Did you know that you can record directly to your iPad using a USB audio interface or USB microphone?

By using the Apple USB Camera Adapter you can plug in any ‘class compliant’ USB audio device and record directly to your iPad using your favourite audio app. (It’s worth noting that you can get the Camera kit slightly cheaper at Amazon! )

But the fun doesn’t stop there.  If your interface has MIDI connections you can also use these to control apps that accept MIDI control like GarageBand or MIDI Touch to control play your instrument.

Here is a short video that shows the camara adapter and a USB microphone in action.

The stipulations to getting this working are that the interface has to be class-compliant (will work without its own drivers under Mac OS X).  It should also require less than 20ma of power, if the device draws more power than this you’ll need an external supply to provide power to the interface or microphone.

Here is an Ableton forum with a list of some class compliant devices that have been found to work.

I also found a page on the website for the MIDI Touch software showing some devices known to work with MIDI.

Related articles:

Behringer USB audio products compatible with iPad

Lexicon class compliant USB audio compatible with iPad

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8 Responses to Record directly to your iPad with a USB microphone or audio interface

  1. Emmanuel says:

    Hi ! thanks for information and video !
    do you know if usb audio interface Tascam us-122 MKII is ‘class-compliant’ or not ? how to get this information anyway ? I have one and intend to buy an Ipad 2…
    many thanks for your answer !
    Greetings from Paris, France

  2. Paul says:

    Hi Emmanuel

    Thank you for the comment.

    I did a little research that seems to suggest that the US-122 MKII is not class-compliant. If your desktop computer is a Mac you could try experimenting by uni-installing the US-122 drivers and plugging in the device to see if OS X can recognise and run the device without the manufacturers drivers. If it does, this may mean there’s a chance it will work on your iPad.

    You do have another problem though. I notice that the US-122 MKII does not have a power input. The current version of iOS only allows a maximum current draw of 20ma. This is almost certainly not enough power for the interface. Therefore, the device would need to be plugged in via a powered USB hub, so that the US-122 could draw the power it requires from there.

    Let me know how you get on with with the US-122 and the iPad 2. I’d love to know if you do get it working.

    What is your opinion of the Tascam US-122 MKII?

    I really love your photography site by the way. There are some amazing images and the dramatic soundtrack really complements. Is the soundtrack your own creation?

    All the best

    Paul

  3. Emmanuel says:

    Hi Paul !

    Huge thanks for your answer !
    You’re right, the us-122 mkII is unfortunately not class-compliant and therefore uncompatible with iOS. Just like ALL Tascam usb audio interface are. I finally got this here :
    http://tascam.com/product/portastudio/faqs/
    This is quite a pity actually, as the us-122 MKII works just fine ! This is perfect for ‘ambiance recording’ like recording a live choral for instance with its two XLR audio in for microphones, even if they are only one audio channel indeed. Just fine for a pair of microphones to get a nice stereo sound recording. I take advantage of it too using the interface with its MIDI in entry, playing my MIDI keyboard. In a word, I’m really pleased with this product so far I use it with my notebook running under Windows Vista 32 bits !

    So now I wonder if I should buy an Ipad 2, sell te us-122 and buy a M-Audio Fast Track Pro instead (if class-compliant…), or just wait for the next Windows 8 tablet… :D tough choice, isn’t it ?

    Huge thanks too for visiting my website ! your comment is greatly appreciated ! But – no – the soundtrack isn’t of my own, yet I would have liked to ! This is a work from Edgar Varèse called “Ionisation”. Varèse was a fench composer who lived most of his life in New York.

    thanks again for your help and kindness. Please forgive the mistakes I make in english !

    best wishes

    Emmanuel

  4. Emmanuel says:

    by the way, the audio interface you use in the video is a Fast Track of M-audio, isn’t it ? do you think the Fast Track Pro could be class-compliant as well and therefore work with the Ipad 2 ?

  5. Paul says:

    Hi Emmanuel

    Thanks for the reply

    It’s a shame about the US-122 and iPad. It sounds like a great little unit.

    It says on the m-audio website that the Fast Track Pro is class compliant (http://m-audio.com/products/en_us/FastTrackPro.html). I have seen a couple of forum post where there was a little trouble with closing apps and replugging the Fast Track (non-pro) version, but they did get it working in the end.

    You would definitely need to power the Fast track or use a powered hub. It’s also worth remembering that the iPad only supports 16-bit recording too (the fast track can do 24-bit. But it does say on the Fast Track Pro this on the ‘Full Features’ website page:

    ‘* 16-bit/48kHz 2 x 4 operation is class-compliant. Driver installation required to access more I/O. ‘

    You probably would only achieve 2 in x 2 out with iPad, as there is nowhere to access and select I/O settings.

    I see you need 2 XLR inputs for a pair of mics, so the Behringer products that just featured in one of my blogs probably wouldn’t be right for you.

    Have you looked at the Alesis IO dockhttp://www.alesis.com/iodock? That has 2 XLR Mic inputs and is designed to work with iPad. The current version comes with an adapter sleeve for using with iPad 2.

    Over at http://studiosixdigital.com/ipad-usb-compatibility.html they have listed these devices:

    Art USB Dual Pre
    Griffin iMic
    M-Audio Mobile Pre USB (but there seem to be 2 of these, this one & this one )

    I also notice that they were unable to get the M-Audio Fast Track series of devices worrying on iPad.

    You should put a comments or visitors page on your site so people can leave their thoughts. Your English is great by the way, so don’t worry!.

    All the best

    Paul

    Update:

    I found a couple more links about the Fast Track Pro with iPad (the post also indicates that the Apogee One ):

    http://forums.m-audio.com/showthread.php?29455-FastTrack-Pro-with-iPad-2


    Getting real guitar sound on GarageBand by butterscotchcom

    And this link that indicates that the Mobile Pre works (interestingly a user here couldn’t get the Fast Track to work!)

  6. Emmanuel says:

    Thank you so much for this detailed answer. This Will definitely help me to find the right audio config with the iPad, that I finally bought a couple of days ago.
    Maybe the best thing would be a Behringer audio console like the 1204 USB mixer you tried out with the iPad. I guess I coule take advantage of it regarding to my needs.
    Kind regards
    Emmanuel

  7. Ted Bowman says:

    I creating user update-able list of iOS compatible USB audio/MIDI devices. It also allows for Usage Reports from users.

    http://www.iosaudio.co/devices

  8. Paul says:

    Thanks Ted, this is really useful, I’ve been meaning to make a page like this myself but haven’t yet got around to it. I’m sure theusbsoundcard readers will find it useful. Perhaps you could give us a mention on your site?

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