Ultimate Live controller

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
monarkeys
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Ultimate Live controller

Post by monarkeys » Sat Jan 15, 2005 12:22 am

OK.
I'm trying to figure out what I can use as a controller for Live, and I am very dissappointed with what I see out there.

I have an Edirol, an Oxygen, and just ordered a Novation Remote 25 - all are OK but lacking in some ways.
I've looked at Behringer, Yamaha,, etc...
http://www.synthzone.com/ctrlr.htm has some interesting links.

I've also done a lot of poking around for channelizers and widgets (Doepfer, MIDI solutions, Phil Rees, bitstream, jlCooper, etc...). Things could be cobbled together, but in many cases several devices would need to be strung together, which would introduce MIDI delays that I'd rather avoid.

Any suggestions welcome.

These are the features I would (ultimately) like to see:

-Buttons and knobs that send controller messages
I figure 16 buttons and 16 knobs would be plenty for all clips, controls, FX, etc for one channel of Live (Could maybe get by with 8 of each)
-An easy way to change the MIDI channel for all controllers going out (using the one controller per channel strip approach). I am talking about one-button-push to change the channel - not a series of pushes, or hunting through a menu or using the mouse in any way.
The MIDI channel select should also affect MIDI notes going out - that means either notes coming from the controller keyboard (if it has one) or the MIDI input.

-an easy way to send prg changes out on the selected MIDI channel - so that I can select presets on my virtual instruments - again - one-button push would be ideal. (might need 1 for bank select too). Maybe a knob with 7-seg LED so you know what PRG number is going out.
-an option for footswitches (!!!) preferably 8 or 16 of those - sending channelized controller messages for turning on and off cips.
-A few switches that are not affected by the MIDI channel selection for things like play, stop, OVR, metronome, Tap...

-Doesn't cost $1000(US) -> $300-500 range would be OK.


Now - here is the big question:

[
-What would the rest of you like to see for features for such a device?


... and what would be willing to pay for it?

If there's enough interest - I will design and build this myself, but it'll be too much work if I'm the only one out there that really wants one.


Thanks
Jack Hayward

Cache
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Post by Cache » Sat Jan 15, 2005 12:41 am

have you considered the UC33. great controller. i can't remember offhand if you can send bank changes, but you can do all the rest.
changing global midi channels is a stab of two buttons, followed by typing the global midi channel you want to transmit on.

monarkeys
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Post by monarkeys » Sat Jan 15, 2005 12:52 am

Yup - looked at the evolution - it is not bad.

In the heat of battle (live performance) I don't want to have to be "thinking" about executing a series of button pushes - I want sixteen buttons for MIDI channel select, where I know that the one on the left is my drum track, the next one in is bass, etc...
I am looking forward to checking out the Remote 25 - I think it has up/dn buttons for channel select - that might be almost as good.

Other than that (and the lack of channelizer functionality and footswitch options) it's not a bad unit.

JAH

Joshua Boden
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Korg microKontroler

Post by Joshua Boden » Sat Jan 15, 2005 1:32 am

I have been making loop based music for a while, really only got into midi when Live 4 came out. But I gotta say that the new Korg Micro seems to fit the bill on maney levels. some cats have complained about the size of the keys, but hell, Im a bass player so what do i care!
I dont claim to be an expert on midi controlers but for the money, the micro seems to fit the bill.....
.....now if only i could get a Fader Fox module Id be a happy camper....
-J

Liam
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Controller device

Post by Liam » Sat Jan 15, 2005 2:08 am

This link was posted in another area.

Looks quite good and the price seems reasonable - designed for LIVE too.

http://www.faderfox.de/Faderfox-Homepag ... glish.html

monarkeys
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Post by monarkeys » Sat Jan 15, 2005 2:19 am

Yes - the fader fox stuff looks pretty good - I hadn't seen that yet - but they use note-on messages for the buttons - which could create severe havoc if I tried to use it on a MIDI track.

Sigh.

mcconaghy
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Post by mcconaghy » Sat Jan 15, 2005 4:07 am

You know what, if you're adept at swinging a soldering iron, and aren't afraid to do a little DIY, go here: http://www.ucapps.de and check out the related messageboard at http://www.midibox.com

Heavy stuff.

zeropoint
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Post by zeropoint » Sat Jan 15, 2005 4:49 am

monarkeys wrote:Yes - the fader fox stuff looks pretty good - I hadn't seen that yet - but they use note-on messages for the buttons - which could create severe havoc if I tried to use it on a MIDI track.

Sigh.
Why would the note ons necessarily create havoc on a midi track? Couldn't you just isolate the midi input on the drop down so it only accepts messages from the keyboard you're using for live playing. Then with the midi monitor switched off the Faderfox will only trigger midi clips on that track as opposed to triggering the plug in direct. Even if you forgot to switch the midi monitor off the worst that would happen is that the Faderfox would launch the recording of an empty midi clip. Or am I missing something? Next money I have is going on 2 X LV1s.....
MacBook Pro 17" 2.93Ghz 8G Ram, Live 9.6, OSX 10.11.3,Faderfoxes, Monome........

