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Game changing control surface - Do you Want one?
Old 5th November 2019
  #151
Lives for gear
 

This Dragon controller seems to have strips of physical encoders to be placed on the screen. You have to manually design the GUI for every plugin you are going to use with it... not everyone's favourite way to spend their time.
The logical progression would be if such a controller was available commercially and became a standard so that plugin GUIs can be designed by the developers to work with it... this would be really bring software synths to the next level and further reduce the need to buy expensive and undeprowered hardware synths... It seems we're still a quite a few years away from this. Only someone like Yamaha (or Behringer? )could make this happen since Native Instruments seem to be moving away from hardware and further up their own backside.
Old 5th November 2019
  #152
Gear Nut
 
Havoc911's Avatar
 

With highly configurable touch screen software becoming more widely accepted, I'm skeptical of any hardware controller's chance of success. Your sales would be limited to the niche market of people who can't adapt for whatever reason. Remapping existing hardware is probably the way to go. That's the solution I would have considered had touchscreen not been an option.
Old 5th November 2019
  #153
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
THIS is what I would consider game-changing. The actual graphics wrapping around the knobs.

Not a handful of alphanumeric legends appearing under the knobs.



Go to 3:15 and see it working with an 1176

at 4:29 with a UAD plate

at 4:58 an Oxford EQ

There's none this hunting for the correct knob on the controller, and then following its progress/status back on the computer screen. The knob is ON the screen

This is a little bit "home made" in that you can see the tape he used to hold down wires. The knobs should mounted "through" the screen. But other than that, it is what I would want in a plug-in controller. As I said earlier, a mixer controller does not interest me. Faders don't really cut it either.

Something like this Dragon controller, but that works with Pro Tools instead of Cubase. I would buy that.
Pretty nice concept. Quite funny with the Star Trek (TNG) graphical design. Have they made any think commercial yet or is this the think the thread is about?
Old 6th November 2019
  #154
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greggybud's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bace View Post
Pretty nice concept. Quite funny with the Star Trek (TNG) graphical design. Have they made any think commercial yet or is this the think the thread is about?
IIrc, It's just 1 person from Brazil, and he released the that video several years ago. Has he replied recently to any questions or did he abandon his ambitions?
Old 6th November 2019
  #155
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Havoc911 View Post
With highly configurable touch screen software becoming more widely accepted, I'm skeptical of any hardware controller's chance of success. Your sales would be limited to the niche market of people who can't adapt for whatever reason. .
perhaps not. We audio humans are not the only knob-twiddlers in the world.
A set of knobs with wrap-around screen capability would be useful for many industrial-control processes, games, perhaps video and photography. I bet when I wake up tomorrow a bunch more will have popped into my head.

Quote:
That's the solution I would have considered had touchscreen not been an option
I have tried touchscreens and they just don't do it for me. They are simply too imprecise. Too much 'once removed'. YMMV
Old 6th November 2019
  #156
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bace View Post
Pretty nice concept. Quite funny with the Star Trek (TNG) graphical design. Have they made any think commercial yet or is this the think the thread is about?
I think that Dragon video is at least five years old. To the best of my knowledge, he just made it himself for his own use and did not start a business manufacturing or selling them. Though, IMO, he should have.

I think a more 'commercial' version where the knobs came 'through' (i.e. - no tape on the screen) could be successful, especially if it started to become a standard. As Treebase DMX said above, if a big hardware company like Yamaha got involved. Another possibility is a big software company making the device. If Slate or Waves made all their stuff 100% compatible, there could be enough compatible plugs right off the bat to make some people jump on the wagon. Like owners of the bundles. Then once it got established, the maker could license the Format out to everyone else.

I saw something at AES a few years ago that was a sort of half-step in this direction. It did not have a fully "wrap around" screen, but it had more than just alpha-numeric legends. What they did was have dozens of little squares or rectangles under, over, and in-between each knob. "Mini-Screens" - and they could be used to display readouts, legends, color-coding, metering and knob position.

Perhaps a bunch of mini-screens is easier to implement than one big one, I have no idea.
Old 17th January 2020
  #157
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I'm now going to assume the op is/was UA and they're trying to figure out what kind of controller to invent for Luna.

A controller that they might then also be able to sell for daw use outside of theirs.

So....Luna it is.

Let's decide what UA's gonna have to come up with.

Imo, for sure lots of faders and knobs....tightly integrated to Luna and e-v-e-r-y single plugin they make.

