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I've had a touch screen monitor for years, but never used it much for its intended purpose. That's changing. I've figured out how to arrange it in a more ergonomic way, and also, finally figured out there's a certain amount of workflow improvement by using the mouse with one hand and the working the touch screen with the other one.

If anyone's interested, I've found out a bunch of other things about what does/doesn't work with touch screens. Rule #1 - get one with an A-frame stand. If you can't adjust the angle from almost horizontal to almost vertical, you won't get much use out of it.

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I like the idea, I'd do well with a large monitor inlaid into a drafting desk, at an angle. I've always drawn, done some painting but paint can be subject to gravity.

I'm left handed, which in our world means at least somewhat ambidextrous. I play right handed though.

Is it faster to flip up and down through tracks?
What about drawing animation curves?

Maybe right hand on the "transport" while left hand works on drum tracks?


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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
I'm left handed, which in our world means at least somewhat ambidextrous. I play right handed though.

Same here. I run the mouse with my left hand, and the touch screen with my right hand.

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Is it faster to flip up and down through tracks?

A lot depends on the software, and whether it supports multitouch. If so, then actions like changing track height, scrolling on the timeline, etc. go very fast. The other advantage is being able to edit more than one parameter at a time, like adjusting EQ gain and frequency at the same time, or filter cutoff and filter envelope level.

Quote
What about drawing animation curves?

I haven't tried that, I usually record automation by moving the on-screen controls (in touch automation mode).

One issue is with a big monitor - it's harder to reach the stuff at the top than at the bottom. If touch ever becomes a big deal, then it would be helpful to choose whether your menu bar is at the top or bottom of the screen.

The other issue is integrating a keyboard with the setup, because if you move the monitor back far enough to have space for a keyboard in front, then you have to reach further to touch the screen. Windows has a virtual on-screen which can vary from a tiny version to a full-function one with control/alt/function keys etc. The other option is to keep a keyboard on your lap, or have a slide out drawer below your work surface.

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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
I like the idea, I'd do well with a large monitor inlaid into a drafting desk, at an angle. I've always drawn, done some painting but paint can be subject to gravity.

I'm left handed, which in our world means at least somewhat ambidextrous. I play right handed though.

Is it faster to flip up and down through tracks?
What about drawing animation curves?

Maybe right hand on the "transport" while left hand works on drum tracks?

This isn't a new idea. I remember seeing one at a NAMM show many years ago that they had running with Cubase (I think). It was pretty big, maybe 2 x 3 feet, and in a wood frame that tilted it up at maybe 20-30 degrees, very much like a drafting table, though not adjustable, at least in the demo setup, though there's no reason why it couldn't be mounted on an adjustable stand. The goal was to be able to move throughout the "tracks" view of an audio project more quickly than dragging a mouse or spinning a scroll wheel. As I recall, there was a portion of the display reserved for (and programmed for, in this demo) transport control buttons and track arming. I think it was called Oak or Leaf something or other. It's probably in one of my NAMM show reports on my web site.

And then there's the currently available Slate Digital Raven MTZ, which, one of the developers that I was chatting with informally a few years ago, described it as a king-sized iPad. I suspect that this is one of those great ideas that are ravenously adopted by a relatively small number of users, and shrugged off by the largest group of recording and mixing users who are using systems that they've assembled from off-the-shelf software and components (i.e. most of us here).

[Linked Image from slatemt.com]

Perhaps Craig's modest enthusiasm of the concept, plus the availability of large touch-screen monitors at a price affordable to a reasonably profit-active small studio will get some traction. And perhaps it's a bonus that, because it looks like a big TV set, it adds some reality to working with video, and maybe even when working with immersive sound.

He ought to write a book. wink

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You can use an iOS device like an iPad to control Logic. Since I have no plans to wear out my arm reaching out to my 27" iMac, that works for me. It also lets me control Logic while I'm over here tracking and my computer is over there.


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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
This isn't a new idea. I remember seeing one at a NAMM show many years ago that they had running with Cubase (I think).

First time I saw a touch screen on a DAW was with Sonar and Windows 8, I think it was about 6 years ago.

Quote
And then there's the currently available Slate Digital Raven MTZ, which, one of the developers that I was chatting with informally a few years ago, described it as a king-sized iPad. I suspect that this is one of those great ideas that are ravenously adopted by a relatively small number of users, and shrugged off by the largest group of recording and mixing users who are using systems that they've assembled from off-the-shelf software and components (i.e. most of us here).

The Slate MTZ is about $3,000, the Planar I'm using goes for about $500 so it's a lot easier to justify the expense for something that you don't use all the time, but has considerable merit.

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Perhaps Craig's modest enthusiasm of the concept, plus the availability of large touch-screen monitors at a price affordable to a reasonably profit-active small studio will get some traction.

Hah, probably not...touch is not suitable for really detailed work, but it sure can move things around fast, and if your DAW's faders can extend their height, you really can mix visually, pan, do all that mixer kinda stuff.

