Winding down after a very long yet fun weekend with the folks from M-Audio and catching up on some of the stuff here on the msgbd. Topics about pen tablets and touch screens? Let me tell ya -
Wacom has a screen/tablet combo that is just awesome. Great for graphics, great for audio. I played around with Cubase a bit with this thing - it's a LCD with special covering, touch with the stylus and you're gone. Stylus has three assignable controls (one button plus the 'tip' and 'eraser' ends. It's all ergo-adjustable and is sweet as all get out. 15" is about $1800, tho - and I might even be remembering the "special trade show price". Way cool.
Even cooler for Live is the M-Audio Surface One. Just to let you guys know, I DO NOT work for them. <grin> This thing is going to open a whole lot of doors, and perhaps change the way people deal with a lot of different software - not only Live. But with Live, the action is on. My concerns over this piece were that it would be made of cheap plastic, the surfaces would feel crap, etc. No disrespect to the M-guys, but anyone who has messed with some of their other controllers will understand what I mean.
Have no fear, guys - this thing is made out of metal, the surfaces are just rubbery enough to feel nice, and the capabilities are just plain whacko. You want eight faders? Got it. 64 sample triggers? Got it. Need 16 volume controls? Use the knobs, brotha. Thumb pad? Awesome. Oh, and those surfaces? Apparently they can all respond in 3 dimensions...
I honestly can't see how anyone using Live would want to use something other than this box. Even a cheap pen tablet might be cool, but this thing rocks. No, they don't have a date on it yet (it's a pretty complex bit of kit), but trust me - you want this thing to come out RIGHT, and when it does it's going to be THE thing to have. [/b]