Adventures in MIDI

I recently purchased a USB Audio interface after several years away from recording any digital audio. I went with the Tascam US-2×2, having read great reviews online and knowing that I could trust Tascam with my recordings. My earliest home studio recordings were on the Tascam Portastudio 414 Mkii, which was part of the later tape based versions of the Portastudio line of products.

My goal with this audio interface is to record a weekly podcast with a friend and to use my iPhone and iMac to record some music. I also wanted to experiment with something I had never really used much: MIDI.
Surprisingly, with all the hours I spent recording music, I never recorded using MIDI. I would always record my keyboard as a direct digital recording, and any MIDI tracks I used were loops.

Once I had everything I needed, I set it up and connected the interface to the iPhone, and my Alesis QS 8.1 (which is now 18 years old!) and played a note with the Alchemy synth on Garageband… nothing happened. I spent several hours trying various settings, looking for help online, and other regular troubleshooting options. Nothing worked. I could use a direct input to the interface, but MIDI would not function as it should. I gave up for the night.

I decided to try a different keyboard and I remembered I had my old RockBand 3 keytar lying around. After a few years of non-use and some forgotten batteries, I had a major battery leak to clean up. Once that was taken care of, I decided to connect it to my iMac – it worked! So then I tried to connect it to my iPhone… it did not work.
This leaves me completely at a loss as to why MIDI is not working on my iPhone even though I know that it should. At least for now, I have an extremely portable keyboard I can use at my iMac without having to drag a 65 lbs weighted keyboard up to it.

Small victories.

Adventures in MIDI