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Touchscreens and DAWs
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Software  
Author Touchscreens and DAWs
Hey everyone, at the moment I use Ableton basically as a tape machine (when I use it at all) but I really want to move all my recording and effects and stuff in the box. The only thing really holding me back is I hate using the keyboard and mouse. I don't know if anyone else is like this, but it totally breaks my concentration going from hardware gear to a mouse and keyboard, like it uses different parts of my brain or something.

Anyway, it got me thinking about touchscreens. I've done a little research and found the program Yeco that works with Ableton and was wondering if anyone had any experience with that. My ideal setup would be a computer and large monitor (so not necessarily a laptop) that has a touchscreen I can use to arm and record tracks and tweak plugins; simple stuff during a jam. Then once I've got stuff recorded I'll dive in with the mouse and keyboard for edits and all that. Does anyone else work this way? I've also read that Bitwig has good touchscreen support but I really don't know anything about the program. I'm only just dipping my toes in the software world. Thanks for any insight or assistance!
I work since years with touchscreens and DAWs. As you described, the touchscreen mostly comes into play for solo/mute, faders etc. during playing and recording, and for plugin parameters. Sometimes even for labelling tracks and project files using the pop-up keyboard.

Most software I use is mono-touch. Currently Harrison Mixbus 32c, MadronaLabs synths, u-he Diva and Bazille, and some effects.

I can recomment touchscreen monitors, although one should position them lower than normal monitors. To sit on the floor and the touchscreen near to the body, at an angle, is a very comfortable way to work. A touchscreen is also a good occasional input device for many other routine tasks, like confirming a dialog box during installation, etc.

There are 10-point touchscreen monitors (23") for $200. Bad colours but good reliable input.
Slate Raven MTI Ableton Edition

Does anyone use a tablet for DAW integration? Like an Android or iOS tablet with apps?
I use touchOSC on an iPhone strapped to my wrist for control of DAW & modular via WiFi. I too hate mousing for music
There's also Lemur that will run on a tablet or phone that is pretty cool for touch interfacing to music/DAW

With both you can do custom layouts to suit your setup and device

It's great freedom to carry around a control station!
I created a Lemur template for Mixbus, which is somehow essential when working with my DAW. And there is also an official Lemur template from Harrison. As well as a TouchOSC template.

Since 2012 when I got my first iPad I use it for my DAW. At that time it was Cubase. And as said above one can also use a smartphone for transport control or something like that.
CF3 wrote:
Slate Raven MTI Ableton Edition

Impressive, although in that video I felt like I was being sold military hardware by a relative of Bill Clinton. Sniper
I'm using a pair of first generation iPads with Touchable for additional control and visual feedback from ableton. (I got a great deal on eBay, $40 delivered for the pair.). They rest on a shelf that can move from a front position ( photo ) to a back position that rests directly behind my frankensteined APC controllers. In the back position I usually just use it as a screen that shows levels on the bottom half and the grid the top. If I set touchable to show 8 rows verticle then it lines up perfectly with the tops of the 8 grid rows on the APCs. At the back, I use it mostly as a visual feedback and use the APCs for the physical control. When brought forward, it's great for working on individual sequences with the touchscreen or using it to control the parameters of the VST that i am currently playing. On the iPad screens in the photo is my custom controller for the Arturia Buchula plugin. The first versions of touchable did not work very well for me, but the new touchable 3 works flawlessly. I am connected directly via USB with both IPads and they never loose sync. On the previous version they were not reliable and would lose sync over wifi. This custom APC controller with the pair of iPads is the best experience I have ever had interfacing with a computer to write music. It actually takes me away from the computer screens and mouse for long periods of time and feels much more integrated with my hardware midi gear when im using it.

Note: I am also using the excellent APC control software from NativeKontrol to add tons of additional features to the APC 40. If you use an APC or any other grid controller, I would highly recommend checking out the NativeKontrol software scripts.
I recommend Logic. It has a free ipad app that does exactly what you want.
As far as i know this:
must be the first daw made with touchscreen in mind.

Paradoxically although i have it for almost two years now, i didn't get to buy a touchscreen since so i cannot give you a first hand experience about using it.

As a live/modular daw though it is great and at that price point it is probably worth checking out..
peripatitis wrote:
As far as i know this:
must be the first daw made with touchscreen in mind.

Paradoxically although i have it for almost two years now, i didn't get to buy a touchscreen since so i cannot give you a first hand experience about using it.

As a live/modular daw though it is great and at that price point it is probably worth checking out..

Wow! That looks great! I may just gettit!
Plus melds OS's AU/VST's etc nice!
Before bothering with controllers, mappings and 3rd party DAW touch layers check out Robins`s great video on Bitwig`s touch features:
ok not a touch screen but ive had one of these for a couple years and it completely rawked my computer workflow:

basically it's a high precision knob that pretends it's a mouse. so you place the mouse cursor over a knob or fader, turn the nOb, and it automatically clicks and drags, with the resolution of a real mouse.

i use it with an apple magic track pad-- right above the track pad-- and it's brilliant. especially great for sweeping EQ's and fine tuning plug ins, also writing automation and doing fader levels and such. i work about twice as fast with it and my tendinitis is basically gone. highly recommended.
I have Sensomusic Usine 5. It has a standalone version and one that's a vst, which runs fine in Ableton. You can create a touch screen interface connected to specific vsts or pretty much anything that can receive MIDI or OSC.

On a side note, using the Audiomulch Metasurface (video link) with a touch screen is loads of creative fun.
dogoftears wrote:
ok not a touch screen but ive had one of these for a couple years and it completely rawked my computer workflow:

Looks neat. Hopefully they'll start making more and taking orders again.
Yeco is nice, it works like a poor man's Push.

You can browse, preview and load instruments, effects and presets directly on the app.

You can trigger, add/delete and record Clips.

Has multiple input options, "pads" like launchpad, a hexagonal grid (my fav), and a "piano". All of those have 2 sizes, to fit different screen or finger sizes, I guess.
It also has some options to assign chord types to specific "pads/keys" (like you add "min7" to a D2 pad, it will trigger a "D2 min7 chord" instead of just of single D2 note.

Has XY pads, "buttons", "knobs" and "sliders" for automation and MIDI CC (edit: though seems there is not way to pick a parameter to be MIDI assigned inside the app, you have to switch to Live to do that).

You can tweak parameters that were already exposed on the device. Live's own devices will have those exposed already, but with 3rd party plugins you may have to expose parameters manually with "Configure". Though the parameters will show as several identical sliders only identifiable by their names, making it potentially confusing, depending on how the device's dev named the parameters and their order.


No Arrangement View, and no MIDI or Audio editor (no Clip View).
You can record Clips to Arrangement, and record MIDI/audio into Clips, but can't really see and edit those later (besides overdubbing).

It has the mixer faders (better than Live's tiny triangles actually) but it can't display the realtime volume of the audio playing.

It doesn't show the Clips and Samples categories in Categories, and while it shows Packs in Places, it doesn't show User Library, Current Project or any folder you manually added to Places.

Can't browse plugin presets if the plugin doesn't have a exposable parameter for that. Some plugins have their own preset browser and that is not accessible to Yeco (maybe not even Live).

It was not updated for 10, so it doesn't show the Collections. It doesn't have a button for Capture too (BIG minus). But if it is ever updated to show Collections, its in-app Browser will become much more useful (of course, the Capture button would add a lot too).

Plus the problems with any touchscreen, like knobs close to the screen borders being a pain to tweak, your own hands covering stuff you want to see, involuntary touches triggering stuff by mistake, etc.
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