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Channel Strip Control Surface Control Surfaces
Old 15th September 2007
  #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeltaM View Post
I've done a lot of controller design thinking as well. I came to the conclusion you still wanna grab a real knob/fader rather then a visual representation of it.

That Dexter controller for example, nice gimmick, but not so handy in a real studio application. It makes more sense for experimental electronic live acts, but not as a mixing controller.
I'll probably go the more expensive route myself and buy the one with the pots and display for the analog feel. But if I didn't consider the channel strip controller that important, I'd probably settle for a $200 PC touchscreen with Mile High's program that brings up just the plugin GUI.
Old 15th September 2007
  #92
TRW
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My thoughts (whether you want them or not!!LOL):

A fixed control layout for 'specfic' channel strips is no good unless you get all plug-in manufacturers to code/map their software to your format...e.g URS Mix EQs/Icon etc

Honestly even the dedicated strips on Icon are no fun...but better than a mouse.

Adjusting physical layout of the encoders at the user end is going to a nightmare and as mentioned expensive to do right.

You mention having the screen follow the plug-ins by selected channel. How does it know which insert slot you are looking at? Will it scroll through vertically and horizontally...that is inserts vertically and channels horizontally?

Lexan overlays are no good.

I think the best solution is one my friend thought of in college...to my knowledge he hasn't designed it yet...his idea coupled with mine:

Have a package much like yours and TC 6k Icon. The display is a touch screen with the largest and highest resolution possible....I suggest a 12" TFT and make the whole thing about the size of a MacBook.

Underneath it place four buttons and two scribble strips (largest number of characters financially possible, 4-digit strips suck major balls....

Two of the buttons [/\] [\/] bank up/down between insert slots on selected track, their associated scribble strip displays the insert number and plug-in assigned...

The other two buttons [<] [>] bank left/right between selected channels, their associated scribble strip displays the selected channel name (hence the need for nice long character displays...enough of the whole KkFt9...I want to see Kick Fat 109 or whatever...also have a SHIFT button that allows banking in 8 channel blocks.

If no plugin is loaded in the particular insert slot, the screen displays the message - NO PLUGIN ALLOCATED - LOAD PLUG-IN?

There is a box icon on the touch screen labelled [OK]...tap this and the display pulls up the plug-in menus as shown in your DAW...here you can assign plugins by touch...any plug-in menu structures and scrolling should be kept by the control surface so those with large but organised plugin lists aren't crippled. This functionality should also be available on the screen, even when a plug-in is loaded in a particular slot so its possible to change them out easily...

Oh ****, have a mode for the display to show all inserts slots as a list so that you can drag them by finger to re-order if the DAW supports it...PT or Nuendo/SX etc.

This has to be more seamless than say the LiquidMix or even the Euphonix MC.

Loading a plug-in here then displays the plug-in on the TFT (as would happen in slots already filled on the selected channel). Hence the need for a large TFT, plugins have large GUIs...a touch screen with a scroll bar function will ensure the machine is NOT limited by 3rd party software. After all, the success of the controller depends upon said 3rd party software...so why make something with restrictions? Plug-in manufacturers like to design pretty interfaces to justify a difference...even influencing subjective sound quality. Wouldn't it be boring if that perfect graphic representation on the OSCar looked all generic-like with simple gray buttons and sliders?

Operation:

With the full plugin displayed on the screen, a simple control interface comes into play...that is, simple for the user. The level of intelligence in the control programming is high.

This bit was my friends idea. It is a two hand or two stage operation.

Below the screen and the select controls indicated above are:

3 rotary encoders
3 NKK SmartSwitches

(there could be one of each for the low-cost solution, but three encoders cover Q, Freq and Gain for EQ or critical compression parameters like threshold, attack release, we only have two hands so the synth guys should also be happy.)

Tap the encoder you wish to assign and then tap the parameter on the touch screen, the control surface automatically updates to the control much like midi learn...and there you have it - simple, elegant hardware control.

Any two state functions (on/off) can be mapped to the smart switches by holding the switch down and tapping the screen. The LCD smart switch then displays the control name...so no need for lexan overlays or that kind of restricted interface ****.

If you wanted to get cocky you could have a mappable joystick for surround but thats very pricey. Save it for the Pro version with its 8 rotary controls and motorised joystick panner!!

Now the fun part.

Once you have mapped the controls you save them to a preset in the controller....so from now on whenever the control surface encounters that plug-in on ANY channel it defaults to this mapping....speedy huh?

It may also be possible to provide mapping banks so its very easy to toggle the three controls through each band of an EQ....but all you have to do is tap the encoder and tap the screen to re-assign...SWEET!

In fact it would be really nice if you could tap HMF or LMF etc on the screen and the three encoders shift form band to band...that would be quick...

