V-Control Pro Review: Simpler, More Affordable DAW Control Through an iPad
Innovation and ease of use resulted in the Numark iDJ Pro winning Crossfadr’s 2012 Product of the Year award, and similar qualities, albeit for the producer and recording artist, extend to the V-Control Pro iPad app. Allowing for direct control, as opposed to mouse use of recording software up until this point, with an iPad or iPad mini makes V-Control Pro extremely easy to use and highly convenient for the musician working in the studio and on the road and, on top of this, is far more affordable than using hardware.
On a basic level, this all-encompassing multi-touch control interacts nearly seamlessly with popular Mac and PC applications, presenting a straightforward interface with a better-than-average selection of sends, automation, groups, auditioning, plug-ins, I/O assignment, and job, scrub, and shuttle controls. Added to this, accessing to a DAW system for moving files, editing, and mixing is possible through a standard Wi-Fi connection.
The first convenience aspect is V-Control Pro’s compatibility and usability with many common recording and audio programs. Skins are available for Audition, Cubase, Digital Performer, Final Cut Pro 7, Live, Logic Pro, MIO Console, Pro Tools, Media Composer, Reaper, Reason, Studio One, SONAR, and Tracktion, each with unique faders, pans, and mute and solo. But, while the iPad and V-Control Pro allow these apps to operate simultaneously through easy-to-operate and similar interfaces, each program’s specific keys are kept intact. This way, when using the iPad in conjunction with and as an extension of a computer, functionality is not drastically different.
Keep in mind that, even with unique features, the ability to operate with all above programs does eventually lead to limitations.
Aside from this general design, V-Control Pro takes advantage of the iPad’s innate qualities – specifically, that a touch screen is simpler and quicker to control than a mouse. For instance, the V-Window feature shows all applications presently running on a Mac Pro (including the desktop) and displays a list of thumbnails for the app. From here, all such features and controls can be adjusted with fingers.
By now, particularly if you’ve been using an iPad for other programs or for DJing, the touch screen surface should be familiar. For those of you in this camp, V-Control Pro is extremely responsive and fast and eliminates the time spent fiddling with a mouse. The speed and ease of use with the touch screen is an additional bonus for musicians, allowing focus to be spent on playing instead of software or hardware adjustments.
The Pro Fader Features further make use of the iPad’s key assets over a standard computer. Designed for simultaneously moving multiple faders, this feature allows for quick access and control. Size, essentially, isn’t limited, as all the user has to do is a two-finger swipe to move between groups of eight tracks or a single-finger swipe between individual faders.
As the currently music industry, of pop and hip-hop stars recording in hotel rooms and producers booking studio time between their 200-plus DJ gigs per year, recording on the road is turning into a commonplace practice, and V-Control Pro assists with streamlining such a setup. V-Control Pro’s Multiple configurations, once a router or direct computer connection is established, let an iPad accompany the user in an overdub booth, with a keyboard, on a music stand, or even out of the studio.
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