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Digging my Wacom tablet for PT
Old 11th November 2009
  #1
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ggegan's Avatar
Digging my Wacom tablet for PT

I've been playing around with using my Wacom tablet as an alternative to a joystick, and I've gotta say it works great. I may even like it better than a joystick. It's also great for drawing automation using the pencil tool and editing waveforms to remove those pesky "witch's hat" digital ticks that sometimes pop up.
Old 11th November 2009
  #2
Gear Head
 

I cannot work without my Wacom, have one for PT at home and one for PT at the cutting room. I have used the Wacoms with PT since the days of the ADP port on the Mac! Pencil on!!
Old 11th November 2009
  #3
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...strange. i tried one with PT years ago and didn't like it at all. Not nearly enough shortcuts for editing. maybe the design has changed over the past 5 years?

-greg-
Old 11th November 2009
  #4
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Mundox's Avatar
Just got myself the Bamboo, touch/pen.
Makes navigation a breeze with the scroll gestures!
And yeah, editing with the pen is really cool.
Old 11th November 2009
  #5
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kk@jamsync.com's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggegan View Post
I've been playing around with using my Wacom tablet as an alternative to a joystick, and I've gotta say it works great. I may even like it better than a joystick. It's also great for drawing automation using the pencil tool and editing waveforms to remove those pesky "witch's hat" digital ticks that sometimes pop up.
Which one did you buy? Drawing out ticks with a trackball is definitely a bitch and I'd love to add a Wacom, but like others, I tried one years ago and didn't much like the pen action. How's it for lefties? Any functional drawbacks you might see?

I have a trackpad in addition to the trackball (and mouse which I never use), but the trackpad is obviously not as accurate as a pen would be.
Old 11th November 2009
  #6
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danijel's Avatar
Do you use it as a MIDI controller, or simply instead of a mouse? I use a Wacom in Nuendo as a MIDI controller, and I can assign X, Y and Z axis to control anything, from a surround panner, to a filter to a softsynth, using its entire surface.... but I didn't come around trying that in PT. I don't even know if its possible to assign external MIDI CC to control stuff inside PT???
Old 11th November 2009
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danijel View Post
Do you use it as a MIDI controller, or simply instead of a mouse? I use a Wacom in Nuendo as a MIDI controller, and I can assign X, Y and Z axis to control anything, from a surround panner, to a filter to a softsynth, using its entire surface.... but I didn't come around trying that in PT. I don't even know if its possible to assign external MIDI CC to control stuff inside PT???
You can control plugins via midi if they support that (speakerphone for example). But the wacom isn´t a midi-controller allthough some devices like the Kyma make use of the wacom to control anything.
Old 11th November 2009
  #8
Gear Head
 

I cannot work without my Wacom, have one for PT at home and one for PT that I take with me from cutting room to cutting room. I am a sound editor and not a composer or mixer or musician. I do not use midi. I use my Wacom to automate many editorial tasks.

I use the pen in "mouse mode" to easily pan across two 28" monitors dedicated to Protools, video is viewed on a third screen. I use one button on the pen as a modifier "control". Clicking "control" and touching with pen allows instant scrubbing of audio in PT with pen as the controller. The second button on the pen is dedicated to a keystroke, "separate region" which produces an edit. This combination alone is worth the price of admission. When the pen is used with smart tools enabled, all editing functions are just a pen movement away, no keyboard needed.

The Intuos 4 comes with 8 programmable macro buttons that illuminate with the description of the macro and can be programmed on a program to program basis. It is cool to watch the descriptions change when pen touching between PT and Soundminer and the internet browser.

Oh last but not least the Intuos 4 has a jog shuttle wheel (for those who need one) that is quite serviceable in PT.

Yes it takes some getting used too and there are a lot of good alternatives out there but for me it is an invaluable aid.

Last edited by stustan; 11th November 2009 at 03:33 PM.. Reason: Clarification
Old 11th November 2009
  #9
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danijel's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by apple-q View Post
You can control plugins via midi if they support that (speakerphone for example).
Ah, too bad it isn't implemented in PT alone.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by apple-q View Post
But the wacom isn´t a midi-controller allthough some devices like the Kyma make use of the wacom to control anything.
It isn't a MIDI controller per se, but there are softwares for both WinXP and OSX that turn it into one (like MIDITab Tiny God Products).
Kyma, MaxMSP, Pd etc, have their own ways of interfacing the Wacom, which alow for full harware resolution vs the mere 128 steps possible via MIDI....
Old 11th November 2009
  #10
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ggegan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Which one did you buy? Drawing out ticks with a trackball is definitely a bitch and I'd love to add a Wacom, but like others, I tried one years ago and didn't much like the pen action. How's it for lefties? Any functional drawbacks you might see?

