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Sad state of DAW controllers in 2020
Old 26th April 2021 | Show parent
  #451
Gear Head
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc ➡️
No that's not what I mean. When people say "modular" to me that means being able to use different modules together. The iCon / Behringer and others are modular in that sense since they have a master unit and extenders. It's not 'more modular' because of square edges, just more ergonomic.

What's more modular is the Blackmagic Design and Avid gear. And it looks better and is more ergonomic.

It's 2021 and I really don't think that all of these companies for all these years have been suffering from having dumb designers who simply didn't "get it", even after big companies like Avid came out with their devices.
Yes, sorry, I wasn't meaning they are dumb, they might be the smartest designers in the world really, but there's no denying that in some cases they overlook (maybe even consciously) basic ergonomics; I commented in the previous post about Audi SUV's, I'm pretty sure Audi can afford the coolest designers in the industry, but still I'm not going to drive a car with a half foot gap between the trunk level and the loading threshold if I have an alternative, even if they gave it to me for free, and that's basic ergonomics screwed up, no way around that One could just argue that if the only thing you use your trunk for is storing your jacket while driving, you wouldn't give a damn to that gap, and that's fine and understood, but that's not my case, so similarly the Faderport design choices might be fine or even perfect for others, just not for me

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc ➡️
It is if you value tighter integration + a touch screen.
I do about the integration, but CC121 did have tight integration on a sort of Avid Dock + 1 fader at less than half the price of the Avid Dock; and the touchscreen, I could value it if it was built-in for that money, not if I have to source it myself

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc ➡️
That's incorrect. With Cubase the Avid controllers all the way up to the big s6 all use Eucon as a protocol.
That I wasn't aware of and could change the picture to some extent, I'll investigate, thanks for pointing that out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc ➡️
And I absolutely see the argument both in not paying that much money and not paying Avid because you don't like the company (if that's the reason).
Old 26th April 2021 | Show parent
  #452
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MicheleS76 ➡️
Good point, and I might consider doing that at some point, but I am enormously scared of the quicker and quicker obsolescence of products in our age: I don't know about Avid and the S1 has been out for little more than one year it seems, but it won't be until 1-2 years that I'll have my new studio set up, so I might get the dock and 8 faders say in 2023, then other 8 faders in 2024, etc. but then the S1 might be already end of life :(
I got a pair of Genelec M030 a few years ago for my home studio and having recently moved I changed my setup and needed isopads for them, which made me discover they have been put out of production for a while already: I was lucky enough to get the very last isopad pair available in their warehouse, and that was just a few years after I had bought them, and we're not talking of $20 CostCo speakers or an obscure low-end manufacturer here
Again, not blaming them, I suppose that's how market goes lately and there's nothing anyone could do about it, but man it sucks
Hopefully, in 1-2 years from now when I'll be actually on the market for stuff, some new modular controller at what I consider a fairer price point will be available, we'll see



Indeed! I had found the Tango to in my wanderings, and I remember thinking "That's it! I want this!" only to discover it was no longer produced :( But you are right, to have tight integration the controller needs to either be built directly by the DAW company or in close interaction with them, this is why now that the CC121 has been discontinued I am strongly hoping for a new controller from Steinberg with similar features but multi-fader and modular: I heard rumors that something will be presented at the next NAMM, we'll see!
Presonus have tried to go that route with the Faderport series and that has to be acknowledged, but I already commented on those: maybe their designers are top notch, but what they come up with just doesn't work for me
But then again I could say the same of many top notch cars too I guess: people pay 50K+ for an Audi SUV with basic design flaws such as a trunk level more than half foot below the loading threshold, then will curse themselves - or maybe not because they spent that much on it - the first time they have to take a heavy box out of it... but not me, thanks, I'm all for ergonomics!



Totally agree with you, this would be sensible design modularity! And I would add a meter bridge module too
All the best with your endeavors, I'll keep a curious eye on your products and hopefully you will succeed!!
Thanks for the comments. And funny enough, I've been thinking about a meter bridge module as well, but just wondering how to achieve it at the moment while making financial sense.
Old 28th April 2021 | Show parent
  #453
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MicheleS76 ➡️
i.e.: why the companies who ALREADY produce and market cheap/cheapish multifader controllers either totally miss or screw the modularity thing, except for iCon?

Peace
I think it's the Zeitgeist. Since the 70s we've collectively and progressively moved away from physical hands-on experience to virtual reality. I find people in general understand physical reality less and less, they are too used to two-dimensional, easy to digest representations of real things.

