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Expandable fader banks

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Expandable fader banks

Postby OneWorld » Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:14 pm

After trying all manner of DAW control surfaces, I am currently on the Icon Qcon, which is great, but I still have the same old problem - jumping from track to track, or more precisely bank to bank (of 8)

I once used an 02r96, with the remote layers and 24 faders I could get from track 1 to track 48 in an instant

With an 8 fader control surface that can take several button presses. OK I use Cubase and can configure the mixer so I can assign a control button to take me to either the MIDI tracks, the VSTi tracks, the Audio tracks and so on, but again that's a compromise.

I sometimes wonder about buying an old Tascam US2400 - 24 faders, but nah.

I once used 3 smaller control surfaces, Novation I think they were, 3x8 faders, but that meant 3 USB sockets being taken up.

Then I see those small fader banks on eBay, about £30 each and they would suffice as they have fader, pan, record ready, solo, mute, select button control. I have a BCR2000 set up as a virtual channel strip (thanks to an excellent article here in SOS some time ago)

But again, the 3 or even 4 fader banks would take up 3 or 4 USB slots on the PC.

So...why don't the manufacturers of these fader banks make the devices have the ability to 'snap' together, so you would only need 1 USB slot on the PC would be occupied, and just as useful, not needing a rats nest of cables all over the desk.

As far as I know you cannot daisy chain USB devices? so maybe each fader bank would need a virtual or actual hub inside it?

Does such a thing exist already? Is there some technical reason they could not be manufactured?
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Re: Expandable fader banks

Postby blinddrew » Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:11 pm

It does seem a bit odd that someone like Icon in particular don't have a simple daisy chain option for their expansion units, but can you not just get a USB hub and plug them all into that?
I currently have a nanokontrol2, a BCF2000 and a BCR2000* all plugged into the same usb hub.


* Also set up as a channel strip, based on the same article. :)
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Re: Expandable fader banks

Postby OneWorld » Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:52 am

blinddrew wrote:It does seem a bit odd that someone like Icon in particular don't have a simple daisy chain option for their expansion units, but can you not just get a USB hub and plug them all into that?
I currently have a nanokontrol2, a BCF2000 and a BCR2000* all plugged into the same usb hub.


* Also set up as a channel strip, based on the same article. :)

Yes the Icon does have expanders, but going to 24 faders, or even 32 takes up a massive amount of deskspace, I might as well go back to an 02r96

But the nanokontrol, if it works through a usb would do the trick, I just essentially want 24 faders, In don't really need the controls on the Icon because I could use the BCR2000 as a channel strip and one of the nanokontrols for transport controls

I did once have 2xBCF2000 giving me 16 faders of course, but again 2xmains leads, 2xUSB ports

Currently I am using an Arturia Beatstep which has 16 pads, that gives me instant access to any of 16 audio/vsti tracks and the icon faders left to control the midi tracks, and the BCR2000 as the channel strip

I was thinking of getting a Softube Console, I recently missed one on here that was up for only £200, I have UAD plugins anyway, apparently the softube allows instant access to any of 24 tracks
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Re: Expandable fader banks

Postby blinddrew » Mon Dec 24, 2018 12:47 pm

I've not tried connecting more than one nanokontrol but it might come down to how you're configuring the midi cc. I guess you'd have to try it and see.
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Re: Expandable fader banks

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon Dec 24, 2018 12:48 pm

OneWorld wrote:I was thinking of getting a Softube Console, I recently missed one on here that was up for only £200, I have UAD plugins anyway, apparently the softube allows instant access to any of 24 tracks

It does but nevertheless it's not really a replacement for a conventional control surface. I use one alongside my Mackie Control and they work very well together because they do different things, with the MCU doing all the fader/pan/send/transport stuff and the Console 1 doing all the channel strip stuff.

Incidentally I also have the MCU expander. That is linked to the MCU by MIDI and the MCU to the Mac by USB, so, two units but just one USB port.

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Re: Expandable fader banks

Postby OneWorld » Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:42 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:
OneWorld wrote:I was thinking of getting a Softube Console, I recently missed one on here that was up for only £200, I have UAD plugins anyway, apparently the softube allows instant access to any of 24 tracks

It does but nevertheless it's not really a replacement for a conventional control surface. I use one alongside my Mackie Control and they work very well together because they do different things, with the MCU doing all the fader/pan/send/transport stuff and the Console 1 doing all the channel strip stuff.

Incidentally I also have the MCU expander. That is linked to the MCU by MIDI and the MCU to the Mac by USB, so, two units but just one USB port.

