Bulletproof MIDI controller for Live???

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
fishmonkey
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Bulletproof MIDI controller for Live???

Post by fishmonkey » Sat Apr 05, 2008 11:48 pm

hey all

sometimes i run sound and video for theatre shows, and i've finally decided to take the plunge and run the prerecorded sound off my MacBook Pro running Live 7 (the current show drives me crazy with audio tracks interleaved between two CD players and some really nasty cues, not to mention 2 DVD players and live mics and instruments, really easy to make little mistakes)...

i need some buttons to navigate scenes and trigger clips (mostly in relative mode), a few endless encoders for tweaking effects, and i guess some faders could come in handy for mixing in the box when i don't have enough channels going into the desk (though for the upcoming tour i plan to use my Ultralite as an interface into the desk)...

so far the controllers i've seen that might work for me are the Faderfox Micromodul LV2, Akai MPD24, Korg Pad Kontrol, or M-Audio Trigger Finger...

the most important thing is reliability! any thoughts feelings rants or raves on the above controllers, or other options much appreciated!

beef_wellington
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Post by beef_wellington » Sun Apr 06, 2008 12:58 am

I'm a big fan of my MPD32 so far.

Now has pad banks for switching those endless encoders to different parameters with the touch of a button. And switching programs is quick too.

Faderfox would be built a little more solid though, but very compact (small buttons).

My 2 cents.

Machinate
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Post by Machinate » Sun Apr 06, 2008 1:21 am

if bulletproof is essential then do NOT get a trigger finger, you WILL lose slider caps on like your first gig...
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rikhyray
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Post by rikhyray » Sun Apr 06, 2008 1:43 am

Faderfox set will be the best solution. Since it is modular you can choose exactly what you need. Since you want visual clarity i would advise getting LV1 or 2 and LX1. The advantage of LV1/2+LX1 combo is that you can set the upper lright rotary for scrolling horizontaly and vertically on the other one I think LX2 does not have such rotary. Then you can take some more modules another LV2 perhaps LD,LX2 have only 1 power supply and even can fix in one of those boxes made for guitar pedals.

Tone Deft
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Post by Tone Deft » Sun Apr 06, 2008 1:52 am

for $250 you can get TWO BCR2000s. if one breaks, you have the other. doesn't matter if it breaks.
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Angstrom
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Post by Angstrom » Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:06 am

I wish the faderfox people would stick a few videos up explaining how those things work - all their text explains nothing to me.
They have never appealed to me and I always wonder what I am missing, and whenever I do stumble across an explanation of why they are meant to be good I still don't see the attraction. Basically I can't undesrtand the explanations - at least not in a way that makes them sound like a good idea.

What I think I know:
they are small, they do not have continuous controls, there is some sort of weird mystical bank switching of some kind which is never explained but it means those non-continuous controllers will be hellish, they are heavilly reliant on "shift" buttons making every control multimode in some way or other, they have some cryptic colour system that tells you something about the bank or something like that. they have no lcd style readout to help legibility, they seem expensive for all that confusion.

what did I miss?

signal
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Post by signal » Sun Apr 06, 2008 3:38 am

The thing about the Faderfoxes that I don't get is that they appear to be of the cheapest plastic construction, yet some people seem to really like them. I've never had my hands on one and can only base my opinion on the photos, but to my eye the knobs and faders look absurdly crappy.

With that said, I tend to quickly damage things that aren't made to be slapped around a bit so I generally go for controllers with metal cases: Peavey 1600, Spin Doctor, etc.

To answer the question at hand, the Bitstream from WaveIdea might fit the bill although it may be overkill for your purposes.

