Connecting via Bluetooth LE

This requires Android 6 or larger with full MIDI support!

MIDI over Bluetooth LE has been de-facto standardized by Apple with OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) and iOS 8.
Android has partial support for the standard since version 6 (Marshmallow), but your device's ROM will need to support the native MIDI APIs.

There is one serious issue with this on Android, though: Bluetooth is tied to 'Location' permissions. To be able to scan for and pair with Bluetooth LE MIDI peripherals, Android's systemwide 'Location' setting must be on and the app that does the scanning and pairing needs to have permission to access a user's location info. TouchDAW does not hold that permission and I am not going to ask for it.

Now this does not mean that TouchDAW will not work with Bluetooth MIDI devices. Every app can use BLE MIDI peripherals once they have been found and paired, regardless of the permissions it asked for. If you are willing to give away your location, grant permissions to another app and use that app to hook up the BLE peripheral you can still use it in TouchDAW despite its author being some stupid and overly privacy minded German.

There are currently two dedicated free apps that will find and connect to Bluetooth MIDI peripherals available on Google Play:

MIDI BLE Connect by Mobileer Inc & Bluetooth MIDI Connect by RockRelay

Both will get the job done fine and after hooking up your BLE peripheral with any of them, you should be able to select it in TouchDAW's MIDI port setup(s) as shown in the illustration above.


Notes, known issues:

The system's global 'Location' option absolutely must be on for BLE MIDI to work. Android will automatically grant location permission to some Google apps. You may want to dig deeper into app permissions before proceeding.

Do NOT attempt to pair your BLE device in the system's Bluetooth settings. Only use the connector app.

Use the task switcher to return to TouchDAW after using the connector app. If you 'back' out of it, the device connection may get broken before TouchDAW can access it.

Most BLE MIDI devices will only provide a single port and will only be able to serve one of TouchDAW's MIDI connections.

Bluetooth is still weird, buggy and wildly hardware dependent on Android.

Bluetooth LE is in no way "faster" than traditional Bluetooth. Latency may become an issue especially with high rate DAW control traffic.

Android's MIDI api only acts in "central" mode. It can not be a peripheral to other "centrals". To connect to a Mac, the Mac must advertise its services. It will not see the Android device.

Don't let anything go to sleep. If you do, you may end up with a dead MIDI connection and no way to break and reestablish the pairing.