After hypothesising about the new Apple Magic Trackpad in July last year, I have now had a chance to have a proper play with it in conjunction with my Pro Tools setup.
I have been using a Kensington Trackball ever since I started my working career, so jumping across to the Magic Trackpad was rather peculiar to start with. I have a MacBook so using it's inbuilt Trackpad always seems so limited when working within Pro Tools. In many cases I would just connect my trackball to keep my work flow efficient. The Magic Trackpad is quite different however. Although seeming to be a bigger version of the laptop trackpad, the Magic Trackpad is so much more.
After setting up the Magic trackpad via bluetooth the system preferences allow some customisation of the gestures which now allow you to control and customise your magic Trackpad. I did find these very limited, and the settings are all global controls meaning that you cannot have specific gestures for specific programs- something that Kensington allow for with its Trackballs. The program BetterTouchTool, a freeware application opens up these gestures by having this program sit on top of the Apple System Prefs. This allows for specific gestures for specific applications. Once BTT is running, the Apple Magic Trackpad comes into it's own. This makes the Magic Trackpad ideal as an editing and mixing peripheral, as you can fade, pan in surround and edit far quicker than using a conventional mouse. I also have BTT setup to switch between Pro Tools and AudioFinder, with a gesture (single click in middle at top) setup to export my AudioFinder sounds straight into my Pro Tools timeline! Very Cool indeed!!!
After taking a couple of days of getting use to and setting up gestures, the Magic Trackpad has now become my new "must have" editing and mixing tool. Because you can also import and export gestures from BTT, I can now easily use the Magic Trackpad with my laptop with no differences in my workflow.