DAW-thing that doesn’t require a mouse?

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flx
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DAW-thing that doesn’t require a mouse?

Post by flx »

Just a shower thought: it seems like all modern DAWs (obviously) require a mouse and/or touch screen, yet hardware groove boxes, trackers, etc. don’t. Is there a modern computer DAW software that uses only the computer keyboard? Like when you think about a simple tracker like LSDJ on the GameBoy, which works brilliantly with just the few GameBoy buttons … but then you add the versatility of a computer keyboard, way more processing horsepower and a bigger screen. Think how those programmers fly around old text editors like vi or emacs and then there’s someone on a modern computer in MS Word using a mouse to place the cursor at the end of a text line :doh: I feel like a keyboard-only DAW, while needing some time to learn, could be super fast to use, if it were optimized for your ten fingers on the PC keyboard.
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Re: DAW-thing that doesn’t require a mouse?

Post by pricklyrobot »

Don’t most DAWs allow you to make your own custom keyboard shortcuts?
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Re: DAW-thing that doesn’t require a mouse?

Post by budz »

fwiw, and believe me I utterly despise the company behind it, I really like Pro Tools for keyboard operation. Nevertheless I’m not sure it would be possible to operate it entirely mouse-free but maybe it is possible. It’s also the DAW with by far the best MIDI timing that I have used so I would never switch.

Another thing worth looking at is Otari Radar… out of my price range but if I had the money I’d definitely investigate it.

-edit - it’s not otari anymore sorry it’s iz technology
Last edited by budz on Wed Jul 27, 2022 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DAW-thing that doesn’t require a mouse?

Post by Arrandan »

Try trackers. There's the Dirtywave M8 that's based on the LSDJ concept. So it's small and pocketable. The Polyend Tracker is a standalone device with lots of built-in sounds. A bit bigger than a pile of A4 writing pads stacked together. For modular, there's the NerdSeq to which you can add a keyboard with an expander. And of course, there's plenty of trackers on PC/mac, like Renoise. Trackers are known for high-speed entry of patterns using a keyboard only. Renoise offers most of what a DAW does these days. I've used trackers on the Commodore 64 and PC after that and once you get used to the workflow, they work really well and fast. A bit of a learning curve, though!
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Re: DAW-thing that doesn’t require a mouse?

Post by flx »

pricklyrobot wrote: Wed Jul 27, 2022 5:15 pm Don’t most DAWs allow you to make your own custom keyboard shortcuts?
Sure, but I’m thinking about a software that doesn’t require a mouse at all. Like anything from loading a project, to creating tracks, editing a piano roll, etc. is properly doable with the keyboard. Like a software that’s optimized for super fast control with the keyboard … like hardware groove boxes/trackers/DAWs.
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Re: DAW-thing that doesn’t require a mouse?

Post by flx »

Arrandan wrote: Wed Jul 27, 2022 5:23 pm Try trackers. There's the Dirtywave M8 that's based on the LSDJ concept. So it's small and pocketable. The Polyend Tracker is a standalone device with lots of built-in sounds. A bit bigger than a pile of A4 writing pads stacked together. For modular, there's the NerdSeq to which you can add a keyboard with an expander. And of course, there's plenty of trackers on PC/mac, like Renoise. Trackers are known for high-speed entry of patterns using a keyboard only. Renoise offers most of what a DAW does these days. I've used trackers on the Commodore 64 and PC after that and once you get used to the workflow, they work really well and fast. A bit of a learning curve, though!
That’s what I was thinking about, but all those hardware trackers you listed have very few buttons and are … well … hardware. And Renoise requires a mouse too, as far as I know (might be mistaken though).
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Re: DAW-thing that doesn’t require a mouse?

Post by luketeaford »

Isn't Renoise sufficiently a DAW? (I get it that you probably had something else in mind...)

And what about Ableton with Push (that seems pretty flexible to me though I haven't tried it-- makes a better dedicated controller than a keyboard and I agree a mouse is a little bit rough).

For accessibility reasons, most functionality should be available with just a keyboard but I don't know how nice the experience is.
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Re: DAW-thing that doesn’t require a mouse?

Post by budz »

If you want something that’s like a groovebox maybe you should be looking at ableton with a dedicated controller or something like the newer MPC’s.
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Re: DAW-thing that doesn’t require a mouse?

Post by flx »

luketeaford wrote: Wed Jul 27, 2022 5:28 pm Isn't Renoise sufficiently a DAW? (I get it that you probably had something else in mind...)
Oh no, I did have something like Renoise in mind too, just with the computer keyboard only. Why not Ableton & Push? It still requires a mouse and an external controller. But the computer keyboard is always there. Just like the GameBoy buttons for LSDJ, where people get super fast after training their muscle memory. Imagine that with a keyboard-only Renoise. No slow, wobbly mouse movements, just flying across the interface with your ten fingers on a keyboard. :mrgreen:
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Re: DAW-thing that doesn’t require a mouse?

Post by Arrandan »

flx wrote: Wed Jul 27, 2022 5:27 pm That’s what I was thinking about, but all those hardware trackers you listed have very few buttons and are … well … hardware. And Renoise requires a mouse too, as far as I know (might be mistaken though).
To be honest, I haven't worked with Renoise myself. I can imagine that, if Renoise is a full DAW with a tracker interface, a mouse should be needed. How can you work with all those VST plugins without a mouse? I can understand it'd be a Platonic ideal, but mice have been a thing since 38 years, so most software has kind of taken it for granted.

