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Topic: Pen and tablet to draw controllers?

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  1. #1

    Pen and tablet to draw controllers?

    Is anyone using a pen and tablet (or other tools) to draw controllers?

    I'm using sonar4, and frequently draw controllers for cc1, pitch bend. But the process is quite cumbersome, as finding the exact starting and ending points, and also the "zero value" not quite easy. To draw it the way I want, I'd have to zoom in so far, that sometimes I edit the wrong note without knowing. A friend (video editor) suggested I use a pen and tablet.

    Any ideas, suggestions, anyone? I don't like using the wheel.

  2. #2
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    Re: Pen and tablet to draw controllers?

    Quote Originally Posted by sub_circuit
    Is anyone using a pen and tablet (or other tools) to draw controllers?

    I'm using sonar4, and frequently draw controllers for cc1, pitch bend. But the process is quite cumbersome, as finding the exact starting and ending points, and also the "zero value" not quite easy. To draw it the way I want, I'd have to zoom in so far, that sometimes I edit the wrong note without knowing. A friend (video editor) suggested I use a pen and tablet.

    Any ideas, suggestions, anyone? I don't like using the wheel.
    sub_circuit,

    I have used pen and tablets with much success (and less mouse hand fatigue). The Wacom Cintiq allows you to draw your data right on the screen. It is a bit pricey but very easy to use.

    An inexpensive alternative is a Wacom Intuos, Graphire (or similar) tablet. There are 512 gradients of pressure sensitivity. It is easy to use and better for fine tuning than the mouse.

    Gary Garritan

  3. #3

    Re: Pen and tablet to draw controllers?

    I second the Wacom recommendation. I've used them for years. I started because the mouse had been tearing up my wrist.

    There are two things that the pen does less well compared to the mouse:

    1) You can leave the mouse in a single position and click, click click. With the pen you're always holding it, so it's more active for click, click, clicking a single position, and

    2) The transition from pen to keyboard to pen is more costly than mouse to keyboard to mouse. With the mouse you just let go and move your hand away. With the pen you have to put it in the holder, then move your hand around it to get to the keyboard. For grabbing the pen you also have to move your hand around the pen before the grab, then you have to orient it on the tablet.

    It's still worth it to me, but I'm aware of the tradeoffs.

    One side effect is that I now put effort into learning all of the keyboard shortcuts that I can. Shortcuts are generally faster than the mouse or the pen, so I don't lose much at all with the pen, compared to the mouse.

    -JF

  4. #4

    Re: Pen and tablet to draw controllers?

    Thanks guys, for your very helpful advice... I'll be looking at a Wacom Graphire3 6*8... I think it'll cost just a little less the GPO Advanced update or Big Band... sigh... choices, choices...

  5. #5

    Re: Pen and tablet to draw controllers?

    I have a 6x8 at work, and have used the smaller tablet at home. Unless you are doing fine artwork, I actually recommend the smaller tablet. The resolution of the small one is fine for normal PC use. I have never, ever experienced a feeling of not enough resolution with it. Also, the smaller tablet is faster. You don't have to move your arm/hand as far to go from corner to corner. I find it more comfortable to use, and it takes less desk space.

    Get the smaller tablet and save the change for Gary's libs. It's an easy choice.

    -JF

  6. #6

    Re: Pen and tablet to draw controllers?

    Thanks JF, I'll keep that in mind when I get my next paycheck. The other reason I'd like 8*6 is because i'd like to draw with it too.

  7. #7

    Re: Pen and tablet to draw controllers?

    OK, Gary and Jon, you've done it now!

    I had never connected using a graphic tablet with audio software.

    *LFO slaps himself in the forehead*

    You know what I've spent all night doing? Not making music! I've been researching graphic tablets! Here is the outcome...

    I am considering selling my second born so I can purchase a Wacom Cintiq

    Now for reality...

    I can see that Jon has a point in buying the smallest tablet. The Wacom products look great. I have not been able to justify purchasing an Intuos as I don't see anything extra it is bringing to the plate over a Graphire. Putting that in context, I will use this solely for audio editing. Any ideas/thoughts/suggestions?

    Thanks for asking the question, sub, and to Gary and Jon for opening a whole new world to me. This is really going to improve workflow.

    -LFO
    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

  8. #8

    Re: Pen and tablet to draw controllers?

    I'm all about the keyboard with built-in trackball, myself. Once you get used to it it's way more convenient and ergonomic than a mouse, but it still has the same general ease of click. Whatever that means. And the keyboard is 3 inches to the left at all times. And you don't need a pad. Or area for a pad. I love it!

    It's pretty weird drawing envelopes with a trackball at first, but it can be done.

  9. #9
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    Re: Pen and tablet to draw controllers?

    Quote Originally Posted by LFO
    OK, Gary and Jon, you've done it now!

    I had never connected using a graphic tablet with audio software.

    *LFO slaps himself in the forehead*

    You know what I've spent all night doing? Not making music! I've been researching graphic tablets! Here is the outcome...

    I am considering selling my second born so I can purchase a Wacom Cintiq

    Now for reality...

    I can see that Jon has a point in buying the smallest tablet. The Wacom products look great. I have not been able to justify purchasing an Intuos as I don't see anything extra it is bringing to the plate over a Graphire. Putting that in context, I will use this solely for audio editing. Any ideas/thoughts/suggestions?

    Thanks for asking the question, sub, and to Gary and Jon for opening a whole new world to me. This is really going to improve workflow.

    -LFO
    LFO,

    The Cintiq is great but not worth the money IMHO. My graphire has gotten much more use than the Cintiq.

    Another option is to use a Pen Tablet computer and use it as a remote input device for a main audio computer using wireless ehternet. But try the Graphire first and see how you like working with a pen. The pen is mightier than the sword and the mouse.

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