Which Windows laptop or tablet should I buy?

This question is very frequently asked. There are many brands offering Windows Tablet PCs. So far, nobody has complained about any of them. AirFader is not a resource-intensive application, so any computer released in the last several years that runs Windows should work fine. But here are a few that

AirFader is primarily tested on a pair of Toshiba Portege m750's. It is probably a bit spendy for AirFader-only use, but works great as an all-purpose laptop for us.

Some users are using an Acer Iconia Tab - Windows version (such as W500 or W700)

If you are a current AirFader user, please let us know what works for you so we can update this FAQ!

What parameters can AirFader control?

AirFader is proud to implement more parameters than any other Windows Tablet-based or iPad application we've seen. Only Yamaha's Studio Manager itself supports a more comprehensive list.


Fully Implemented
These parameters are "read/write" and can be controlled simultaneously from either AirFader or the console.

  • Input Channels, ST-IN Channels
    • Head Amp
    • On/Off
    • Fader Level
    • 48v / Phantom
    • Phase
    • Pan
    • Mute Group Assign
    • Channel Name
    • Parametric EQ
      • EQ On
      • HPF On
      • HPF Frequency
      • Low Band Mode (Peak, Shelf)
      • Low Band Q, Freq, Gain
      • Low Mid Band Q, Freq, Gain
      • High Mid Band Q, Freq, Gain
      • High Band Q, Freq, Gain
      • High Band Mode (Peak, Shelf, LPF)
      • Copy / Paste EQ settings
      • Flat EQ
    • Dynamics 1 & 2 On/Off
    • Dynamics 1 & 2 Type
    • Dynamics Parameters: Threshold, Range, Ratio, Attack, Release, Hold, Decay, Knee
    • Send to Mix Pre/Post-Fader Toggle
    • Send to Mix On/Off and Level
    • Send to Mix Pan (for Stereo Bus mode)
    • Send to Matrix On/Level/Pre/Post/Pan (when using M7CL)
    • Channel CUE
  • Mix/Matrix/Stereo/Mono Buses
    • On/Off
    • Fader Level
    • Pan
    • Mute Group Assign
    • Bus Name
    • Parametric EQ
      • EQ On
      • Low Band Mode (Peak, Shelf, HPF)
      • Low Band Q, Freq, Gain
      • Low Mid Band Q, Freq, Gain
      • High Mid Band Q, Freq, Gain
      • High Band Q, Freq, Gain
      • High Band Mode (Peak, Shelf, LPF)
      • Copy / Paste EQ settings
      • Flat EQ
    • Dynamics On/Off
    • Dynamics Type
    • Dynamics Parameters: Threshold, Range, Ratio, Attack, Release, Hold, Decay, Knee
    • Send to Matrix On/Off/Level/Pre/Post (from Mix Bus)
    • Send to Matrix Pan (for Mix to Stereo Matrix Bus)
    • Mix CUE
  • Sends on Fader (Mix 1-16)
    • Send to Mix On/Off
    • Send to Mix Level
    • Mix Master Level
  • 31-Band Graphic EQ (also "Flex 15" EQ Mode)
    • Frequency Band Levels
    • EQ On/Off
    • Flatten Selected Band
    • Flatten All Bands
    • Link/Unlink Pairs
  • Effects Rack Settings
    • Tap Sync button
  • OutPort Settings (OMNI, Slot, 2TR)
    • Attenuation
    • Phase Invert
    • Delay Time
    • Delay On/Off
  • Mute Group Masters
  • Scene Memory
    • Load Scene (from console memory)
    • Save Scene (to console memory)
    • Quick Next Scene
    • Quick Previous Scene

Read Only
These parameters are displayed or recognized by AirFader but are only configurable by the console at this time.

  • Input/Output Channel Meters (Pre-fader and Post-fader)
  • Input "Channel Link" Group Membership
  • Input Channel Patch/Source

Not (Yet) Implemented
These parameters are not currently implemented but do not interfere with operation at the console. They are listed in approximate priority order for possible inclusion in future releases, depending on feedback received.

  • Rack Features: Effects Engine parameters
  • Recorder/Playback Controls
  • Input/Output Patching
How to user permissions work?

The permissions for remote control users (android, iOS) work as follows:

  • Main Mix (FOH)
    • This is basically "engineer" access. This controls access to:
      • All the main channel faders.
      • Outport attenuation and delay (when available).

