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  • Using a Touch Screen Interface for DAW Mixing

    I'm considering getting a touch screen monitor to use with my DAW and was looking to hear peoples experiences. Craig I know you made the change and was hoping to hear about your transition from hardware. From What I've read 27" seems to be the size to get.
    Last edited by Hush; 12-13-2016, 09:12 AM.
    Something...

  • #2
    I've done some touchscreen stuff with various iPad apps, and I have a touchscreen control surface for DAW control, but I would rather have a physical controller, with real knobs and faders. YMMV.
    **********

    "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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    • #3
      Suppose I want to select a clip in a DAW. With a trackball my thumb moves half an inch plus a left click. With a mouse my hand moves a couple inches plus a left click. With a touch screen my whole arm moves to the screen to touch that clip. Which of these sounds easiest and quickest to you?

      I'm not criticizing the idea. I just can't see how it would increase my productivity. YMMV
      Last edited by philboking; 12-12-2016, 10:19 PM.

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      • #4
        It depends on what you're doing. Moving faders, particularly if you want to move two or three together, is easiest with real knobs, almost as easy with a touch screen, and requires the most coordination with a mouse or trackball. Selecting a whole clip is probably as easy on a touch screen than any other way, but you may have to do it differently. If the clip is too small to hit accurately with a finger, you'll need another hand motion to zoom, before you tap. With a mouse, I can use one hand to hold down the Control key on my keyboard while moving the scroll wheel on the mouse to zoom, so I'm putting each hand to good use for the operation.

        Years ago, I saw a company at NAMM showing a large monitor (before large monitors were as common as they are today) turned into a touch screen with a frame (their product) surrounding it. The monitor was horizontal rather than vertical, like a mixing console, and operating faders with it was pretty sensible. It wasn't any smarter than being able to emulate a mouse, though, and wasn't multi-touch, so you could only do one thing at a time. It made a little more sense when used with a second monitor, with the mixer on the "desktop" touch-sensitive monitor and the track/editing screen on a conventional monitor.

        I don't know if there's anyone here who has taken the DAW-on-a-tablet seriously, but I know that the design goal that the people who are making those applications are aiming for is designing the user interface from the get-go to be used on a touch screen. Maybe they have some good idea.
        --
        "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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        • #5
          Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post
          I've done some touchscreen stuff with various iPad apps, and I have a touchscreen control surface for DAW control, but I would rather have a physical controller, with real knobs and faders. YMMV.
          Seems like with a touch screen you'd need to pay too much attention to your fingertips.
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          • #6
            I envision at least a 2 monitor setup. A standard monitor vertical and the touch screen horizontal but angled on the desk in front of the vertical. You would still have a mouse and keyboard for detailed clip selection. I could see leaving the touch screen set to the mixer view.
            Something...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by philboking View Post
              Suppose I want to select a clip in a DAW. With a trackball my thumb moves half an inch plus a left click. With a mouse my hand moves a couple inches plus a left click. With a touch screen my whole arm moves to the screen to touch that clip. Which of these sounds easiest and quickest to you?

              I'm not criticizing the idea. I just can't see how it would increase my productivity. YMMV
              Frankly, for me, the mouse does. But I see your point, and a bunch of my friends in LA swear by trackballs. I just never could get into them.

              OTOH, when mixing on an analog console, your arm has to reach out to touch the faders, knobs and buttons...
              **********

              "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

              Comment


              • philboking
                philboking commented
                Editing a comment
                I first tried a trackball after spending 5 years at work recoding 750K lines of code, and got some nasty tunnel syndromes in my wrists and elbows. It was awkward as hell at first, but I got used to it (and built up the thumb muscles needed) I found it was much faster and more precise than a mouse. If I need to jump the cursor to a distant spot, I can give the ball a spin then stop it pretty accurately where I want it. Just like using a mouse for the first time, there is a learning curve.

            • #8
              Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post

              OTOH, when mixing on an analog console, your arm has to reach out to touch the faders, knobs and buttons...
              Yes, but there is something about that tactile feel of real knobs, buttons and sliders that makes you more a part of the music.
              The Mandolin Picker

              "Bless your hearts... and all your vital organs" - John Duffy

              "Got time to breath, got time for music!"- Briscoe Darling, Jr.

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              • #9
                Originally posted by Hush View Post
                I envision at least a 2 monitor setup. A standard monitor vertical and the touch screen horizontal but angled on the desk in front of the vertical. You would still have a mouse and keyboard for detailed clip selection. I could see leaving the touch screen set to the mixer view.

                For me touch supplements, not replaces, mouse, keyboard, and two Artist Series hardware fader controllers. The touch display sits like a mixer in front of me, with the Artist Series controllers in front of the monitor. The keyboard is a tiny LogiTech K380 that usually sits on my lap, but can also go in front of the faders if needed.

                SONAR's control bar can be repositioned anywhere, so I put it at the bottom of the touch screen, just above the faders so everything is within reach. Within an 18" square I have the keyboard, mouse, 8 hardware faders, and the control bar. It works great. Touch is also wonderful for pinching and zooming in track view, or tweaking FX/synth knobs.

                I have a second monitor above the rear of the touch screen for putting video windows, soft synths, etc.
                Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                • #10
                  Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post

                  OTOH, when mixing on an analog console, your arm has to reach out to touch the faders, knobs and buttons...
                  Yeah, but you can get a lot done pretty quickly when you have your hands on a console. And with the remote control for the tape deck in your lap, next to, or on the console, you don't need to squint at a monitor, and you don't get repetitive motion sickness.
                  --
                  "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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                  • #11
                    Voice control is next. You read it here first
                    Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                    Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                    • #12
                      Originally posted by Anderton View Post
                      Voice control is next. You read it here first
                      "Craig, drop the guitar track by 2.5 dB."

                      "Craig, no, the other guitar track."
                      Last edited by MikeRivers; 12-14-2016, 07:49 AM.
                      --
                      "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


                      • #13
                        I think the technology is here. Weighing development costs against its potential market, I would think it might be a while yet....

                        (Assuming a mic headset for those loud live environments) you could say "lower the mids on channel 13 by 3 dB at 1.2K" or something similar and have it happen. Or more importantly and more usefully, a musician mic channel hears "give me 4 dB less drums in my monitor" and it is smart enough to lower the correct monitor sends (going to that one guys monitor) for the correct channels (just those containing drum feeds).

                        Of course, this assumes a highly digitized mixer. Putting that many brains into an analog console would be tough, and would probably only appeal to those who wouldn't want voice control in the first place.

                        But, yes, we are getting closer.

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                        • #14
                          Originally posted by philboking View Post
                          a musician mic channel hears "give me 4 dB less drums in my monitor" and it is smart enough to lower the correct monitor sends (going to that one guys monitor) for the correct channels (just those containing drum feeds).
                          You know musicians that know what a dB is? LOL

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                          • philboking
                            philboking commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Pretty much all the musicians I know that record do it themselves, for better or worse. So they end up learning what they need to get it done.

                            It's yet another skill and body of knowledge needed to make and distribute music. Very few I know go to commercial studios, although there are a few world-class facilities in the area. These places generally work with acts who fly in, record, and fly out again; us 'local yokels' can't afford that...

                        • #15
                          Originally posted by Anderton View Post
                          Voice control is next. You read it here first
                          Siri, cut 1.5dB at 800Hz with a Q of 2 on the outside kick drum mic please.
                          **********

                          "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

                          Comment


                          • philboking
                            philboking commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Siri says: I don't know how to cut 1.5 dirigibles so it will hurt 800 times in a queue of 2.
                            Last edited by philboking; 12-17-2016, 01:14 PM.












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