iPad Band – Garage Band

IMG_0625If we’ve worked with you on creating a pupil iPad band you will probably have some questions about how to take this forward. One of the most often asked is how to amplify a group of iPads for a proper performance. To do this you will need:

  • a mixer of some kind, an amplifier and speakers
  • some leads to connect you iPads to the mixer

Many schools have fairly sophisticated mixers (connected to an amp and speakers) in their school hall that are often underused. It’s highly likely that this will do the job. The more inputs the better but obviously it depends on how big your band is. Here’s a typical solution from Yamaha (12 channels) and one you might well consider if you’re going to purchase:

It’s a powered mixer which means you don’t need a separate amplifier, you connect your speakers directly to it. You will need to make sure that the output of your amp / mixer matches your speakers (quite a confusing area if you search the internet for help) so it’s best to go for a matched bundle if you’re buying.

More difficult to source are the leads to connect your iPads. The problem is that you need to go from a stereo output from the headphone socket of your iPad into a mono connection on the mixer and it’s really hard to source these (at least at a sensible price). I made ours with a soldering iron (but am not keen to develop a cottage industry doing that!)

The socket you are most likely to be connecting to on the mixer is a 6.35mm jack plug – the mixer above has those for 8 of its inputs and RCA (phono) connectors for the other 4). But here’s one solution:

Use  a lead like this (Phono – Stereo Minijack Pro Cable, 6m) to connect to the iPad (headphone socket)

 

 

Then an adapter (Phono (x2) – Mono Jack Y Adapter) to convert the stereo output to a mono 6.35mm jack input to the mixer.

 

 

Electrovision RCA Phono Male/2xRCA Phono Female AdaptorIf you need to connect to RCA (phono) sockets (inputs 9-12 on the mixer above) you can just plug the stereo lead directly into the mixer  but you’ll be wasting two inputs. You can convert to mono with an adapter (RCA Phono Male/2xRCA Phono Female Adaptor).

 

If you’re going to create your own solution try to avoid having to plug solid adapters into the iPad, that’s just asking for trouble! Please contact us for further advice.

If you’re going to be leading from up front make sure you connect your own iPad to an amplifier and to a projector / screen with a lead rather than wireless mirroring, otherwise there will be a delay which you’ll find impossible. You’ll need an Apple lightning to VGA or HDMI connector to do this. (Don’t buys cheap non Apple imitations they rarely work for long)

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