For musicians this means less hardware - don't we know it - and, whatever hardware remains, it has less and less controllers of any kind... Some gear doesn't even have an on-off button anymore.

The last time I checked, most master-keyboards didn't have Aftertouch, let alone the polyphonic variety. Development of Sysex seems to have stalled, good luck with finding Sysex-capable gear these days. Sysex could and should have been the standard around which a whole universe of controllers could have been built - the possibilities are endless.

So, bottom line, I think the people charged with designing hardware controllers, these days, do not really understand how they will be used. Consequently, what we're seeing is a small number of very expensive, high-quality products and a large number of inexpensive toys.
Old 28th April 2021 | Show parent
  #454
Lives for gear
 
Melgueil's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Well, I've been though the 5 stages of grief on this one (now in the final stage "acceptance"). Part of this is generational, technological and also also pure business. Generational in that it is fair to say today many folks setting up home and even commercial studios have never touched a console - it's simply not their reference point. It's more likely - a mouse. Technological - the OS platforms that these DAW's sit on top of have the mouse and keyboard hard-wired into their DNA. Economics/Business in that the full time high end pros's simply cannot afford to look away from the time savings and recall that ITB production offers.

On the subject of controllers and consoles. It seems like everyone wants at once flexibility and choice, as well as dedicated controls. Tough to have both. With a console you had "that" EQ, sends, maybe compression. That was it - none of this 20 different modelled compressors. I see folks clamouring for a "dedicated" channel strip. Ok, but if you want that it will be dedicated for one, maybe stretch it to a few plugins. The other option is a wide open, programmable controller surface. Here you have choice but you sacrifice 1:1 dedication that refers back to what was the hardware model. Avid took somewhat of a step toward tighter interlock with the S series, but even there ....

So after hoping, wishing for the "mother of all control surfaces", I'm now just accepting that will never happen because the market is far to splintered to please everyone. A mouse and something that strikes the right balance between flexibility and dedication is about as far is it will go. For years I've often heard "if only xyz vendor would make a full fledged 24 fader "console" like controller with a fat channel and add back in all of the bells and whistles, they'd sell a ton of them". Well, years have gone by and nobody has made that controller. Likely, because despite of the calls for this in online forums such as GS, there truly is not a market for this kind of thing. Someone would have made it already and sold that "boatload" of that infamous control surface. I wish it were otherwise, but I need to get on with music production and not cling to "what-if"'s which are more pipe dreams than reality to be.

Cdlt
Old 28th April 2021 | Show parent
  #455
Gear Head
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui ➡️
I think it's the Zeitgeist. Since the 70s we've collectively and progressively moved away from physical hands-on experience to virtual reality. I find people in general understand physical reality less and less, they are too used to two-dimensional, easy to digest representations of real things.

For musicians this means less hardware - don't we know it - and, whatever hardware remains, it has less and less controllers of any kind... Some gear doesn't even have an on-off button anymore.

The last time I checked, most master-keyboards didn't have Aftertouch, let alone the polyphonic variety. Development of Sysex seems to have stalled, good luck with finding Sysex-capable gear these days. Sysex could and should have been the standard around which a whole universe of controllers could have been built - the possibilities are endless.

So, bottom line, I think the people charged with designing hardware controllers, these days, do not really understand how they will be used. Consequently, what we're seeing is a small number of very expensive, high-quality products and a large number of inexpensive toys.
Great (and sad) summary
I guess it's the same trend whereby, despite having the best technology humankind has ever had, most people consider it acceptable to listen to music out of a micro mono speaker or watching movies on a 5'' screen, which 30 years ago would have been pure blasphemy
And I'd be fine with that if that's their choice, but what bothers me beyond measure is the fact that this is hindering MY freedom of making a different choice in more and more situations (more and more keyboards don't have Aftertouch as you said, more and more cars don't have a CD player, etc.)
Old 28th April 2021 | Show parent
  #456
Gear Head
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melgueil ➡️
Well, I've been though the 5 stages of grief on this one (now in the final stage "acceptance"). Part of this is generational, technological and also also pure business. Generational in that it is fair to say today many folks setting up home and even commercial studios have never touched a console - it's simply not their reference point. It's more likely - a mouse. Technological - the OS platforms that these DAW's sit on top of have the mouse and keyboard hard-wired into their DNA. Economics/Business in that the full time high end pros's simply cannot afford to look away from the time savings and recall that ITB production offers.

