Every so often a piece of technology comes along that you have to concede is quite brilliant… Tranzport happens to be one such item. If you long for Play, Fast Forward, Loop and Record buttons to control your DAW, or hate being tethered to your computer by the keyboard (if, for instance, you frequently need to run your DAW from a remote recording booth), then the Tranzport is definitely for you.
I recently tested the Tranzport with ProTools LE v7 and a Mac 17-inch Powerbook running Tiger, and it proved itself to be a great little device. The installation was simple via the accompanying CD. After the small USB transmitter was connected, Tranzport indicated that a link had been automatically established. (Worthy of note: the range of this unit is fantastic – far better than your average wireless keyboard or mouse.) I then selected ‘HUI’ in the peripherals settings of ProTools and the Tranzport for input and output. From that point on I was able to control the transport of ’Tools and various other functions without the annoyance of a wired connection.
As far as ProTools is concerned you can fast forward, rewind, record, play and stop from the familiar five-button transport on the solid plastic unit. There’s a reasonably large backlit LCD that shows info such as the currently selected track with its volume and pan information and the current main counter position.
Tracks can be selected so the volume and pan can be altered using the shuttle wheel on the unit – this is smooth and effective. You can solo, mute and record-arm any track, place and jump to markers as well as move the cursor easily through the session. A footswitch jack enables hands-free recording remotely.
Let’s not forget that Tranzport can also control the likes of Logic, Performer, Cubase, Reason, Sonar and Nuendo. There’s even a Generic Midi control that broadens Tranzport’s horizons further.
You’ll almost certainly be able to find a use for Tranzport, whether you’re a small or large operator. This is a brilliant device that repeatedly prompts you to ask yourself the question: “Why didn’t somebody think of this sooner?”
– Simon Leadley
Innovative Music: (03) 9540 0658 or firstname.lastname@example.org