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CTRL+Console App: Turn Your iPad into a Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro 7/X Editing Console

If you’ve ever worked in linear tape-to-tape editing, there’s a good chance you’ve dealt with an edit controller device that has jog or shuttle wheels. With everything being software based now, many have simply reassigned to a keyboard the tasks that used to be associated with a console. Well, short of buying an expensive console to interface with your NLE or remembering dozens of keyboard shortcuts, what’s a video editor to do? That’s where Jeff Chow’s CTRL+Console iOS app comes in. Click through to check out the Kickstarter video.

Here’s what’s available in the Kickstarter:

The Consoles:

  • Video Transport Console for FCP & Premiere (iPhone/iPod/iPad)    $5
  • Audio fader Console for FCP & Audition (iPhone/iPod/iPad)    $5
  • Lightroom sorter (iPhone/iPod/iPad)    $5
  • Lightroom Develop Console (iPad/iPad mini) $20
  • Video Editing Console for FCP & Premiere (iPad/iPad mini)    $30


  • Designed for Final Cut Pro 7/X and Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Full transport controls 
  • Gestures for media-focused editing
  • Zero perceivable delay
  • Easy Wi-Fi connectivity to your laptop or desktop
  • More features than $3000 hardware editing consoles
  • Mac and Windows compatible

Here are some of the functions capable with the device:

  • Transport: 
  • Two-finger -> one finger slide = Jog
  • Two-finger slide left and right = Shuttle
  • Two-finger then tap L or R = Nudge
  • Two-finger tap = Play/Pause
  • Two-finger swipe L&R = Jump to cut
  • Three-finger swipe L&R = Beginning and end
  • Edit:
  • Two-finger swipe up = In
  • Two-finger swipe up-down = Clear In
  • Two-finger swipe down = Out
  • Two-finger swipe down-up = Clear Out
  • Three-finger swipe down = Insert
  • Three-finger swipe down then up = Overwrite
  • One-finger swipe from top edge = Mark/Cue
  • Program:
  • Pinch to zoom = Zoom timeline
  • Slide from left edge = Select Source window
  • Slide from right edge = Select Timeline window

This app is going to be beneficial to both pros and amateurs alike. If you want to get people familiar with editing who have never done it before, the easiest way is to give them something tactile that allows them to maneuver what they’re seeing on the screen. If you’re a pro, while some of you may laugh at this app, it doesn’t actually have to replace your keyboard — you could use it in addition to the keyboard for specific tasks. You also can use this for Adobe Lightroom, so there is no question it can be adaptable to other applications in the future, and since it’s not hardware, anything can be rearranged. I especially would like to see this made available for a program like DaVinci Resolve, which would make home color correction far more versatile — as normally a professional colorist is already using a control board. [Update: turns out DaVinci Resolve is in the works]:

I don’t own an iPad, so it won’t be of much use to me at the moment (the iPhone version only offers basic functionality), but I could see this being extremely helpful for lots of editing sessions. This definitely won’t replace your keyboard completely, as there will undoubtedly still be shortcuts that are not in the system. You will also still probably have to manually apply any special video effects rather than there being a console shortcut — but I don’t know at the moment whether that is the case.

Plenty of people sent this in to me, so I figured it was about time I shared it (thanks to everyone who sent it in). What do you guys think? Is this something you would use on your own systems? If you already use a hardware console for any of your work, what do you think about using this app instead (or in addition)?

Link: CTRL+Console: creativity unleashed — Kickstarter


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Description image 61 COMMENTS

  • Dave Kendricken on 11.19.12 @ 8:13PM

    Very awesome.

  • seems cool, I wish I could see this in action a bit more, I wonder how to go from frame 1 to frame 5000 in one click for example as you can do with a mouse…

    • I tend to operate with the iPad in my left and mouse in my right. This way I can utilize hoverscrub and the mouse for those big moves. CTRL+Console allows me to quickly jump beginning to end, cut-to-cut or other edit specific movements. But perhaps there’s a way we can add in a feature that allows you to move to specific timestamps or frames. Should be doable.

  • Anantthatsauntered on 11.19.12 @ 8:50PM

    Sweet. I would love to try this out in premiere. Ok. Got to start saving up some pennies.

