AKAI Advance looks promising, but unfinished...

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ssante
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Re: AKAI Advance looks promising, but unfinished...

Post by ssante » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:33 am

I just purchased the MPK249. Thought about the Advance but decided the 249 was better suited to my studio requirements. Pads are so great. Keys are very nice but do have more tension that say the UltraNova Fadar key bed but the work very well and there is plenty of parameters to set it up nicely.

The part I am still working on is getting banks B, C in the Mixer section (encoders) to midi map to lives instruments rack 8 macro knobs or the Plugin configure that can be saved in a Device Rack without assigned Macros. Touchable 3 will map and control this but if you add the Macro maps then Touchable 3 to south as well.
Stephanie Sante
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Schmidi
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Re: AKAI Advance looks promising, but unfinished...

Post by Schmidi » Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:03 pm

tedlogan wrote:I've given up on the idea of properly trying to operate a DAW/VST with mainly a controller, not looking at the screen nor using a mouse.
I'm (until/if something great is made) in the same boat. I have realized, for me at least, that the 8 device control knobs on my good old APC40 work pretty damn well as long as I have the correct plug selected (which I can do from the controller).

I do think that if some company can really nail it, that it would be a very beneficial controller. The sound quality of software is definitely up to hardware these days. It's just a matter of getting good, intuitive control of the software at this point.

tedlogan
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Re: AKAI Advance looks promising, but unfinished...

Post by tedlogan » Fri Mar 13, 2015 4:14 pm

Schmidi wrote:
tedlogan wrote:I've given up on the idea of properly trying to operate a DAW/VST with mainly a controller, not looking at the screen nor using a mouse.
I'm (until/if something great is made) in the same boat. I have realized, for me at least, that the 8 device control knobs on my good old APC40 work pretty damn well as long as I have the correct plug selected (which I can do from the controller).

I do think that if some company can really nail it, that it would be a very beneficial controller. The sound quality of software is definitely up to hardware these days. It's just a matter of getting good, intuitive control of the software at this point.
Yeah, it completely depends which mode I'm in. If it's patch/instrument/rack/VST-parameter-configuring mode, then mouse all the way (not that I have a choice in this - but the mouse is most suitable). Once my tools are forged and sharpened with the humble and brilliant mouse I go into Push mode almost exclusively. I'm really enjoying it again after a brief estrangement.

Right tool for the job and all that...

ssante
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Re: AKAI Advance looks promising, but unfinished...

Post by ssante » Sun Mar 15, 2015 1:08 am

ssante wrote:I just purchased the MPK249. Thought about the Advance but decided the 249 was better suited to my studio requirements. Pads are so great. Keys are very nice but do have more tension that say the UltraNova Fadar key bed but the work very well and there is plenty of parameters to set it up nicely.

The part I am still working on is getting banks B, C in the Mixer section (encoders) to midi map to lives instruments rack 8 macro knobs or the Plugin configure that can be saved in a Device Rack without assigned Macros. Touchable 3 will map and control this but if you add the Macro maps then Touchable 3 to south as well.
After days of sleuthing and reading many blogs, review, comments. I decided to try the Novation Launch Control as a secondary controller for Ableton live Suite 9.1.7. I am happy to say the Launch Control in Factory mode 3 works like a champ with Instrument Rack Macros and any other Devices. You simply scroll to what you want to control and click the device (blue hand) and 8 knobs are right on target.

Funny thing is I used Midi Monitor to grab the midi info when I turned the knobs on the Launch Control to drive the Macros. I tried programming the exact same Channel and CC using Control Bank B and C on the Mpk249 and they still could not lock to the Macro Knobs. Not sure why?

All in all they work very well together. I also have an iPad with Touchable 3, however Touchable 3 has a difficult time as well. Its great with Lives audio effects but when it comes to Macros, forget it. At least in my experience. Definitely hit or miss.

Akai should respond to this. All in all though I do like my MPK249 and its a keeper. The pads are the best of anyones. Very solid unit and seems well made consider the quality of so many modern products. The MPK249 is a big step up from the MPK49. Hopefully I will get many good years of usage out of my MPK249.
Stephanie Sante
www.santemusic.com

Machinesworking
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Re: AKAI Advance looks promising, but unfinished...

