Ipad fx or dedicated pedals?

I’d like some extra fx for my OT/DN/Neutron.

For weeks now I have been wondering: should I upgrade to a new Ipad and use that as my fx-unit? Or should I get some dedicated pedals? Gonna use it on the CUE-outs as send fx.

Not much experience in this field, so I would like to hear tips about required extra gear, routing and experiences with stability/latency using the Ipad. I know there are a ton of fx out there, so it could potentially be a very versatile setup.

Regarding guitar pedals I was thinking of the Digitech Polara and Obscura (reverb & delay). Gonna use them mostly for minimal (dub) techno. I checked a lot of demo’s that sounded great and they also have a pretty sweet price point (and knobs!)

Can’t really make up my mind.

What do you have at the moment?

Also maybe factor in how you are going to interface the iPad with the Octatrack if you are going down that path? What are you going to do about midi? audio? etc?

I have an iAudio iConnect 4+… haven’t used it much; but from what I have, like it and recommend it.

Important to bear in mind that some apps are good for midi/audio; some aren’t; and some might be very clunky to use.

I got excited when I got the iConnect about hooking up Native Instruments iMaschine 2… but I don’t think that’s got any external midi capabilities at all?

Do you need to? What do you have at the moment?

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I have an ipad mini 2. It’s crackling when I use heavier apps like Model 15, even on large buffer size. Only got a cck at the moment.

I haven’t got any dedicated ext fx at the moment, although I could use DN’s fx for the OT of course.

You mention that you are not using the iconnect much. What’s the reason?

And how do you feel with using the iPad mini as an external fx unit at the moment?

Whats wrong with the Octatrack effects; or what do you feel is missing specifically?

Time. Do not have any spare time for music, as I’m coding all the time.

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I don’t, because I haven’t figured out how to get sound in while sequencing the OT. Using it to sequence apps mostly and sample them into the OT.

Can’t get the delay to sound the way I want. Gets messy/muffled very quick. Love dark reverb, but I want to have a couple of extra flavours.

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My opinion is that the price of a new iPad is huge compared to the price of dedicated hardware, You can of course run lots of other things on it, but hardware gives you minimal latency, good AD/DA conversion and audio/midi/usb connectics (no DI or external interface needed) and no company is ever going to f***k your stuff up with an incompatible forced upgrade (or downright disallow you to use your own setup anymore like Adobe just did for Photoshop). Software is going the subscription route, it’s the new business model so it’s up to you: subscribe to a service or buy a box that will still work 30 years later, no questions asked. And like you mentioned: knobs!

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I run my OT and insert synth of the day here with a boss RV5 on the cue outputs. Sounds gorgeous in ways that the OT reverb just doesnt.
I know what you mean about the OT delay, its a but dry. I do like the Digitone delay though. And the delay on my TR8S is killer.

I wouldnt use an ipad for anything. FX pedals are cheaper and built to last.


Ipad mini 2 is 32bit cpu, wont run newer apps like Eventide fxs. Grab a newer ipad like ipad air 2 ($150 second hand) and an iconnect audio , you will run fxs fine through audiobus 3 (you can adjust latency).
If you want to keep your ipad mini 2 for fxs, then buy an Eventide H9 and use your ipad as a remote for it (dedicated ios remote app).

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Get a second hand elektron A4 Mk1 - great as an FX box (the reverb you are looking for) with sequencer and 4 tracks of analog synth thrown in as a bonus!

You could pick one up for peanuts at the moment - there’s one on ebay bidding at GBP 489 closing in an hour.

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I use both, pros and cons. iPad is super convenient and opens a lot of creative possibilities, with a lot of great options. You can configure midi control from the OT as well, so you dont need to interact with the touch screen if you dont want to. You can get eventide, audio damage, mutable instruments, etc some top notch stuff.

I have a bunch of guitar pedals and I really like them too. If you get something like a strymon, theres a lot of thought and experience thats gone into it. Theres a bunch of really cool, unique and creative pedals out there, though you can probably replicate them to some extent though chaining fx on ipad, question is can you be bothered.

