humatic - htools - TouchDAW


This is a simple one or two octave MIDI keyboard that can be shifted through the entire MIDI note range (or C0 to C4 in the free version). It is capeable of 10 finger multitouch operation, but your mileage will vary a lot with older Android versions and / or cheaper devices).

The way the keyboard generates velocity and aftertouch can be set in the preferences.
On top of the keyboard you will find an octave selector that can be used to freely shift the keyboard around. Touching it outside of the current key range window makes the keyboard jump to octave boundaries.

At the top of the screen there are standard masterkeyboard pitch and modulation controllers plus two assignable controllers that can be set to any CC number of your choice. To do so touch the name of the currently assigned controller and select what you want to use from the upcoming dialog.

A number of additional options are available via the "More.." entry in the conext menu":

Program / Bank Changes

In this mode the keyboard's first visible octave will change to provide numeric input as shown on the left, while the highest note (+ eventually the second octave) will continue to send regular notes. To enter a desired bank or program number use the lower 10 keys (labelled 0 - 9). To send that number touch either the key showing "Bank" (for bank selections) or "Prg" (for program changes). Touching "+" and "-" on those enter keys increments or decrements the current value and sends it out immediately, providing an easy way to step through settings.
Note that MIDI allows for a maximum of 128 values (0-127). If a numeric entry would result in a number larger than 127 the first digit will be set to zero.
To exit program change mode touch the context menu button again.

Key Scale

Disables all keys that are not part of the selected scale at the selected base note. To revert to normal either select the chromatic scale or use the dialog's "Clear" button. Additional scales can be xml-defined. See default.xml for examples.


Version 1.7 adds a poor man's implementation of the "Polyphonic Multidimensional Expression" specification made popular by the relatively new breed of 'continous' or 'expressive' controller hardware (like the Haaken Continuum, Roli's Seaboard devices or the Linnstrument).
This is enabled by setting the keyboard's MIDI channel in the app's preferences to "Note Per Channel (MPE)". Every note will then be assigned a unique MIDI channel and can be individually modulated by finger movements in the X (pitch), Y (usually brightness) and eventually Z (aftertouch) directions. TouchDAW will default to a +-24 semitone pitch range, but can be reconfigured with RPN messages as per the specs.
The Y axis is linked to the keyboard screen's third MIDI controller which is user setable (defaults to CC 74 - Sound Brightness). If the touchscreen does provide some sort of usable information on touch pressure and size then MIDI Aftertouch will be generated from it. At the time of implementation in late 2016 there was practically no Android device with serious touch pressure support, on the
market, though.
Overall the MPE mode will definetly not replace the real things, but it can be quite expressive when paired with a capeable synthesizer nevertheless. Some DAWs - namely Cubase, Bitwig and Logic - have also steadily added nice support for the concept in their MIDI editors.

Wheels of Steel Pixels

A rather common usecase through the years has been adding pitch and modulation wheels to hardware keyboards that don't have any. As of version 1.8 the size ratio between keyboard and controller parts can be changed on phones in portrait mode to provide some reasonably sized wheels.

Touch the two little arrows in the center and pull up and down to adjust things to your needs. Neither part will disappear completely and everything remains to be fully functional at every possible size. The chosen ratio will be recalled on future launches.

Finally the keyboard brings a simple floating transport control as shown on the left, that is accessible via the extras icon in the top right corner (payed version only). Using this you can reposition the sequencer as well as start recording and playback.

This screen
  • always sends to the app's second MIDI connection (except from the floating controls)
  • does not read MIDI input except for MPE configuration

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