The Apple iPad has terrific, responsive multi-touch input, but for many, using it to control music would mean carrying an iPad and a computer. That’s a cheaper combination than using a JazzMutant Lemur with a computer, but it’s still two pieces. With a number of PCs gradually adding touch capabilities, it seems inevitable that integrated touch for music will become at least a compelling option. These machines also have some features the iPad lacks, such as USB and other conventional I/O, and true pen input, which can be more precise for arts applications …and they’re traditional computers, with all the flexibility that entails.

Argentina-based DJ Pablo Martin gives CDM the scoop on his new Emulator software. The descendant of the Lemur-style MonotouchLive control, Emulator looks more mature, and adds multi-touch support. It’s ready to run Traktor out of the box, but other tools are possible, too. With a revision of HP’s TM2 expected this summer, we could have an interesting, more powerful alternative to the more limited tablets about to follow in the iPad’s footsteps. (I’ll say this – it would have been a better machine on the trip I’m on currently, both for the touch/tablet capabilities and longer battery life than my more conventional Asus laptop.)

I’ll let Pablo explain the rest. I’m in touch with HP and others, so I hope to offer some information on what these solutions are like, alongside the iPad, of course.

This are the first images i make public of my new touchscreen MIDI controller (now with mulitouch support). The older Monotouchlive is now discontinued and the new software born is called EMULATOR.

The first version i plan to launch very soon, including control for traktor on internal mode; the other interfaces are under development (traktor external ableton etc etc)

This software is designed to work with tablet PCs, the model i suggest for use with my software is the wonderful HP TM2, or the older model TM2Z. It also can be used with lenovo multitouch tablet and DELL XT tablet. All these tablets support multitouch, have capacitive digitizers, but again i suggest the HP TM2, due to it having a wonderful capacitive digitizer from WACOM; it’s really good quality tablet.
The CPU power of TM2 is perfect to run Traktor; I tested with Ableton without any troubles. Some guys think the CPU on HP TM2 doesn’t have enough power, but that is wrong.

The major problem with present touchscreen controllers is that you don’t have tactile feedback (you can’t feel with your fingers knobs, buttons, sliders etc etc), for that reason you need put your eyes all time on the touchscreen device for use the controller, and lose the focus over music software.

Emulator is a software where you have all what you need on same screen and combine the power of multitouch, the useful standard mouse and the native interface of software to be controlled all in one nice and useful GUI.

This software runs under windows 7; the first version I plan to launch only works on tablet PCs with 12.1 inch screen (1280×800). I decided to do this because the big LCD multitouch screens available on the market aren’t really accurate and enough for pro usage; [optical sensors can] generate false touch, ghost touches, etc. and you lose portability [on larger screens].

No pricing or release yet – Pablo is looking for a sponsor (HP?) – but I’ll keep you posted. Let us know what you think of the design.

  • people keep on knocking win7 because it is not multitouch friendly- the ipad is overpriced as a 1ghz multitouch device – you can buy a 20 inch or larger multitouch screen for the price of the cheapest ipad and — it all depends on the gui – native windows in not a good ui for multitouch but there are MORE Free VST out there than ipad APPS – -NI has tons of touch friendly GUI's of you can just make your own with synthedit —

    don't get me wrong i love korg ielectride !!!
    -and many of the ipad apps make buying a ipad more than worth it

    but win7 has been doing multitouch for a while
    now. ๐Ÿ™‚ and even win xp tablet edition supports multitouch

    – apple is always late to the party but makes the most noise

  • Yes, actually, the multitouch API in Windows 7 is quite mature. Now, actually getting hardware to take advantage of it is another matter, however. A lot of the digitizers are a bit sub-par. Others work quite well, but are available on limited hardware, and/or do only two touches. And developers really have dropped the ball on using these features in their software.

    I really do think that the situation will change, so it's doubly worth pointing out.

  • Hank Lepstein

    I'm planning on getting the new version of the HP TM2 when it comes out.

    But I'm not sure how great it will be for music software because I believe it only has two point multitouch. Am I right about this?

  • Mudo

    I dreamed with something like this but leopard compatible. I will mod my macbook into tablet (like axiotrom) sooner or later…

    Also hackintosh way for HP and so on… I know is "unoficial/illegal" but for musicians is the best of all.

    In addition related to emulator… what about Ableton and maxforlive?

    It could be great a java frontend touch interface but with some info from LiveApi and OSC from maxforlive… like colour clips, transport, fx… and Ms. Pinky or Monome maxforlive patches too…


    This has been hinted at but here's my big idea.

    Microsoft should develop some version of windows especially for multi-touch enabled devices that in addition to the standard window GUI includes:

    1. a simplified homepage like the iphone os.

    2. a part of the GUI with the standard ability to allow users to build, install, and edit overlays that look like the Lemur. That way developers can just offer plug-ins to make pre-existing apps multi-touch capable. Users can develop and trade their own multi-touch configurations like they do with midi controllers.

    I'm amazed at how the majority iphone/ipad/android apps are not really innovative uses of multi-touch, but just a rehash or subpar version of standard applications…"but you can touch it." Apparently folks don't mind re-buying software if looks kinda new. I'll give Apple credit, they know how to make products idiot-proof to consume and use.

