Touch control may become the most promising interface for musicians!

  • its immeditate, no button delay
  • a single hit can set a parameter from any value to the wanted value
  • its possble to send visual feedback to it, so there is no need to look in two different places
  • its noise free
  • its configurable and the configuration can be changed instantely
  • multi finger gestures can be used in many ways
  • its thin and light, most have long battery life
  • its can be used for many other (non musical) purposes
  • it may contain the whole audio computer, especially when its a windows machine

here is the problem with the mechanical buttons and faders:
• a real button has 3 moments:
1 – the finger hits the lever (possibly a little noise)
2 – the lever hits the contact (usually neither felt nor heard by the user)
3 – the lever hits its final position  (usually a click noise)
since the contact bounces, there is a de-bounce circuitry behind it which causes some delay. so the user does not feel exactly when the signal is sent.
• a classical knob or fader cannot move to the spot where the preset defines (thats why the motor faders were invented – noisy and expensive). wherever the position is the user has to grab it there and move it to the space where he wants it. there is no way to jump from one value to the next.  

Here is our collection of iOS LiveLooping apps

Windows 8 is touch oriented. TabletPCs have been around for a while and now come portable AIO and Windows tablets. I think those machines will be far more useful for the musicians than the ARM tablets due to processor power, connectivity and mature apps with plugin structure.
Here and article with a demo. 

There are no touch Macintosh yet (what are they waiting for?) but you can make a Mac touch sensible with either a touch monitor or a overlay (a glass over the original screen). It only works with a single touch (just as the mouse does) but for quick parameter control, thats plenty!

but a tablet or phone is very useful as a remote control for a “serious” live looping tool! You just need one of those Touch Control apps

Here is the example of Rheyne using TouchOSC to control Live
Here is mine…

…would be nice to put yours up here, too 🙂

Matthias Grob, 2012