2021 Namm is a year away.

What's UA gonna do?
Old 17th January 2020
  #158
Gear Nut
 
Mark Alpine's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Good! :-)

My personal wish list is short. 16 faders that don't chatter and with caps that don't fly off; bankable; reliable touch sensitivity; mutes directly above the faders; per-channel metering. Rugged, solid transport control. Don't care about plugin control.
I was considering to buy an X-Touch One plus a Midi Fighter Twister to set up a channel strip (gain, mute/solo, Pro-Q3, SieQ, compressor, width, transport control) controller for a while. Even-though it might look cool and all, and might help with workflow a bit, I always end up asking myself "Do I really need this?". So far the reasonable part of me end up with the conclusion that the mouse and keyboard is good enough (and sometimes more flexible since I often want other plug-ins that are not mapped out in the default channel strip).

/Mark
Old 19th January 2020
  #159
Lives for gear
If you really want to make a gamechanger, build a modular controller system. Like eurorack but for control surfaces. Want faders, get a fader module. Want encoders, get encoder banks. Want transport, module. Specific modules laid out for eqs, compressors, ect...
Let the end user set up their rig to fit within whatever price range and layout they require.

Also, give me one for free.
Old 19th January 2020
  #160
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chrischoir's Avatar
 

Game changing would be something using augmented reality
Old 19th January 2020
  #161
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by EMMST View Post
If you really want to make a gamechanger, build a modular controller system. Like eurorack but for control surfaces. Want faders, get a fader module. Want encoders, get encoder banks. Want transport, module. Specific modules laid out for eqs, compressors, ect...
Let the end user set up their rig to fit within whatever price range and layout they require.

Also, give me one for free.
Myself (and I think one other person) keeps saying this, over and over and over again.

Many have tried, and all have failed or are just getting by (breaking even, perhaps), but NO ONE has tried the modular design where it concerns control surfaces. It seems to me like the most obvious, and best choice. In this age of electronic bedroom producers...where everyone has vastly different budgets and needs, a modular system is the wisest way to go.

And honestly, if no one wants to do this, I'll tell you who WILL (granted someone can point them to this thread); BEHRINGER! Yup! Give Behringer a crack at this, and EVERY SINGLE Control Surface competitor will be dead in the water.
Old 19th January 2020
  #162
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It won't happen but what it needs is for ALL plugin developers to agree a universal mapping format for all plugins and then we could have a universal controller.

A open source version of something like Console 1 by Softube but bigger.

8 channels with eq/comp knobs per function, it would look like an 8 channel an analog desk but the knows would just be encoders.

All mapping perfectly to whatever plugin you inserted, a universal mapping format.

AVID did it with the centre section of their bigger controllers a while back and it was the right direction of travel imho.

If Behringer made one for sensible money it would sell like hot cakes!!
Old 20th January 2020
  #163
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
I'm now going to assume the op is/was UA and they're trying to figure out what kind of controller to invent for Luna.

A controller that they might then also be able to sell for daw use outside of theirs.

So....Luna it is.

Let's decide what UA's gonna have to come up with.

Imo, for sure lots of faders and knobs....tightly integrated to Luna and e-v-e-r-y single plugin they make.

2021 Namm is a year away.

What's UA gonna do?
Interesting call. Even though you may not be correct about the OP, you have definitely hit upon a strong, commercially viable idea for UA. It makes a lot of sense for them to consider it.

Although, it would make their alliance with SoftTube uneasy and delicate at best. They may be biting the hand that feeds them with that one. That would make them reconsider such an idea.
Old 20th January 2020
  #164
Quote:
Originally Posted by simon.billington View Post
Interesting call. Even though you may not be correct about the OP, you have definitely hit upon a strong, commercially viable idea for UA. It makes a lot of sense for them to consider it.

Although, it would make their alliance with SoftTube uneasy and delicate at best. They may be biting the hand that feeds them with that one. That would make them reconsider such an idea.
Maybe they'd get Soft Tube to build it for them! But yeah I'm not sure this thread was started by UA. The poster seems to indicate this controller will be DAW agnostic, I'm sure UA would make theirs exclusive to LUNA & Apollo users.
Old 20th January 2020
  #165
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basehead617's Avatar
Avid S6 is the gold standard.

Make a much cheaper EUCON controller that can do all the same things and it will sell a ton.

Good luck on that though.
Old 20th January 2020
  #166
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by basehead617 View Post
Avid S6 is the gold standard.

Make a much cheaper EUCON controller that can do all the same things and it will sell a ton.

