Here I explain why Touch Control is musical!

1. tablet or phone with a MIDI or OSC control app

  • Lemur (iOS – means it runs on iPhone, iPad, iPod)
    they elaborated it long before the tablets became main stream, so Lemur does a lot more than the others and also costs a lot more. Personal layouts can be created in a Editor on Windows or OSX.
  • TB Midi Stuff (iOS)
    very nice app with more graphical options than the ones below and the editor included in the app, so changes are a lot quicker than with the other systems below. moderate price… 
  • TouchOSC (iOS, Android)
    works well with MIDI or OSC and comes with a Editor for Windows or OSX. can receive commands as well, so states of the looper can be displayed! some limitations with colors and ergonomy. to upload a custom layout for Android, a hack is needed.
  • Control (iOS, Android)
    more dificult to create a layout with a script language. but more flexible in the end. reads sensors and audio input level as well! Open source!
  • Mrmr (iOS, Android)
    no feedback to the controller. did they stop development? 
  • FingerPlay (Android)
    no feedback to the controller
  • TouchDAW (Android)
    based on Pure Data. allows to create custom layouts with a windows editor
  • OSCPad (Android)
    still very new, create layout with text file or online editor, not free
  • andOSC (Android)
    seems it only sends coordinates and acceleration data in OSC, no graphic interface 

2. touch computer with a MIDI or OSC control app

or you can run your audio computer with a touch screen and use one of those:
  • Emulator (Win, OSX)
    easy to create custom layouts, not cheap 
  • Ctrlr (Linux, Win, OSX)
    looks very advanced and beautiful, free, but not simple to program!
  • Surface Editor (Java: Win, OSX, Linux)
    amazing versatility for grafics and for kinds of actions! but it has not been updated and did not run on Ubuntu and OSX at the first try… anyone more experience?

3. touch computer with configurable audio app

while all of the above apps only treat control values, the following process audio and have a flexible or programable user interface so you get all in one or use just the interface part of the app:

  • Usine (OSX, Win)
    made to create electronic music, but with impressive UI interface elements that can be used outside of it. here is a video 
  • MAX (OSX, Win)
    a classic! probably no other app allows so much creativity but it takes time to learn and too expensive just as a user interface
  • PD – pure-data (Linux, OSX, Win)
    made by the iniciator of Max and very similar but open source! 
  • Gesture Park (Win)

4. Desktop Remote Control

a completely different method to control is to tranfer the display of the main computer (the server) to the controlling computer (client). all methods are to slow to control a looping tool but they may help for sound effect control and to show what the apps above do not display. here are the main ones:
  • RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) is the fastest method and included in the win systems and there are many clients for all other machines. there is also a server app for OSX: iRAPP
  • VNC is included in OSX and used by many apps for all kinds of machines
  • TeamViewer is a separate thing and made for colaboration but may work better than VNC
  • LogMeIn is fun because the servers desktop appears in any browser! so it does not need a client installed. but its even slower and does not work in a intranet

5. further methods

Here is explained how a KaossPad can be used as a touch MIDI controller

Tobias Erichsen’s rptMIDI and loopMIDI are very useful to connect the controller app to the DAW in Windows


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