iPad and Media Composer: Liine Lemur
Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for an upgrade.
It’s been almost a year that I’ve been editing shows on Media Composer and mixing them using an iPad running MIDI Touch and Touch OSC. These tools have made working with audio on the Avid substantially easier. But there have been some rough edges; the connection would go to sleep sometimes, requiring extra taps to re-start communication between the Avid and iPad. Solos and Mute buttons required double taps to trigger and turn off. And then, the faders themselves were a little fiddly; it was difficult to make small adjustments. And it didn’t look quite as cool as I wanted.
The iPad has been a small revolution for musicians in innumerable ways. From easier access to sheet music, to GarageBand as the new four track,to a recent app that provides a 48 track DAW environment, and not least, the sort of programmable MIDI gear I’ve been using to make theses tools which work with Media Composer. In 2004, the closest equivalent would have been a JazzMutant Lemur, a very cool, very high end device. Daft Punk, Bjork, and many other top acts use these devices live. Completely customizable and programmable, multitouch before most people even knew you could do that, I totally wanted one,for no good reason, and now, that very same software runs on the iPad. The same tech that rocks stadiums, I am using to rock rough cuts that are routinely 10 minutes too long. If you’re interested in more general info about Lemur and the iPad app, here’s a nice writeup.
Earlier on this blog I showed you how to setup an iPad to control the audio mixer in Avid Media Composer – at least on a Mac.
I’ve been working on a PC based Avid Media Composer for a little over a month now, running MC 6.0.1. It turns out that setting up the iPad to work with the PC is more complicated than a Mac (surprise!) but not impossible. It just requires some extra software to make all the pipes connect.
By installing rtpMIDI, I was able to make the wireless connection to the workstation.
(pardon the actual screen shot)
Actually I also bought a cheap USB WIFI adapter, and each morning, I set up an “ad-hoc” network on the PC, and then have the iPad join up to that. Then, launch rtpMIDI, and launch any MIDI app on the iPad. The iPad then appears in rtpMIDI, and you can connect it. The procedure is exactly the same as on the Mac – on both platforms, you’ll need to create new session the first time you do the setup. This is the box in the upper left corner.
Then, once Composer has launched, you set the gain controller port to whatever you named the session. Use MIDI Touch to send the controller identification to the Avid, and then switch over to TouchOSC to get your faders rolling. It’s just as functional and reliable on the PC as on the Mac.
Finding a Windows replacement for Keyboard Maestro has me stumped a little; this is what I’d used to bridge between non-fader controls on the iPad and the Avid, like play and pause, mark in, etc. Keyboard Maestro’s ability to respond to MIDI input doesn’t seem to be easily duplicated. AutoHotKey seems promising, but I haven’t been able to get the MIDI functions working yet.