Last night Presonus finally announced what many of us have been hoping and waiting for. StudioLive Remote is a native iPad app designed from the ground up to provide wireless control of the Presonus StudioLive 16.4.2 and StudioLive 24.4.2 digital mixers. The software is multi-touch compatible allowing you to adjust multiple faders at once, adjust parametric EQ settings by pinching and dragging and more. The iPad app gives you control over every function of the StudioLive mixers except for the analog knobs like input gain and main aux output knobs. This solution opens up some new possibilities for portable churches. Churches with a low budget, in need of simpler setup or in a pinch can eliminate the need for an audio snake by leaving the mixer on stage and then mixing on an iPad from the mix location. If a church has monitor speakers the sound engineer will be able to walk around the stage and make adjustments to the monitors while listening to the mix. Also, since you can use multiple iPads at once a musician with an iPad could even be given wireless control of their own monitor mix. My hope is that in the near future they release an iPod/iPhone app specifically to only mix aux mixes that musicians can use for their monitors speakers or in-ear montors. The bottom line is that church planters have a lot to be excited about with the StudioLive mixer. It just keeps getting better as more and more features are released in free upgrades.
Since the launch of its VSL ( Virtual StudioLive ) software Presonus has demonstrating using an iPad to control it's mixers. But this has required the use of a third party application to remotely control a computer. The results were mixed. Some people complained of laggy controls, confusing setup and an interface that was clearly not optimized for touch screen control.
This new app is exciting as we will probably see a completely revised interface that is specifically designed for multi-touch control. The lag will also more than likely completely disappear as the new app will not have to stream as much data and will be optimized to interface directly with VSL.
Once again one of our predictions of how the iPad would be used in churches has become a reality. A company called Planning Center has developed an application for the iPad that integrates with their worship music organizational tools. The worship leader can create a song list for Sunday even changing the key on the fly and adding new songs. Each musician gets their own music sheets based on whether they need sheet music or tabs, etc. This is really cool and eliminates the clutter and bulk of giant song binders.
In a previous blog post I talked about some of the future uses of the iPad that I envisioned for churches. One of the possibilities I mentioned was the ability to control an audio mixer remotely using the touch display of the Apple iPad. I wanted to share with you guys how this has already become a reality with the Presonus StudioLive 16.4.2 and the StudioLive 24.4.2 mixer. I was already a huge fan of the StudioLive, now I'm just amazed. What I'm really excited about is that according to Rick Naqvi on the Presonus forums, Presonus is currently developing an iPad specific application that will better take advantage of the screen size and multi-touch display. I can see some portable churches deciding to ditch an audio snake and just leave the mixer right up on stage and mix on their iPad over wifi.
VIDEO UPDATE: Presonus just came out with a brand new video demonstrating using the Apple iPad to control the StudioLive mixer. They even show you how to do it without using a separate wifi router, just your iPad and a Macbook.