About 6 months ago, there was an Indiegogo drive for a Wireless Midi interface. It got funded in June.
“Let your old but good digital piano shine again by connecting your iPhone or iPad via Bluetooth wireless MIDI interface.”
Basically, it takes the voltage that is being transmitted on the midi ports and uses that to convert it to Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Which means this little $45 thing you plug in will allow you to talk to your iPad, iPhone, Mac or anything that supports Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth 4).
So, how does this work with an EWI?
Pretty darn good actually. I tested it with an iPad 4 and the free version of SampleTank for iPad. You have to download their mi.1connect software (free) as well. You use that software to connect to the mi.1, and then once you load up SampleTank, it shows up as a virtual device that you can stream to/from.
I loaded up a Cello patch, and boom…….what I was playing was now being played through the iPad. With pretty much no latency. Amazing.
Problem though….the way the Mi.1 is made, you cannot have them in a midi device where the plugs are on top of each other. You cannot connect the IN part of the mi.1 into the EWI. The device works fine with just the out connector, but then you have this other part that sort of dangles off to the side and you have to tape down or something. I get that 95% of gear out there have midi ports that are side by side so I don’t really fault them for it. I’m not sure if I cut the connection between the two sides that it would totally cripple the device or not. I’d be totally fine with just outputting midi stuff and losing the input part.
The interface doesn’t work with Garageband. The company is supposedly working on a software update that will let it support Midi over BLE on iOS 8 and Mac OS X 10.10, but it’s not out yet. That would be really sweet.
Verdict? For the money, this is really cool. I’m looking forward to finding a good poppy brass section sample I can use on iOS with the EWI. Or even maybe using some other synth sounds to supplement the EWI4000’s sounds.
So go check it out.