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Our last word on the iPad! For now...

Some things about Apple's iPad are great. Some things are, er, missing. But how useful is it in the studio right now?


We have had some positive things to say about Apple's new iPad, and some not-quite-negative things. But the key question in the minds of many is how useful is it in the studio?

One early application for the iPad is as a DAW remote control.

Why should you need a remote control for your DAW? Why not just operate it from your computer keyboard?

Well, you might be fortunate enough to have a studio setup with a control room and separate recording area. Using the iPad as a remote control surface, you can take it into the control room and have as many attempts as you like at your own vocal.

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Having a separate recording area is wonderful, compared to working in a single room. It's good also just to have a vocal booth within your control room, if you don't have another room to spare.

(Some might say that a remote control surface will allow you to separate the mics from the noisy computer. Well, the computer should really be separated from both the recording area and the control room so its noise neither gets on the recording nor distracts you from good clean monitoring.)

We can see the iPad in action as a remote controller here...

It looks promising, doesn't it? I can see a great future for iPad remote control, in live sound too where the FOH engineer can roam the room during the sound check.

It is worth pointing out however that remote control always has been possible. Just extend the cables to the keyboard, monitor and mouse. Search your favorite computer dealer's website for 'KVM extender'. This way, you have control over ALL of your DAW's features, with no lag whatsoever.

By the way, check out the video at around 3.50... "There's a little click. I don't know if you can hear that in the background". Just what we need - a device that clicks when you are recording! Let's hope it doesn't click when the record light is on, or you don't mind turning the iPad's volume down every time you use it as a remote.

By David Mellor Monday May 31, 2010