Tag Archives: controller

Presonus FaderPort Expands To 16 Channels of Motorized Fader Goodness

Presonus has made quite a name for itself in both the software and hardware worlds of late. Studio One has become a well respected household name as far as DAW’s are concerned and their accompanying hardware isn’t too shabby either with the Quantum audio interface making waves pretty recently and swiftly followed by it’s sibling, the Quantum 2. The FaderPort line has seen some R&D attention over the past year, evolving from the initial FaderPort, a small single channel motorized fader with transport and DAW controls into the FaderPort 8, a completely redesigned 8 channel unit with a plethora of controls…Well, 8 channels obviously weren’t enough and they have just released the FaderPort 16 – a 16 channel behemoth with all the bells and whistles you could want for mixing and engineering.

The FaderPort 16 comes equipped with 16 touch-sensitive, 100mm motorized faders, Scribble Strips, 89 buttons covering 104 different functions that allow you to quickly zoom in on audio files for editing, modify plug-in parameters, manage aux mixes and control track levels with the touch of a finger.  The Session Navigator provides easy access to 8 mission critical functions, used in conjunction with the large encoder and companion buttons to mix with much greater efficiency than using just a mouse and keyboard. There is one glaring omission though, where is the metering?

Of course, no Presonus hardware is complete without seriously tight integration with Studio One. You even get a free copy of Studio One 3 Artist with the FaderPort which is a nice addition! It will work with other DAWs on the market too but don’t expect instant plug and play functionality without some configuration steps.

Now the FaderPort 16 doesn’t come cheap. At £899 it is on the more expensive side of the spectrum with regards to MIDI controllers but comparing it to lesser devices wouldn’t be fair as I can’t think of any that have the scope of features this has and personally if I had the spare cash to throw down on a DAW controller I would be seriously considering adding this to the studio.

The FaderPort 16 is available for pre-order here.

The Denon MCX8000 Dj Controller

Denon ahead of NAMM this year have announced the MCX8000 DJ controller.

Whilst it isn’t the first time that we’ve seen all in one (laptop not required) controllers, and certainly Pioneer already has a few well established options here, the MC8000 comes in at a great price point and knowing Denon gear it should be a solid controller.

denonmcx8000
 

Key Features
• Serato DVS Upgrade ready
• Metal construction
• Includes revolutionary Denon DJ Engine standalone technology with integrated Serato Cue point support
• 2 USB inputs for Engine playback in standalone mode
• Includes 4-deck Serato DJ software
• 2 high-definition displays show Engine and Serato DJ operation
• Professional 4-channel digital mixer with 2 microphone inputs and Dual XLR outputs
• 3 built-in instant pre/post fader effects for Engine playback and line inputs
• Velocity-sensitive performance pads for cues, rolls, slicer and samples
• Stage LinQ network connection to control lighting and video
 

Essentially a full mixer and MP3 playback system that only needs USBs drives to run, as well as a fully featured Serato controller.

Shipping Q2 this year with a RRP of £899, we’d expect it to street a bit below that, and for the features on offer, this is certainly an exciting solution that we look forward to getting hands on with when we can.

Denon Controllers @ Scan

More Info On The Denon MCX8000

Novation Announce The Launchkey Mini

Novation Launchkey Mini
Novation Launchkey Mini

Fresh from the Novation stable comes their newest addition in the diminutive yet fully featured Launchkey Mini.

The Launchkey Mini is a compact mini-key controller / instrument for iPad, Mac and PC featuring 16 velocity sensitive, three colour illuminated launch pads – use them to launch loops, sounds, effects, transport controls, and more.

Launchkey Mini also features a 25-note mini-keyboard, eight assignable rotary controls, seven function buttons, and a further two performance buttons. Compact and portable, Launchkey Mini is great for producing and performing at home or on stage. Launch your music – anywhere.

Launchkey Mini works immediately with the free-to-download Novation Launchpad and Launchkey iPad apps, and gives you hands-on control of major Mac and Windows based music software including Ableton Live, FL Studio, Pro Tools, Cubase, Reason, and Logic. Ableton Live Lite is included in the package, along with an extensive Loopmasters sample library, V-Station and Bass Station Soft Synths.

