This video is a rare inside look at my creative and writing process using the MPC 4000 and my iPad “Dawless” setup. This video starts off by me discussing some rewiring that I was working on in the studio which lead to me experimenting with the setup to create several beats. In this video I’m using two iPads MIDI sequenced by the MPC 4000 along with a few hardware synthesizers for a full Dawless session. All of the instruments are running directly into my interface with minimal usage of effects on the interface (Apollo Quad).


00:00 Intro

06:53 Working on Beat#1

00:51:58 Working on Beat#2

Using the iPad as a workstation synth replacement has significantly changed the way I work in the studio. In this video you can hear many different sounds being used such as bass guitar, piano, strings, horns etc, all of which are coming from my iPad hosted in AUM software. The quality and realism in modern iPad apps arguably exceeds the capabilities of most hardware workstation options today. Although you may see the Motif ES6 being used in this video, all of the sounds with the exception of the drums and a couple of synth sounds are coming from the iPad.


In order to use the iPad as a music instrument you should first make sure that you have a later model device in order to ensure that you have enough power to run virtual instruments. In this video I’m using the A1701 model which is the iPad Pro 10.5 from 2017. On this model, I’m able to run about 12 instruments hosted in AUM with no issues.

The iPad connects to my MPC 4000 via MIDI and my Apollo Quad Interface via TRS cables. I’m currently using the Komplete Audio 6 MK1 interface by Native Instruments since it is class compliant and supports 4 analog ins and outs as well as 5 pin MIDI in and out. In order to connect class compliant USB devices to the iPad you will need to use the Apple Lightning to USB3 Camera Adapter (I receive a commission if you use this link to purchase so please consider this as a way to show your support).

My iPad is suspended above my MPC using the Arkon TAB086-12 Tablet Clamp which you can get here using my affiliate link.

Enjoy the video and let me know if you have any additional questions about the setup!