When iPad was first introduced, many musicians were excited upon the possibilities it would bring to the portable music making and mixing with the promising apps. But, there was a problem with both iPad and iPad 2. It is no way to connect musical devices and instruments together directly. iPad camera connection kit only allowed one device at a time with tethering. Was is helpful? Absolutely no even for the novice musicians and hobbyists. Hopefully, we have Alesis iO Pro dock. It is a docking station with slots for both iPad and iPad 2 fitting. Musical properties include MIDI In and Outs, USB MIDI, Stereo outputs, guitar / XLR mic inputs (two), Video Out and a footswitch port.
Mics will take advantage of Phantom power. Even iPad can take its power from the dock if you plugin Alesis device to a power source.
And, in almost all such tools, the main determining factor is applications you run alongwith the device. Dock’s functions use CoreMIDI which is officially supported by iPad. So, an app should be using this. Garageband has MIDI input support but no MIDI output. This app has no footswitch support externally. So, with Garageband you are very limited.
For testing, I tried Alesis iO Pro dock for iPad 2 alongwith a modern Korg keyboard and Garageband. I didn’t have major problems so far except the two things I mentioned in previous paragraph.
Overall, it is the best in the market as an iPad musician dock. Recommended if you are ready to spend $170 for it.