iMIDIPatchbay lets you organize your whole MIDI setup from one central point. Do you often divide your keyboards into zones to assign different sounds which might come from external sound expanders? Do you need to send Program Changes to your MIDI equipment? Well, then iMIDIPatchbay is definitely the right tool for you!
List of features
- Create split and layer configurations very easily
- Support for up to 4 master keyboards
- Send volume and other control changes to your sound devices
- Send Program Changes to your sound devices
- Transpose sounds in octave steps
- Transpose the hole rig in half-tone steps
- Filter controller data (sustain, pitch bend etc.)
- Store configurations as songs for later recall
- Switch songs of iMIDIPatchbay from another app or MIDI device via Program Changes
- Switch songs while holding down keys or holding e.g. the sustain pedal without getting stuck notes
- Play all your sounds even if you don't have all your master keyboards with you: "master switches" allow you to make another master act as a substitute for it (advanced feature!)
- Create setlists to arrange songs for your performances
- Backup settings to Dropbox
- UI which is optimized for live usage
What people say...
- "This thing rocks!! - Almost too simple to use and program. Ties my entire rig together perfectly. Plays well with other(s) apps!! Wonderful support as well. Just great and affordable !!!!!!!!!"
- "iMIDIPatchbay is a very versitaile tool for any keyboarder considering to integrate an iPad in his live keyboard setup. With the decent performance of the latest iPads and a multitude of excellent softsynths availbe, this has become a very attractive option.The program has an excellent look and feel, you can see that a lot of thought has been put in the usability on stage.The price looks a bit steep for the iPad platform, so I was a bit reluctant at first, but in the end this was money well spent, worth every $ / €."
- "If you have a keyboard without extensive Midi functionality but you want to control additional hardware by Midi THIS is the app to setup almost any kind of Midi routing you want"
- "With iMIDIPatchbay I manage midi hardware connections (I use on my Ipad iMX-1 interface) to create split and layer configurations, send program changes to my sound devices, send control changes to my NordWave, NordElectro and Akai Miniak."
- "For keyboard splitting, your app is definitely my first choice. [...] I do like the easy access of your app"
- "Simple to get around and setup, easy to navigate, intuitive UI, it does what it does really well! But more importantly, it's Nord friendly! ^^"
- "Killer App"
- "This is all I need to build my sounds in the same way as I do on my Nord Stage keyboard, but with a wider choice of synths. Today's iPad with A6X CPU already allows a few nice synths to run simultaneously, I decided to break my wallet and give this modern music rig a try and end up with something I could not imagine for that price. Great App. Thx."
- "Endlich ein MIDI-Tool welches bühnentauglich ist und in allen denkbaren Kombinationen zuverlässig funktioniert. Einmal eingesetzt ist es nicht mehr wegzudenken. Damit lassen sich momentan mit 4 Masterkeyboards 4 externe Zonen inklusive Program-Changes, Layers, Splits, Volume-Einstellung und vieles mehr steuern. Die App "lebt" mit ständigen Erneuerungen, Ausbau und Verbesserung seitens Entwickler. Kompliment! Für mich das beste MIDI-Werkzeug für Bühne und Studio. Ein "must-have" für Keyboarder die das Maximum an Soundkombinationen ihres Equipments herausholen wollen und dies sogar auch auf der Bühne jederzeit abrufbar!"
What exactly can I do with iMIDIPatchbay?
As a keyboard player, you most probably know about splitting and layering sounds. While this can be done relatively easy on professional keyboards, it becomes more complex if your gear consists of multiple keyboards and sound expanders.
Let's say you want to play the internal piano sound in combination with a string sound of an external sound expander, but the latter should only be triggered by keys higher than middle C. For that, you need to a) select the piano sound on the keyboard, b) select the string sound on the sound expander, and c) make the expander only respond to notes higher than middle C. Although this is a small example, it still can be tricky if your sound expander has a small display and tiny buttons. And when performing on stage, you definitely have to switch both devices to the right program before starting to play. Everything becomes more and more complex if you intend to use more sounds and if you want controllers like pitch bend or sustain to affect only a subset of the active sounds.
iMIDIPatchbay makes building such configurations a lot easier than it has ever been before.
MASTER and EXTERN sections
iMIDIPatchbay is divided into sections. There are four “EXTERN” sections which are used to send MIDI data to four sound sources. These can be on separate devices or in one multitimbral device, the only important thing is that each sound is listening on an individual MIDI channel or MIDI device.
The four “MASTER” sections are used to send MIDI data back to the master keyboard. Using these sections usually only makes sense if the corresponding master keyboard is also a sound source, i.e. a normal keyboard with internal sounds. Above each “MASTER” section, you can find its split point configuration which is described below.
Defining keyboard zones on each master keyboard
The main purpose of iMIDIPatchbay is creating split and layer configurations for your sounds. For that, each of your master keyboards can be divided in to up to three keyboard zones called “LO”, “UP” and “HI” which are divided by two split points (”LO Split Note” and “HI Split Note”). You define the number of zones by pressing the buttons “2” or “3”, and define the split points by holding “Set LO Split Note” or “Set HI Split Note” and then playing the desired note on the keyboard. Read further to learn how to use that zones for individual sounds.
