Bluetooth midi MacBook pro. Category: Bluetooth MIDI

How to Use Your iPad as a Wireless MIDI Controller

Daniel Nations has been a tech journalist since 1994. His work has appeared in Computer Currents, The Examiner, and other publications. He is a developer who has published apps in the Apple App Store, Google Play marketplace and Amazon Appstore; he also has worked as a data analyst and DB administrator.

What to Know

  • Open Launchpad. Type Audio MIDI setup in the search field. Click the app’s icon when it appears.
  • Choose Window Show MIDI Studio. Select the Network box. Create a session by choosing the button under My Sessions.
  • Select the check box next to the new session. Select the iPad in the Directory section and choose Connect.

This article explains how to set up your iPad as a MIDI controller using a Mac. This information applies to iOS version 4.2 and later and Macs running OS X 10.4 or higher. The article also includes information on configuring MIDI over Wi-Fi using Windows PCs running Windows 7 through 10.

bluetooth, midi, macbook, category

How to Use the iPad as a MIDI Controller on a Mac

Apps for musicians can turn your iPad into an advanced controller and a great music-maker, but you still have to get those signals to your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). You may be surprised to hear that iOS has supported wireless MIDI connections since version 4.2, and Macs running OS X 10.4 or higher support MIDI Wi-Fi. While Windows doesn’t support wireless MIDI out of the box, there’s a simple way to get it working on the PC as well.

The Mac makes it relatively easy to set up a connection with an iPad, but you need to dig into your MIDI settings and know just where to go to make the connection.

  • Launch Audio MIDI Setup on the Mac. The quickest way to do this is to open the Launchpad in the Dock, type Audio MIDI setup, and click the app’s icon when it appears.

After it loads, click Window in the menu bar and choose Show MIDI Studio.

Click the Network box to open network settings.

Create a session by clicking the plus button under My Sessions.

When the session appears, click the check box next to it to enable the session.

Connect the iPad. It should be listed in the Directory section below the sessions. If it isn’t, make sure the iPad is both connected to the Wi-Fi network and connected to the same network as the Mac. Click the iPad to highlight it and then click the Connect button.

This creates a network connection your DAW can use to communicate with the iPad.

How to Configure MIDI Over Wi-Fi on a Windows PC

Windows can support wireless MIDI through the Bonjour service. This service is installed with iTunes, so before you set up Wi-Fi MIDI on your PC, make sure you have the most recent update of iTunes. If you don’t have iTunes, you can install it from the web. Otherwise, launch iTunes. If there is a more recent version, you are prompted to install it.

This part of the process is identical to the Mac. First, create a new session by clicking the plus button below My Sessions.

Next, click your iPad’s name under Directory and click the Connect button.

This creates the connection on your Windows-based PC.

Try These Apps for Your New MIDI Controller

Now that you have the iPad set up to talk to your PC, you need some apps to send MIDI to it. The iPad can be great as a virtual instrument or just to add a few extra controls to your setup.

  • TouchOSC: A great way to add some knobs and controls via your iPad’s touch screen. Compatible with iOS 5.1.1 or later.
  • Knob Lab: An alternative to TouchOSC, Knob Lab is free to download and check out. Compatible with iOS 9.0 or later.
  • Geo Synthesizer (9.0 or later) and GeoShred: (9.3 or later): Two sides of the same coin, these apps use a fourths-based layout to turn your iPad surface into a virtual instrument. GeoShred comes with a modeled guitar, while Geo Synthesizer has synth-based sounds.
  • Lemur: This app is a multi-touch instrument that allows you to design colorful multi-shape widgets and place them on canvas for your control. Compatible with iOS 8.0 or later.

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Some music hardware items: Jamstik Pro and Roli Lumi

One of the joys about the summer is that I have time to catch up on developments that I’ve missed over the last months.

If you are a reader of this blog, you are aware that I am very fond of Zivix (a local company) and their products, the Jamstik and the PUC. Zivix released the JamStik 7 earlier this year, and had promised a Jamstik 12 as part of its last crowdfunding effort. I realized that I had not heard anything about the Jamstik 12, so I went back to the original Indiegogo campaign to see what was up.

In late March, Zivix announced that it was going to stop development of the Jamstik 12 to make a 24 fret “Jamstik Pro” MIDI guitar, upgrading every backer of the Jamstik 12 to the Jamstik Pro when it is released. The Jamstik 7 is available for purchase. While I am sure that Jamstik 12 backers were disappointed by the cancellation of that device, I am sure they will be thrilled to own a Jamstik Pro for the same price, even with the wait.

