Creating music on the go can be extremely versatile with minimal gear, but invest in some iOS hardware add-ons and a whole world of opportunity opens up. Here’s our top 10…
Novation Launch range
Price From £49
Type USB grid, key or pad
Novation has a whole range of USB controllers and the smaller Mini versions are particularly suited to iOS, although you may need an additional Camera Connection Kit.
We say: “Well-made controllers that add extra levels of creativity for iPad-based creators and performers.”
ROLI Blocks range
ROLI’s Blocks range is a system of touch-sensitive blocks that join together to make many and varied music-making systems – using the iOS NOISE app as their source.
We say: “Can add a level of control you won’t get with any other MIDI controllers and looks very cool indeed.”
Arturia BeatStep range
Great for step sequencing and for controlling synth hardware but also, via a Y connector, a very cool way to sequence your iOS synths.
We say: “BeatStep is a great choice for anyone working with MIDI-triggered instruments, be they in hardware or software form.”
Type iOS/USB microphone
A general-purpose USB and iOS mic with settings for music, podcasting and video chats.
We say: “The Instrument setting sounds detailed, natural and realistic. Voice mode is louder, punchier, brighter and more forward. Both are excellent, and your choice will depend on the application.”
IK Multimedia iRig Pads
Type USB/iOS grid/pad controller
More compact and portable than most and specifically aimed at the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch markets.
We say: “A very flexible device, as well as being highly portable. Makes for a compact, sturdy and tactile addition to your i-based studio.”
Mic with a pair of cardioid condenser capsules that connects to your iPhone (or iPad) via the Lightning connector and can record at 24-bit/96KhZ.
We say: “An excellent bit of kit and a great way to get a relatively inexpensive iOS recording solution.”
Type iOS/USB microphone
Compact condenser, bidirectional and cardioid mic designed specifically for iOS operation.
We say: “Depending on settings, it copes with instruments and vocals with equal aplomb. All in all, this is a serious recording device.”
Apogee Mic 96k
Cardioid condenser capsule microphone designed for optimal signal quality and for both vocals and instrument recording. Requires Camera Connection Kit for iOS.
We say: “A proper mic that plugs into your iOS device, delivering the quality you’d expect from Apogee.”
IK Multimedia iRig Keys IO
Price £200 to £300
Type USB/iOS key controller
The latest keyboard from IK is available in 49- or 25-key versions with full-size keys and a velocity-sensitive keyboard.
They say: “iRig Keys I/O works out of the box with all iOS devices with a Lightning port, so you can create from the word go.”
ROLI Seaboard Block
Combining ROLI’s Seaboard keyboard with its Block wireless and mobile ethos, Seaboard Block brings expressive playing via the NOISE app.
We say: “Seaboard Block is a great and affordable way into extra dimensions of playing and sonic manipulation.”