Assigning sounds to keyboard zones
By default, each section is off. You turn it on by tapping the ON button. When the section is on, all notes which are played on master keyboard number 1 (red) are routed to the corresponding sound source. By holding the same button, you select the keyboard zones which are active for this section: You can either hold and wait while the app cycles through the zone selections, or hold and play a note within the zone(s) you want to be activated. It is also possible to select no zone.
If you want to use the section with a master keyboard other than number 1, you just have to play a note on that keyboard while holding the ON button. You will see that the colors of the active zones change accordingly (master 2: green, master 3: blue, master 4: yellow)
Filtering out controllers
By default, all control changes which are coming from the assigned master keyboard are routed to the sound source. However, you can easily filter out some of them by pressing the ON button and touching the desired controller, e.g. the pitch bend or the sustain pedal. You can reactivate it with another touch.
It is also possible to use the controllers of different master keyboards. In the screenshot above, the section is assigned pitch bend and modulation (and notes) of master 1 (red) and sustain and expression of master 2 (green). As another example, you don't have to carry one sustain pedal for each of your keyboards anymore - just use one for all keyboards.
The supported controllers are sustain (CC64), after-touch, modulation wheel (CC1), pitch bend and expression pedal (CC11). All other controllers can be filtered out in the settings.
Sending controller values
Each “EXTERN” section has two parameter knobs and a parameter select button (“>”). With those you can control volume, pan, reverb and chorus of the sound source. Tip: Use two fingers to adjust the value more precisely.
By holding “>”, you can activate “Send on Load” which will make iMIDIPatchbay send the value of the selected parameter always when the current song is recalled.
With the octave shift buttons, you can transpose the sound in 12-half-tones steps.
iMIDIPatchbay allows you to control your sounds with up to four master keyboards, hence, you are able to play piano sounds with your weighted keys and synth sounds with your unweighted keyboard. But what if you have to leave one of them at home, e.g. for a small gig with limited space in the car or on the stage?
With the "Master Switches" feature, you can easily exclude a master keyboard from your gear and trigger the assigned sounds with another master. All you have to do is going to "Setup" and setting "Device" and "Channel" of the master to those of another master keyboard. On the main screen, you will find buttons which let you quickly decide as which master the master keyboard should act now. You can even layer masters by tapping two or more buttons simultaneously. The great thing is: you don't have to change anything in your distinct songs. And as soon as you have all your masters keyboards with you again, you just need to set them back to individual input settings and everything works as before.
In the example in the left image, the masters 1, 2 and 3 are all assigned to the same device and channel. Currently, the master keyboard plays the sounds which have been assigned to master 2 or 3.
If you never use four masters anyway, you can utilize "Master Switches" for quickly switching between sounds within a song. Assign one sound to master 1 and another sound to master 2 and make sure that both masters have identical "Device" and "Channel" settings. Now, you can switch between those sounds by toggling between the masters.
Storing your configuration
After building your configuration, you can store it by pressing the “SAVE SONG” button. If you press “COPY SONG” instead, this will store the configuration under a new name. You can change the name of a song by tapping on the name in the display which will make the keyboard show up. After changing the name, don't forget to store.
Besides naming and saving songs, you can create setlists and arrange your songs in them. Just press “Setlists” which will first show the screen to create and open setlists. After opening a a setlist, you can quickly step from song to song. If you press “Edit”, you can add, rename, delete and rearrange songs, and rename the setlist.
When sending Program Changes to iMIDIPatchbay, it will switch to the corrensponding position in the currently selected setlist. If no setlist is selected, the songs will be recalled in alphabetical order.
What do I need to get started?
There is one thing you need besides your current gear (and besides an iPad if you don’t already have one): a CoreMIDI interface. There are some on the market, e.g. iRig MIDI or iConnectMIDI. The latter offers many ports so it really is predestined to be used with iMIDIPatchbay. However, by using the THRU ports of your keyboards/sound expanders or external MIDI splitters/mergers you may also be fine with a smaller interface - it depends on your application.
If you have a proper interface, connect your keyboards and sound expanders to the iOS device. Then, press the “Setup” button and configure the “Device” and “Channel” fields so that iMIDIPatchbay receives the data of you master keyboards. The “MIDI IN” LED in the main screen should flash now if you play on one of your keyboards.
In the main screen, press the button with the MIDI Icon to get to the section's settings. For each section, you need to specify “Device” and “Channel” where the corresponding sound source is listening.
There are other options on that screen which allow you to switch the MIDI device to a specific program (given by MSB, LSB and program number) or to filter out control changes.
What makes iMIDIPatchbay so special?
iMIDIPatchbay aims to be used on stage. As I'm a live keyboardist myself and make frequent usage of the app, a great user experience and ease of use is taken care of. While some other apps also offer routing for MIDI data on iOS, none of them addresses the needs of live musicians. For example, iMIDIPatchbay allows to switch songs while still holding down keys without interrupting the sound. Furthermore, the user interface’s artwork fits nicely to real hardware devices.
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