Samplitude on a tablet – part II

This is part two in the adventure where I’m experimenting with using my DAW on a tablet with only a touch interface. See here for part one: Samplitude on a tablet – part I

I believe I have found the most productive combination of toolbar buttons. I have also updated the Thinkpad tablet to Windows 10 and everything still works smoothly.

SamProX2_Tablet-b

This is the set of toolbar buttons I settled on. These actions are optimized for recording and arranging song ideas, not mixing. There are 18 buttons:

  • toggle drawmode – shows/hides track control panes
  • show/hide track editor – edit a single tracks properties, access to plugins
  • show/hide mixer
  • group objects
  • ungroup objects
  • toggle snap
  • undo
  • split object
  • remove range
  • zoom=10s
  • zoom=60s
  • lock all audio – Prevents accidental moving of objects. With a keyboard I use shortcuts to toggle the Lock/Unlock  state of individual objects. With touch it is easier to have a single global lock.
  • cut – Normally I ctrl+drag objects to copy them but cut/copy/paste works better with touch.
  • copy
  • paste
  • toggle metronome
  • rec
  • play/stop

The Windows task bar is back at the bottom of the screen and hidden. Swiping up from the bottom shows the task bar and gives access to the touch keyboard.

If you use multiple time signatures like I often do, I recommend setting the project time signature to 1/4 or 1/8 and NOT adding any signature changes. This makes it easier to move song sections and parts around.

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Samplitude on a tablet

Samplitude Pro X2 was recently on sale for a ridiculously low price so I decided to grab a second copy. My studio DAW has Samplitude tied to a dongle for historical reasons so it was nice to get a dongle-free license for mobile use.

So… I’m wondering if Samplitude would be usable on a Windows tablet? I don’t like using a computer for songwriting and demoing, there is enough mousing and typing during the day already. Could a tablet provide a more organic and fun experience somewhat like a 4-track cassette portastudio back in the day?

Inspired by surfaceproaudio.com I decided to try it. I’ve installed Samplitude Pro X2 and ASIO4ALL on a Thinkpad Helix tablet and I’m in the middle of figuring out the workflow and settings that make this possible. Touch only – no keyboard and no mouse! This is a work in progress but so far things look very promising!

Sam Pro X2 tablet

To maximize the space for manipulating audio, I have removed all the visual elements that are not absolutely essential. The Windows 8.1 task bar I’ve moved to the left side of the screen to free some vertical space. The onscreen keyboard is accessible from the task bar all the time. Naming tracks and saving files still requires some typing. I’m trying to fit the frequently used actions on a single toolbar so I’ve removed the toolbar at the bottom. Samplitude has a Big Toolbar option which makes the icons just the right size for touch.

The toolbars can be customized to contain exactly the buttons you need. There is a default palette of commonly used toolbar actions. In addition, any action that can be found in the menus can be added to the toolbar with the custom button. This kind of customization is essential for usability in any software.

Sam toolbar custom action

The arrangement (VIP) window supports touch gestures. I can scroll the timeline, pinch-zoom, marquee-select objects, select a range, move the play cursor – all without buttons.

There are some essential actions still missing from my toolbar. I can select and split objects but have no way to delete or mute them… doh! I guess I’ll remove the zoom and navigation buttons to make room for those.

rdnzl UltraRes Bass cabs – part II

bass-cabs-1

Here is a bunch of bass cabinet impulse responses (IR) I created. An impulse response is a measurement that can capture the response of an audio device. You run a stimulus signal through the device, record the output and give the stimulus plus the recording to a program that calculates the impulse response. The impulse response can then be loaded to a DSP processor (an audio plugin or a hardware device) and it will emulate the behavior of the original device. An impulse response does not capture everything, it is limited to the linear time-invariant behavior. In practice this works very well for emulating speaker cabinets.

This package contains WAV files for use in any IR software plus *.ir and *.syx files for use with the Axe FX II hardware processor.

Download here:  rdnzl Bass cabs April 2014.zip

This cab pack extends the previous pack from February with the Mesa 2×10 cab and has more mic positions. Every cab & mic that was in the previous pack should be included here. There may be slight differences because the IR:s were shot with different AD-converters and software.

AD/DA

  • Antelope Orion

Mic preamps

  • Avedis MA5
  • Grace Design M501

IR capture

  • Voxengo Deconvolver

Poweramp

  • Matrix GT1000FX 1U

Mics

  • C414 = AKG C414ULS, cardioid pattern
  • M88 = Beyerdynamic M88TG
  • D112 = AKG D112
  • MM1 = Beyerdynamic MM1 flat measurement mic

Cab naming

  • “EBS 4×10” = EBS ProLine 410
  • “MB 2×10″ = Mesa/Boogie 2×10” RoadReady EV
  • “MB 2×15″ = Mesa/Boogie 2×15” RoadReady EV
  • “+tweeter” = tweeter on
  • “tweeter” = tweeter only

Mic distance

  • <not specified> = as close as the D112 will go without touching the grill of the Mesa cab. This gives a speaker cone->mic capsule distance of about 8cm.
  • “+1ft” = roughly one foot

File folders

  • ir/ raw *.ir files for cab mixing in Fractal Audio CabLab >=2.0
  • ultrares/ *.syx files for Axe Fx II
  • ultrares XL/ *.syx files for Axe Fx II XL
  • wav/ full length WAV files for DAW use etc.

 

 

UltraRes Bass cabs for Axe FX II

Image

Here is a bunch of bass cabinet impulse responses (IR) that I created. An impulse response is a measurement that can capture the response of an audio device. You run a stimulus signal through the device, record the output and give the stimulus plus the recording to a program that calculates the impulse response. The impulse response can then be loaded to a DSP processor (an audio plugin or a hardware device) and it will emulate the behavior of the original device. An impulse response does not capture everything, it is limited to the linear time-invariant behavior. In practice this works very well for emulating speaker cabinets.

These IRs are for use in the Axe FX II hardware processor. There is an updated pack that also contains WAV files for use in any software that handles IRs.

Download zip file here: rdnzl-bass-cabs-20140209.zip

IR capture / AD / DA: Axe FX II
Poweramp: Matrix GT1000FX 1U
Mics:

  • C414 = AKG C414ULS, cardioid pattern
  • M88 = Beyerdynamic M88TG
  • D112 = AKG D112
  • MM1 = Beyerdynamic MM1 measurement mic

Batch 1: Mics at center of the cone
Mic distance: as close as the D112 will go without touching the grill of the Mesa cab. This gives a speaker cone->mic capsule distance of about 8cm.
All mics phase-aligned by ear using noise.

Mesa/Boogie 2×15″ RoadReady EV
C414 MA5 #22 rdnzl MB2x15 C414
M88 MA5 #23 rdnzl MB2x15 M88
D112 Grace #28 rdnzl MB2x15 D112
MM1 Grace #29 rdnzl MB2x15 MM1

EBS ProLine 410
D112 Grace #24 rdnzl EBS4x10 D112
MM1 Grace #25 rdnzl EBS4x10 MM1
C414 MA5 #26 rdnzl EBS4x10 C414
M88 MA5 #27 rdnzl EBS4x10 M88

Edit: Zip file updated 9 Feb 2014: “rdnzl EBS4x10 C414 fixed” replaces the earlier version “rdnzl EBS4x10 C414”. On the original IR the mic highpass filter was accidentally left in the 150Hz position. Oops. Not good for bass 🙂