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iPad app to have a few MIDI faders?


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I thought this would be so much easier, and that I would find tons of these. But apparently not. I'm just looking for an iPad app that will give me at least two faders, MOD and EXP, and maybe a few more. And ideally it could be both portrait or landscape by user choice.

Doing several searches online, the one that gets closer is called "Ribn", but the "faders" called "ribbons" seem to be only horizontal, even if the app itself can be resized on the iPad rotation, but the sliders still are horizontal, and I want them like physical faders.

I'm so frustrated I'm about to learn Xcode and program my own app. Since I know jack poop about programming, it would probably take me years. 🙂

 

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It has what you need. It's ridiculously capable, and I learned just enough to build my own flexible six-fader MIDI control surface. You can also look at MetaGrid, which some people have adopted instead or to replace TouchOSC, but I have no hands-on experience with it myself.

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18 hours ago, lookatthisguy said:

It has what you need. It's ridiculously capable, and I learned just enough to build my own flexible six-fader MIDI control surface. You can also look at MetaGrid, which some people have adopted instead or to replace TouchOSC, but I have no hands-on experience with it myself.

Well, I guess at worst I would lose ten bucks. Kinda weird that the guy didn't reply to my email in like a week.

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1 hour ago, GeneralDisarray said:

Well, I guess at worst I would lose ten bucks. Kinda weird that the guy didn't reply to my email in like a week.

Could be… but tbh some of the most valued, most popular music apps I know of out there only have one or two people working on the team, so they have a hard time getting to everyone, and they can’t hire more people when their stuff is only a one-time $10 purchase, so they get stuck. (In fact the app that comes to mind for me ultimately had to double their price, and it’s still a steal for what it offers. It’s not TouchOSC, but I think both companies are in similar boats.)

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Fair enough, but after getting it, this is far, far from what I was looking for. I was looking for something simple, just a couple of faders, one EXP and one MOD, that's it. If it came with more than 2, OK. But this thing seems to have a huge learning curve, where you have to design the faders, and drawing them was the easy part, now getting them to send CC1 and CC11 looks like something I'm going to need to spend hours learning how to do. Not worth it.

If anybody else knows any other iPad app that has two simple faders and is not too expensive please let me know.

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2 minutes ago, wonshu said:

Litterally took me between the time writing the post above and this post.

Good for you. But that's really patronizing. Just because it took you one minute doesn't mean it will take everybody the same time. Not everybody is wired the same way. Maybe you have a lot of experience with software like this. I'm generally pretty good at learning new software, but this is not exactly straightforward. All I see when I open it is this:

IMG_0006.thumb.PNG.e1c5a68ec6cee716783d66441ce7b757.PNG

And I don't see any templates anywhere like you mention. Inserting the faders is easy, that took me one minute. But then making them send CC1 and CC11 as MIDI, I spent a while touching things and messing around but I gave up. 

Maybe it's not even working as it should, since at the top it has what look like an icon to load a file and another to save a file. And I know I saved a file called Faders.tosc, but I have no idea where it went or how to load it. And I definitely don't know what to do with the file you attached to your post.

My point is, I know that tomorrow when I'm not so exhausted I will figure it out, but I didn't want any app with a learning curve. I don't want to waste time figuring out anything because I need that time to learn better things. What I needed was something like Logic Pro X remote, with faders like it has in the mixer page, but for CCs. 

 

 

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It's ok. Perhaps you find another App that does it more easily.

EDIT: just take what I uploaded for you and make it look the way you want. It's wired to send CC 1 and CC 11.

 

Edited by wonshu
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Most developers seems to have made these very customizable tools that allow folks to build their dream console, and I think that’s worth giving a little more consideration here, otherwise there’d be complaints—too many faders! not enough! they’re too far apart! too close! too big!—and so on.

On a cursory search, I came across an app named Ribn which may be what you want, but it seems to be full screen, which I would see as an ergonomic problem. But maybe that’s worth a shot for you?

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9 hours ago, wonshu said:

It's ok. Perhaps you find another App that does it more easily.

EDIT: just take what I uploaded for you and make it look the way you want. It's wired to send CC 1 and CC 11.

I appreciate that, but I have no idea how to load that into TouchOSC. Keep in mind that I only bought the iPad version. The macOS version is more expensive and I’m not sure if I want to buy it when the iPad version has such a steep learning curve. 

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Mail it to yourself (not as a zip) then open it on the ipad. That should open touchosc

 

Or put it in your iCloud - or however else you usually transfer files over… AirDrop?