One of the things that has always amazed me about Zivix has been their forward thinking approach. They are always thinking about the next device while completing the current device. They were one of the first–if not the first–companies to adopt Bluetooth LTE MIDI. So it isn’t surprising to me that they looked at the 12 fret Jamstik, and thought, “You know what, these extra five frets don’t really do that much more than the Jamstik 7. Let’s simply go ahead with our long-term plan of making a full size, 24 fret guitar.” I have no doubt that they will deliver on that new goal.

Guitar isn’t a primary instrument in my life–but it has been wonderful to have different versions of the Jamstik to use over the years. And as I’ve said over and over again, I wouldn’t teach classroom guitar again without one. When the Jamstik Pro comes out, I’ll do my best to visit the company and try it out (their product specialists are light years more capable players than I am), but I would think that guitar players would be ecstatic about this instrument and what it promises to provide. It will take some people by surprise to learn that they don’t need to tune a Jamstik Pro!

As Zivix has music education in its DNA, I fully expect that they will continue to develop devices that are affordable and accessible for schools and individuals just wanting to learn music. The JamStik 7 is already affordable, and the company offers special purchase for teachers, military, and first responders. And I’ll continue to ask where the Zivix ukulele is in the development process (I can’t help it…I bought two ukuleles this month).

The other interesting development in the music technology hardware world is a new keyboard on Kickstarter from Roli, called the Lumi. Roli has had some really amazing hardware over the last years, but it has always been out of the price range that I wanted to pay for it. They have the Seaboard and its various iterations, as well as their Blocks. The Garage Band Block is really intriguing–but it is a 650 purchase. That’s a lot to spend on an iPad or MacBook accessory!

The new device is Roli’s first geared specifically towards education–removing the barriers for a an individual to learn music–a kindred product to Zivix’s Jamstik. Just as the Jamstik offers JamTutor and integration with other apps, the Lumi will do the same for piano. The Lumi is still pretty expensive…186 as a Kickstarter, but that is a fraction of the cost of a Seaboard, and the Lumi features very cool keyboard lighting (some people are going to buy it just for that, I’m afraid) and what appears to be solid software integration. The ability to link keyboards together brings me back to Miselu’s product C.24, which just seemed to disappear after it shipped (and whose modules never were developed).

I was recently sent a Jamstik 7 by Zivix, a music technology company in the Twin Cities area, which is where I live and teach. I have been a fan of the company since I first heard about the Jamstik. This is my “first look” at the device. A video on the same topic follows the text of this blog post.

I should also note that this is my first attempt to use WordPress’s new web-based editor. I’m hoping that every thing will appear as it is intended!

The initial Jamstik was a guitar device that connected via a self-contained Wi-Fi network, and interacted with iOS devices to provide a MIDI connection to apps such as Jamstik’s own JamTutor app, as well as MIDI apps, such as GarageBand. Zivix had a FOCUS–and remains focused–on meeting educational needs of musicians, although the FOCUS has primarily been on the guitar and individual instruction. They have also created the PUC (you can see a recent review of the PUC and PUC on my friend, Paul Shimmons’ YouTube channel) which is a battery powered MIDI adapter that connects a MIDI device (USB or 5 pin) to an iOS device or Mac. The company has also created AirJams, a pick-like device that allows you to control an “air jam” session. Their early devices have been carried in some Apple Stores and some Target Stores, and their crowd-funding efforts have consistently been successful (And they have delivered on every product!).

Not too long after the original Jamstik came into being, Zivix released the Jamstik, as Apple had introduced Bluetooth Low Energy MIDI. It made sense for the Jamstik to move to this new format. I was shocked at how quickly they moved to the Jamstik, but it made sense to do so. Since that time, they have made it possible for people to use the Jamstik on other platforms, such as Android, and now universally on Chrome (Chrome had to adopt WebMIDI, and still does when Safari does not!).

This is my opinion, but I don’t know another company that has done so much with Bluetooth MIDI. Zivix is a clear leader in this field. There are a few adapters and (piano) keyboards here and there, but Bluetooth MIDI is underrepresented, and I wish that more companies would adopt it!

Last year, Zivix crowdfunded again for the Jamstik 7 and the Jamstik 12. These are seven and twelve fret versions of the device (the 12 is still in development), and there are a number of changes to the new Jamstik. The Jamstik 7 loses the rechargeable battery of the Jamstik and Jamstik, trading it for 4 AA batteries. The Jamstik 7 is supposed to last 50 hours on those batteries, and will work with rechargeable batteries (hint: check out Amazon’s rechargeable or regular batteries). The Jamstik 7 also does away with the Jamstik and the Jamstik IR sensors, which were used to sense finger placement, and replaces those sensors with an optical sensor. The Jamstik 7 also moves the “D-Pad” to the center of the device, making it more friendly for left-handed players, and completely redesigns how the strap is attached, as well as other accessories, such as a guitar “body” which is available as an accessory. I really like the new strap connectors, and I was always a bit nervous about the old ones on the Jamstik/Jamstik.

