NEW Vestax VCM 600 Midi Controller perfect for Live

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
signal
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Post by signal » Sat Apr 19, 2008 5:18 pm

I think you make some good points, Angstrom. Especially with regard to pots vs. encoders and the subtle shift away from a mixing desk paradigm toward a more DJ-centric selection of controls as the prototype versions evolve.

Not sure I'm with you on the direct comparison to the Behringer line, however. The BCR/BCF's have this thing beat in terms of price, clearly, but the Ableton-specific layout and fairly compact design of the VCM give it a leg up, crossfader or not. You'd have to use BCF and BCR in tandem to match the VCM in terms of a fader/button/knob combo, but that's a bulky proposition to me.

One reason I don't fully exploit the MIDI controllers I already have is that the fader/knob/button layouts don't really match up with visually the software I use them to control. A key benefit of the VCM to me is that the channel strip controls echo Live's Session view. It has dedicated Send controls that are located where you expect them to be. The clip play buttons for each channel are right where they should be and so on. These details are valuable to me from an ergonomic standpoint because I've internalized the locations of the software controls and having hardware that closes mirrors what I'm familiar with, means I can work faster.

Whether all of this is worth $800 bucks to me is a different story.

One thing I do find ridiculous about how the VCM is being pushed at the trade fairs is the insistence that the lighting strips down each side are some kind of real innovation. Great, it glows, but that's really pretty low on my list of controller features.
Last edited by signal on Sat Apr 19, 2008 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

signal
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Post by signal » Sat Apr 19, 2008 5:20 pm

Just read your comments on visual feedback. I agree there. For the price, there should be some level of interaction with Ableton especially given that this is a USB-only device

Angstrom
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Post by Angstrom » Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:05 pm

I agree that the BCR BCF combination would probably be too bulky. Although this VCM600 thing isn't tiny .. it's not far off the size of those two together.

Don't get me wrong - this Vestax offering looks quite nice, but I'm unconvinced that adding more dials and sliders was the best place to spend their money on a Live specific controller, I think a clip grid probably was.

If it was to be a generic DAW controller I could understand it, but for anyone setting out to make an Ableton Live controller ... what's the first thing to add?
The problem most Live users have is the screen getting in the way - and they haven't solved that.

signal
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Post by signal » Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:39 pm

Yeah, hardware clip access is the big ongoing problem when it comes to controlling Live. So much so, that I think I've just written it off to a certain extent. I've also gotten used to using a knob for scene scrolling in a live situation and hitting the master clip play for each track for clip triggering purposes, but that still doesn't address the problem of relying on the screen for visual feedback.

Setting live performance aside for minute, I see the VCM potentially as a good studio controller when I'm going to be looking at the screen all the time anyway. Having a hardware layout of the session mixer sitting on my desk below my monitor seems appealing at the moment.

Angstrom
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Post by Angstrom » Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:43 pm

you think it will be good in the studio? I can't see that at all.

6 faders?
are they motorised?

I tend to use a lot more than 6 tracks, so it would be useless there.
6 dead faders disconnected from my automation, with similar issues on every other pot. Nah - a win for the BCR again I'm afraid

8O
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Post by 8O » Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:55 pm

A while ago a link to this interview with Gerhard Behles was posted on here.

Rough translation of one of the bits: So the ideal software would be one that made the computer invisible? I couldn't say it better myself, for us, we'd like to see the computer disappear. Even if you're looking at it and turning virtual potentiometers. Our goal is clear: that all this should no longer play a role, it should become transparent.

There's some other stuff in the interview about controllers. Makes for interesting reading in the light of the controller discussions.
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signal
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Post by signal » Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:57 pm

Yeah, motorization is overkill for my purposes and the difference between 6-8 tracks doesn't mean much to me. I actually welcome the track limitation as I already try to force myself to submix everything I need to have my hands on into 8 or less tracks.

This is all theoretical for me, in any case. I have more knobs and faders than I need already. I just had a vision of selling a few things to free up some desk space.

Angstrom
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Post by Angstrom » Sat Apr 19, 2008 7:05 pm

motorisation may seem like overkill - but what happens when you record any volume automation, or a send, or a pan, and then you play back your track ... what is that big expensive fader telling you now?
It's telling you nothing at all, nothing that relates to your track that's for sure. It's just a big unconnected piece of plastic.

There's not much point in having a controller that only sends info to the application, but doesn't actually represent what is happening!

I had one of those, it was a pain. Pretty much useless as the controller just didn't represent what I was hearing. Channel 1 fader at zero, but what will come out is anyones guess .. ah a fade in. What does the fader say ? still on zero. hmm. If I decide to turn the channel down? how exactly do I do that, with the fader at zero and the output blaring? Down from zero?

signal
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Post by signal » Sat Apr 19, 2008 7:18 pm

Thanks for explaining the mysteries of motorization and visual feedback. Like I said, I agree that this unit is overpriced and missing some features. Not trying to antagonize anyone here.

Angstrom
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Post by Angstrom » Sat Apr 19, 2008 7:28 pm

Hey, I'm not antagonised - I'm just saying ... if you are planning on using it in the studio then you might run into a roadblock or two.

signal
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Post by signal » Sat Apr 19, 2008 8:02 pm

Seems to be a zero sum game when it comes to controllers much of the time. At best, the choices always tend to involve trading one set of roadblocks for another slightly less irritating set of roadblocks.

silicon1138
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Post by silicon1138 » Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:46 pm

jesus - why has nobody else bothered to mention how turd the accompanying music was on the vestax youtube vid?
vomitrotious.
is it meant to make you think "WOW with one of these i could sound like this too!"?
i just don't get it- how is it that a company that is trying to be cutting edge with a product like this is using such a lame ass clipvert?

midnight rant over
Carl Finlow aka - Random Factor / Voice Stealer / Silicon Scally / Il.Ek.Tro / Scarletron...
OSX 10.13, Quad Core Mac Mini, Live 10 Suite.

8O
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Post by 8O » Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:50 am

silicon1138 wrote:jesus - why has nobody else bothered to mention how turd the accompanying music was on the vestax youtube vid?
vomitrotious.
is it meant to make you think "WOW with one of these i could sound like this too!"?
i just don't get it- how is it that a company that is trying to be cutting edge with a product like this is using such a lame ass clipvert?

midnight rant over
:D Truth!
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Mike Goodwin
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Post by Mike Goodwin » Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:00 am

The more I look at this thing the more I can't wait to buy it. I wish they would hurry up and start selling them.

heavensdaw
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Post by heavensdaw » Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:55 pm

Mike Goodwin wrote:The more I look at this thing the more I can't wait to buy it. I wish they would hurry up and start selling them.
Hi Mike.. What is it about this, thats getting you so....

I was pretty hyped at first, but now I'm not totally sure about it..

The thing that got me most excited was that it is built specifically for Live..

Yes while it prolly would make a decent live performance controller.. I think that like Angstrom points out, it has some potentionally serious drawbacks for studio work..

Not having a dedicated clip trigger grid, endless rotaries, yeah, motorized faders would be nice, Also why 6 faders and (not the more standard) 8..

I'm (like many others it seems) looking for A controller.. One controller. I don't want to have to buy, learn, set up, different ones.. If I can use Live in a live situation and in the studio.. Is it too much to expect to have that flexibility with what I control Live with..

Anyways.....

Best

Hd

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