humatic - htools - TouchDAW

The gadget corner or basic controllerism playground for those who picked up TouchDAW without primarily thinking of remote controlling a DAW...
Also potentially the screen best suited to mobile phones.

The XY Pads screen shows either two xy-controller pads, up to 64 trigger pads plus one xy-controller pad or up to 128 trigger pads sending MIDI notes, depending on preferences set in the app's setup.

XY-pads are primarily for touchscreen operation but the lower (or right hand side)
one can be assigned to one of the device's sensors in the app's setup. (There's a nice tutorial by Toxic Rainbow on youtube showing how that may be used. Find it here. Thanks to the DJ). A little more on sensors follows below.

Other than the left hand one the right pad will not only send x and y position, but also an additional third controller mapped to a sensor's z-axis or representing the "sum of x & y" in touchscreen mode (see sketch below).

Sensor control is time-limited in the free version.
XY-pads may also be assigned with various pitchbend ranges, possibly assigning MSB and LSB values to seperate axes.

Trigger pads are multitouch in the payed version.Moving a finger out of a touched pad may enforce triggered notes to stay active - i.e. suppress the sending of MIDI note-off commands. This can be useful when you want to manipulate playing samples with the controllers. Note that this is an option. Since version 1.5 it is off by default.
(Only one pad will offer that functionality at any given time in the free version).

As of version 1.5 there are more note layouts than the default drum machine style and various options for combining left and right pads have been added as well. See below for details.

The phone's search button (if available), the volume rocker's up button or wiping into the screen from the bottom or right will bring up some floating transport and recording controls that will also let you mute individual controllers for easy assignment with other software.

This screen always sends to the app's second MIDI connection

As of version 1.54 the floating control bar contains a menu button, that - given you have at least one XY pad shown - will contain an entry that enables to resize the pads using pinch gestures. Size changes need to be confirmed with a double-tap.

TouchDAW 1.2 adds another toy to this screen with a Kaosspad like controller. This is a combination of the XY and launchpads in that it triggers both notes as well as controllers. It has a number of individual settings that can be made directly on the screen without going back into the menu. However the setup half can be switched to a normal 3*3 launchpad using the triangle in its upper right hand corner.
The controller is named "Turmoil" in the app's setup. Its horizontal axis triggers notes following a scale that you can set using the "Edit", "+" and "-" buttons. Both horizontal and vertical axis also send controllers (using those CC numbers configured in the global setup) and a third controller is sent, representing the sum of x and y. Unlike the original hardware, the controller does not bring a loop recorder or any sounds of its own. Instead the idea is having it control softsynths in the DAW. The four triangle buttons in the control half are configured to switch channels in the DAW so that the controller's MIDI data can be directed to various instruments. Record and loop controls are available via floating transport.


Sensors may generate data on one to three axes and will send the MIDI selected for CC3 - CC5 in the MIDI Assignments submenu. Not all sensors may be supported by all hardware and not all sensors available on the hardware will have an implementation in the app. Generally this is all very device dependant. Proximity sensors will often be just enigmatic on off switches, light sensors are mostly very slow and have an exponential curve that requires a lot of input to reach high values. The usual suspects as accelerometer and orientation should mostly be fine.

TouchDAW 1.54 adds support for external Bluetooth LE heartrate sensors and can generate both note pulses and MIDI Clock

that reflect the measured value. Built-in oximeters will not work because they require additional permissions.

When 'BLE Heartrate' is selected from the sensor popup, a scan will be started and detected sensors will be listed to select one. (If you have just one you can break the scan after it is found)

These read the CC settings as follows:
CC 3 - is interpreted as a note number for an on / off pulse at the measured rate. Heartrate sensors transmit a rate value, not pulses. The notes should meet the rate but will not necessarily immediately be 'on' your heartbeat. Turn up bass and volume and your heart will adjust...
CC 4 - the measured rate (offset by 30) will be transmited as this controller number
CC 5 - If set to 0 the app will generate MIDI Clock at the measured rate. Important: Do not expect to be able to transmit MIDI Clock wirelessly, there will be too much jitter. This requires a Usb connection! Also please note that MIDI clock generation will stress the CPU (and thus the battery) more than usual.

Note grids

TouchDAW 1.5 adds three more ways in which MIDI notes are assigned to pads. This is seperately selectable for left and right controller, but there are some presets that combine the two to extend the overall range.

The basic note grids look as follows. The orange field indicates the base note and seperate shades of gray show what would result from different settings of the "Launchpad Count" option (ie. 3*3 to 8*8)

Std./ Drum Machine 

This is the default setting. As note numbers will always be continously increasing from the base note, different numbers of pads will produce slighlty different layouts (so no shades of gray here).

The default base note for this layout is C1. You should get Kickdrum, Sidestick, Acc. Snare etc. with most drum machines / samplers right away.