The sensitivity of every string is adjustable. Out of the box, I couldn’t get recognition of my strums on all six strings, so I played with the “presets” for sensitivity until things worked better. I fully admit this may be user error, as I am used to strumming ukuleles with a pick. That said, it seems to me that the Jamstik and Jamstik did a better job of recognizing my strums out of the box. I imagine that future firmware updates will continue to adjust sensitivity issues and as previously stated, you can adjust the sensitivity through the iOS app (and I’d imagine, the Android app).

I had better results interacting with the Jamstik 7 with a cable connection to my MacBook Pro, and the Jamstik 7 worked great wirelessly with my iPad Pro (once I adjusted sensitivity settings). The Jamstik app is wonderful, and would be so incredibly valuable in a class guitar setting. If I taught class guitar, I would get a Jamstik and an iPad to use in class, particularly so I could move around the classroom wirelessly and teach. You could use a Jamstik 7 for individualized education (advanced students or students needing remediation). The Jamstik 7 would also be great for creating resources for students, in an app like Notion.

I did a little work on Notion with the Jamstik 7, which did a great job of interpreting individual notes as played into the app; but playing chords resulted in a mess on the tablature. I’m not quite sure how to fix the issue, but I’m sure there is some way to do it.

In talking with the company, I was reminded that the first fifteen lessons or so, included with the JamTutor app or play.jamstik.com, really cover the basics of playing guitar. If you are successful with all fifteen lessons, you can start studying with a human teacher and have a solid foundation for future lessons. Considering that lessons are often 30 to 45 for a half hour, the price of the Jamstik 7 is more than covered through the resources that come free with the device. And at that point, you will want to buy a guitar, and I doubt you’d want to get rid of the Jamstik, as there would be other opportunities to use it (e.g. GarageBand, other MIDI apps, composition, etc.).

In summary, as a part of a “first look,” the Jamstik 7 is a winner. For music education, the Jamstik and Jamstik were also winners. The Jamstik 7 packs new technology into an already successful product, and it works great. The only surprise for me was the move to AA batteries, but that is an easy fix with rechargeable batteries.

As I recently posted, Zivix is offering a substantial discount to educators, students, first responders, and members of the military. For more information, check out their post on the discounts (link). Want to learn more about the Jamstik? Visit jamstik.com!

JamStik 7 and 12 Indiegogo Campaign Now Live

I have been a supporter of Zivix products for a long time. Zivix brought the JamStik (Wi-Fi), Puc (Wi-Fi), JamStik (pickup and Bluetooth MIDI) and Puc (Bluetooth MIDI) and AirJamz to market–using crowdfunding a good percentage of the time.

Each generation of Zivix’s devices have addressed customer suggestions and concerns, and have incorporated newer technologies. The company has continued to improve its software and has expanded to Android applications as well. Examples of continuing improvement was their early adoption of Bluetooth MIDI and the addition of a pickup in the JamStik.

The existing JamStik is a five-fret wireless Bluetooth MIDI device, using real metal strings in a portable format. New players can use the JamStik with the JamTutor app to learn to play the guitar while existing guitar players can use the JamStik as a way to interact with digital audio workstations and notation software. The newest JamStik models will use new “FretTouch Finger Sensing Technology” and “Infrasense Optical String Pickups.” I am excited to see how this new technology works. Seeing as the previous models worked very well–I know the 7 fret and 12 fret models of the JamStik will be an improvement.

This is also the first new Bluetooth MIDI device I have seen on the market for some time. Bluetooth MIDI is wonderful–and I simply believe that most music educators (and musicians) simply do not know it exists!

As a bonus, Zivix is a “local” company for me, located near Minneapolis, Minnesota.

When I started following Zivix, I was teaching high school guitar classes. Since that time, I moved to the middle school level and have introduced the ukulele to my middle school students. Admittedly, I play ukulele a lot, and I simply do not play guitar very often (this is quite common). I do bring the JamStik with me to conventions and professional development sessions to show to others.

Beyond Zivix’s own FOCUS to help people learn music through their products, I have used JamStiks in an educational setting. I have done so in both a 1:1 setting with a small class of difficult students and have also used the JamStik as an instructional tool in a guitar classroom. The JamStik is far easier to carry around a classroom than a full sized guitar or even a backpacker guitar (which I purchased to use in the classroom before the JamStik came out)–and your finger position on the JamStik can be shown to the whole classroom via the JamStik app. I would not want to teach a guitar class without a JamStik–and if you teach guitar in a school–I can’t recommend it highly enough–either for your use or for 1:1 situations where a student would learn better through a digital experience or through additional enrichment.

