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Old 03-21-2020, 06:38 AM   #1
billybuck
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Default An 8-channel control surface with LED feedback on knobs AND faders?

Of all the gear makers' experiments with ways of providing feedback on a control surface, it seems to me that the simple LED ring around a knob (ala Novation Launch Control XL, MIDI Fighter Twister, etc) holds the most promise for a home recordist or live performer on a budget. It doesn't require comparatively expensive LCD screens or motorized faders. It's cheap to produce, allows for a small desktop footprint, keeps the device universal for scripters and modders, and still gives you enough visual info to recall your mappings and know where you are as you bank through tracks and functions. When you bank and your knob position no longer matches what it's controlling, you can still see where the knob is going to pick up, avoiding unintended jumps. Visual levels also let you know where you are, for example you're banking and you see channel 3 is at a low level, you remember that's the shaker on track 11 next to the drum track, and you have an instant visual anchor point as to what the other channels are currently controlling.

Do any small surfaces exist with similar feedback on faders, as in a strip of LED's parallel with each fader?

I've made pretty good use of a feedbackless Akai MIDIMix and Goldenarpharazon's Reaper script, but the lack of visual reference (other than solo/mute LED's) still requires lots of back-and-forth with the computer screen and slows down real-time decisions. It seems like a few LED rings and strips would let an inexpensive device like this really break away from the box.

Last edited by billybuck; 03-21-2020 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 07-02-2020, 10:40 PM   #2
adam79
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Originally Posted by billybuck View Post
I've made pretty good use of a feedbackless Akai MIDIMix and Goldenarpharazon's Reaper script
I don't have an answer for ya, but I do have a MIDIMIX question..... my bad.

That script gives you control over the faders and rotary pots, so you can write volume and pan envelopes?

Can it do the same for VST parameters?

Thanks

Last edited by adam79; 07-02-2020 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 07-04-2020, 01:26 PM   #3
billybuck
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The script gives you bankable controls over track volume and pan, which can be written as automation. When you switch into instrument mode, all of the top 2 rows become mappable to VST parameters on the currently selected track, so if the VST supports it, they can be written as automation.
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Old 07-04-2020, 06:33 PM   #4
adam79
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The script gives you bankable controls over track volume and pan, which can be written as automation. When you switch into instrument mode, all of the top 2 rows become mappable to VST parameters on the currently selected track, so if the VST supports it, they can be written as automation.
Awesome! Gonna order it tonight.

How's the response of those mini Faders? They're like 25-35% of the normal size. Do you find that the volume gets raised too quick?
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Old 07-06-2020, 07:10 AM   #5
billybuck
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Awesome! Gonna order it tonight.

How's the response of those mini Faders? They're like 25-35% of the normal size. Do you find that the volume gets raised too quick?
No ordering necessary—I think it’s still a free script.

I found the faders worked great once you get used to them. The tricky part is that the MIDIMix has no visual feedback, so if you’re controlling tracks 1-8 and then you bank over to tracks 9-16, the positions of your physical faders no longer match the virtual ones until you move something and it “picks up” (hence the original question in this thread.)
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Old 07-06-2020, 02:04 PM   #6
DrFrankencopter
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My previous DAW, Ensoniq Paris used to have something like this on its control surface.

The control surface had 17 non-motorized faders (16 channels, and a master fader) and was about 20 inches wide. Above each fader were two arrow shaped LED's that would tell you where you needed to move the fader in order to correspond with its setting in software. It worked pretty well, all things considered. I quite liked the section on it which had one EQ band (and could step through the bands with a switch), and aux plus pan control.

I'm currently using an MCU + Extender. I can't imagine using an 8 bank fader without scribble strips. There would be too much opportunity for confusion when switching banks IMO.
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