CC

The softube wouldn't be a replacement for a control surface, but a channel strip which has the added benefit of being able to jump to any of 24 tracks, with a single button press and the existing control surface I have would be left with the 8 faders dealing with the midi tracks.

Yes I realise there are expanders for the MCU(I have 2 MCUs under the bench!) and Icon controllers but again, imagine 1 surface controller +2 expanders and the amount of room that takes up, I might as well go back to an 02r96

It would be great if a manufacturer of a control surface, such as the Mackie or Icon included a bank of say 24 buttons (as they do on the Softube) with each button taking you directly to any of the 24 tracks in a single button press or faffing about with bank change buttons. That might sound lie a minor irritant, but when doing a lot of switching between for example track 5, and then track 23 and back and forth ad hoc that means there's a lot of bank changing to do
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Re: Expandable fader banks

Postby Ramirez » Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:07 pm

I use the Console 1 currently on sale at £350ish) with an Alphatrack and they really are great together. As you say, the 24 channel buttons on the Console 1 are a great way to jump around, and the Alphatrack instantly gives me a fader on that selected track.

If you like the look of the Icons but don’t want the bells and whistles how about their Platform M+? Also expandable to 32 channels. Probably worth getting the Platform D scribble strip to go with it -
https://iconproaudio.com/product/platform-m-plus/

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Re: Expandable fader banks

Postby OneWorld » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:48 pm

Ramirez wrote:If you like the look of the Icons but don’t want the bells and whistles how about their Platform M+? Also expandable to 32 channels. Probably worth getting the Platform D scribble strip to go with it -
https://iconproaudio.com/product/platform-m-plus/

Aled

Oneworld wrote:"...............I am currently on the Icon Qcon.........."

Also if I got x number of Platform M+'s I would have the rats nest of cables on the desk as mentioned above, my question was, why don't they make the expanders able to 'click' together to avoid the spaghetti all over the desk.

BTW - you mention wanting £350ish for your Softube, have you checked the price of new ones lately? Does yours have extra plugins?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Softube-Cons ... :rk:1:pf:0

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Re: Expandable fader banks

Postby Ramirez » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:55 pm

Sorry OneWorld, missed your reply above. What I meant was I’ve just bought a Console 1 on sale (new) at £350, not selling one.
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Re: Expandable fader banks

Postby OneWorld » Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:01 pm

Ramirez wrote:Sorry OneWorld, missed your reply above. What I meant was I’ve just bought a Console 1 on sale (new) at £350, not selling one.

How you finding the Softube?

I have tried setting up my own 'channel strip' using an old BCR2000 I had collecting dust but when I jump to a track, I still have to do another few button presses to open whatever eq/dyanamics/efx is associated to that track. From what I can see with the Softube, you select one of the 24 tracks and the channel strip controls open as well.

I know I can use Cubase's channel strip but I find my UAD gives much better results
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Re: Expandable fader banks

Postby Ramirez » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:56 pm

OneWorld wrote:
Ramirez wrote:Sorry OneWorld, missed your reply above. What I meant was I’ve just bought a Console 1 on sale (new) at £350, not selling one.

How you finding the Softube?

I have tried setting up my own 'channel strip' using an old BCR2000 I had collecting dust but when I jump to a track, I still have to do another few button presses to open whatever eq/dyanamics/efx is associated to that track. From what I can see with the Softube, you select one of the 24 tracks and the channel strip controls open as well.

I know I can use Cubase's channel strip but I find my UAD gives much better results

Sorry, missed this.

I like a lot. It works well with my Alphatrack - I choose a channel on the Softube, and the channel strip instantly pops up for that channel, as well as a fader and the pots in the Alphatrack.

I'm currently mixing an album on it, which is my first real project using it. I'm quite sure its speeding me up, and I'm beginning to automatically reach for the Console 1 now when I need to EQ instead of taking the mouse to Reaper's plugin browser.

I haven't much used the gate, shape and drive bits of it yet, but the EQ and comp get a lot of use. Only drawback I've noticed so far is that the VST plugin GUI for that particular channel (not the Console 1 display GUI) needs to be open for Reaper to read any automation from the Console 1. Not sure how it behaves with other DAWs, but that really isn't too big a deal for me.

If you buy now, the discount is still going AND you get the Neve model thrown in as well, which I missed out on.
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Re: Expandable fader banks

Postby OneWorld » Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:33 pm

Ramirez wrote:
OneWorld wrote:
Ramirez wrote:Sorry OneWorld, missed your reply above. What I meant was I’ve just bought a Console 1 on sale (new) at £350, not selling one.

How you finding the Softube?

I have tried setting up my own 'channel strip' using an old BCR2000 I had collecting dust but when I jump to a track, I still have to do another few button presses to open whatever eq/dyanamics/efx is associated to that track. From what I can see with the Softube, you select one of the 24 tracks and the channel strip controls open as well.