A keyboard and launch pad controller for iPad, Mac and PC

The latest in the growing family of Novation “Launch” products, Launchkey Mini is an instantly accessible mini keyboard and launch pad controller for a wide range of software apps on iPad, Mac and PC. It’s a keyboard / DAW controller with 26 assignable controls, offering fuss-free hands-on control of major music software via Novation’s intuitive “InControl” technology. The 16 launch pads are velocity-sensitive – use them to play drum sounds and samples expressively, as well as launch clips and scenes in Ableton Live.

Powerful iPad Apps transform Launchkey Mini into an instrument

Launchkey Mini integrates seamlessly with powerful music software apps for iPad, which transform it into a production and performance instrument. Use the free-to-download LaunchKey App with Launchkey Mini on your iPad to trigger the included professional sample library and control effects, letting you produce and perform music straight away. Launchpad app upgrades will allow you to import your own samples and share your creation with a growing fan base.

The free-to-download LaunchKey App for iPad is a synth filled with Novation technology, allowing you to control notes with the Launchkey Mini’s keyboard while warping the sound with the knobs or via intuitive multi-touch control on the iPad’s screen. The Launchkey and Launchpad apps sync together perfectly for simultaneous use – set an arpeggiator on the Launchkey app and switch to the Launchpad app to build the beats behind it, for example. Both apps are fully Audiobus compatible.

Launchkey Mini connects directly to your iPad with the Apple Camera Connection Kit (not included) and it’s powered by the iPad – so there’s no need for batteries or an additional power supply.

Ableton Live Lite, Bass Station, V-Station and Sample Pack for Mac and PC

As well as Ableton Live Lite, Launchkey Mini comes with the V-Station polyphonic soft-synth and the Bass Station software plug-in. You can use these as plug-ins within Ableton, FL Studio or other DAWs. There’s also a sample pack supplied by world leading sample producers – Loopmasters. Get started straight away on your Mac or PC with over one gigabyte of loops including drums, FX and artist content.

Launchkey Mini Key Features

  • 25-note mini-keyboard controller / instrument for iPad, Mac and PC. Fast action synth-style mini keys ideal for modern playing techniques
  • 16 velocity sensitive, three colour launch pads. Launch loops, samples, effects and more and get direct visual feedback.
  • Hands-on control of major Mac and Windows based music software including Ableton Live, FL Studio, Pro Tools, Cubase, Reason, and Logic via Novation’s intuitive “InControl” technology
  • Launch your music anywhere. Launchkey Mini is fully powered by iPad or USB – no need for power sockets or batteries – and it’s ultra-lightweight and easy to carry
  • Knobs and buttons for total control. Eight knobs, seven function buttons, and two performance buttons to enhance and control your software in real time
  • Free software for iPad, PC, and Mac. Launchkey Mini is a fully-integrated instrument out-of-the-box working seamlessly with the Novation Launchpad and Launchkey apps for iPad. Also Includes Ableton Live Lite, V-Station, Bass Station Soft Synth and Loopmasters sample pack for Mac and PC.
  • Launchkey Mini is a USB class compliant device. It is compatible with any operating system that supports USB MIDI device class 1.0. Launchkey Mini is ‘plug and play’ compatible with most modern computers and the iPad

Officially supported operating systems:

  • MAC – OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and 10.7 Lion
  • WINDOWS – Windows 8 and Windows 7 (64 & 32 bit)
  • iPAD – iPad2 or later is recommended. iOS 5 or above is required

Additional Specs

  • Net weight: 675g
  • Dimensions: W: 325mm, L: 175mm, D: 43mm
  • Connectivity: Class compliant USB: works with USB and iPad (using Camera Connection Kit, not supplied)
  • Power: Fully bus powered by USB, including iPad.

The Novation LaunchKey Mini @ Scan

Softube Console 1 – Hardware Controller & Mixing Environment

Softube Console 1 is a major surprise for us. Every Musikmesse, something brand new and innovative comes around that we were not expecting and this year, i think it’s this.

