|Note: touchscreen support is available for Windows only|
MultitrackStudio features a touchscreen mode which makes the program easy to use with tablets, convertible notebooks and touchscreen monitors. You can interact with the knobs you see on the screen directly without having to find your mouse and move it to the right location first.
MultitrackStudio on 10 inch Windows 8 tablet with Ultra Dark theme
Quickstart: 3 tips
1: Switch to touchscreen mode
MultitrackStudio will propose touchscreen mode if a touchscreen is detected. If it doesn't you can go to the Studio menu's Preferences window and select Touchscreen in the Input Device box. A 'Test Touchscreen...' button appears which lets you do a quick test. MultitrackStudio learns from this test whether it can distinguish between mouse movements and touch movements. Using the mouse in touchscreen mode will be a bit awkward if it can't, because mouse movements will be treated as touch.
Input Device selector
In touchscreen mode some controls are bigger to make them easier to use. The transport buttons are an example of this. Controls that don't get bigger still respond to a larger area to make them easier to use with touch.
2: Check Windows DPI settingTouch screens are hard to use if controls are too small. Traditionally Windows runs at 96 DPI (DPI = dots per inch). Modern notebook screens can have 150 DPI or more, which makes everything significantly smaller unless you adjust the Windows DPI value accordingly. A MultitrackStudio track measures 9.5 mm in height if the Windows DPI value matches the screen's. It is highly recommended to make sure tracks aren't any smaller than this. You can increase the DPI value even more if you still can't use the touchscreen comfortably. If you'd rather not change the Windows DPI setting you can go to the Studio menu's Preferences window and use the Size setting to scale MultitrackStudio independently from the Windows DPI setting.
3: Use full screen modeIt's highly recommended to use full screen mode. The knobs at the top and the bottom bar are much easier to operate this way, and you avoid the risk of touching the 'X' button or Windows task bar inadvertently. There's a button in the bottom-right corner of the main window to enter/leave full screen mode.
In depth: using user interface elements with touchSome things work a bit different with touch compared to using a mouse:
- Put a finger on the fader and move it horizontally. The fader thumb doesn't move as fast as your finger does, so you can control it accurately.
- Tapping the left half moves it down one step, tapping the right half moves it up one step.
- Put a finger on the knob and either move it horizontally or make a rotating movement below the knob.
- Tapping the left half moves it down one step, tapping the right half moves it up one step.
Buttons/boxes with right arrows (like the Input button)
Input button about
to show dropdown menu
- Put a finger on the button/box itself and move it horizontally. After moving about half a centimeter a white area becomes visible, representing the menu which will appear when you take your finger off the screen.
- Put a finger on the button and move it approx. 2 centimeters up or down to increase/decrease the value. If you keep the finger on the screen the button will continue to increase/decrease automatically.
Touch keyboard for position
- An onscreen keyboard appears if you tap a text box. Use the keyboard's Enter key to accept the new value, or close the keyboard to cancel.
Tapping a slot
- The whole slot area can be touched, ie. the little display also works, not just the button.
- Press-and-hold can be used to pop up the effect/instrument selector of a non-empty slot (keep the finger down for about a second).
- To move a slot it should be moved horizontally at first, even if you want to move it vertically.
Tapping a marker
- Even though the markers appear at the bottom you can (and should) touch them as if they span the full height.
- The Transport Options menu can be used to add markers. You can use it to delete markers as well (tap the marker before opening the menu).
- You can pull down a marker to pop up a menu with rename options, among others (see the "Buttons/boxes with right arrows" paragraph above).
- It's not possible to change the transport position while recording, in order to avoid doing that accidentally.
Rewind / to last start position
- You can move your finger horizontally over the transport position indicator. Moving to the left rewinds fully, moving to the right once takes you back to where the transport last started.
Scrolling a list
Lists with a vertical scrollbar
- Put a finger on the contents and move it up or down, no need to use the scrollbar.
Text box: scrolling and selecting
Text in Comments window and Chords/Lyrics editors.
- An onscreen touch keyboard appears if you tap the text box.
