Controller Advice: Novation MKII 25 SL vs. APC40

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boderekstits
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Controller Advice: Novation MKII 25 SL vs. APC40

Post by boderekstits » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:59 pm

looking for some advice here. I own the MKII - I've had it for a couple years now. When I got it I was just starting on Ableton. The other day a buddy and I had a session at his place with his APC40. I REALLY loved how you could control everything on there, switching tracks, switching to different devices, soloing, arming, moving from Tracks 1-8 to 9-26, all with the push of a button. So much more fun to make music with.

If anyone has seen the Bonobo masterclass video, he uses one of the those Mackie mixer controllers to control Logic....i see the APC40 as a similar device for Ableton. Level faders, transport, etc.

The MKII has basic transport functions that I use a lot, but I cannot figure out if I can do what the APC40 can do. I cannot figure out how to switch tracks, to switch devices, etc. I do a lot of mouse clicking and my eyes were opened when I used the APC for the first time last weekend. I need more hands on.

Obviously I will miss the keys if I ditch the MKII, but I can pick up something basic to compliment the APC.

I'm still a beginning user of Ableton so I'd love any input from you guys about this. Many thanks.

delicioso
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Re: Controller Advice: Novation MKII 25 SL vs. APC40

Post by delicioso » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:10 pm

boderekstits wrote:looking for some advice here. I own the MKII - I've had it for a couple years now. When I got it I was just starting on Ableton. The other day a buddy and I had a session at his place with his APC40. I REALLY loved how you could control everything on there, switching tracks, switching to different devices, soloing, arming, moving from Tracks 1-8 to 9-26, all with the push of a button. So much more fun to make music with.

If anyone has seen the Bonobo masterclass video, he uses one of the those Mackie mixer controllers to control Logic....i see the APC40 as a similar device for Ableton. Level faders, transport, etc.

The MKII has basic transport functions that I use a lot, but I cannot figure out if I can do what the APC40 can do. I cannot figure out how to switch tracks, to switch devices, etc. I do a lot of mouse clicking and my eyes were opened when I used the APC for the first time last weekend. I need more hands on.

Obviously I will miss the keys if I ditch the MKII, but I can pick up something basic to compliment the APC.

I'm still a beginning user of Ableton so I'd love any input from you guys about this. Many thanks.
You should also take a look at Maschine (which replaced my Remote 25 SL) as another option for what you want to do:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnP1RM788Z4&t=02m28s

Maschine also comes with a Mackie control template that works really well: http://www.macprovideo.com/hub/native-i ... ogic-users

yur2die4
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Re: Controller Advice: Novation MKII 25 SL vs. APC40

Post by yur2die4 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:11 pm

Switching tracks, switching devices, and soloing are not automatically doable on the mkII but a lot of the other things you listed are, plus there are a few workarounds.

Do you use the Ableton preset on your mkII? It is described on novation's YouTube site. It allows you to switch through tracks in groups of 8 for faders/mutes/arm/sends, and shows on screen parameters on your LCD similar to Mackie control.

boderekstits
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Re: Controller Advice: Novation MKII 25 SL vs. APC40

Post by boderekstits » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:56 pm

THanks guys - I really just want to switch between devices and tracks like you can with the APC 40.

I would also like to control VST's with a controller - The Automap thing is confusing as hell, although i've just spent a long time watching Novation tutorials online and have a learned a few things, so I will go out and try them.

I also have a Trigger Finger that I use to play drums in the drum rack.

I feel like I have a lot to learn about MIDI, scripts, controllers, etc. I am more of a hands on instrument guy (I use a Juno 106, SH101, Les Paul for guitar and Fender Jazz Bass). I also really like using the Trigger Finger for playing chopped up drum breaks in a drum rack. I just want to have something hands on to switch between track control, device control...seems like the APC40 is great for this (it was when I used it).
But then I would like to control VST's too, which you can't do with an APC40, correct?

humnumb
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Re: Controller Advice: Novation MKII 25 SL vs. APC40

Post by humnumb » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:45 pm

boderekstits wrote:THanks guys - I really just want to switch between devices and tracks like you can with the APC 40.

I would also like to control VST's with a controller - The Automap thing is confusing as hell, although i've just spent a long time watching Novation tutorials online and have a learned a few things, so I will go out and try them.

I also have a Trigger Finger that I use to play drums in the drum rack.

I feel like I have a lot to learn about MIDI, scripts, controllers, etc. I am more of a hands on instrument guy (I use a Juno 106, SH101, Les Paul for guitar and Fender Jazz Bass). I also really like using the Trigger Finger for playing chopped up drum breaks in a drum rack. I just want to have something hands on to switch between track control, device control...seems like the APC40 is great for this (it was when I used it).
But then I would like to control VST's too, which you can't do with an APC40, correct?
You have to save the VST as a rack beforehand in order for the APC40 to control it. But you'd have to constantly refer back to the computer screen to know what you're controlling.

I didn't like Novation's Automap either, especially the fact that you have to save a separate "wrapped" duplicate version of any plugin that you want the Novation controller to automap to.

From all that you're saying though, it really does sound like Maschine would be a good fit for you considering you said you're "more of a hands on instrument guy" and that you like "playing chopped up drum breaks". Keep in mind that neither APC40 or Push will let you slice from the controller.

One thing to know about Maschine is that it also a viable alternative to Live's session view and drum racks that gives you a totally mouseless workflow where you don't even have to be looking at the computer screen. It has scenes and clips and it has always let you record realtime automation into clips (which you still can't do in Live until Live 9 is released). Everything just works without any mapping, configuring scripts/hacks, or workarounds needed. All plugins automap without having to wrap them beforehand like you have to with Novation Automap (not to mention that if you have anything from Komplete, you can even browse and load every preset from just the Maschine hardware). And it's very flexible in its ability to seamless integrate with DAWs like Live in several different ways, like this for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WcbjOm1uhY

And add to the fact that it also happens to be one of the best all-purpose MIDI controllers out there due to the fact that you can create templates with custom names that show up on the hardware's LCD displays, and that it also comes with a superb Live controller template as shown in the video shared earlier in the thread, it's really a no-brainer.

yur2die4
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Re: Controller Advice: Novation MKII 25 SL vs. APC40

Post by yur2die4 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:11 pm

I would suggest a combination of this:
http://stc.wiffbi.com/

And this:
http://youtu.be/0abuwG63DFg

The only major differences you'd end up with between the APC and the mkii are the launch grid, and a few of the buttons that the APC has. But the APC doesn't have parameters on display. Maschine is great but from what you are suggesting, I'm pretty sure you can get very close via the remote mkii.

Of course, setup can be really tricky........... But doable!!

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