Total Newbie in the music world needs advice for Hardware + BM3

edited January 2020 in General

Good Day Folks,
so first, im a total newbie to the whole music producing scene.
I never was a fan of sitting in front of the computer and making music, so this hobby never stucked to me, cause i needed some hardware in my hand. I just did it in my head.. for years. Finally i want to transfer it to a actual device. So i stumbled across BM3 and im really impressed. I never used any DAWs on a PC and never got my hands on a DAW at all except BM3 now.
Because im so new in this whole world, i grinded building general knowledge about music production.
I now think i have a basic amount of knowledge what a sampler, sequenecer, midi signals, interfaces, etc. is but im still super confused when it comes to the details, especially Midi Controllers.

What i want to have is a controller, which i can use to minimalize to look at the ipad directly, so i will work more with the controller than the DAW itself. I also want to try out sample based beat making, so i want a setup to record from my phone, my PC or maybe even a future vinyl player i will buy.
As well i want a midi keyboard to have a feeling for what i do rather than touching a glass screen.

My question is:
Is there any limitation in Midi Controllers or Midi Keyboards i can use with BM3 on the Ipad? Do i have to look for specific specs which only work with BM3 or isnt this important at all, because in BM3 you can map Midi from any devices? Do i need a midi output on my controller or can i just plug in the usb and im ready to go? Is an Audio Interface neccessary in an Ipad Setup?

I know i need a Apple Lightning to USB3 adapter to connect a midi controller to my ipad. but is that it and im ready to map? And what do i need for sampling into the ipad? I came across these little things from IK multimedia(IRigs) but i dont quite understand which device i need for what task.

I have a few favorites i have in mind for purchasing:
Controller: Maschine MK3 Mikro
Akai MPD 218
Novation launch Key Mini3k
Sensel Morph
Keyboard: Komplete Kontrol M32
Arturia Micro Lab
Alesis V25
Would there be any problem in running one of these?

I know its much and i hope you are not as confused as i am in this moment.
I hope theres someone who can tell me a bit more about this and im sorry if this is some basic thing to ask, but i feel a bit lost :)
Much love



  • edited January 2020

    Welcome to the forum @Bath_Salty (Fabse)

    There's a lot to get through, but we've all been in your situation at some point so I'm sure everyone here will do their best to help you out.

    I'll probably need to respond to each of your questions bit by bit, so I may not be able to answer all your questions at once.

    Firstly, if your budget stretches to a Bluetooth-enabled midi controller (such as the Korg Nanostudio) you don't need any cables or adaptors. However, if you don't mind being tethered to the iPad there are hundreds of different low-power USB midi controllers you can pick up cheaper new or second hand — including all of the ones you listed above.

    Audio interfaces are not essential (I've never bothered buying one in 5+ years using the iPad for music production) but they do help a great deal for plugging external sound sources into your iPad, such as turntables, guitars, hardware synths, and microphones.

  • Well first off, of all places you could be you are here, and here is a oretty good place to be. My experience researching interfaces a few years back led me to an iconnectivity iconnectaudio4+ , but thats because i wanted to be able to swap audio and midi back n forth between two ipads or an ipad and a computer. That might be possible without this device now, but once setup, this device offers midi in and out plus the usb midi too and some line ins for a mixer........

    Controllers, the mpd line is great, but double hits with the pads reading multiple strikes is kinda a buggy issue a lot of people complain of but that happens with my beatstep too so.... anything you get from akai or arturia, you cant really go wrong with thier new stuf. That said, read the post here about the presonus atom pad controller, you might just wanna grab one of those and a keyboard. (I use a qunexus and beatstep @ home and a korg nanokey studio blue tooth controller when on the train) I would go with a launchpad or atom, or an akai mpd. The launchpads , mpds and arturia smaller keyboard with touch sliders and 8 pads, all three of these will prove extremely useful elsewhere with other software too. ( i bounce between bm3 ns2 and cubasis, i dont bounce far beyond those three as daws, which brings me to the last topic. Maschine, no , no, native instruments maschine would make an amazing controller for bm3 BUT it is NOT a " class compliment device" which is what you midi device must be to work with an ipad. So even if a controller isn't officially supporting ipads, if its class compliant you should be able to get it to work if you provide enough power. Usually you will benefit from a powered hub regardless, You number ONE will be making sure the ipad is being charged while you work, ( for me thats solved by the iconnectaudio4+ or just using the wall plug. Most people use the charging lighting camera kit i think its called.