I know I can use Cubase's channel strip but I find my UAD gives much better results

Sorry, missed this.

I like a lot. It works well with my Alphatrack - I choose a channel on the Softube, and the channel strip instantly pops up for that channel, as well as a fader and the pots in the Alphatrack.

I'm currently mixing an album on it, which is my first real project using it. I'm quite sure its speeding me up, and I'm beginning to automatically reach for the Console 1 now when I need to EQ instead of taking the mouse to Reaper's plugin browser.

I haven't much used the gate, shape and drive bits of it yet, but the EQ and comp get a lot of use. Only drawback I've noticed so far is that the VST plugin GUI for that particular channel (not the Console 1 display GUI) needs to be open for Reaper to read any automation from the Console 1. Not sure how it behaves with other DAWs, but that really isn't too big a deal for me.

If you buy now, the discount is still going AND you get the Neve model thrown in as well, which I missed out on.

Yes, that is exactly the sort of setup I envisaged - the Softube in conjunction with the Alphatrack seem a perfect mix. I have sort of fixed my 'jump to any track' issue by buying a Novation Launchpad, which has 64 pads +16 other controls, all of which can easily be setup within the Cubase Generic Remote.

I have been looking on eBay for an Alphatrack, seems they are discontinued, not many of them around though there is also the Presonus Fadertrack which will do the same job.
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Re: Expandable fader banks

Postby The Elf » Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:16 am

OneWorld wrote:I have been looking on eBay for an Alphatrack, seems they are discontinued, not many of them around though there is also the Presonus Fadertrack which will do the same job.
IME I would say it's worth waiting to catch an AlphaTrack - they are much better devices.
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Re: Expandable fader banks

Postby Ramirez » Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:33 pm

OneWorld wrote:.
I have been looking on eBay for an Alphatrack, seems they are discontinued, not many of them around though there is also the Presonus Fadertrack which will do the same job.

I haven’t used a Faderport, but do bear in mind they haven’t got a display of any kind, so you’ll have to rely on your screen to tell you which track you’re on. Might not be a problem for you, but it would be a no-go for me for that reason (I only use a small-ish touchscreen, and often mix with the screen off)

The Behringer X-Touch One looks promising though, and I think Icon have something similar.
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Re: Expandable fader banks

Postby OneWorld » Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:01 pm

The Elf wrote:
OneWorld wrote:I have been looking on eBay for an Alphatrack, seems they are discontinued, not many of them around though there is also the Presonus Fadertrack which will do the same job.
IME I would say it's worth waiting to catch an AlphaTrack - they are much better devices.

Thanks for the heads-up there, I have seen other forums where there seems to be a preference for the Alphatrack. Frontier Design have come up with good products but they never seem to sell well and soon go out of production. Way back when I used to have the Dakota soundcard with the expander giving 32io over ADAT, the latency figures were hardly noticeable, it was reliable and simple, as far as I was concerned a much cheaper equivalent to the RME HSDP, but the product soon went into obscurity
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Re: Expandable fader banks

Postby OneWorld » Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:18 pm

Ramirez wrote:
OneWorld wrote:.
I have been looking on eBay for an Alphatrack, seems they are discontinued, not many of them around though there is also the Presonus Fadertrack which will do the same job.

I haven’t used a Faderport, but do bear in mind they haven’t got a display of any kind, so you’ll have to rely on your screen to tell you which track you’re on. Might not be a problem for you, but it would be a no-go for me for that reason (I only use a small-ish touchscreen, and often mix with the screen off)

The Behringer X-Touch One looks promising though, and I think Icon have something similar.

I use an ICON QCON which is great. The thing is, with this or any other equivalent controller (I also used to use the Mackie MCU Pro) that changing from say track1 to track 24 means several bank changes. The Softube Console allows jumping straight to a track.

However, I have bought a Novation Launchpad and have set it up in a 32 track template. All I need to do is select the requisite pad, say track 23 and it jumps straight to that track. However even if the ICON follows that, jumps to track 23, and if the ICON is sitting at bank 1 (tracks 1-8) then the ICON doesn't automatically change banks. But that would not be an issue with the Alphatrack, it would not need me to manually bank through banks 1, 2, 3 t get to the selected track (23) on bank 3 (tracks 16-24) if my hypothesis turns out as I expect then I can randomly jump to any of 32 tracks using the LaunchPad and control the level using the AlphaTrack then use the control on the ICON to make changes.
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Re: Expandable fader banks

Postby Ramirez » Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:21 pm

OneWorld wrote:
Ramirez wrote:
OneWorld wrote:.
I have been looking on eBay for an Alphatrack, seems they are discontinued, not many of them around though there is also the Presonus Fadertrack which will do the same job.