  • Channel Params
    • This allows you to access all of the per-channel parameters (PEQ, Dynamics, etc.) on Input or STIN channels only. Example:
      • If you have access to Mix 4 but not Channel Params, then you can adjust the levels in Mix 4 but cannot change the PEQ or Dynamics on any channel.
      • If you have access to Mix 4 and Channel Params - but not Main Mix (FOH) - then you can change anything on any channel EXCEPT the fader level!
      • It is probably rare you would grant access to Channel Params without Main Mix (FOH). This simply provides the option to "take away" Channel Params from users who only have access Mix 1-16.

  • Master Faders
    • This allows access to the Mix or Stereo Master faders AND per-channel parameters for Mix/Master channels (PEQ, Dynamics, etc.) but does not change which Mix or Bus they can access. The reason per-channel params are controlled here is so you can grant someone access to change the EQ of their own mix, but not individual channels.
    • Examples:
      • If you only have access to Mix 4 plus Master Faders, you will ONLY see the Master for Mix 4.
      • If you have access to Mix 4 but NOT Master Faders, then you can control individual channel levels but you cannot change the overall level of Mix 4.
      • If you have access to Main Mix (FOH) but NOT Master Faders, you can control the main FOH mix.... but not the house master level!

  • Rack / GEQ
    • As the name suggests, this grants access to any Rack-based tools including Graphic EQ. You cannot choose individual racks, this is all or nothing.

  • Mix 1 - 24 Permissions
    • These options control which of the 16 Mix buses the user has access to. Note that access is further controlled by Channel Params and Master Faders.
    • If the console only supports 8 or 16 Mix buses, the other options are ignored.
  • Matrix 1 - 8 Permissions
    • Similar to Mix permissions, this controls which of the Send-to-Matrix buses the user has access to.
  • Per-Channel Permissions
    • This limits which channels the user can access. It works together with Mix, Matrix, and FOH permissions to decide which faders to show.
    • If a user has FOH access but only "Ch 17-24" channel permissions, then they can control the Main Mix for only those 8 channels.



"My Mix Only"

These are the recommended permissions for most "personal monitor mixer" situations. The user "Drums" can control the level of each channel being sent to Mix 4, only. They can also control Mix 4's Master Level and Parametric EQ. But they cannot control HA, Fader, PAN, PEQ or Dynamics on any input channels, and cannot change any other Mix.


Case Study

Basic Control of Sanctuary Microphones

A church has a praise/worship band as well as a few broadcast-related channels for their Sunday services. For events during the week (weddings, funerals, etc.) they wanted to keep the soundboard locked and provide a tablet with basic control of the podium mics, a wireless mic, and the CD player volume.

This was solved by first grouping the channels by use. The band and other special channels were put into Channels 1-24. The common channels (podium mics, wireless mics, and CD player) were relocated into Channels 25-32.

Then, they created a user called "guest" with ONLY these permissions enabled:

  • Main Mix (FOH) - to enable the user to control the house mix
  • Chan 25-32 - to enable access to the "common" channels

By NOT enabling the following permissions, they restricted access to:

  • Master Faders - they can't change the overall master fader... just individual channels.
  • Channel Params - they can't change headamp levels, PEQ, or dynamics on any channels.
  • Rack/GEQ - they can't change the Graphic EQs.
  • Mix 1-16 - they can't change any monitor mixes, or accidentally enter Sends on Fader mode at all.
  • Chan 1-24 - they will not see these channels at all, like they don't exist.




Is there an iPad, android, or Mac version?



There are two AirFader products for android available in the Google Play Store:

AirFader LS9 Pro ($19.95)
Connects directly to a Yamaha LS9. This version does not need a Windows computer, but you cannot use multiple devices.

AirFader Mobile (Free)
Requires a Windows computer running AirFader Standard or AirFader Server. The Server Edition allows multiple android and/or iPad devices to be connected at the same time.



Currently, there is an iPad remote client is available for free in the App Store. It requires a Windows computer running AirFader Standard or AirFader Server.

Basic support for iPod/iPhone (due to smaller screen sizes) will be available soon.



Sorry, there is currently no plan to offer a server or client for Mac computers.

What version of Windows does AirFader require?

AirFader runs on Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8.

AirFader works on Windows 10 as well, but we recommend not using "tablet mode". (AirFader opens new windows for things like channel view and graphic EQ which is awkward in Windows 10's tablet mode. AirFader is already optimized for tablet use.)

AirFader is not a resource-intensive application, so any computer released in the last several years that runs Windows should work fine. And of course you can use the free 30-day trial to make sure your hardware works before you commit.

Can I use AirFader and Studio Manager at the same time?

Unfortunately, the console does NOT support communication with more than one program at a time. Running Studio Manager and AirFader at the same time - or multiple copies of AirFader - will not work.

You must disconnect completely before switching programs.