  • edited January 2020

    Hey Hey!

    A lot of your questions can be directly answered in my BM3 videos:
    (this is actually a link to a PLAYLIST with 50+ videos)
    Happy Beatmaking! :)

    I also have 2 videos which may help you that are not in that playlist:

  • First of all huge thx for all the good advices. Im getting more and more into the subject, but its hell of work. But super stoked to get on the journey.

    @cyp3 : Is there anything like a list or so which controller are class compliant? Its kinda hard because most of the time i experience that the online stores don't always indicate them as such.

    and @DeanDaughters : thanks for the links! I must have skipped these for no reason while looking through your list before! Huge thx to your work. It was a huge knowledge boost about this specific subject. Keep on the grind!

  • i think you can't go wrong with :

    Akai MPD 218
    Arturia Micro Lab / Keystep

    each are under 100$, are a great value and pair well with BM3. The Sensel Morph as well... but a bit pricier. But can combine keys and pads in one controller .. not to mention the other slipcover things they have avail

  • i wanted to add a few more things, and if you like it short n sweet just skip past this cuz im alllllll over the place and sloppy as fuck but i try to drop all the basics here.

    You should make sure you buy class compliant usb products, and always self powered or be prepared to provide extra power, this is why a powered lightning or usb c dongle and hub n such I think Dean explains it like ten times or more. there are lots of options, but just make sure its CLASS COMPLIANT, also, an audio interface isnt needed but it is an extremly nice thing to have and you will be happy with anything from Iconnectivity , I think presonus and novation make some ipad friendly interfaces that a lot of people use too, but im an iconnectivity fanboi, those things are what NIN is using in thier live rigs and thats good enough reason for me. If you have not been to youtube yet, yo! Dean up above with Electronisounds, and Jakob Haq, and Tim Web , Henny, they will all show you , show them lots of love! They show you many very very helpful ideas. I mentioned what i use above but i wanted to add, The Novation 2x4 interface hub thing works well for many people. Circuit, MPDs ( assuming you get one that doesnt have pad issues, ive had the same issues with my beatstep and have NOT had double triggers on my akai lpk pads, ) launchpad! PreSonus Atom, Qunexus, arturia, novation and akai make sooooo many awesome products, Make sure you get your charging usb lightning dongle, and a nice little flightcase where you can tuck a big power bank, usb hub and dongles UNDer Your ipad and controller, maybe a small mixer and audio interface, you have everything, add ANY sampler, ever a Kaospad or sp404, or another ipad or phone, or anything to record to, then you can bounce back n forth.

    Having a pad control with rgb colors for color coding, and with banks, 16 knobs, start stop etc, a keyboard with 37 keys, a mixer with 4 to 8 mono and at least 2 sterio, 2 aux sends and returns, an audio interface that lets you record more than 2 ch at a time, has more than 2 outs is always a bonus. And somthing to put everything in, set it up, tie it down and familiarize yourself with where everything is and how it works, im in the process of building a portable live rig based on the above, everything in a small flightcase and probly a rack with analog sidechain on aux send one, delays and verbs on aux send 2 , maybe eventually a midi foot control for banks and transport.

    A mixer and audio interface expands your potential with bm3 / ios production expotentially, its awesome to just plug in and have all your eq, and pres, and routing options, and the option to bounce bounce bounce! You really dont need as much out of the box and a daw if you have a mixer and such, you can also use lots of mics and have a lot more control over your sound. Just use good cables even if that means buying the cable and plugs and building em up yourself witha solder iron, or just solder with a cig lighter and flux, it works. Dont cut corners , use quality materials and your studio will build up over the years, buy shit materials and you will be buying replacements instead of new gear.

  • edited July 2020

    Wanted to add, emember, Class compliant USB , low power, blietooth LE, made for ios, these things are what you should look for first off, but keep an eye on the arturia products cuz even though thier older pads sucked, thier gear is built like a talk and soooooo well thought out. But there are many smaller companies and older gear that will work too.

    And downt forget the gasmask with bio filters! And KORG NANOKEYSTUDIO or a blue tooth midi adapter on the above = massive convenience. An ipad and a nanokeystudio with a powerbank and a bag of rechargable aaa bats = limitless freedom and miles upon miles upon miles of happy comunting.

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