Music Apps To Control Your Computer
There are some great apps that turn your iPhone or iPad into a musical instrument. From synthesized keyboards to Ocarina and Magic Trombone, these apps bring new meaning to music on the go. But what if you want to integrate your iDevice into your musical workflow with your computer? The following AppList is for musicians who want to use their iDevice to control their computer. This includes apps that turn your iPhone into a MIDI keyboard to use with GarageBand and make your iPad into a virtual mixer for Pro Tools. Some of the configuration for these apps is not for the faint of heart, but if you consider yourself a true music geek then here are some apps to geek out to.
ProRemote Light Edition
ProRemote is a professional-level universal app for controlling your Digital Audio Workstation. It was easy to setup by installing a WiFi server app on your computer that runs in the background. With many of these WiFi controller apps it is necessary to launch the server app before using with your computer, but with ProRemote the server quietly runs in the background and connects quickly. Skins and support are included for Pro Tools, Live, Logic, Cubase, Soundtrack Pro and Digital Performer. The app even changes skins automatically based on your DAW software. It is great for adding automation from your iPad when mixing your tracks. Through in-app purchase more features may be added, but the downside is that this app then becomes one of the most expensive apps on the app store.
For the truly creative types TouchOSC is an universal innovative control environment for your DAW or any app that supports OSC (Open Sound Control). The multitouch interface is beautiful with colorful sliders, pan pots, XY controls, and pads. With the free TouchOSC Editor you can create your own control environments for complete customization. A companion program, OSCulator, makes setup and configuration more accessible.
AC-7 Pro Control Surface
AC-7 Pro Control Surface is a much more affordable virtual mixer for controlling your DAW. It has built-in support for Logic and Digital Performer and limited support for Pro Tools. The interface adapts to the program that your using it with and provides many tools beyond the simple faders. However, its Pro Tools support is limited and you miss out on many of the tools for automation settings and other features beyond the basic fader control, but the price is right for its feature set.
iTM(iTouchMidi) has a host of apps for turning your iPhone into a MIDI controller. From a basic MIDI keyboard to DJ controls and Drum Pads, if your looking for a MIDI controller there is an app for that. iTM MidiLab is a free app that includes three demo environments for you to try: keyboard, pads, and an XY controller. Once you run the free iTouchMidi software on your computer, iTM MidiLab on your iPhone finds your computer and you now have another MIDI port to use. Simply shake the iPhone to change environments.
For those who want to use their iPad as a MIDI keyboard, Pianist Pro is a great synthesizer app. Its built-in sounds, recorder, metronome, and drum machine make it a great app on its own. But you can also link up Pianist Pro to your computer for use as a MIDI controller using its support for OSC (Open Sound Control). Some MIDI apps are now supporting OSC directly, but you can still use Pianist Pro with older MIDI apps by downloading a free program, Pure Data. Setup for this is more complicated than the other apps mentioned. You need to be comfortable with both MIDI port settings, as well as WiFi port settings to get this app to respond. But if you already have Pianist Pro and love using it, you will want to check out these additional features.
NumPad - Wireless Numeric Keypad
For Finale and Sibelius users NumPad is the perfect compliment to your laptop. With NumPad your iPhone turns into a wireless keypad for quick access to your speedy entry shortcuts. In addition to the standard numerical keypad skin, NumPad also comes with skins for Finale and Sibelius. So instead of having to remember that the number four corresponds to an eighth note, the skin shows musical notation right on your iPhone. As long as your on the same WiFi network, NumPad just works. This is a must-have app, especially if you use a MacBook or small keyboard without a numerical keypad.
Remote for GarageBand
Remote for GarageBand is just that, a keypad-style iPhone app to control playback and settings for GarageBand. In addition to standard playback and recording controls, you can also add new tracks, toggle the metronome, save, undo, and control zoom. The design is not particularly beautiful and there are latency and stability bugs, but if you're into GarageBand it is worth a look.