OP Z: iconnectMIDI4+ and iPad audio passthrough

Hi All,

I’ve been enjoying my Op-Z/iPad combo, with the Op-Z audio running through AUM and also sequencing various iPad audio apps. It lets me continue exploring and creating music while at work and away from the studio. I would like to come home, plug this into my larger ecosystem and continue working on things, with minimal hassle.

In part to do this, but also to increase my MIDI ports, I just picked up an iconnectMIDI4+. I’m hoping to run my Op-Z/iPad through this, to provide a direct audio stream into a channel in Ableton. Is this possible and are any of you doing this?

Right now, I have an Apple camera kit dongle that goes into my iPad and then my Op-Z, in turn plugs into the USB port in the dongle. I can already run audio via the iPad headphone jack into my mixer, but am running short on inputs in my MOTU ultralite mk3 (so a direct USB connect via the MIDI4+ would be great).

Using the supplied lightning to USB cable, I can run the iPad straight into the iconnectMIDI4+ (and into Ableton) and it works (using the audio passthrough). It’s just that I want the Op-Z to sequence iPad synths, and have both the internal sounds sequenced on the Op-Z and the sounds (e.g. Animoog) sequenced on the iPad to all play into Ableton. With the Op-Z plugged into the iPad, I can’t use the supplied lightning to USB cable.

I’m thinking about getting a powered USB hub, but don’t know if this would work (is the USB that comes out of the camera kit dongle available for audio passthrough and does the fact that the iPad is using the Op-Z as an audio interface, in any way limit this possibility)?

Hope that isn’t too confusing and perhaps someone out there has tried this out and found a solution or workflow?


Also interested in this, because my iPad has no headphone jack.

I’ve communicated a bit with tech support at iConnectivity (who makes the iConenct MIDI 4+) and he says this isn’t currently possible. That the iPad can only have one audio via USB, even with a port. For me with a headphone out on my iPad Air 2, at least I can get an audio out (though I don’t know what the quality of that is!). It seems this might change with iOS 13, per same tech support. Along these lines, I found this:

There’s even a picture of the Op-Z though I don’t believe he answers the question of whether there can be multiple audio devices running simultaneously. Maybe I’m missing it.

Anyone out there have the iOS 13 beta and tried this?

I’m the author of the post you linked to!

iOS 13 still doesn’t let you hook up multiple audio sources. Nothing has changed.

You can connect as many midi in/outs as you like, though.

This has really gotten annoying since the OP-Z got USB audio. I would love just to be able to still use the iPad’s internal speaker while it’s connected, to cue up samples and audio.

Let me know if you have any other questions about this.

Cool - didn’t catch that. Small world! Yeah, seems what I had hoped isn’t quite possible - thanks for responding!

I came to start a thread about this audio situation but I see y’all are talking about the same issue here!

So if you plug the OP-Z into an iPad Pro, you can only get the iPad Pro’s audio output on the Z? I bought a hub with a headphone jack, but as soon as I plug in the Z, the headphone jack disappears as an output option in AUM!

Correct me if I’m wrong, but this seems like a problem based on two things: 1) iOS can only show one audio device at a time (yikes that’s a pretty unfortunate limitation) and 2) Teenage Engineering has given us no way to disable the OP-Z acting as an audio output device.

Is this an accurate summary of the situation?

  1. is correct. No way to choose outputs.

  2. would be handy, but as far as I know, no other audio interface does such a thing.

True, but there isn’t much precedent for a device like the Z, which is primarily a synthesizer and midi sequencer, but now has the ability to be a usb audio output device.

I wouldn’t be surprised if iOS devices were the most common things that OP-Z’s get plugged into. I hope they fix this!

At least on the Mac you can make an aggregate device, so there is a precedent for multiple audio interfaces simultaneously (just not on iOS). In Ableton (running on an iMac), my MOTU, iConnect MIDI 4+, and Op-z are all seen as one audio interface.

So at last I’m able to do what I was hoping to (per my original post): work with an Op-Z/iPad setup out and about, and then when back in the studio plug by OP-Z and iPad into my MIDI4+ and have it all routed and flowing through Ableton, along with the rest of my hardware (Eurorack, synths and instruments). It’s great that due to the audio passthrough feature on the MIDI 4+ and the fact that the Op-Z runs as it’s own audio interface, that none of this taps out my limited inputs on my MOTU ultralite.

As many others have noted, it would be great if there were separate outs on the OP-z though - maybe a future module (or firmware update)? I wonder what might limit this, if there’s any insurmountable constraint or not. Or maybe, I’ll switch over to a Digitakt (with Overbridge). Might be portable enough for me, I don’t know?