MrTom
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Post by MrTom » Sat Jan 15, 2005 2:09 pm

I think the best solution is as much faders, encoders, buttons as possible to keep the whole layout as static as possible. Multiple assignment for a single button is very confusing.

Here is my setup.

3 BCRs, 4x Faderfox (the ones with 64 Buttons)

Now I have nearly every function under direct access without any paging or preset changing
.
I think, the biggest problem in any controller is the preset changing and paging, because you will be always faster with the mouse instead of scrolling through tons of pages.

My Controller Setup:

2 BCRs: Channel 1-16 with effect sends (a button switches to Channel 17-32)
1 BCR Master: (Volume, Effect Returns, Tempo etc...)

2 Faderfox: Clips 1-8 on Track 1-16, one button press to switch to Clip 9-16 or Track17-32).
2 Faderfox: Master (Channel 1-16 Trackarking, Muting Soloing, Scenes Transport, Clip Stop/Start etc.. one button switches to Channel 17-32).

It took me just one night to set everything up. The BCRs are the midi interfaces. Preset changes are done with MIDI-OX.

Previously I used Mackie Control with XT in Cubase, but it didn't help me a lot.
Too many pages and multiple assignments are a waste time and mind.
(eg. ín Oxford EQ there were about 8 pages and the parameters of one eq band were on different non-neighboured pages)
I do not want to control plugs generically.
If i have to control a single parameter i assign it at runtime.

After 2 days with my setup I did not need any labelling anymore, which describes the controller function.
And finally if I want to extend it, I just can by a single cheap module like another BCR and nothing has to be programmed again.

And I does not look too bad :-)...

Best, Thomas

hoffman2k
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Post by hoffman2k » Sat Jan 15, 2005 4:37 pm

i got a uc33 and the faderfox module. It's a great combination. and within your price range i think. both have loads of advantages.
The coolest thing about the faderfox is the rotary encoder. wich is also a button that switches modes. the one mode is able to highlight every track, the other does the scenes. so you can move over a whole matrix with one knob.

AdamJay
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Post by AdamJay » Sat Jan 15, 2005 5:48 pm

i also use the UC33 for controlling live.

6 audio channels with 3 band eq (EQ4 converted) . the master slider using for BPM tuning to beatmatch with finalscratch and vinyl, and the rest of the controllers (2 sliders 6 knobs) are used for FX - a couple delays with different timings, some filter cutoffs, and other secrets ;)

do i think its one of the most complete controllers you could buy for Live?
HELL YES.

33 controllers plus 14 buttons for $189, and its bus powered!

The faderfox stuff interests me, but i dont need a cross fader, and outside from that, it doesn't really give me much that a combination of my UC33 and laptop keyboard can't do. I use the << and >> buttons for scene navigation (up/down). and the number keys for clip launding and fx activation. and the more i think of it, i really don't use the laptop keyboard for triggering as much anymore now that i've really gotten into the UC33.

Now i only look at the computer to select and launch clips, otherwise the mixer view in Live 4 is turned off and i just reference the UC33 visually (thanks to some $2 silver nail polish on the tip pointers of the knobs. ;)

ncw
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Post by ncw » Sat Jan 15, 2005 6:00 pm

I have a Faderfox LV1. When I was choosing I had a play with the Evolution range, and I have to say that the build quality lets it right down.

The only potential drawback with the Fader Fox is that you need a Midi interface with it, it doesn't run off USB. But it is Modular, so its possible to build a massive all singing all dancing mega controller.

Image

AdamJay
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Post by AdamJay » Sat Jan 15, 2005 6:05 pm

ncw wrote:I had a play with the Evolution range, and I have to say that the build quality lets it right down.
i hear alot of folks complain about it but i haven't heard anyone report on a broken UC-33. Mine is dinged to hell but it hasn't stopped working, and its never crashed on me in almost 2 years. I don't think its any less "weak" in terms of build as say, an ibook.

ncw
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Post by ncw » Sat Jan 15, 2005 6:53 pm

Not sure it really quantifies anything to compare a laptop and a midi controller. I found that the UC 33 wasn't right for me anyway, but a lot of people seem to swear by them.

THe other thing I noticed was that sometimes when moving the fader up it wouldn't do anything on screen and then suddenly jump up, which doesn't make for much subtlety.

Machinate
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Post by Machinate » Sat Jan 15, 2005 7:39 pm

AdamJay wrote:
ncw wrote:I had a play with the Evolution range, and I have to say that the build quality lets it right down.
i hear alot of folks complain about it but i haven't heard anyone report on a broken UC-33. Mine is dinged to hell but it hasn't stopped working, and its never crashed on me in almost 2 years. I don't think its any less "weak" in terms of build as say, an ibook.
I think the thing that puts people off wrt to the uc33s is the plasticey feel and look of the thing. They're clearly quite rugged.
-btw, I love mine, but it doesn't bling-bling like moving faders, metal cases, led rings and all that.

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