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Do you use MIDI controllers when you work with Live?
Yes, I'd feel lost without my MIDI controller. 59%  59%  [ 75 ]
I use them sometimes but I also spend a lot of time only with my KB+mouse. 39%  39%  [ 50 ]
No. I feel no need for MIDI controllers and I do all my work only with KB+mouse. 2%  2%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 128
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 Post subject: Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:02 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:50 pm
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Location: MacAbleton Towers, sunny Manchester.
BoddAH wrote:

Faders and knobs are cool I guess but they aren't worth the hassle IMHO when not performing live. It's more straightforward to just draw in your automation or use the mouse.


I can understand your view to an extent, I'm actually half with you tbh, but I also think you might be missing out to an extent.

Let's take my bass for example. I mostly use an Arturia Minimoog grouped into an Instrument Rack with various processing devices.

I load it (mouselessly) onto a track (actually it's already there usually by default) and immediately the 8 knobs in front of me control cutoff, decay, etc, all the main parameters you would want to tweak the sound. My Keyrig's 8 knobs control 4 different devices in Live via 4 scripts).I never see the plugin window. I don't touch a mouse. I don't even look at the computer. I can do it with my eyes shut. It's quick, it's easy on the eyes, easy on the hands, and you can adjust several parameters at more or less the same time. Of course if you wanted to record automation it would be a doddle.

If I want to use a plugin I'll often use my Nocturn, and I use this for drums too. For drums I use Simplers in Racks on separate tracks. My Nocturn navigates to the one I want and the 8 knobs control pitch, EQ3 and so on via a Sample Auditioner rack.

I launch the clips with the Launchpad and away we go. Yes I still often input notes via the computer keyboard using the draw tool. I certainly rearrange them this way. I never use a mouse, but I do sometimes use a trackpad.

I want to use the Nocturn for Mixer if I can figure it out, but I also use the Launchpad for that.

When you are recording by the way, you can have record quantize on so it's tight even if you are not.

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 Post subject: Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:10 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:55 am
Posts: 9
^^This.

Just one of many things one cannot do with simply a mouse and keyboard.

Did you see my post Funk?


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 Post subject: Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:16 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:50 pm
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Location: MacAbleton Towers, sunny Manchester.
Sorry, no, I'll go have a read.

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 Post subject: Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:43 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:13 pm
Posts: 348
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Great feedback in this thread.

To be fair I do a lot of things on my iPad which could be considered a controller (minus the tactile feedback, velocity sensitivity, etc.).

Maybe I should give my traditional controllers some more time, a fair chance. I have actually spent some effort setting up everything nice and tight with remote scripts, etc. The problem is that I never really integrated them into my workflow and when I use them once in a blue moon it naturally feels awkward.

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 Post subject: Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:59 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:00 am
Posts: 941
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
It's funny that you bring this up because I was just thinking the same thing. I'm totally obsessed w/ controllers! I go online and drool over them like it's porn and even go to guitar center and spend hours looking/playing w/ them. I'm pretty sure everyone here can understand that.
I own an APC40, Launchpad, Axiom25, Traktor Kontrol F1, x1 and S2. The Traktor stuff I can justify because I do use it in live situations and MIDI maps I use make the whole experience super fun.

But when it comes to producing I basically only use the Launchpad. It plays notes and I have a script that includes a step sequencer and device control. The device control pretty much renders the APc40 useless since I really only use (in a production sense) for the auto-mapped device control(8 macros.) Plus a lot of time I'm not at my desk when producing so I end up using my mAcbook keyboard to audition notes and then just draw notes and automation.

Even when I'm at my massive control console(my desk) surrounded by all these awesome multi-colored controllers, I find myself not even using them, or feeling like I need to and wasting music making time on fucking w/ controllers.

That said, I still love them because I'm pretty decent at drumming w/ my fingers and am halfway decent at playing the keyboard so just jamming out and recording the results is one of my favorite things to do. Like someone above said, the "happy accidents" happen much more than you'd think plus actually "playing" an instrument, which I definitely consider controllers to be, connects one to the music on a whole other level. It's so much more personal and feels more like something I created than it would if it were purely programmed. Sure, you could shut the grid off and "humanize" things(which I also do) it doesn't replace playing it! I started on guitar so I value the "playing" factor. SO........I may be minimizing my set-up very soon BUT.........Fucking PUSH is calling my name!!!!! :D

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 Post subject: Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:58 pm 

Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:13 pm
Posts: 348
Location: Brussels, Belgium
I'm currently watching a lot of Tom Cosm's tutorial videos.

I don't know if that's actually how he produces 100% of the time but something interesting I noticed is that he seems to program all of his MIDI stuff without any MIDI controller.

