interfaces for NS on iOS
i've been using NS for years and loving it. i'm just now looking into options for a good interface and controller to work with NS on the iPad. i'm looking for decent converters & pre's so i can record vocals and MIDI to connect a controller with keys, pads.
i'm either going to sell my old MOTU ultralite that's not iOS compatible and get something like an RME babyface or apogee duet or keep the MOTU and add something like the roland duo capture, tascam US2X2, IK Multimedia iRig PRO DUO, Presonus audio box 2...
i don't like the dock models (alesis, focusrite) and will pass on those unless there's a really compelling reason to consider those. i just don't want that many cables running off the ipad.
of course i realize the converters will probably be night and day between the RME, apogee and others. but i'm not sure yet if i can get enough for the MOTU to afford to trade up.
a big part of what i'd like to know is if any interface that is approved for iOS will work with NS or if things are trickier than that. any other comments about sound quality, build quality, ease of use and stability are much appreciated.
finally, is the iOS version a big deal with interfaces?
Most 'class compliant' USB audio devices will work with the iPad but I have a feeling that this only applies to simple 2-channel configurations, and the iPad can be a bit funny about pestering you with random dialogue boxes about how much power the device is drawing. I've been using the Steinberg UR44 for testing multichannel on the iPad. I can't compare it against anything else, but it's been reliable and there are no dialogue boxes. I can also switch it to 'normal' mode to use it as a standard USB device with a PC etc. which helps justify its expense!
Does it charge/power the iPad?
No, which is completely rubbish if you bother to think it through for more an about a second!
However, this isn't Steinberg's fault as all these devices have the same problem. I suspect it's because the iPad needs to be in USB Host Mode to drive the audio interface, and USB hosts are the ones expected to supply the power. USB accessories can reduce the load requirement on the host by having their own PSU (as the UR44 does) but they can't contribute power to the host device.
I believe the USB charging spec does provide for charging hosts, but it's down to the hardware/software implementation as to whether of not it's supported. AFAIK, this is only a few Android devices (maybe Sony, I can't remember exactly).
I will say that for a 'software' company, Steinberg have made very nicely engineered bit of hardware. Or Yamaha have.
It ain't an RME but I'm happy with my iConnectAudio4+. Four audio channels in and out, dedicated DIN MIDI I/O and a USB host (you can plug up to 8 USB devices in via a hub and it will recognize and allow you to route all of them). Can connect either two iOS devices or an iOS device and a computer, send MIDI and digital audio back and forth. Plus it charges the iOS device. Well, it'll charge one properly and trickle charge the other (basically keeping it at whatever it was when you plugged it in). Especially for ~$200, no real complaints.