Earlier this year, Zivix announced a new 7 and 12 fret model of the JamStik. The biggest complaint I have heard about the JamStik from guitar players in the past is that the existing JamStik only has five frets. These new devices solve that issue–although many guitars have 20 to 22 frets. I’m sure that “Pro” players will lament the lack of 8 to 10 frets from a regular guitar…but let’s be honest…most casual players will never leave the five frets of the original Jamstik.

I’m excited for the new JamStik models–not only will they have more frets, but they will be packed with new technology–and I am told that the plastic body will be made in Minnesota. Imported items are fine…but if an American company can keep production elements in the USA, that is nice, too.

I also keep dreaming of a ukulele version of the JamStik–and the 12 fret JamStik makes this a possibility as many soprano ukuleles only have 12 frets (however–the cost of a ukulele Jamstik might be too prohibitive when a travel ukulele like the Flight TUS 35 sell for 60 or less).

As the Indiegogo campaign is underway, you can purchase one of the new JamStiks at a reduced cost from what they will sell for later. And unlike many crowdfunded projects, Zivix has already seen several crowd funding projects from start to finish. As of this post, the project has already received 149% of its required funding–so you know you will receive yours–and Zivix has always delivered. The JamStik 7 will ship in August and the JamStik 12 will ship in Q1 2019.

Interested? Join the Indiegogo campaign!

Want to Win a JamStik?

One of my favorite pieces of tech in the last years has been the JamStik. I first learned about it from Kevin Honeycutt (an educational speaker, former art teacher, and musician). Oddly enough, the company that makes the JamStik is in Minnesota, not too far away from my home.

The latest version of the JamStik is called the JamStik, which includes Bluetooth Low Energy connection to newer iPads (iPad 4) and MacBooks (2012), and now also includes Android functionality (check your device for compatibility). The JamStik also included some extra tools to increase the sensitivity of the device.

As it only features the first few frets, the JamStik isn’t a guitar replacement–but it is certainly an educational tool for guitar. Training apps are free to download and turn learning guitar into a game–a realistic “Guitar Hero.” The JamStik also acts as a way to interact with MIDI information for guitarists. If I were teaching guitar, I would be using the JamStik as an instructor–and I still think a classroom set of JamStik devices in a 1:1 school makes a lot of sense (contact Zivix for educational pricing).

There are a series of devices that I wholeheartedly recommend…AirTurn, CME XKey Air, Adonit Jot Dash, Apple Pencil–and the JamStik is one of those.

Interested in a chance to win a JamStik? They are hosting a giveaway before Christmas–so sign up here and see what happens.

Zivix also sells the PUC which connects a MIDI keyboard to BLE MIDI, using a battery–a unique solution that works for a LOT of existing products. Zivix also sells AirJamz, a watch-like device that lets you play Air Guitar. The company is always working on ways to bring music interaction to consumers in new ways.

Note : I don’t receive any “kickback” for the link to the giveaway–I just figure that it might be worth your time to win one of these great devices.

Yamaha MD-BT01 Bluetooth MIDI Adapter

Yesterday morning, a package from Yamaha arrived. That package contained the MD-BT01 Bluetooth MIDI Adapter, the sister product to the UD-BT01 that I reviewed a couple of weeks ago.

As I write this post this morning, I think there are four questions that should be asked:

  • Why am I writing about BLE MIDI? Why is it important?
  • Why did Yamaha make both the MD and UD versions of this device?
  • Does the MD-BT01 Work?
  • Should I buy it?

So let’s take a look at those questions, not necessarily in that order.

As for BLE MIDI (Bluetooth Low Energy MIDI), I consider it a format that revolutionizes MIDI interaction with computers (or mobile devices). I have nothing against MIDI, and I think it is a pretty remarkable standard. Think about it: MIDI 1.0 was released in 1983, which is over 30 years ago. Look around your house or office and ask yourself this: what item of technology is still using the same basic standard that it has used for thirty years?

That said, interaction with software and MIDI was always complicated for me. We have MIDI do things it was never really intended to do (which again, is quite amazing) but dealing with MIDI settings and software can be tricky.

BLE MIDI does two things. First, it simplifies the MIDI connection process (particularly on iOS Devices). Second, it removes wires. Both of these things makes my life better as a singer, player, arranger, composer, and teacher. It is the single advancement in the past five years (after the iPad) that has real impact on my life.

Meanwhile, there are only a handful of companies doing anything with BLE MIDI. I reach out to those companies and ask to test products. On most occasions, companies wish to get the word out. On some occasions, I am nicely told to “take a hike” (most recently by a company that rhymes with “Borg.”) I am grateful for the many companies, in this case, Yamaha, that sends a product that I can test.

Back at Winter NAMM (January), Yamaha introduced two new Wireless MIDI Adapters. One was the UD-BT01 and the other was the MD-BT01. These both sell in the 50 range and enable a keyboard without BLE MIDI to have it. The UD-BT01 is a USB adapter, allowing a keyboard with USB MIDI to plug into the adapter (which itself plugs into a power adapter). The MD-BT01 (the subject of this review) simply plugs into the MIDI ports on the back of a keyboard.

