Multi-touch screens recognized by Cubase 6? Yes! (but...)

Hello Cubasers,

I’m in mood to upgrade my studio setup a bit. As I’m a control freak, beside the Novation Zero SLMkII and Behringer BCR2000 that I already own, I need a bit different approach to ‘controlling’ Cubase environment. Actually, mostly my large collection of VSTi:s, because I want to sharpen my patch building.

Now I know that many of you are using hardware controllers as myself today. But getting and GUI under hands ‘undistorted’ on screen seems to be very comfortable.

Now there is just one ‘little’ problem - I read somewhere that Cubase x is ignoring commercial touch screens ‘multi touch’ commands.

Then I did some research - and tests with my hardware controls.

I found out interesting things. I CAN actually change Cubase 6 mixer value at the same I’m changing other parameter in Cubase - with hardware controller.

The conclusion is that it IS possible to do that today - Cubase WILL recognize several parameter changes at once, that’s for sure. But doing that from typically ‘commercial’ multi touch screen haven’t yet been confirmed.

So I did some research again.

There are some USB based (yes USB) multi touch screens, or actually ‘emulators’ to cover over your ‘non touch screen’ and in that way make it to be touch screen.

I will appreciate if someone could confirm this, or give some suggestions on multi touch screens.


I have the Dell ST220T, which I am using in conjunction with several 30" monitors. It has an IPS screen which allows use almost horizontally. It is under AU$400, but is only 1920x1080pixels at 21.5". Fortunately, its pixels are about the same size as those of the 30".

For my many observations using this monitor, see:

NextWindow make a multi-touch overlay for a 30" monitors (, but it costs half as much as the monitors and I think that it may make the touch surface several mm away from the LCD, which, when laying the monitor towards the horizontal (the only way to really use a touch screen without strain), may introduce parallax errors in positioning because of the low viewing angle.

Note that Win 7 allows only one multi-touch monitor as standard, and it must be the primary monitor.

Thanks for answering. I saw this model earlier today, and the only thing that keeps me away is information about its touch response time: 15ms. In that way it will be not so usable to control drum pads etc. Or maybe that is just a response time for display pixels?

Dell ST220T is able to do that?

But if using a USB connected multi touch overlay?

BTW, will selecting a lower resolution fix 7mm problem for smal buttons?

yes for now you have to choose “low resolution” to have an “easy touch” with your fingers !
but a simple “zoom function” on the “touched surface” will be great like a the “eyoControl” for ipad do ! :mrgreen:
see the attachment

As long I can choose 1200 x 800 I will be happy as that is the resolution when the most VSTi GUI are very ‘touch’ friendly. At least it look like so on my current non-touch 24" screen…

Yes that would be wonderful! But maybe Usine can help a bit?


I was 1/2 a step from ordering the Acer T230H bmidh 23" LCD TouchScreen Display when I posted it in another thread here…

Somehow they have been out of stock every since that post :cry:

Under $300 was worth a shot just to see what happens and at 1920 X 1080 it would have fit your needs as well MusicStarter.

I will keep looking for it to be back in stock for shipping - as I live no where close to any of their retail locations.

Connections Analog (VGA), Digital (HDMI + DVI with HDCP), USB for Touch function

well lcd on stand like this is not easy for working ! the acer T231H (23’ lcd about 220€) can have 5° to 60° (i use this one) but the screen is not “IPS screen” I think the dell (just 21,5) is the best for the price (even it’s 100€ more than the acer t231h)


Using the stand, the Dell can go back untill it is about 20 degrees up from horizontal. Or you could fold the stand away and just lay it flat. Only IPS screens will allow looking at those angles, though the screen is reflective, so overhead light placement needs consideration.

Out of the box, Win 7 only allows ONE touch screen mopnitor AND it MUST be the primary.

Only if the monitor or overlay manufacturer provides a special multi-screen driver will multiple touch screens be able to be used.