  • Good idea, I’m happy to back more apps and development for NLEs…. but I wonder about it’s real usability, since there is no tactile feel. With JKL, I/O, etc., you can find them without looking; that’s the beauty of using keyboards, or devices like the Contour Shuttle. Not so with an iPad/iPhone device.

    • The lack of tactile feel is definitely a challenge, but if the goal is to control your NLE without looking at it, we’re developing a system of gestures that can be executed anywhere on the iPad so that you can keep your eyes on your footage. Taps, swipes and slides allowing you to control transport and editing functions. Similar, but more extensive than this: Our system is in the Kickstarter description.

      • Dear Jeff,

        This looks fantastic. I realize different people have pros and cons listed but the truth is that we need to keep pushing the boundaries of what we do. Let’s face it, our profession will only advance by pushing it forward any way we can. People used to say you never get the real feel of film editing without cutting film with a razorblade. Well now we cut with mouse clicks. But it was a long battle and still has the occasional skirmish.

        Trying to advance how we interact with the footage could be a major step in that direction. The huge huzzah from Minority Report was simply a hand manipulated gesture based video editing system and it seemed pretty damned fast to me. Best of luck on the development, glad to be a backer. Best, Dare

        • Thanks Dare. Seeing the amount of shortcut memorization tools/cheat sheets/how-to’s on the web really hits home to me that there must be a better way. And having gone through the experience recently of learning another Adobe product, reminds me of how hard it is to get into these programs as a beginner. Brought back memories of the years trying to learn Photoshop and constantly looking up things and not knowing how to do anything. This, to me, isn’t a problem with the power of the programs, but their intuitiveness. With legacy ideas holding back innovation with today’s tools and workflow.

          And as a professional photographer, I’ve adapted to the keyboard and I’m pretty fast. But it seems to me like learning to paint with a typewriter ( Doable, and pretty cool. And I’m sure once you learn you feel awesome about developing that skill. And with enough time become pretty fast. But there’s a lot of abstraction between you and the art. Is it really better than the simplicity of the paintbrush?

          I’m not saying CTRL+Console is the perfect solution, (ok, maybe I have), I’m just saying there is room to do better. We’ll never go back to cutting film en masse with a real razor, nor would I want to, but some of the ideas, some of that simplicity, has value. That most of us could benefit from a rethinking of how we do things. Find ways to do with one button press, what currently takes 4. Or instead of feeling like you have to buy a MIDI controller for audio and a control surface for color and a jog/shuttle for transport and a Wacom for… all the things you use a Wacom for – That we can take a device you may already own and give you that ability, for much less and without all the clutter of hardware devices.

          Every interface will have pros and cons. Including my own. It’s about how you deal with them. Mitigate and minimize the negatives (like gestures overcoming lack of tactile feel) while exploring all the potential positives (multitouch audio faders, color wheels, macros, gestures). I haven’t yet uncovered all the challenges nor discovered all the benefits. But I am searching and exploring and listening to your fantastic ideas. Keep ‘em coming.

          Diatribe over. Now go enjoy the beautiful weather! – Jeff

      • Jeff, props to you for going out and answering concerns outside of kickstarter! Don’t misunderstand – I plan on buying the app and giving it a shot no matter what. Your comment about gestures is very encouraging…. I suppose once muscle memory sets in, it can quickly get to a point where I won’t have to think about what I am doing. Can’t wait to give it a try (once you have Android support).

        Keep up the good work, and keep innovation coming for editors! I may not agree with every tool out there, but I applaud innovation and attention to editors.

        • Thanks David! As Lincoln said, “He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.”

          Will get Android support as soon as I can!

  • Apparently, he’s working on a interface for The Divinci Resolve. This would be great for something like that considering the cost of a console. Although he only did the Lift, Gamma, Gain sections so far, it looks very promising and may actually convince me to actually want to use Resolve a lot more often.

  • David Sharp on 11.19.12 @ 9:47PM

    It looks cool, but I feel like any body who takes the time to learn the key board shortcuts will be atleast 5x faster than the app, plus you dont have to take your eyes off the screen to use it.

