The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Cheap Daw controller
Old 6th May 2019
  #1
Gear Head
 
Tom.S's Avatar
Cheap Daw controller

Hi,

It will probably be some time before I can buy a Daw controller but I'm quite curious on if it would be possible to use a Yamaha digital console as DAW controller and if so which models would work and would they still have motorized fader support?

On the local market, the Yamaha digital consoles go for dirt cheap +-150 euro. Since I come from live mixing I really do like to have something in my hands as in faders. I can get everything sounding good a lot quicker that way.

If the Yamaha consoles aren't a good option what actual daw controllers should I take a look at?

Thanks for reading,

Tom
Old 6th May 2019
  #2
In my experience when looking for a DAW controller, you need something with motorized faders. Otherwise, you will be wasting time setting up ever fader and pan and what ever else, every time you close and open a project and possibly every time you make edits.

That said, there are no cheap ones, except for the Behringer X touch, that can run about $400 or so. Unless you want just one fader, then it runs about $200
Old 6th May 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 

You should consider which DAW you're using as well.

As for cheap controllers you possible get what you pay for in terms of quality. Off the top of my head these are some cheap motorized touch-sensitive fader controllers:

Presonus Faderport (1 fader), about 200
Steinberg 121 (1 fader), about 400 (includes EQ pots)
Presonus Faderport 8 (8 faders), about 500 (just one pot in total)
Behringer X-touch (8 faders), about 480
Avid Artist Mix (8 faders), about 900 on average
Mackie Control Universal (8 faders), about 1000 on average

All USD. The latter two you can typically find if you wait and search for about 100-200 below list... or more...

The Avid runs the Eucon protocol so your DAW has to support it. The others use a Mackie protocol.

My preference between the above is the Avid.
Old 6th May 2019
  #4
Gear Head
 
Tom.S's Avatar
I use logic pro x on my late 2011 MacBook with i5 and I use Reaper/Pro Tools on my windows 10 computer. I do have firewire ports on both my MacBook and computer. Also, are there secondhand controllers I should look for? I don't really buy much new gear.
Old 6th May 2019
  #5
HSi
Lives for gear
 
HSi's Avatar
 

Depending on daw you can use a maschine jam, 8 touch strips with lights per bank etc etc. Absolute bargain if its works with your daw......plus tons of free stuff....

You can use the machie HUI/ mackie control template.
Old 6th May 2019
  #6
Gear Head
 
Tom.S's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by HSi View Post
Depending on daw you can use a maschine jam, 8 touch strips with lights per bank etc etc. Absolute bargain if its works with your daw......plus tons of free stuff....

You can use the machie HUI/ mackie control template.
Looks okay, but I think I'd rather have real faders, is there a way I can use my ipad as Fader board for the time being?
Old 6th May 2019
  #7
HSi
Lives for gear
 
HSi's Avatar
 

Depends on DAW. I'm sure many have apps yeah, but if you have logic the touchosc ipad template is unreal, amazing. Costs less than a beer.

Old 6th May 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
In my experience when looking for a DAW controller, you need something with motorized faders.
What? Mechanical motorized faders were made obsolete with most daw programs I've seen. The fader movements are recorded as part of the project when you select to record those movements. Once recorded the faders will repeat the movements you make live until you erase them or overwrite the changes.

The process is as stupidly simple as it gets. Push one button to record the fader movement and hit stop to end it.

Overwriting extreme movements can wind up fighting the movements or previous tweaks so you want to be sure your initial movements are well planned. subsequent movements take precedence over old tweaks.

Also do all your track editing "Before" recording controller movements. I once recorded the controller movements then went back and trimmed off extra track space from the beginning of a song. The tracks advanced towards the zero mark but the fader movements had the same timing and all wound up being late.

To the OP. The least expensive controller I've come across is the Korg NanoKontrol Controller.



They allow you to tweak 8 channels at a time, then toggle over to 8 more. Very simply design and only costed $40 when new. I'm pretty sure they make a version 2 now. you see them being sold used on eBay all the time.

The controls aren't very complex. You can tweak volume, pan and its got buttons for stop, play and record. Then its got a button that switches between 1~8 and 9~16. It may have a third tier for 17~24 but Its been a long time since I messed with mine.

I believe you can also assign effects to the controls too. I really haven't messed with it much. I only use it for riding volumes and even then its pretty simple stuff.

I don't even use the pan knobs much because I record most of my instruments in stereo. I can increase the volume on one track out of the two to get the track to move left or right. I often use that when bringing a solo part up. I can pan a guitar to one side by keeping one pot lower then bring it center and louder by panning both pots up evenly.


Be sure to check and see if Korg has the drivers for your particular DAW program. I know the Original NanoKontrol only had drivers for the most popular DAW types. The Nano2 may have expanded on the, but I haven't looked. I would up lucking out because Sonar was one of the DAW's on the list. The drivers wound up being pretty much plug and play with minimal learning needed.

