need cable/hardware input advice for a mid concertina

Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:00 am

need cable/hardware input advice for a mid concertina

Postby woodymckenzie » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:40 am

I recently bought a midi concertina from Accordionmagic in England and have been using it with Mainstage on my macbook Air. Most of the voices work, but only a few are what I am looking for. From reading that midi keyboards can connect and play through Thumbjam, I'd like to try this. I heard Wes play in a bar in Roanoke on an ipod and was impressed with the quality of the sound. Mainstage doesn't have concertina sounds, but it looks like Thumbjam does. If I buy an ipad, what cables and hardware do I need? The concertina has a midi cable out and also an interface box that has a usb cable out, which I use to connect to my Air. However, it is powered through the computer via the usb interface. I believe I may need some kind of interface that is externally powered so the ipad won't be drained.

Here is an initial sample of what I'm doing on the midi concertina using Mainstage:

It's a problem that I don't have a good concertina sound in Mainstage. Also, I can't get guitar sounds to play. I'm hoping that Thumbjam might be handier and have sounds that I can, especially playing for contra dances. Also, it appears that I may be able to record my own sounds to use in Thumbjam. If that's not too difficult, then that would be mighty fine!

Thanks for any advice you might be able to provide!

Woody in Lynchburg, VA


User avatar
Posts: 1045
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:25 am

Hello! Yes, if you got a new

Postby Jesse » Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:19 am


Yes, if you got a new iPad you would need the Lightning to USB camera adaptor (formerly called the iPad camera connection kit on previous generation iPads). But you are right, the power load on that interface could be too much for the iPad and/or you probably wouldn't want it draining your battery either way. The solution is to run the USB from your box into a powered USB hub (that you plug into AC power), then plug that hub into your iPad. This also has the advantage of letting you plug in potentially more things, including a high quality USB audio interface so you can get better quality output (instead of using the headphone/line output of the iPad).

Yes, you can record your own sounds (or import samples that you recorded elsewhere) to make new instruments!

Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:00 am

Excellent! That's just the

Postby woodymckenzie » Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:50 am

Excellent! That's just the advice I needed.

If I can record my own concertinas and play those sounds through Thumbjam it will be way cool!

I intend to use this instrument for the first time at a contra dance next month. If all goes well, I'll post videos of it.

Thanks for your quick response!


Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:00 am

I bought the camera/lightning

Postby woodymckenzie » Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:56 pm

I bought the camera/lightning cable and a powered usb hub this afternoon and just tried it out, but can't get it to talk to Thumbjam. I know the usb output from my concertina sends midi signals out because it plays through Mainstage on my laptop. I'm ignorant about midi though, being an acoustic musician. I've been trying different combinations in the Preferences for midi in Thumbjam to no avail. Do you have any advice or hints about what settings to possibly use?



Return to Miscellaneous

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest