Windows 8 Touchscreens

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
wjbuchanan
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Windows 8 Touchscreens

Post by wjbuchanan » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:13 am

Hi All,
Wondering if anyone out there is using Live with one of the new Windows 8 touchscreen laptops?

I quite fancy the idea of using one until Touch comes out...I'd like to launch clips, adjust filters, Analog/Operator settings.

Can anybody comment whether it's useful or not?

Cheers

störgeräusche
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Re: Windows 8 Touchscreens

Post by störgeräusche » Wed Nov 28, 2012 4:33 pm

I am too looking forward to "touch" live soon.
in the meantime i replaced my mouse with a logitec T650 touchpad which is very nice and doesn't stress the wrist as much as the mouse does (at least for me). It's done more for win8 but it works with win7 as well, just less functions. not ready to upgrade OS yet.
I guess we'll have a nice user experience with the touch screen, provided they are fast and reliable.
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aviavi
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Re: Windows 8 Touchscreens

Post by aviavi » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:02 pm

I'm also wondering how well Live works with touchscreen displays. I'm very curious about the Lenovo Yoga 13.3" laptop, with folding screen that turns it into a tablet. I wonder if controlling Live's "knobs" is difficult with a touchscreen, because maybe the button/knob sizing is too small?

tone61
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Re: Windows 8 Touchscreens

Post by tone61 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:19 pm

I have tried it a little. IMO Live itself is not very well suited for touch usage, simply because UI controls are too small. Some things are possible, like selecting tracks. But many others like changing some knob value is not really practical. A huge problem with small controls is that your finger hides the control itself. So how do you know when you have reached correct value?

IMO a better idea is a touch based CONTROLLER which you can use for controlling selected controls (just like midi controllers) via midi mapping.
One good and cheap example of such apps for Android devices is here:
http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=365735

There you can make your own touch layouts and use controls that YOU need and that fit to your device's screen.
IMO x/y pads, buttons and faders work well if big enough. Round controllers which are used in Live UI for example to control sends are not a good idea for touch, unless big enough. They need to be much bigger than what Live uses.

lowshelf
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Re: Windows 8 Touchscreens

Post by lowshelf » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:34 pm

I'm interested in this too. I mean, Windows 8 must be good for something. I currently use a Wacom Intuos, considering a Cintiq non-Touch. Well precise, but neither lets me do what MIDI controllers do, like instantaneous mute toggling of any 7 mix channels.

Finger obscured controls is a good point I hadn't thought about. tone61, I wonder, did you ever try turning the zoom level up reeaally high?

tone61
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Re: Windows 8 Touchscreens

Post by tone61 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:34 am

No, I didn't change zoom level. Because the touch screen isn't that large.
I can barely see enough stuff that Live can be used at all, even with mouse.

UIs that are good for touch usage need to be separately designed.
What works for mouse doesn't necessarily work for touch.
Mouse is much better for things where you need accuracy.

So I don't think touch is good for controlling *any* DAW, but it can be great for controller use.
Get a tablet (I don't know if proper SW for this usage exists for windows tablets YET) and
some good SW like the one I mentioned earlier and you can have a wireless controller
with for example 4 x/y pads on one screen or 10 faders and some buttons.
All fully MIDI mappable like in physical midi controllers, but if you need some other layout you can quickly
make a UI layout with different selection of controllers. Try that with a traditional MIDI controller :)

mbenigni
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Re: Windows 8 Touchscreens

Post by mbenigni » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:57 pm

I've tested it on a laptop with touchscreen, and more recently (last night in fact) on a Surface Pro running Windows 8. I knew the screen would be too small for actual mixing/production, but I was very excited about the idea of having even a few tracks and faders up to mix and pan VSTs etc for practice and performance.

Fact of the matter is, Live sucks on Win 8 touchscreens right now. The faders seem to have some kind of bug where they will jump to any point you touch on screen, but if you try to drag, they immediately jump to max. It's weird.
So I don't think touch is good for controlling *any* DAW
I don't really agree. Provided the DAW is designed with touch in mind, I think a touchscreen is an ideal interface. Multi-touch on a bank of faders is such an obvious application it hurts. But right now Live is not ready for it. I really hope Live 9 is improved in this regard. Cakewalk is right on top of the touchscreen paradigm with their new DAW and they're advertising heavily to that effect. It's a smart move. Windows 8 will make touch laptops and tablets very common in the course of the next couple of years. If Abe doesn't keep up it will cost them.

tone61
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Re: Windows 8 Touchscreens

Post by tone61 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:13 pm

mbenigni wrote:
So I don't think touch is good for controlling *any* DAW
I don't really agree. Provided the DAW is designed with touch in mind, I think a touchscreen is an ideal interface. Multi-touch on a bank of faders is such an obvious application it hurts. But right now Live is not ready for it. I really hope Live 9 is improved in this regard. Cakewalk is right on top of the touchscreen paradigm with their new DAW and they're advertising heavily to that effect. It's a smart move. Windows 8 will make touch laptops and tablets very common in the course of the next couple of years. If Abe doesn't keep up it will cost them.
Your bank of faders is exactly this controller use that I wrote about.
UIs designed for touch cannot have as many UI controls as mouse based UIs, because touch requires BIGGER buttons, faders, knobs etc.
See how Windows8 UI is different from Windows7? Instead of small icons you have these huge tiles and so on.