Edited by wonshu
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11 hours ago, lookatthisguy said:

On a cursory search, I came across an app named Ribn which may be what you want, but it seems to be full screen, which I would see as an ergonomic problem. But maybe that’s worth a shot for you?

I saw that app, but every single screenshot I saw of it has the faders from left to right, and I wouldn't like that. The full screen wouldn't be a problem for me, the larger the better so I have more control. That's one problem I have with the physical faders in my MIDI keyboard, the travel distance is too short.

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1 hour ago, wonshu said:

Mail it to yourself (not as a zip) then open it on the ipad. That should open touchosc

Or put it in your iCloud - or however else you usually transfer files over… AirDrop?

So I did that, and it opens in Touch OSC, but when I tap the Play button (that seems to be the way to make the project "live") and move the faders up and down, Logic doesn't show me anything in the display like when I move the two faders in the keyboard that I programmed to be CC1 and CC11. This is with the TouchOSC bridge loaded, of course.

MIDI monitor also doesn't show me anything when moving the faders, but it does for everything else. Don't get me wrong, I do like the design capabilities of the software, but I don't want to spend hours trying to figure it out.

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In TouchOSC on the iPad, you have to click the link button (to the right of the play button) to connect the app to the Bridge on your Mac. That can be wireless, or via USB.

  • MIDI should be set to send and receive via Bridge <#>
  • Bridge (Connection <#>) should be set to USB or to your computer (which should show under the browse menu by the computer's name, but will populate with its IP address when you select it)
  • For what you're doing, I don't think OSC or Gamepad settings are relevant

And honestly, I get the frustration. This thing is very convoluted to learn and use, and quite frankly has a user interface and manual that seems like it was designed by Microsoft in the 90s. (Apparently, the developer is working on that latter issue right now.) But I bit the bullet and took a single day off from writing to figure out the basics of this app just enough to create my six-fader CC controller, which was inspired by a physical fader board I came across online. The faders have exactly the measurements and layout I'd want, and it's super easy to change which CC a given fader transmits. It took some time, but the investment in time has been worth it for these modest purposes. I think instead of fighting the confusion, it's worth it to give yourself a little push for this or for Metagrid if you're ready to throw in the towel on TouchOSC. Either way, it'll be a shorter distance than learning Xcode to start from scratch… 😉

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1 hour ago, lookatthisguy said:

In TouchOSC on the iPad, you have to click the link button (to the right of the play button) to connect the app to the Bridge on your Mac. That can be wireless, or via USB.

  • MIDI should be set to send and receive via Bridge <#>
  • Bridge (Connection <#>) should be set to USB or to your computer (which should show under the browse menu by the computer's name, but will populate with its IP address when you select it)

That was the missing part, thanks. Now, is there a way to make this into some kind of app, where I would have it on the home page in the iPad and just tap and it launches with the two faders and that's it? Or is it always launch the app, it loads the last project and you have to hit play?

But yeah, I'll give you that it's great for doing custom things, I tried it and once everything is configured properly, it works great/

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15 hours ago, lookatthisguy said:

For me at least, it always opens right to my fader setup so I can just get to work.

You mean it opens in your setup but you still have to tap on the play button, right. Not a big deal, it's just one more button.

And after I wrote this, I thought, let's test that one more time. And now, when I close it (and I mean, really close it, as in, double clicking the button in the iPad and swiping up the app), and then reopen it, it opens directly in the faders. Cool.

Despite my initial reluctance, this is a great app, so thanks @wonshu and @lookatthisguy for the tip and for helping me set it up. 

And for those that came to this thread through a search and are looking for the same thing, just make sure you go through this list:

1) I attached my version of the same file that @wonshu attached, but the faders are large, which gives you more room to slide your fingers up and down

2) Download it and airdrop it to your iPad and open it in TouchOSC. 

3) Download and install TouchOSC Bridge and open it. You will think nothing happened but it's the B icon in your menu icons area on the right, what is called Tray in Windows and have no effin' clue what it's called in macOS 😄 😄

4) Make sure you tap the link icon at the top and set things up this way:

IMG_E0E396F274C4-1.thumb.jpeg.42f05bf34632fcf9f5d1849e8d29e902.jpeg

IMG_0009.thumb.jpg.afa957e1c358734cab8e953f53349abf.jpg

IMG_0010.thumb.jpg.78454b0aa7df5b481a017e4c851258f8.jpg

This is for a setup where your iPad is connected to your Mac with a lightning to USB-A or USB-C cable. It can probably work using Wi-Fi, but I don't think that would be too accurate.

