There’s no shortage of touch controllers and music apps for mobile devices. We post news up about them regularly. But what if your laptop or desktop computer has a touch screen monitor? Most desktop music software are less than friendly to greasy sausage fingers, and the mobile touch control apps don’t work on desktop OSes. So, what’s the answer?
How about a custom Ableton touch controller app for OS X and Windows? That’s what Irish company ScreenForge have released. Yeco is about as feature rich as you could hope for, with what seems to be some tight integration with the DAW. There is a slight caveat on OS X, though (that doesn’t happen often with audio apps! /troll): Since there’s no such thing as a Mac with a touchscreen, you’ll need a third-party driver to get your touchscreen monitor to work with the app. Windows already has this built in as touch screen laptops and all-in-one PCs have been around for a few years now.
Full press release is below.
Yeco – the new touch controller for Ableton Live
Touch Control has arrived for Windows and Mac
Ireland, 10th May 2016 – ScreenForge has today announced its entrance to the music software market with the release of Yeco, its multi-touch controller for Ableton Live that runs on both Windows and Mac. Yeco is a fully featured touch controller for Live including access to Live’s device controls plus an extensive range of MIDI controllers; Drumpads, Keyboards, XY pads, Hex Controller and the MIDI Controls Panel.
Yeco works on any touchscreen and has full ten point multi-touch. If you have a touchscreen laptop or desktop monitor, you don’t need any external controllers or tablets. Everything happens on the same computer as Live, resulting in a more stable experience without the need to worry about servers or wireless networks.
Yeco allows you to have a truly mobile studio using a touchscreen laptop like the Microsoft Surface, without the need to carry controllers with you or connect to a network. You can have the same setup whether you’re in the studio, on the road, or performing live.
The interface has been designed with simplicity and usability in mind. Those familiar with Ableton will recognise Live’s session view instantly. Features include mixers with large faders for precise control & accurate metering, device controls with value feedback from Live and all of Live’s names, colours and playing positions.
Yeco’s MIDI controllers have a range of features that allow you to play expressively and intuitively. The Keyboards features include positional velocity control on each key, channel pressure, macro controls and assignable MIDI controls.
The Drumpads have the same positional velocity control and are slightly taller than they are wide. This allows for expressive, precise playing – especially noticeable when playing rolls and crabbing.
Yeco’s Hex Controller uses an isomorphic keyboard arranged in a harmonic table note layout. This makes it easy to transpose chord shapes or scale patterns.
Yeco features a set of 4 large XY pads for multiple parameter control with easy assign buttons.
The MIDI Control Panel features 56 assignable elements including: 27 sliders, 6 knobs, 9 momentary buttons and 14 toggles.
For a full list of features check out our site or the tutorial videos link below which goes through each and every feature of Yeco in a series of 30sec – 1min videos
Pricing and availability
It is available to purchase from www.yeco.io
It costs €45 (excluding local taxes in the customer’s country or state)
This is approx £35 GBP or approx $50 USD at time of writing
Yeco was developed in Ireland by ScreenForge Ltd. ScreenForge was started in 2015 by Graham Comerford, a multi-touch software developer, and Martin Reilly, an award-winning interface designer. They specialise in making touch software for music creation and Yeco is their first major music software release.
Every time a story comes up about touch control, I say the same thing: it’s no replacement for physical control, but the power is in the flexibility and the way you can tailor the interface exactly to your needs, even going as far as adapting the layout on the fly. With Yeco, it’s clear from all the videos that the ScreenForge, the developers, have put a lot of thought into maximising the advantages of touch, all wrapped up into the app.
I’m impressed with how much Ableton functionality they packed into the app. I’m sure you’ll still need to use keyboard shortcuts and a mouse once in a while, but this might be impressive for performances. Imagine it running on some of the SmithsonMartin touch controllers, for example.
Can we also talk about how Windows actually has the edge here with regards to functionality? It’s very rare indeed to see something built for both platforms that’s actually easier to set up on Microsoft’s operating system. While touch screens on desktop computers has been a thing for a while, Apple have been reluctant to add it to their Mac lineup, possibly partly to push differentiation with the iPad products, but probably because they weren’t happy with how its implemented. While something like Yeco probably won’t convince them to u-turn, it’s certainly a compelling argument for a feature that has been an afterthought, if not even a burden to the user.
Have you got a touchscreen computer? Does Yeco look like something you could use?
Yeco is available from the official website, costing €45 (approx £35/$50) and works with both Windows and OS X.