Hohner MIDI Chromatic Accordion

Chromatic Button Accordion CoreMIDI Control Surface for the iPad

MIDI Chromatic App Icon

Go to the iTunes App Store to buy


The Hohner MIDI Chromatic Accordion is a chromatic button accordion (CBA) style CoreMIDI control surface for the iPad.

The app doesn't produce any sound on it own, it is designed for playing hardware and software VST-style MIDI synthesizers via a CoreMIDI compatible interface connected to the dock connector or virtual MIDI instruments like IK Multimedia SampleTank® for iOS or Sonosaurus ThumbJam running on your iPad.

The button layout supports both B and C-systems, and the built-in note guide will help you quickly learn your way around the buttons.

The app has essentially the same button spacing as the real instrument.

Multiple buttons may be pressed at the same time.

You may slide your fingers between the buttons.

The bass/chord side may be transposed up or down two semitones using the control at the bottom left of the screen. Note that when the pitch is transposed, the note labels do not change. This may be addressed in a future update. This feature expands the range of bass side by shifting the entire bass up or down two rows.

Touch the MIDI connector button to show the MIDI controls.

Using the controls, you can set the MIDI channel (1-16), MIDI velocity, and MIDI volume independently for the treble, bass, and chords. You can also set the overall MIDI transposition for all three sections (+/- 12 semitones).

Touch the '?' icon to show the base layout note names for each button (without transposition).

Touch the '!' icon to send an "All Notes Off" message to silence any "stuck" notes should they ever occur.

Touch the Hohner logo for the help screen with links to the Hohner accordion website and Accordion Life online accordion lessons.

All settings are saved when the app exits.

The app accurately maps the chord inversion on a real Chromatic button accordion to their equivalent MIDI note numbers.

You must disable "Multitasking Gestures" in your iPad General Settings to use this app to its fullest capability if you want to put down more than three fingers at a time.


ThumbJam by Sonosaurus is now including my highest quality
"Vintage Accordion" samples as a free in-app downloadable patch!

Please click the graphic to visit ThumbJam on the iTunes App Store


"Making of the Hohner MIDI Piano Accordion" Video

The MIDI Piano and MIDI Chromatic apps have the same features


Main screen

B-System

Hohner MIDI Chromatic


C-System

Hohner MIDI Chromatic


Touch the "?" button to show the button labels

B-System

Hohner MIDI Chromatic


C-System

Hohner MIDI Chromatic


Touch the MIDI icon button to show the MIDI controls

Hohner MIDI Chromatic


Touch the Hohner logo to show the help screen

From here you can visit the Hohner accordion and Accordion Life online accordion lesson websites

Hohner Chromatic SqueezeBox


Questions and Answers


Q: I have an iPad and the sound stops when I put four fingers on the screen.

A: Go into the iPad Settings app, and disable the "Multitasking Gestures" feature.

If it is on, when you put 4 fingers on the screen, Apple completely takes over the system, stops the sound and starts switching between apps.


Q: I'm running a CoreMIDI-compliant virtual synth app on my device, but I don't hear any sound when using your MIDI control surfaces.

A: Please check that "Background Audio" is enabled on the virtual synth app you are running.

Also check that the virtual synth app has an active patch on the same MIDI channel(s) you are sending from the control surface app.


Here's the settings changes you need to make for SampleTank, enable "Background Audio"

SampleTank Settings


Here's the simplest possible single instrument SampleTank patch for an
accordion sound (full version of SampleTank), on MIDI channel 1

SampleTank Accordion Patch


Here's the settings changes you need to make for ThumbJam:

In the Prefs/Options panel, enable "Background Audio"

Starting with ThumbJam version 2.2, CoreMIDI is enabled by default

ThumbJam iPad Settings


This video shows how to change the MIDI and audio settings in SampleTank and ThumbJam
(iPad version, iPhone is similar)

Reflects version 2.1 of ThumbJam, please follow instructions above for changes for version 2.2


Battery Saving Tips

Synthesizer apps running in the background often continue to consume power even after you are done playing.

Be sure to "Force Quit" the synthesizer app when you are done playing to ensure that you don't run down your battery.

Follow these steps to force an app to close:

  • From the Home screen, click the Home button twice.
  • Tap and hold on the app.
  • When it starts to jiggle, tap the "-" to close it.

  • ThumbJam Tips

    On my iPad, I create user patches from the built-in patches that have the realtime tilt controls all disabled.

    In ThumbJam into the Edit/Controls for the patch, set the Volume selector to "Fixed" and the Pan, Vibrato, Tremolo, and Pitch Bend to "None"

    Then save the setup as a new user patch.

    thumbjam_controls

    If the sound level is too low through the speaker on your device, go into the Sound/(Volume/iPod) page and turn the "App Vol Boost" up to where the sound is louder but doesn't distort.

    thumbjam_boost


    Q: Which other MIDI synthesizer apps can be played using your control surface apps?

    A: The iOS Musician website is maintaining a comprehensive list of apps that support virtual MIDI ports.


    Q: Are the fingerings the same as a real Button Accordion?

    A: Yes, exactly the same. About the only thing you can't do is press two buttons with one finger because of the limits of the iPad's touchscreen hardware.


    Q: Where can I learn more about how to play the button accordion?

    A: Please visit the following site for more information and online learning materials:

    Melodeon.net Forums

    Damien Connolly has a DVD course and instruction book that has been recommended to me, I intend to get a copy for myself:

    Damien Connolly's B/C Button Accordion Tutor


    Q: Now that I've learned the fingerings for some tunes on the iPad app, I'd like to buy a real button accordion. Who do you recommend?

    A: The Button Box carries a wide range of new and vintage instruments.


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    Contact

    For more information, please contact Michael Eskin or visit the AppCordions website:

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    Apple, the Apple logo, iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc.,
    registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.
    SampleTank® for iOS is a registered trademark of IK Multimedia
    ThumbJam® is a trademark of Sonosaurus LLC