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 Post subject: Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:20 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:50 pm
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Location: MacAbleton Towers, sunny Manchester.
What exactly have you got? If I had to prioritise I would say you wanna get 8 knobs integrated for tweaking racked up plugins and devices. You can either use User Remote Scripts or something like Automap with Guille's script. I just got that and am testing it now. If my current gremlins go away and it's not the script, I'll be quite chuffed with it. I also use User Scripts as I mentioned before, and they are reliable. Basically I always use hardware knobs on Instrument Racks' macros. So much easier. I have 4 scripts for the Keyrig, so each can be locked to a different rack, and then I have the Nocturn on top, which I use for Racks and also some unracked plugins.

However if I was doing sound design in something like ACE from scratch, I'd just use a mouse I think, until it was ready to be racked up and then I'd use hardware to twiddle the main parameters.

I always load samples into Sample Auditioner racks, and these are controlled with the Nocturn.

Tutorials on the website.

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Sample Auditioner Rack

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 Post subject: Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:04 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:13 pm
Posts: 348
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Funk N. Furter wrote:
What exactly have you got? If I had to prioritise I would say you wanna get 8 knobs integrated for tweaking racked up plugins and devices. You can either use User Remote Scripts or something like Automap with Guille's script. I just got that and am testing it now. If my current gremlins go away and it's not the script, I'll be quite chuffed with it. I also use User Scripts as I mentioned before, and they are reliable. Basically I always use hardware knobs on Instrument Racks' macros. So much easier. I have 4 scripts for the Keyrig, so each can be locked to a different rack, and then I have the Nocturn on top, which I use for Racks and also some unracked plugins.

However if I was doing sound design in something like ACE from scratch, I'd just use a mouse I think, until it was ready to be racked up and then I'd use hardware to twiddle the main parameters.

I always load samples into Sample Auditioner racks, and these are controlled with the Nocturn.

Tutorials on the website.

Image
Sample Auditioner Rack


I basically have the 3 Korg Nanoseries controllers and an iPad with TouchOSC.

I created my own User Scripts for the Korg NanoPad and NanoKontrol to bind pretty much anything that can be bound in a sensible way (Macro controls, Drum Rack Pads, Track Arm, etc.) and even created some Live Templates for the things that can't be assigned in the User Script file (Track Mute and Solo, etc.).

I probably have to give these things some more time. I can see the use of controllers in Live situations but even though my controllers are all set up nice and tight I end up just going mouse and KB most of the time.

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 Post subject: Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:56 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:31 pm
Posts: 2622
Location: The Lounge
Things are different for us when it comes to studio VS live duty:

-1) composition : we use the controllers a bit, to record some drum parts that would be too robotic if done with the mouse (breakbeats, "dubstep" riddims...), to tweak the scenes in session while the song is still not arranged, to record some automations in the arrangement... The synths lines are played on the synths keyboards and midi recorded then edited with the mouse, then audio recorded.

so here, only 2-3 controllers are at use.

2) Live shows => we use all our 7 midi controllers (2 livid codes, 2 launchpads, 2 nanokontrols, 1 faderfox LV2), and NEVER touch the mouse after loading our live set.


anyway, if you're good with the mouse, the fact that other people use controllers doesn't mean you should try it more... stick with what is good for you :wink:

cheers

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 Post subject: Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:40 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:26 pm
Posts: 3461
Location: Wageningen, Netherlands
Interesting thread indeed.

I sit right in between, I own an APC40, MPD24 and a MIDI keyboard but their usage heavily depends on what I'm doing. I'm not really a fan for drawing in MIDI or automation because even if you'd apply stuff such as groove's you'd still get a bit of a "static" feel to it. I like using controllers, not only for the feel but also because you always create a bit of "human" variation in your setup (there's always a (small) bit of 'lag' between your controller the way it gets applied in Live).

So when it comes to sound design (I love playing / creating pads and soundscapes) I heavily use the controller(s). But when I'm messing with stuff such as M4l or merely trying to get a better sound out of some of my presets then all I need are the keyboard and mouse.

As such a bit of both.

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 Post subject: Re: How many of you actually use MIDI controllers?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:56 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 10:09 am
Posts: 202
i use the microkontol for input of notes and thats about it i have a nocturn and a lpd8 but just couldn't be arsed setting it all up for what i use live for in the studio ..in cubase i use the lpd 8 mapped to QC's and the MK's pads mapped to screen sets and mixer views otherwise it's easier to just grab mouse and kb.. different story when playing out, i use both knob controllers and a korg zero 4 as interface/controller .. for me, in the studio things are more precise rather than immediate .. where as in a live situation the opposite is the way.

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