Problem using Synthesia on iPad with official Apple adapter

Trouble with Synthesia, your keyboard, or adapter? Think you found a bug?
When describing problems, always mention your OS and game version (shown at the bottom of the title screen).
  • If your keyboard has USB or MIDI ports, there is a tremendously high chance (>99%) it will work with Synthesia. See what you'll need on the keyboards page.
  • If you have a Logitech webcam and can't get your keyboard/adapter to work, see this post.
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Posts: 187

Post by Electrode » 01-09-19 4:55 am

Hello Nicholas!

It's been such a long time. How are you and how is Synthesia development going? Are you still working on Synthesia full time?

I'm still using it with my autistic students to great effect. One parent uses Synthesia on iPad and Mac. I'm writing about a problem with the Lightning to USB adapter recommended on the site. (The official Apple one.) She has a USB MIDI keyboard that works on the Mac fine. However, the Lightning to USB adapter doesn't work with her iPad. The keyboard lights up when plugged in and all the buttons work, but Synthesia does not recognise the keyboard. We've tried unplugging/replugging and restarting the iPad. What could be the problem? I have a screenshot of the About screen of her iPad Settings in case that could provide any clues.


Posts: 11960

Post by Nicholas » 01-11-19 12:55 am

Ha! Long time, no see! It's nice to hear from you. :)

Hmm... it sounds like everything is as correct as it could be, right down to all of your troubleshooting steps.

Do you happen to know which model keyboard they're using? The only thing that comes to mind is that it's a MIDI controller that relies on power through the USB cable (with no separate power adapter). I know that iOS devices can be finicky about how much power they're willing to provide and will often disable devices that ask for too much (where "too much" isn't actually much at all).

I'm worried it's probably something else. That situation usually involves a system message popping up that says "Accessory Not Supported", which I'm guessing you would have mentioned already. In any event, the workaround for that case is to get a powered USB hub and plug that into the Lightning port, then plug the keyboard into the hub. That way it's the hub providing the power and the iPad just does the communication part. (You do end up with a bit of a tangle of wires, though.)

Still, any information you can provide about the keyboard model or any other adapters between the two will be helpful.

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