MIDI Guitar for iOS

The MIDI Guitar App turns any guitar into truly polyphonic MIDI guitar. It is based upon JamOrigin’s groundbreaking polyphonic pitch detection technology.

The App is free to try on the iOS App Store and cost total USD30 for all-in-app purchases.

Need Help?

Please start reading below. If you still have problems we are ready to help in the new MIDI Guitar user forum.

Connect your guitar.

In order to connect a guitar to an iPhone or iPad, you need an audio interface that plugs into the lightning port or headphone jack. MIDI Guitar will work with any iOS compatible interface, but for best results use a lightning connector audio interface with a high impedance guitar connector and input gain control.

MIDI Guitar will use the default iOS audio interface, which is generally the most recent audio interface you have plugged in to your lightning port or headphone jack.

Go to the audio device (the very first selector that says “iOS Audio”). Make sure you have selected the input channel that your guitar is connected to. Also, check your input gain using the meter here. This is about music, so make sure you can use your guitar’s full dynamic range.

Troubleshooting: If you still have no signal, you probably haven’t granted MIDI Guitar access to use the micropone (ie. you guitar interface). Go to the iOS settings app => privacy => microphone => make sure MIDI Guitar is enabled.

Beginners

The first steps is to play with the built-in patches. Many patches are quite like other amp-simulation software, but you should soon get a feeling that MIDI Guitar is also unlike anything else – it actually knows what you play and use it to trigger synths in various ways. Make sure you are in tune (use the Poly Tuner patch).

At some point you’ll want to try to send MIDI externally. Start with Garageband. Select the External MIDI Output patch in MIDI Guitar and verify the MIDI Output module is set to “Virtual MIDI”. Now open Garageband and open a synth inside Garageband. Your guitar is auto-magically connected just like a MIDI keyboard!

Manual

A manual will be available here soon…

Tracking / Noise Gate

For most people, MIDI Guitar “just works”. Unlike most hardware systems, you only have one parameter to adjust the tracking – a noise gate.

You should generally leave the noise gate at its desault around one third, assuming that your guitar input signal use the full dynamic range (some cheap interfaces don”t).

MIDI Guitar is tuned to be super responsive when you keep the noise gate low. That means, MIDI Guitar will rarely miss a note, even in the fastest legato runs. Most people like this responsiveness and that it helps to “connect” to the guitar and have a better play-feel.

The flip side of very high responsiveness, is that it will sometimes produce spurious notes (very short, usually low velocity notes) at note onsets or offsets. The noise gate can remove the spurious notes, but at the cost of responsiveness.

You should also stay in tune for best tracking quality. Use the built-in polyphonic tuner.

Virtual MIDI Setup

The most compelling way to use MIDI Guitar is to let it drive another iOS synth. This way, MIDI Guitar output MIDI via Apple’s Virtual MIDI standard to any synth or DAW app.

  1. Select the “External MIDI Output” patch.
  2. Find the yellow “MIDI Output” MIDI Machine. Press it, and you should see a screen where “Virtual MIDI” is selected by default. This will create a new MIDI route and send MIDI to it.
  3. In your synth app, you need to make sure it will listen to MIDI from “MIDI Guitar”. If there is no such option in the synth, it will most likely listen to any one, and thus you don’t need to do anything. Garageband (and many other apps) will listen to any MIDI device, so here you can omit step 3.

Many synth apps will appear as MIDI devices, and as an alternative to the above, you can select any such device inside the MIDI Output module. This can be more convenient because MIDI Guitar will save the name of the MIDI device in a patch, and thus you can create patches which outputs MIDI the your favorite synths.

Cable based MIDI Setup

This approach requires a MIDI interface such as Apples Camera Connection KitiRig MIDI or Alesis IO Dock. The Apples Camera Connection Kit is quite undocumented for its MIDI capabilities. Google ‘MIDI camera connection kit’ for more info.

WIFI MIDI Setups

Although not recommended, its possible to play wirelessly over WIFI networks. Due to the transmissioon of WIFI signals, it will have more latency than the what can be achieved with Virtual MIDI or a cable based MIDI setup.

Mac have built in WIFI MIDI support. Please see the guide for Mac.

Windows support for WIFI MIDI is relatively easy to setup with 3rd party applications. Please see the guide for Windows.

MIDI Guitar’s pitch tracking adds very little latency. But if you use WIFI-MIDI stream MIDI via WIFI some latency will be added, due to the router and nature of wireless networks. Some users will feel that WIFI-MIDI are too slow for real playability, but it seems the amount of latency is dependent on the WIFI router network.

Several users have reported decent WIFI-MIDI when using a network cable from router to computer. A good modern router seems to be helping too.