humatic - htools - TouchDAW

  1. Basic concepts
  2. Getting connected
  3. TouchDAW screens
  4. TouchDAW thru
  5. FAQ / Troubleshooting

TouchDAW thru is now replaced by the mnet driver and will no longer be updated and supported. Until we have a Linux version of the driver the download will remain to be available and it should continue to work as it used to do for the time being.

TouchDAW thru concepts

TouchDAW thru is a simple MIDI through routing application that will relay TouchDAW's MIDI data - reveived via RTP, multicast or Bluetooth - to native MIDI ports. It is in first hand a means to overcome eventual trouble with native MIDI drivers - which should be preferred if possible - allthough it might be both easier to use and offer more flexibility in the end.

TouchDAW thru is a java program, so java needs to be installed on the computer you want to run it on. (You may think this sucks, but please bear with us. In the moment this is the only economically manageable way to make things work across platforms and we do not want to enforce any OS preferences on you here).
(Security recommendation: After installation disable the java plugin in your browser)

TouchDAW thru supports both RTP and multicast MIDI with its own implementation - you do not need to install the native drivers to use it.

Besides routing functionality, the program provides the computer side implementation of TouchDAW's Bluetooth MIDI support, enables use of TouchDAW and hardware control surfaces in parallel and contains a full 8 channel MCU display to help overcome the display space limitations that TouchDAW faces on mobiles. The latter can be used both in parallel with native drivers as well as with the program actually making the connection between DAW and phone.


The program's operation principle is simple: You will let the DAW send MIDI to TouchDAW thru via Loopback MIDI drivers - IAC Bus on OS X, LoopBee30 (recommended, but turn off feedback detection!), LoopMIDI, MIDIYoke (32bit) or whatever you prefer on Windows - or even cross-wired hardware interfaces (sounds and looks stupid, but actually makes for rocksolid connections as commercial interfaces' drivers often proove to be more stable than most virtual MIDI cables). TouchDAW thru then sends the data to TouchDAW on the Android device over WIFI and the whole thing goes in the reverse direction alike. This is organized in input / output pairs, where the upper ("From network") row will contain only network MIDI ports in its input dropdown and only native hard- or software MIDI ports in its output dropdown. The lower ("To network") row has those reversed (native ports as inputs, network ports as outputs).

Routing pairs can be created and deleted via the + / - buttons in the upper toolbar. To set up communication for both the DAW controller and the MIDI tools in TouchDAW you will need two routing pairs and the second one will only use the "From network" row.

The image on the left shows a typical setup using RTP, the screenshot at the top of the page shows a functionally identical one using multicast.

RTP channels from active TouchDAW instances will be automatically added to the dropdowns when discovered via DNS (may take a short moment). Multicast channels are preconfigured to match the settings in TouchDAW. There is no need to edit settings.

TouchDAW thru will initialize connection processes for techniques that use them (RTP and Bluetooth) when opening ports - on startup as well as when you change a network port. TouchDAW on the Android device should therefore be up and running at that point. However, when the phone or TouchDAW shuts down, goes out of network reach or whatever during operation, you can initialize a reconnection using a right-click context menu on the network icon on the left hand side of the input dropdown.

The active configuration is stored internally and will be recalled when the program starts.

MIDI over Bluetooth

TouchDAW thru is required if you want to use TouchDAW via Bluetooth - there do not seem to be any native Bluetooth MIDI drivers around, left alone any kind of standard defined. How to use it for that purpose is described on the Network MIDI setup page.

Controller merging

A nice feature of most DAW's Mackie control implementation is that the mixer is spread across multiple control surfaces when more than one is connected. If you happen to use both TouchDAW and a hardware control surface you will probably rather want them to work in parallel though and be able to access a channel in the DAW from both controllers. While workarounds like using one of the two controllers in HUI and one in MCU mode do work with some DAWs, they are likely to limit one device's functionality at some point. This is where another new feature in TouchDAW thru 1.2 comes into play: The program now supports controller merging to enable use of both a hardware control surface and TouchDAW on the same MIDI connection and have them both control the same block of eight channels. Here is an illustration showing the principle and the setup:

To add or remove a merged controller right-click the network or bluetooth icon on the left hand side of the "From network" row.

MCU Display

This emulates the 2*56 digit display on common hardware control surfaces and will show track and parameter names as well as changing values for all currently accessible 8 channels. TouchDAW itself can not display all of that information due to space limitations and it will also not always be able to pick the relevant information from the stream of data that the DAW sends (both because of implementation incompleteness in TouchDAW as well as enigmatic behavior of some DAWs in that matter, that clearly are not made for somebody trying to fish separate values on specific actions out of the stream).
Having all that info in sight can help a lot when navigating through a mix though, so we decided to offer this as an add-on to the app. The window can be placed whereever you like it best (though it currently only offers horizontal orientation) and will optionally remain on top of all other windows.

The display can be attached to any of the routing channels in TouchDAW thru using the pop-up menu that appears when you click the "@" icon in the toolbar. When using TouchDAW thru for making the DAW to Android connection you will want to connect it to "Out 1", that is: the output stream from the DAW.

The display can however also be used when native MIDI drivers are used for the MIDI connection between sequencer and phone. In that case you would only need one routing pair and basically only need to open one input in that to attach the display to. This input can both be a network input - TouchDAW thru for example creates an RTP session for itself that can be connected to native RTP drivers - or a native hardware or ethernet input. The picture below for instance shows TouchDAW thru receiving MIDI data from Cubase Windows through ipMIDI. TouchDAW and Cubase are in this case communicating directly via multicast and not through the routing app, so the display just hooks into the same multicast group. This requires ipMIDI to be set to allow loopback operation, but could equally be done with the MCU display running on another computer. If you play around with this a bit you will probably find a way that suits your needs best, things should be reasonably flexible.

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