Ancillary functions could be a single fader and rotary encoder located to the right of the screen with selection for encoder status....pan, aux 1 through aux n...a scribble strip for encoder/aux status with the ability to assign auxes from here too.

Underneath the fader place standard transport controls.

Thats about it! LOL

The Euphonix MC has a lot of this functionality but it costs £12k. However it has 56 smart switches and four very high quality faders, a digital monitoring solution, a jog wheel (very nice one too) and integrated keyboard, trackball plus heaps of other 'brain' things for full System 5 usage.

If you strip it down to 4-5 rotary encoders, four or five smart switches, a touch screen and one high quality P&G fader plus 4-10 standard buttons and three scribble strips it must be possible to hit £3k.

Get that to maket for £3k and you'd sell them.

I'm sure I'll think of more things too. What it needs to be is simple to use, but compex behind the hood. Many controllers add tactile control, but not many offer integration that is intuitive. LiquidMix is terrible for example...

-Tom
Old 15th September 2007
  #93
TRW
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Oh you could also have a hold button beneath each encoder so that it can remain assigned to that one parameter/track/plug-in even when operating on a different track.

For example, adjusting three wet/dry controls on three reverbs on three separate tracks at the same time....or even automating delay time in one plug-in while using the other two encoders to automate a filter sweep on an EQ plug-in after the delay in the insert slot order. That would be cool...

Hmm if only I had a million dollars and no real job to get in the way of R&D...
Old 15th September 2007
  #94
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DrDeltaM's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRW View Post
Hmm if only I had a million dollars and no real job to get in the way of R&D...
Same feeling here... Tho my overall controller ideas are different from your friend's, there is some overlap thumbsup
Old 16th September 2007
  #95
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrChang View Post
Brad,

I'm interested. Where did you get it for that price?

John
On Ebay! Just do a search for "Novation Zero".

Brad
Old 16th September 2007
  #96
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Farshad's Avatar
 

Even if Behringer builds one, I will buy it heh

P.S. but hey Behringer! It should have dedicated EQ buttons! No menus or switches to chooses different EQ bands
Old 16th September 2007
  #97
Gear Maniac
I was just wondering why nobody even mentioned Native Instruments Kore. Okay its not a dedicated Channel Strip Surface, but you can use 8 encoders to map your favorite plugin to it. I always thought the concept is smart and flexible, i just couldnt afford one yet. Do I miss a point which makes this thing stupid?
Old 16th September 2007
  #98
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DrDeltaM's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farshad View Post
Even if Behringer builds one, I will buy it heh

P.S. but hey Behringer! It should have dedicated EQ buttons! No menus or switches to chooses different EQ bands
heh

I use this as channel strip controller in Logic atm:

Top 8 push-encoders serve as 8 sends, pushing is set to bypass on/off for first 8 insert slots. I can switch these 8 encoders to compressor controls using the 4 buttons under the display (4 encoder groups, i use just 2 in practise).
Bottom section is 5 band EQ with Q/freq/Gain (black, blue, white, green and red bands, the white band is unused by my Duende channelstrip) + HPF & LPF (yellow, Q & freq). The 2 white knobs under the filter knobs are channel strip input and output. The 3 black encoders on the right are (from bottom to top): volume, pan and insert slot selector (to show the correct plug on screen).
The 16 buttons above the 24 bottom encoders have functions above each EQ band such as shelf/peak, E/G (SSL) curves, bypass band etc, a bit depending on which plugin is loaded.

The bottom right 4 buttons are used for channel selection up/down as well as a simple play and stop.

It is rather some work to set up your plugin tho, and you can't have more then one plugin per channel strip of the same kind. That's because all compressor plugins react to the same controls and all EQ plugins react to their own controls.

In practise, I just have an SSL Duende channel strip on pretty much each channel, and tweak happily

I don't use the ledbars around the encoders for feedback atm. You probably can, but that involves more work. Plus, I see the plugin on screen anyway.

It's a decent cheap solution for me so far, untill I can have my own concept controller build
Attached Thumbnails
Channel Strip Control Surface-behringer-controller.jpg  
Old 16th September 2007
  #99
Gear Addict
 

what about the Yamaha DM 2000. you can get one pretty cheap now. I think it controls protools
Old 16th September 2007
  #100
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DrDeltaM's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joji View Post
what about the Yamaha DM 2000. you can get one pretty cheap now. I think it controls protools
It would control ProTools as if it was a HUI, albeit a VERY expensive one. You can't make use of the DM-2000 channel strip controls afaik.
Old 26th September 2007
  #101
Lives for gear
Made any progress on the controller or are you waiting for AES before making a move?
Old 3rd October 2007
  #102
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BradM's Avatar
Novation Remote SL Zero

I thought I'd report back since I finally got my Novation Remote SL Zero up and running. In a word it's brilliant.

