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Choosing a DAW controller for Cubase - any suggestions

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Choosing a DAW controller for Cubase - any suggestions

Postby Random Guitarist » Tue Jan 05, 2021 4:35 pm

It seems to be coming down to either the Behringer X-touch or the Icon QCon Pro G2.

I was wondering if there are any experienced users who could share their thoughts/experiences/recommendations. As per the title I'm using Cubase (10)

Thanks in advance,

Grant.
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Re: Choosing a DAW controller for Cubase - any suggestions

Postby Music Wolf » Tue Jan 05, 2021 5:29 pm

I've been using an X-Touch with Cubase 10.5 for the last 6 months and I've just added the extender.

It works, the faders are a little bit noisy and I've had to put some little stickers on some of the function keys as the factory labels are for Logic (I think that Elf had some magnetic overlays made for Cubase). Next door's cat loves the moving faders.

I basically use it for fader and pan when mixing. What I've made far more use of than expected are the transport and asignable function buttons (for muting my monitors, switching on the click etc). Now I've got the extender I plan to spend some time revisiting a pile of old mixes in the coming weeks.
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Re: Choosing a DAW controller for Cubase - any suggestions

Postby uselessoldman » Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:46 pm

a question close to my heart and one that has been challenging my small brain for the past good few months - what to buy.

The x-touch is cool but considering the slightly higher cost of the x32/producer is it worth forking out for the integrated audio interface and EXTRA FADERS. You can buy the x-touch and then add X Air snake thingies but then with the x32 do you not also have to buy one of them? or the Wing for that matter. I have a snake box just it is multi core cable not ethernet.

The Behringer has a remote app, I have the Studio One remote app that is similar and its cool to use on a touch screen but I still like me old real motorised faders.

Expandability the Behringer is in a league of its own the question is where to start which one to buy first? X-touch works with them all so is a safe bet and they certainly hold their value should you want to sell it. In fact if you get a second hand one at the right price chances are you will lose nothing when you sell it
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Re: Choosing a DAW controller for Cubase - any suggestions

Postby jaminem » Tue Jan 05, 2021 10:49 pm

I’ve used a load of ‘em - behringer, presonus, Steinberg cmc...
The best by far is the steinberg cc121. It’s really well made and works great....
I pair it with softube console 1. I have the console 1 fader as well, but tbh I rarely use it...and that’s really the question you have to ask yourself... are you really gonna use all those faders....? If there’s an ounce of doubt...just get the cc121...
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Re: Choosing a DAW controller for Cubase - any suggestions

Postby The Elf » Tue Jan 05, 2021 10:57 pm

I've also used a CC121, but I much preferred the Frontier Alphatrack. Eventually I replaced the Alphatrack with an X-Touch and never looked back - the best controller purchase I've made to date.

Don't know how well the X32 would work.
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Re: Choosing a DAW controller for Cubase - any suggestions

Postby blinddrew » Tue Jan 05, 2021 11:10 pm

I don't use either of the suggested ones but I do have three control surfaces in front of me so I'll lob a couple of comments in:
1) don't underestimate the speed benefits of transport controls and configurable buttons. :thumbup:
2) having multiple fader banks isn't just about the faders, it's about multiple mutes, solos, selects, record arms etc all simultaneously available.
3) if you do only need one fader, behringer do an x-touch one now with just that (plus all the useful other buttons).
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Re: Choosing a DAW controller for Cubase - any suggestions

Postby The Elf » Tue Jan 05, 2021 11:29 pm

Yes, I had a couple of magnetic overlays made. The controls are MCU-standard, which makes it very friendly with Cubase.
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Re: Choosing a DAW controller for Cubase - any suggestions

Postby Random Guitarist » Wed Jan 06, 2021 12:23 am

Thanks for the comments. I was attracted by the clean lines of the Icon, but seems like the x-touch has more ground in this (admittedly limited) sample of opinions.

It has reminded me that I still own an alphatrack, the point about buttons is well made. One of the big drawbacks with the alphatrack was having to hop across many tracks to solo or mute the one you wanted. It was not a spontaneous or joyous thing.

