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  • Touch Pad as DAW Controller

    I'm wondering if anyone thought of this as an option to control a DAW. Given the fact of how Win 8 has adapted touch screen options of mobile devices, I can see where the next generation of DAW controllers might allow the use of hand held devices like Touch pads. People are used to using touch pad technology and I can see using a touch pad to move volume controls a real possibility. It might not be as good as having actual hardware sliders, but it may allow you to use 10 fingers at the same time controlling a DAW mix. Most tablets do allow you to connect to a computer via USB. Most of that's for up/downloads so I'm not sure it could be utilized. Even if they don't It would be relatively easy to build a tablet that did. I can see this being a big money maker. They could also double as a paint box for artists work, and many other hands on programs.

    I can say I'm not a fan of touch screens moving a mouse around but having controls linked to a normal computer either wired or wireless would be nice. Then it would just be a matter of DAW manufacturers writing drivers to link it. you could also swipe screens to switch to tracking mode, and even and effects page for tweaking effects. The key is it gets you away from using a mouse. Kids already use IPhones for linking stuff. The screen size is restrictive though. Maybe a dedicated pad would be the next logical step?

  • #2
    Originally posted by WRGKMC View Post
    I'm wondering if anyone thought of this as an option to control a DAW. Given the fact of how Win 8 has adapted touch screen options of mobile devices, I can see where the next generation of DAW controllers might allow the use of hand held devices like Touch pads.
    The manufacturers can't wait to let someone else write their user interface. I played with TouchDAW (and Android app) as a controller for Reaper and I found it to be much more clumsy than even using the mouse. PreSonus had the right idea when they were demonnstrating their new mixer-in-a-box (not quite a DAW) with a touch screen monitor about the size of a standard StudioLive console, but still there's no tactile experience and you have to look before you do anything.

    Steven Slate Digital has been selling what amounts to a very large iPad with a monitor section as a DAW controller. People either love it or hate it. A simple remote user interface to a DAW might be useful, as long as it's limited to starting and stopping recording and playback and maybe adjust the monitor level, so you didn't have to sit in front of your computer to record or listen critically to a playback.

    People are used to using touch pad technology and I can see using a touch pad to move volume controls a real possibility. It might not be as good as having actual hardware sliders, but it may allow you to use 10 fingers at the same time controlling a DAW mix.
    That might work if you have a screen the size of a console, but try putting 10 fingers on your phone. I can only find a single key correctly about 75% of the time.


    Most tablets do allow you to connect to a computer via USB. Most of that's for up/downloads so I'm not sure it could be utilized.
    It's coming along but not really here yet. Have you been following Techristian's experiments with a Windows 8 tablet? He has that running with Sonar and a USB audio interface.

    The key is it gets you away from using a mouse. Kids already use IPhones for linking stuff. The screen size is restrictive though. Maybe a dedicated pad would be the next logical step?
    This would be a better world if we got away from using a mouse and started using a real hardware control surface. First, the cost would keep some marginally talented people in their cage, and second, people would learn how to "play" a mix rather than construct one. This is very important with dynamic music, not so important with mechanical music.
    --
    "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
    Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

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    • #3
      Originally posted by WRGKMC View Post
      I'm wondering if anyone thought of this as an option to control a DAW. Given the fact of how Win 8 has adapted touch screen options of mobile devices, I can see where the next generation of DAW controllers might allow the use of hand held devices like Touch pads. People are used to using touch pad technology and I can see using a touch pad to move volume controls a real possibility. It might not be as good as having actual hardware sliders, but it may allow you to use 10 fingers at the same time controlling a DAW mix. Most tablets do allow you to connect to a computer via USB. Most of that's for up/downloads so I'm not sure it could be utilized. Even if they don't It would be relatively easy to build a tablet that did. I can see this being a big money maker. They could also double as a paint box for artists work, and many other hands on programs.

      I can say I'm not a fan of touch screens moving a mouse around but having controls linked to a normal computer either wired or wireless would be nice. Then it would just be a matter of DAW manufacturers writing drivers to link it. you could also swipe screens to switch to tracking mode, and even and effects page for tweaking effects. The key is it gets you away from using a mouse. Kids already use IPhones for linking stuff. The screen size is restrictive though. Maybe a dedicated pad would be the next logical step?

      Around a year ago, I found a MOTU app for the iPhone. My drummer friend started using it when he was putting down drum tracks. Having the ability to press record/stop/rewind, etc… while in the tracking room when recording himself made his life a lot easier.


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      • #4
        Originally posted by MikeRivers View Post

        The manufacturers can't wait to let someone else write their user interface. I played with TouchDAW (and Android app) as a controller for Reaper and I found it to be much more clumsy than even using the mouse. PreSonus had the right idea when they were demonnstrating their new mixer-in-a-box (not quite a DAW) with a touch screen monitor about the size of a standard StudioLive console, but still there's no tactile experience and you have to look before you do anything.

        Steven Slate Digital has been selling what amounts to a very large iPad with a monitor section as a DAW controller. People either love it or hate it. A simple remote user interface to a DAW might be useful, as long as it's limited to starting and stopping recording and playback and maybe adjust the monitor level, so you didn't have to sit in front of your computer to record or listen critically to a playback.



        That might work if you have a screen the size of a console, but try putting 10 fingers on your phone. I can only find a single key correctly about 75% of the time.




