updated 10:25 pm EDT, Fri October 14, 2011
Connects to any MIDI compatible device
The makers of the iOS guitar interface adapter iRig are now releasing the iRig MIDI, a compact standard Apple Core MIDI interface connects keyboards or other MIDI-compatible instruments such as drum machines, drum pads and pedal boards to iOS devices. The company also announced SampleTank Free which is included with the iRig MIDI, as well as the full version of SampleTank for iOS -- an app that offers up to 400 instrument sounds, four voices and 900 rhythms to MIDI-compatible equipment.
The iRig MIDI can also work in conjunction with other iOS apps to control multiple MIDI devices and other external equipment such as digital audio workstations and lighting systems directly from an iOS mobile device. The hardware features three MIDI ports (in, out and thru) and two LEDs to display MIDI activity, and also has a micro USB port in case additional power is needed (the unit normally draws power from the mobile device). The company says iRig MIDI is compatible with over 100 other apps.
SampleTank for iOS can handle a full gigabyte of premium sounds and rhythms, recorded by top engineers and covering a wide variety of genres and styles. The interface features three simple "pages": Sounds for locating the sound a user wants, Edit where they can shape it, and Play. Users can use a double piano keyboard, scale keyboard or drum pads to trigger the sounds, and there are built-in effects parameters and master reverb.
Both the free and full versions of SampleTank come with a smaller library of sounds, which users can add to through in-app purchase of expansion sound packs or bundles. The free version (included with iRig MIDI) comes with eight sounds and a selection of patterns, while the full version comes with 72 sounds and hundreds of patterns, and users who also own the iRig MIDI can get another 48 sounds when they register. Expansion packs cost $5 each.
The iRig MIDI comes with two standard MIDI 5-pin DIN cables as well as two apps: SampleTank Free and iRig MIDI Recorder Free. The unit sells for $70 and is available now. SampleTank (full) costs $10, with a native iPad version "coming soon" according to the company. SampleTank is compatible with all iOS devices capable of running iOS 4.3 or newer.