Cache
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Post by Cache » Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:21 am

don't the faderfoxes run off MIDI and therefore you will need a MIDI interface to access your computer?
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Machinate
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Post by Machinate » Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:23 am

Cache wrote:don't the faderfoxes run off MIDI and therefore you will need a MIDI interface to access your computer?
yep. Usually your audio interface will have one built in, though.
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Mesmer
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Post by Mesmer » Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:48 am

OP I just found this while browsing at apple, maybe it will be of use to you.

http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/audio/qlab.html


as for bulletproof,
I thnk it doesn't get more kevlar than the BCF/BCR. For your application, dealing with lighting and what not, maybe the BCF is better fit. It will limit you to 8 faders x 4 banks, 16 buttons x 4(?) banks + an 8ish more buttons for transport control and otherstuff. Oh, and there's also pushbuton faders. Yea, I think a total custom midi map from scratch for a BCF for you is the way to go.

best of luck,
-h
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Post by hambone1 » Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:54 am

As a Faderfox user, IMO it's well-built and rugged.

Although generally not a fan of cheap and nasty Chinese plastic devices, especially for professional uses, IMO the Behringer BCR2000 is an exception.

It's robust, well thought out, hugely customizable and useful in Live, and as someone pointed out, it's cheap enough to carry a backup.

sinnatagg
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Post by sinnatagg » Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:10 am

Angstrom wrote: What I think I know:
they are small, they do not have continuous controls, there is some sort of weird mystical bank switching of some kind which is never explained but it means those non-continuous controllers will be hellish, they are heavilly reliant on "shift" buttons making every control multimode in some way or other, they have some cryptic colour system that tells you something about the bank or something like that. they have no lcd style readout to help legibility, they seem expensive for all that confusion.

what did I miss?
They're indeed small and there is no lcd display.


-a

Lo-Fi Massahkah
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Post by Lo-Fi Massahkah » Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:43 am

I just got two faderfoxes - LC2 (the Live one w/ x-fader) and LD2 (the one with 16 rotary encoders).

I agree - the info on the site is below par. I read a bunch of old posts on this forum and understood that they now allow for instant mappings - in a very comprehensive way (have a look at the controls surfaces description in Lessons). Apart from the instant mappings there's room for a bunch of you own mappings. Especially in my case with the LD2. So they cater for a broad range of mixing control as well as you own live/playable midi mappings.

The "bank switching" is quite logical. For example: the four pots above the faders can control one of the following (in the instant mapping mode):
  • Sends a, b, c & d (on the active track)
    EQ (on the active track)
    Slot/Scene scroll, Track Select, Cue Volume, Master Volume
The buttons on the bottom could be switched between for example:
  • Mutes w/ LED indicators (on the 6 current tracks)
    Solo w/ LED indicators (on the 6 current tracks)
    Slot launch (6 top clips on the active track)
Just had them since friday night - so I'm just getting started.

Yes they're plastic - but not flimsy. At all. Allthough the rotaries are dented, a bit too much for my taste, but not as bad as the Axioms. Why don't they just make 'em smoooooth?

-M

tekkers
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Post by tekkers » Sun Apr 06, 2008 11:34 am

i've got a faderfox DJ2 and i think its great, it can take ya a while to figure out what exactly u wanna do with it - just mess with the templates and modify em to what ya wanna control..

i was hoping the lx2 would have functionality similar to that of the monodeck II 's grid but i dont think it does..

i'd really love it if the lx2's buttons could just act as a clip launching matrix - with feedback so its in sync with whats on screen.. and i could scroll down the scenes in ableton - and the lights on the fox would update

it would take away my need to use the mouse in livesets then maybe over 90% of the time

please fix this for the 3rd generation mr faderfox 8)

sinnatagg
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Post by sinnatagg » Sun Apr 06, 2008 12:19 pm

tekkers wrote: i was hoping the lx2 would have functionality similar to that of the monodeck II 's grid but i dont think it does..

i'd really love it if the lx2's buttons could just act as a clip launching matrix - with feedback so its in sync with whats on screen.. and i could scroll down the scenes in ableton - and the lights on the fox would update
I'm hoping to make a PD patch that does this soon. The inbuilt functionality is _so_ close though.

-a

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