It’s the third article about this controller application, the first was about the installation mainly, the second offered some usage tips, and now in this third one, some more usage tips. These are not complete software tutorials, but rather some random techniques, tips that show some of the methods how I use V-control pro.
Last week I wrote 3 usage tips, so now we continue with the 4th one.
#4 Controlling effect sends
Though I have no problem adjusting some parameters with the mouse/trackball, adjusting send levels with “feel” and precision is much better if we have some faders. Yes, even if those are touch faders and not real ones. As every control surface worth its money, V-control offers the same flip mode as any other product. It took me a few days to really get used to the virtual faders, but now they are as comfortable for me as their physical counterparts. The movements can be subtle or big, depending on your finger movements.
I have a strange habit: sometimes I create a little fx session with 10-15 different effects, and experiment with them, e.g. send the effects through different kinds of reverbs, special plugins, etc. These sounds can be anything from metallic, short, long, deep, high, loud, soft, sloppy, high impact, etc., the point is to hear them through varying types of effects. It’s fascinating to hear how the diverse palette of sounds changes as they driven through the effect plugins. I control the wetness from the iPad, sometimes quickly changing the send or the amount of signal fed into a processor.
The flip fader method is also comes very handy at recording sessions where the talent need something in her/his headphones. Before the session begin, I usually set the mix in the headphones via the V-control. Being there in the vocal booth for example, trying out microphones, adjusting effects and finalizing the cue mix. It’s a different experience than just sitting in the control room and doing this from there.
#5 Surround panner
My new favorite. I always thought that surround panning should be performed with more “personality”. I mean the joystick method is not bad at all, but using your fingers is even more fun, more inspiring. This is why I tried to make the Magic Trackpad work as a surround panner, and it does a great job actually. It’s great, but now we have something even better. Enter the world of full screen surround panning via the iPad.
Choose V-window and from its menu choose surround panner, then tap the little double-arrow to enlarge it. We still have the counter, the transport controls and a few other things, but the main point is the huge green area with the grid. Panning in surround has never been so much fun. With the little arrows you can go through the channels or up and down the sends. You can tap to specific points, or wander around with your finger to pan across the sound field. Very much fun for normal surround panning and also great for automation purposes. It’s almost like a brand new toy for a child!
#6 Monitoring through VCA groups
I almost always use VCA groups in virtually every session. They are good for a number of reasons, but if you won’t use it for anything else but for monitoring, that’s still a valuable thing. In this case I recommend to move all your VCAs to the most left part of your session, so when you launch V-control pro, the first tracks you’ll see are the VCAs. From this point, monitoring the stems and making adjustments to any of your VCA groups is a very easy and efficient task, and the best of all, you have all these things at your fingers all the time. I find this especially useful in fx editing sessions. No big console, no unnecessary clicking around with the trackball, just a few tap on the screen, and I only hear the things I need to hear.