Good luck on that though
.

Whenever a thread about a new product comes up one popular idea we see again and again is that "volume" is the answer to the not-insignificant cost of developing and manufacturing complex hardware. Some of the price expectations (often even couched as "demands"!) on the part of potential customers are downright hilarious.

From a global perspective, the audio recording field is tiny. You would have to be a hit with nearly everybody to break even, and that's very unlikely.

If I was an inventor/manufacturer/entrepreneur I would be looking to build something to sell to businessmen or to housewives, automobile owners as my primary market. Not to musicians and recording engineers. Even so, any manufacturer would need to be prepared to run in the red for several years, IMO.

A generic control device, something that could be used for controlling anything - games, graphics software, color correction, drones, etc that could be adapted to also work for audio and music would have the best chance to take advantage of the economy of scale and meet a reasonable price point.

The smart move would be to begin with the wider audience in mind and let audio be the afterthought rather than the other way around. I am sure a little brainstorming could come up with a dozen fields that could use a not-mouse device.
Old 21st January 2020
  #167
Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
Re-invent the mouse. Make turning virtual knobs less clumsy. I like at least the illusion that I'm working with a hardware unit (I like well-designed GUIs), but I hate trying to turn knobs with a mouse.

THIS LOOKS GREAT! Anyone tried it?

Good review from SoS. https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/nob-control-nob



Last edited by bambamboom; 21st January 2020 at 02:12 AM..
Old 21st January 2020
  #168
Quote:
Originally Posted by VenVile View Post
NO ONE has tried the modular design where it concerns control surfaces.
This is essentially what the Avid S series controllers are. Completely modular.

A modular approach is great, but it drives up cost and complexity considerably, as you now have to have some sort of backplane/hub for all of the components to connect to. And on top of this, Avid already have the R&D of their proprietary protocol - whereas the ANCIENT HUI/Mackie Protocols continue to be recycled over and over again for the rest (or their build their own single DAW specific integration - like the Presonus Faderport 8/16 with StudioOne.

Modular and cutting edge features are fine for high end (low volume, high margin) products like the Avid S6, but something like this is a difficult business proposition if you want to drive the price down to the level of the hobby market yet come up with something disruptive. It's not that the companies making controllers are idiots - far from it, there are some very smart people involved. There are just way too many constraints.

This is a niche market, it would take something like a vanity project by Uli Behringer (like he is doing right now with his Synths), as nobody looking to be profitable is considering this as a big money maker.

In short, you will probably never get what you are looking for. Maybe one day Avid will go belly up, their audio division sold off to a private company, and they'll open source all of the EUCON stuff.

Make the best of what we have available today and make some music.
Old 21st January 2020
  #169
Lives for gear
I think the main issue is there are lots of variations on size and for software/OS compatibility.

So you want to make one controller that will work in all software?
What size? How many faders?

I am currently using a mixture of Nucleus and Softube Control-1

That way I all the things I want:
16 faders: touch sensing, long, smooth, motorized.
5 large transport buttons
EQ control

The main downfall is that I can't control two different channels EQ's at the same time. Not for stereo, but for mixing. I want to remove a frequency from one channel while adding it to another at the same time (Both controls active & available). This is the main capability lost when you stop using mixer with EQ knobs on every channel.

The layout I want to see is two channel strips at the bottom
(2xSoftube control-1). faders and transports mid level, and at least 4 rotary controls/channel over the faders.

But that's just me. Other people want something else.

If people have to take the time to set up each control, it will not sell. It has to be capable of being set up quickly. Ease of use is a key feature of any controller.

For example, if you have DAW focus on a plug, will all the knobs and sliders map to the plug and display names of what each knob controls?

Each permutation of Hardware and Software will add the the time it takes to design the software. Would take a long time to work up.

What does a motorized fader cost to end user? 10$/channel or 100$/channel.

Monitor controller? Talkback? each feature opens up cans of worms.


-------Modular-----
Mackie MCU was modular. You could add faders to the main unit. There was also the C4, but the software for that was never right.
Old 21st January 2020
  #170
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greggybud's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
Whenever a thread about a new product comes up one popular idea we see again and again is that "volume" is the answer to the not-insignificant cost of developing and manufacturing complex hardware. Some of the price expectations (often even couched as "demands"!) on the part of potential customers are downright hilarious.

From a global perspective, the audio recording field is tiny. You would have to be a hit with nearly everybody to break even, and that's very unlikely.

