Originally Posted by ultra242
I am looking for opinions and ideas regarding the use of touchscreen devices in the studio. If you could influence the design of an app, what would it be? What would it do and what would it look like? Assume it could integrate with the DAW or hardware device of your choice.
Having just installed TouchDAW on my Google Nexus 7, I actually have some thoughts on this.
Obviously, anything that can be done to simplify setup is important. Once I'd worked through getting TouchDAW communicating with its driver on my PC a couple times the process became pretty straightforward, but the dev's documentation was walking the thin line between offering adequate explanations and presenting skittish potential users with a dense load of text, they went lite on explanation. (The do
have vids. But even if I was a member of the "TV" generation, I would always
rather get tech/procedural info from clear, precise written instructions; still, vids can be a very valuable adjunct.)
I also installed the app on my phone, as I was captivated by the x-y filter control by shaking and tilting as I saw it demoed in an app for the vid. (While I used to do a lot of electronica, I'm doing almost all roots music nowadays, so its not clear how soon I'll be using
the X-Y control aspects. Still, come on, how cool is realtime filter control via shaking a phone around?)
That remote control software, as you probably already know, creates what is apparently a virtualized workalike of a Mackie control surface -- and that's good as there's support for that out there and basic mappings for a number of DAWs -- but I have to say that the documentation's urging to 'read the chapter in the DAW manual on the Mackie control surface' produced no joy, as whatever info on that and my DAW, Sonar, that may have existed seems to be missing on the web, now. Or something.
So it becomes a matter of poke and hope. (A phrase newly relevant to the brave new world of tablets.)
Mostly that's fine but there are a number of v-controls in the app that I can't figure the relation of to the underlying DAW controls. Maybe they're simply not connected -- or maybe I'm being hung out to dry by the lack of info.
Anyhow, as a business developer, myself, I have some understanding of the scope of the problem of trying to document software relationships established by others [the Mackie/DAW-ware connection] when you have to support a wide variety of very different softwares that have fairly divergent approaches to UI. There's only so much one can reasonably expect for an app whose full price is $5, after all!
One of the things I really like in TouchDAW (sorry to be working on 'the past' but, you know, that's the foundation upon which future software must build) are the two way communications. I'd used 'dumb' generic remotes to control my DAW from across the room, and it was doable, at least as far as a series of overdub passes would go.
But with two way communications and a visual representation with tracks labeled and track meters active, and a read out of the timeline -- that
obviously makes a huge difference.
I have to say that control of my DAW is probably the single most compelling use I've found for my cute little tablet. Certainly, it's about the only thing the tablet can do that the computer can't, except maybe virtual fingerpainting.