There are a few different ways that you can connect Synclavier Go! or Synclavier Pocket! to external audio equipment. What configuration you chose will depend on a few factors, such as your available equipment, your preferred workflow, and your current situation (i.e., on tour could be different to in the studio, or bedroom, or basement or, well you get the idea — these are portable devices after all).
On this page, you will find some typical configurations. On occasion we will link to a third-party product. This isn’t necessarily a brand recommendation, it’s more of an example of what you can connect,
Synclavier Go! has a built in keyboard that’s useful to test sounds, but has its limitations in performance. This is more obvious with the smaller built-in keyboard of the Synclavier Pocket!. Therefore, we recommend using a MIDI keyboard with these products, if budget allows.
For the latest generation of iPads — ones that have a USB-C port — you will need a USB hub, such as this product. For the previous generations of iPads and iPhones — ones with a lightning connector — you will need to use what’s called Lightning to USB Camera Adapter. It’s called a camera adapter, because connecting a camera is the main use of these devices, but what they effectively do, is turn your iPad/iPhone into a USB host, rather than a client, so they can also be used to route MIDI over USB.
You can buy camera adapters with or without a power input. Since iPads and iPhones only have one input jack, if you use it for a camera adapter, you won’t be able to keep your iOS device charged. This is especially important if you’re connecting devices such as a MIDI keyboard, since that will draw its power from the iOS device. Therefore, we recommend getting the camera adapter with the power input. You don’t always have to plug power into it, but it’s nice to have that option.
When you connect a MIDI keyboard, it should be recognised immediately by Go!/Pocket!. You should be able to play a note and hear it. On Pocket! the virtual keyboard will slide out when you do this to make room for a row of Partial buttons. On Go! the virtual keyboard remains, and if you play a note in its range, it will animate as if you pressed that key. You can check the status of MIDI i/o at any time by pressing the connections menu button on the top bar of the app (it’s the button with two arrows going left and right). If your keyboard supports it, Go! and Pocket! both respond to velocity, pitch bend, mod wheel, in addition to note pressed.
Once you have MIDI input, the next step will likely be to get some audio output. The built-in speakers have their limits too. There are countless audio interfaces on the market that support USB audio, each aimed at a different level of the market, from amateur to pro, so your budget will dictate what audio interface you start out with. If you’re using a camera kit, you’ll have used i’s USB slot for your MIDI keyboard, so you’ll also need a USB hub. These are relatively inexpensive, and you may already have one kicking around. Again, we would recommend a USB hub with the option to power it from an adapter, since when you start to add devices, you can quite quickly reach the current limit. Some audio interfaces, such as the Novation 2×4 AudioHub contain a built-in USB hub, but these are getting few and far between. Of course, if you have the latest generation, you just need one piece of kit — a USB-C hub, rather than a camera kit and a USB hub.
So, now you’re ready to get audio from Go! Pocket! Again, the menu buttons are your friends, this time the one with the icon of a speaker, will bring up the audio settings. It will show you what audio interfaces are connected and give you the option, if there is one, of which interface to route the audio to. At time of writing, Go! and Pocket! support one stereo audio output, at 44.1kHz or 48kHz sample rate, selectable. A word of warning here: if you have a problem getting audio out or MIDI in, often the order in which equipment is connected affects it ability to — well, connect. Some equipment is more sensitive to this, so if you run into problems, just disconnect and then reconnect in a different order and you should have things working correctly.
It just remains for you to route that audio where you want it to go, such as headphones, amplifier and speakers, mixing desk, multi-track recorder. There you have it, a portable sound design rig.
The New Knob
A hardware Synclavier Knob product is available from Synclavier Digital. This can be connected concurrently with a MIDI keyboard, through a USB interface.
The Synclavier Knob, has been re-engineered from the original control knob of the Synclavier II. The weight and feel of the knob is identical, and when you turn it left or right, the soft-control on Synclavier Go! moves accordingly. Many users will find this authentic experience easy and quicker to manipulate accurate values than the simulated knob.
It’s been said elsewhere, but it bears repeating that with Synclavier Go! and a Synclavier Knob you can have what amounts to a very desirable Synclavier set-up.
