The Magic Trackpad works fantastically with Logic. I’ve been using it all weekend and it’s a bluetooth dream come true.
The magic trackpad was announced at the same time I came to a sad realization: no one will ever make a bluetooth trackball. I’ve been a trackball user for a decade and have long wanted the convenience of bluetooth. Unfortunately the cordless trackballs on the market have bulky receivers that occupy a usb slot, and suffer form intermittent reception problems since my computer is kind of far away from my desk. Bluetooth is the best solution for my needs. I've waited patiently, emailed design engineers, and signed a petition
. No luck.
When I lived in NYC I was on a MBP exclusively and got accustomed to navigating Logic with the trackpad, so I decided to give the magic trackpad a shot. It’s almost
exactly what I wanted.
(Please forgive the photo quality, just some quick snaps with my phone)
As you can see it’s basically the same size as my trackball. Slightly wider but also slightly shorter. It is wafer-thin and practically weightless.
I love that I can position it anywhere and not have to manage cords. Having a clean work environment is important to me.
It behaves exactly like the MBP trackpad with the added benefit of a slew of extra multi-touch functions. Some of these are irrelevant to my workflow with two notable exceptions: one finger right click (either the bottom left or bottom right corner of the pad) and application switching. Right clicking with two fingers was the one ergonomic quibble I had with the MBP trackpad. After several hours of calling up contextual menus in Logic your fingers could become a bit stiff. Being able to right click quickly is necessary. Also, I often have several apps open at once (Logic, Waveburner, Spectre, Max/MSP, etc), and being able to pull up the app switcher (Command+Tab) by placing four fingers on the pad is pretty cool.
There are no programmable gestures specific to Logic, but I’ve found that integrating the system gestures in my workflow makes some tasks easier and quicker. For example, the three finger dragging is great when you’re sequencing regions in the arrange window, moving midi notes in the piano roll, and pretty much everywhere else Logic requires dragging.
The one and only functional problem I have found with the trackpad is that it can’t move across my display rapidly. I have a 28” display and I use screensaver hotcorners so I don’t obsess over waveforms and Spectrograms. With the trackball I can spin the ball into the corner with no problem, but with the pad I have to move the cursor manually. This is a small problem, but I’m conscious of it since I activate the screensaver often.
I may never see a bluetooth trackball, but the Magic Trackpad meets almost all of my needs without cord clutter.