5) tap the play button and test it with Logic. If you see the display showing 1 space 1 or space 11 and then numbers going up and down as you move the fader up and down, then it works.

In my version I put CC11 on the left because I was playing with Hans Zimmer Strings from Spitfire, which if you have anything Spitfire you know that they put a lot of emphasis in the expression and modulation sliders, which are very big in their GUIs. When I started using it, I was getting confused until I realized that the expression fader is on the left and the modulation one on the right. 

 

 

IMG_0007.jpg

Two Faders.tosc

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No, I actually meant that it opens up in the “play mode”, for lack of knowing what the devs call it. Same as what you are getting, it seems. It’ll stay in “play mode” unless I tap the dot in the upper right corner to go back to editing the interface.

Wi-Fi connection is no problem. I keep the iPad connected to my computer when using it, but saw that apparently I’ve had it connecting to the Bridge via Wi-Fi all along. MIDI data is so minuscule that there’s no issues or latency transmitting it wirelessly—we’re talking bytes in a world of gigabytes, at this point.

 

Glad to hear it’s working well for you now! Getting it up and running for me allowed me to severely demote a MIDI fader controller on my studio needs purchase list; hope it works out the same way for you.

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40 minutes ago, lookatthisguy said:

Getting it up and running for me allowed me to severely demote a MIDI fader controller on my studio needs purchase list; hope it works out the same way for you.

Me too, but what is on my list for which I actually learn to play anything is to get two pedals, one for CC1 and another for CC11. To me it doesn't make any sense to have faders for those things, if you are an accomplished musician and you play well with both hands, then you can't use those faders at the same time. Or if you don't have faders, the same applies to the typical MOD wheel in keyboards.

I don't know why this is not too common apparently, but I haven't seen a single music tutorial video where they play with their hands and use the feet to do MOD and EXP. It's the most logical thing.

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I made an addition to the two faders. I was working with a plugin in which I wanted a fader to change another parameter, and I had to use the learn function in that plugin. So I duplicated one of the faders, gave it another color, and assigned CC102 to it, but I wanted to keep it as one that I can assign to anything I want to as it comes up, so I named it "Assignable", but quickly realizing the name was too long, I shortened it to "ASS".

So here's my new project, "Two Faders and Ass.tosc" Hopefully somebody will find it useful.

822760960_TwoFadersandAss.thumb.PNG.8a97fa54651ecaedd7e5b09929155694.PNG

Two Faders and Ass.tosc

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See how quickly you made this your own? Welcome to the club!

I understand the reluctance in the beginning, but learning new customisable tools is so liberating!

I agree about the footpedals! It's strange how this is not more of a thing.

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I mean my main field is as a media composer, so a ton of my day to day is mired in MIDI CCs. But I'm also a pianist and have done a lot of work as a theatre music director, so I have an expression pedal hooked up to my system. I've tried using it for CCs, but don't like how uneven the results can be (and I'm using the Yamaha pedal that is pretty standard for the industry). It's a great idea, but it's rare that I need both hands on the keyboard—I can play pretty much any part one-handed that I need to record, leaving the other hand free to ride multiple faders for CC input with much greater accuracy anyway, and the things that need to be two-handed don't often require much CC input anyway.

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I was wondering, since this is a purely digital setup as opposed to physical faders, could it be setup so that not only it sends the movement of the fingers on the sliders to the DAW, but also the other way around, so if I'm playing back a track that already has automation, then the faders in the iPad will go up and down according to that automation?

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Well, MIDI doesn’t work that way, unfortunately… I see plenty of comments on hardware fader gear complaining about that very topic. With the software automation, it will definitely work in, say, Logic Remote or Avid Control, and it may work in Metagrid or TouchOSC—haven’t tried it, so I don’t know for sure—but MIDI won’t “motorize” faders.

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That's OK, it's not a big deal, I was just curious. But you seem to have experience in the music industry, so let me ask you this: the reason that thought came to me is because I remembered some documentaries where there's a lot of footage of those giant studio consoles with like 200 channels, each with its own fader, and I saw the faders going up and down, which I assume was the automation being played back.

Since those faders are physical, obviously there's a motor in each of them, but what sends the animation being played back to them? That's not MIDI, it's some other protocol?

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Right. Different protocols. Maybe Mackie, or Eucontrol, or probably some others I don't know about. Effectively, MIDI is only data item + value—for example, Note C4 on at 118 velocity, or CC 11 at value 86. There's no in-between values with MIDI, which is why faders can't be motorized by MIDI data. The faders would effectively have to jump from one position to the next with each subsequent node.

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