So, multitouch is finally maturing as a controller. Way back, in 2009 I wrote an article about it (which sadly enough is mentioned as a source on Wikipedia’s main multitouch page, showing the lack of interest for the subject so far, since I am far from an expert in this field to say the least!). Windows never really pushed any touch stuff like they innitially proposed with WIN7, and seem to claim this will all change in WIN8. It became deadly silent as only a handful of multitouch products came to the consumer market running on WIN7.

Rebirth on Ipad - Have fun tweaking those knobs...

Apple however came with a product nobody asked for, and now, low and behold, everyone is getting used to touch. Oh well, as long as we get there eventually!  We as musicians mostly stand idle by the sideline untill consumer products are affordable and developers start to adapt to new UI’s and workflow.

The I-pad is fun, slick and already great apps have been made for music making. It is however still by far more interesting to work with all the things available to you on your desktop PC or Mac. With OSC you can use the i-pad to control your PC/Mac. Or simply buy a WIN7 enabled MT screen. This is often times a little bit more expensive (for capacative screens) than an I-pad, but most are also 20inch and up)

Stop with the knobs already!

It’s hard to imagine kids working with knobs on a 2d surface for a long time to come. And I think that this is one of the keys(no pun intended) to a new way of working with pitch, expression and timbre.

The importance of development of new instruments is very important for innovation in music. New UI’s can spark new creative waves within a musicians mind, but on a macro level; in a community. That community being globalizing for the past decade, we are in a for a ride!

The Haken Continuum is one example of “new” ways of controlling sounds. It uses midi to send pitch + vibrato information over the X and Y axis respectably. Or any other set up your midi mapping allows.

Rather than building upon physical acoustic instruments, we can now use a 2d surface as an instrument. Besides the Haken, we can go much further! And it seems things are just getting started.


Stumbling upon a Ableton template for touch screen, I also found this other video by the Dev (see below). The earlier mentioned Continuum instrument has been recreated on the Ivy platofrm. this open source project allows users to create touch programs fast and easy. The good thing is, there is a free project available of the Continuum right here.


Kivy is 100% free to use, under LGPL 3 licence. The toolkit is professionnally developed, backed and used. You can use it in a product and sell your product. The framework is stable and has a documented API, plus a programming guide to help for in the first step.

Kivy is running on Linux, Windows, MacOSX, Android and IOS. You can run the same code on all supported platforms. It can use natively most inputs protocols and devices like WM_Touch, WM_Pen, Mac OS X Trackpad and Magic Mouse, Mtdev, Linux Kernel HID, TUIO. A multi-touch mouse simulator is included.

Together with Usine, this seems to be a great addition to the fast growing amount of projects utilizing touch. More more and more standards are becoming adapted, developers opening up their software via API’s . The best thing is, we can now start to imagine and MAKE of our own Continuums!