Use Your iPad as a Second Display with Duet Display

duet display logic pro x 1

Duet is the first app that allows you to use your iPad as a second display for your Mac using the Lightning or 30-pin cable. Built by an ex-Apple engineer, Duet Display is compatible with all Macs (10.9+), all iPads and iPhones (iOS 6.0+). I’ve tested the app with my MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, late 2013) running Logic Pro X and using my iPad 3 (early 2012) as a second display.

Using Logic Pro X on iPad

I first tried to use Logic Pro X solely on the iPad, just to see what that was like.

What works:

– dragging regions
– sliding Mixer faders
– rotating panpots

What didn’t work:

– rotating Smart Control knobs (only tapping worked)
– pinching to zoom in/out
– double-tapping audio regions to open the Audio File editor

No big surprises here, as the app is not optimized for touch yet. For basic Transport controls and mixing, you’d probably be better off using Logic Remote over WiFi.

Using Duet Display for Metering

Displaying Metering plugins on the iPad is what I was most interested in.

Here’s what the Waves Dorrough Meter plugin looks like on the iPad in landscape mode:

duet display durrough meters 1

Together with WLM Plus Loudness Meter:

duet display durrough meters 2

Now that’s quite a fancy audio metering display! Note that even though Duet Display connects via cable, I did notice a small lag between the audio and the visuals. On my setup, delaying the audio by about 40ms put things back in sync. This wasn’t a deal-breaker for me, I suspect to some of you, it could be.

Using Duet Display – Experimental

For some more ideas, here’s what a separate Score Window looks like on the iPad:

duet display score 2

Displaying 12 (wide) Aux buses:

duet display aux buses

Using Duet Display – Conclusion?

I bought Duet Display for the same reason I bought Air Display back in 2011: to experiment. Note that Duet Display requires CPU processing to render the display on the iPad. On the Macbook Pro, I have used it at 30 FPS instead of 60 FPS, with Retina Mode disabled. I have yet to try it together with my Mac Pro to see if there’s a smaller lag, and what the CPU load is at 60 FPS with Retina Mode enabled. Testing maximum USB cable length also comes to mind here, to see whether it’d be possible to use the iPad as a display in a vocal booth for example.

For metering, I’d give the app a try, for everything else: experiment.

Price: $15.99. More info:

Duet Display

On Macworld:

Duet Display Review

On Pro Tools Expert, with valuable comments from the developer who is working on fixes, decreasing CPU usage and performance optimizations.

Want to See Pro Tools on the iPad?

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  • Thanks for the review, will definitely try to reach out when we start working on touch optimizations.

    • Thanks, looking forward to it.


  • John Henry

    Looks interesting. This would be great if they could get the touch screen to function. I also like the metering possibilities, but the delay might not work for me. I will check it out. I hope there is a demo.

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