MidiWrist lets you control musical instruments from your Apple Watch

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Chill out with the Apple Watch Breathe app.
What’s the time? It’s time to get ill.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

For Apple Watch-owning musicians, the MidiWrist app is pretty wild. It lets you control almost any music hardware or software just by tapping the Apple Watch. The possibilities are almost literally endless — and you can even map the smartwatch’s Digital Crown as a custom controller.

MidiWrist: An Apple Watch MIDI controller

MidiWrist is MIDI, on your wrist.
MidiWrist is MIDI, on your wrist.
Photo: MidiWrist

Here’s an example, taken straight from a MidiWrist demo video, that shows how the app works. Imagine you’re playing guitar. And, instead of having to reach down and click on your MacBook to start recoding a track in Logic Pro, you can simply tap your Apple Watch to start recording. You can also stop recording, play back a track, duplicate the current track, and do almost anything else you can think of, all by tapping and swiping the watch.

Or how about twisting the Digital Crown to control the knobs on a guitar effects pedal?

The secret is MIDI, the decades-old digital language that music gear and musical instruments use to talk to each other. MIDI can work over cables, over Bluetooth, and between apps on the same device. It can be used to play an iPhone piano app with a real keyboard, to have one app remotely control another, to change settings, or to do pretty much anything.

Make MidiWrist do anything

Using the iPhone app, you can configure MidiWrist exactly how you like. You can pick CC commands and and assign on-screen buttons to them, assign knobs to the Digital Crown, use swipes to change pages, get haptic feedback and more.

In short, if you’re an advanced MIDI user, you’ll find everything you need here. And if you’re a novice, you can still benefit from nice, simple controls. Maybe all you want to do is trigger playback of backing tracks, for example.

The MidiWrist app comes with templates for controlling other popular apps. And, as mentioned, you can easily program it to work with any MIDI device. In the next version, you’ll be able to use Siri to add voice control into the mix.

If you buy the app, be sure to check out the incredible MidiWrist documentation from developer Uwyn. That way you can learn how to get the most out of this powerful music-making tool.

MidiWrist

Price: $4.99

Download: MidiWrist from the App Store (iOS)