I have a trackpad in addition to the trackball (and mouse which I never use), but the trackpad is obviously not as accurate as a pen would be.
I have a 10" diagonal Wacom tablet that I have been using for graphics projects for many years but never thought about using for PT until I tried it a while back.

I was thinking about buying the Digi surround panner joystick, but a friend who has one hasn't been really happy with his, and I wasn't whipped on shelling out all that money anyway, so I tried the Wacom on a whim.

I don't use it for most run-of-the-mill tasks in PT, I mostly use my ICON controls, keyboard commands and my trackball, but for the tasks I mentioned, it is ideal. I use it as an alternative to the trackball, not as a midi device.

I don't think there would be any problems for a lefty. It may take a little getting used to the disconnect between the stylus and the screen, but I have been using tablets for so many years for graphics that it is second nature to me.

The cool thing about panning with it is you don't have to press a button to punch in the panner, you just touch the tablet with the stylus (within the panning window). Once you start panning you don't have to stay within the window, so you can move your hand around without paying much attention to the tablet.

I don't feel there is any one input device that is perfect. I tend to fluidly switch between whatever device is most appropriate for the task at hand.

BTW, one idea I had for an input device for panning was a sort of hand-held laser pointer that you use to track the object you want to pan. I know there are ways to interpolate the position of the target at which a laser is pointed, so I'm pretty sure this could be done, I just don't know if it could be done cheaply enough to be practical.
Old 11th November 2009
  #11
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hummer's Avatar
 

Can't live without it. Ditched my Kensington trackball (I was having wrist problems) for a Wacom and never looked back. I do a lot of dialogue editing, and I suspect that I work fully twice as fast as I used to. I still use a mouse for typical computer tasks, navigating the finder, etc... and a control surface for mixing, but for editing, there's no question.

There is definitely a learning curve. It took me about a month to use it effectively, but now I feel clumsy using a mouse for editing.

The ONLY thing I miss about the Kensington is horizontal scrolling.

But I use QuicKeys extensively.
Old 11th November 2009
  #12
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kk@jamsync.com's Avatar
 

Hmm...thanks for all these interesting posts. Looks like a Bamboo or an Intuos is in my future...
Old 11th November 2009
  #13
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The last time I tried a Wacom I found I didn't have the eye-hand coordination to make it work well for fiddly dialog and fx editing. But maybe a much bigger tablet and the newer software....

Philip Perkins
Old 11th November 2009
  #14
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

I just bought the new Bamboo pen and touch and I love it. It's my 4 Intuos product. All great BTW.

Touch is great for scrolling too with gestures which should work with QuiKeys really soon.

It does take time to get used to but once you do you will never have pain again. Ouch.

The trick that I found useful is to set the tablet area to the bottom 25% so you can reach everything without moving your hand. Just your wrist.

Cheers.
Old 11th November 2009
  #15
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Airon's Avatar
 

Friend of mine ambled in with his newly purchased Bamboo Pen & Touch(small version), so we tried it on my system.

Had a lot of fun pushing stuff around in a session. I'd used a Wacom tablet 12 years ago in a web firm doing gfx work(paid audio school fees with it). It takes a little getting used to, but it's great tactile control when you need it.

Muuuch better for drawing out those annoying little things in dialogue, and the tools Wacom gives you to configure the thing let you do a LOT of cool stuff. Touch stuff worked nicely.

I'm seriously considering grabbing the larger Bamboo or maybe a slightly larger 16:9 Intuos 4. They function well as mouse pads as well.
Old 11th November 2009
  #16
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Is anyone use a bamboo with a dual-monitor setup? Isn´t it weird to use it because you have the size of two screens scaled to the small surface of the tablet?

What´s your experience?

How does click+drag feel. Years ago I tried a wacom and found that pressing the button on the pen while draging put quite a strain on the hand?

Also in PT do you constantly have to switch between pen and no pen while working?

Also years agon I had trouble because of the sentitivity of the tablet when it senses the pen so you had to hold your hand floating over the tablet to avoid screwing up things in PT unwantedly.

When using a mous my whole arm and hand rest on mouse and table. With a tablet I felt felt some more strain.

Any comments on the recent models?

Thank!
Old 11th November 2009
  #17
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Is anyone use a bamboo with a dual-monitor setup? Isn´t it weird to use it because you have the size of two screens scaled to the small surface of the tablet?