Post by Machinesworking » Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:42 am

ssante wrote: After days of sleuthing and reading many blogs, review, comments. I decided to try the Novation Launch Control as a secondary controller for Ableton live Suite 9.1.7. I am happy to say the Launch Control in Factory mode 3 works like a champ with Instrument Rack Macros and any other Devices. You simply scroll to what you want to control and click the device (blue hand) and 8 knobs are right on target.
After starting this thread and thinking about it, I came across a good deal on an almost new Remote SL MKII, and even with the absence of the second LED screen compared to the first generation it's a real step up. The main problem Novation have IMO is really piss poor documentation, but they do add everything in there, Live configurations, User definable maps and Automap. You can even mod them to a degree. The Remote SL MKII series is worth the hassle of digging through the documentation on Automap and the SL to get to what you can do.

cmreal04
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Re: AKAI Advance looks promising, but unfinished...

Post by cmreal04 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:41 pm

Yeah the novation boards are definitely worth the time/investment. The novation compact sl is actually one of my favorite boards ever. I opted to go with the mpk249 tho and ditch a bunch of controllers, in attempts to keep my workflow as tight as possible, mind you I work mostly sample based. I hope to use this board for a long to come: great pads, good keys, and solid faders/knobs as usual. I'll either pick up a Alesis VI25 for mobile use or a Korg microsampler, which looks to be great fun.
Ableton 9, Feeltune Rhizome, Focusrite Pro, Mpk249....

Machinesworking
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Re: AKAI Advance looks promising, but unfinished...

Post by Machinesworking » Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:12 am

cmreal04 wrote:Yeah the novation boards are definitely worth the time/investment. The novation compact sl is actually one of my favorite boards ever. I opted to go with the mpk249 tho and ditch a bunch of controllers, in attempts to keep my workflow as tight as possible, mind you I work mostly sample based. I hope to use this board for a long to come: great pads, good keys, and solid faders/knobs as usual. I'll either pick up a Alesis VI25 for mobile use or a Korg microsampler, which looks to be great fun.
Korg over Alesis for sure.

the MPK249 is a good controller for sure, I like the user definable MIDI of the Remote series though, AKAI just don't have as deep of customize-ability.
It's the same problem I have with Push. :x

ssante
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Re: AKAI Advance looks promising, but unfinished...

Post by ssante » Mon Mar 23, 2015 3:15 pm

ssante wrote:
ssante wrote:I just purchased the MPK249. Thought about the Advance but decided the 249 was better suited to my studio requirements. Pads are so great. Keys are very nice but do have more tension that say the UltraNova Fadar key bed but the work very well and there is plenty of parameters to set it up nicely.

The part I am still working on is getting banks B, C in the Mixer section (encoders) to midi map to lives instruments rack 8 macro knobs or the Plugin configure that can be saved in a Device Rack without assigned Macros. Touchable 3 will map and control this but if you add the Macro maps then Touchable 3 to south as well.
After days of sleuthing and reading many blogs, review, comments. I decided to try the Novation Launch Control as a secondary controller for Ableton live Suite 9.1.7. I am happy to say the Launch Control in Factory mode 3 works like a champ with Instrument Rack Macros and any other Devices. You simply scroll to what you want to control and click the device (blue hand) and 8 knobs are right on target.

Funny thing is I used Midi Monitor to grab the midi info when I turned the knobs on the Launch Control to drive the Macros. I tried programming the exact same Channel and CC using Control Bank B and C on the Mpk249 and they still could not lock to the Macro Knobs. Not sure why?

All in all they work very well together. I also have an iPad with Touchable 3, however Touchable 3 has a difficult time as well. Its great with Lives audio effects but when it comes to Macros, forget it. At least in my experience. Definitely hit or miss.

Akai should respond to this. All in all though I do like my MPK249 and its a keeper. The pads are the best of anyones. Very solid unit and seems well made consider the quality of so many modern products. The MPK249 is a big step up from the MPK49. Hopefully I will get many good years of usage out of my MPK249.
Update after getting a response from AKAI:

The problem was that manually mapping the MPK's knobs to Instrument Rack Macro Knobs is only saved with the Song NOT the Rack/device. Not sure how I missed that since I was reading and following the Live Manual.

So Live does remember the Rack setup and its internal mappings to the 8 macro knobs. But when you start each new song you have to manually midi map the MPK249 8 knobs to the Macro knobs in Ableton live and save as a song. Then upon recall they will be there. Of course I use banks b and c for this on the MPK since I have a number of VST's I want to control parameters.

The best way to speed up the workflow (IMHO) is to create a song template with the Instrument Racks/VST's setup and save not just as a template but as a song with say the name "baseline song" or something like that.

Akai also said as a Control Surface the MPKs 8 knobs should automatically map to a device once highlighted. However in my experience, as far as Control Surface mapping the eight knobs do not always automatically map to the controls of the highlighted rack module (blue hand). Sometimes it does get confuses and you have to toggle back and forth a time or two.