Very stable too. Once I set it up as part of a project template, it opens and is active whenever I open a new project. Never fails to work. Like I said, you want something more complex, you'll need to spend allot more. For me, all I wanted was channel volumes which cover a huge range of tweaks. I can set one channel 100% wet and another 100% dry and use the volume faders to have just about any effect fade in and out by simply manipulating the faders.
Old 6th May 2019
  #9
Quote:
The process is as stupidly simple as it gets. Push one button to record the fader movement and hit stop to end it.
That is as stupid as stupid gets. This means before you even want to adjust any faders for the mix, you have to press record and then move your fader and then stop recording. This adds 2 steps that are NOT needed.

That is Butt Backwards if you ask me!!
This means you cannot adjust any faders or knobs on the fly, because first you have to set up and record its movements and then press stop to stop recording its movements. With motorized faders,you do not have to do that
Old 6th May 2019
  #10
Lives for gear
 
DirkP's Avatar
 

Here in Europe the first version of the Faderport can be had for 100,- now that Version II is released. Just in case...
Old 6th May 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrgkmc View Post
What? Mechanical motorized faders were made obsolete with most daw programs I've seen. The fader movements are recorded as part of the project when you select to record those movements. Once recorded the faders will repeat the movements you make live until you erase them or overwrite the changes.
Yes, they will repeat the movements if they are motorized. If they aren't, they won't, they'll just sit there... That's why you need motorized faders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrgkmc View Post
Overwriting extreme movements can wind up fighting the movements or previous tweaks so you want to be sure your initial movements are well planned. subsequent movements take precedence over old tweaks.
I'm not sure what you mean by that.

Touch
Latch
Touch-Trim
Latch-Trim

what are you referencing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrgkmc View Post
To the OP. The least expensive controller I've come across is the Korg NanoKontrol Controller.

The OP mentioned an actual mixer in his post. This implies to me that control is about things other than just plugins and VSTi.

The device you're talking about is not a good alternative to the others mentioned. At. All.

I really think you misunderstood what he/she is looking for.
Old 6th May 2019
  #12
Quote:
Yes, they will repeat the movements if they are motorized. If they aren't, they won't, they'll just sit there... That's why you need motorized faders.
+10000

wrgkmc doesn't know what he is talking about obviously. Maybe He should stick to his 30 paragraph uni-bomber diatribes that get off topic after the first sentence
Old 6th May 2019
  #13
HSi
Lives for gear
 
HSi's Avatar
 

Faders that cant react and place themselves to midi out from a daw are about as much use as a condom in a tsunami.

Its not faders, endless encoders, novation nocturns can be picked up cheap, 30 quid, and you can again just use them as mackie hui, sadly they are junk build and last a few months ime.
Old 6th May 2019
  #14
Gear Head
 
Tom.S's Avatar
Are these any good?
-Behringer BCF2000
-Mackie Control
-Icon Platform M

I found these on the local market.
Like I said if you know more other DAW controllers (preferably 8 or more motorized faders) that can be had second hand or cheap, please do mention them!
Old 6th May 2019
  #15
Lives for gear
 

The BCF doesn't have touch-sensitive faders as far as I know. I would hate working without that.

I'm personally not loving the look of the added display for the Platform M. It seems the respective channels don't line up with the text on the screen.

The Mackie is built like a tank, if it's the current model.
Old 7th May 2019
  #16
I use the faderport 8 with Reaper, and it's a lovely daw controller.
Attached Thumbnails
Cheap Daw controller-message_1536370001013.jpg  
Old 11th May 2019
  #17
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HSi View Post
Depends on DAW. I'm sure many have apps yeah, but if you have logic the touchosc ipad template is unreal, amazing. Costs less than a beer.

wow! can it be done on cubase / windows???
Old 11th May 2019
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Matti's Avatar
https://www.avid.com/products/pro-tools-control for free, also Cubase PRO

Matti
Old 11th May 2019
  #19
HSi
Lives for gear
 
HSi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by michalgrim View Post
wow! can it be done on cubase / windows???
Pretty sure cubase have their own, I think its linked above.

With Lemur or touch osc, you can build whatever you want. Lemur is quite pricey though and I'm not sure what DAW controller it comes with these days
Old 13th May 2019
  #20
Gear Addict
 

I've been using an old Frontier Alphatrack with Reaper for years and for simple track-at-a-time automation writing and transport control it's excellent. At the time I went with it over the Faderport because the Alphatrack plugin for Reaper offered a lot more functionality. Not sure it would be a good choice for other DAWs anymore since it's been discontinued for, what 9 years now? But for Reaper it still holds up if you can find one that's in good shape.

I'd much rather have something with 8 (or more) faders but desk space is too precious.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
Here for the gear
 
Leveuho's Avatar
I went for iCon Platform M+ first, but it appeared to be extremely buggy, not stable and finally broke after three months of using, so I went for Behringer X-Touch. I combined it with X-Touch Mini, where I assigned additional commands and track/VST quick controls.

