humatic - htools - TouchDAW

Connecting via Bluetooth

This mode is technically obsolete and is hidden by default in TouchDAW 1.6 and larger. If you still want to use it, go to Setup / MIDI Ports / Options, touch the 'Optional Transports' menu and check the box behind 'Bluetooth'

Note: This refers to a proprietary protocol running over standard Bluetooth. It is not "4.0", "smart" or "low energy" and is not compatible with the Bluetooth MIDI in iOS 8 / OS X Yosemite.
Mac users: Please also note that Apple managed to break this functionality with every release of OS X since 10.7. I can not recommend to make use of this with a Mac, it is very likely not going to work.

Prepare the Android device
  1. Make sure that Bluetooth is enabled on the device and pair it with the computer you wish to talk to (how to do this is not covered here, please consult your OS's Bluetooth documentation)
  2. Once paired, select Bluetooth for transport in TouchDAW: Click the "MIDI connection" entries in the DAW controller and / or MIDI utilities setup pages and follow the dialogs. After changing connectivity TouchDAW will prompt you for permission to make the device discoverable which is required for other machines to find the services on offer. Bluetooth devices are made discoverable for a couple of minutes only, TouchDAW will add an additional menu entry on the first setup page as a shortcut to make the device discoverable after MIDI connections have been changed.

Discover and connect
  1. In case you have not done so yet, download and install mnet.
  2. With TouchDAW up and running on active Bluetooth channels let mnet / MIDIHub do a Bluetooth scan so it can pick up the phone's MIDI services. To do so click the Bluetooth icon in the upper toolbar.

    Scanning only needs to be done once per device and may take a short while.

    When finished the program will tell you if and eventually how many Bluetooth MIDI services it found. For those found additional entries will be added to the networked devices list on the left hand side. Typically these will be named "Name of the phone" BT MIDI 1 & 2.

  3. Once you see the new channel(s) drag a patchline to the MIDI port that you want to receive their MIDI data on.

  4. Long as the channels remain patched you do not need to repeat any of this. mnet will try to reconnect them when the driver is launched and will keep trying should the device not be present. Only when you unpatch a channel it will be removed the next time the driver shuts down. In that case you would need to rescan if you want to again use a Bluetooth connection.

Notes, known issues, OS X limitations:

Bluetooth is weird and has traditionally been buggy on Android. Unfortunately peeking into Bluetooth radio traffic requires highly specialized and very expensive hardware that an app like TouchDAW does not remotely pay for. If things do not work, devices are not found or won't connect, try restarting everything, eventually re-pair the device and the computer etc. Once it works this usually works reliably, but it may decide to stop doing so every once in a while.

There are some more potential issues: Bluetooth in theory supports ranges up to 100m, which in practice never holds true. The further away from a receiver you are, the more likely it becomes that you will see temporary lagging, increased jitter and even dropouts in the communication.
Bandwidth is an issue as well: Mackie control produces a constant high rate rush of data that may exceed the available bandwidth. In the end Bluetooth may simply not be the right technology for the use-case here.

On some Android devices Bluetooth and WIFI radios interfere badly. This is not limited to low end phones! Bluetooth performance may improve significantly when you turn off WIFI.

Finally there are issues on the world's most advanced operating system: OS X only supports a single RFCOMM connection per device or process at a time. This means that you even if you manage to establish a connection, you can either run DAW control over Bluetooth or the MIDI utilities, just not both at a time!

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