........  F#1G1G#1

Octave strips up

Octave strips down

Hex strips
C-2C#-2D-2D#-2E-2F-2F#-2G-2(0h - 7h)
E-1F-1F#-1G-1G#-1A-1A#-1B-1(10h - 17h)
G#0A0A#0B0C1C#1D1D#1(20h - 27h)
C2C#2D2D#2E2F2F#2G2(30h - 37h)
E3F3F#3G3G#3A3A#3B3(40h - 47h)
G#4A4A#4B4C5C#5D5D#5(50h - 57h)
C6C#6D6D#6E6F6F#6G6(60h - 67h)
E7F7F#7G7G#7A7A#7B7(70h - 77h)

Base notes for each block of pads are pre-set when the layout is changed, but they remain to be individually editable in the app's setup. Same with the MIDI channels that the two halfs will send on. The lowest note is always in the corner given by the orange color in the illustrations above. The screen is orientation aware, but the layout within the two halfs will remain intact and in the original orientation when the device switches from landscape to portrait mode or back.

Grid controller specific features

The three newly added layouts have some more options. Mainly for cases where both left and right half of the screen are set to show trigger pads:

IF both blocks are set to use the same layout
AND IF both blocks are set to the same MIDI channel
AND IF the base note of the right one is 0

you will have the right block continue the rows started on the left one.
For example in "Octave strips up" mode this would result in the following:

C-2C#-2D-2D#-2E-2F-2F#-2G-2 G#-2A-2A#-2B-2C-1C#-1D-1D#-1

As you see, 8*8 / Octave strips will result in some notes being available twice. A 6*6 octave strip layout would give you 6 full octaves without double notes though. Equally 8*8 / hex strips would also result in no double notes.

Obviously this involves a number of options to be set, which can make it a little awkward to get what you want (while offering quite a bit of flexibility on the other hand). The left pad's Note Layout option therefore takes a bit of a master role and will change the right one's layout and basenote to reasonable settings when you set it, given both sides are on the same MIDI channel. You can always change the right pad's settings individually after that, though.

The hex strip mode has another special feature. Namely if you set the right half's base note to 1, you will get a simple emulation of a popular hardware controller plus two xy controllers:

This can be used with FL Studio 11's performance mode or as a clip launcher for Ableton Live and Bitwig.

FL Studio setup:

You can use the default settings for the hardware here. Just make sure you select the MIDI ports that the app's second connection is linked to. The magic number for this controller seems to be 115 and the performance mode MIDI channel needs to be 1.

The two xy controllers will send on a MIDI channel one higher than the trigger grid (usually channel 2) to not be consumed by the controller implementation and should be individually mapable.

Ableton Live

Live does some MIDI handshaking with the original hardware and things will not work with the stock remote script that ships with Live. Here is a replacement that simply does not initially disable things to then reenable them after a successful handshake... (Based on the original Live 7 Launchpad script. Now also contains a port for Live9. Contributed by Pablo Torres. Thank you! These are python source files. Adapt to your needs).
Unzip into Live's MIDI Remote Script directory, so that you have a Loungepet folder containing the .py files there. Restart Live after adding the folder and set up as shown here:

Use the MIDI ports you have the app's second connection linked to. (Your names may be different)

The two xy controllers will send on a MIDI channel one higher than the trigger grid to not be consumed by the remote scripts (usually channel 2) and need to be individually mapped. So the track input and (for mapping) the "Remote" column need to be enabled as well.

Feedback to the app is handled by the remote script, the output does not need to be active.


In Bitwig you only need to define a Launchpad controller and link it to the app's second MIDI connection (Options / Preferences / Controllers).

XML defined layouts

As of version 1.53 note layouts can also be defined in xml. A commented example that emulates parts of an APC-40 is in the default.xml MIDI mapping file that has been copied to your device's SD card. You can also find it here

(If you updated an older version to 1.53 the example will be written to the existing file when you first set a launchpad note-layout to "XML defined")

The mapping to use is selected at Setup / MIDI Utilities / XML Mapping.

Find the xml file at

mnt / sdcard / Android / data / de.humatic.tdaw / files / midi_maps / default.xml

resp. for the free version:

mnt / sdcard / Android / data / de.humatic.tdf / files / midi_maps / default.xml

Note that these directories may not be visible from Windows when the device is mounted as external storage. You may need to use some Android file manager to access the files.

Also see MIDI mode for more details on xml mappings.

As of TouchDAW 1.54 the xml selection popup contains another entry that will open a simple text editor to view and edit the currently selected xml file.

Note: Using an additional (Launchpad) control surface in the DAW may render TouchDAW's keyboard and the mixers' MIDI mode non-functional. Setting MIDI channels to something other than "1" may help.

MIDI input (controller feedback) is time limited in TouchDAW free and will stop after 15 minutes.

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