@Joe Muscara - I too use a remote when doing narration and vocals, so I can record away from the computer. But I don't think I could do a real mix on it compared to having Studio One spread across a big screen. I think of it more like a control surface than a remote control. But again, it's not for everyone...especially because not all software supports 10-point multitouch, or is designed to work efficiently with touch.

The Line 6 Helix is really efficient with touch, although it's single-point. AmpliTube 5 is multi-touch, which is great for adjusting guitar effects while working with a DAW.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

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Andy Hong's column in Tape Op this month discusses his love for touch screens. He mentions that his last 5 laptops were all Windows machines with touch screens and he likes them for mobile recording.

I start to wonder if something like a Wacom Cintiq could be adapted. https://www.wacom.com/en-us/products/pen-displays/wacom-cintiq
It uses a pen instead of a mouse and is very accurate.

I'm sure thee are iPad surfers as well.


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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
I start to wonder if something like a Wacom Cintiq could be adapted. https://www.wacom.com/en-us/products/pen-displays/wacom-cintiq
It uses a pen instead of a mouse and is very accurate.

I'm not sure...a program has to have pen support. I know Cakewalk has it, but I'm not sure what other programs do.

The thing that makes Studio One work for me with touch isn't so much the monitor as the multitouch support.

But in other touch news, I found out a really useful application today! As I sat at my desk eating some delicious yet messy tacos with my left hand, I was able to call up and scroll through various news sites with my right hand, to see what was going on the world.

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I have touch screen on my main Windows DAW and my Windows laptop. Hardly use it on the desktop computer. Love it on the lap top and really with my MacBook had it. The difference is reach. With the desktop it is a longer reach to use touch screen. The mouse is more efficient. With the lap top the opposite is true. The screen is never more than a few inches from my fingers and I love using the touch screen. I will say the mouse is more exact and I don't see that changing. But the touch screen eliminates the problem of lost mouse pointer.


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Originally Posted by RABid
I have touch screen on my main Windows DAW and my Windows laptop. Hardly use it on the desktop computer. Love it on the lap top and really with my MacBook had it. The difference is reach. With the desktop it is a longer reach to use touch screen.

That's why you need to more closely integrate the monitor with your work desk. Position it like a keyboard or a mouse pad. You'd find it difficult to type or use a mouse on a vertical surface - so tit for tat.

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But the touch screen eliminates the problem of lost mouse pointer.

It also eliminates the problem of a lost mouse. This evening I was watching a Zoom presentation on the archiving and digitizing of the Austin City Limits recordings on the living room TV-as-monitor setup since it really wasn't really an interactive "meeting." I have a wireless mouse and keyboard for that computer, and I put the mouse down in a place that it normally isn't. I of course didn't remember where I put it and had to search for it for a while. If it was permanently attached to my table, it would always be handy.

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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers
That's why you need to more closely integrate the monitor with your work desk. Position it like a keyboard or a mouse pad.

A touch screen monitor tells you where it wants to go, not the other way around. smile This is why it's so important to me to have an A-frame stand. Right now I'm working on a book. The monitor is about a 45 degree angle with the QWERTY keyboard in front, and I use touch mostly for scrolling, moving windows, moving artwork, etc. But with the DAW, it's right in front of me, just like a hardware mixer surface. Anything else I've tried just doesn't work with a DAW.

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I prefer to let my eyes determine where the monitor goes. I have worn glasses since I was 4 and the ability to see well is paramount. I have two 32" monitors on my DAW. Impossible to place them both at my fingertips. The main problem with DAW is exactness. I can place loops and let them snap into place using touch with no problem. If I want to barely move something the mouse does much better.


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Originally Posted by RABid
The main problem with DAW is exactness. I can place loops and let them snap into place using touch with no problem. If I want to barely move something the mouse does much better.

I agree, you need a mouse for anything requiring precision. A lot of whether touch is going to work or not is whether the software was designed with touch in mind, not just from a multitouch support standpoint, but also the visuals. For example I don't know whether Studio One made the fader height extendable to accommodate touch, but it sure makes mixing so much easier compared to Pro Tools. with the fixed fader height. The main limitation with mixing is you have to look at the screen, you can't feel the fader knobs underneath your fingers.

On the other hand, I'm learning as I go along. With Word, I was really frustrated that the little magnification widget in the lower right was impossible to work precisely with touch. Then I realized I could pinch/stretch the document itself. Doh.

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Yes. I have a 24" Dell touchscreen right below my main DAW screen. When the DAW is open, the mixer pane is there, and the arrange view is on the main 4k display. The other thing on the touchscreen is the app controlling my SQ-5 digital mixer. It is fantastic. I can do everything right at my desk, even though the mixer is across the room. Many aspects of the mixer UI are better on the bigger display. The faders have plenty of resolution. I have it all set up with custom groups for synths, guitars, etc. It makes it so that the physical mixer is almost a part of the DAW. I also have a bit of software from 14-bit MIDI that gives me a page of touch buttons and macros inside Nuendo.


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