About hardware - yeah, it's not a DAW. Which has disadvantages, as well as advantages. Your choice 8-)
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Re: DAW-thing that doesn’t require a mouse?

Post by stepvhen »

Would be nice, that's for sure. I'd kill for a Vim-like interface for music making. Closest I've come is using lilypond and playing back generated midi files. I'd like to try using mml like game devs of yore, but there are *no* modern compilers I could find that generate midi information, and I'm not about to write a parser and compiler myself.

On OpenBSD there are built in command line tools like midish and midicat/aucat which could function as a daw if you hate yourself or have a lot of time. No plugins though, so you'd probably need some hardware for actually making sounds. Oddly, while OpenBSD can't run most stuff, the midi implementation is the cleanest and easiest to use between osx/linux/windows.
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Re: DAW-thing that doesn’t require a mouse?

Post by BlinkyLights »

Be bold. Use three mice at once.
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Re: DAW-thing that doesn’t require a mouse?

Post by emmaker »

There's a number of transport/control surface type devices that will integrate with various DAW SW packages. Some have basic transport functions, others have transport, motorized sliders, knobs and buttons.

Do a search.
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Re: DAW-thing that doesn’t require a mouse?

Post by huron »

BlinkyLights wrote: Wed Jul 27, 2022 6:04 pm Be bold. Use three mice at once.
You joke, but I really wish there was a way to control two mice with each hand in a DAW. Turn the cutoff and the FM amount at the same time please!!
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Re: DAW-thing that doesn’t require a mouse?

Post by huron »

flx wrote: Wed Jul 27, 2022 5:25 pm
pricklyrobot wrote: Wed Jul 27, 2022 5:15 pm Don’t most DAWs allow you to make your own custom keyboard shortcuts?
Sure, but I’m thinking about a software that doesn’t require a mouse at all. Like anything from loading a project, to creating tracks, editing a piano roll, etc. is properly doable with the keyboard. Like a software that’s optimized for super fast control with the keyboard … like hardware groove boxes/trackers/DAWs.
What about touchscreen then? Wouldn't that be easier to use than a keyboard and mouce?
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Re: DAW-thing that doesn’t require a mouse?

Post by pricklyrobot »

huron wrote: Wed Jul 27, 2022 7:46 pm
flx wrote: Wed Jul 27, 2022 5:25 pm
pricklyrobot wrote: Wed Jul 27, 2022 5:15 pm Don’t most DAWs allow you to make your own custom keyboard shortcuts?
Sure, but I’m thinking about a software that doesn’t require a mouse at all. Like anything from loading a project, to creating tracks, editing a piano roll, etc. is properly doable with the keyboard. Like a software that’s optimized for super fast control with the keyboard … like hardware groove boxes/trackers/DAWs.
What about touchscreen then? Wouldn't that be easier to use than a keyboard and mouce?
I find the combination of iPad + Apple Pencil to be pretty speedy and fun. I only use it for synth, sequencer, and routing type apps, but a full-on DAW designed with that interface in mind would be cool.
But then, I’m better at drawing than I am at typing ;)
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Re: DAW-thing that doesn’t require a mouse?

Post by 22tape »

Not a fan of the mouse either. It’s the reason why I left behind linear daws and VSTs and started using Renoise in 2004. I do all my jamming/looping/composing with hardware, then bring everything into Renoise for it’s speed and efficiency with the qwerty to further develop the composition as well as the arrangement and mixing. That said, there are a few functions that need a mouse— like if you prefer to do automation via the automation lane rather than the fx columns. I almost always use the fx ccolumns, but if there are instances where I want to use the automation lanes, I’ve always used Thinkpads with track points/pointing sticks rather than a mouse or track pad. I know that track points are not popular, but I actually love them as a mouse replacement for the rare times that I need it in Renoise.
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Re: DAW-thing that doesn’t require a mouse?

Post by igormpc »

https://github.com/madskjeldgaard/reaper-nvim

"A neovim plugin for controlling the Reaper DAW from neovim.

Among other things, it makes it possible to execute all of Reaper's +3700 main actions remotely from neovim via Open Sound Control (osc).

This is useful when writing music in neovim or scripting for reaper in neovim."
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Re: DAW-thing that doesn’t require a mouse?

Post by flipper16 »

Steven Slate Audio Raven comes to mind...

"RAVEN 3.0 now adds customised multi-touch control of Ableton Live, Cubase/Nuendo, Digital Performer, Logic Pro X, Protools 10-12, and Studio One V3 on Mac as well as PC compatibility for Protools 10-12." (from SX Pro website)
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Re: DAW-thing that doesn’t require a mouse?

Post by Astral Brain Tentacles »

Schism tracker I think could be worth a mention! It is a modern re-written clone of Impulse Tracker. It does have support to use a mouse for a few things but is optimised for the keyboard interface.

https://schismtracker.org/
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Re: DAW-thing that doesn’t require a mouse?

Post by naturligfunktion »

BlinkyLights wrote: Wed Jul 27, 2022 6:04 pm Be bold. Use three mice at once.
I can only find my mouse when the cat is away. And then it is dancing on the table for some reason :hmm:

On topic though, I remember this video with Stimming in which he uses a pen. Or something like that. Might be a long shot, but fun to look into:

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