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.