On the subject of controllers and consoles. It seems like everyone wants at once flexibility and choice, as well as dedicated controls. Tough to have both. With a console you had "that" EQ, sends, maybe compression. That was it - none of this 20 different modelled compressors. I see folks clamouring for a "dedicated" channel strip. Ok, but if you want that it will be dedicated for one, maybe stretch it to a few plugins. The other option is a wide open, programmable controller surface. Here you have choice but you sacrifice 1:1 dedication that refers back to what was the hardware model. Avid took somewhat of a step toward tighter interlock with the S series, but even there ....

So after hoping, wishing for the "mother of all control surfaces", I'm now just accepting that will never happen because the market is far to splintered to please everyone. A mouse and something that strikes the right balance between flexibility and dedication is about as far is it will go. For years I've often heard "if only xyz vendor would make a full fledged 24 fader "console" like controller with a fat channel and add back in all of the bells and whistles, they'd sell a ton of them". Well, years have gone by and nobody has made that controller. Likely, because despite of the calls for this in online forums such as GS, there truly is not a market for this kind of thing. Someone would have made it already and sold that "boatload" of that infamous control surface. I wish it were otherwise, but I need to get on with music production and not cling to "what-if"'s which are more pipe dreams than reality to be.

Cdlt
Agree, especially with the last part
Old 30th April 2021 | Show parent
  #457
Lives for gear
 
greggybud's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melgueil ➡️
Well, I've been though the 5 stages

So after hoping, wishing for the "mother of all control surfaces", I'm now just accepting that will never happen because the market is far to splintered to please everyone.

Cdlt
I hope it didn't take you 16 pages for this acceptance...
Old 11th May 2021
  #458
Lives for gear
 
If you look under Shop area of Steinberg now for Hardware, the CC121 is no longer listed whereas under the Products Hardware section it is.

Also can't even try and purchase any longer from Steinberg looking at it.

So @ GBP you could be right in surmising the new Yamaha/Steinberg Controller for Cubase/Nuendo could be soon on the Horizon...
Old 11th May 2021 | Show parent
  #459
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melgueil ➡️
Well, I've been though the 5 stages of grief on this one (now in the final stage "acceptance"). Part of this is generational, technological and also also pure business. Generational in that it is fair to say today many folks setting up home and even commercial studios have never touched a console - it's simply not their reference point. It's more likely - a mouse. Technological - the OS platforms that these DAW's sit on top of have the mouse and keyboard hard-wired into their DNA. Economics/Business in that the full time high end pros's simply cannot afford to look away from the time savings and recall that ITB production offers.

On the subject of controllers and consoles. It seems like everyone wants at once flexibility and choice, as well as dedicated controls. Tough to have both. With a console you had "that" EQ, sends, maybe compression. That was it - none of this 20 different modelled compressors. I see folks clamouring for a "dedicated" channel strip. Ok, but if you want that it will be dedicated for one, maybe stretch it to a few plugins. The other option is a wide open, programmable controller surface. Here you have choice but you sacrifice 1:1 dedication that refers back to what was the hardware model. Avid took somewhat of a step toward tighter interlock with the S series, but even there ....

So after hoping, wishing for the "mother of all control surfaces", I'm now just accepting that will never happen because the market is far to splintered to please everyone. A mouse and something that strikes the right balance between flexibility and dedication is about as far is it will go. For years I've often heard "if only xyz vendor would make a full fledged 24 fader "console" like controller with a fat channel and add back in all of the bells and whistles, they'd sell a ton of them". Well, years have gone by and nobody has made that controller. Likely, because despite of the calls for this in online forums such as GS, there truly is not a market for this kind of thing. Someone would have made it already and sold that "boatload" of that infamous control surface. I wish it were otherwise, but I need to get on with music production and not cling to "what-if"'s which are more pipe dreams than reality to be.

Cdlt
You and I are feel exactly the same way about what we want in a controller. I think it exists but only if you are willing to lock into either AVID or Cubase and spend a lot of $$$.

What's killing this space is HUI/MCU which hasn't evolved to meet the need of the complex world of plugins.
Old 12th May 2021 | Show parent
  #460
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdj999 ➡️
You and I are feel exactly the same way about what we want in a controller. I think it exists but only if you are willing to lock into either AVID or Cubase and spend a lot of $$$.

What's killing this space is HUI/MCU which hasn't evolved to meet the need of the complex world of plugins.
HUI/MCU have certainly not evolved, but I'd hardly blame the protocols for that. I have seen where people have squeezed out more life out of these protocols, but they certainly have limitations.

