Steinberg announced today that their Cubase iC controller app for iPhone and iPod touch is now available. If you’re a Cubase 5 user, this app gives you loads of control over your set wirelessly. It looks great, even if you have an existing controller – it’s just like having an extra, more pocket-able remote control. Control features:

  • Position: Check out the clever position displays and feedback
  • Transport: You can jump to markers, toggle the metronome and precount and cycle, and punch in recording.
  • Arranger: Turn arranger on and off, play, and jump within an arrangement. You even get interactive buttons with labels for arrangement points, as pictured below.


If you’re a Cubase user, go enjoy:

Cubase iC

If not, I know what you’re thinking – how can I do stuff like this with other software?


Of course, imagine if we had a universal, networkable communications protocol that was open enough to adapt to whatever music software might do? You could use messages labeled with functions (like cubase/arrange/stop in this case) and easily communicate between any of your devices.

Yep: we’ve got that already. It’s called OpenSoundControl. Unfortunately, many developers seem to think it requires specialized hardware (not true), or simply don’t understand what it’s for and how to implement it. Hopefully we can work to correct some of those misconceptions over the coming months.

There are, of course, lots of great OSC apps for iPhone like OSCemote, TouchOSC, and MrMr. And that means, vendors, there’s a now 30-million+ installed user based on this device alone. Think about it, won’t you?

Mackie Control


While we wait for the Coming of OSC, a decent function in the meantime is Mackie Control Universal, which maps standard functions to MIDI messages. iTouchMIDI (iTM) MCU, seen here in the fall, implements the protocol for iPhone. You do need an app at the other end for Mac or (recently added) Windows. But you get some decent functions. It’s a bit Ableton Live-centric, as you can see from the Scene, Clip, Loop, and Back to Arrangement buttons. But the faders and transport should still work with other tools, like Reason, Logic, Tracktion, and Reaper. (In fact, with Reaper’s custom controller layouts, you might be able to put those specialized Live buttons to use, with the right scripts – I’ll have to try that.)


If you put any of these solutions to work in your studio or on the road, we’d love to hear about it!

  • ben

    Does anyone know is this will work with Nuendo 5 when it comes out?

  • Ujn Hunter

    Doh! Now if only it would work with my Cubase LE! :

  • james oo

    hey man! where's the Logic controller!

  • Just FYI: Ardour also supports MCP, so in theory this device (iTouchMIDI MCU) will work with Ardour too.

  • do all of these Iphone apps go with the Ipod Touch aswell? I am a pc guy who is about to get one..

  • Any app that works on the iPhone will work on the iPod Touch within a wifi area & secret sauce.

    Even the voice apps like Shazam simply work with the right know how:)

  • Since Apple doesn't have a name for the platform, I'm using iPhone and iPod touch interchangeably. The only instance that you can't run on the touch, really, is the camera, at this point.

  • karl

    …and the microphone is missing, unfortunately…
    -> no ocarina!

  • You can use external mics with the iPod touch. Not *as* much fun (and annoying given the likely dirty-cheap cost of the actual internal mic), but it works.

  • i'm using TouchOSC with Osculator on my mac. It seems to be the best controller solution for any DAW (using it with Live and Logic), but the best things are coming when using it with Reaktor — just amazing control!…
    And when it comes to comparison — i can buy many (4 is enough, i think) iPods touch and connect them to one system, and it will be more interesting solution than Lemur, IMO.

  • you can use MRMR , it is free but you'll need Osculator to translate OSC into MIDI

  • @Peter: You could call the platfom "iPhone OSX" (I think thats what Apple is calling it these days), which would still confuse most people. So not really helpful

    I have tried ITM DJ. The knobs dont really work for me, since they are kinda annoying to control, especially since they jump a bit when you lift your finger. Apple has put in special code into their magnifying app for this, but I guess iTouchMidi hasnt followed this example yet.

    Also they do not let you choose a MIDI channel. So I am experimenting with Midi Patchbay to get things on a different channel, but for some reason some messages still come through on the old channel. Need to investigate this further.

  • Jim

    I've used iTouchMIDI on the PC and Mac with Reaper. Its a little buggy, I had a couple of crashes. Seems important to start the iTouchMIDI server before starting Reaper. Haven't tried programming other buttons – only have limited time and want to spend it recording the music. But this is a very nice, simple solution especially for the home recording engineer who has to play and record at the same time.

  • Seadnamc

    looks class. cant wait until they bring one out for logic

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