SSL Teams with iPhone to Revolutionize the X-Patch Controller

(ShackMan | Posted 2010-07-07)

SSL Teams with iPhone to Revolutionize the X-Patch Controller

It seems that everyone is getting into the iPhone these days, particularly when it comes to applications. If you can name it, there’s an app for it, something I hadn’t realized until I was at a gig recently and overheard one of the stage managers asking for a flashlight so that he could see running cable under the stage. The stagehand didn’t show up until about 5 minutes later because he had walked past the box that contained actual flashlights to go to his iPhone and download a free “flashlight” application that projected a white light out of the touch screen. We all had a good laugh while a somewhat embarrassed stagehand walked back and grabbed a flashlight that had been sitting not 25 feet away.

Still, the sheer processing power available in phones like the iPhone, Droid, Blackberry, and other smart phones is only now beginning to be tapped, lately, by the music industry. Solid State Logic, makers of some very high end recording and pro audio equipment, recently released an iPhone application that controls its X-Patch, called the “Remote Control for X-Patch” app. The X-Patch is a 16x16 analogue routing matrix that essentially decides where your signals are coming from and going to, sort of a train station for a recording studio. The difference is that the X-Patch is all analogue, something unusual for a studio router, especially one that can be Ethernet controlled by computer, and now, from your very own iPhone.

I’ve often criticized “Remote Control” type applications simply because having it only means you can do the exact same thing, but lazier, and they often aren’t worth the extra money just to be able to sit in your chair. However, this application may be improperly named. The “Remote Control for X-Patch” app does more than simply control the unit. It can store and recall up to 128 presets at the touch of a button (or a few buttons for that matter…that’s a lot of presets to go through), and you can edit and reorder your signal path on the fly to get that perfect sound in the studio. The application can do just as much as your PC can, except wirelessly, and it actively searches for X-Patch controllers, so controlling several at once is not a problem through SSL’s proprietary Logictivity browser.

And the best part about it is my favorite four-letter word. It’s free.

Well, what did you think I was going to say?

James Rushin is a bassist, keyboardist, writer, and composer living and working in the Greater Pittsburgh area. He has performed with Selmer artist Tim Price, Curtis Johnson, guitarists Ken Karsh and Joe Negri, and his compositions have been featured at West Virginia University and Valley Forge Christian College. His contest winning essays and short stories have seen publication in and around the Tri-State area.

Feel free to e-mail James with comments, questions, concerns, at

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