Review: iConnectivity iConnect Audio 2+

Integrate your iOS device with your main computer
By Geary Yelton,

If you work or even dabble in audio production— whether it’s crafting beats for your own amusement or making hit records—you need to get MIDI and high-quality audio data into and out of your computer. What if you want to throw an iPad or iPhone into the mix? Can you get audio and MIDI data in your computer to talk to your iOS device? Where can you find an interface suitable for your needs and aspirations?

The iConnectAudio2+ is the interface I use with my portable MacBook Pro-based rig. Onstage and in other people’s studios, I use it with soft synths, effects plug-ins, sample libraries running in Kontakt, and whatever DAW I prefer at the moment. It’s compact, it’s dependable, and it has exactly enough I/O to get the job done.

The iConnectAudio2+ supports sampling rates as high as 96 kHz, which is ample for any project I may be working on. It gets its power from USB, so I’m not concerned with misplacing yet another wall wart. I can route, filter, and remap MIDI data and make changes to the internal audio mixer and patchbay in the utilitarian iConfig app running on my computer or iPad. I can also adjust levels and other parameters using the front panel’s touch display and rotary control knob, and the iConnectAudio2+ stores setups in internal memory.

ROUTE IT FOR ME

The iConnectAudio2+ is a full-fledged audio interface, with two pairs of balanced inputs you can address independently, with a third separate mix for headphones. One type-A and two type-B USB jacks on the back panel accommodate either two computers or a computer and an iOS device. Each connection carries eight audio channels to and from its connected device.

Unlike iConnectMIDI interfaces, the iConnect Audio2+ is a full-fledged audio interface. In addition to moving audio between connected devices via Audio passThru, it has two pairs of balanced inputs you can address independently, with a third separate mix for headphones. Normally, I use the four outputs as separate stereo sends to a mixing console—one pair from the Mac and the other from the iPad. Sometimes I route audio from two different soft synths to their own stereo outputs.

When I’m playing a hardware synth, Haken Continuum, bass, or guitar, I plug it into one or both of the front-panel audio inputs. Because they’re combo TRS/XLR jacks, they’ll also accommodate a pair of microphones, and they supply phantom power individually.

Although the iConnectAudio2+ has only MIDI In and Out on 5-pin connectors, it supports up to 80 MIDI channels. In addition to 16 channels on the DIN jacks, the USB connections provide two virtual 16-channel ports for each of the two connected devices.

PROBLEM SOLVED

All iConnectivity interfaces are problem solvers, and the iConnectAudio2+ is no different. Need an interface that works with your computer and iPad simultaneously? Want to route audio and MIDI between them with extremely low latency? Want to use iOS apps in your computer’s DAW as if they were external synths? I’m only aware of one company that makes it all possible, and the iConnect Audio2+ is the least expensive device that does it all. Without hesitation, I recommend it highly.

STRENGTHS

Connects two computers or a computer and iOS device into an integrated system. Versatile audio and MIDI signal routing. Outputs carry three separate stereo mixes.

LIMITATIONS

Software’s GUI could be more attractive.

$199 street
iconnectivity.com

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