This time we review an iOS application MetaGrid from developer Metassytem. This app is like a close companion for your DAW, your NLE or any other application on you computer. There are some other similar apps available like Keymand, but we will show you why we like MetaGrid so much. Yes…… it will work on Mac and Windows. To get it all to work you first have to download the iOS app from the iTunes store. From the Metasystem website you have to download Metaserver for Windows or Mac. Metaserver connects de app to your computer, it uses WIFI, LAN or an USB cable.
It is obvious the app's basic idea was to be used for the audio-world DAW’s like Pro-Tools, Cubase, Logic and more. But it also works with any other app. Metasystem has already very nice videos about Metagrid online for these audio programs we just made a short video in how you can use this for example in your NLE or animation software. We choose Final Cut Pro X and Motion. It will also function on Adobe Premiere, AVID, Davinci resolve, After effects among others. In the app you can find some presets, but it is very easy to make them yourself…. and it is fun too!
BB: We read on the Metagrid facebookpage that version 1.5 will be released soon ( the end of september ).
Our question is this… it is November, when will it be released?
Przemek: Yes, we plan a significant v1.5 update - originally we planned it till the end of September but we have decided to move it a bit due to some development reasons. The next iteration will come till the end of this year - so currently Metagrid stays as is.
BB: We like making our own templates in the App… it is just a very nice option of the app. It is for us the Core functionality that makes it more than just some buttons for use in an app. Changing templates to your likes.. is just awesome. But we were still curious if more templates wil be involved in version 1,5 or future versions? Like Motion, iMovie, Garageband, Wirecast etc.
Przemek: Yes, v1.5 will include import/export functionality and we will add more viewsets for various apps.
BB: At BroadcastBrazil we work mostly with FCPX. For us some functionality within the NLE, but this also counts for other programs, is that you cannot be so precise with a mouse or Trackpad. The buttons for volume up en down are already awesome compared to doing the same thing with a mouse or trackpad. But what would be even more awesome is if we have a fader type of function within Metagrid… is this a possible function for the future?
Przemek: Yes, v1.5 will include very powerful customisable faders.
BB: In DAW’s and NLE’s we use a lot of plugins. Will it be possible in the future to also add those in Metagrid?
Przemek: We have some great plans for Metagrid being a central workflow hub for various workflow-enhancement modules. Currently, it contains only Action Grid (buttons) but we want to add various other modules - look at artsunmuted.com and see our products for Liine Lemur - we want to port most of our ideas and concepts to Metagrid for iOS.
We performed our tests on 2 different Apple computers:
-1- A MacBook Pro from 2014 with Final Cut Pro X version 10.3.3
-2- An iMac 5K from 2016 with Final Cut Pro X version 10.3.4
We want to thank Przemek for the answers and also a little look in the future of MetaGrid. If we have any updates from MetaGrid we will update this blog-post. The forthcoming update 1.5 will be very interesting so stay tuned.
Metagrid is besides a very nice companion for your Audio / Video production software also a tool that can speedup your job and workflow extremely. We gained a lot of time just by using the “Volume Up and Down” function to change our levels thru the whole edit in once… and more easy and precise than when using a mouse or trackpad. Besides you will win some time in which can be very handy, the app will look incredible cool in your setup.
The MIDI part of the app is very interesting too, we did not tried it yet, but it will open some amazing possibilities, also for NLE’s like sending MIDI messages to your AudioInterface.
We had the honour to test the Mac application Claquette from the Austrian developer Peakstep. Claquette is a screen recording utility, renamed by the app developer as Animated Screenshots. There are a lot of Screen Recording apps for the Mac, starting with the Apple Quicktime app itself till a full-blown screen recording app like Screenflow from Telestream.
Why test this application then if we have Screenflow or the free Quicktime player? Because Claquette had some very interesting options that the others do not have. Watch the following video for a short roundup of the functions and possibilities that Claquette has:
BB: What we miss is recording the audio directly from the computer. Of course there is a workaround by a separate audio input but record the audio direct is much more easy and also in-sync.
Thomas: This is a feature that I’d also like to have in the app. The Mac App Store and App Sandboxing make it very hard to implement this, but if I can find a convenient and secure way to include system audio recording, I will do my best to add this feature.
BB: What would be a nice option is also screen recording iOS devices, including it’s sound.
Thomas: This is already in the works. Our next update will come with an import feature which will allow Claquette to read all supported video formats (h.264, h.265, animated GIF, aPNG,ProRes, …). This way the app will be able to transcode e.g. from h.264 to animated GIF. It also makes the file format ready for iOS device capturing. (Attached iOS devices deliver their recordings as h.264). The direct recording of iOS devices will follow in a later update.
BB: Export to FCPX and Motion is by our opinion ‘THE’ option what makes Claquette unique.
Will there be other layer options/functionality in the future like more mousepointer options, Sound on click (maybe by Markers) , key Strokes.
Thomas: The FCPX/Motion projects created by Claquette are very modular. We currently only provide one generic click effect but plan to add more. You can also create click effects by yourself by copying and modifying the Motion Generator in "~/Movies/Motion Templates.localized/Generators.localized/Claquette/Effects"
BB: After we exported a XML for FinalCutProX it did not load FCPX automatically because we have some apps on our machines that also uses FCPX xml type files, like X-title Importer or SendToX. In our case X-title was loaded.
Thomas: We are launching FCPX via a system call that seems to use macOS’ Launch Services in the background. So it opens whatever is associated with .fcpxml files. I will have a look if we can directly open FCP X in a future update.
We performed our tests on 2 different Apple computers:
-1- A MacBook Pro from 2014 with Final Cut Pro X version 10.2.3
-2- An iMac 5K from 2016 with Final Cut Pro X version 10.3.2
We want to thank Thomas for the answers and also a little look in the future of Claquette. If we have any updates from Claquette we will update this blog-post. The forthcoming update with iOS recording is very interesting for video-editors and iOS developers editing video’s about iOS apps for promotional use. Doing this out of Claquette into FCPX is very interesting because we think it will speedup the workflow, making these types of video’s and versions of it dramatically faster.
Claquette is available from the Mac Appstore for $ 9.99 , In-App Purchase for the PRO exporter pack costs $ 29.99.
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