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The John Lennon Education Tour Bus

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November 14, 2011

Getting Technically Creative with iPad Wireless Control

Written by Hans Tanner

 

Hello all!  It’s been tooooo long since our last chat!  Warning: excessive use of exclamation points may be used throughout this piece as we have just turned the bus into the wind and are heading west.  Final Destination: California aka HOME!!  The Lennon Bus has officially ended its 2011 tour and will be heading into the shop for repairs and upgrades while the crew trains for 2012!  To say we’re excited to see what next year brings with the production of a Lennon Bus Europe would be a massive understatement. 
Moving on… to continue from our last discussion, we ended on integrating Sibelius and the Scorch app with your songwriting communication.  And before that we provided you with a method to capture that initial inspiration with the Garageband app.  The next step?  Getting your composition to become truly immortal!  One of the beautiful things about recording a song is the realization that by storing it in a digital format (or analog if that’s your style) you are in fact creating something that will last longer on this planet than you will.  A weird thought, yes, but its something that many artists don’t realize and often forget.  After you’re gone and this recording is something you’ve left behind, what do you want people to think and feel after hearing it? 
I digress.  As you may already know, there are multiple DAW’s these days to capture a performance with, but the industry standard worldwide is Avid Pro Tools.  Now when it comes to using Pro Tools, it is a known fact that until you reach a certain level of comfortability with the program it is a rather technical operation to run.  Compare that to writing, arranging, and performing a song, which is an extremely creative operation.  I’m no expert on neural processes but I’m quite positive that the creative and technical portions of your brain function on complete opposite sides.  It’s so hard to combine the two!  And when trying to record and perform at the same time you need to limit the amount of switching as much as possible.  This is where the AC-7 Core app from Saitara Software comes in.  This app allows you to control Pro Tools from the safety of your iPad, with movable faders and knobs for adjusting levels, pans, mutes, scrubbing, and full transport control.  Imagine you are laying down a guitar track in the best sounding corner of the room, your computer is at the other end, and you couldn’t move if you wanted to as you’re surrounded by microphones.  Load up AC-7 on the iPad and your wireless control of Pro Tools is good to go!  Or perhaps you are recording a band, but you’re the only engineer.  As you walk back and forth between the control room and the studio, you move mics around in the room and record their various locations, playing back on the fly to find the best sound.  Endless possibilities!  And when it comes down to it, anything that furthers your knowledge of recording and Pro Tools will in turn allow the program to cease as a technical process and allow it to become the amazing creative instrument that it truly is. 
Just to clarify, magic is in fact not real (although Santa Clause DOES exist) so the app doesn’t automatically connect to your computer upon opening.  However, the setup whether on Mac or PC is very easy and Saitara has down a wonderful job of supporting the software.  I’ve included a video of how to setup below, along with a specific setup for Pro Tools below that.  Enjoy the app everybody and cheers to all!


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