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Affordable Hardware Controllers

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by M57, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. M57

    M57 New Member

    I've been waiting and waiting ..and waiting for the Beringer X-Touch ($600) to become available, and all but given up. It's looking like 2016 - In fact, I've even heard rumor that they're giving up on it to put their energy into the app solution.

    In the interim (or maybe permanently), can folks give me some recommendations for some Hardware Controllers. (I'm currently having 'issues' with my Logic App). Anyway, I was hoping for a tactile experience at the desk, but really, my primary need is to track a piano that is about 10 feet from my DAW. I.e., about 15 - 20' of midi? cable.

    Behringer BCF 2000 ($300)
    Behringer X-Touch compact $400 (sporadically available - currently nada)
    PreSonus Fader Port ($130) - This may be the ticket if all I want to do is punch in and out remotely.
    Icon has a pretty diverse product line..

  3. bayswater

    bayswater Senior member

    If the "tactile" experience at the desk is the purpose, obviously the Faderport won't do, but if tracking away from the computer is the purpose, those I know who use it for that purpose are pretty happy with it. The thing to remember about the BCF 2000 -- it's durable and does the job -- but the motors are noisy.

    If the Logic Remote is giving you grief, there are some software alternatives. Neyrinck V-Control Free works with most DAWs, and will let you do tracking from a phone, tablet, etc. (The product line is a bit confusing: there is a basic paid version that only works with PT, then a "pro" version that works with most DAWs)
  4. M57

    M57 New Member

    Thanks b,
    I just got LR back online - had to destroy preferences to do it. Being 'down' just made we want the tactile experience even more. Regardless, I've had my eye on that X-Touch for a long time. The BCF sounds pretty amazing for the money. Just read the manual. To read it you'd think the thing only works with 'sequencers' not DAWs. Never is there a mention of DAWs. What's up with that? The faders can be disabled (while tracking) These things work with USB, right? You don't have to use the midi outs and ins..

    If I'm just looking for a remote for punching in and out - from 10-20 feet away.. any suggestions?
  5. bayswater

    bayswater Senior member

    Yes, the BCF is USB class compliant. It is quite old. I moved to where I am now 15 years ago, and I'd had it for quite a while when I got here. So who knows if B had heard of DAWs then. I think the BCF was their first product that wasn't a direct copy of some existing audio device. Anyway, a DAW IS a sequencer.

    I got the BCF because I wanted the tactile experience, thinking if it was as great as I remembered, I'd get a Mackie Control. Well, I'm all over that now. A trackpad and an iPad are just fine with me. Maybe the experience was all tied up with analog sound -- the physical action and position of the controls affected the sound in ways other than volume and pan. With digital, up is louder and that's about it.

    I sure you could set punch points in Logic with a BCF. You can get a PDF of the template for it's Logic Control presets. That would probably help you figure it out. The documentation is best characterized as somewhere between slim and nil, and what's there only makes sense to someone with deep MIDI knowledge.

    If punches are your purpose, and you want real buttons, why not go with the faderport? Much cheaper and user friendly.
  6. M57

    M57 New Member

    Yep - the Faderport is looking like it does just about everything minus the automation, which I'm not so sure I really need anyway..

    Thanks b
  7. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    Why "minus automation"?

    The Faderport does automation very well, it has a good motorfader and so far I remember a 1 Ampere power supply just because of this fader. I had a Faderport for a couple of years and it was great for fader riding and similar tasks (I switched to a Logic Control later).

    There may be other issues with this device. The Faderport works for many people, strangely it does not work for some. Just try it if you are interested. Mine worked always, except for one pause as Presonus did not deliver driver updates.
  8. M57

    M57 New Member

    Wow. I didn't realize it has a motorized fader. Pretty impressive for that price-point.
  9. bambony

    bambony Administrator Staff Member

  10. bayswater

    bayswater Senior member

    There were delays a while ago getting drivers updated for the AlphaTrack. That might indicate a lack of long term support. Frontier's products in general were not well supported recently.

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