Not a problem at all.

How does click+drag feel. Years ago I tried a wacom and found that pressing the button on the pen while draging put quite a strain on the hand?

You don't need to hold down a button to click drag. You just hold the pen against the tablet and drag.

Also in PT do you constantly have to switch between pen and no pen while working?

What do you mean by "no pen". You can use the pen for everything that you'd use the mouse for.

Also years agon I had trouble because of the sentitivity of the tablet when it senses the pen so you had to hold your hand floating over the tablet to avoid screwing up things in PT unwantedly.

That's how it works. You keep your pen floating about an inch from the tablet to move the cursor. You only touch the tablet to select or drag.

When using a mous my whole arm and hand rest on mouse and table. With a tablet I felt felt some more strain.

It should be the opposite. My hand and wrist were killing me until I switched to the pen. The pen is considered to be a very natural motion.

Any comments on the recent models?

I would consider getting the pen and mouse version so you can do a bit of both if you like.
Old 11th November 2009
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
Is anyone use a bamboo with a dual-monitor setup? Isn´t it weird to use it because you have the size of two screens scaled to the small surface of the tablet?

Not a problem at all.

How does click+drag feel. Years ago I tried a wacom and found that pressing the button on the pen while draging put quite a strain on the hand?

You don't need to hold down a button to click drag. You just hold the pen against the tablet and drag.

Also in PT do you constantly have to switch between pen and no pen while working?

What do you mean by "no pen". You can use the pen for everything that you'd use the mouse for.

Also years agon I had trouble because of the sentitivity of the tablet when it senses the pen so you had to hold your hand floating over the tablet to avoid screwing up things in PT unwantedly.

That's how it works. You keep your pen floating about an inch from the tablet to move the cursor. You only touch the tablet to select or drag.

When using a mous my whole arm and hand rest on mouse and table. With a tablet I felt felt some more strain.

It should be the opposite. My hand and wrist were killing me until I switched to the pen. The pen is considered to be a very natural motion.

Any comments on the recent models?

I would consider getting the pen and mouse version so you can do a bit of both if you like.
Thanks for your comments Kenny. Switching between mouse and tablet is exactly what I want to avoid.

I´ll give it another try...
Old 11th November 2009
  #19
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Yeah. It's funny. A lot of users use both. I don't even have a mouse in the studio. I can use the pen for everything.

Good luck.
Old 11th November 2009
  #20
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Mundox's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stustan View Post
I use one button on the pen as a modifier "control". Clicking "control" and touching with pen allows instant scrubbing of audio in PT with pen as the controller. The second button on the pen is dedicated to a keystroke, "separate region" which produces an edit.
Cool tips!
Old 12th November 2009
  #21
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by apple-q View Post
Is anyone use a bamboo with a dual-monitor setup? Isn´t it weird to use it because you have the size of two screens scaled to the small surface of the tablet?
The Bamboo's driver allows you to map just one screen to the surface area of the tablet. So if you mostly do your edits on the main display, things can be less confusing.
Old 12th November 2009
  #22
Old 12th November 2009
  #23
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kk@jamsync.com's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nightscope View Post
Very cool...I noticed a pref for lefties...yes!!!
Old 12th November 2009
  #24
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nucelar's Avatar
 

On these new touch wacoms, are you still able to draw with a pencil like on a regular one or are they only touch sensitive to the fingers?
Old 12th November 2009
  #25
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Mundox's Avatar
You can do both.
Old 12th November 2009
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmarinov View Post
The Bamboo's driver allows you to map just one screen to the surface area of the tablet. So if you mostly do your edits on the main display, things can be less confusing.
Not an option for me. soundminer is on my second screen.
Old 12th November 2009
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mundox View Post
You can do both.


ns
Old 12th November 2009
  #28
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nucelar's Avatar
 

forgive my insistance, but when you mean you can do both, does it mean it works either in one mode or the other, or is it simultaneous? I can't imagine using the pen, because if I rest the hand on the tablet this would be recognized as a touch?
Thank you again!!
Old 12th November 2009
  #29
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nucelar View Post
forgive my insistance, but when you mean you can do both, does it mean it works either in one mode or the other, or is it simultaneous? I can't imagine using the pen, because if I rest the hand on the tablet this would be recognized as a touch?
Thank you again!!
You can't do both simultaneously. Whenever the pen is fairly close to the tablet, touch doesn't work. Pull it away a bit and touch works. There is a light that indicates.
Old 12th November 2009
  #30
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nucelar's Avatar
 

aha! that's clever. Thank you
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