touchable v hardware midi controllers

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
grooverb
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touchable v hardware midi controllers

Post by grooverb » Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:57 pm

Hi Guys

Looking at getting a new keyboard and controller for ableton. I'm currently on a lil Oxygen 8 still and have been looking into getting something like the apc40 and maybe the m-audio pro axiom or mpk49, and then I saw the Quneo, which has peaked another bit of interest.

And then I found out about touchable which looks pretty much like it does everything the APC/ Quneo/novation jobbie would do anyway. So I'm thinking of an iPad with Touchable and an MPK49/Axiom pro set up

Has anyone got experience of using touchable and how does it compare to a hardware midi controller, likes dislikes, foibles, any other constructive words also welcome

Slightlydelic
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Re: touchable v hardware midi controllers

Post by Slightlydelic » Sun Nov 20, 2011 4:53 pm

i love the ipad and touchable, i like the silky smooth glide across the screen and dont miss pads buttons knobs and sliders one bit.

ive owned lauchpad, apc40, bcr2000 and padkontrol and sold the lot when i got the ipad.

grooverb
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Re: touchable v hardware midi controllers

Post by grooverb » Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:07 pm

Cheers Slightly

That's a pretty big endorsement. I guess I'll be Ipadding then

So do you still use a keyboard controller or have you gone totally iPad?

owlmerlyn
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Re: touchable v hardware midi controllers

Post by owlmerlyn » Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:55 pm

Slightlydelic wrote:i love the ipad and touchable, i like the silky smooth glide across the screen and dont miss pads buttons knobs and sliders one bit.

ive owned lauchpad, apc40, bcr2000 and padkontrol and sold the lot when i got the ipad.
Dont you miss being able to twist knobs and move physical faders.. etc? My automatic assumption, when I read Grooverbs question was... nah, I would definitely go hardware. But your experience says otherwise..

23kon
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Re: touchable v hardware midi controllers

Post by 23kon » Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:03 pm

I thoroughly endorse TouchAble too. It gives awesome control over ableton and they are adding more stuff for free all the time.

One thing it does lack is a clip editor. Liine's "Griid" has that and the clip/scene launchers too but now keyboard/drumpads/effects or parameters control - or the cool X/Y.
however they ARE about to announce a new app soon which might be a new 'grid' type thing which may kick ass! why wouldn't it - all their other apps are great. Check out "Kapture Pad" too - its great for playing live gigs and tweaking parameters.

A lot of folk will argue that with the ipad you dont get the touch feedback that you get from knobs/sliders/pads. If that really does bother you though - you can get yourself a Novation Nocturn (great with automap software and instant control over plugins!) or a korg Kontrol or similar. For pads then youd maybe want an akai MPD 18/24/32.

Having said that, if you are going for the mpk49 then youl get knobs n pads anyway.

Buy an iPad. You won't be dissapointed. I promise you.
There are a wealth of apps out there for controlling ableton and instrument apps that are only a couple of pound - compared to their software equivalents which may be hundreds of pounds or even hardware equivalents which may run in to the thousands of pounds.

Stop dithering, go out and get that ipad ;)
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grooverb
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Location: SE London

Re: touchable v hardware midi controllers

Post by grooverb » Sun Nov 20, 2011 7:12 pm

23kon wrote:Stop dithering, go out and get that ipad
Hey I'm doing extensive research :D

so 23, are you totally iPad now or do you still use a keyboard for putting your notes in?

owl, from what I can see touchable does everything all the different hardware controllers do in one thing, and a shed load more, so what's the point in bothering with anything else? That was put to me when I spoke to someone about the Quneo. 'What does it do that an app doesn't?' and you can say the same for all the hardware controllers.

The only things I can see would be useful are a keyboard and a stand with an iPad holder, but what keyboard...

michaeladam
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Re: touchable v hardware midi controllers

Post by michaeladam » Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:02 pm

I am using touchable with two iPads (the new version allow you to link 4 iPads now) and to my complete surprise this amazing app replaced all other controllers for my music production, mixing, and djing ... No more nocturn, launchpad, drum pad etc ...

This suit my workflow and also as I travel non stop for djing and producing music, macbook pro iPad control with apogee sound card is the perfect pro mobile all in one solution ...

JuanSOLO
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Re: touchable v hardware midi controllers

Post by JuanSOLO » Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:14 pm

I use both and APC40 and an iPad. But if I had to give one up, it would be the iPad. Granted it offers a lot, a lot in a compact device. However that has it's disadvantages as well. Personally I dont think there is an actual "All in one solution" for Live, it's just TOO diverse in the ways it can be used. The APC40 and the iPad work GREAT together.

I do not like the touch screen sliders, OR knobs. Buttons, and XY pads, YES! Yet I ride knobs and sliders, and especially with knobs, I want that ever so slight adjustment feeling. For me the glass surface serves a few purposes better than anything else, but sometimes the size of things and lack of feeling a fader, and just glass surface seems less like control and more like walking on eggshells.

Touchable is fantastic, there is NO doubt about it, but it's not for everyone, and there's only one way to find out if it's the right solution for you.

23kon
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Re: touchable v hardware midi controllers

Post by 23kon » Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:19 pm

Grooverb

I've had a LOT of controllers over the years in an attempt to get a setup that suited me both in the studio and for playing gigs.

Now though my setup for gigs is:
- 12" laptop

- Cakewalk UA-25EX Soundcard
I am planning on getting a smaller one for gigging as when gigging I don't need midi-in or digital-out.

- Novation Nocturn

- iPad Running TouchAble & Kapture Pad & TouchMidi (sometimes)

A perfect setup for me that can be thrown into the smallest of record bags. If I was a girl it'd fit in a handbag haha. It also all fits into my Peli 1500 Case which allows completely watertight and safe storage.

