Just up on Kickstarter is a coffee coaster sized TouchPad programmable keyboard shortcut controller. It has 36 capacitive keys that can each be assigned up to 5 key presses. Perfect as an audio editing companion, a DAW macro controller, loop launcher or even a MIDI input device.
The TouchPad consists of a PCB and a couple of rubber feet. It connects via USB and uses regular HID keyboard drivers. The 6×6 grid of keys use capacitive touch like you find on smartphones, and has integrated haptic feedback so that you “feel” it when you’ve tapped a key.
The keys are programmed using a text editor. In programming mode you navigate around with the TouchPad in order to select commands or combinations of commands to assign to a key. It’s not awesomely elegant, but it works and doesn’t require any additional software. The more adventurous could delve into the Arduino development environment to edit the firmware and assign longer commands or other functionality to the keys.
TouchPad uses transparent overlays that let you scribble things on the keys or print out something nicer that you can cut out and mount on the pad.
It could be a very useful tool for creating macros for tasks in your DAW. Particularly useful in a touch screen environment where you could work up a bunch of tools to work alongside your fingers or a digital pen. The video does show them using it to play notes, so it does have potential as a MIDI input controller. But I think it’s better used for quick navigation or clip launching.
You can snag yourself a TouchPad with 5 overlays for only £49. It’s one of those devices that’s simple enough, useful enough and cheap enough to find itself being very helpful.
- TouchPad Kickstarter webpage.