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!