Chosing a studio controller - DAW functions

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
HarveyDoghead
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Chosing a studio controller - DAW functions

Post by HarveyDoghead » Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:36 pm

Hi Ableton Live forum its been a while.

I need some quick advise choosing a studio controller for Live. That is primarily for core DAW functions.

After a bit of a break from music I'm trying to get back into it, however due to an RSI injury in my hand and wrist I'm trying to sort out, it has been advised that I use the good old mouse and keyboard combinationas little as possible aka no 12hr sessions click clicking on Ableton.
So the solution seems to be that I should get a good controller again, but I'm a bit out of touch with whats on the market at the moment.

I have heaps of hardware gear that I use for creative stuff -the actual sound generation. I will be using Live + controller mainly for mixing/traditional DAW functions - recording and sequencing my hardware, EQing, Compression, mixdown bla bla, Maybe a tiny bit of arrangement stuff - (but not really so much as a live tool or using plugin synth or sampler instruments).

What controllers would you say lend themselves to the best hands free(ish) control of live with studio functions in mind ? - like a Mackie control unit or something..

Cheers :)


Shift Gorden
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Re: Chosing a studio controller - DAW functions

Post by Shift Gorden » Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:47 pm

TomViolenz wrote:Have you looked at Push?
This - Push really is exceptional and I think perfect for what you're wanting to do.

beats me
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Re: Chosing a studio controller - DAW functions

Post by beats me » Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:59 pm

HarveyDoghead wrote:I will be using Live + controller mainly for mixing/traditional DAW functions - recording and sequencing my hardware, EQing, Compression, mixdown bla bla, Maybe a tiny bit of arrangement stuff - (but not really so much as a live tool or using plugin synth or sampler instruments).

Not Push. I think Live users just reflexively throw that out there in response to any controller related thread.

The Mackie MCU should work well for your needs (not sure how well Ableton supports it) but it takes up a lot of space if that is an issue.

TomViolenz
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Re: Chosing a studio controller - DAW functions

Post by TomViolenz » Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:09 pm

beats me wrote:
HarveyDoghead wrote:I will be using Live + controller mainly for mixing/traditional DAW functions - recording and sequencing my hardware, EQing, Compression, mixdown bla bla, Maybe a tiny bit of arrangement stuff - (but not really so much as a live tool or using plugin synth or sampler instruments).

Not Push. I think Live users just reflexively throw that out there in response to any controller related thread.
You think huh?! :roll:

I at least was specifically responding to the bolded part.
Any reason why you'd think Push wouldn't be spot on?

beats me
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Re: Chosing a studio controller - DAW functions

Post by beats me » Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:17 pm

TomViolenz wrote:
beats me wrote:
HarveyDoghead wrote:I will be using Live + controller mainly for mixing/traditional DAW functions - recording and sequencing my hardware, EQing, Compression, mixdown bla bla, Maybe a tiny bit of arrangement stuff - (but not really so much as a live tool or using plugin synth or sampler instruments).

Not Push. I think Live users just reflexively throw that out there in response to any controller related thread.
You think huh?! :roll:

I at least was specifically responding to the bolded part.
Any reason why you'd think Push wouldn't be spot on?

And I was responding more to the part I bolded. :) And also I would think for somebody wanting a production controller they would want faders at a minimum. In that regard an APC40 would probably be better.

TomViolenz
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Re: Chosing a studio controller - DAW functions

Post by TomViolenz » Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:21 pm

I still think Push is the right device. Your bolded part is actually one of the rather weak aspects of Push.

Push is great for exactly all the things he wants (besides maybe a fader unite).


The APC40 would have faders, but not much else that makes it good for production. It's much better for live performance though.

beats me
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Re: Chosing a studio controller - DAW functions

Post by beats me » Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:29 pm

Also I am categorically against a controller that is proprietary to a single piece of software and/or requires you to be a scripting wizard if you want to attempt to get the most out of it with another piece of software. :x


Unless it’s made by NI. :) :x

Angstrom
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Re: Chosing a studio controller - DAW functions

Post by Angstrom » Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:36 pm

TomViolenz wrote:I still think Push is the right device. Your bolded part is actually one of the rather weak aspects of Push.

Push is great for exactly all the things he wants (besides maybe a fader unite).


The APC40 would have faders, but not much else that makes it good for production. It's much better for live performance though.
How is Push for things like fast-forwarding/rewinding arrangement, or scrubbing, or jumping to cue points, or jumping forward 4 bars, or setting up a 4/8/16 bar loop in arrangement?
That's the sort of thing I'd use a dedicated transport controller for.

