Longstanding iOS musicians will be familiar with the iConnectivity brand. The company have developed a number of hardware products that do quite an interesting thing. While all of these devices fall into either the ‘MIDI interface’ or ‘audio+MIDI interface’ ballpark, they have further connectivity options that make them appealing to the iOS music maker; they attempt to provide a hub function that allows you to connect multiple computing devices to the iConnect hardware and pass data between them.
What this means is that you can – via the iConnect device (and depending upon the exact spec of each model) – pass either/both audio or MIDI data between (for example) your iPad and your desktop computer. In essence, you get a means of integrating the two systems.
When iConnectivity first started offering these devices, it was a solution to a problem that was… well, problematic… and while there were some teething issues in terms of delivery of the hardware and some users (myself included) experienced some technical issues in using the units, the potential was (is) pretty obvious.
Anyway, with NAMM 2016 in full swing, iConnectivity have just announced the latest product they are going to add to this line; the iConnectAUDIO2+. In essence, this device offers a 2-in/6-out audio interface with phantom power plus MIDI in/out. It allows you to connect one computer (desktop/laptop) and one iOS device simultaneously and, via some clever software, allows you to configure how audio/MIDI data is passed between the two platforms. It’s not clear quite when the new unit will be released but, with a likely street price tag of US$199, for both audio/MIDI connectivity, it could be an attractive proposition for the musician who uses both desktop and iOS platforms and wants a compact single interface to link it all together.
Of course, since the iConnectivity range was launched, we now also have technologies such as Studiomux, MusicIO and Audreio. While they don’t perhaps have all the potential convenience offered by the iConnectAUDIO+2, for passing audio and MIDI data between your desktop and iOS hardware, these software-only solution do come with a considerably lower price tag. You pay your money and you take your choice….