While larger pixels make it easier to touch accurately, it also severely restricts how much can be put on the touch screen. Personally, I would like to have a 30" touchscreen at native 2560x1600 resolution = 4MPx, so I can have many more Cubase dialogs touchable. The Dell’s 1920x1080 (2MPx) is half that many pixels. Also, since it is the primary monitor, the taskbar will be on it, taking up even more space (though having the taskbar touch is cool).

The fact is that touch does not solve all GUI usability issues. While it would be nice to have all my 30" monitors touchable, I would get very tired if I only had touch. A mouse can be much more agile when dealing with large screen spaces - it is quicker to flick the wrist to move the mouse 1.5m, than to lift one’s arm. In many cases, key commands can even work better than a mouse, especially since keyboard commands can be typed ahead in the buffer, whereas with mouse and touch you have to wait until each GUI object is displayed before it can be activated.

I think that it is when recording it is handy just to directly touch, because you are doing other things with the hands. But sustained use on large amounts of screen real estate? No. At least not within the current paradigm of really only being able to do one action at a time. Win 7 touch is not like having a 20 touch capacitive screen with special drivers and a program specifically designed to allow simultaneous independent control of multiple objects.

As for touch lag, try dragging ANY object around on ANY touch screen (capacitive phone or tablet, or optical monitor) in large circles and it is definitely NOT realtime. Add in wireless, and the lag blows out. Mind you, the Dell and Win 7 seems to track better realtime than my Samsung Tab 7", especially considering the circles are much larger on the former.

Wow, thanks for your detailed answer! Actually this is valid ONLY if using real, non-emulated touch screen. If using USB based touch overlay, then computer can not distinguish between mouse and emulated mouse driver by UBS based touch overlay :sunglasses:

Yes, I will only use screen that can be placed horizontally. That is however opening another issue - space. But that is another issue… :laughing:

Actually, MusicStarter, some programs can distingusish between real mice and touch, but I think that is a library design issue. Cubase has that problem with the buttons on the mixers, bit not the sliders, though it will eventually get it if one hold one’s tongue in a certain way. MYOB just does not ‘see’ touches to the buttons on their self-designed windows, even though they have no problems responding to mouse clicks on them.

Touch screen monitors all require a separate USB (or RS232) connection for the touch functionality as the standard display ports do not have the capability to provide positional input back to the computer in their protocol.

I think this is why Win 7 makes it the default to have only one touch screen and as the primary only. It means that it automatically knows how to map the input stream to the display area. Otherwise, like any of the multi-device touch drivers, the user has to manually map every touch surface to its own monitor.

As it is, using multiple monitors, inital setup of a touch monitor requires telling Win 7 which monitor that really is. It then makes that the primary monitor. Then you have to tell Win 7 exactly where the touch reference points are.

Patanjali & others,

Yes, I’m now aware of the ‘problems’ that I can run into regarding ‘touch’ technology. Anyhow, I’m also considering this instead of touch screen monitor:

Multi touch environment with lot of possibility to build own interfaces. I will decide tomorrow. But please feel free to suggest multi touch PC monitors also.


I got my ACER T231 yesterday :slight_smile: I’m trying to reproduce those errors but it seems to work with all Cubase Commands, despite resolution.

Can you please tell me which buttons on mixer do you have problem with?


I found the ‘problems’ very early on, but perhaps it was that I had not learnt to be able to accurately select small areas, because I just tried again without any problems.

So I retract that there are problems with the buttons per se, but some are rather small for making adjustments easily.

However, the other program I have mentioned, MYOB, is non-responsive to touch in its own dialogs, and it does have very big buttons.

Multiple touch monitors can be handled using the UPDD driver from Touch-Base at:

I have run the demo on a single Dell ST2220T and it works fine.

