Originally Posted by Crawling Wind
I've never understood the dissing the Command Station seems to get. I guess because of it's rompler status. Even if you use it for nothing else, it's a 16 knob midi controller for your other synths!
Neither did I until I bought one. I think it suffers from 2 fatal design mistakes:
1. Tiny screen
2. Sequence grid buttons are the same as the sound editing buttons
3. USB port that doesn't do anything useful
I also had a problem with losing sounds whenever I switched channels, but that may have been related to program change messages in my sequence.
I can't understand Emu - dumb decisions like this are what put them out of business*. The Ultra samplers all had giant screens (great!) but no knobs (WTF) and if you wanted to control it via MIDI you had to map your MIDI knob to a controller labelled from A-L and then map that to a modulation destination. When you have a fixed osc-filter-amp-fx architecture, why not just use standard MIDI controller mappings like everyone else? Why would you not
want a set of standard mappings by default? There are plenty of open slots for custom controllers in the GM standard.
Then they brought out the command stations which had knobs, a quite-good ribbon strip, and outstanding pads...but a 2x20 screen that was smaller than even the Emulator III series
I mean that was OK for the rack units where you would not do a lot of deep editing all the time - because they make fantastic romplers and occasional editing is not too painful. But if you are making a groovebox where it has to be self-contained and potentially provide all the sound for a complete track, then you will be editing things constantly. And trying to unlock the full power of the machine through that interface was strictly for masochists. It's much less painful with Prodatum
but then you lose a set of MIDI in and out ports, plus you have to be connected to the computer all the time which kind of defeats the object of a groovebox.
I mean, I could understand this if the company had never made a product with a large screen and didn't know how to retool their user interface. But why would improve the physical interface and then take away the visual interface? Complete fail.
Also, did I mention the USB port that didn't do anything? Well, you could update your OS via USB, but how often will you do that? Again, this was one of the (few) things missing from their premium sampler line, USB connectivity. So they add USB...but don't offer any way to use it interactively. So goddamn stupid
. For that matter, why didn't they make a version of it that used the sampler engine?! The sampler engine that they already made and had brought through several generations?
If they reissued it tomorrow with a larger screen, a better layout of the buttons, and (ideally) two octaves of pads - because I sometimes want to work in keys other than C, and two octaves means you can do 16 'white' keys and offer X0X style grid sequencing - then I'd be delighted to buy it.
* I know, they got bought by Creative...but that happened because they were failing to make adequate profits. Creative basically shut the whole instrument division down and redirected their IP into manufacturing sound cards.