Control surface

I’ve been looking around at control surface recently and just stumbled on this…

Has anyone used this? Any comments? The demo video looks brilliant.

I don’t think these gadgets are substitution for control surfaces.

  1. Control surfaces has real hardware knobs you can grab on
  2. If all you need is a touch-screen, just buy one for your PC/Mac.
    Yes, there are 2 advantages with these over #2:
    2.1. Multitouch (but in couple of years we should have this in stock PC/Mac anyway)
    2.2. Mobility: you can move around in your studio with this and use it as a remote controller.

I would never spend my money on iPad + control software just for being able to control my DAW. I feel better with my dedicated remote controller and a real control surface/digital console. If you already own an iPad, it may be a good investment, though. If not, get a used Frontier Tranzport from eBay (approx $100) and a Behringer BCF (approx $150) … a lot more bang for your hard-earned $$$.

I’ve considered all these points as well. I do already have an iPad that I use to remote control a Presonus Studiolive 24. At the studio I’ve been using a cc121 for awhile. I like it well enough, pretty solid, compact etc… (wish to heck Steinberg would let you turn the lights on if you wanted). Works well for most stuff but at times I need to control multiple channels simultaneously.

This app let’s you drag the chan’s around on the screen to get to all of them easily. The V window functions open up some very real additional options…a control surface that doubles as a touch screen controller for any plug in’s/vst’s etc… and you control them using their native screens. Hit an edit button on a chan and the Cubase edit screen comes up right there, transport control on the screen…

If you have an iPad, and they’re getting far more reasonably priced (you can get an iPad1, 32 gig for around $350 on ebay now) the app only cost’s $50. Could be very cool.

I’ve downloaded the free version to try out. We’ll see how it works.

Wow, could I disagree more?
I started using TouchOsc:
I checked out the Neyrinck and, although it’s awesome I recently purchased Lemur:
This is totally programable and so powerful. I’ve had just about every hardware controller out there and I’m never going back.

Not knowing anything about Studiolive (except, that it looks quite attractive modestly priced digital console) … doesn’t it duplicate as control surface for Cubase also? Most of the modern digital consoles do.

And if you have iPad already … $50 is just peanuts for the functionality of V-control does. I wouldn’t hesitate a second. But again … for anyone not having iPad already: don’t bother. Get more functionality with dedicated cheap hardware controllers for less $$$.

You have every right to disagree. But could you please give reasons why you disagree. Total programability is not the one, because you can do the same with most (if any) hardware controllers, too.

I can see the advantages of customized views on software-based solutions … but at the end of the day, it’s just eye-candy. So in my opinion it ends up with the battle between eye candy vs hardware knobs … and I already made my point clear on which one I prefer.

OK, I’m including 3 screen shots to show my reasons.
Page 1. Compete control of my custom Cubase channel with outboard EQ, Comp and sends plus a mackie control type scribble strip with bank controls and names. completely cutomizable transport and other functions for MY use. All automatable with “touch” because the Ipad is multi-touch.
Page 2 . A complete RME Totalmix controller including Cubase Studio Sends (which requires a separate midi port) AND Cubase gtransport controls. For me, this is awsome.
Page 3. A midi keboard and controller page (again on a separate midi port) to send control messages to Cubase.

And, as I said, this is just the beginning. I’m working on a control surface for Vienna Ensemble Pro which is on another computer (also using another midi port) for Page 4.

Oh, and not to mention how fun the Ipad is, Garageband, movies, pictures, music, games etc.
Lemur Cubase.PNG
Lemur Totalmix.PNG
Lemur Keyboard.PNG

I see nothing new there. I can program any one of my DM-4800’s 24 faders or 24 rotary controls to send any MIDI CC I want and program Cubase to respond to them the way I want. Yes … I have no scribble strip … but that’s only eye-candy thing.

OK. I have no experience on controlling Cubase Control room with control surface … but what’s exactly what you CAN do with your iPad gadget, which you CAN’T do with a programmable hardware controller? Or was it some RME-specific thing? … in which case we’re not talking about controlling Cubase anymore … but RME.

OMG! I would NEVER EVER want to play a MIDI keyboard with touch screen interface. I would even use a standard wireless computer keyboard instead… but yet again … only my opinion based on my own experience.

I don’t care about GarageBand. I have lot of movies on DVDs and PS3. All my music is in 3 places: original CDs, my PC and my PS3. The only game I ever play is MS Flight Simulator on my PC. What I need a iPad for? To follow iReligion?

Relax Jarno, it works for them :wink:
I think the Ipad is a cheaper option than to get all the hardware controllers you have as well. I wouldn’t say it’s better as I prefer actual hardware as well, but I can see the appeal.

What is IReligion?

