What is RouteMIDI?

RouteMIDI is an AUV3 Audio unit which will allow you to direct the output of your DAW tracks to external hardware Synthesizers via MIDI.

I have spend a lot of time with Garageband on my iPad - I love it to death and apart from using the fantastic internal instruments, sounds etc., I have acquired some nice Software Synthesizer modules that I use as Audio Units on certain tracks.

I also have a couple of sweet external Synthesizers - the old Korg Radias, and the recent Roland Boutique module, the D-05. I have been dying to incorporate the use of these synths in music I have been creating, but Garageband did not provide a way of sending track MIDI to these units...

Along came IOS 11 and it's support for MIDI in Audio Units, so I decided to create an Audio Unit that would very simply allow me to select it on a Track and then step through all the external MIDI Synthesizers it finds available to the system then select one to be the destination of that track's data.

What's next?

Full instructions for installing, setting up, and using RouteMIDI can be found below.

For a forthcoming future release of RouteMIDI, I am diligently working on incorporating the ability to save the state of the Audio Unit along with the composition it belongs to - there are only 2 items of information that are settable per track that incorporates RouteMIDI, namely the selected destination device, and the selected MIDI channel. Until this is implemented, I hope users will forgive me for the fact that this info is not saved between sessions, but at least it's quick and easy to re-set these selections when you come back to work on your composition.

Version History

The current version is Version  1.5. On this version you will notice a new button that displays 3 exclamation marks on a red background. If you should find that occasionally notes will "stick on", just tap this "All Notes Off" button to clear the condition.


Before diving into the actual guide to operating RouteMIDI, a few words regarding MIDI interfacing the external Synthesizers and modules you will be controlling are in order. MIDI devices go back decades, and so do the interfaces that Computers and Sequencers have employed to connect with them. USB MIDI Interfaces are the most common devices today that you can use to connect your IOS device (iPhone/iPad) to your external Synth/Module - either directly, or even using a Mac as a USB MIDI hub. Some newer MIDI Synths and devices have a choice of either USB "B" type connectors, Micro USB connectors and even the original 5-pin DIN In/Out connectors. The simplest connection, for example, that I have tested RouteMIDI with is a single Lightning-USB cable. Google will be your friend in researching what's available, but I do promise to attempt to compile some sort of guide resource to point you to sources of MIDI interfacing Hardware/Software.

Setting up...

1. Once you have downloaded RouteMIDI from the App Store, you will notice a new App Icon on your device screen labeled "RouteMIDIApp". This App is what actually creates the RouteMIDI Audio Unit and installs it on your system. So, go ahead and run this App and after a short time you should see a screen that displays a message "RouteMIDI Audio Unit is now ready for use in a Host App of your choice". You can now dismiss/exit RouteMIDIApp

2. Since the IOS DAW that most evoked the desire in me to "play" my new Roland D-05 Synthesizer module from tracks of my DAW was Garageband, I am going to write the rest of this guide with Garageband as the DAW we will be using. So then, let's fire up Garageband and start by creating a new song by tapping "+" in the top right. The first thing to do now is to choose one of the Instrument sources that are displayed when "TRACKS" is highlighted top center screen. Swipe left or right until the "EXTERNAL" panel is showing. Now, tap the "Audio Unit Extensions" icon, and the screen should change to display Icons for all of the compatible Audio Units that are available on your system. Among these Icons you should see the Icon for "RouteMIDI". Tap it and you should be taken to Garageband track view screen. You should see the first track, which will be displaying the RouteMIDI Icon. Below, you should see the usual Garageband Keyboard, and also the two controls for RouteMIDI.

3. The first control, labeled "MIDI Out" consists of a text field, which displays the names of compatible MIDI destinations or "OUT" devices that RouteMIDI finds interfaced to your system. At the right-hand end of this box there is a "Stepper Control" that enables you to step forward/backward through the available destinations. Assuming that your desired destination is displayed in this text field, you are pretty much done and anything you play or record on this Garageband track will be sent as MIDI to the selected destination/device. If you do not see the destination/device you are searching for despite using the stepper control forward/backward, you should investigate and check that your cables are correctly connected and your external Synth/module is powered up and receiving MIIDI signals using whatever you may have at your disposal.

4. Below the "MIDI Out" control section you will see the "Out Channel" cluster of 16 buttons, each one representing a MIDI channel. Only one button at a time can be highlighted, and the default MIDI channel is 1. You would typically use these buttons when assigning multiple Garageband tracks to a Multi-Timbral Synthesizer where different tracks would be assigned to different MIDI channels in order to acess the different "parts" or "voices" within the Multi-Timbral device.

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