I have found the Touchable 3 (with purchased device templates) is really good for this as you can just scroll to the one you want and they give you access to all device parameter on the iPad. I recommend the iPad and Touchable as a great partner with the MPK249. I use the MPK for VST and Macro knob controls and Touchable for Live Devices such a Audio Effects. They are very powerful together and create a great experience.

I have since returned the Novation Launch Control as its no longer needed it now. It became confused as well. Sometimes it would not set Factory 3 mode. So I have to go back to Factory 1 or 2 mode and then proceed to Factory 3 mode. Of course most manufacturers want to you hook you USB devices directly to your computer. Well we all know the many computers have like 2 usb ports. Almost everyone has a hub.

One other thing. The pads on the MPK249 are just exceptional. I would say as good or better than Push or Maschine. Now if I only had 64 of them in a pad with a Pitch and Modulation Strip with a Sustain Pedal Input on back. I have could that Pads are great for alternate playing nuance and technique and not just for drum racks.
Stephanie Sante
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login
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Re: AKAI Advance looks promising, but unfinished...

Post by login » Mon Mar 23, 2015 4:04 pm

You can also edit the user remote script so that 8 knobs always map to the first 8 parameters of any device or macro controls.

logicbomb.de
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Re: AKAI Advance looks promising, but unfinished...

Post by logicbomb.de » Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:44 pm

Machinesworking wrote:
ssante wrote: After days of sleuthing and reading many blogs, review, comments. I decided to try the Novation Launch Control as a secondary controller for Ableton live Suite 9.1.7. I am happy to say the Launch Control in Factory mode 3 works like a champ with Instrument Rack Macros and any other Devices. You simply scroll to what you want to control and click the device (blue hand) and 8 knobs are right on target.
After starting this thread and thinking about it, I came across a good deal on an almost new Remote SL MKII, and even with the absence of the second LED screen compared to the first generation it's a real step up. The main problem Novation have IMO is really piss poor documentation, but they do add everything in there, Live configurations, User definable maps and Automap. You can even mod them to a degree. The Remote SL MKII series is worth the hassle of digging through the documentation on Automap and the SL to get to what you can do.

I had a similar opportunity, took it and was not disappointed.

Walked into Guitar Center to get a MPK as a companion to my APC40. had an axiom 2nd gen but hated the way the knobs felt.

Turns out GC had a great price on a lightly used Remote SLMKII for about the same price as the MPK and I've never regretted it.


hope it all works out for ya

cheers
Live 9 Suite | Push | APC40 MKI | Bass Station II | Roland Tr-8 | Yamaha EX7 | Novation Remote SL49| NI Komplete Audio 6 | Launchpad Mini| LEAP Motion w/ GECO MIDI |

Fossiel
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Re: AKAI Advance looks promising, but unfinished...

Post by Fossiel » Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:39 pm

tedlogan wrote:I've given up on the idea of properly trying to operate a DAW/VST with mainly a controller, not looking at the screen nor using a mouse.

Let's say you get that awesome never-tear-your-eyes-away-from-it controller to control a DAW/VST. It would need a nice little screen, lots of buttons and encoders, maybe a touchpad...and BAM - it's a laptop with encoders and maybe faders. And possibly a musical keyboard. Or, place your laptop/screen just behind the keyboard/controller as we all do currently. Or it could go the other way and mutate into a dedicated hardware synthesizer.

I've embraced the desktop/mouse/large monitor/Push setup. It just seems utterly pointless now to think of the above hypothetical device when the difference is so small if you think about it. Why try and move away from the mouse when it's so efficient? Why pretend I'm not working with a computer?
Great argument, but it's not just about working efficiently. When I control a VST with a controller with the pc-screen turned off, I really listen to the sound. Looking to the screen often distracts me, which leads to fiddling with all the 100 other parameters on the screen. The same counts for fingerdrumming on a Push, instead of drawing in the midi data in drumracks.

For me it results in natural sounding stuff, and not the static trippy techno things.

login
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Re: AKAI Advance looks promising, but unfinished...

Post by login » Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:59 pm

Roland System 1 plug outs are a great idea, something similar to push but for instruments. Yep it seems for this systems to work properly they have to be limited to some applications as Push, Spark, Maschine, Console 1 and now System 1.

Generic will never work that well ergonomics wise, you need specialized UI design on the hardware for really feeling both as one unit.

I really hope Roland comes out with a 61/49 keys version of System 1, with polyphonic plug outs to get closer it really could be great.

I also not understand why controller manufacturers (Akai, Novation, Native instruments, etc) dont realize two simple facts:

1.- 8 8 encoders and 8 faders are simply not enough to control properly any software instrument.
2.- Visual feedback is very important to controlling software from hardware: you need to see parameter names and values. Push does this and at least for effects its good enough (for me still sucks for instruments because it only has 8 encoders). Novation had two screens on remotes and went back to 1. Akai brings a screen on the new advance kb but only 8 encoders. native instruments kind of went in to the right direction, only to limit the Kontrol S controllers to 8 f**** encoders!