Pedals are just a lot more vibey to work with, you take what you get rather than wondering what you might be missing. For something like reverb and delay you can probably find something as an ipad auv3 fx, but if you want a particular type of distortion, or the stuff like the red panda particle, its going to be a lot easier to just get the pedal. Cons of pedals are cables, cost, usually mono and no midi, and limited recall ability.

To use the ipad you need an audio interface (and class compliant one should work), you’d go like OT cue outs -> audio interface ins -> aum -> fx -> interface outs -> OT ins. A plus of this is you can record the OT cue pre-fx as well if you’re not sure or just jamming. If you have 4 ins on the interface you can also record your jam, with OT main outs to the 2nd set of ins. If you tour you can back all your stuff up on the cloud and never have to worry about it.

I play guitar too, and I love pedals with that. I’m not sure I’d bother with pedals if I didnt, unless it was for something specific. Use AUv3 FX only in AUM I have never had issues with stability or reliability. I use my iPad for music a lot and on the whole I trust it, the only issues I’ve really had is with the older type of Inter App Audio and some specific bigger apps that were more complex daw like things.

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I’m pretty blown away by some of the FX on the iPad. For the OP, I’d say a lot depends on what music you’re making. Kymatika, Amazing Noises are really creative, complex and unique effects. And now the Burns Audio. I really like Tardigrain as an FX plugin for it’s verb, bit rate reduction + wavefolder. With the Eventide for iOS you can have multiple instances; That get’s pretty expensive with hardware!


Thx all! First gonna experiment with my DN as ext fx-unit for the OT and take it from there.

I am deterring this post from the grave as I’d like to use the ipad as an Fx box.

I am trying this but i have no idea how to route an input on the soundcard to the FX. In Aum i am just proposed some Usb ports, no hardware inputs. For info, i have a Babyface Pro as a soundcard.

Without looking at the manual, I presume the Babyface provides multiple virtual USB ins for virtual connections e,g, with a PC. I presume USB 1 and 2 in will also correspond to inputs 1 and 2 on the Babyface. If that doesn’t work RTFM. Selecting inputs and outputs in AUM couldn’t be easier.

Is the Baby in Class Compliant mode?

Connect the OT to the Baby inputs. Choose in AUM your input at USB 1 and/or 2. Then throw an FX in the channel FX slot. Then choose as output USB 1 and/or. Connect the the Baby outputs to the OT.

Things can get exponentially more complicated with AUM Bus routing coupled with TotalMixFX (which you may have to download…unsure) but stick to this simple procedure first to ensure it’s working properly.

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Indeed but the naming is a bit akward to me. For instance I discovered that in TotalMix Fx, I had to display Adat outputs (which i don’t use) corresponding in Aum to outputs Usb 7 to 12.

I read the manual but could not find what i want (hence my post here). Same way i did not find what A/N or A/S stand for in TotalMix, i have to test myself.

Yes, they use different logics and terminology, it is a bit confusing. Where i would expect proper names of hardware inputs and outputs + a layer of Usb for software playback, it doesn’t seem that simple.
Maybe the issue comes from the fact i wanna send a dry signal on one output and a wet on another.

Get Stereo Pedals with Presets and MIDI.

I would go with a pedal like the Zoia over an iPad because it’s programable, has midi and good AD/DA converters.

I would go for the Zoia as well but for now i’ll invest in food :wink:
As I already own the iPad and use it for synths, i find it more convenient (and cheaper) to use it as well for FX.

Note: the Zoia (as basically all gear) is 20% more expensive in Europe than in US. And I am in Europe.

zoia is nice as a preset instrument, but the lack of interface… one knob is not enough puts it in a similar position to the ipad…
The qualitiy of efffects is nice and well sounding but the lack of an intuitive interface makes it a mess.
The ipad has no common interface but zillions of interfaces and one gets lost in them.
The Zoia is fulll of possibilities but not even close to easy access…
Of course one could use an external controller… But this has to be done individually for every instrument or app… Time consuming and still only a compromise…
A dedicated box with dedicated controllers like a pedal might come with a price but its advantage is great when it comes to intuition and access to functions…
I wish for a standard common interface controller for the ipad that has two dozens of knobs and buttons and every app designer wraps its main funtions around that piece of hardware…