Advice re: iPad as module w/Digitakt

I’m looking for a synth companion to my DT.
I’m not really an Apple fan, but it’s kind of hard to look past the possibilities that an iPad would offer. I’m not part of that ecosystem but I know there are a growing number of quality sound engines available.
The thought is that I could get a 2nd hand iPad and a Korg plugKey or similar for less money than the synths I’d want to buy (like a Digitone).

But would the MIDI compatibility and latency be comparable to using a dedicated synth? Are there any other problems I might be overlooking?

I’ve used my iPad Pro with my Digitakt a lot and never had any problems with latency etc. I sequence the iPad synths with the digitakt midi sequencer and then run the outputs of the iPad back into my Digitakt. Makes for a really simple, easy and portable setup.

I’m not an Apple believer either, but I’d be hard pressed to come up with a better and more usable device than my iPad. I do my drawing, music making, netflix watching, a little bit of gaming and all my magazine reading on the device nowadays. I have absolutely no need for a smartphone anymore.


But then again I truly hate talking on the phone. My phone is nothing more than a glorified flashlight/camera/calculator nowadays.

I do this and it works really well. The quality and variety of synth and other musical apps available is absolutely incredible, even if you aren’t an Apple fan you won’t regret it. Trying to make full tracks on the iPad itself is still a bit painful but as a sound module its perfectly suited - checkout this thread iPad Music Apps? which points to many of the best apps.

I personally use the Apple Lightning to USB adapter (the one which also has a Lightning port, so you can charge the iPad at the same time) to connect my Focusrite 18i8 interface and it works perfectly for audio and MIDI. You can also use the Digitakt to drive the iPad via USB MIDI. I’ve got the iPad Pro 10.5" and its probably as powerful as most Macbooks, latency is not an issue at all.

My only advice would be to buy a fairly recent model as the power of iPads is increasing all the time, although you can get pretty far even with an older model. Also I’d ensure you have a reasonable amount of storage space (64GB minimum I think) as its easy to fill it up with apps and there is no way to increase the space after the fact!


If you dont mind being spied on by Apple and anyone who enjoys hacking people’s Apple ID’s / iCloud accounts, the iPad is a nice gadget

The more I learn about Apple ID, the more paranoid I get. I don’t trust Cupertino no more is all.



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When it comes to spying google and facebook are way worse.

Recently I read a novel which stated that Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet album cover is not their original idea and Richard and Linda Thompson had used the same idea earlier. I put the book down, googled Richard and Linda Thompson on my iPad to see the album cover. A couple of days later my Android phone had a notification: “Richard Thompson’s new album comes out today!” I’ve never listened to Richard Thompson. This happens a lot.

Makes me want to move into a shack in the woods and become a hermit.


OT: IG is definitely listening. Sponsors pop up on my feed about things I watched / talked about. Turning off the microphone helped. I don’t put anything in a free cloud. Absolutely not. Always use incognito for browsing. I know it’s a pittance but it helps.

O(n)T: The iPad is great for sample fodder. I have a mini 4 which I guess is (already) long in the tooth so can’t have much going at the same time. But to go wild, save, ex/import it’s good fun. Works wonderfully as an FX processer with interface (Zoom U24).

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The iPad and all the apps are great but it might be worth checking out the android stuff before hand.
Likes of g-stomper, fruity loops and I see oscilab now available too!

Could very well catch up on iOS yet dunno

Can’t really see Android ever catching up music app wise. Apple has such a long headstart with hundreds or thousands of truly great apps from among others Korg, Moog, Arturia, Native Instruments etc.

A couple of music apps popping up does not mean that Android is a viable choice. My Android-phone is fine when it comes to acting as a phone, but basically all the apps are somewhat inferior to their iOS counterparts. I’d never even dream of using Android apps professionally for music making.


Do you know if the new fruity loops is the same feature wise? I was thinking about getting a second hand nexus to experiment with that and also g-stomper

Anyone else chime in with experiance?

Not sure what can be added here. I have a 3 (?) year old Air2 and since apps are stupid cheap compared to hardware, I’ve got a few apps for either sound mangling or extra voices to be controlled by DT via midi. I don’t use that option all the time (really not at all since getting an OT), but when I do it’s pretty fun and gives extra options for not a lot of dough. Personally, not a fan of running the iPad along side for live stuff. Once I get something I like, I sample the results and disconnect from the iPad. It’s not that it can’t be great running all the time, but for whatever silly reason, I get more enjoyment working with my hardware stuff

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Lots of topics regarding using the iPad with the digitakt


Very unlikely in the short-to-medium term for sure. The audio part of the Android OS is miles, miles behind iOS - iOS benefits from being built on top of the MacOS foundation, which has been used for pro audio for decades, so even the first iPhone had reliable, low latency audio. Google are starting to address the situation on Android but it’s still a long way away from iOS and I’m not sure it will ever catch up in terms of interesting niche synth/effect apps.


I have an iPad air 2 that I use with an audio/midi interface. It works great. Bang for buck I wouldn’t get anything newer. I can run 3 synth apps at once with maybe a few effects. Moog model 15 is the only one that I have to run on it’s own. But that’s not an issue for me. I tend to mostly just sample from the iPad anyway.
If you go that way get the AUFx and AUM apps, really ties it all together.

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Given time , aum and the apps / fx / modulation couldveasily become your main piece of equipment with digitakt supporting it , iOS audio is very very capable of anything you want.

Just look deeply into options if you want stereo out , 4 , 5 , 8 outs , multiple midi , Bluetooth , usb hosting , direct audio streaming to Mac , … it’s all possible but at some point the touch screen only can get annoying , and if pushed too far aum will fall over. Aum interface can lead to a lot of scrolling left / right.

But start simply , a few synths , fx units , all routed within aum , mixed / eq , side chaining etc , unfortunately if u go though digitakt it’ll get ruined into a mono signal . Get a mixer.

Thanks for your input.
I’m still on the fence. my instinct is that I don’t like using Apple (had an iPhone for a while) and don’t like using touchscreens for music. On the other hand, my rational brain says “look how much you can do, for less than the price of a synth!” I dunno man, guess I’ll hold off for a bit. I can imagine being happy with it if I can avoid too many dongles, and have everything running via pattern change so I don’t have to deal with it when I’m playing live.

Bought an iPad for same reason, bought loads of cool (and expensive) apps, never use it for music, hate the workflow on it. Stick to hardware synths IMO.

The iPad is a totally different tool than the iPhone especially where music apps are concerned. iOS in my opinion is better suited as a tablet operating system than a phone. It’s also easy to set things up with midi so you have less interaction with the actual screen.

It’s basically a piece of hardware that supports soft synth usage if you choose to treat it that way.

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