- If there's a vertical scrollbar you can put a finger on the text itself and move it up or down, there's no need to use the scrollbar.
- Text can be selected by moving your finger horizontally. Once it's clear you're selecting rather than scrolling you can move vertically as well.
- With a multi-touch screen you can use two-finger zoom in/out gestures to make the text larger/smaller.
Move right before moving
vertically to drag section
Moving mixer sections
- To move a single section, put a finger on a tracks' file name box (or the corresponding area on an Effect Return etc.) and move it a couple of centimeters horizontally before moving vertically. Moving up or down immediately will scroll all mixer sections.
A track's file history
Track file history
- A message box pops up on tapping a file, and you can choose whether you want to open it in the current track or in a new one.
- There's a 'pan mode' to scroll editors horizontally and/or vertically (if applicable). An editor is in pan mode if all mode buttons (in the bottom left corner) are off. Editors which normally don't have any mode buttons, like audio track editors, have a single mode button in touchscreen mode.
- If an editor is not in pan mode you can scroll horizontally using the main window's bottom bar. With a multitouch screen you can zoom horizontally as well. Editors which can scroll vertically can be scrolled using the left hand part (the vertical piano in the pianoroll, the drum instrument names in the drum editor etc.).
- In 'select part' mode you can swipe down over the start or end of the selected part. The editor will zoom in until you release your finger again. You can use this feature to accurately set start/end points without having to actually zoom in and out again.
- With a multi-touch screen the pianoroll, score and audio editors can be zoomed vertically using two fingers on the left-hand part. Zooming vertically on the editor itself works with Windows 8 and newer only.
- A copy of part of the editor appears above the editor while selecting or adding notes so you can see the part covered by your finger.
- There's a semi-transparent "touchthumb" on the editor itself which can be used to move the needle. The time line bar above the editor can't be used with touch. Doubletapping the touchthumb starts the transport, tap-and-drag starts cycling.
- Add modes (MIDI editors, automation editors etc.) switch back to select mode after adding a note/dot, so you must press it again in order to add another note/dot. This helps avoiding adding notes/dots inadvertently. You can change this behavior using "Sticky add/draw modes (touch)" button in the Preferences window.
- You can switch modes by swiping horizontally on the area on the left (above the mode buttons). You could use the left hand thumb for this if you're using a tablet. Pressing the mode buttons also works of course.
- The SEL ALL button is replaced with a SEL button which pops up a menu with various options to select a part, play it cycling or stretch it.
- Tip: tilting a finger to move a small distance may be more accurate than moving the whole finger.
See "Editors". Moving/resizing notes works a little different:
Pianoroll showing resize grip
on selected note and
- A selected note has a grip on the right-hand side. Here you can move the right-hand side of the note. If the note is long enough there's a grip on the left-hand side as well.
- A note which isn't selected can only be moved, its duration cannot be changed.
- Hence a very short note which is selected can only be resized, not moved. Unselect the note first if you want to move it.
- If the main window shows a vertical scrollbar you can put a finger anywhere on any mixer section and move it vertically to move all mixer sections.
- Tap outside of the menu to close it.
Touch hardware and Windows versions
A tablet or a convertible notebook (which lets you flip the lid, so the screen is outside when the lid is closed) would be a nice computer to use. Another interesting option would be a touchscreen mounted on a stand, connected to your computer. It's best to have the screen sloped towards you.
The best touch experience is provided by Windows 8 or newer, combined with a multi-touch screen. Multi-touch means you can use multiple fingers simultaneously. The onscreen MIDI keyboard benefits from this, and it allows for two-finger zooming.
MultitrackStudio can be used with single-touch touchscreens or older Windows versions. Note that older monitors based on resistive technology require a significant amount of pressure applied by your finger. Such a monitor is not recommended beause it makes it very hard to drag you finger over the screen, so controlling faders, knobs and editors etc. is very difficult.
Features not available in touchscreen modeSome features are not available in touchscreen mode. Most notably:
- Labels aren't available.
- Collapsing mixer sections isn't possible. The buttons would get in the way and the collapsed sections would be too small.
- The editor's warp feature currently can't be used with touch.