humatic - htools - TouchDAW


This covers setting up TouchDAW with its default settings, using RTP over a WIFI connection. Do not follow this beyond the first image and ignore the available video tutorials if you want to use Bluetooth, multicast or USB! Look at the resp. manual pages in the MIDI setup guide instead!

First things first: Understand the basic concepts... TouchDAW is two programs in one and uses separate MIDI connections for both of them. The DAW Controller connection is always bi-directional:

Making network connections w/ TouchDAW's default settings ( Wifi / RTP / Local Session ) and:

Welcome to TouchDAW's 'horrible setup', originally designed by a large company from California in 2005. Try mnet if you do not like this.

  1. Make sure your device is connected to the same network that the DAW computer is connected to.
    [ Network setup tips ]

  2. Windows: Download, install and open rtpMIDI.
    Mac: Launch "Audio MIDI Setup" from "Applications/Utilities"
    - on Mojave, Catalina: Select 'Open MIDI Network Setup' from the "MIDI Studio" menu
    - on older versions: Open the MIDI window from the "Window" menu and doubleclick the "Network" icon

  3. Create and enable two sessions in those control panels. Name them how you like. Virtual MIDI ports will be created with the names you give to your sessions.
    (Screenshots from rtpMIDI. Apart from the overall look and feel it's exactly the same on OS X)

  4. Restart the DAW if it was already running so it can pick up the new ports.

  5. Start TouchDAW. Set the sequencer preference once you're at it (Setup / DAW Controller / Sequencer).

  6. See TouchDAW's two sessions appear in the directory listing. This happens automatically.
    (Windows: When Bonjour is not installed, you may need to add things manually).

  7. Configure your DAW to use the MIDI ports corresponding to session 1 for remote control in- and output (Those ports will have the same name that you gave to session 1)
    Find screenshots and instructions for all supported DAWs here

  8. Under "My Sessions" select the first session (1). In the "Directory" listing select "tdaw (and.XXX) RTP 1" (2) and press connect (3). The session moves to the "Participants" listing (4) and is now 'connected'.

  9. As for the first connection, select the second session (1), select "tdaw (and.XXX) RTP 2" (2) and press connect (3).

  10. In the DAW route session 2 to any synth, drum machine or other gadget you want to use with the MIDI controllers.

Only steps 8 and 9 need to repeated on subsequent runs.

Once you are familiar with the rtpMIDI / OS X control panels you can also set TouchDAW to autoconnect to the sessions you have created.

Some may prefer a video:

Not using Cubase? It's basically the same with other DAWs, except that the DAW's windows may look a bit different. The DAW setup manual page contains more detailed instructions for all supported DAWs incl. screenshots and links to available video resources. It is also generally a good idea to make yourself familiar with what your DAW's manual has to say in terms of Mackie Control. Hints on where to find the various vendors' remote control docs are also given on said DAW setup page.

Additionally you can look at video tutorials for the various iOS control surface emulators (AC7, DAW Remote, Eyosido etc.). They use the exact same functionality where they speak of "Core MIDI" or "Network MIDI"


It has not escaped our attention that the whole session / participant thing appears to be everything from "simple" via "not overly easy" and "fiddly" to "absolutely impossible to set up" to people and we agree: This is not the most intuitive way of plugging in a MIDI cable. However, if you look back for a second, you will realize that you did not have to do anything in the app itself and all the complexity results from Apple's ten year old and well established (with Mac and iOS users at least) MIDI network concept which rtpMIDI replicates 1:1. TouchDAW is about working with standards and this is the lowest common (free) standard available. Get used to it. It's only as complicated as you make it.

Find information on other connection methods in the manual.

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