ProRemote by Far Out Labs was the first DAW controller ever made for iOS, specifically for iPhone / iPod. I was fortunate enough to get a copy for review from the nice guys at Folabs.com and had the chance to mix a couple sessions with it. This tool was a very innovative and new technology when it was first released. The fact that you could manage a Pro Tools session straight from your iPhone back then was incredible. Since ProRemote’s release its been updated to be iPad compatible as well with the same app. Over the years several other DAW controllers have been released to iOS for a slew of different DAWs. You may be asking, “What makes this different then some of the others on the market?” Well I try to stay away from the fact that they did it first but you have to admit that this is some pretty impressive technology considering these guys did it before Core Midi. But aside from that, let’s dive in!
At first glance, ProRemote seemed difficult to setup. I seem to have been spoiled in my ways of Core Midi because I tried to set it up without reading the instructions. Once I read the well-detailed instructions on www.folabs.com, and installed the ProRemote Server app, everything was setup within minutes. (This app also includes install instructions for Ableton Live, Digital Performer, and Logic.)
The ease of use was incredible. At first, I didn’t see the necessity to have 32 tracks available at one time. That thought quickly diminished when I got knee deep in a session and banking tracks was no longer a requirement, as you can easily view 16 tracks on the iPad and 8 on the iPhone screen at once. I was quite surprised how well the invisible server handled the operation of everything. ProRemote is like having a duplicate of your Mix window on an iPad or iPhone. You can Write fader automation, Arm, Mute, Solo Tracks, and adjust panning, all the way down to controlling inserts. One thing I really enjoy about the functionality of this app is that it’s not hard to fine-tune the controls. When you’re trying to pan a track 48% to the right, that isn’t a hard task to accomplish. Simply double tap the pan knob and you will quickly see a bigger knob pop up in front of you. Now the numeric display of the panning knob only counts in increments of twenty but in Pro Tools you’ll notice every percent of the way is accounted for.
ProRemote features a fully functional Transport (Available separately as ProTransport on the App Store). When launched, the transport floats over the top of your mix window. When you tap the bottom of the screen a mini transport pops up with playback functionality. The full transport features:
- Standard Transport play controls
- Fully functional Touch Shuttle
- Touch Sensitive Zoom
- Counter Display
- Punch in/out
- Marker Controls
As you can see this Transport is no joke. Now here’s the fun part. This isn’t even the end.
The app also boasts a set of programmable MIDI pads (ProPads), an XY Pad (Pro XY), and even a Touchpad Mouse with butons and a scroll wheel showing a VNC like screen view inside. Check out everything in the Gallery at the bottom.
Next we have the expanded Transport with JogWheel. I’ll let the picture to the left explain all this. But let me just say that this Expanded transport wraps up the entire app and really give you the feeling of having a complete C24 on your “iDevice”. Let’s not forget to mention the crisp graphics… Some Classics never die, and I think the boys at Far Out Labs created a legend. I would definitely give this app Five stars. It may be on the high end as far as price goes with a tag of $99.99USD, but the quality and build is great. Any market DAW controller at this standard would run you at minimum twenty times this price. This fits in a backpack, laptop case, or pocket and has every feature you would normally use in your studio. I will be using this with my on-the-go Pro Tools 9 setup as a permanent solution. I highly recommend purchasing this application; just make sure production is your forte before you shell out for a minimal Pro Tools setup with a maximum app like ProRemote.