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Touch Display vs Pen Tablet Display for DAW use
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author Touch Display vs Pen Tablet Display for DAW use
Panason
I've been looking at Bitwig and Studio One, both of which seem excellent for my exacting needs, and both of which support touch screens. hyper

However, I'm dubious abut the accuracy of finger touch for DAW use as there are a lot of tiny buttons to click on... so I've been thinking about a pen tablet display.
I know you can use a stylus on touch screens but is that going to be accurate enough?
The pen tablet displays cost significantly more and I'd be paying for pressure sensitivity which is not needed here ...
I'm looking at 22-24" screen size and not sure that's big enough for accurate touch input. The Raven Slate which is a Pro Tools touch display is 27"...

The last thing I want is to fiddle around trying to tap on the right button....

Has anyone tried any touch screens with a DAW and can offer advice?

Cheers
oldgearguy
Panason wrote:
I've been looking at Bitwig and Studio One, both of which seem excellent for my exacting needs, and both of which support touch screens. hyper

However, I'm dubious abut the accuracy of finger touch for DAW use as there are a lot of tiny buttons to click on... so I've been thinking about a pen tablet display.
I know you can use a stylus on touch screens but is that going to be accurate enough?
The pen tablet displays cost significantly more and I'd be paying for pressure sensitivity which is not needed here ...
I'm looking at 22-24" screen size and not sure that's big enough for accurate touch input. The Raven Slate which is a Pro Tools touch display is 27"...

The last thing I want is to fiddle around trying to tap on the right button....

Has anyone tried any touch screens with a DAW and can offer advice?

Cheers


I'm using a 12" Acer touch tablet with a dedicated app (SpaceCraft) running on it 99% of the time. I can use my finger, but it's not precise enough. The pen gives me finer control, but like with any touch surface, the position and angle of the tablet really becomes important.

When I used that tablet for other stuff like beta-testing the Fauxmo app or doing regular Windows stuff, the pen is slower than a mouse because of the lack of buttons. You have to develop a different way of accessing things (in my case if I hold the pen steady on an icon, the equivalent of a right button press menu comes up).

I don't run any DAW on that tablet (just using Cantabile to host the app) and I have it auto-boot into it to minimize the extra interactions.
Panason
Thanks! Yeah, right clicking is another thing I wonder about. Having to hold the stylus down isn't gonna cut it. The pen tablet thing has buttons on the pen for right clicks....
Panason
I found a couple of threads on the Presonus forums and the main issue is this:
Quote:

* Right-Clicking on something requires you to hold your finger on something for close to 1 second. So in most cases this is not as intuitive as the mouse.


It is also not clear whether using a stylus allows for accurate clicking on things like pixel-thin lines, edges of events and the like...

I'm veering towards the more expensive solution of the pen tablet.
oldgearguy
Panason wrote:
I found a couple of threads on the Presonus forums and the main issue is this:
Quote:

* Right-Clicking on something requires you to hold your finger on something for close to 1 second. So in most cases this is not as intuitive as the mouse.


It is also not clear whether using a stylus allows for accurate clicking on things like pixel-thin lines, edges of events and the like...

I'm veering towards the more expensive solution of the pen tablet.


The stylus that comes w. this Acer tablet is active in that a dot appears on the screen where it thinks the tip/focus is for the stylus. I can select very thin objects with it fairly easily after just a little practice.

When you hold it steady on an object, a circle starts to appear around the focal point and when the circle completes the menu pops up.

Again, it's been more than fine for limited realtime interaction for the particular few things I do on the tablet. Not sure I'd want to be doing a full set of DAW operations on it though (some of that is just screen real estate as well. More is more when it comes to things like zooming in for detailed edits, smaller changes to parameters, etc).

The more you're going to use it, the more critical placement in your studio becomes. Ergonomics of touchscreens for extended use is a challenge (I used to do software development for a company that makes those touchscreen cash registers you see in bars, airports, etc and when I was testing code changes, my arm and shoulder would get tired from constantly raising my hand up to poke at the screen for an extended time.)
Panason
Yeah, it's going to sit at a low angle on the desk in front of me and will be at least a 22-inch screen. However, no special stylus seems to be available and certainly not for Mac so the software won't be able to detect the pen hovering above the screen.

I saw JunkyXL has one or two on his desk and I'm guessing they are the Raven Slate displays.
francoprussian
Split the difference:

https://penclic.se/product/ergonomic-mouse-r2-wireless/

I got one of these out of curiosity and it's really nice to work with.
Panason
wow,cool! thanks for that link!

They also have what looks like a clone of that nice but pricey Logitech keyboard.
CF3
I use a 24” Wacom Touch Enabled Cintiq. It has a nice integrated tilting stand and programmable hotkeys and jogwheels. As well as a floating on-screen customizable “shortcut box” that can be unique to each program. I did not pay full retail BTW, bought used for a very reasonable price.


As far as DAW goes, I’m mostly using Ableton. The touch works good as long as you resize the UI (have mine set to +190%) and enable the “pen tablet” feature. I do use the pen for doing the usual art stuff like like painting, etc, but I find that I don’t end up using it for most audio related tasks. The touch actually works pretty well TBH. Not exactly ipad level good, but pretty close.

Here’s a vid from awhile back with a pen tablet and DAW:


Panason
Thanks. I decided the touch screens aren't going to be good enough given the comments on the Presonus forum so I ordered an XP-Pen Pro 22E tablet display.... it was on sale at 20% off so I thought it's worth trying. It has its own adjustabe stand and 8 programmable buttons on each side of the screen.. report to follow. I'm hoping the buttons will work on the Mac and I can use them for shift/alt/ control/, cut& paste, zoom in/out, etc.

Maybe a script or app will emerge that enables me to do something useful with the pen pressure.. eg map it to a CC and cycle up and down the range!

The button-less version is currently on sale on Amazon UK.
Panason
The future is here... and I need a bigger desk meh



Working pretty good after some calibration. The screen is not as flush with the glass surface as a modern touch screen, but is close enough. This display has a nice non-reflective matte texture so it feels more like paper than glass. The image is not as high quality as my LG display but it's fine for audio work, and the viewing angles are good too (IPS).

At first I hadn't seen Ableton's "Enable Tablet Mode" option in the preferences and was disappointed at the behaviour of faders and dials, but after enabling that it's working nicely. I also had to reduce the polling rate and tracking speed of my trackball to get a steady pointer. Increasing the speed at Mac OS preferences restored the pointer speed I was used to without the jitter.

Editing automation curves and note lengths is painless and so is clicking on tiny buttons or turning virtual knobs.



Some contextual menus do tend to get obscured by your hand but it's no big deal and the mouse is always active too...

The shortcut buttons work and really make this much more useful....they can be customised on a per-app basis.

All in all a surprisingly smooth experience so far for a (compared to Wacom) cheap Chinese product. I didn't even have to reboot after installing the driver. The settings app doesn't have the best GUI but is functional.

Stoked! !
artieTwelve
I tried using a older Acer touch screen monitor with Bitwig. It worked OK until it crapped out. Now I use a Ipad with a stylus and feel like it's much better control. Not anywhere near the screen real estate I used to have, but it also takes up way less space.
francoprussian
Looks great
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