Live Performance: Ipad Stability / Dependability?

Hi All,

Brand new member, long-time viewer. Thank you so much for all the helpful info posted by this community. I’m debating about investing in either a new ipad or a MPC 500 as a supplement to the OP-1. The way I’m envisioning it is chopping up a bunch of 1 bar / 2 bar loops pre-arranged from the OP-1, and then looping those during a performance (I’m lead vocalist as well). I apologize if I missed a previous thread that answered this question; I could not find this specific topic.

An ipad is more appealing for such a purpose (from an interface standpoint), but I’m concerned about stability during a live performance. Does anyone here use an ipad in such a way, and have any experience with such a setup? I need something fairly dependable since I play roughly once a month for 45 minute sets. I’m over the days of wanting to haul my laptop, audio interface, etc., etc. on the road…it’s just too many moving parts (too many things to get unplugged, too long of setup and tear down, etc.)

iPads are very stable much moreso than a laptop.

I’ve not gigged with iPad playing music-making apps or sequencers but I have done DJ sets including one at a big music festival years ago on an iPad One running Djay app when it was first released! so that’s saying something :wink:

With an iPad you’ve got a million amazing music making apps. Synths, Samplers, DAWs, Effects etc etc
whereas a MPC500 is really just a one-trick pony :wink:

Although an MPC does have rubber pads to hit.

You’d be able to get a pad controller to plug into an iPad though.

Thank you for the answer – very helpful, particularly the detail about your DJ Set. So, I don’t know if this is a dumb question, but for live use (non-studio) – is an audio interface necessary with the ipad if I’m not planning to route audio through it (only send audio out of it)? I realize this limits me to the headphone jack for audio out.

I’m trying to keep things minimal if possible, and adding back in an audio interface begins to feel like a laptop rig again…

The ipad is VERY stable. My core production tools are the OP-1 and iPad, done. Only had about 4 times that I had stability issues, but that was my own fault. I dont think you can get a more stable platform than a non-jailbroken iPad.<div>I even have connect a ton of usb midi via cck without any issues, its a gem.

One thing you should take in account is that a wrong swipe can fuck up your performance, so learn the beast well and configure it for live performance.

Word, it is very stable. I play the backing tracks from my iPad using an app called Stage Traxx, never had any issues. It’s all tight and solid. Occasionally I play some music apps live (iVCS-3, Ondes, Impaktor, DM-1…), all is good all the time.,

Just like any other piece of hardware, an iPad is only as stable as the app you’re running, which, in turn, is only as stable as its compatibility w/ the current os version.

Newer iPads certainly seem to have the muscle & adequate RAM / memory optimization to run smoothly and without hiccup, assuming the apps you run aren’t memory pigs. I find that Audiobus and IAA scenarios can certainly create freezes and audio dropout, but you’ll just have to work those details out during rehearsal.

I run an iPad mini II w/ latest iOS and iMPC Pro, using an MPC Element controller, and I’m as happy as a clam. No headaches there, and working w/ samples in iMPC Pro is a very pleasant experience. The portability and battery life on that iPad are fantastic.

And, of course, Samplr & Borderlands Granular apps make the iPad investment a no- brainer.

We’ll be doing a special live set tomorrow where I’ll have my iPad Mini 2, OP-1, Nord Drum, Mopho X4 and two delay boxes with me. The iPad will be handling a 3-chain Audiobus template with SamplR, Ondes, Virtual ANS, AUFX Space and Mimix running simultaneously, while the non-Audiobus compatible Nord Beat app will be sending clock and notes to the Nord Drum (via iConnectMIDI v1) and clock to SamplR. I’ve thoroughly tested this config and things seem to be pretty solid. But like @Unflattered said, Audiobus tends to be sensitive every now and then to, for example, the order in which the apps are opened. My experience is that the output apps - fx apps - input apps opening sequence is usually flawless. Sometimes I stumble upon a little occasional interference here and there, but closing and reopening the source-app always fixes the problem. And the bottom line is that when it’s all set up and running after the initial glitches are taken care of, the iPad as a musical instrument works like a dream.