All the other fader/mixer/sends stuff can be handled very well by a whole range of devices, but I really don't see Push as that. I thought it was more of an instrument. Primarily for playing drumracks filled with Ableton's bundled content

TomViolenz
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Re: Chosing a studio controller - DAW functions

Post by TomViolenz » Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:43 pm

Angstrom wrote:
TomViolenz wrote:I still think Push is the right device. Your bolded part is actually one of the rather weak aspects of Push.

Push is great for exactly all the things he wants (besides maybe a fader unite).


The APC40 would have faders, but not much else that makes it good for production. It's much better for live performance though.
How is Push for things like fast-forwarding/rewinding arrangement, or scrubbing, or jumping to cue points, or jumping forward 4 bars, or setting up a 4/8/16 bar loop in arrangement?
That's the sort of thing I'd use a dedicated transport controller for.
He mentioned it's not so much for arrangement, so I took him by his word.

That said, with PXT Live (an additional script for Push by NativeKontrol) you can have the arrangement functions you mention (not totally sure right now about setting loops).

More things in arrangement would be subject to Ableton opening up the API more. The Arrangement view is severely underrepresented in this regard.
All the other fader/mixer/sends stuff can be handled very well by a whole range of devices, but I really don't see Push as that. I thought it wa more of an instrument. Primarily for playing drumracks filled with Ableton's bundled content
That's way too simplistic a view to take. It can do much more.

Matt_Quinn
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Re: Chosing a studio controller - DAW functions

Post by Matt_Quinn » Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:51 pm

The iPad app Touchable. Doesn't put much strain on my hands/wrists at all. If you're willing to drop the cash you would on a Mackie, you could even link a number of units together and have clip launching, mixing, device control etc all on different screens. All the transport controls etc are directly available as well. Create and edit clips, add/delete notes from clips, all possible. I think the only the Arrangement view is not covered, so drawing automation or moving clips around the timeline are out. I thought I might not like a touchscreen vs physical knobs/faders, but I've come to love it. Touchable + an APC40 is a killer combination for me
the_planet wrote:Trap music is not supported in the current version.

beats me
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Re: Chosing a studio controller - DAW functions

Post by beats me » Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:29 pm

TomViolenz wrote:He mentioned it's not so much for arrangement, so I took him by his word.

I believe he’s asking for a controller similar to a mixing desk. I think you’re getting Arrangement and Arrangement View confused. He may not be interested in a controller that arranges a song (wouldn’t that be Session View with global record on?) but is interested in a controller he can mix an arrangement with. Live’s Arrangement View is essentially the standard view of most other DAWs.

Shift Gorden
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Re: Chosing a studio controller - DAW functions

Post by Shift Gorden » Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:31 pm

Angstrom wrote:
TomViolenz wrote:I still think Push is the right device. Your bolded part is actually one of the rather weak aspects of Push.

Push is great for exactly all the things he wants (besides maybe a fader unite).


The APC40 would have faders, but not much else that makes it good for production. It's much better for live performance though.
How is Push for things like fast-forwarding/rewinding arrangement, or scrubbing, or jumping to cue points, or jumping forward 4 bars, or setting up a 4/8/16 bar loop in arrangement?
That's the sort of thing I'd use a dedicated transport controller for.

All the other fader/mixer/sends stuff can be handled very well by a whole range of devices, but I really don't see Push as that. I thought it was more of an instrument. Primarily for playing drumracks filled with Ableton's bundled content
That's a really good point, mate. When working in arrangement mode, you have to mess with the computer for sure.

However, for a product that's integrated with Live and can carry out a vast majority of functionality without you having to mess with computer then I'm not sure if anything else compares. From browsing to loading patches, tweaking with variables, mixing...it's really good.

This was a product designed by Ableton/Akai to work with the Ableton software so I'm not sure why Beats Me is down on that!? :lol:

TomViolenz
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Re: Chosing a studio controller - DAW functions

Post by TomViolenz » Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:37 pm

Shift Gorden wrote: This was a product designed by Ableton/Akai to work with the Ableton software so I'm not sure why Beats Me is down on that!? :lol:
He doesn't use Live ;-)

beats me
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Re: Chosing a studio controller - DAW functions

Post by beats me » Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:51 pm

When you’re looking to buy a general purpose controller you need to ask yourself “Self, if I switch software how much use would this be to me?” I recently got a notice from our property manager complaining about the environmental hazard that is the dust on my APC40. :x

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