Rather than producing a DAW hardware controller (such as the Stienberg CMC’s or Presonus Faderport), Plugin developer Softube (Tube-Tech CL1B / Pultec EQ, Trident A-Range Plugins) have unveiled a hybrid hardware controller, complimented by a “virtual analogue” mix environment. I cetainly think they are on the right track, with the rubber coated knobs and quick access buttons all showing a rugged, ergonomic layout. If the quality of thier existing Plugin’s are anything to go by, then the built-in Dynamic and EQ controls should be of the highest calibre, the GUI looks fantastically minimal and easy on the eye for long mix sessions. The mix environment can be used with any DAW and supports VST, VST3, AU, RTAS, and AAX Native Plugin connections.

Initially Mac OS only with hardware parameter control limited to softube plugins, with Windows support to follow, Console 1 should be available in The Autumn, price TBC.

 

A world-class model of an analog mixer channel paired with a hardware controller. Console 1 is that, and more.

Sound. Workflow. Control. Softube Console 1 is an integrated hardware/software music mixing solution which includes a rugged hardware controller and a modeled analog console channel with some unique additions. Use the system with any major DAW and enjoy the biggest advantages from digital and analog mixing environments—plus a few new ones.

Console1_withComputer
The software
Inserting the software on any or all mixer channels of your DAW gives you a full-featured channel strip per channel. Included in the purchase is UK 4k, a new model by Softube of an analog console. UK 4k perfectly mimics the sound of a well-known British large format console, used on countless records from its introduction in the late 1970’s and onwards.

The channel strip is divided into sections, and not only does it include the world famous four-band equalizer and compressor from the modeled console, but there’s also the Drive section which models analog console saturation. And then there’s Dynamic Shape, a unique processor that combines expander/gate and transient shaper functions. Plus a few more useful functions to help you make great mixes.

For further sonic variation, you can customize each channel separately by adding in any Softube equalizer or compressor. This works, because one unique aspect of the Console 1 software is that it’s a plug-in that can contain plug-ins!

The on-screen display gives you perfect and detailed visual feedback and metering of all effects settings and channel levels. But if you prefer an analog-like workflow, the hardware gives you all the visual feedback you need.

The hardware
With Console 1, it’s entirely possible to mix a song from beginning to end and not even look at the computer screen. Intuitively laid out, the sturdy Console 1 hardware puts you in direct control of every aspect of the Console 1 software. True to the analog workflow, most knobs and buttons are dedicated to a single function and very few functions require combining several controls. The LED meters give you immediate visual feedback of your gain structure and the processing performed by the dynamic effects. And the LED circles around each knob let you see that knob’s current position. Still, if you prefer the more detailed feedback the on-screen display gives you, you can toggle it on and off with a dedicated button on the hardware. Or use the Auto mode, and have it pop up every time you change a setting on the hardware and then fade away after a few seconds.

Console1_front

The hardware offers some useful extra functions, such as the ability of grouping any or all channels to tweak the settings simultaneously across the group, and changing the order of the effect sections. The hardware is USB powered, so no extra power supply is necessary.

In Short
– Integrated hardware/software music mixing solution
– World-class analog channel simulation
– Softube’s new modeled analog mixer is included, UK 4k for Console 1
– Hands-on control and intuitive workflow
– Use with any DAW
– Four-band equalizer, compressor, emulated analog console saturation and unique Dynamic Shaper
– Built-in sidechain and parallel compression with all Softube compressors
– Customize the channel by adding any Softube plug-in

Softube’s Console 1 was built to be a straight-forward and intuitive solution for music mixing. Nevertheless, there are a few things that are new about the concept and may need to be cleared up. So here you go—questions and answers on Console 1!

What is Softube Console 1?
It is an integrated hardware/software solution for music mixing. The software part gives you a full-featured mixer channel strip that you can insert on any or all mixer channels in your DAW. The hardware gives you physical control of that channel strip, not just the effects settings but all aspects of it.

So it’s a DAW controller?
No. The hardware doesn’t affect any of your DAW’s settings or functions. The software part of Console 1 lives within your DAW, and the hardware only controls the Console 1 software with its loaded effects. To get full control of your mix, we recommend that you insert the Console 1 plug-in on all the mixer channels of your DAW.

What software effects are included?
With the purchase, the Console 1 software comes loaded with UK 4k for Console 1, a brand new Softube model of a mixer channel from a classic large-frame British console from the late 1970’s. The mixer channel is sectioned into an equalizer, a compressor, Dynamic Shaper and Drive—a model of the saturation you get from running the signal through the analog circuits, with adjustable intensity and character. There’s a few nifty extras, too.