AirFader Server gets around this limitation by managing multiple device connections itself, so the mixing console can focus on what it does best... mixing.

Can I install AirFader on more than one computer?

In order to provide maximum flexibility to mobile users who may not be using the same physical console on a regular basis, AirFader is sold per user. This means any one computer can be used to operate any compatible console. You are also allowed to install AirFader on one backup computer, but it cannot be used by anyone else. Two people cannot use the same license at the same time.

This is better explained by giving examples.


  • A touring engineer wants to have AirFader on her laptop so she can use it with any Yamaha LS9s or M7CLs she encounters on the road. She would need ONE license.

  • A rental house has three LS9 consoles in their inventory. They have one Tablet PC with AirFader that they can send with any of their consoles for corporate events. They would need ONE license.

  • The same rental house has tripled their corporate business thanks to AirFader's wow-factor. They purchase two more Windows Tablet PCs for a total of three, so they can operate all three LS9 consoles at the same time. They would need THREE licenses, one for each Windows Tablet.

  • A wise man has one LS9-32 but two laptops, in case one fails. He can install a backup copy of AirFader on the second laptop but CAN NOT use it to operate a second console at any time.

Note: You can move AirFader, as long as you don't exceed your license count. For example, if you purchase a new laptop and don't want to use the old one anymore, you can remove it from the old computer and install that license key on the new computer.

Running multiple copies of AirFader with the same License Key is illegal. With "niche" software like this, every copy counts! Please help ensure future development by purchasing the correct number of licenses for your situation.

What is the difference between AirFader "Standard" and "Server"?

The only difference between AirFader Standard and AirFader Server is how many remote devices can connect to it. Some users only use AirFader for remote mixing and don't need any multi-user features, so we created AirFader Standard for them. Other users want multi-user features, so we added AirFader Server.

The 30-day Free Trial provides AirFader Server Edition so you can test multiple devices. If you decide to purchase the Standard Edition, you do not lose any features except multi-device support.

Can I build a Personal Monitor Mixing System with AirFader?

If you are looking for a Pesonal Monitor Mixing System for your church, AirFader is the perfect solution. If you already have monitors and a Yamaha LS9 or M7CL console, all you need is a Microsoft Windows computer, a wireless network, and some android or iPad tablets. You could be running in as little as an hour without running a single cable. If you're starting from scratch, AirFader will scale with you from a single mix up to your console's maximum outputs.


  • Works with floor wedges, headphone amplifiers, in-ear transmitters, or any combination (in stereo and mono mode).
  • Has no channel limits per-station. No need to combine instruments into 8 or 16 sub-groups or matrixes.
  • Gives each station a custom fader layer. Each musician can build a page with just their favorite channels, and easily switch to see all channels.
  • Has simple but flexible permission controls. Limit which mixes, parameters, and even channels that a musician can control.
  • Requires no specialized equipment, cards, protocols or cables. Just tablets and a wireless network.
  • Is licensed per-server. Musicians can bring their own devices and install AirFader client for free.
  • Allows the Front of House or Monitor Engineer to help musicians adjust mixes from the console.


Personal Monitor Mixing System
Cost Comparison for Six Musicians


Sample Shopping List

AirFader System B System C
Wireless Router $120 Distributor $999 Dante Conv/Distributor $999
Windows 8 Laptop (Server) $800 Dante Input Module $899    
AirFader Server Edition $149        
Base Cost $1,069   $1,898   $999
10" Android Tablet $90 Dual Mixer station $524 Mixer Station $399
Headphone Amplifier $25        
Per Musician $115   $262   $399
Total Cost
$1,759 (47% More) $3,470 (55% More) $3,393
(Without laptop and wireless network) $840        

(Above estimates do not include items required by all systems, such as stands, cables, headphones, or the console itself.)


Learn more about AirFader's Features, or Download AirFader and get started! Your 30-day Free Trial includes the complete AirFader Server Edition, so you can completely test your setup and devices before making a purchase.


Can I use the headphone jack on my android/iPad?

As cool as that would be, it is NOT possible to use the headphone jack on your android/iPad for monitoring.

The console does not send digital audio over a network without special output cards... and they are not compatible with mobile devices anyway. Also, while new WiFi routers have enough speed to support a high-quality audio stream, they add too much delay/latency making it impractical to listen to in real-time.

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>> David Ceasar says:
Airfader was the most instrumental addition we made to our sound system. We use Airfader as a full campus tool, using it in our Main Worship Center for IEMs as well as in the Youth Building and Recording Control rooms. We successfully use up to 12 de...
Jan 17, 2016
Litchfield Minnesota
Which console(s) do you have?