Saturday, 15 June 2013

MIDI BreakOut Box 2.0 is Coming

We've been working on an updated version of our MIDI BreakOut Box app.  For those who aren't familiar with it, the MIDI BreakOut Box provides a way to monitor incoming MIDI messages and redirect them to one or more output channels.

For example, you can use the app to add a layering capability by taking a single channel's input and routing it to multiple outputs at the same time.  Each output can have its own separate instrument preset, pan and volume.  It's even possible to create keyboard split points so that the output switches seamlessly as you play a keyboard controller.  This is useful because it adds a feature that's often only found on high-end keyboards and makes it available to any MIDI device.

The app is also great for remapping channels: For example, some synths use a different channel for percussion when they are not in "General MIDI" mode but the BreakOut Box can be used to reroute incoming MIDI data to the correct channel.

Another useful function is the ability to transpose incoming data before routing it to the output.  When combined with the layering this makes all sorts of interesting effects possible such as "octave piano".

Version 2.0 of the app adds a number of features that have been requested by our existing users and these make the app much more useful:
  • It's now a Universal App!  Previously available only for the iPad but it's now possible to use the app on an iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad.  This makes the app much more portable and useful.
  • It's now possible to monitor and redirect multiple input channels at the same time.  This makes it possible to swap channels, for example to map channel 10 to channel 16 while at the same time mapping channel 16 to channel 10.
  • On the iPad you can finally use the app in both Portrait and Landscape orientations so it "fits" into your studio setup.
Here's what the app looks like on the iPad (To those who already have version 1.0 you won't notice too much of a difference until you switch to Landscape mode):

On the iPhone we've tried hard to keep every feature, but obviously screen space made this challenging to do.  We ended up with a landscape design, and it's possible to scroll the output channel list to see all 16 channels.  The transpose and keyboard split points are still available too - just scroll the output panel horizontally to see them.

Updated: Version 2.0 hits the App Store this week and requires a Core MIDI compatible hardware adapter such as the iRig MIDI.  On the iPad you can also use a compatible MIDI adapter connected to the Apple USB Camera Control Kit.  We hope you'll find the app as useful as we do!


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