The MD-BT01 functions in a way that is similar to an older product, the Quicco Sound Mi.1. The Mi.1 features shorter ports, but each plug is square, whereas the Yamaha MD-BT01 is the same size as a regular MIDI cable. The Mi.1 has three flaws at the moment: it cannot connect to the CME WIDI Bud, the square part can conflict with the back of some keyboards (some do not have clearance around the MIDI ports), and it requires a MIDI port that has a powered pin. The Yamaha MD-BT01 only has one of these flaws, which is that it also depends on power from a MIDI port with a powered pin. Some keyboards (particularly those that are older) do not have a powered pin, and therefore the MD-BT01 (or the Mi.1) will not work for those keyboards. I also like that the MD-BT01 has a little more cable between the two sides of the adapter than the Mi.1. This just offers a little more flexibility when working with the device.

I had thought that the longer length of the MD-BT01 (versus the Mi.1) could have been a problem when your keyboard was against a wall, so I compared the MD-BT01 to a regular MIDI cable. It turns out that the MD-BT01 isn’t much longer (half an inch) than a regular MIDI cable, so those fears were unwarranted.

The MD-BT01 is also labeled on each plug, having an arrow to show which side goes to MIDI IN, and which goes to MIDI out. Plug it in, turn on the power, and you are ready to connect with your device (as long as your device is BLE MIDI enabled).

As expected, the MD-BT01 connects easily to the iPad (remember, you have to connect using a program that connects to the BLE MIDI device, such as GarageBand). It can also interact with more recent (2012) MacBooks, and nearly any other device via the CME WIDI Bud. I was finally able to get my old Windows device (Asus T-100) to connect to BLE MIDI devices with the WIDI Bud (I needed to use Notion to do it). That said, it is time to give that old Asus away, as it cannot handle 64-bit programs (like Finale).

As another tip, George Litterst let me know that there is a program to update the firmware of both the MD-BT01 and the UD-BT01. You can find that app (iOS) here. It is an iPhone app, but it does run on iPads, too. One of the great things about this app is that you can rename the device (if you were going to be running multiple BLE adapters, which is possible). However, you have to re-rename the device every time you update the firmware (the firmware restores the original name). Incidentally, George created a iOS MIDI guide for TimeWarp, which may be of interest to you.

Now: the big question: do you need one of these?

If you have an older keyboard without BLE MIDI (which represents most keyboards), I think there is significant reasons to add that capability. Right now there are four ways to add BLE MIDI to an older keyboard: The Mi.1, the UD-BT01, the MD-BT01, and the Zivix PUC.

I can’t really recommend the Mi.1. At one point, it was less expensive than other options, but that really isn’t true any longer. The device is in its third revision, but in my tests I could not get the Mi.1 to connect to the CME WIDI Bud (although it does connect to my iOS devices). Even though it is in its third revision, it still has the same design and flaws as I mentioned earlier in the article.

The MD-BT01 (the FOCUS of this review) is something I can recommend. Its form factor is the similar to the Mi.1, but different enough that port clearance is never an issue. It comes from a well-respected manufacturer, and is priced fairly. It works with the WIDI Bud, which mean that you can make a Chromebook, old MacBook, or Windows computer into a BLE enabled device. The only time the MD-BT01 might not work for you is if your keyboard lacks a powered MIDI port. In that case, see the Zivix PUC.

The UD-BT01 is basically the same device as the MD-BT01, but requires a USB connection and a power adapter. If your keyboard is new enough to have a USB MIDI connection, it likely also has a powered MIDI port, so honestly, I don’t see why you would choose the UD over the MD. That said, I do have a couple of keyboards that only have a USB port (such as my Akai LPK-25, which is still available) that requires external power, and the UD-BT01 can work with that device. Like the MD-BT01, the UD-BT01 works with the WIDI Bud. It is also priced in the 50 range.

The Zivix PUC is a BLE wireless MIDI Adapter that has its own power source (AA batteries), a single MIDI port, and USB connectivity. The positive thing about the PUC is that it pretty much works with anything you throw at it, as it provides its own power and is unleashed from wall plugs. In terms of negatives, it uses batteries and only has a single traditional MIDI port. It sells for 99. If your keyboard has MIDI without a powered port or USB MIDI, this is the solution for you.

Don’t you love that we have all of these options today? All four options work with iOS.

And again, don’t forget the WIDI Bud, the small USB adapter that turns most non-BLE devices into BLE capable devices (including old iPads, but the iPad USB camera connection kit would be required). It really works (and is also 50)!

Let’s say you have an old MacBook and an “old” Keyboard (with USB). For 100, you can add BLE capability to your setup without having to buy a new MacBook and keyboard. In the short run, that saves you 1700 (1200 MacBook, 600 keyboard).

