Digital tablets such as the Wacom products are quite attractive for use as a musical controller because they are very high resolution with sampling rate generally around 100Hz. The Wacoms provide very accurate absolute position data in the X and Y axis, as well as two dimensions of pen tilt, pen tip pressure, and button state. More than one positioning device can be used simultaneously, including multiple pens or in combination with a mouse-like device.

There are two options when it comes to using a tablet with Pd: [gemtablet] and [linuxevent]. [gemtablet] is quite similar to [gemmouse] and therefore has the same limitations in that the data is limited to the size of the Gem window. For use as a musical instrument, [linuxevent] provides access to the tablet data at its full resolution.

Since tablets generally serve as a system pointing device like a mouse, using tablets with Pd can cause the same problems as when using the mouse. The workarounds are the same as well, but with some operating systems it might be possible to stop the tablet from acting as a system pointing device thereby restricting access to the tablet data to Pd.

Hans-Christoph Steiner 2005-04-25