BTW: I don’t begrudge anyone their hardware controllers, I grew up on analog boards and 24 track tape machines, but I do love my Ipad (even though I’m not very fond of Apple)

Hmm, Lemur. That is interesting. It’ll show how ancient I am but I remember, many years ago, buying a piece of software by some folks named “Digidesign” (some of you will probably recognize them). It was for the Atari 1040st, called “Turbosynth” Essentially, it allowed you to build custom patch editor’s for whatever hardware synth’s you had. It did this via midi/sysex. At the time it was way cool since there was no such thing as computer based VSTi’s. You either had a keyboard or a rack module and, with the exception of a few Roland samplers that you could hook a monitor up to, if you wanted to edit or create a patch, you dove into the front panel and waded through hundreds of tiny display’s etc… Turbosynth seemed to provide a single system that you could use to create your own patch editors for any gear you had.

It did work well but god the learning curve and time you had to put into creating a patch editor template was excruciating. Lemur reminds me somewhat of that. incredible power, I grant you, but perhaps more than I need or want.

Some of the appealing things about the V-control are, relatively plug and play. I dont have to build from scratch. Limit’s what I can do to some extent but if it gives me the functionality I’m looking for, then fine. Second, to have controls/layouts that duplicate the original native controls, in the case of V-windows, apparently you’re seeing the exact same screen, just on an iPad, means much lower learning curve.

Actually, at present, the Studiolive wont double as a control surface. I’m not aware of many/any mid priced digital consoles that do. It’s been a fantastic desk for live work, particularly if you want to record simultaneously. And, as you say, bang for the buck, it’s an amazing piece of gear.

Theoretically, I would think there’s no reason why it couldn’t double as a control surface…could just use Mackie control. One of the problems with that is that the layout of the desk doesn’t look anything like Cubase…or any other DAW for that matter. This goes back to my earlier point about control layout/looks etc… The more they look just like the original vsti or DAW screen the less learning curve.

Lastly, with regards to the advantages of an iPad as control surface vs hardware alternatives, the Studiolive lets me hook up my recording laptop, provides a laptop interface from which I can drag/drop board setups, fx setups etc…and control any function of the board from the laptop. The particularly cool thing is that I can use the iPad to access the board, via wireless network, thru the laptop and can walk up onstage and adjust stage monitors for example, or anything else, from the iPad.

If I’m doing a show in which I have to set up the board in a crappy location (almost always the case…side of the stage…every once in awhile I’m asked to setup BEHIND the stage), the iPad let’s me walk around the room and control the desk remotely so I’m not trying to do live sound from the 4’th stall back in the men’s room. Well…perversely, it would allow me to do that too but…nahhh.

Additionally, I keep a complete collection of PDF manuals for all equipment in the iPad. Comes in very handy if I’m doing a show and need to do something unusual and have to look up how to do it.

Point is, the iPad becomes a multifunction device in the truest sense of the word. Remote mixer control at live shows, small/handy/lightweight file cabinet for piles of manuals, source for filler music (connect it to the console) between set’s, handy means of taking pic’s of the show and uploading them, and livemixes, to the bands web site etc…etc…

Home at the studio, it can become a compact but very capable control surface with fully motorized everything…but no motors to go out or start making noise etc… No hardware pot’s to start getting scratchy after a few years etc…

Lastly, generalized handy for posting/checking posts on forums, listing something on ebay or buying something there. Email, scheduling etc… There’s even an app that allows you to plug in a tiny card reader and you can scan credit cards so clients can pay me with plastic right at the show. I have some clients that I host their tracks and CD’s on my web site and use the iPad after the show to sell cd’s and process credit cards right on the spot.

So it’s not just a fader and some assignable pot’s, it actually starts to replace piles of stuff and perform multiple functions; well beyond being just a control surface. Viewed in this way, it’s price starts to seem much more reasonable.

Finally, because I move back and forth between live environment and studio, the number of items I have to shlepp around and more important, the size and weight, become critical considerations. I’m generally a one man show, get some help from time to time but often it’s just me. The less I have to pack and lug the better.

i have it and it works great

def better than the tranzport which i have had and used for years and i can control a whole lot more

i also have 2 mc mixes, 1 mc control ver 2 and 1 mc tranzport as i also like hands on control

the neyrink is fantastic

i also have PT, Studio one, DP, Logic, reaper etc

and it works really well for most of these

great buy, great deal, great company to, repsonded right away to a couple of questions i had

Neyrink V-Control Pro working great here-very useful

Aloha and WOW!