Synclavier Go! and Pocket! support InterApp and InterDevice Audio. Pocket! is mono-timbral, which means you can only trigger the playing of one sound at a time. However, Go! is multi-timbral and supports the triggering of up to 16 tracks simultaneous. More information on this is given in the manual, but in short, if you press the track button in the top-left of the screen of Synclavier Go!, you can select which track you’re currently affecting, then map a timbre to it.
If you have other audio apps on your iOS device, you can route MIDI and audio between Synclavier and the other apps. We support Audiobus, since this is a well-established, and frankly great, way to do this. It has a simple visual interface. Please refer to Audiobus documentationfor more info on this.
InterDevice audio support means Synclavier can communicate to other devices, receiving MIDI and sending audio. Other devices could be on a network (wired LAN or WiFi), bluetooth, or connected through USB. The way Synclavier see’s the other equipment is the same regardless of connection method. A word of warning: it might not be as convenient, but the more “wired” you are to the other equipment, the less latency you will experience; i.e., if you can connect through a USB connection, there will be less response delay than if you connect over WiFi; so chose the connection method that suits your needs.
Connection to DAWs
One outcome of supporting InterDevice audio, means you can connect Go! or Pocket! to a DAW without much additional equipment. If you already use a computer-based DAW as part of your music making workflow, then you can connect your iPad or iPhone to your computer with a USB cable. And that’s all you need. No camera kit needed. The iPad or iPhone acts like an external synth box. You can connect your MIDI keyboard to your computer. You can map channels in your DAW to send MIDI to the Synclavier, and receive audio back from it. With a suitable stand, for your iPad or iPhone, you have a very useable synth set-up.
To configure this on a Mac, run the Audio Midi Setup application, find your iPad in the left hand panel, and click enable. Now you can modify the settings of your DAW to route MIDI and audio accordingly. For connection to Windows PC, you may need to use Wireless MIDI or bluetooth, please search for instructions on how to do this on the internet.
As this is something many users will want to do, we have provided a walk-through for Logic Pro X running on a Mac. Other DAWs are sure to have similar procedures to achieve this, and we will add to this connection guide as more information becomes available.
- Connect your iPad to your Mac using a Lightning-USB cable.
- Run the Synclavier Go! App on your iPad.
- On your Mac, run the Audio MIDI Setup application in your Utilities folder, your iPad should be in the device listing on the left side of the main form. Click the ‘Enable’ button directly under your iPad.
- If your iPad is not in the device list, verify that your iPad is connected to your Mac. Some USB hubs may interfere with this functionality so you may have to connect your iPad directly to your computer.
- In the Synclavier Go! App, select the tracks in the top left section of the screen:
- On the following screen, you can turn on up to 8 individual tracks and assign timbres to that track. In the following screen shot there are two tracks selected:
- On your Mac, run Logic Pro X. For these insruction we will be starting with a new project. You will be prompted to add a new track, select External MIDI and verify that the Output is set your iPad and the MIDI channel is set to 1 (this can be changed later if desired), click the Create button.
- Repeat the above process and verify that the Output is set to channel 2. Your project should now contain two channels and should look similar to this:
- Logic Pro X is now configured to output MIDI on both channels 1 and 2.
- Add another new track but this time select Audio. The Input should be ‘Input 1 + 2’ and the Input Device should be listed as iPad. Create this track.
- Now you must create MIDI regions for both channels 1 and 2. Your screen should now look similar to this:
- In order to monitor / record the audio feed from the Synclavier Go! App, The Audio Track MUST be the selected track and you must select the Input Monitoring option, the small block with the ‘I’ just to the right on the record button on the Audio track.
- Click the play button and you should now be able to monitor and record up to 16 different timbres simultaneously from the Synclavier Go! App.
PRO-TIP: Logic outputs MIDI volume messages for each track. If you want to use these, on Synclavier Go! or Pocket!, map the Pedal 1 MIDI expression (Ped 1) to Volume (select all partials to map entire timbre). Now you’ll be able to mix the volume of the assigned timbre tracks right in your DAW!