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Endless Encoders of Arturia Controllers
Old 6 days ago
  #1
Gear Head
 

Endless Encoders of Arturia Controllers

I want to have a controller with endless encoders that can operate in relative MIDI CC mode in order to better control soft synths. On paper, Arturia controllers look great and are priced right (e.g., Beatstep, Minilab). However, I've quickly found quite a few negative reviews about the Arturia encoders being jumpy, unprecise and unreliable. Can you share your experience with Arturia encoders?
Old 6 days ago
  #2
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kwaping's Avatar
I don't know if they're the same as the macro knobs on my Matrixbrute, but those are amazing. Super buttery action and I haven't seen any bad behavior from them.

I heard that the Keylab MKII uses the same keybed as the Matrixbrute, so maybe they use the same rotary encoders too. Would make sense if they did.
Old 6 days ago
  #3
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DrJustice's Avatar
 

Those encoder problems are universal. I don't think I've heard about an encoder equipped synth model that doesn't have it's encoders degrade and fail (possible exception below). I've had my share of bad experiences in this area.

Synths simply use too cheap encoders. Encoders that are built to last for years of rigorous use, and with high resolution, are too expensive for synths - although I'd gladly pay a few hundred dollars extra to know that a top shelf synth's panel controls would last 'forever'. The one possible exception I know about is Modal. They claimed to be using high quality encoders and I haven't heard complaints about them so that may be a case of paying for quality (of course the Modals are still fairly new and there aren't that many of them).

The MatrixBrute does not have any encoders - it uses endless potentiometers instead. They have a couple of orders of magnitude greater angular resolution (4096 steps in the MxB vs typically 24 or 32 steps for an encoder) and they're as solid and nice feeling as potentiometers. That's the way to go for continuous parameters IMO. Detented encoders are still perfect for discrete parameters, i.e. multi position switches and selecting items from a list.
Old 6 days ago
  #4
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kwaping's Avatar
Thanks for the education, Doc! As always.
Old 5 days ago
  #5
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DrJustice's Avatar
 

You're welcome
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