that I can reset my MIDI4+. After resetting, I placed the MIDI4+ on to my Windows 8 studio PC and I was on my way. For those of you curious about Audio passThru,I have no intention of using it in my setup due to the requirement that the ASIO4ALL drivers are required on Windows instead of the Presonus 1818VSL drivers for my audio card. Instead, I just plugged the iPad headphone jack into one of my audio interface inputs.

    I also have to mention that the manual isn't the best. If you aren't familiar with MIDI configuration, you might run into some issues that will require a support call or email. Additionally, you do not receive the manual with the box nor do you receive the drivers. You're supposed to grab those from the web site. You should be aware that the downloaded manual is labeled as a draft document. Also keep in mind that the iPad configuration app appears to be more intuitive that the Windows program. I intend to use the iPad to configure everything. Another issue that you need to be aware of is that the cable used to connect the iPad to the MIDI4+ is the old 30 pin type, not the Lightning connector found on new iPads, iPhones, and iPods. You will need to purchase a 30 pin to Lightning converter if you have that connector on your device. Functionality-wise, it's almost the perfect MIDI interface but the issues stated above, while minor, caused me to remove a half star.
    In all, I'm very happy with this device. It has consolidated my home studio and gives me an opportunity to improve my workflow.

  • Creation Studios
    from June 5, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Cables not included.

    Great device. But like any studio gear, you have to buy the cables separately. Nothing thunderbolt comes with a cable. Nothing firewire comes with a cable. This isn't new.

  • JDH
    from WAKE FOREST, NC May 12, 2014

    Great solution for using Fishman Triple Play to trigger MIDI tone modules without PC

    A Fishman Triple Play receiver can be connected to the USB host on the back of iConnectMIDI4+ and used to trigger external MIDI gear all without having to have a PC attached. This routing feature worked flawlessly right out the box without having to configure anything! It really opens up the possibility a lot for using Triple Play with external synths. I tried it out first with an older Yamaha PSR series keyboard which worked so well I decided to upgrade to a dedicated rack mounted tone generator. I could say in this area the product deserves a 5 star rating.

    iConnectMIDI4+ also allows you to connect an iPad and route the digital audio to either another iPad, or to a PC or Mac. So for instance you would have access to any synth (Animoog, Sample Tank, etc) on the iPad, trigger through the MIDI routing, live monitor and record it into your DAW.

    I have Core i7 desktop with 16GB RAM running Windows 8.1 that is more than fit for the task of digital audio production. I can record multi-channel audio and run softsynths with no glitches or issues, and do really low latency live monitoring through the DAW, etc. And yet the iConnectMIDI+ really has trouble playing nicely in that environment once I added it. I was very wary of having to install ASIO4ALL in order to multiplex the audio portion of IConnectMIDI with my Saffire Pro. Basically switching from the ASIO drivers on the Saffire Pro to multiplexing WDM drivers from a USB and firewire device should scare anyone who's been doing this for a while.

    I can get it to work and the results are very promising but it simply is not consistent enough. I think I've worked through most of the issues related to pops and crackles (which have never been an issue at all on the Saffire Pro firewire interface I'm using). Multiple reboots and endless tweaking experiments required... For the iConnectMIDI I'm using a good quality USB cable, no hub, and disconnected all other USB devices. I spent a lot of time tweaking - disabling system services, background update utilities, etc. Made sure both devices are using the same clock rate, etc.

    So now I'm down to about roughly every five minutes or so I can get a noticeable (1-2 second complete dropout of audio) from the iPad (3rd generation), while the audio channels on the Saffire Pro are still flawlessly working, and I'm monitoring those through the DAW as well. I'm really hoping that a firmware or driver update could resolve that in the future. That said the sound quality coming from the iPad is really great and it's very nice to be able to use as a a dedicated tone generator. It has the potential to be a 5 star product but not without some improvements on the PC at least.

  • Les
    from Asheville, NC May 20, 2014Music Background:
    Gear Junkie

    Disappointing

    I havent hooked the thing up yet... why? Because you need proprietary cables to hook up iOS devices. Yes, it comes with one proprietary cable with a 30pin connection, you know, the connection that was replaced by Lightning a couple of years ago. So, to use my iPad 4 I have to go buy a $40 adapter. And if I want to hook up more iOS devices, I'll need to buy a $40 proprietary cable and perhaps another $40 Lightning adapter because they dont make the proprietary cable with a Lightning connection. Only the 30 pin variety is available.

    After waiting a disappointing year and a half for this product to finally be available, I felt confident that iConnectivity were just taking their time to get it right. I was wrong. Forcing customers to buy more cables and adapters to make the device work as advertised is a serious kick in the teeth.

  • William Coakley
    from Florida September 13, 2014Music Background:
    Sound designer, Pro Musician, Engineer, Producer

    Good box - very lousy software

    PROS: only multi USB midi interface, has four separate midi ins and outs,

    CONS: unintuitive, muddled, confusing, non GUI software takes 25 seconds to load each time you want to look at something or change it and will take time to figure out how to do simple things. No lights to indicate midi in or midi out data passing through makes trouble shooting and setup more difficult.

    I saw the iconnectivityMIDI4+ at the NAMM show, and immediately considered the usefulness of having 3 USB ports. The hardware looks good and I already knew it didn't have midi in and out indicators which help in setup and troubleshooting. So everything was wonderful until I went to change the default configuration.

    Perhaps I'm spoiled by MOTU software which is graphic, intuitive, and so easy to use... manual not necessary. So when I encountered the 25 second wait just for the iconnect software to boot and recognize the interface (and that's each time you want to look at or change anything) and I saw the confuising rat maze just to re-route some midi channels... I was severely disappointed. Even changing the default configuration on the iconnect (default = every note you play goes out all four midi outs) means be prepared for simple things to take much time. Tech support was good and they understood the confusion but until the software gurus get busy, you're still dealing with primitive interaction with the unit. Unfortunately, by the time I finished other projects and got to try this unit out... it was too late to return it.

    BOTTOM LINE: If you have to have multiple USB connectivity, at the moment, this seems to be the only game in town. But you will have to deal with the primitive software interaction. If you're not dead set on multiple USB ports, then I would recommend something else until iconnect comes up with software that isn't so time consuming and outright annoying to use.

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