The blame might be more on the DAW manufacturers than the protocols. The problem lies in that some manufacturer's business model is also tied to hardware sales. Therefore they are less than forthcoming when it comes to opening up their software API or sharing their protocol. You can research why SmartAV (makers of the Tango 2 controller) went out of business. I found a copy of the email they sent their customers explaining why they were closing shop. Pretty sad.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #461
Gear Maniac
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
What about the JL Cooper Eclipse MXL2 Midnight fader controller and Eclipse TX Midnight transport controller? I know, it's quite expensive but the build quality is very good and they look amazing.

https://jlcooper.com/_php/product.php?prod=eclipsemxl2m

https://jlcooper.com/_php/product.php?prod=eclipsetxm
Old 3 weeks ago
  #462
Gear Guru
 
🎧 10 years
I'd probably pick an s1/Dock/Tablet over that any day. That should give anyone as tight or tighter integration as long as the DAW has Eucon, and if kept well should have a higher resell value. Also scales to a larger setup for far less money.

As a matter of fact, I think the s1/Dock/Tablet is about the same price as just the fader unit by JLcooper. So once you add the transport you're comparing 8 channels + transport (JL) with on the other hand 16 channels + transport + pots + tablet/touch for about the same money.

I'll take the latter.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #463
Gear Maniac
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc ➡️
I'd probably pick an s1/Dock/Tablet over that any day. That should give anyone as tight or tighter integration as long as the DAW has Eucon, and if kept well should have a higher resell value. Also scales to a larger setup for far less money.

As a matter of fact, I think the s1/Dock/Tablet is about the same price as just the fader unit by JLcooper. So once you add the transport you're comparing 8 channels + transport (JL) with on the other hand 16 channels + transport + pots + tablet/touch for about the same money.

I'll take the latter.
Thanks for the information. But the big difference between the two is the build quality of the enclosure. Avid is all plastic while the JL Cooper stuff is made of aluminium.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #464
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Have you guys seen this?
It looks VERY promising to me..
Maybe it will give a proper, definitive “answer”, or “solution” to this thread

Would like to see how this will develop, but at this moment it’s the only one that seems reasonable to me..

Check it out:

MakePro X announces modular Hardware Control solution for multiple targets



Cheu

Last edited by cheu78; 3 weeks ago at 09:43 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #465
Gear Guru
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skriabin ➡️
Thanks for the information. But the big difference between the two is the build quality of the enclosure. Avid is all plastic while the JL Cooper stuff is made of aluminium.
Might be the case. If I were to buy something for a facility with many people using it I too might pick something else, like an s3. But I take care of things I use myself so if it was for me I'd take the value over aluminium.

Kudos on the correct spelling though:-)
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #466
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoaT ➡️
Yeah. I have had Behringr BCF-2000, BCR-2000, Xtouch, Jlcooper MCS 3800, Mackie d8b, Behringer x32 and MCU. Have used Control24 and Comman8. No.

I'm talking about something that implements motor faders, control buttons, pots and buttons and a tablet sized screen to something that can be used as a daw controller out of the box AND customized EASILY to fit your preferred workflow.

I don't need semi permanently dedicated faders for channel volumes or a few parameters (like console 1 fader's alternate fader functionality or "pans to faders" or such as can be found on MCU implementations). I need the faders to act as I need them to act. As channel faders mimicking the screen or mapped as anything I wish, as I wish and when I wish, and with ease. The customization of the control surface should be even EASIER than that of the DAW, as it provides a more limited set of visibility.

Avid s1 / Dock looks like a really good concept as it comes to potential. Would be more than willing to spend 7k on that kind of a system if the software functionality and inter-app support would be working. It is incredibly frustrating that after all these years there is still no such thing in existence.
I recently got a Waves/MIDIPLUS FIT controller and wrote about it here. Waves announces HUI/Mackie compatibility for FIT controller The FIT is relatively new and fits 16+1 motorized faders + knobs into a 19" wide rack mountable package.

I haven't had it long enough to write a review. Just long enough experiment with it, and get part way through writing/producing/mixing a song using Ableton Live.

For all the limitations of MC/HUI, it's very nice! I wanted 16+1 channels of controls in a small space and got it. I don't need a big jog wheel. It has well-placed buttons, unlike the SSL UF8, which places them between channels. It has nice per-channel OLED displays. In my view that's a necessity for MCU/HUI, otherwise you have alphanumerics jumbled together in one long display bar.