I did notice that their documentation says that with drivers up to version 4.1.8 (latest Win), extended touch facilities (like right click, flicks and some utilities) are not available when using MULTIPLE touch monitors. I am getting clarification on that from them. Of course, a simultaneously connected mouse works fine.

The driver allows turning off extended functions, and the basic touch functions still allow operation of switches and sliders, etc, which is enough to run Cubase - one control at a time.

The driver is about US$200 one-off, but it allows using plenty of ST2220Ts. Just for comparison, a pair of ST2220Ts has as many pixels as a 2560x1600 30" monitor, which would cost 3-4 times the price when coupled with a NextWindow 30" touch frame. However, the NextWindow touch area would be 10mm above the LCD, which would result in lots of position (parallax) errors when used at a low angle.

So, once having purchased the driver, it cost less than AU$400 for each 2Megapixels of additional touch area.

Note that if you aready have some 30" monitors, the ST2220Ts have the same size pixels, so windows don’t suddenly change size when dragged between them.

Anyway, I will wait until I hear from Touch-Base about the extended functions, and if it is worth pursuing this, I will get another ST2220T and report back on my findings about how useful the proliferation of touch can be.

PS. Using touch for EQ is COOL!

Note that the Dell ST2220T uses NextWindow technology, but since it is bult in, it is right above the LCD, minimising parallax error.

For small areas, it is the flesh of the finger around the tip that makes it hard to accurately see what one wants to touch, but with practice, one can touch within a few mm.

Strangest of the strange. Win7 can actually handle multiple (well, at least two) touchscreens.

I only found out because I packed up my three 30" monitors in preparation for a move, leaving my two ST220Ts connected. Neither are connected to the primary video card, but one each to each of the other two. Win7 makes up a phantom monitor for the primary video card, but when I unckecked the ‘Extend desktop to this monitor’, the two touchscreens suddenly both became touch enabled, complete with gestures! And it always boots up with this configuration reliably working. The funny thing is that only the primary monitor can be calibrated, but the other one shows the calibration screen though it ignores touches. However, in normal operation, both screens accurately record touches.

I am getting two ATI FirePro 2460 quad mini DisplayPort cards, so I will experiment to see if I can get both touchscreens reliably working under those, with all monitors, including non-touch, connected.

Good news man! Please keep us updated. Maybe you can upload some clip showing 3 touch screens in action with Cubase :sunglasses:

For those interested, Win8 and C7 both work fine with multiple real (capacitive) touchscreens.

See for a description of my mixer layouts.

Basically, use the Setup button of the Tablet PC Settings option in Control Panel. This will marry the touch area from each monitor’s USB connection to the correct screen. No calibration is necessary if using Win8 compliant full-HD (1920x1080) touchscreens like the Dell S2340T.

I found that under Win7, a Dell ST2220T ‘touchscreen’ (actually optical) would forget it’s calibration from time to time, resulting if a sizable offset of touch position versus cursor, and sometimes it was difficult to get it back properly. To setup the newer real touchscreens with Win7, the Setup task above will do the trick. Funny thing is that multiple ST2220Ts worked by default (no calibration) under Win7 if there were no other monitors (including 'phantoms on a video card).

VERY occasionally, I have had to redo the Setup task above on my Win8 dual S2340T setup.

Most modern PC touchscreens have a sizable gap (up to 10mm) between the surface one touches and the corresponding area on the LCD, meaning that at the lower slopes at which using a touchscreen is feasible for long term use, ‘parallax error’ is quite possible.

This is where the angle of viewing makes the touch area look like it belongs to an area of the LCD behind the area of the LCD the computer thinks belong to it. In other words, on cramped displays, if not careful, you will ‘touch’ the control below the one you may be thinking you are touching.

Just something to be cognisant of when deciding what programs you want to use with a touchscreen.

Eventually, monitors will have their touch areas integral with the display, as per today’s smartphones and tablets.

Parallax error was a common problem with the old needle multimeters where the reading was dependent upon the angle at which you read it.