Back to the topic at hand: the MD-BT01. Yamaha has made an attractive and pragmatic wireless MIDI adapter that can be attached to your existing keyboard through its MIDI ports to turn your old keyboard into a BLE MIDI Keyboard. As long as your keyboard is new enough to have a powered MIDI pin in its MIDI port, this is a great device to purchase.

“It is in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough—it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.” ― Steve Jobs

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LC6000 PRIME

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Buddy

The Reloop Buddy is a compact and powerful 2-channel DJ controller designed exclusively for djay. This innovative controller comes with FX paddles, 8 performance modes, and dedicated Neural Mix™ controls so you can isolate vocals and instrumentals in real-time. The ultra-portable design combined with high-quality materials makes Buddy the perfect companion for djay across desktop and mobile devices.

DJControl Mix

With miniature size and portability at its heart, the DJControl Mix works wirelessly over Bluetooth with djay on both iOS and Android.

DDJ-200

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All natively supported MIDI controllers and mixers

To use a DJ MIDI controller with djay, simply plug the controller into your Mac, PC, iOS, or Android device. djay will detect the controller and automatically pre-map all functionality, allowing you to start using the controller right away. And of course you can easily edit the mapping yourself and customize the controller for your demands.

Please note that the list of supported controllers applies to the latest version of djay/djay Pro on the respective platform. Not all features may be supported on some controllers.

Show controllers compatible with:

  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-200
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  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-ERGO
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX4
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-FLX6
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-REV1
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-REV7
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-RB ✧
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-RR ✧
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-RX
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB2
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-SB3
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-SP1
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-SR2 ✧
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX2
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-SX3
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-SZ
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-SZ2
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-WeGO
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-WeGO2
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-WeGO3
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-WeGO4
  • Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX ✧
  • Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX2 ✧
  • Pioneer DJ XDJ-XZ
  • Pioneer DJ CDJ-350
  • Pioneer DJ CDJ-400
  • Pioneer DJ CDJ-850
  • Pioneer DJ CDJ-900
  • Pioneer DJ CDJ-900NXS
  • Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000
  • Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000NXS
  • Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000NXS2
  • Pioneer DJ CDJ-3000
  • Pioneer DJ CDJ-TOUR1
  • Pioneer DJ XDJ-700
  • Pioneer DJ XDJ-1000
  • Pioneer DJ DJM-S3
  • Pioneer DJ DJM-S5
  • Pioneer DJ DJM-S7
  • Pioneer DJ DJM-S9
  • Pioneer DJ DJM-S11 ✧
  • Pioneer DJ DJM-900NXS2
  • Pioneer DJ DJM-TOUR1
  • Numark DJ2GO
  • Numark DJ2GO2
  • Numark DJ2GO2 Touch
  • Numark iDJ Live II
  • Numark Mixdeck Quad
  • Numark Mixtrack
  • Numark Mixtrack Pro
  • Numark Mixtrack II
  • Numark Mixtrack Pro II
  • Numark Mixtrack 3
  • Numark Mixtrack Pro 3
  • Numark Mixtrack Platinum
  • Numark Mixtrack Platinum FX
  • Numark Mixtrack Pro FX
  • Numark Mixtrack Edge
  • Numark Mixtrack Quad
  • Numark N4
  • Numark NS4FX
  • Numark NS6
  • Numark NS6II
  • Numark Omni Control
  • Numark Party Mix
  • Numark Party Mix II
  • Numark Party Mix Live
  • Numark Party Mix Pro
  • Numark Total Control
  • Numark Stealth Control
  • Numark Scratch
  • RANE ONE
  • RANE TWELVE MKII
  • RANE MP2015
  • RANE SEVENTY
  • RANE SEVENTY-TWO
  • RANE SEVENTY-TWO MKII
  • Allen Heath Xone:96
  • Allen Heath Xone:PX5
  • Reloop BeatMix
  • Reloop BeatMix 2
  • Reloop BeatMix 4
  • Reloop Beatpad
  • Reloop Beatpad 2
  • Reloop Buddy
  • Reloop Digital Jockey IE2
  • Reloop MIXAGE IE
  • Reloop MIXON 4
  • Reloop MIXON 8
  • Reloop MIXTOUR
  • Reloop Ready
  • Reloop Terminal Mix 2
  • Reloop Terminal Mix 4
  • Reloop ELITE
  • Reloop RMX-95
  • Denon DJ DN-SC2000
  • Denon DJ LC6000 PRIME
  • Denon DJ MCX8000
  • Denon DJ MC7000
  • Denon DJ MC6000MK2
  • Denon DJ MC6000
  • Denon DJ MC4000
  • Denon DJ MC2000
  • Denon DJ PRIME 4
  • Denon DJ SC6000 PRIME
  • Denon DJ X1850 Prime
  • Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S3
  • Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 MK3
  • Hercules DJControl Air
  • Hercules DJControl AIR
  • Hercules DJControl Inpulse 200
  • Hercules DJControl Inpulse 300
  • Hercules DJControl Inpulse 300 MK2
  • Hercules DJControl Inpulse 500
  • Hercules DJControl Instinct
  • Hercules DJControl Mix
  • Hercules DJControl Starlight
  • Hercules DJConsole Rmx2
  • Hercules DJ 4Set
  • Hercules DJ Control MP3
  • Hercules DJ Control MP3 e2
  • Hercules DJ Console Rmx
  • Hercules DJ Control Steel
  • Hercules DJ Console 4-Mx
  • Hercules DJ Console Mk2
  • Hercules DJ Console Mk4
  • The Next Beat by Tiësto
  • Ion Discover DJ
  • Ion iDJ2GO
  • Novation Dicer
  • Novation Launchpad MK2
  • M-Audio X-Session Pro
  • Philips M1X-DJ
  • Casio XW-DJ1
  • Casio XW-J1
  • Vestax Spin
  • Vestax Spin2
  • Vestax VCI-100
  • Vestax VCI-100MKII
  • Vestax VCI-300
  • Vestax VCI-300MKII
  • Vestax VCI-400
  • Vestax VCM-100

