MIDI or "Musical Instrument Digital Interface" is a powerful digital communications protocol that ushered in the age of electronic music. Even though it was first released in 1984, it's use is still prevalent in modern computing. Apple has built CoreMIDI into iOS, making the iPad and iPhone great tools for musicians on-stage. In addition, MIDI is now being used to communicate between music apps on the device, as well as external devices.
Setting Up MIDI
- MIDI Adapters are devices that connect to your 30-pin or Lightning port and provide traditional MIDI "DIN-5" connections.
- USB with Camera Connection Kit allows MIDI devices with a USB port to be connected directly to the iOS device.
- MIDI over WiFi can also be used as long as you have a computer or host device to create the MIDI network session.
Triggering Actions from MIDI
Once you have a MIDI device connected, you can map MIDI signals to OnSong actions. This can be used to scroll the chord chart, navigate your set, or trigger backing tracks. Any action that can be performed in OnSong can be mapped to MIDI in the MIDI Triggers screen.
*Note: MIDI devices may send signals differently depending on their intended use. For instance, the iRig Blueboard device becomes a latching pedal with control changes. OnSong has advanced MIDI Settings to handle some of these differences.
Sending and Receiving MIDI
OnSong can also be used to send MIDI commands to other MIDI devices when songs are viewed or when sections are selected. You can configure these commands by tapping and holding the title of the song or a section of your song to use the Section Mapping Menu.
We typically think of MIDI as having to do with wires that connect instruments together. MIDI could also use wireless networking like WiFi or Bluetooth. But MIDI can also operate directly between apps with Virtual MIDI.