Tablet app's main screen - the DAW controller
The tablet view combines and replaces the phone app's channel strip, mixer and transport views. It pretty closely emulates the original hardware controllers. Other than the phone layout it contains very little adaption to specific DAWs. Basically only the button titles will change when you change the sequencer in the app's setup - an analogy to placing a DAW specific lexan overlay onto a hardware controller (one exception being Pro Tools, see below).
As you will find all buttons on the app that are also found on the original MCU hardware, operation is basically identical with that of a hardware controller. Please refer to the control surface chapters in your DAW's manual to learn about the separate buttons' functionality. When the manual talks about pressing a v-pot you get the same functionality in TouchDAW by double-clicking an encoder.
Some GUI elements with additional functionality are pointed out below. There are a number of ways for navigating the accessible block of eight channels:
Horizontal swipes on the timecode display let you control the refresh rate of the shown timecode (Not available in Pro Tools / HUI mode). Modern tablets will have no problem showing timecode at the full original rate, but slower devices may struggle. As full rate is probably not really needed anyway, you can free some resources here.
- the page and bank buttons in the control section (as found on a hardware controller)
- duplications of those below the fader block (may not be available depending on screen size)
- swipe gestures on the fader block when touched outside of a fader's knob area.
Faders must be set to not allow value jumps for this (default).
- swipe gestures on the parameter display
- the volume rocker (distinguishes between short and long clicks for page or bank change if hardware supports it)
The two untitled buttons with the alt and shift icons do not perform any MCU actions, but are internal modifiers.
The alt button switches all encoders to v-select mode (alternatively encoders can be double-clicked at any time for the "press v-pot" functionality). If the touch interaction mode for encoders is set to "Toggleable" in the app settings (DAW Controller / Encoders) then touching the alt button again both unsets the v-selection mode and toggles interaction between circular and linear (up-down, left-right).
The Shift button switches the mixer part into MIDI mode.
There is a number of functions in some DAW's MCU implementation that require holding down a button while pressing some other, turn the jog wheel or whatever. This is not really comfortable to do on a touchscreen and simply impossible to do on a resistive screen. TouchDAW tries to address this with buttons that can be locked in pressed state. A button that is lockable shows a little square in the upper left corner and a double-click same as a click / swipe out combination will lock it in pressed state. Once locked the next touch event on the button unlocks it and only then it can again be used as normal. Lockable buttons will execute single clicks with a little delay and you should be aware that they can cause confusion when one forgets to "unpress" them.
As of version 1.6 all buttons in the master section can have their titles, grouping and lockability customized by editing an xml profile. You will find an additional entry titled "Edit selected" in the "Sequencer" menu on the DAW controller setup page. This will bring up the same text editor you might already know from MIDI mode and let you attach your own titles to buttons or change the color coded grouping. All changes only affect the UI, you can not change anything about the MIDI functionality here. The app will remain to be a simple MCU emulation and follow the predefined protocol.
Additionally the editor will let you add your own 'custom DAW profiles' by saving the edited file with a unique name. Again, this will not change anything about the inner workings of the app or the way it interacts with the controlled software. The DAW you create a profile for will still need to support Mackie controllers. How exactly it makes use of such a controller remains to be defined by the DAW's Mackie control implementation and is not changable here.
Custom profiles will always run in MCU mode. It is currently not possible to create alternatively labeled HUI controllers.
Overview of button IDs
|1||10||11|| || ||22||23
| ||16||17|| || ||28||29
Those will appear in the xml as shown below. The included 'MyCustomDAW' profile dummy is commented and contains further explanations. It may serve as a template for your own profiles.
When emulating a HUI controller (or rather a MCU unit in HUI mode) there are a lot more functions than the app has buttons for. In Pro Tools mode you will therefore occassionally see the "arm" and "edit" buttons on mixer channels change color and title to provide the extra functionality. This includes setting automation modes, accessing locators and editing plugins.
Please make sure to not only read the "Mackie Control for Pro Tools" guide, but also the HUI part in Pro Tools' general "Midi Control Surfaces" guide. Some of the information given in the former document only makes sense with knowledge on how things work on the original HUI.
When switched to MIDI mode the mixer part of the screen sends freely configureable MIDI to the app's second MIDI port and also reads MIDI input from that connection to reflect external control changes. MIDI mappings are not limited to eight channels. If there are more channels defined then things are stepable using the same methods described above for DAW control mode.
The control<>MIDI mapping is defined in an xml file located on the device's SD-card. There can be any number of mapping files put to the SD-card, the one to be used is selectable in the setup under MIDI Utilities / XML Mapping.
For further details please refer to the separate instructions on editing MIDI assignments
MIDI mode is time limited in the free version.
MIDI Machine Control:
When enabled in the setup jogwheel, transport and the buttons marked in the following screenshot will send MIDI machine control to the secondary output either in parallel with the DAW controller or only when the shift modifier is set:
Alternative layouts in portrait mode
Version 1.53 adds two alternative views for all tablets in portrait mode. You select which one to show at Setup / Global / Layout.
The first variant includes an extra channel strip with a very long throw fader and is available in two forms with that fader on either side. The channelstrip will follow track selection (if the DAW sends selection feedback, Tracktion users may have a problem here), but can be locked to the currently selected channel by touching the channel number on top of the fader.
Touch and hold the channel number display for at least a second to lock to the DAW's master fader (Given the DAW has a master fader. This is not available with Pro Tools). The lock state will be displayed with square brackets as shown on the left. To unlock touch the textfield again.
The second variant is a "mixer only" view, equally with longer throw faders than the default view. It is primarily meant to act as an extender. All the buttons are hidden, but the view has a little sidebar that will show when you wipe into the screen from the right or left.
As off TouchDAW 1.7.0 the complete DAW controller's master section with extra large transport controls is available as a third alternative.