The decision for the x-touch is made. It's out of stock at Amazon, but listed at 299 (the Thomann effect?) I've ordered one and I'll see if they will deliver sometime soon at that price.
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Re: Choosing a DAW controller for Cubase - any suggestions

Postby The Elf » Wed Jan 06, 2021 12:42 am

Random Guitarist wrote:It has reminded me that I still own an alphatrack, the point about buttons is well made. One of the big drawbacks with the alphatrack was having to hop across many tracks to solo or mute the one you wanted. It was not a spontaneous or joyous thing.
Well don't forget that you will still have to hop across tracks - but 8 at a time!
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Re: Choosing a DAW controller for Cubase - any suggestions

Postby Music Wolf » Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:56 am

The Elf wrote:
Random Guitarist wrote:It has reminded me that I still own an alphatrack, the point about buttons is well made. One of the big drawbacks with the alphatrack was having to hop across many tracks to solo or mute the one you wanted. It was not a spontaneous or joyous thing.
Well don't forget that you will still have to hop across tracks - but 8 at a time!

Which is why I treated myself to the extender. You can manage perfectly well with banks of 8 but the extender was an end of 2020 / Christmas indulgence.

Mixing 'hands on' with 16 faders is a skill (which I need to re-learn). Any more than 16 tracks and I definitely need to be grouping / VCA. 2021 is also going to be the 'Year of the Folder' as I better organise my projects.
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Re: Choosing a DAW controller for Cubase - any suggestions

Postby Random Guitarist » Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:38 am

The Elf wrote:Well don't forget that you will still have to hop across tracks - but 8 at a time!

Very true, but I tend to operate on a kind of submix -> Group channel-> main mix structure. Submixes tend to be 8 tracks or less, and never more than 16 group channels. So I'm thinking I may set up a template where everything is in multiples of 8. That way my project structure will naturally align with how the controller works.
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Re: Choosing a DAW controller for Cubase - any suggestions

Postby Random Guitarist » Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:50 pm

Just to follow up on this thread, Amazon delivered today. I'm a very happy bunny.

I have not got anywhere near the mixing functions yet. On first try the dedicated transport button, multiple faders and a quick quick 24 track template make it so easy to set up a nice fast moving demo environment that I am in heaven.

I've never got on with mice and computer keyboards very well, they just seem to dump me out of creative mode. I may become less happy when proper mix time arrives, but I guess I have some time to figure that out still.

I really like the buttons as well, I hated the harsh click on the Alphatrack, maybe silly but it did put me off using it.

Thanks for the comments/advice.
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Re: Choosing a DAW controller for Cubase - any suggestions

Postby blinddrew » Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:26 pm

Random Guitarist wrote:I've never got on with mice and computer keyboards very well, they just seem to dump me out of creative mode.
I'm with you on this. Despite my BCR occasionally throwing a wobbly I'm still glad I invested the time and cash in getting my control surfaces set up.
There's always some stuff that's quicker and easier on a mouse, but I'm definitely a convert to control surfaces. :thumbup:
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Re: Choosing a DAW controller for Cubase - any suggestions

Postby Luke W » Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:00 pm

blinddrew wrote:There's always some stuff that's quicker and easier on a mouse, but I'm definitely a convert to control surfaces. :thumbup:

:thumbup:

Once you've written in some automation with a fader it almost hurts to think of the alternative!
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Re: Choosing a DAW controller for Cubase - any suggestions

Postby MegaBacher » Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:01 am

I ended up getting the CC121 and it does work well, though the immediacy of the fader input is a little lacking. The motorized fader is tight though when switching channels, so if you have quick fingers and can get used to the workflow then flipping around one channel at a time is doable and the CC121 interface has enough knobs to satisfy. If you can't stand the idea of just one channel at a time then you probably won't like it too much. I find myself having to force myself to use it, because I've grown so damn accustomed to using the mouse over the years, even with track automation performances on plugins I still usually use the mouse.

The best thing about the CC121 is it has a knob that controls whatever the mouse cursor is hovering over, so if you're good at it, you can simply set the mouse cursor over something in the DAW, and scroll the knob to make your adjustments. It's odd I find after working with the CC121 I really wish all physical adjustment tools were knobs rather than faders. I'd much prefer a volume KNOB over a volume fader, and I don't know why, other than I'm certain it's much easier to perform track automation with fade-in's and fade-outs if the volume were set to a knob and not a fader.

I'd just as soon have that hover-knob function as a single hardware thing, rather the rest of the kit, just give me a universal knob to hover my mouse and play around with.
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