Following a recent post about using Apple’s Magic Trackpad as a num pad, I did some more research and found a couple of friends of the site Ceri Thomas and Tamas Dragon use an application called BetterTouchTool with a Magic Trackpad as an alternative man/computer interface. for those of us using a computer all day every day RSI can be an issue so finding alternatives to the mouse and keyboard even for some functions can help to stave off RSI.
Tamas has written extensively on his blog about this and you can pick up his experiences and wisdom from there including a video.
Ceri Thomas very kindly agreed to write up his experiences of this combination for Pro Tools Expert and here are his observations…
There are many different methods to speed up and alter workflows in most DAWs. Keyboard Focus, Macro Keyboards and Shortcuts, Control Surfaces and their respective macro keys. One that I utilise a fair amount is BetterTouchTools and the Magic Trackpad (or Laptop Trackpad). What I like about this combination is that it allows for many more controls to be utilised on my laptop than would otherwise be easily accessible. I have included a download of my basic set of commands some of which work really well and others which will require a certain amount of training to get right consistently.
The thing to understand about this particular tool is that it maps gestures to keybaord commands, so if it can’t be done with a keyboard command then it can’t be mapped (at least not that I’ve found). When used in conjunction with OS based keyboard commands (I like ctrl+opt+command+o for I/O… for example) then you can really customise your workflow and rarely have to move from the modifier keys and the trackpad.
My basic command set is very basic: Change tools, Fade in/out, Increase/Decrease Waveform Size, Select Next/Previous region etc but give a quick and simple start point for adding your own.
This workflow is definitely not for everyone, it takes some time to establish what will and what won’t work and you’ll find things that don’t work consistently. One such command was the Single Tap Middle Bottom that I’d set to be the select tool (F7) wasn’t triggering on my laptop trackpad consistently so I duplicated it with Single Tap Middle Top which smoothes my interaction.
Download Materials (PDF Cheat Sheet and BTT Preset)
Thank you very much Ceri for sharing this with the Pro Tools Expert community.