If this (not having equal amount of stuff on screen at the same time) is not a problem, THEN a touch screen could be a good solution for DAWs as well. But in my case I'd rather do the accurate stuff with mouse and keyboard and use touch for controlling instruments and effects. NOT for things like typing values using a virtual keyboard. If you think about all the tiny buttons and edit controllers that are now there when you edit an audio clip. Imagine how much bigger all those would have to be if you wanted to use those using touch.

Kent_in_CO
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Re: Windows 8 Touchscreens

Post by Kent_in_CO » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:46 pm

Touch-enabled Ableton is the killer app that would prompt me to buy a Win8 machine. Otherwise my next machine will be a Macbook Air.

It would be so, so damn nice to reach out and hit a fader/clip/track select when working on a track or jamming with others. Not to mention the form factor of a tablet for live performance; you could mount it on a stand, or use it in other creative ways - all while saving on weight and space. The iPad controllers like Lemur are impressive, but I think I speak for a lot of us when I say I'd like to reach out and directly interact will every aspect of the program.

I've been researching this topic for a few months. To date, Ableton hasn't implemented any Win8 touch functionality - even with the upcoming first build of Live 9. But it's hard to imagine they aren't working on it when the competition is already meeting these specs.

It's true that knobs aren't very well-suited to touch, but just about everything else is: grabbing faders, dragging clips, choosing devices from the library, arranging, etc. For knobs, something like the Livid Code would be a nice complement to a touch UI.

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tone61
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Re: Windows 8 Touchscreens

Post by tone61 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:53 pm

Well, it would be interesting to hear some official comments about this.

But: even while Live's UI itself doesn't work too well with touch,
you CAN use touch with Android tablets NOW using the app I mentioned earlier.
Then you have a wireless midi controller.
What kind of UI controls (faders, buttons etc) you use in some task is up to you.
You can design your own UI layouts easily.

beats me
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Re: Windows 8 Touchscreens

Post by beats me » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:20 pm

As a shill for Steve Jobs’ Apple he stated that just slapping a touch screen over a desktop application doesn’t make for a usability dream come true, but either through wishful thinking or hatred of Apple plenty of people didn’t want to believe that. Well, now you have your Windows 8 on a touch screen and I’m sure Steve’s statement will be proven correct.

tone61
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Re: Windows 8 Touchscreens

Post by tone61 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:38 pm

Yes, you have to redesign the whole UI.
Would Ableton want to have one UI for mouse, another for touch?
Maintain both at the same time?

mbenigni
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Re: Windows 8 Touchscreens

Post by mbenigni » Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:17 pm

Your bank of faders is exactly this controller use that I wrote about.
UIs designed for touch cannot have as many UI controls as mouse based UIs, because touch requires BIGGER buttons, faders, knobs etc.
See how Windows8 UI is different from Windows7? Instead of small icons you have these huge tiles and so on.
You're right, it is a tradeoff. As I said, I never imagined doing proper production/mixing on a tiny tablet. But there are other tasks that would be appropriate if you could scale these elements (really flexible zooming, basically) and expect them to respond smoothly/intuitively to touch. I'd be thrilled to see even a 2x2 matrix of clips on my Surface Pro, with a couple of faders that worked well, and some buttons for transport controls. I could use that in a portable package. Right now, Live is too fussy about what can and can't be zoomed, and how far, and some basic controls (e.g. faders) are too erratic in responding to touch and gestures. There's no reason those problems couldn't be resolved without comprimising the full screen mouse experience.
Yes, you have to redesign the whole UI.
Would Ableton want to have one UI for mouse, another for touch?
Maintain both at the same time?
Valid point and questions. It would definitely be a nightmare to maintain two different UIs, and would definitely take a lot of thought to optimize the UI for touch (as far as possible) without doing harm to the conventional experience. But I still think there's a lot of room for improvement, and a lot to be gained from it.

yur2die4
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Re: Windows 8 Touchscreens

Post by yur2die4 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:14 pm

Couple questions/points.

Did you try it with the options.txt thing for drawing using pens instead of mouse?

How is it for drawing midi sequences and automation?

I've always thought it'd be great to design an invisible overlay software which reads the layout of Live, and functions as a midi program that communicates with Live.

Kent_in_CO
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Re: Windows 8 Touchscreens

Post by Kent_in_CO » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:23 pm

Here's an interesting thread about touchscreen on Ableton and other DAW's.

http://forum.watmm.com/topic/76636-wind ... ibilities/

It's a few months old, but still some interesting insights in there.
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