raino wrote:@Patanjali, thanks for the details. Since my OP I loaded Cubase on a friend's touch system to give it a try. I found it somewhat frustrating trying to use the mixer since about a third of the time when I tried to grab a fader I ended up getting the popup menu that you'd get if you right-clicked on the fader. Also multi-touch would be useful for mixing.
As I have stated in many touch-related threads here, I would like to see a simple configuration arrangement where:
a) You layout any window with any selection of touch-friendly or mouse-dense functional block as you like, including any of the utility window sections like scrub or even plugin UIs, saving each layout under its own name, and
b) You can have as many such windows as you like, saving each arrangement of the windows under their own name.
This would allow a simple two-level configuration regime (unlike the current confusion), where each user could bias their layouts and interaction modes to their own liking. Simplicity and flexibility in one swoop. Would require a re-write of the whole UI I would think, but be much more maintainable compared to the high levels of program interaction going on now.
I also think this UI scheme would simplify the architecture of the UI in relation to the back-end audio engines doing the actual work.
Thank you for the opportunity to plug my idea, again
raino wrote:Do you use/recommend Cubase iC Pro for mixing?
I'm only considering iC Pro for the studio, and even then at least two of them.
I was using the third touchscreen with a mixwindow with the Control section and several groups as cue mixer. The normal cue sends with their small horizontal on individual channels made it difficult to use them easily in the studio. It allowed me to control the session wholely from the studio.
However, iC Pro has several screens, but the two of interest to me (at this stage) are:
a) Transport controls with the current time position
. Also has the folders shown (just as their colour and according to their contents activity), so judicious use of them will enable you to see where in the piece you are.
The nuisance about Cubase's lack of touch is that while the new mixwindows integrate several functions that the old 'mixer emulation' layout did not, the controls on them are still designed for mixing room use rather than studio use, where one is not necessarily sitting in an optimal relationship to the screen, nor will one necessarily want to be wearing one's reading glasses, so they are fiddly to use.
I used Windows' Magnifier to blow up the time and location controls to touch-friendly sizes, but it was a fragile arrangement because Magnifier is still tied to the mouse cursor, meaning that I had to be very careful that I did not lose focus on the mixwindow, otherwise I would have to go out to the control room desk to move the mouse back to the right position. This is why I had to have another monitor (actually a TV) mirroring the studio screen.
With iC, while on the Note, the transport and time position are larger, I can mirror that to a larger screen so I can clearly see the time. A tablet would alleviate that, but they are also harder to position optimally. I am also wary of having large acoustically-reflective surfaces nearby.
b) Cue mix
. This is the real gamer-changer for studio use, as it presents all the channel cue sends as per a 'normal' mixer, with vertical faders, so you can easily see the relative levels, and adjust them easily with the fingers.
You can select which channels are included in the mix, though the non-selected ones are still displayed, so if one has lots of channels, you will have to horizontally scroll through them. I haven't experimented with whether folder closure has any effect on visibility.
You can have up to four cue mixes, with each being able to be displayed on a separate device. This was the missing piece of the Cubase studio puzzle. You can use cheap Android WiFi tablets to give everyone their own cue mix device, which if you have ever tried pricing dedicated ones, they are NOT cheap. Plus you can play games on them during breaks!
For the non-cue view, you can select which channel types are displayed, so enabling multiple device use for a mixer. I don't think that selection of channels ranges within a type is possible, which is one area for which the current Remote Control, using blocks of hardware channel strips, was designed.
Overall, iC Pro sidelines the whole tedious and limited Remote Control Device configuration rigmarole, though there is a whole button configuration section that one could use to satify those urges.Downside to dedicated touch devices
The downside to using multiple devices, especially tablets, for touch control, is that unless the computer is devoted solely to Cubase, everything else cannot benefit from touch, but still occupies the desk space. A touchscreen allows ALL programs to be used to touch, though they may not particularly cater for touch. As far as I know, iC Pro will not help with any plugins nor ancillary windows/dialogs.
My rig is a dual Win 8.1 boot with the second used for the DAW. The other is what I use for everything else. For that use, if I am not doing a lot of screen-intensive stuff, I will turn off the two 30"s and use just the two touchscreens in a more upright position.
As it is, the Notes can be used anywhere without taking up significant space. Mine sits on my desk in its wireless charger anyway.However, just to qualify all this, we have not used the iC Pros 'in battle' (for actual recording) yet, but usability testing with Cubase has already displayed ergonomic advantages enough to pull the two displays.
As for general mixing use, I never 'grew up' with hardware mixers, and have never mixed in real time, except for the occasional live gig where did the mixing, so I may not really be the best to comment on whether iC Pro is good enough to replace hardware mixing desks for those accustomed to them.
raino wrote:I'm at the point on configuring a DAW where if I add a touchscreen I'd need a better graphics card which pushes me to a larger motherboard (because of slots), etc. So adding touch significantly increases the cost of the DAW. I'm wondering if that money might be better spent buying a nice tablet and using iC Pro. Plus the tablet would have other uses and is portable which a third monitor wouldn't be.
Touch, of itself, does not add to graphics requirements, unless you are adding extra screens. With graphics cards, extra screens means extra pixels, means extra processing, means extra power and system overhead.
I bought two quad mDP ATI2460s, which are video wall type cards. DAWs don't need much in the way of video processing power, as most pixels are not changing much anyway. While AMD advertised two cards should be able to be used together, I found I just got too many 'display stopped and recovered' messages, so went to three old Palit GeForce 9400 cards, each providing two outputs.
With use of iC Pro, I have dispensed with the need for two outputs, so I have gone to a single ATI2460. However, these cards have a dual GPU/whatever arrangement on them, so instead of putting the two 30"s at 2560x1600 on the last two or first two outputs, I put them on the even outputs, so they weren't using the same processor, and thus evening out the power usage. Certainly, the less video cards you use, the less system resources are used and the less problems seem to occur for DAW use.