What is Dynamic Shaper?
It is a unique combination of an expander/gate and a transient shaper. This was not a part of the console we modeled for UK 4k, it’s a Softube invention you will only find as part of Console 1.

What else is included in the software package?
The input section has sweepable high and low cut filters that can be set to affect the audio signal or the sidechain of the dynamic effects. There is also a polarity reversal switch and an Input Gain knob. In the output section, you have Pan and Volume knobs, plus Solo and Mute switches. You can change the order of the sections, if you for example prefer to put the compressor before the equalizer in the signal chain, and you can group any or all channels to tweak their settings simultaneously. Everything is controlled from the hardware and almost all functions have their own dedicated switches or knobs.

Does that mean I can only use the included software effects?
No. One unique and innovative aspect of the Console 1 software is that it works like a plug-in that can itself contain plug-ins. Therefore, you can customize each single mixer channel by loading any Softube equalizer or compressor into the corresponding section of the Console 1 software, and then control it from the hardware. Softube will also release more excellent models of high-end analog consoles for Console 1 in the future, that can be purchased separately.

How do I know what settings I have made?
The on-screen display gives detailed visual feedback on all settings and functions of the Console 1 system. The on-screen display can be set to different views and there is a dedicated toggle on/off button on the hardware. You can also have it automatically pop up as soon as you change a setting on the hardware. But the LED meters and rings around the knobs on the hardware also give you plenty of visual feedback, so it’s possible to complete an entire mix without watching the computer screen at all. Working like this, you don’t only get the sound of the classic analog console, you also get an analog-like workflow.

Is the Console 1 software and its effects DSP powered from the hardware?
No. All signal processing takes place within the computer. The hardware only controls the software and has no built-in processing power.

What plug-in formats does the system support?
VST, VST3, AU, RTAS, and AAX Native.

What operating systems does the system support?
MacOS only at the time of launch, Windows support will follow.

How do I connect the hardware to my computer?
By a standard USB connection. The hardware is USB powered, so it has no extra power connections.

Do I need an iLok to run Softube Console 1?
No.

Can I run the Console 1 software without the hardware connected to the computer?
Yes, but you can not make any changes to the settings.

Can I use other manufacturer’s plug-ins within the Console 1 system?
Not currently.

Will UK 4k for Console 1 be released as a separate plug-in, that I can use without the Console 1 system?
No, UK 4k is a Console 1 product only.

Can the Console 1 effects settings be automated?
Yes, all the effects settings can be automated just like any plug-in in your DAW. However, you can not automate loading other plug-ins into the Console 1 software, the order of the effects sections et cetera.

When will Console 1 be available for purchase?
After summer of 2013.

Numark Mixtrack Quad and Mixtrack Edge

Numark have pulled out a couple of variations to their Mixtrack II controller.
MixtrackQuad

Mixtrack Quad seems to add two extra channels and gain controls to the mixer, alongside some extra coloured LED’s for a total of 16 colours, to identify different deck modes, such as cues, loops and sample playback. The platters have two zones and are touch sensitive. It comes with Virtual DJ LE software and has a built in, bus powered audio interface.

mixtrack edge

Mixtrack Edge keeps the built-in USB interface, but reverts to the two channel config and flattens the controls into a rucksack friendly format, whilst actually adding multifunction metal platters that control pitch, song select and cue mix.

Nektar Impact LX49

The Nektar Impact LX49 controller keyboard shoots straight for the budget USB controller keyboard market, currently headed up by the immenent arrival of the Novation Launchkey.

LX49top

Sharing many features with it’s big sibling the Panorama P4 (but lacking the LCD display) It promises easy integration with a range of sequencers such as Cubase, Reason, Cubase, Nuendo Garageband, Sonar, Reaper and even Bitwig (if it ever comes out of beta!)

