There is absolutely no doubt that iOS devices are clever, useful and highly desirable. But at the same time, there are times when the touch screen is just too small or more importantly lacks “feel”. So like laptops before them, controllers have found a place with DJs and musicians to restore proper responsiveness to performance. And Vestax’s VMIDI does just the same thing.
The now thankfully regular official words from Vestax (big up Reishi and Jerome!)
Vestax Announces VMIDI iOS interface
Tokyo, Japan – March 20th 2012 – Vestax Corporation introduces the V-MIDI, a compact, easy to use Core MIDI interface that enables connection between USB MIDI hardware and apps for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. V-MIDI will make its debut at Frankfurt Musik Messe 2012 in Germany, HALL 5.1 / Booth#C90, March 21st – 24th.
V-MIDI is the only Core MIDI interface to enable musicians, producers and DJs to control Core MIDI compatible iOS apps with their USB MIDI hardware of choice and power both devices at the same time. Either that choice being drum pads, keyboards, synths, DJ controllers, or any other USB MIDI hardware, V-MIDI simply picks up the USB MIDI signal and converts it via 30pin connection to iOS devices. With the included power adaptor, V-MIDI charges iOS devices and powers USB MIDI hardware simultaneously, which is ideal for long studio sessions and on-stage performance.
V-MIDI provides stereo output via ¼ inch headphone jack along with amplification and volume control with the large-scale rotary knob for a better monitoring and producing experience. The LED indicators visualize the MIDI data sent from each device.
Only weighing 150g and less than 3 inches wide, V-MIDI will easily fit in a backpack together with iOS devices to be taken to gigs and studios.
Availability: May 2012
And there’s more:
V-MIDI is a compact, easy to use Core MIDI interface for musicians, producers, artists and performers that enables connection between USB MIDI hardware and apps for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.
Simply connect your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch and your iOS device will automatically identify V-MIDI. Next connect any USB MIDI device to V-MIDI and then plug in the power. Run your CoreMIDI compatible app of choice and you’re set! It’s easy as that. You can play music from apps with drum pads, MIDI synths, DJ controllers and more.
When you’re in your “zone” playing music, time flies by. So does the battery of your iOS device. V-MIDI powers your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, making sure you stay in your “zone”. V-MIDI also powers a range of USB MIDI devices which require external power.
VARIETY OF APPS
There are currently more than 100 apps available on the App store compatible with CoreMIDI. Either it being for DAW, synths, drumming or DJing, there’s plenty to choose from.
AMP YOUR APP
Audio output for iOS devices is limited to the headphone mini jack with small volume. This can be a problem if you want to record the output from the app. V-MIDI amplifies the audio from your iOS device and also enables volume control with the large scaled knob for a better monitoring and producing experience.
Core MIDI in/out interface
Connects to any USB MIDI device to control more than 100 CoreMIDI compatible apps available from the App store
The only CoreMIDI interface compatible with iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch®
Charges iOS devices and USB MIDI devices at the same time
USB host IC connector for MIDI USB devices
Stereo headphone output
Headphone amplification & volume control
MIDI send (iOS / Hardware) LED indicators
Mini DIN(6pin) to USB convert cable included
Size: 95(W)x95(D)x38(H) mm
IN THE BOX
Mini DIN(6pin) to USB convert cable
Breaking this down – connect VMIDI to an iOS device, run a coreMIDI app, and connect a USB MIDI (note not DIN) controller, and VMIDI will give you hardware control over the app. And at the same time, because VMIDI is powered, it’ll charge your iOS device and power the controller too, as well as give you a very simple audio interface. Technically, it’s the oh so simple missing link we’ve been craving.
I’m sure other devices do very similar things though, but not with the simplicity and completeness as VMIDI. They tend to either lack audio output, or just work with iPads. The Alesis iO Dock for example is a beautiful lump of gear, but only works with iPads. IK’s iRig MIDI is cheap, but lacks any audio inputs or outputs. VMIDI would appear to be the perfect hub to sit between all iOS devices and USB MIDI controllers, and give you audio output too. And yes, proper split audio would be nice, but we’re still in the hands of Apple on that one.
As is Vestax’s way these days, VMIDI is built like a tank. I had a brief fondle of one at NAMM and it’s a solid lump of metal, which does rather indicate the top end price of $199/€169/£149. It’s available in May, so not too long to wait to finally get the best from your spanking new iPad.