I spent some time setting up my Novation Remote SL Zero last night to control various go-to plugins for mixing. All I have to say is that the Automap system is awesome and it works near flawlessly. Before starting the DAW, you assign plugins to be Automapped using the Plugin Manager utility (drag and drop). Then when you select a plugin within Cubase you choose the the Automapped version (e.g. UAD 1176LN (Automap)). As soon as that plugin is instantiated it maps itself automatically to all the controls on the Novation. That’s not the cool part. The cool part is that you can easily edit and change which encoder/pot/slider/button controls which plugin parameter by clicking a “learn” button on the Automap border of the plugin or on the Novation itself. You can also rename the parameter names. So let’s say the low cut on Precision EQ comes up on a rotary encoder as “LoCut”. But I want to remap it to a button, that when pressed multiple times will cycle through all the frequency choices, and I want to rename it to “High Pass”. Piece of cake. Click “learn” and then move the control on the screen and then press the button on the Novation. Then just rename the parameter by typing into the text box in the Automap frame around the plugin. Done. You can even edit the value range or step size for a control to change the feel of a knob or pot, or button. So if you have a button that should toggle something either on or off, you just change one value and presto it works the way you want it.

You can save all the settings you make to be the default for the plugin every time it loads. You can also export a file that saves these settings as well and lets you import them on another computer.

Basically the thing is brilliant. I was able to setup about 10 different UAD plugins in about 2 hours while cooking dinner (I put a lot of thought into how I wanted to lay everything out...I was really anal). It’s one thing to have plugins be controlled from something like a Mackie Control. But having them be controlled in the way that makes intuitive sense to you…well that’s just delightful.

By the way—I noticed that the Novation gave me some “secret” parameters to control that are not accessible from the plugin itself. In particular I’m speaking of the UAD Plate 140. There were like 4 parameters that you just can’t control from the GUI…stereo balance, mod rate, mod depth, and low-cut. Cool! Has anyone else noticed this?

Brad
Old 3rd October 2007
  #103
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TheSweetener's Avatar
 

Thanks for your report Brad! thumbsup

What about the built quality and more important the feel of the faders and knobs?

Thanks!
Old 3rd October 2007
  #104
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Fidelis's Avatar
 

How does it works with Protools? (I'm opn a G5 PT HD 7.3.1).
Old 3rd October 2007
  #105
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lofi's Avatar
 

Quote:
By the way—I noticed that the Novation gave me some “secret” parameters to control that are not accessible from the plugin itself. In particular I’m speaking of the UAD Plate 140. There were like 4 parameters that you just can’t control from the GUI…stereo balance, mod rate, mod depth, and low-cut. Cool! Has anyone else noticed this?
i noticed that with some other controllers and some plug wrappers too...

anyway your report made me drool

so many great pres on the market but very few controllers worth $$$
Old 3rd October 2007
  #106
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manthe's Avatar
 

I'm glad some one else has corroborated my excitement and keenness on this thing. I really love it. I have the 25, which is the controller, plus a 25 key 'piano' MIDI trigger, with transpose up and down to 88 keys. It has come in SO handy to have this little keyboard right by the console to 'bang out' ideas, perform quick fixes, etc.

I have custom templates for all of my plugs and synths now and it is very fast and intuitive. Between my control surface and this, I rarly touch a mouse or KB while tracking or mixing!

Did you get the latest, 3.1 driver pack?

The 1st thing I did was figure out how to turn off that BLINKING LIGHT!! (the tempo indicator...so annoying).

Anyhow, congrats! Some people here seem to scoff at it, but the quality really isn't that bad at all....especially for the money.

If some one builds a very high-end controller (ohysically high-end, that is), I hope they license the Automap technology. It is brilliant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
I thought I'd report back since I finally got my Novation Remote SL Zero up and running. In a word it's brilliant.

I spent some time setting up my Novation Remote SL Zero last night to control various go-to plugins for mixing. All I have to say is that the Automap system is awesome and it works near flawlessly. Before starting the DAW, you assign plugins to be Automapped using the Plugin Manager utility (drag and drop). Then when you select a plugin within Cubase you choose the the Automapped version (e.g. UAD 1176LN (Automap)). As soon as that plugin is instantiated it maps itself automatically to all the controls on the Novation. That’s not the cool part. The cool part is that you can easily edit and change which encoder/pot/slider/button controls which plugin parameter by clicking a “learn” button on the Automap border of the plugin or on the Novation itself. You can also rename the parameter names. So let’s say the low cut on Precision EQ comes up on a rotary encoder as “LoCut”. But I want to remap it to a button, that when pressed multiple times will cycle through all the frequency choices, and I want to rename it to “High Pass”. Piece of cake. Click “learn” and then move the control on the screen and then press the button on the Novation. Then just rename the parameter by typing into the text box in the Automap frame around the plugin. Done. You can even edit the value range or step size for a control to change the feel of a knob or pot, or button. So if you have a button that should toggle something either on or off, you just change one value and presto it works the way you want it.