49 Full size Keys
Sequencer Transport Controls
8 Velocity Sensitive Pads
9 30mm Faders and Control Buttons.
8 Rotary Controls
3 Digit LED Display
5 preset memory locations
4 keyboard velocity curve options
Pitch bend and modulation wheels

Nektar Impact LX49 is due in the Autumn, with an RRP of only £109.99!

http://www.nektartech.com/

Numark Announces The Orbit Wireless DJ Performance Controller

Now anyone who’s seen us at any shows around the country over the last few years will have seen Tom mixing it up using Wii controllers and showing off just how much fun you can have performing when your free to move about. In the light of so many people trying it out by hacking other hardware out there its kind of surprised us that no one has developed a more simple solution that works over WiFi… well it seems like Numark has taken up the mantle with the Orbit.

Orbit Features

Wireless Handheld MIDI DJ ControllerNumark Orbit

  • 2.4 GHz ultra-low-latency wireless performance control
  • 16 backlit pads, 4 selectable banks, 16 virtual knobs per bank
  • Internal two-axis accelerometer with shoulder trigger controls
  • Use handheld, strapped to belt or body, or hung around neck
  • Illuminated aluminum-faced control wheel
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery

Whilst the design looks a little gamer like the big solid controls should make it very easy to use, even whilst having it on the dance floor yourself! The inclusion of the two axis accelerometer should give you some interesting options in regards to effect mapping and triggering and with a bit of tweaking we reckon this could be a really fun and pretty inspiring product.

Numark @ Scan

Akai Announce The MPX8 SD Sample Launcher

The MPX8 Sample launcher takes one of their controllers and adds the capabilites to load your own samples into the unit allowing you to use it for playback in a live situation. Using a standard SD card, users can load virtually any sample onto MPX8 and then assign it to any of the unit’s eight backlit velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads. The MPX8 also comes with a large library of standard samples built in, which can be used for live performance in front of a crowd, on a radio show, or for in-studio production. Its bright blue backlit display and intuitive interface make for easy operation in any amount of light.

The Akai MPX8 features a 1/8-inch headphone output, two balanced 1/4-inch outputs, and five-pin MIDI and USB MIDI inputs and outputs are onboard.

Akai say:

“With MPX8, we’re giving musicians a quick and convenient way to have one-touch access to a virtually unlimited number of sounds, shots, stabs, and drops,” said Dan Gill, Akai
Professional Product Manager. MPX8 comes with a drag-and-drop sample editor for Mac® and PC for easy sample conversion. Users can also save sample sets together as kits for
easy recall and even tune and add reverb to samples.

MPX8 Features

Akai MPX 8

SD Sample Pad Controller

  • Add sound samples via standard SD card (sold separately)
  • 8 velocity-sensitive and pressure-sensitive pads
  • Drag-and-drop sample editor for Mac and PC included
  • Built-in library of popular sounds, samples, and bumps
  • Tune, add reverb, save sample sets for easy recall
  • USB MIDI plus standard MIDI inputs and outputs
  • 1/8” headphone output and balanced 1/4” outputs

Akai Hardware @ Scan.

M-audio Announces Axiom AIR 61, 49, 25 and Air Mini 32 MIDI Keyboards

Another raft of controller keyboards, this time coming from the M-Audio camp bring us a complete refresh of their Axiom range.

M-Audio Axiom Air 25

Axiom AIR 25

Premium Keyboard and Pad Controller

  • 25 expressive synth-action keys with aftertouch
  • 16 great-feeling trigger pads respond to pressure and velocity
  • Roll button aids in creating realistic drum parts
  • Assignable controls offer front-panel programming:
  • 8 rotary encoder knobs plus 1 long-throw 70mm fader
  • 3 banks of pad and knob assignments with color-coded illumination
  • HyperControl automatically maps controllers to popular software
  • Drum Pad Learn feature and Identify button
  • Dedicated transport and navigation buttons make recording easy
  • Octave/Transpose buttons access the entire note range, in any key
  • Assignable pitch bend and modulation performance wheels
  • Selectable velocity curves to match any playing style
  • 128 memory locations for saving custom settings
  • Functional design provides backlit LCD plus under-keyboard cable routing
  • Includes AVID Pro Tools® Express and Ignite™ by AIR

