Last week I wrote about this useful controller app, how to install it, and two basic usage tips for starter. Now I would like to share a few more workflow tips i.e. how I constantly use V-control pro during editing, mixing and recording. I won’t mention all the capabilities of the software as it is very deep and can be adapted to virtually any workflow with little effort.
It is so elegantly fit into any work environment whether you use an Icon, or Artist series controller, or just sitting in an editing suite that has no controller. Even with a big surface at your fingertips, there are multiple use of it.
#1 Foley and Effect recording session
As it is capable of controlling Pro Tools wirelessly, one thing I like to do is record myself performing foley, or controlling some fx recording session. Stand up, leave the control room and get your hands dirty! The only thing I bring is the iPad loaded with the V-control, and the fun begins. I can easily record multiple takes, different things onto different tracks, and even make some layering to get an idea about what to do next.
First I make a session with one stereo cue mix (that’s for me) and a few audio tracks. Start recording and redo it as many times as I want. If I’m not really sure about how to proceed, I usually make a very basic temp mix – via the iPad – so I can easily check out the direction, or what will likely to work. As this is a fantastic instantaneous feedback, I can quickly change anything in order to get a more desirable outcome. At this point, without any plugin in the audio chain.
If creative spark really hits I even do some preliminary automation to inspire myself. These are things that you can easily do with V-control without even touching your machine. One little advice: keep the iPad either behind the microphones or behind yourself so you won’t destroy it. I had a few sessions where I was very lucky that my iPad eventually survived. No matter how versatile the iPad is, it’s definitely doesn’t like moisture and as it has huge glass screen, any breaking, falling object can destroy it. Don’t forget to save your sessions regularly ( tap save twice on the screen)!
#2 Controlling the stem recorder
It comes handy if you have a separate stem recorder rig, but works even if you record your stems into the session. If it’s a different machine, there is no need to switch the control surface as you have virtually everything at your fingers. Even when sitting in front of a big Icon while mixing, having the iPad to control stem recording is very practical and efficient. You can put it anywhere on the big console as it is big enough to control Pro Tools, but small enough that it won’t cover too many things. Without a push of a button you’ll always have your stems right in front of you.
If it’s the same machine and same session then I usually keep the stem tracks in front of me on the iPad screen and execute record or punch-in from the V-control software. This way I can be anywhere deep in the session tweaking parameters or still do little edits, and when I’m ready a few tap on the iPad takes care of the recording part of the job. This might be less of an issue with a big controller, but in editing sessions I love this as the only things I have there are the keyboard, the expert mouse and lately the magic trackpad.
#3 Automation window
With the new V-window feature we can easily keep any Pro Tools (or other) little window in front of us on the iPad’s screen. One thing that I found extremely useful is to keep the automation window open all the time while I’m mixing.
I’m a huge fan of automation. Any kind of it from volume to different little plugins’ parameter. So, while mixing and doing automation passes, all the the useful buttons are there for you. Need to switch off the possibility of plugin automation? Just tap it. Need to capture or preview automation? It’s right there. It is more comfortable this way. And again it is convenient if you use a huge surface but also very useful on its own.
Probably the most attractive thing with the V-control pro is that there is virtually no learning curve. It is so naturally blend into your daily job that it becomes second nature within days.
To be continued with even more usage tips...