The first manufacturer to make a controller with the following stuff could sell the unit like hotcakes:

1.- 32 or more encoders (knobs suck for software)
2.- Led rings
3.- A good UI/encoder layout
4.- Screens for showing parameter names

I hope Ableton follows Push with a controller dedicated to mixing, or something like push but with keys and 32 encoders.

ssante
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Re: AKAI Advance looks promising, but unfinished...

Post by ssante » Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:01 am

login wrote:Roland System 1 plug outs are a great idea, something similar to push but for instruments. Yep it seems for this systems to work properly they have to be limited to some applications as Push, Spark, Maschine, Console 1 and now System 1.

Generic will never work that well ergonomics wise, you need specialized UI design on the hardware for really feeling both as one unit.

I really hope Roland comes out with a 61/49 keys version of System 1, with polyphonic plug outs to get closer it really could be great.

I also not understand why controller manufacturers (Akai, Novation, Native instruments, etc) dont realize two simple facts:

1.- 8 8 encoders and 8 faders are simply not enough to control properly any software instrument.
2.- Visual feedback is very important to controlling software from hardware: you need to see parameter names and values. Push does this and at least for effects its good enough (for me still sucks for instruments because it only has 8 encoders). Novation had two screens on remotes and went back to 1. Akai brings a screen on the new advance kb but only 8 encoders. native instruments kind of went in to the right direction, only to limit the Kontrol S controllers to 8 f**** encoders!


The first manufacturer to make a controller with the following stuff could sell the unit like hotcakes:

1.- 32 or more encoders (knobs suck for software)
2.- Led rings
3.- A good UI/encoder layout
4.- Screens for showing parameter names

I hope Ableton follows Push with a controller dedicated to mixing, or something like push but with keys and 32 encoders.

so a modified Novation SL MarkIII without Automap and revamped layout? Minus keys or with keys.
Stephanie Sante
www.santemusic.com

tedlogan
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Re: AKAI Advance looks promising, but unfinished...

Post by tedlogan » Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:28 am

Fossiel wrote:
tedlogan wrote:I've given up on the idea of properly trying to operate a DAW/VST with mainly a controller, not looking at the screen nor using a mouse.

Let's say you get that awesome never-tear-your-eyes-away-from-it controller to control a DAW/VST. It would need a nice little screen, lots of buttons and encoders, maybe a touchpad...and BAM - it's a laptop with encoders and maybe faders. And possibly a musical keyboard. Or, place your laptop/screen just behind the keyboard/controller as we all do currently. Or it could go the other way and mutate into a dedicated hardware synthesizer.

I've embraced the desktop/mouse/large monitor/Push setup. It just seems utterly pointless now to think of the above hypothetical device when the difference is so small if you think about it. Why try and move away from the mouse when it's so efficient? Why pretend I'm not working with a computer?
Great argument, but it's not just about working efficiently. When I control a VST with a controller with the pc-screen turned off, I really listen to the sound. Looking to the screen often distracts me, which leads to fiddling with all the 100 other parameters on the screen. The same counts for fingerdrumming on a Push, instead of drawing in the midi data in drumracks.

For me it results in natural sounding stuff, and not the static trippy techno things.
Yup, I fully agree with you. When I posted that I was mostly absorbed in patch-creation for Bazille and Hive, while doing nothing else related to sound, and my one-track mind uttered foolishness.

I've since made a u-turn of sorts and am again trodding the use-the-mouse-as-little-as-possible path after properly setting up default tracks, instrument and audio racks, expression control mappings for the new modhweel and proper aftertouch, and I must say it is a lot more enjoyable. Jamming with all those patches, tweaking away with Push mappings (Hive is perfect for this). I've even started using the ol APC40 again as well.

Now I want a simple no-frills 64-encoder MIDI controller - 16 x 4 - to control Hive's 4 step sequencer lanes. It would probably be stuck mapped to one instance in a template set, but that's tolerable.

Machinesworking
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Re: AKAI Advance looks promising, but unfinished...

Post by Machinesworking » Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:00 am

It's threads like this that show how out of touch the designers of hardware controllers are with people's needs.

The closest IMO to perfection is Remote SL's with Automap, but Novation never got their shit together on showing the end user what you can do with their product, and at this point they still have old information online that confuses when using Automap 4.8... If they really took the time and spent a day or two on videos showing how to get the most out of their system they really would sell more controllers, but...

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