Controlling your DAW with an iPad


It would be super useful if I would be able to control my favorite DAW software (Propellerhead Reason that is) with an iPad. With such a system I will be able to record acoustic guitars, vocals/voices and percussion by myself in my isolation booth without much trouble. And it comes in handy when recording electric guitars a few meters from my amplifiers to keep them from humming.

Peter Kirn of CDM wrote an interesting blogpost about the new V-Control Pro controller for the iPad. This app uses a V-Window for a direct look at the interface on your desktop/laptop in combination with the app taking care of controlling transport, editing, and mixing functions over WIFI.

But there are some competitive solutions. For example a great looking app I found out about via the Tonebenders podcast called TouchOSC. This app, used by some sound designers, seems harder to set up and getting used to. And it lacks the V-Window of V-Control Pro. But it does look great, easy on the eyes, and seems to be super flexible for controlling anything on your desktop/laptop.

And Air Display looks interesting too. Which works like a secondary window. A few Reason users are using this app and are positive about it.

The V-Control Pro app might be the best solution yet for controlling your DAW on an iPad in an easy way. Mainly because it combines a traditional mixer and transport controller which is optimised for the iPad’s screen with the addition of that special V-Window for DAW specific tasks. Do you own any of these and want to share your experience with it? Please leave your comments!

Update: the new app Parallels Access looks like an interesting solution too! Check out this video (via):


I do not own any of the apps you mentioned but wanted to chime in that BeatSurfing is a customizable MIDI controller. Initial setup can be time consuming but once things are dialed in, it can unlock some creativity!

Yes I’m aware of BeatSurfing. Looks like a great tool. I thought you can only use it for triggering sounds but can you also use it to control Reason using record and transport functionality?

I tried Touch OSC for Android..can’t get it to work..and though the developer promised a tutorial, and i asked on the forum..nothing. Having to do some bizarre set up routine when trying to control the extremely simple and clean Reason is lame. I know I am supposed to support the Jobs estate and get an ipad because “all creatives use it”..but as I really am one I obviously can’t afford one.

so..instead of whining..has anybody set this up on Android to control reason? thanks marco.

Thanks! Only thing which is not supported are some of the plugins, I heard. Peter Kirn mentioned that in his article as well. Other than that it’s probably the best app for Logic users at the moment.

Probably for Reason, Propellerhead will create something like that as well in the near future. Must be cool 🙂

Plugin interfaces are not support, since they don’t run on iOS. The only way to make that work would be some kind of remote desktop technology, but those plugin interfaces are unlikely to work nicely on a tablet anyway I guess.

However, Logic Remote does support the new Smart Controls feature and you can set up any smart control to control any number of plugin parameters, so indirectly you can control your plugins from your iPad as well.

Yeah, that looks like some kind of remote desktop view. I doubt Apple will ever release something like that, since those plugin interfaces are not designed for use on tablets. But I’d say the Smart Controls solution is actually pretty elegant.

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