If I was an inventor/manufacturer/entrepreneur I would be looking to build something to sell to businessmen or to housewives, automobile owners as my primary market. Not to musicians and recording engineers. Even so, any manufacturer would need to be prepared to run in the red for several years, IMO.
I see you have 25,234 posts plus 15 years on Gearslutz. I think statistics is important when discussing DAW controllers, especially the "game-changing" ones which I immediately laugh at.

Take a look at the history of DAW controllers. If it isn't a failure after a while it is only...maintaining. Mackie is maintaining, but no further protocol. It took Behringer at least 2 years behind schedule to release the X Touch. It took Icon years behind schedule to release the iCon ProX. I'll avoid listing the total failures.

Choose the most 3 popular and you still have many threads of complaints often from the "hilarious" group. Everyone wants something just a teeny bit different, and most want it at a impossible price point. I think it will always be that way because it's a DAW, not a mixing board with add-ons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
By "vacuum" do you mean lack of demand or lack of supply?

I think the majority of DAW users, mostly hobbyists and home-studio people, don't feel like they need a controller of any sort. That's the real issue.


I agree. I would disagree if you included tools that really enhance workflow such as going beyond key commands and macros i.e Metagrid. But those tools aren't flashy or impressive while motorized faders can impress the girl.

I think many hobbyists get seduced by what it could do for them, without really thinking everything through. I say this because of the numerous complaints by users who have purchased them, yet they still complain. Yes, the happy or content won't post nearly as much as the complainers, but so many threads over so many years, and you can see the same issues manifest time and again.
Old 21st January 2020
  #171
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by greggybud View Post
Everyone wants something just a teeny bit different, and most want it at a impossible price point.
exactly

We saw this same thing in all the "why doesn't someone build a new tape deck" threads. Some people wanted a 2-channel mixdown machine, some wanted a multi-track that would replace their DAW. Some wanted a spinning drum that would do a better job of "tape-ifying" their tracks than a Zulu, and some wanted a grot box.

All wanted it at less than the cost of a used tape machine. So many are spoiled by the dramatic price drops of software and think hardware should follow the same curves.

Also each person feels that they 'represent' untold tens of thousands of other users who are just like them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn
My personal wish list is short. 16 faders that don't chatter and with caps that don't fly off; bankable; reliable touch sensitivity; mutes directly above the faders; per-channel metering. Rugged, solid transport control. Don't care about plugin control.
See, and for me, plug in control with top notch visual legends would be my main use for a hypothetical hardware controller. Some people here seem fine with a touch screen, for me, it's a "why bother" kind of deal-breaker.

On the one hand, if we are "wishing", we might as well wish for the moon, because it's all just a daydream. But on the other hand, if we are seriously trying to prod a developer into making a real-world product we are not doing a very good job of it.

If I was a manufacturer reading these threads, I would run for the hills as fast as I could. Then I would thank my lucky stars that I got away before I got in too deep.
Old 23rd January 2020
  #172
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bambamboom View Post
THIS LOOKS GREAT! Anyone tried it?

Good review from SoS. https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/nob-control-nob

Yep. And I should have started this thread a while ago:

In praise of nOb Control


-bryan
Old 23rd January 2020
  #173
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basehead617's Avatar
I thought people were trolling..

A one knob controller is essentially useless vs most use cases like we're discussing.
Old 23rd January 2020
  #174
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsma View Post
Yep. And I should have started this thread a while ago:

In praise of nOb Control
-bryan
Man, it just goes to show you how much everybody actually wants a different product.

Quote:
First of all, this feels like an actual analog pot to use. There are no steps, no clicks, just 360° smooth travel.
Many high-end analog pieces have stepped controls. A real analog pot does not go 360° around. It has a beginning and an end. But of course to be 'universal', a digital knob needs to be infinite. A controller should also indicate status. This item does not even have lights or indicators to show where the knob is positioned "now". If you have to look at the screen to see your status, it's less useful.

Quote:
Second, its basic function is effortless: put the mouse over the item you want to manipulate on the screen and nOb Control controls it. That could be a knob, a switch, a slider,
They lost me at "put the mouse over the item". Once I have a mouse over the item, I might as well just drag up and down. Instead I have to let go of the mouse and grab this other thing? There are some controllers out there now that have "one fader" and they are unpopular for a reason. The same reason.

Is a knob "better" than a mouse? If you need a mouse to get to the knob, you are edging towards "why bother" territory for me. YMMV, but IMO, this is not 'game changing'.