        It's coming along but not really here yet. Have you been following Techristian's experiments with a Windows 8 tablet? He has that running with Sonar and a USB audio interface.



        This would be a better world if we got away from using a mouse and started using a real hardware control surface. First, the cost would keep some marginally talented people in their cage, and second, people would learn how to "play" a mix rather than construct one. This is very important with dynamic music, not so important with mechanical music.

        I'm following TE Christian's experiments. I use both Win 8.1 and SONAR. 8.1 is not a good OS for mouse control.It's great for touch-screens. On the iPad side, I use Auria which has touch control down to an art.
        Last edited by Etienne Rambert; 12-26-2014, 02:43 AM.
        He has escaped! Youtube , ​Murika , France

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        • #5
          Allot of gear has IPhone/blue tooth connectivity now. They would be too small for what I'm thinking about. A touch screen the size of a computer keyboard where you have some space between the fingers and some slider distance would be needed if you want any accuracy using it. It could even be angled like most mixers are for visibility. I have one of those NanoKontrol interfaces that work quite well.

          The difference with a touch screen is you could swipe left and right to get to all your channel sliders much like you do on a normal daw screen when the mixer has allot of tracks up. Color coding the channels on the controller to match the colors of your track view would be a cool option too.

          Like I said, for many older engineers this may not be something they'd like but for the younger generation coming up, it may be the future. Heck you could use a touch screen for a digital mixer instead of pots and switches if you wanted too. It may wind up being less expensive to manufacturer with the way the cost of touch screens are coming down now.

          The gear my company sells which is mostly Canon Copiers and Printers is all touch screen now and has been that way for several decades now. They are more reliable then push buttons to do things. Switching screens is simple too.
          Last edited by WRGKMC; 12-26-2014, 05:10 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by WRGKMC View Post
            Allot of gear has IPhone/blue tooth connectivity now. They would be too small for what I'm thinking about. A touch screen the size of a computer keyboard where you have some space between the fingers and some slider distance would be needed if you want any accuracy using it. It could even be angled like most mixers are for visibility. I have one of those NanoKontrol interfaces that work quite well.
            There was a company that tried to popularize that several years ago. At a NAMM show there were displaying a touch screen monitor about two feet wide (whatever screen size that turns out to be) that could be mounted in a desk top or, as displayed, mounted in a slightly angled desktop console. It was before multitouch technology was common so it really just worked like a mouse, But you could drag a finger along a fader to adjust it, move a finger up and down across a knob, tap a button, and scroll the screen by swiping the scroll bars. It never caught on.

            The difference with a touch screen is you could swipe left and right to get to all your channel sliders much like you do on a normal daw screen when the mixer has allot of tracks up. Color coding the channels on the controller to match the colors of your track view would be a cool option too.
            There's a company that did/does that now. I'm getting so bad at names. They made a control surface several years back that had a curved "bow" that let you slide around the console surface. They sold a couple of them, then a couple of years back came out with a simplified and less expensive model on the same concept. Ken might remember who the designer is. He published a book something about your brain and music that got a pretty good buzz when it came out.

            Like I said, for many older engineers this may not be something they'd like but for the younger generation coming up, it may be the future. Heck you could use a touch screen for a digital mixer instead of pots and switches if you wanted too. It may wind up being less expensive to manufacturer with the way the cost of touch screens are coming down now.
            I expect that this will come to pass, but mostly because the kids picking up music when they're young are doing different things, and doing things differently than us old farts. And part of why is because their kind of music is related to the things that they do with their phones and tablets. We used to try to play tunes with the touch-tones of those newfangled phones from the '60s.

            Today, Mackie, PreSonus, and Behringer all have small boxes with analog inputs and outputs and no, or very few physical controls. They're mixers entirely controlled from an iPad or a computer equipped with a touch screen. Most of the "tour" consoles these days have some limited control via a mobile device, commonly used by musicians adjusting their monitor mixes on stage. QSC has a digital mixer with a touch screen built in so you don't have to bring your own iPad.

            Manufacturers love it because that's a whole part of the mixer that they don't have to build. It goes a long way to bringing down the price.

            --
            "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
            Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

            Comment


            • #7
              I recently reviewed a Mackie mixer that uses your iPad for all the control functions. Works great - and I suspect we'll see more stuff like this in the future, both for live mixers (like the Mackie) and studio-oriented products too.

              http://www.harmonycentral.com/expert...s/mackie-dl32r
              **********

              "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

              - George Carlin

              "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

              - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

              "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

              - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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              • #8
                I've been using these on an iPad to control Reaper...





                as well as using Auria which is a full function DAW on the iPad.




                and I'm quite happy with all of them.
                As a human being, you come with the whole range of inner possibilities
                from the deepest hell to the highest states.

                It is up to you which one you choose to explore
                .

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                • #9
                  Occasionally I use my droid phone as a transport control for my DAW, allowing me to start/stop recording while manning an instrument; other than that I don't see that much advantage to it.

                  I suppose it'd be nice to adjust record level remotely, but my old Panasonic RAMSA console isn't really adaptable to that. However, my audio interface allows me to set a peak level (-3, -2, or 0 dBFS), then listens and adjusts for 10 seconds, so (if I can get to the drum kit in time) I can pound on everything quickly and it auto-sets attenuators on the inputs automatically. That is a HUGE time saver when recording alone.

                  But I'm not the sort to sit on the couch and do mixes; I like the speakers to be somewhat in my face.

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