I'm going to get this out there—I'm a really happy camper this morning. The iConnect Audio4+ is a device that I've been looking forward to since NAMM earlier this year, and when it finally arrived on my doorstep, I had to restrain myself from doing a little dance. I've been waiting for a device like this to be invented since the iPad first came on the scene, and now that it's finally in my hands I can tell you, iConnectivity has delivered on my expectations and exceeded them in just about every way. The iConnectAudio4+ is an absolutely essential tool for anyone serious about making music with an iOS device.
Breakin' it Down
The single digital interface port on an iOS device has been the bane of my existence ever since cooler and cooler apps started showing up in the app store. Every time I see an amazing synth or a brilliant audio editing app I can't help but think—if only there was a convenient and clean way to get professional audio in and out of this device I could actually use that app!
Of course there have been valiant efforts so far. There are quite a few ways to get quality audio out of the iPad. There's also a bunch of ways to get good sound into the iPad. The iConnectAudio4+, however, is the first device that lets you get XLR and 1/4” audio both in and out, along with MIDI over USB and standard MIDI ports. To top it off, you can connect it to an iOS device and a computer… AT THE SAME TIME! All while plugging in a MIDI keyboard without disconnecting a thing, and with no inconvenient 'hubs' to carry around.
If you still haven't grasped the gravity of this situation yet, let me lay out a usage scenario. Want to plug in your USB MIDI keyboard into an iPad? No problem. Need 1/4” outputs instead of that flimsy 1/8” output while still keeping your keyboard plugged in? Easy. Do you need to use one of your favorite iPad synths as a virtual instrument inside of your DAW? Done.
The iConnectAudio4+ has 4 XLR combo inputs for getting quality audio into your iOS device. These are perfect for pairing up with your favorite iPad DAW and doing some recording. You get 4 very clean sounding 1/4” outputs, and a headphone output with independent control. You can connect 2 host machines (like a computer or iOS device) and a USB MIDI device all at the same time, and there are even standard MIDI in/out jacks as well!
The device has its own power supply, and it is more than enough to power the hungriest USB MIDI keyboard and charge your iPad at the same time. The inputs and mixes can be adjusted in the iConnectivity computer app or by using the touch screen on the device itself.
The iConnectAudio4+ falls into the exceedingly rare category of being a device that wound up being everything I hoped it would be. It's an incredibly convenient and useful way to integrate my iOS devices into my studio and stage rig—and it's priced quite nicely for all of the features you get.
Pros: Connect a large amount of devices, quality I/O to and from iOS apps, powers USB MIDI controllers and charges your iOS device at the same time, responsive touch screen.
Cons: No iOS configuration app yet, but I have to believe it's in the works!