    I like the idea of doing things from the Ipad though, but more along the line of something that could be maximized by the use of a touch slider, like audio gain controls, or Video Effects controls.

    Like using the Ipad to adjust a 3 Way color corrector.

  • Soosan Khanoom on 11.19.12 @ 9:49PM

    I personally prefer the responsive tactile feedback that you get from pushing/pressing a physical button/key. Smartphones, cameras with touch interface and even the new Sekonic light meter. But that’s just me.

  • Ben Incahutz on 11.19.12 @ 10:04PM

    Its a cool idea but its not practical in the real world. I spent $400 for an Euphonix by Avid MC Transport and ended up selling it on craigslist for $300.

    It just didnt speed up my editing, took up valuable space on my desk.

    TRY before you BUY so you can determine if you would really see an improvement or you can just learn the expensive way.

    • Well, unlike a bulky control surface that’s more or less permanently parked on your desk, this is on your mobile device that you already own and use for another 427 things (at least I do).
      Physical keys, faders, wheels and knobs are nice. I have an M-Audio Pro keyboard which automatically maps DAW’s features to the keyboard’s pots, faders and pads through a technology called HyperControl. It’s amazing! And huge. And a one-trick-pony…only good for digital music production.

      This app has massive potential and the power is in the reduced learning curve. If you have already spent hours and hours learning 20 pages worth of keyboard shortcuts and committed them to memory, this might be inferior to you but for anyone starting out, moving platforms or simply not as well versed, this will be a godsend. Great idea, Jeff!

  • Wow, amazing. This is app is going to sell like hot cakes.

  • Andreas Kopriva on 11.20.12 @ 6:42AM

    May not be the most ideal for editing due to the aforementioned lack of tactile feedback, but I quite interested in the Resolve version of this. I’ve been on the fence for buying a small console such as the Wave for some time now but if this app would offer me the accuracy and immediacy of the interface I’d get it in a heartbeat.
    With regards to something like premiere – would definitely try it out, though I’m quite comfortable with the keyboard shortcuts at the moment.
    I’m quite surprised that it’s taken this long for an app like this to surface to be honest :)

    • Yeah I agree, this will not speed up editing…keyboard short cuts are definitely faster, JKL is perfect. It just looks fancy shmancy…although I can see this being used for Resolve or any color correction software, as well as photoshop similar to the trackpad but can be more involved…Kickstarter once again gets everyone excited for a ‘revolutionary’ product. I don’t want to bash it right away because I feel as though this trend of iPad apps that work in conjunction with other software will catch on but not necessarily for NLE

    • If you already know the shortcuts, there may not be a speed improvement for you – though I think the gesture system will be close. And for me the jog wheel bridges that gap between JKL shuttle and left and right nudges.

      But perhaps there’s a place for having the iPad as an addition to your keyboard – allowing you to easily create macros for repeated tasks or for shortcuts you can’t seem to remember because you only use them occasionally. Multi-track audio fader control is already being offered and Resolve development, while early, has begun.

  • Why not make to android?

    • I imagine this has to do with cost of developing on two platforms, and there are a lot more hardware configurations running Android than variants of iPads :/

      Don’t get me wrong though, I would love to see an Android version of this app suite. Certainly not getting an iPad because of this. Oh well.

      • +1

        • +2

          The added bonus of Android is that the entry point of tablets (i.e. Nexus/Fire/etc) is much lower than that of the iPad, meaning that it could almost be viable to have a dedicated tablet for this.

          Given I don’t have an iPad or iPhone, I’ll wait and see how this develops. I’m a little skeptical about whether or not it would actually speed up my workflow above and beyond my keyboard and magic trackpad combo (best of both worlds – touch, gestures and tactile keystrokes).

      • Not fun developing the same product for 100 different performance baselines.

      • As soon as I can, I will develop for Android. I’m looking into potentially making it with a cross-platform development program, but need to make sure it doesn’t jeopardize any current plans.

    • +3
      I would love to see this on an Android as well since I don’t plan to buy an ipad.

      Would it be harder to use on a 7″ tablet?

  • So good. Been hoping for something like this forever.

