Many apps offer wireless control over computer-based software DAWs. Prices
vary from free software-specific controllers to more expensive apps with larger
feature sets and the ability to work with DAWs from different software companies
on both Mac and Windows computers. Third-party apps usually require a few more
steps to configure. Look for the documentation and tutorials online for the proper
procedures to link up your devices and software; carefully read the app’s page in
iTunes, and make sure your computer software version is supported. It’s always
helpful to read reviews to learn what other users are experiencing.
Here are a few examples of apps that control
single DAWs; costs range from free to $25, and all
apps are available for download at the iTunes store.
TOUCHABLE BY APPBC ($24.99)
|Cubase iC Pro is designed to be a remote extension for Cubase software running on a Mac or PC computer; there’s also a free version called Cubase iC available for the iPhone.
touchAble turns the iPad into a wi-fi controller
for Ableton Live, available for Mac and PC
computers. In addition to installing the app on
your iPad, you will need to download and install
a driver from the developer’s website onto your
computer. touchAble uses an icon-driven, modular
interface that can show either a single module
in full-screen display or a top-and-bottom
split with two modules on the screen. Modules
include Clips, Mixer, Devices, Keys and Pads, XY Pad, Template Editor, and, for Live 9 users,
a Browser. If you need more onscreen controls
than are possible on a single iPad, a second iPad
can be linked to the same Ableton Live session.
This configuration allows you to tweak the mixer
faders on one iPad while playing a virtual synth—inside Ableton Live—on the second iPad screen.
As long as the second iPad is synced with the
iTunes account used to purchase the first copy,
you will not need to purchase a second copy of
CUBASE IC PRO BY STEINBERG ($16.99)
|Logic Remote is a companion app for Logic X on the Mac.
Cubase iC Pro is designed to be a remote extension
for Cubase software running on a Mac or PC computer. It requires a free driver to be
installed on your computer so that the computer
version will recognize the iPad app as a
controller. Communication is over a Wi-Fi network.
Once connected, any changes you make
to a project on your computer will automatically
be updated on the iPad. Cubase iC Pro is
compatible with Cubase versions 6.5 and later,
Cubase Artist versions 6.5 and later, and Cubase
LE AI Elements 6 and 7. Some functions only
work with Cubase 6.5 and later, so check the
app’s iTunes page for the latest news on compatibility.
The Project page provides a project overview;
transport controls are located at the bottom
of the screen. You can use pinch and spread
gestures to zoom in and out of your tracks. One
of the key features of the Mix Console page is
the ability to create up to four independent
monitor mixes when recording. The Key Commands
page allows you to create custom sets
of commands and macros that can be accessed
with a single touch of a button on the iPad
screen. The app offers split-screen modes so
you can combine page views.
Tip: There’s a free version of the Cubase
iC Pro app called Cubase iC. Available for the
iPhone, it allows wireless control of the transport
function, monitoring of the playback position,
and controlling the Arranger Track in Cubase.
LOGIC REMOTE BY APPLE (FREE)
turns the iPad
into a mobile control
the app requires
7.2 or higher.
Logic Remote is a companion app for Logic X
on the Mac. If you don’t own Logic X but own
Apple’s GarageBand 10.0 or MainStage 3.0.2 software,
Logic Remote works with those software
packages as well. The app connects over Wi-Fi to
the Mac. Both the iPad and computer must be on
the same network. Logic Remote is able to access
the help documentation for Logic Pro X, Main-
Stage 3, and GarageBand on the Mac. The Mixer
page offers control for Logic’s faders, including
the ability to move multiple faders at a time. A
bar ruler of all tracks appears at the top of the
page; swipe the ruler area to navigate to any location
in your session. You can operate the basic
transport controls from anywhere in your studio
with a single touch.
Multitouch gestures can be used for volume,
pan, solo, and mute controls. Use care when
touching the screen on the Mixer page, as you
can easily move a fader level when swiping. The
app has pages for playing and editing software instruments.
The Key Commands page allows you
to use preset buttons for functions in Logic and
create your own custom set. Use key commands
to run Logic from anywhere in your studio.
DP CONTROL BY MOT U (FREE)
DP Control turns the iPad into a mobile control
surface for Digital Performer; the app requires
Digital Performer 7.2 or higher. Communication
between the iPad and the computer is over
a Wi-Fi network, and both the computer and
the iPad must be on the same network. This
app is perfect for self-recording, allowing you
to record your own performances when you
can’t be at your computer to start and stop recording.
The app gives you complete control
over Digital Performer’s main transport functions,
including Play, Rewind, Count Off, and
Overdub. The time counter has settings for real
time, SMPTE time, samples, and marker names.
Marker names can be created and named from
DP Control, and you can scroll through them
to locate a point in the song to begin recording
or playback. For record-enabled tracks, you
can create a new take or cycle through existing
takes; takes can be renamed or deleted from the
app. On the Tracks page, you can view a complete
list of tracks, including collapsible nested
track folders organized exactly as they are on
the computer screen. DP Control provides the
ability to solo, mute, record-enable, and play or
The Mixer page offers control over volume
and panning. Since communication goes both
ways, any changes you make on the computer
are reflected in the app, and vice versa. In Settings,
you can manage your computer connections,
and if your sequence contains multiple
chunks, you can select a specific chunks to play;
this is helpful for using DP Control with Digital
Performer in a live setting for backing tracks or
click tracks. Set up a set of sequences as chunks
in a set list, and DP Control can be used to
switch between chunks.
This article is excerpted from The iPad in the
Music Studio by Thomas Rudolph and Vincent
Leonard (Hal Leonard, $19.99). Win a copy of