✧ Pre-cueing via the controller is not supported, but headphones can be used via the PC’s built-in audio output.

✧ Pioneer DJ DJM-S11: phono audio input for DVS on iOS requires initial configuration with connection to a Mac or PC every time powered on.

  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-800: jog wheel displays, Color FX except filter, Beat FX
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000: waveforms on jog wheel displays, D.Echo and Noise Sound Color FX, Beat FX supported on master channel only
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-REV7: jog wheel displays
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-RR: booth output
  • Pioneer DJ DDJ-RX: booth output
  • Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX2: performance pad LEDs
  • Pioneer DJ XDJ-XZ: main display
  • Pioneer DJ DJM-S11: waveform display
  • RANE SEVENTY-TWO: waveform display, djay FX (note: requires holding SHIFT when selecting performance pad modes)
  • RANE SEVENTY-TWO MKII: waveform display, djay FX (note: requires holding SHIFT when selecting performance pad modes)
  • Denon DJ MCX8000: displays
  • Denon DJ PRIME 4: main screen
  • Denon DJ SC6000 PRIME: main and jog screens

Supported Controllers via Lightning/USB Adapter Some controllers require the iOS device to be charged via the Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter or an USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter (depending on your iOS device) using a connected power adapter. Support for the complete list of MIDI controllers requires a PRO subscription available within the app.

MIDI Learn If you have a MIDI controller that is currently not natively supported by djay, but that can be used with iOS, you can still use it with djay’s easy-to-use MIDI Learn feature. Simply connect the MIDI controller to your iOS device using the USB adapter and power adapter (see above), and follow the on-screen instructions to map the hardware controls to functions in djay.

MIDI Learn If you have a MIDI controller that is currently not natively supported by djay Pro, you can still use it with djay Pro’s easy-to-use MIDI Learn feature. Simply connect the MIDI controller to your Mac, and follow the on-screen instructions to map the hardware controls to functions in djay Pro.

MIDI Learn If you have a MIDI controller that is currently not natively supported by djay Pro, you can still use it with djay Pro’s easy-to-use MIDI Learn feature. Simply connect the MIDI controller to your PC, and follow the on-screen instructions to map the hardware controls to functions in djay Pro.

Jamstik Studio Review: more than just a midi instrument

Rock out with Jamstik Studio, a beginner-friendly electric guitar that doubles as a midi controller for all your favorite music creation programs.

Creating music has never been more accessible. Thanks to the prevalence of digital audio workstations.- or DAWs.- even newbies can get in on the action.

GarageBand, Apple’s free DAW for Mac, iPad, and iPhone, is a great example of one such tool. And now that Apple has released Logic Pro.- its professional DAW.- for iPad, more people will likely seriously consider creating music.

Read from AppleInsider

That’s why we were excited to look at Jamstik Studio, an electric guitar that doubles as a wireless midi controller.

Jamstik Studio. a unique design

The Jamstik Studio features a mahogany body and a 24-fret rosewood fretboard. It’s about three-quarters the size of a standard electric guitar and weighs a little over five and a half pounds.

Jamstik Studio’s headless design

It boasts two humbucker pickups, a coil tap switch, a three-way switch, and a standard 1/4 out. Wired MIDI-out options include a USB-C or a 3.5mm TRS-MIDI cable. The Studio can also be connected wirelessly via Bluetooth.

bluetooth, midi, macbook, category

The strangest part of the Jamstik Studio is its headless design. Sure, it looks a little silly, but it makes the Studio smaller and more portable, which may be something that is worth the tradeoff of a more traditional looking guitar.