    A little confused by the kickstarter. Does anyone know if the 5 dollar donation is the same app as the 35 or what is the difference?

    • My bad Ricky. It is a little confusing. For $5 you get the app with the Transport Control console for iPhone/iPad. (The iPhone in the image). It’s a paired down interface with a jog/shuttle and nudge controls. For $35 you get that plus the full Video Editing console for iPad with more commands at your fingertips (what you see on the right).

  • David Sharp on 11.20.12 @ 2:15PM

    As someone who prefers a keyboard vs a tablet app, I can see one application of the App. If an editor has a customer in the room reviewing a rough cut. The Tablet could be good to put in the customer’s hands so he can get to key points in the time line quickly that he wants changes made to, without you the editor having to leave the chair. Could make the relationship more symbiotic, or tug o war…

  • Kinda lightworks control, but I don`t believe this thing is usable for professional editing on longer projects, the missing tactile feedback will make you nuts very fast, it`s the same problem I have with my Wacom Intuos 4, even though there IS some tactile feedback but not specific enough to use them blindly, I`ve put some shortcuts onto the buttons but I can`t really use them, you just discard them over time unconsciously when you`ve turned the head for the 50th time in an hour…

    • The Lightworks console was the inspiration for all this.

      If you already know the keyboard shortcuts, it’s hard to say if this will be faster until we make it and test it. But, contrary to the Wacom, I think gestures can overcome the lack of tactile control and allow you to keep your eye on your footage, and not the interface. I’ve developed a system of gestures that give you both transport and edit control by gesturing anywhere on the iPad making it so you don’t have to turn your head or look down. The system is in the Kickstarter description.

  • It’s very cool but my main problem is the latency, which is too high in my opinion.

    • Hi Paul, how do you know the latency is too high? From my experience actions happen with no perceivable delay. We use a very time-sensitive protocol designed for musicians to ensure that it is as responsive as any piece of hardware. Any delay you see in the video has to do with my computer, not the app.

  • Erika Suderburg on 11.22.12 @ 12:54AM

    Thanks for this I have bad tendinitis and swiping helps me out keyboard shortcuts are a drag. Any thoughts on if connecting via a wireless USB adapter into a Mac tower w/out wi-fi would present any problems? Thanks

    • I’ve had a few people say how this would help them work around tendinitis. Hope it does!

      A WiFi USB adapter should work just fine, but you may not need it if the tower is connected to the same network as the WiFi. For example, my desktop is connected to the router via an ethernet cable. That router also creates the Wifi network. Because it is all one network, my iDevice can connect to my desktop just fine – no Wifi dongle required.

      If there is no network at all, then a Wifi adapter or a simple router like an Airport Express would allow you to make that connection.

  • I’d love something like this for 3DS Max.

  • Is there a release date for this app? I think this is a great innovation and I’m excited to try it.


  • Hi Jeff, Im a multimedia content producer, and have been looking at ways of integrating surfaces with the same editing suites, with the aim of increasing (and simplifying) functionality whilst editing. I cannot wait to get my hands on the Control+Console App! It looks like the exact thing i have been looking for! May I ask when you think it might become the finished article and available for purchase? Ad how much do you project the App might cost to purchase?

    • Hi Mike~ will be live in the App Store soon, a couple more weeks. In the mean time, you can sign up for to be notified when we launch here: We’re almost there!! As for cost, We’re making it so you buy the consoles for the programs and features you want and not ones you don’t. And instead of a $3000 hardware console, or $100 jog wheel, you just pay $5 for a jog/shuttle, add $30 for the editing console for either FCP or Premiere. Lightroom in $5 for a sorter and $20 for the develop module. Thanks for the support!

  • I’m an editor and work mostly in fcp. I cannot wait to get my hands on this app… I did try on the Tangent vWave app… When is this hitting the AppStore? And any idea on the price….

    • We are so close to launch!! Just a few weeks away :) As for pricing, you pay for what you want, not what you don’t. So for a FCP user like you, the base app is just $5 and the FCP editing console is $30. We’re stoked to get it on the market and see what you think!

  • Bruno Schubert on 07.30.13 @ 4:10PM

    It would be interesting to andriod same. It would also be interesting for users of Edius.

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