    Microsoft just needs to bridge the gap between the mouse and the multi-touch or they will continue to lose $$$ in the mobile market.

  • I think it's simpler than that – in the case of both Android and Windows 7 (and Linux, btw), the developer tools are available for people who know how to use them. Everything you're describing is possible now, today. What's missing is, unfortunately, harder – you need high-quality digitizers or the game is off.

  • It's funny because i was just researching this subject the last couple of days. I came accross Semsomusic Usine, that has a nice interface for creating multitouch panels and it also seems to have a nice audio programming interface too. I am curious to see how this emulator plays out. I would definitely test it as i have two touch screen computers right now.

    The one thing the lemur still has going for it is that it is scriptable and has physics on the controls. I am actually going to start work on some Android based OSC apps in preparation for tablet sized devices.


  • Micahel, with Emulator no need 2 screens or 2 separated hardware devices.
    Just one single screen, on that single screen you have access to multitouch contoller widgets, and at same time acces to the more important parts of sofwtare to be controlled.
    Like in the pictures on this post, you can see the deck A and Deck B display of tracktor with full access to that, and you have acces to playlist and explorer panel of traktor.

    In few days i put more info and probably a video before launch the first version.

    Best regards.

  • 23fx23

    @ michael

    check out usine free, you will be blasted
    by the endless possibilities. It's actually the best multitouch modular app with a price/power ratio beyong imagination. It's simple, Anything you want you can, and it supports powerful scripting and osc as well.
    here is an ableton Osc controller im working on, wich is 80 percent scripting. im awaiting 3m multitouch for better vid. Patch free running on usine free.

  • 23fx23

    @ pablo
    nice work man, how do ya access the wavforms datas?
    is it some osc/midi/other arrays transmit or you load the same files internally? that really seems totally integrateded must be a huge work!

  • That is the best of Emulator, the integration : )

  • Charles-V

    This software make my dreams come true!!
    Really awesome integration with Traktor.
    I have on plans buy HP TM2 tablet soon.
    No video available?

  • @pablo I am really interested in trying out emulator. It looks interesting.

    I tried your patch. It's actually what got me interested in Usine. I tried Usine free, but it doesn't really let me develop anything. Or at least not subpatches… I contacted Sensomusic to see if i can get a copy. We will see it looks interesting.

    Hmmm idea for new article, multitouch interface. Oh wait, Peter already covered that. ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Looks like multitouch (as in 10-ish fingers maybe) without a screen could be on the menu today.

  • i am not against mac or am i a fan of windows
    both are just the engines most of my music software runs on ….

    soon it won't matter at all, you will be able to convert your mac or pc or linux box to multitouch for cheap.

    after all it is about the music right ๐Ÿ™‚ !!

    Albatron EM215 is coming out this year it is a optical tracker overlay for your monitor

    ————– google ———
    Albatron Makes Any LCD A Multi-Touch Panel With EM215

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  • 23fx23

    what bother me the most in all that new slates fashion is that they all come up with various exotic os and low cpus, but absolutely none can pick some video INPUT, and Output the multitouch datas.

    that would make true crossplatform monitor linked to ie horse power computer.

    I soo wish ipad or other to focus on inputs, either wired or wifi HDMI….

  • 23fx23

    @ michael
    ah ok cool, i would be very pleased to have some reviews/ bugz report if find some, is it working ok for you? have ya the Vu meter version? ST8 will maybe enhance LiveOSC code if
    he got time he told me. and im preparing V2 with total preload.

    having acces of subpatches mean quasi total acces of usine… for some 120E is expensive but imo UsinePro worth 5x that price relating the endless possibilities, really, im saying that from being a 2 years user, i got absolutely no funds from sensomusic. I think
    Pablo and other usiners can confirm.

    now i don't wanna hijack the thread, and it's true having an out of the box totally integrated to the soft solution like pablo will offer is the best to go for most people that don't care modular or don't wanna bother patching/scripting, just run and go…
    and enjoy,

    looking toward that little bomb in Djing…

  • Pablo Martin

    Mudo i think i can port my aplication to leopard, anyway no multitouch screen avilable for OSX, but can be in the near future.

  • Mudo

    I know but I hope! I doesn't want an Ipad but I doesn't want a win7 neither…

    Leopard touch will be insane.

  • Mudo

    This one is win/mac.

  • Pablo Martin

    win mac, but no MULTITOUCH mnudo.
    No exist eny portable multitocuh screen for MAC, sorry…..

    Want multitouch and no want ipad, buy HP TM2 tablet starting form $849.99 with 3gb ram
    Ultra low voltage dual core 1.3ghz (this is more faster of core 2 duo 1.83ghz)
    320gb HP AT 7200 RPM

    And in few days HP launch new model with super powerfull i5 cpu !

  • Pablo Martin

    I stop use mac a little ore after one year ago.
    Win 7 is stable and powerfull OS.
    The best in the history of MS.

    AN dplease i no want start pc VS MAC battle. i just coment what are your choices if wnat portable multitouch and no wnat ipad.


  • Pablo Martin

    Sorry for wrong typo….is very clear, i need sleep!
    Im working on emulator all this long night!
    bye bye

  • holotropik

    Stuff like this would make me switch back to Windoze ๐Ÿ™‚

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