Jump to content


Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

DAW Controllers and Keyboards


Geoff Grace

Recommended Posts

Do you use a DAW controller? If so, which one(s)? Are you happy with it? Who would you recommend it to?

 

I currently have a CM Labs Motor Mix, which is okay; but I really like the form factor of the Euphonix Artist Series controllers. I think it would be great to just set them on top of a flat top keyboard -- like the Yamaha CP300 -- to create a nice, streamlined composing/mixing station. Since I'm primarily a Pro Tools user, the downside is that I'd have to use the Artist Series in HUI emulation mode, and the 4-fader MC Control isn't optimally designed for banking under the HUI protocol, which I understand is 8-fader only. The upside is that the Artist Series would work even better with my Logic Pro and Digital Performer software.

 

Alternately, I could wait and see if M-Audio comes out with an 88-note Axiom Pro. But if they did, I'm guessing it wouldn't have motorized faders like the Artist Series. And while the Axiom Pro is better optimized for Pro Tools than the Artist Series, it might not work so well with Logic or Digital Performer.

 

Ah, trade offs...

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

Link to comment
Share on other sites



  • Replies 9
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Hi Geoff, I use the AlphaTrack and love it. It works with Logic, Live and Pro Tools natively. The only downside (for you, if I understand your needs) is that there's only one motorized fader. Switching channel strips is fast and easy enough that 9 times out of 10 it's all I need. I originally bought it to control Logic from my keyboard but it's become my main control method. It's miles better than mixing with a mouse, however if you need multiple simultaneous faders it's not for you. That said, I highly recommend it.

 

I can also recommend the wireless TranzPort, even if you have another control surface. It's extremely handy to be able to control your DAW away from the computer, for instance when placing mics, tracking, etc. With a long enough USB cable you can do the same with the AlphaTrack. Note that the TranzPort doesn't have a fader.

 

That Axiom Pro looks sweet! It looks like it would make a nice upper tier board.

Instrumentation is meaningless - a song either stands on its own merit, or it requires bells and whistles to cover its lack of adequacy, much less quality. - kanker
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Euphonix seems the Rolls Royce of DAW controllers -- I just wish they had built one controller instead of two with overlapping but incomplete functionality. I understand they wanted to keep the form factor down, for more flexibility of desktop layout.

 

With the Euphonix, make sure you have compatibility, as there has been some lag time with some DAW's and/or versions and/or OS's. Probably by now it works with every combination of DAW and OS.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As long as there's no double paging on the motorized faders, they are kind of nifty.

I used the Yamaha DMP7 in the late '80's and because I had it rack mounted vertically I think I wore out the faders quicker.

But they doubled for the EQ's and when the fader goes or gets sticky as they usually do before they die, all settings are comprimised.

I actually use a pair of KS88's and can use MTC/MMC and MIDI for transport controls for an Alesis HD24/96 or Cubase for basic needs. The knobs and snapshot capabilties and overall MIDI control is excellent, but the action isn't so hot. But 600 bucks for a couple of disposable controllers is tough to beat for live work.

I am looking for the Axiom 88 Pro myself. I doubt the action will be any better, but in all honesty I can get use to any action as long as it performs well live.

I lugged KX88's around for a while so these modern controllers are a blessing.

Magnus C350 and a TV Dinner Tray Stand

 

http://soundcloud.com/you/sets

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies, guys. For what it's worth, I had hoped to spark a discussion that was centered around everyone's needs and not just mine; but your feedback was certainly helpful. :thu:

 

MonksDream, both the AlphaTrack and the TranzPort look cool. I know several people who use and love the TranzPort. I might pair the AlphaTrack with a Euphonix MC Mix. I like the transport controls on the AlphaTrack, and if I could leave its single fader assigned to the master buss, then that combo could work well for me. But yes, I need more faders and more knobs.

 

Mark, I feel the same way about the Artist Series' "overlapping but incomplete functionality." I'll also certainly make sure any controller is compatible with my DAWs before I buy.

 

Jaime, good observations about fader action and keyboard action.

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am curious, have you tried the Axiom controllers, and if yes, what do you think of the action on those?

 

I think Novation has tried to make the Remote Zero line work with many daws, but I haven't tried one to have any experience.

 

I guess if you really want motorized faders then your options are more limited...

 

I was thinking about a modern controller that can function as a soft synth control surface, but have a midi in/merge like Roland's A series controllers, and do complete zone and controller setups for any keyboard plugged into it, (like a basic light weight digital piano). No reason it couldn't also be a basic control surface for the major daws too.

 

Hell, since I am dreaming I'll throw in some motorized faders for you too. Oops, the cost just went up. :grin:

 

Day

 

 

"It is a danger to create something and risk rejection. It is a greater danger to create nothing and allow mediocrity to rule."

"You owe it to us all to get on with what you're good at." W.H. Auden

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been looking into the Tascam DM-3200 or 4800 as an alternative to my Mackie mixer...great routing flexibility, some useful built-in effects, ability to fly out 32 tracks at a time with the FW optional board, and DAW controller automation! Like I said, I've been looking, going to be a bit before I can actually touch one ;)

 

Bill

http://www.billheins.com/

 

 

 

Hail Vibrania!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am surprised that there is not more competition is the small digital mixer market. They can be so incredibly flexible compared to an analog mixer and could cover so many different functions - computer interface/daw control surface/soft synth control surface...what else?? This besides all the routing flexibility of a completely programmable mixer.

 

You know I have been very surprised at the life span of the Yamaha 01V96. Obviously they had a winner in that price catagory with no competition or they would have had to upgrade it long ago.

 

The only recent entry I can think of that is in that price range is the Studiolive board, and I think it lacks the upgrade options the Yamaha has in its favor...

 

Those Tascams look impressive also. How is Tascam support these days?

 

 

Day

 

"It is a danger to create something and risk rejection. It is a greater danger to create nothing and allow mediocrity to rule."

"You owe it to us all to get on with what you're good at." W.H. Auden

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually use a pair of KS88's and can use MTC/MMC and MIDI for transport controls for an Alesis HD24/96 or Cubase for basic needs. The knobs and snapshot capabilties and overall MIDI control is excellent, but the action isn't so hot....

 

...I am looking for the Axiom 88 Pro myself. I doubt the action will be any better, but in all honesty I can get use to any action as long as it performs well live.

I lugged KX88's around for a while so these modern controllers are a blessing.

 

Actually, I don´t use any DAW controller keyboard because of the key action.

But I find the Akai MPK controllers concept close to be complete.

I hope for a good action of the Akai MPK88 which seems to offer more features (16 MPC pads p.ex.) than the MPK49 at a good price if the action is great.

Release shall be in august, so some weeks left.

 

A.C.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...