M-AudioAxiom AIR 25

Axiom AIR 49

Premium Keyboard Pad Controller

  • 49 expressive synth-action keys with aftertouch
  • 12 trigger pads respond to pressure and velocity
  • Roll button aids in creating realistic drum parts
  • Assignable controls offer front-panel programming:
  • 8 rotary encoder knobs; 9 long-throw 70mm faders; 9 buttons
  • 3 banks of pad and controller assignments with color-coded illumination
  • HyperControl automatically maps controllers to popular software
  • Drum Pad Learn feature and Identify button
  • Dedicated transport and navigation buttons make recording easy
  • Octave/Transpose buttons access the entire note range, in any key
  • Assignable pitch bend and modulation performance wheels
  • Selectable velocity curves to match any playing style
  • 128 memory locations for saving custom settings
  • Functional design provides backlit LCD plus under-keyboard cable routing
  • Includes AVID Pro Tools® Express and Ignite™ by AIR

M-Audio Axiom Air 61

Axiom AIR 61

Premium Keyboard Controller

  • 61 TruTouch® semi-weighted piano-style keys with aftertouch
  • 12 trigger pads respond to pressure and velocity
  • Roll button aids in creating realistic drum parts
  • Assignable controls offer front-panel programming:
  • 8 rotary encoder knobs; 9 long-throw 70mm faders; 9 buttons
  • 3 banks of pad and controller assignments with color-coded illumination
  • HyperControl automatically maps controllers to popular software
  • Drum Pad Learn feature and Identify button
  • Dedicated transport and navigation buttons make recording easy
  • Octave/Transpose buttons access the entire note range, in any key
  • Assignable pitch bend and modulation performance wheels
  • Selectable velocity curves to match any playing style
  • 128 memory locations for saving custom settings
  • Functional design provides backlit LCD plus under-keyboard cable routing
  • Includes AVID Pro Tools® Express and Ignite™ by AIR

M-Audio Air Mini 32

Axiom Air Mini 32

Mobile Keyboard and Pad Controller

  • 32 low-profile, velocity-sensitive mini keys
  • 8 assignable velocity-sensitive drum pads (x2 banks)
  • 8 assignable knobs deliver immediate control
  • HyperControl® interactive controller mapping
  • Dedicated transport and navigation buttons
  • Sustain, pitch bend, and modulation buttons
  • Octave +/- buttons access the entire note range
  • Velocity curves to match your playing style
  • Includes Ignite™ by AIR and Ableton® Live Lite

 

On top of all this inlike other keyboard controllers that include trial and demo versions of music software, M-Audio’s strong partnerships with AIR Music Technology and Avid® allow each Axiom AIR 61, 49 and 25 model to come complete with two exclusive and complementary music creation applications: Ignite by AIR and Pro Tools® Express from Avid.

By removing many of the hurdles associated with computer-based music-making, Ignite delivers the most streamlined means to quickly capture your best musical ideas.
According to AIR Product Manager Samara Winterfeld, “Ignite was designed from the ground up to provide instant integration and controller mapping with Axiom AIR and
every M-Audio keyboard. This is one less thing a musician has to worry about when inspiration strikes.”

M-Audio @ Scan.

Akai Max 25 & 49

Two new controller keyboards announced at NAMM by Akai today. The Max 25 & 49 have all your normal features and a handful of sliders & pads for to cater for your controller needs, plus both of them come with one additional rather suprising feature of a CV gate!

 

 

Akai Max 25MAX25

Compact USB/MIDI/CV Keyboard Controller

  • 25 semi-weighted keys with aftertouch, 4 LED touch faders
  • Included AkaiConnect software automatically maps to VSTs
  • 8 MPC pads, MPC Note Repeat, and MPC Swing
  • 4 pad banks, 4 fader banks: 64 assignable pads, faders, and buttons
  • Step sequencer and expanded arpeggiator
  • CV & Gate outputs (1V/Oct), Mackie Control® and HUI® modes

Akai MAX 49

 

AKAI MAX49

USB/MIDI/CV Keyboard Controller

  • Now includes Avid® Pro Tools® Express
  • 49 semi-weighted keys with aftertouch, 8 LED touch faders
  • Included AkaiConnect software automatically maps to VSTs
  • 12 MPC pads, MPC Note Repeat, and MPC Swing
  • 4 pad banks, 4 fader banks: 176 assignable pads, faders, and buttons
  • Step sequencer and expanded arpeggiator
  • CV & Gate outputs (1V/Oct), Mackie Control® and HUI® modes

Akai Hardware @ Scan