Nice wood, though.
Old 23rd January 2020
  #175
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
It won't happen but what it needs is for ALL plugin developers to agree a universal mapping format for all plugins and then we could have a universal controller.

A open source version of something like Console 1 by Softube but bigger.

8 channels with eq/comp knobs per function, it would look like an 8 channel an analog desk but the knows would just be encoders.

All mapping perfectly to whatever plugin you inserted, a universal mapping format.

AVID did it with the centre section of their bigger controllers a while back and it was the right direction of travel imho.

If Behringer made one for sensible money it would sell like hot cakes!!
The framework and protocol for the universal mapping format already exists.
That is OSC
Earlier in this thread we established we need OSC and a modular approach.
Old 23rd January 2020
  #176
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
A controller should also indicate status. This item does not even have lights or indicators to show where the knob is positioned "now". If you have to look at the screen to see your status, it's less useful.
Yep. And when you're sweeping the frequency on a LFAC you aren't staring at the pot, looking at those tiny screenprinted demarcations, you're listening. And when you're setting the threshold on a compressor you aren't looking at the dial, you're looking at the needle (or just listening). The visual "now" of a potentiometer is often of lesser value.


Quote:
They lost me at "put the mouse over the item". Once I have a mouse over the item, I might as well just drag up and down
nOb Control is the only thing that feels analog. It's worth the moment it takes to let go of my mouse and turn it. My hope is its developer can use it as a stepping stone towards the "game changing" control surface everybody wants. In the meantime, I use it alongside an adequate control surface and, combined, it gets me closer to how things used to be.


-bryan
Old 23rd January 2020
  #177
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
Nice wood, though.
That's what she said.
Old 23rd January 2020
  #178
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsma View Post
Yep. And when you're sweeping the frequency on a LFAC you aren't staring at the pot, looking at those tiny screenprinted demarcations, you're listening. And when you're setting the threshold on a compressor you aren't looking at the dial, you're looking at the needle (or just listening). The visual "now" of a potentiometer is often of lesser value.
I don't know how you work, but when I am working on a console, I am always glancing at the rows of knobs to see how my mix is shaping up. The overall status of everything - not the tiny hashmarks. I can look at my sends and see if anything is left out. No reverb on the kick drum? Just as I intended. No reverb on that third backing vocal that only comes in on the last chorus? Whoops.

Even with a 'typical' bankable controller, the motorized faders all "snap" to their true positions when you call up a set of tracks, and the little lights around the rotary encoders light up to indicate where they are "pointing". Why do they bother doing that? Because some of us really want at-a-glance "status" feedback from their controller, not just one knob to grab.

Every time you reach for a knob on an analog console, you have to look at it for a split second and in that split second you have learned where it is pointing. That it is currently on about "3". Or maybe it is closer to "7". Again I don't know how you work, but I don't adhere to some mystical ideal of "pure listening" - knowing where I am starting from certainly informs my decision-making process.

Even with a mouse, once you have "grabbed" the control you can always close your eyes.

Quote:
you're looking at the needle
The needle is on the screen. That's why my wished-for controller would be like that Dragon thing. Where the metering is on the same device as the knob.

Quote:
nOb Control is the only thing that feels analog.
To me, no infinite rotary encoder can "feel" analog because no analog encoder goes around 360. Perhaps you mean it has some tactile resistance to turning? Plenty of digital control surfaces have some amount of "feel". At the same time, plenty of analog devices have slimy pots. Perhaps you are being seduced by the nice wooden paneling.

Quote:
It's worth the moment it takes to let go of my mouse and turn it.
Well, I am glad that you found something you like, but my mileage definitely varies. The amount of time that I spend adjusting any one control is so short that the "luxuriousness" of the knob's "feel" would be immaterial to me. I'm on to the next one.

As I said, glad you like it, but this only goes to show that we all want a different product. This type of product interests me less than most.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #179
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
That's why my wished-for controller would be like that Dragon thing. Where the metering is on the same device as the knob.
That Dragon controller looks like what I've been dreaming for. You can actually see the interface and metering on the device.

Unfortunately the video is like 10 years old. If this was commercially available, it would fly off the shelves.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #180
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EMMST View Post
That Dragon controller looks like what I've been dreaming for. You can actually see the interface and metering on the device.

Unfortunately the video is like 10 years old. If this was commercially available, it would fly off the shelves.
I believe the guy made it himself for his own use. You can see where the wires are taped to the screen, etc. But yeah, I would buy that.
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