This setup allows me to have a small laptop for portability. I use the ipad to trigger scenes/clips in touchable, setup settings to tweak live with the Kapture Pad and have the ability to revert back to 'normal' at the touch of a button. I use TouchMidi sometimes as it allows you to create bespoke control surfaces if you need extra knobs/sliders/XY's to hand.
I also use a Novation Nocturn sometimes but it isnt necessary. Their Automap software allows you to instantly tweak any of your plugins/effects easily. Plus the great thing is you have a visual account of what knobs are assigned to on your screen in the GUI - MUCH better than having to stick stickers onto your controllers per song or set.

My studio setup is all of the above for the stated reasons, plus;

- Korg NanoKey
Handy little keyboard for quick riffs but frustrating because its just 25 keys and no pitch bend/modulation wheel just buttons.

- MK-61 Midi Keyboard
A full sized keyboard with weighted keys. Much better for more octaves to hand. I've had this beast for around 12 years. it is JUST a keyboard - no extra knobs/pads/sliders.

- Akai MPD32
I got this for the 16 touch sensitive pads. Although TouchAble now has velocity pads i believe so when i update the app I might ditch the MPD. It is handy having 8 sliders and 6 knobs though - I have this setup as a default template for drum racks and the knobs etc control parameters.

No one can tell you which is the best controllers, they can only give you account of their experience of how they use them. and thats what should make you decide too - how you see a controller fitting your workflow or needs.

Just take the leap and buy whatever you think is the best choice. If it turns out to not be what you need then just punt it on eBay. Take good photos and write a decription and you'll get a good price in return. If youve bought the controller from a shop then they'll usually take it back within a week or two (ask when you buy it) and allow you to swap it for something else.

You really can't go wrong with an iPad.
There's so many handy apps out there for music making and if you ever need to sell it you'll get an almost new price. I really DOUBT that youd sell it though - maybe just to upgrade to a newer model.
Some people despise the idea of touchscreen control via an ipad or ipads in general but in my opinion they only say the latter because they havent actually owned one.
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grooverb
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Re: touchable v hardware midi controllers

Post by grooverb » Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:55 pm

That's awesome cheers guys, and 23kon, thanks for the detailed info.

I reckon it might well be an MPK or some such thing with the iPad then. Best of both worlds I guess.

I had a go with a Launchpad, and it was ok, but wasn't really all that keen, but I'll be up in town tomorrow so I can pop into West End DJ and see if they have some stuff I can do further research with.

I'll let you know how I get on ;)

23kon
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Re: touchable v hardware midi controllers

Post by 23kon » Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:05 pm

No probs and cheers for the vote.

I've teased with the thought of getting another ipad too like michaeladam for an ultra portable setup.
In my head it's either another ipad or maschine mikro (or maybe the M1).

Yeah launchpad isnt anything special. I used to have two so i could have an 8x16 grid to control.
But now ive got touch-able/griid for that so they got punted.

Aye, go into West End DJ. Ask them about returning stuff too. USually places are cool with it if its within a week or so. The guys in the shop will be able to give you more info about what might be best for your unique needs to make sure you explain all to them.

I dont think youl go wrong with an ipad and a keyboard.
I'd say get a keyboard with some knobs n sliders if you can as it is handy to have actual knobs for fast tweaks/cuts. Thats one thing that knobs on a screen cant replicate well and its handy to haev for the studio.
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fcarroll
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Re: touchable v hardware midi controllers

Post by fcarroll » Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:32 pm

I am with everyone else, and I have looked at EVERY option :) My set going forward will be iPad with touchABLE (fantastic app) and KapturePad and two LaunchPads. Visually and performance wise it will look good and covers every option you could want, even playing notes in User1 on the LaunchPad.

Looks like the iPad option is only going to get better and better. Plus the new Moog apps like the Animoog and Filtatron sound great.

All just my opinion but I don't think that the iPad will totally replace the hardware.

Go get one today :)

Frankie
iProv
iMac, MacBook Pro, Ableton Live 8 Suite,Ableton PUSH Komplete 8, Logic Studio,Launchpad x 2, iPad (Lemur), M-Audio Keystudio, Akai MPD18, ...

23kon
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Re: touchable v hardware midi controllers

Post by 23kon » Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:20 pm

Aye, ipads will never replace hardware completely as people DO like getting their hands on knobs and sliders.

Having said that, there are joysticks you can get to sucker to your ipad screen to play some games so we might end up seeing knobs and sliders that do the same.
You could have say a handful of knobs that you laid onto whichever parameters you wanted to control then tweak them then move them onto other parameters to tweak them etc.

And yeah, the ipad option is only going to get better and better. +1
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Rabalder
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Re: touchable v hardware midi controllers

Post by Rabalder » Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:32 am

I hate touchpads.

grooverb
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Re: touchable v hardware midi controllers

Post by grooverb » Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:31 pm

23kon wrote:people DO like getting their hands on knobs
snigger. Sorry I couldn't help myself

I guess time will tell 23. Its not an impossible thing though. Its pretty good common sense actually, but does it defeat the point of touch screen tech?

Popped into West End DJ and a had a very helpful chat with a guy called Darian. He took me through the new Novation Impulse which actually looks like its worth the money they are asking, for a 61 its £299.

Also helped me figure out the keyboard is probably the sooner upgrade, and the iPad can wait a couple of months while I save up, sort out some more material and have a bit more thinking time on the whole live thing. So hopefully Friday, I'll be picking up an impulse 61 :D ROCK ON!!

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