I addedn an iPhone with CubaseIC (more advanced commands, a couple of bucks) plus a cheap tablet as an additional touch screen for my workstation (using Splashtop XDisplay, also 6 bucks or so). The way I can work now, the speed of my mixing and editing really improved, I never suspected to be that fast!

Another cheap (really cheap) way to go is to get a cheap 10 inch tablet and install TouchDAW or a similar piece of controlling software. I got TouchDAW on a second studio machine. Works flawlessly, Mackie Control fully implemented, with a nice analog-style full console view. 6 bucks? 7 bucks? I don't really remember.
Attached Thumbnails
Cheap Daw controller-20190716_234302.jpg  
Old 4 weeks ago
  #22
Here for the gear
 

Hi Tom,
I'm also looking around for a cheap controller for when I'll be abl eto afford one. I personally have found the Icon Qcon Pro looks most professional AND affordable. I don't know much about it other then I have have seen it in a pretty big Studio in Chemnitz, Germany. I mean I don't know anything about the quality really, just saying if a big studio is using it.. There's an optinal Interface to put in the slot in the back and its expandable with unit with only the fadres. You might wanna have a look.
Like this https://www.ebay.de/itm/ICON-QCon-Pr...kAAOSwnehdF1e~
Greetz,
Timo
Old 4 weeks ago
  #23
Here for the gear
 
Leveuho's Avatar
Timo, dig through forums to see how many issues iCon controllers cause to people. Their Mackie "protocol" is almost a hoax, it's so badly implemented. The support told me to uninstall and reinstall the drivers and control software, to change a USB cable and then... went silent. I returned the product and asked for money return.

No response from the producer FOR TWO FRIGGIN' MONTHS!

This is how it goes with iCon crap. And this is crap, believe me. It looks nice, its housing is robust, its buttons are nice, but it's made by a bunch of incompetent, chaotic people who are trying to sell you things that simply don't work.

The controller freezes, the controller goes off, the faders are springy and don't fully go back to their positions, user mode with assignable controls doesn't work, etc., etc.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #24
I come back to these DAW controller threads every couple of months and get perpetually bummed out.

If a company would just create a simple controller with 8 motorized faders only and maybe two other buttons AND not designed to look like a cheap plastic toy, then I would shell out stupid amounts of money for such thing.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #25
Lives for gear
 

Avid artist mix.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #26
huh I always just assumed the Avid Artist Mix was only for Pro Tools but this is a pleasant surprise. I'm def going to look into them thanks!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Avid's stuff is EUCON only, and not all DAWs support that. I can certainly agree with one thing; we need a decent Universal control surface at varying price points. I say a modular design, where you can buy a single fader, or in banks of 8, with modular transport control and modular LED screen (rows of 8 - to match the fader sections). Have one as the master, the others as slaves that connect with NFC/Bluetooth 5.0.

A nice, simple, sleek design with a touch sensitive version and non-touch sensitive version.
Let it support MCU out of the box, but also a new open-source format that anyone can develop for and mod, so the community can create templates for the various DAWs, etc, without the manufacturers having to spend time and resources doing so themselves, which will help keep the cost down.

Until that's done, if your DAW supports touch input, I say get a 22" - 32" touchscreen, and use that. Or, a Softube Console1, because honestly, most of these Control Surfaces suck! They're either too expensive, too limited, too buggy, has one glaring problem that makes it a deal breaker, or doesn't properly support your DAW of choice - it's always one of those problems with these things, and it's annoying!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #28
Gear Nut
 
weave's Avatar
I use Logic Pro x on a MacBook Pro and I also have an iPad. Logic controller on the ipad (free apple app) works well to control logic in the Mac.

FWIW
Old 3 weeks ago
  #29
I'm still using the frontier alphatrack, still a great piece of hardware in my opinion, it has some amazing features for the money and really high quality fader, has never let me down.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Quetz's Avatar
I think with controllers you have to go big or go home if you want to actually change your workflow.
Only 8 faders means incessant banking and most if not all DAWS cannot sync their mixer with the controller's faders bi-directionally.
This is a deal breaker in terms of using your eyes less and your ears more, which is the whole point of a controller in my book.

It's either 16 as a minimum or go the other way and use a Faderport/X-Touch One/AlphaTrack.
But the new Faderport doesn't even control the selected track in DAWS other than Studio One, which renders it practically useless.
The first one did though which is odd.

There are inherent flaws with the Mackie protocol that everyone uses as a basis, and the OP is right, there's always something that's either poorly implemented or plain isn't there that makes for an unsatisfying experience.

Studio One users are more fortunate than most as all the controller maps, including for Mackie Control, are presented as easily-editable xml files, plus the Faderport functionality is seamless.
This doesn't help people that don't use S1 though.

Someone needs to write a new universal protocol from scratch, and hardware manufacturers need to stop being so lazy.

Edit: I've just finished a remap of the X-Touch Universal for Studio One which I'll post in a min in the S1 DAW talk section.
Even if you don't use S1 it'll be worth a look to get an idea of how you can customise a controller to your own workflow.
It would be great if every DAW user had that flexibility with whatever controller they bought.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump