Using the Nova with an iPad

Modified on Tue, 20 Sep, 2022 at 2:24 PM

Difficult: Easy

Using the Nova with an iPad is super easy and a ton of fun. If you're coming from a guitar background this is a great setup to start with. (And it's free!)

Note - newer iPads (pro/air/mini) can be connected directly to the Nova with their USB‑C port. If your iPad has a lightening connector though, or you want to use the USB‑C port for audio-out, you can connect the Nova using this highly recommended wireless setup or with a lightening to USB adapter.


1. Hard restarting your iPad can fix many issues. Hold down a volume button and the top button (or just the top button if your ipad has a home button), and then drag the slider.

2. Confirm the LEDs at the base of the fretboard light up. (If they don't then the Nova is not receiving power. Make sure the Nova power switch is turned on, and check the cable connections.)

3. After loading SynthMaster confirm you are able to play notes. (Hold a fret down and simultaneously tap the touchpad. The lights on the fretboard will change colors when notes are played.)

If the Nova's lights change colors when you play, but no sound is playing through the iPad, then continue on to troubleshoot why SynthMaster is not receiving the midi data (you can see if it's working after each step).

4. By default SynthMaster will play "All Sources", but it doesn't hurt to double check to make sure "USB MIDI Device" is selected.

Note that "USB Midi Device" may not always appear in the list, but the Nova should still connect and play even if it isn't shown.


5. Force quit and re-open the SynthMaster app. (Here's how to force quit an app.)

6. Turn the Nova off and on.

7. Make sure your iPad volume is turned up to at least half-way.

8. Try loading different sounds on the SynthMaster app by pressing the arrows in the top right. (Some sounds are very soft, or take a long time to start making audible sound.)

Note: it never hurts to retry these steps, especially restarting the iPad and Nova.

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