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MIDI over USB (Lighting) cable

Mac & Windows

By using the MIDI communication app Music IO, you can send MIDI from your Motion Synth to your mac or Windows PC via a standard iPhone cable (or an extra long USB cable).

The advantages of MIDI over USB are simplicity of setup and reliability (e.g. no possibility of wireless interference when performing live).

Midimittr and Music IO for iOS, mac, and windows

To connect the Motion Synth App (Version 1.1 and above) with you laptop via USB -




PLUS a server application on your laptop:

To use the above apps, you also need to install a free server program on your laptop.

Although the creator of the Midimittr app has made their app free, if you make use of it please consider making a donation on their site to support them in their ongoing development of the app.

How to install and configure the Music IO app and server.

Music IO Details:

Midimittr and MusicIO allow you to control laptop audio software with your Motion Synth via MIDI messages sent over your iPhone USB (Lightning) cable.

Music IO: Audio and MIDI over USB allows you to send both MIDI and audio data from your iOS device to your laptop via a USB (Lightning) cable.

IMPORTANT - MIDI server: Both versions of the Music IO app require a MusicIO server application to be running on your mac or windows computer to receive MIDI messages from the Music IO app. Download the MusicIO server for free here.

A Windows version (beta) of the server is also available here. More info can be found here.

Once launched, both versions of the Music IO app are intended to run in the 'background' on your iPhone (or iPod touch), while you keep using the Motion Synth App in the 'foreground' (i.e. with the Motion Synth App visible on your iPhone screen).

Music IO installation and launch:

Once you have the Music IO app installed on your iPhone/iPod and the Music IO server application installed on your mac, you can establish a very reliable and low-latency connection immediately:

  • Connect your iPhone or iPod touch to your mac via USB (Lightning) cable.
  • Launch the Motion Synth app on your iPhone.
  • Launch the MusicIO app on your iPhone.
  • Tap within the circle in the Music IO app: This will reveal the “Settings” link.

  • Tap “Settings”, select auug as the input (“MIDI From”) and then tap “Back”. If you don't see “auug” as a “MIDI From” option, return to the home screen, launch the Motion Synth (auug) app, and then return to the Music IO app menu shown below.

  • The Music IO app and server will automatically connect to each (indicated by transition to green colour).

  • Launch or return to the Motion Synth app. All MIDI output from the Motion Synth app will now be automatically sent to your mac. Note: You do not need to wait for the connection to be established before returning to the Motion Synth App.
  • If you have Modules (Motion Tab) sending motion or orientation signals from the Motion Synth app, try moving your iPhone. The Music IO server should respond by showing five green dots within the green circle as shown below:

  • The next time you launch the Music IO app and the Music IO server application, “auug” should be selected automatically, and the above configuration steps won't be needed.
  • If you are not receiving MIDI input from the Motion Synth App to your audio software, check that you have Music IO selected as a MIDI input. Below is an example of a MIDI input/output setup dialog (Ableton Live) with the Music IO input configured correctly:

  • Your iPhone / iPod touch will charge via the cable while connected. When you remove the cable, ensure that you terminate the MusicIO app (don't let it run in the background). Otherwise, the Music IO app may continue to run in the background and drain your iPhone battery (tested in MusicIO app version 1.1).

MusicIO was developed by Audeonic Apps, Confusion Studios, and Secret Base Design, and we thank them for their assistance in making the Motion Synth App compatible with MusicIO.

USB cable type and securing the connection:

If you would like a longer USB lightning cable for use with your Motion Synth, third party sync-capable cables should work well.

For example, we have tested these cables and they work perfectly:

Please note the difference between charge cables (charging only) and sync cables (syncing and charging), as it may be that charge cables may not include the wiring required for MIDI data transfer.

Here is an example of how to run a USB lightning cable through one of the palm triangle holes to prevent the cable pulling on, or being pulled out of, your iPhone or iPod touch.

Windows alternatives

If Music IO is not working well on windows machince, consider these alternatives:

  • The MIDImux app for iOS supports both mac and PC (tested with Motion Synth app plus macbook pro and works well).

By running midiLE for USB in the background and running this MIDI server on your PC you should be able to send the Motion Synth's MIDI output to your PC.

Installation and setup instructions can be found here.

Although the creator of the MIDI LE app has made their app free, if you make use of it please consider making a donation on their site to support them in their ongoing development of the app.

A hardware alternative that appears to be PC compatible is also available:

midi_over_usb_lightning.txt · Last modified: 2022/03/12 03:20 (external edit)