You can save all the settings you make to be the default for the plugin every time it loads. You can also export a file that saves these settings as well and lets you import them on another computer.

Basically the thing is brilliant. I was able to setup about 10 different UAD plugins in about 2 hours while cooking dinner (I put a lot of thought into how I wanted to lay everything out...I was really anal). It’s one thing to have plugins be controlled from something like a Mackie Control. But having them be controlled in the way that makes intuitive sense to you…well that’s just delightful.

By the way—I noticed that the Novation gave me some “secret” parameters to control that are not accessible from the plugin itself. In particular I’m speaking of the UAD Plate 140. There were like 4 parameters that you just can’t control from the GUI…stereo balance, mod rate, mod depth, and low-cut. Cool! Has anyone else noticed this?

Brad
Old 15th October 2007
  #107
Behringer BCR works great

I could not agree more that there should be more/better options for channel editing. The C4 seems cool but its almost too flexible.

Overall, like DrDeltaM, I have had great results with the behringer bcr2000 controlling waves ssl in cubase sx. Endless rotary encoders work great and it is VERY cheap. I have a mackie control that i use for faders/panning and I use the BCR for the ssl plugin on each channel. I programmed it to do all necessary channel functions like open plugin window for each of first five inserts, bypass first five inserts, control five send levels and on/off and all the functions on the waves ssl set up to be on the first insert slot. I added labels to all of the knobs so it really does kindof look like a channel strip.

The downsides:
-no display (hasn't been a problem for me because i can open the plugin window from the controller)
-figuring out how to program it took a while
-i am stuck with always having the ssl plugin on a particular insert number and the plugin needs to be there before loading my bcr template (so when i start a mix i add the ssl plugin to every channel and turn power off, then load my bcr template)
-isn't useful for editing other plugins that aren't programmed

This sounds like a pain in the butt and it was at first but now i love it. Makes it VERY easy to mix and i don't have to go to the mouse except when working on other plugins which isn't terribly often.
Old 16th October 2007
  #108
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSweetener View Post
Thanks for your report Brad! thumbsup

What about the built quality and more important the feel of the faders and knobs?

Thanks!
Sorry I've been a little delinquent in responding to people here. The build quality seems good. It's like the other Novation stuff. I'd say it's on par with the build quality of the Mackie Control. The pots and rotary encoders feel good, but the faders feel a little cheesy, but they still work fine. Overall I've been really impressed. The Automap is implemented well. Oh, in case I forgot to mention you need to install Reason Rewire (it's free) for the Automap to work.

Brad
Old 16th October 2007
  #109
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpants View Post
Overall, like DrDeltaM, I have had great results with the behringer bcr2000 controlling waves ssl in cubase sx. Endless rotary encoders work great and it is VERY cheap. I have a mackie control that i use for faders/panning and I use the BCR for the ssl plugin on each channel. I programmed it to do all necessary channel functions like open plugin window for each of first five inserts, bypass first five inserts, control five send levels and on/off and all the functions on the waves ssl set up to be on the first insert slot. I added labels to all of the knobs so it really does kindof look like a channel strip.
Interesting. I'm using Cubase SX too. How do you get it to open the plugin windows for the first five inserts? Maybe you can send me the sysex commands? I'm wondering if I could manually program my Novation Remote to do the same. It's all just MIDI messages, so in theory it should work.

thanks,
Brad
Old 16th October 2007
  #110
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SeanG's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
...(snip)...

By the way—I noticed that the Novation gave me some “secret” parameters to control that are not accessible from the plugin itself. In particular I’m speaking of the UAD Plate 140. There were like 4 parameters that you just can’t control from the GUI…stereo balance, mod rate, mod depth, and low-cut. Cool! Has anyone else noticed this?

Brad
You can access the extra parameters by holding ctrl+shift while pulling up the user interface with UAD plugs... it pulls up a plain text interface where you can access more parameters and adjust them with better accuracy.
Old 24th August 2010
  #111
Here for the gear
 

Any updates?

I know this is an old thread, just wondering if anyone has made progress on this topic? I'm working on a custom rotary encoder controller aimed at controlling non-instrument plugs. From what I see, the most that PT will only allow me to map 8 parameters max. Basically MIDI data 147, and the values 17-24 can be mapped to whatever "knobs" I want on SSL channel, or any other eq/comp plug. 17-24 means 8 max. Anything outside that range won't map, and trying to utilize MIDI channels doesn't help.

So for PTs users, I don't think there's much hope, since mapping for non-instrument plugins is handled strictly through PT. I hope I'm wrong, any one still interested in this topic and have any info? I'm gonna build some sweet controllers for mixers if we can figure out a way around this apparent limitation.

Cheers,
Neil
neilshah.com
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