Enabling USB Audio and MIDI for iOS

Set up your system to record digital audio from an iOS device and exchange MIDI data with it by enabling Inter-Device Audio and MIDI.


Inter-Device Audio and MIDI (IDAM) enables you to record digital audio from an iOS device without using special cables or an audio interface. It also lets you transmit MIDI messages between an iOS device and your Mac, which simplifies the configuration of an iOS sampler or synthesizer app as an external MIDI instrument. You enable these features by connecting an iOS device to your Mac using a standard Lightning cable and enabling IDAM in Audio MIDI Setup.

Open Audio MIDI Setup

Open the Audio MIDI Setup app to configure your environment. You can find this app in the /Applications/Utilities directory.

Screenshot of Audio MIDI Setup's Audio Devices window.

If the Audio Devices window doesn't automatically appear, open it by choosing Show Audio Devices from the Window menu.

Connect and Enable the Device

Using a Lightning cable, connect an iOS device running iOS 11 or later to your Mac. If this is the first time you've connected this device, the system displays a dialog asking if you should trust this computer to access your data. Click Trust in the dialog.

Enable IDAM by clicking the Enable button next to the connected device.

Screenshot showing the connected device and the button to enable IDAM.

View the Audio Input

After you’ve enabled your device, you’ll see a new audio input in your device list. While the iOS device is this mode, application audio is output to the Mac's USB input. However, system audio, such as alarms and keyboard clicks, are not routed through this input.

Screenshot showing that the device is now enabled.

Configure the MIDI Device

Open the MIDI Studio window by choosing Show MIDI Studio from the Window menu. You’ll see your newly enabled device, available for MIDI input and output.

Screenshot showing the MIDI Studio.

Double-click the MIDI device to show its properties. In the panel that opens, rename the device and configure its MIDI behavior as desired.

Screenshot showing the MIDI device properties.