I haven’t used a Faderport, but do bear in mind they haven’t got a display of any kind, so you’ll have to rely on your screen to tell you which track you’re on. Might not be a problem for you, but it would be a no-go for me for that reason (I only use a small-ish touchscreen, and often mix with the screen off)

The Behringer X-Touch One looks promising though, and I think Icon have something similar.

I use an ICON QCON which is great. The thing is, with this or any other equivalent controller (I also used to use the Mackie MCU Pro) that changing from say track1 to track 24 means several bank changes. The Softube Console allows jumping straight to a track.

However, I have bought a Novation Launchpad and have set it up in a 32 track template. All I need to do is select the requisite pad, say track 23 and it jumps straight to that track. However even if the ICON follows that, jumps to track 23, and if the ICON is sitting at bank 1 (tracks 1-8) then the ICON doesn't automatically change banks. But that would not be an issue with the Alphatrack, it would not need me to manually bank through banks 1, 2, 3 t get to the selected track (23) on bank 3 (tracks 16-24) if my hypothesis turns out as I expect then I can randomly jump to any of 32 tracks using the LaunchPad and control the level using the AlphaTrack then use the control on the ICON to make changes.


What I meant was I think they have a single-fader controller similar to the Alphatrack and Faderport (and Behringer X-Touch One)
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Re: Expandable fader banks

Postby OneWorld » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:31 pm

Ramirez wrote:
OneWorld wrote:
Ramirez wrote:
OneWorld wrote:.
I have been looking on eBay for an Alphatrack, seems they are discontinued, not many of them around though there is also the Presonus Fadertrack which will do the same job.

I haven’t used a Faderport, but do bear in mind they haven’t got a display of any kind, so you’ll have to rely on your screen to tell you which track you’re on. Might not be a problem for you, but it would be a no-go for me for that reason (I only use a small-ish touchscreen, and often mix with the screen off)

The Behringer X-Touch One looks promising though, and I think Icon have something similar.

I use an ICON QCON which is great. The thing is, with this or any other equivalent controller (I also used to use the Mackie MCU Pro) that changing from say track1 to track 24 means several bank changes. The Softube Console allows jumping straight to a track.

However, I have bought a Novation Launchpad and have set it up in a 32 track template. All I need to do is select the requisite pad, say track 23 and it jumps straight to that track. However even if the ICON follows that, jumps to track 23, and if the ICON is sitting at bank 1 (tracks 1-8) then the ICON doesn't automatically change banks. But that would not be an issue with the Alphatrack, it would not need me to manually bank through banks 1, 2, 3 t get to the selected track (23) on bank 3 (tracks 16-24) if my hypothesis turns out as I expect then I can randomly jump to any of 32 tracks using the LaunchPad and control the level using the AlphaTrack then use the control on the ICON to make changes.


What I meant was I think they have a single-fader controller similar to the Alphatrack and Faderport (and Behringer X-Touch One)

Who, apart from Alphatrack, Faderport, Behringer X-TOuch One, has a single fader controller - ICON???

BTW - I hadn't heard of the Behringer X-TOuch One, just checked up, they too seem a good option - thanks
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Re: Expandable fader banks

Postby Ramirez » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:53 pm

OneWorld wrote:Who, apart from Alphatrack, Faderport, Behringer X-TOuch One, has a single fader controller - ICON???

BTW - I hadn't heard of the Behringer X-TOuch One, just checked up, they too seem a good option - thanks

https://iconproaudio.com/product/platform-nano/
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Re: Expandable fader banks

Postby OneWorld » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:51 am

Ramirez wrote:
OneWorld wrote:Who, apart from Alphatrack, Faderport, Behringer X-TOuch One, has a single fader controller - ICON???

BTW - I hadn't heard of the Behringer X-TOuch One, just checked up, they too seem a good option - thanks

https://iconproaudio.com/product/platform-nano/

That looks a good option too - thanks. I think I shall hold out for a £30 Alphatrack off eBay just so I am able to check out my assumptions - eg I can select any track at random using the Launchpad, up to any of 64 should I wish, and see if the Alphatrack will focus on that track, can't see why not, if it does work then I can look at getting one of the Behringer or ICON alternatives which look good options as they have several user configurable buttons. Although the Launchpad has 64 pads, I have used 32 for track selection and use the other for commonly used commands - undo, delete, bounce, gain and so on, it's great having all those commands at the press of a button.

If only Novation made a Launchpad with say 16 rotary controllers as well it would be ideal
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