My only real disappointment is that it currently doesn't implement MC/HUI level meters on those nice OLED displays. From what I read, my understanding is that FIT was made originally for the Waves LV1 which supports an external 19" touchscreen monitor that lines up in front of it that displays level meters, and that it doesn't show meters on the OLED in LV1 mode either. The HUI/MCU features were added in an update so hopefully this feature will come. I emailed MIDIPLUS and they said it's up to Waves as to whether it will be added, so I opened a feature request.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #467
Gear Addict
 
Silky Smoove's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skriabin ➡️
What about the JL Cooper Eclipse MXL2 Midnight fader controller and Eclipse TX Midnight transport controller? I know, it's quite expensive but the build quality is very good and they look amazing.

https://jlcooper.com/_php/product.php?prod=eclipsemxl2m

https://jlcooper.com/_php/product.php?prod=eclipsetxm
Those look very nice. Everything I would need, nothing I don't and seemingly robust build materials/quality. I also like that there's not a ton of excess blank space on the sides so that modular units could be placed side-by-side without a bunch of wasted space. If only I could justify the fairly heft price tag. Still very cool regardless of price.
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #468
Gear Head
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 ➡️
Have you guys seen this?
It looks VERY promising to me..
Maybe it will give a proper, definitive “answer”, or “solution” to this thread

Would like to see how this will develop, but at this moment it’s the only one that seems reasonable to me..

Check it out:

MakePro X announces modular Hardware Control solution for multiple targets



Cheu
Oh yes!! Thanks for sharing, wasn't aware of this and it looks VERY promising indeed!!
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #469
Gear Head
 
We're getting there, we're getting there...!

Other than the novel MakeProX approach above, which is very promising, look at what SSL is coming up with:

https://www.solidstatelogic.com/products/uc1

I wasn't impressed with the UF8 when it came out to be honest, but now this is starting to make a lot more sense! This is basically a pumped up version of the Softube Console1+Fader in a sleek modular design (well, not as modular as MakeProX, but...), for a fair(ish) price: 3K€ for 16 faders - ok, that's about twice the iCon, but it's SSL and it comes with SSL channel strip and bus plugins, plus a "container" plugin showing all your channels in a console-like view AND 1:1 hardware plugin control a-la Console1... and you don't have to sell your car to get it
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #470
Gear Addict
 
Silky Smoove's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MicheleS76 ➡️
We're getting there, we're getting there...!

Other than the novel MakeProX approach above, which is very promising, look at what SSL is coming up with:

https://www.solidstatelogic.com/products/uc1

I wasn't impressed with the UF8 when it came out to be honest, but now this is starting to make a lot more sense! This is basically a pumped up version of the Softube Console1+Fader in a sleek modular design (well, not as modular as MakeProX, but...), for a fair(ish) price: 3K€ for 16 faders - ok, that's about twice the iCon, but it's SSL and it comes with SSL channel strip and bus plugins, plus a "container" plugin showing all your channels in a console-like view AND 1:1 hardware plugin control a-la Console1... and you don't have to sell your car to get it
It would be nice if they introduced an extender version of the UF8 as opposed to expanding the system with "base" units that result in a bunch of duplicated transport sections and increased desk real estate needed. This setup with one base unit, three extenders, and the channel strip controller would be a very sweet setup.
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #471
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silky Smoove ➡️
It would be nice if they introduced an extender version of the UF8 as opposed to expanding the system with "base" units that result in a bunch of duplicated transport sections and increased desk real estate needed. This setup with one base unit, three extenders, and the channel strip controller would be a very sweet setup.
+1 to this.
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #472
Gear Head
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silky Smoove ➡️
It would be nice if they introduced an extender version of the UF8 as opposed to expanding the system with "base" units that result in a bunch of duplicated transport sections and increased desk real estate needed. This setup with one base unit, three extenders, and the channel strip controller would be a very sweet setup.
And +1 more, couldn't agree more!
It's a brand new product range, hopefully they will at some point: if I remember well, also the QCon and the X-Touch launched the main unit first and the extenders after some time - after all, once the main unit is stabilized, it's (almost) just about removing stuff and building a smaller chassis, so not much additional R&D investment there
Old 9 hours ago | Show parent
  #473
Gear Addict
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silky Smoove ➡️
It would be nice if they introduced an extender version of the UF8 as opposed to expanding the system with "base" units that result in a bunch of duplicated transport sections and increased desk real estate needed. This setup with one base unit, three extenders, and the channel strip controller would be a very sweet setup.
I would go for that or some kind of re-imagined Nucleus 3.
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