TouchpadFX for Mac mini review

TouchpadFX

TouchpadFX is a new way of controlling Traktor’s FX (or anything else you like) with your Macbook’s touchpad. It allows you to map mouse movements to MIDI CC numbers, thereby allowing control over any software that lets you map MIDI controls. So it’ll work with basically all DJ software, DAW, soft synth, etc. There are mappings provided for all major DJ software, but it’s very easy to map it yourself to anything that receives a MIDI input.

Setup:

Setup is nice and easy: just install the software, select your preferred DJ software and it all works instantly. In Traktor (on which we tested TouchpadFX), you just need to import the provided TSI and select ‘TouchpadFX’ as a MIDI input. We got it up and running within just a few minutes.

A really nice feature is that if you have a standard Mac or iMac then TouchpadFX will also work with Apple’s Magic Trackpad. We’d recommend using a wired mouse as well though as it doesn’t work well if you’re using a Magic Trackpad and a Magic Mouse at the same time.

Usage:


You can store up to 9 presets which can be accessed by either the respective number key on your keyboard or by holding two fingers on the trackpad. This will bring up a 3×3 grid overlay where you just need to swipe up, down, left and right to access the preset number of your choice.

TouchpadFX comes with various Traktor controls already pre-loaded. These are:

1 – FX 1
2 – FX 2
3 – FX 3
4 – Filter
5 – Looping
6 – Crossfader
7 – Volume
8 – Low EQ Kill
9 – Unassigned

You can use your touchpad’s X-Y movements to control two parameters at a time. So, for example, the FX presets allow you to control the FX parameter itself as well as the dry/wet amount in one finger movement. This is handy as it gives you way more control than a regular fader.

It’s possible also to ‘hold’ effects, so you could, for example, hold an effect playing while also moving the filter or loop controls.

A nice little touch is the ‘Multi’ feature. This allows you to map 2 or more presets to another preset. So, for example, you could map presets 1, 2 and 3 (which control FX Units 1, 2 & 3) to preset 9, allowing control of all three FX units with one touch.

Final thoughts:

As a Traktor user, TouchpadFX provides in efficient and intuitive way of controlling Traktor’s main functions without the need for bulky external controllers. It’s quick and easy to set up and quite powerful too in terms of flexibility. Although you’re only limited to 9 presets, these still cover the main Traktor controls and we didn’t find ourselves needing any more than this.

The real fun comes in mapping your own MIDI functions though and the software’s flexible enough to handle quite complex control. The Macbook Pro trackpad and external Magic Trackpad are always a pleasure to use and it’s great to be able to utilise the superb sensitivity in these devices to control your favourite music / DJ software.

TouchpadFX is also available for PC and you can buy / read more about it here: http://www.touchpadfx.com