The downside means you’ll tune the Studio at the bridge rather than on the head. You can do this with a little included tuning key, but we feel losing this key would be extremely easy.

Sure, it attaches magnetically to the bridge, but we’re pretty sure it could be easily knocked loose. Or, perhaps more plausible, left sitting on a messy desk somewhere.

Overall, we were still pretty impressed with the overall design of the Jamstik Studio. It feels great in the hands and is especially manageable for smaller players.

Jamstik Studio. surprisingly multipurpose

One of the most interesting things about the Jamstik Studio is that it is a midi instrument and an electric guitar.

Thanks to the two humbucking pickups, nothing stops you from connecting this guitar to an amp and jamming out on stage. However, again, you probably wouldn’t due to the headless design.

You’re probably wondering how it performs as an electric guitar.- it’s fine. Actually, it’s more than fine if you’re a casual guitar player, and it’s downright great if you’re just starting.

However, more serious guitar players and professional music makers aren’t going to use this as a main guitar.

But that’s not why Jamstik Studio exists.

Jamstik Studio exists.- as the name implies.- for studio artists. If you’re a musician who wants to record a guitar part for a piece you’re working on, the Jamstik is here to make that a reality.

All you’ll need to do is plug the Studio into your Mac, connect it via Bluetooth to your iPad, open your DAW of choice, and begin strumming and plucking away.

Playing directly into Logic, Garageband, or Ableton allows artists to create music they wouldn’t be able to make on a keyboard. And that alone is something really special.

Jamstik Creator App

Jamstik has an app that pairs with their devices. The app’s main feature is a digital tuner, ensuring the Studio plays well within your other DAWs. It also allows you to calibrate the MIDI output sensitivity, which is remembered even when you’re not using the Jamstik Creator.

It also features an impressive sound library, which is nice if you haven’t amassed a favorite collection of synth instruments yet.

Jamstik Studio. Pick your poison

Regarding software that works with the Studio, the world is your oyster. If an app accepts MIDI input, it should work with the studio.

We tested it with the mobile and desktop versions of GarageBand and found that it worked splendidly. We also tested it with Logic Pro on desktop and mobile and had no issues.

Using Jamstik Studio in GarageBand macOS

We don’t use FL Studio or Ableton, but plenty of other users have said the Studio works great in those, too.

Jamstik Studio.- playing around

After spending a few weeks with the Jamstik Studio, we were impressed.

It feels good in the hand and seems to encourage us to pick it up, even if we didn’t plan to create music. It’s a fun instrument, so we like having it around.

The tracking is solid, especially when you’re playing it wired. However, it was pretty solid even when playing wirelessly it only seemed tripped up by particularly fast playing.

Our main complaint is that the midi output was a little low. We solved this problem by increasing the sensitivity, which worked well for our playing style.

As we’ve mentioned before, the sensitivity is remembered even when you’re not using the Jamstik Creator app, so this isn’t something you’ll need to fuss with every time, either.

Jamstik guitars.- beginner friendly

So, we’ve discussed that the Studio is great for those who want to record in-studio.- but there’s another market.

Jamstik devices.- not just the Studio.- are all designed to be used with Jamstik’s Learning Portal app. This app helps you learn chords and scales with real-time feedback and AI-generated skill drills and offers a Guitar Hero-style interface to gamify learning.

bluetooth, midi, macbook, category

Honestly, this alone makes Jamstik Studio worth considering, especially if you’re a person who prefers to learn new skills independently.

Who the Jamstik Studio is for

The Jamstik Studio is a remarkable musical instrument. Sure, for musicians performing live on stage, it will probably not replace their current favorite guitar. Still, the Jamstik Studio’s MIDI capability and integration make it a fantastic tool for working in the studio.

It gives you an option to play music that you wouldn’t normally be able to play on something like a midi keyboard. And frankly, exploring all the different snyths available in various DAWs with the Studio is just downright fun.

What impressed us was how the Studio was a fantastic tool for beginners who want to learn guitar independently.

The high price means that it likely won’t be a tool for every person, but for musicians looking to expand their collection, a MIDI guitar this great could easily be worth the cost.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Where To Buy

You can snag the Jamstik Studio from Jamstik’s website for 799, or from Amazon for the same price. It includes a gig bag, some guitar picks, a USB-C cable, a 3.5mm cable, and strap locks.

If you’d rather go for something a little more traditional, Jamstik also offers the Jamstik Classic for 999.99 on Amazon, which features a full headstock.

If you’re a total beginner and you want a much more inexpensive, portable way to learn guitar, Jamstik still sells the Jamstik Guitar Trainer on Amazon for 149.99, which we’ve reviewed in the past.