I can just imagine version 2 then 3…etc

I’ve been using V-Control Free for a little over a month, and even that works great for basic controller usage. I can’t imagine how much more useful the Pro version would be with the ability to actually control 3rd party plugins right from the iPad’s screen. Hopefully I can get my hands on it this month :slight_smile:

As far as the iPad goes, I’m also not into Apple products but I must say this one is a homerun. I totally enjoy using it for music, as a controller for Cubase, as a teaching tool and even for other things outside of music, like email, forum posting, gaming and as a GPS device for gigs (if you have the 3G iPad). The iPad can do just about anything you can possibly think. You can even use it as a remote recording system with the new RME Fireface UCX (which I plan on getting this year), or the new Mackie console that was just announced at NAMM 2012. It’s a much more effective setup than a laptop + interface combo. Not to mention the constant development of apps for the iPad. It’s simply an amazing product with a lot of future ahead of it. If you already have an iPad, then V-Control Pro is a no brainer. Even if you don’t, the iPad itself is a no brainer if it’s something you know you’ll be using as more than just a controller. Highly recommended!

Many thanks for the feedback! I was hoping to hear from some existing users. A few questions…

  1. What kind of network configuration do you use? Peer to peer between the iPad and laptop/pc/mac or a router in the middle? If you use a router, do you connect to the main/host system via hardwire or wireless for both the iPad and the main system?

My thinking has been to use a dual band wired/wireless router. Attach the main system, or the laptop if I’m doing a location job, via hardwire ethernet (avoid having the DAW use wireless) and connect the iPad via wireless.

  1. Have you found you have any problems if you leave bluetooth turned on in the iPad? The Neyrink site talks about turning off bluetooth to improve performance.

  2. What model iPad are you using (1 or 2)?

  3. How responsive is the controller (no perceivable latency, some, etc…)? Again, the Neyrinck site talks about some slight display latency on the iPad but say’s that actual control latency in the DAW is tiny/imperceptible. I could understand this as the app looks to be something like a screen sharing program (VNC on steroids maybe).

I’ve always tried to avoid being a “Fanboy” of anything. Have viewed Apple pc’s as nice machines but overpriced. In the end, I’m more of a utilitarian…it’s a tool. I have to agree though, I’ve also found the iPad to be a very slick device. While I wouldn’t pay “new/retail”, I picked up a used iPad 1, 32 gig with wifi only. On ebay these can be had for around $350. That gives them a price/performance ratio that’s pretty attractive. I dont think it’ll replace my DAW laptop though. not powerful enough.

Pleasantly surprised at the low cost of the app’s too. The V-Control Pro app is only $50. The app to control the Studiolive is free.

Thanks again for the feedback and I’d appreciate any replies on these other questions.


Hi Karl

My Mac pro is plugged into a netgear router, very simple nothing fancy. i loaded the Neyrink app onto the ipad and the wireless program onto the mac. it was literally that simple, then you set it up as a controller in cubase. i cant remember how i did that but there are instructions

i have an OLD IPAD 1, again nothing fancy

it works great. there is a slight lag looking thing when you use it but its VERY responsive and i don’t have any issues with how it runs

this is a GREAT program, it allows me to move around the room and as i am a lone songwriter who has to do everything this is great!

for 50 bucks this is such a no brainer that i can’t even imagine not trying it out. if you really are unsure get the free one going first

i love hands on hardware, but there is a new and growing area for touch screens in our world. this is the first real shot across the bow so to speak.

i love it


Very cool info!. Did you find you had to turn off bluetooth in the iPad?

Thanks for the info!

I have my DAW computer connected directly into my router and the iPad going wireless. This gives you the best performance as far as latency goes, which is not different than what I had with my AlphaTrack. I noticed Neyrinck made latency improvements to V-Control in the last update. At least that’s how I perceived it.

  1. Have you found you have any problems if you leave bluetooth turned on in the iPad? The Neyrink site talks about turning off bluetooth to improve performance.

Yes, Bluetooth will make V-Control very laggy, to the point where it is unusable (you will definitely notice this). Turning Bluetooth off solves the problem though.

  1. What model iPad are you using (1 or 2)?

I have the iPad 2.

  1. How responsive is the controller (no perceivable latency, some, etc…)? Again, the Neyrinck site talks about some slight display latency on the iPad but say’s that actual control latency in the DAW is tiny/imperceptible. I could understand this as the app looks to be something like a screen sharing program (VNC on steroids maybe).

Like I said, the latency is very, very small. It’s not gonna affect your automation riding unless perhaps you plan on doing 32nd note jumps, or something crazy like that. I have to test it out, but I think you could even do that with V-Control :stuck_out_tongue:


Resurrecting this thread to see if anyone is using V-Control with Cubase or Nuendo on MAc at the moment - if so, do the meters work for you? It’s been working fine here, but there is no meter activity at all, whatever I do. I can’t see anywhere to enable/disable meters…