Hi guys.

Ok, so there are quite a few apps out there of the iPad and Android tablets that allow you to use them as a control interface for DAWs, plugins, etc. Has anyone found any good apps that are available that could be used on a Windows 8 tablet?

I've had a little look around online but could find much. I don't have a tablet yet, I'm just curious. I guess in theory you could install MaxMSP on it and build your own interface, and route the 'MIDI Outs' across wifi to your PC/Mac...

Anyone seen anything good, or made something of their own?

4 Answers 4


If super fast response times is not my first priority (as would be the case for live on stage performances), the easiest, most flexible solution that works well for me is a simple VNC remote desktop app running on any tablet that is connected to my main audio pc or laptop. It shows either a custom interface I built with Max/MSP (which runs on the main audio pc/laptop), or a window of the DAW I'm using.

With a windows 8 tablet, installing Max/MSP on it would be very nice, but creating max-patches on the tablet is not convenient. Fast patching requires one hand on the mouse, and the other hand flying from shortcut-key to shortcut-key. So you could build the patch on a computer and then transfer it to the tablet, which would only need the max-runtime unless you want to make small changes in the positioning of the elements on the tablet.

  • @EMV The remote desktop idea's a good one, I hadn't thought about that! I've remote desktop apps on my phone but they're far too fiddly for things like this; on a tablet should be much better. Yeah, I'd probably end up building my actual controller patches on my desktop then send that to the tablet to use as my 'interface'. I think the potential here, to have a touch control interface for Pro Tools etc. that does exactly what I want it too, is hugely exciting. I'm surprised I hadn't heard of others doing it before!
    – Skarik
    Apr 27, 2013 at 9:53

Your best bet is probably the Open Sound Control protocol. But you'll have to look around since I'm unfamiliar with Windows 8 applications. If it's backwards compatible with Windows 7 stuff you may be in luck.

  • @Justin Brilliant, this looks like it should definitely help! I'll have to have a proper read into it. Things on Windows 8 can run in 'compatibility mode' for previous OS's so that should be fine.
    – Skarik
    Apr 27, 2013 at 9:56

Have a look at Usine, it's designed to be used for touch interfaces on windows and is a fair bit friendlier than Max for building with. Don't think it'll run under WinRT, but full Win8 on a tablet shouldn't be a problem.

  • @ghostgum I hadn't heard of Usine before, thanks for the link! That looks like it's be of great use, especially for use in live performances etc. It also seems to incorporate use of OSC that Justin mentioned!
    – Skarik
    Apr 27, 2013 at 9:59

Given the number of apps that are already available for other devices why do you want a Windows 8 tablet? Is there any technical reason for your choice? As you have not yet bought the device would you not be better to go for the device that offers existing solutions? Just a thought......

  • @Bit Depth I was considering a Windows tablet as, whilst I have a Mac too, I also heavily use Windows, and also have a Windows Phone. I can see that I'd get more use from a Windows tablet over an iPad or Android tablet generally, in areas other than for just audio use. The fact that Windows tablets use Windows 8, a 'full' OS, it means it's capable of running any Windows programme (providing it's got the necessary system requirements). The potential from being able to use software like Max/MSP on a small, portable, touch controlled device, seems huge!
    – Skarik
    Apr 27, 2013 at 9:49
  • Think about why you want a tablet and what you will use it for. I personally don't like to "work" on a tablet - I find it awkward and frustrating. If I want to work I use a laptop or desktop. However, for me tablets do excel at certain things, namely multi-touch control and content delivery. This being the case I don't care that Max/MSP does not run on my tablet (iPad). I will run the software on my laptop, built the patch on it and then use one of control-based apps available so I can use the tablet as a multi-touch input device. Will be interest to hear how you get on with Windows tho.
    – Bit Depth
    May 3, 2013 at 16:40

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