Midiflow by developer Johannes Doerr has been available for some time, so this isn't a typical "new" app review. Quite frankly, MIDI has always been a bit of a mystery to me, so I'd stayed away from this app. Most if not all of my iOS tracks have been live recordings layered on top of each other. The idea of MIDI has always interested me, but I had never used it for actual tracks.
But, I started reading some threads on the Audiobus forum that peaked my interest. I decided to try to embrace MIDI, and Midiflow seemed like a great place to start.
Midiflow is a very full-featured MIDI utility app. In addition to acting as MIDI clock, the app can also help de-bug MIDI connection issues that you may be having, as well as providing unique ways to configure MIDI hardware, as seen in the video above.
Admittedly, what attracted me first was the video above showing how easy it is to split a MIDI keyboard to use multiple iOS synths together. As I said before, my tracks are almost always live recordings, so being able to play two apps at once instantly appealed to me. I can attest that it really is easy to configure, even for a MIDI idiot like me. You can also set up your keyboard to trigger different apps based on velocity ranges as well. That's cool stuff.
That ease of use is a big plus for Midiflow as well. MIDI implementation is notoriously dodgy still in the iOS world. App developers each seem to have their own idea of how to implement MIDI in their apps, much to the frustration of end users. Midiflow helps users understand how MIDI is being transmitted by showing MIDI data in real-time. This will come in handy when you're having trouble figuring out why your apps aren't playing nice.
As I mentioned before, Midiflow can also function as a MIDI clock, keeping multiple apps in sync. For some apps like Sugar Bytes' Effectrix, this is necessary in order to even use the app, so Midiflow pays for itself right there.
Released in June of 2014, Midiflow has been updated many times over, keeping it current with today's iOS systems as well as working properly. The developer Johannes Doerr is very active in online iOS communities, soliciting feedback and bug reports from users. Readers of the site will know how much I appreciate active developers like Johannes.
From a technical standpoint, Midiflow is a universal app that only uses 10.8mb. It has recently been updated to function properly with iOS 9, but can also be used for those still on iOS 7 or iOS 8. While the purchased app provides a ton of functionality, there are two IAP's available to create custom controller conditions and controller remapping. These are both very reasonably priced, and will likely appeal to people who know more about them than I do.
Besides being an active developer, Johannes has created some extensive documentation for Midiflow. Check it out here. For inexperienced MIDI users like me, this in-depth manual is incredibly helpful. I know that there are a lot of deep features of Midiflow that I'll likely never use, but it's all right here if I ever do decide to dive deeper down the rabbit hole.
Much like how Audiobus helps connect audio in iOS apps, Midiflow makes it easier to connect MIDI between apps. For me, MIDI is already confusing enough, but with all the quirks and bugs out there, it's great to have a utility app to help us get back to making music.
If you're thinking about buying Midiflow, please consider clicking through our App Store link below. Thanks![app 879915554]