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midi controller with lots of knobs and buttons

category: general [glöplog]
a very good tip:

Befor buying you new controller, move the knobs from left to right. And I don mean `turning the knobs' I mean actually moving them.

If they move just a little it is a shitty lowbudget controller and you know what you're about to buy. If that is what you want: go out and buy it. Otherwise try and feel the knobs of the Nord Lead series and you know what I'm talking about.

This does not apply for faders, knobs only.
added on the 2009-01-15 08:31:16 by numtek numtek
don't go minikorg. head bad bad bad things 'bout them.
added on the 2009-01-15 09:05:48 by __ __
Guys, thanks a lot for so much advice. I've found Behringer BCF2000 an interesting option. I also searched myself and got interested in Novation Zero.

As for nano Korgs, yesterday I've tried nano midi keyboard... well, it looks and feels a bit childish, but it's not bad - and it is VERY sensitive to touch. So I guess it is not such a bad choice for traveling.
How about this? Not possibly the first choice if you want to travel light, but sure has plenty of knobs and features and it doesn't even need to be hooked up to a pc for controlling midi gear.
added on the 2009-01-15 09:45:37 by el-bee el-bee
there are still also the cheap Behringer BCD2000 & BCD3000 made for Traktor and other DJ software (but BCD2000 need some hack to be fully compatible with Traktor 2&3)

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added on the 2009-01-15 09:55:47 by Zest Zest
The Novation Remote Zero SL is a pretty good option IMO. I have the Remote 61SL which embeds the same control panel, and I'm quite pleased with it.

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added on the 2009-01-15 09:57:25 by wb wb
el-bee: Bitstream 3X is nice but quite expensive.
[OT]I like the "Louigi Verona" nick. I find it poetic, like i.e. Romeo Knight. [/OT]
added on the 2009-01-15 22:37:10 by bdk bdk
The M-audio UC-33. You will find it on ebay for around 80-100e. anything more is a robery!"

But then. if you are using traktor, you are really really gay. buy a UC 33 and DJ in a _usefull_ program, like ableton.
added on the 2009-01-15 22:56:02 by dubmood dubmood
oh, and next person who suggest a behringer, please die?
added on the 2009-01-15 22:56:58 by dubmood dubmood
[OT]broderick: thx, man![/OT]

dubmood: traktor just worked for me. ableton did not although I tried it several times.
speaking about ableton - they've just announced the new live8 and upcoming mpc-like control surface for it by akai.
that looks like a good alternative to bitstream.
added on the 2009-01-16 10:58:52 by ton ton
I suggest again a behringer.
added on the 2009-01-16 11:12:46 by __ __
maybe this dont relate to the topic of this thread but ill ask anyway since i wont bother starting a new one.

have anyone made a realtime midi controller in c++? or if anyone can tell me where to get some info on this kind of thing, does directx/directsound support some midi-stuff perhaps? what if i want to read from the knobs i use on my keyboard, what do i do then to get the knob and keyboard-data from the usb and into my program (made in c++) for example?
added on the 2009-01-16 13:29:47 by rudi rudi
knl, all: FYI: I just traded one of my old PCs for one of those Nano Controls =).

Short report:

+ small
+ MMC(start/stop/rec/fwd/bwd/loop buttons) + 4*9 knobs, 4*18 buttons, 4*9 faders (*4 because you can quickly switch between 4 "scenes", different midi events for each "scene")
+ good/exact ctl. response (did the "numtek" test ;))
+ very affordable (~50 bucks)

- not a "DJ" controller (well, not that *I* mind but "Louigi Verona" talked of Traktor...I simply sticked to the thread title :)) but more a "general purpose" controller
- potis, not "endless" rotary encoders (I guess a workaround for that would be to "freeze" a controller when e.g. the button below is being held down, similar to how you handle a mouse.. that would require special software support, though..;)
- knobs/faders have 7bit resolution (well, actually, that's most likely enough in practice..)

here's another pic again..
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dubmood: the UC-33 is also very interesting, indeed. unfortunately, you need more space for that (which I don't have). not to forget that it's ~2-3 times more expensive.
added on the 2009-01-22 22:55:40 by xyz xyz
^^ and Korg is very persistent about making their LEDs look pink in photos when in fact they are RED :D
added on the 2009-01-22 23:12:19 by xyz xyz
hermes: sweet - i'm planning on buying a nanokontrol too, so i'm curious what you will think about it after a few weeks of use.
added on the 2009-01-22 23:57:26 by Gargaj Gargaj
Me too, they look cool, and cheap is good in my book...

As for other controllers, I recently got one of these from my friend:
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Kontrol DJ 500
It's pretty cool. A bit tricky to set up at first, but works fine after, and the after-sales support is great.

They also have a new yoke out called the Kontrol One, which is a more modular design:
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Here you can see a guy using two:
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You can read about both on:
These things are good for Traktor or other DJ software.

For more general-purpose use, especially for "beat-making" in the MPC style.
Once my pay for this month comes through, I'm gonna buy an Akai MPD-32, I think, unless someone here warns me off it! They're a bit expensive here in the Recession Republic though...
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I'm thinking it will be good for beat-making in Reason, and also for controlling Ableton Live.
added on the 2009-01-25 13:32:55 by johnl johnl
the Behringer BCF2000 has 10 bit motor faders (may be more), and the rotatary controllers can give you whatever you want, as long as you are willing to rotate them over and over. you will have to spend some time reprogramming the controller, and the software is crap, better not install it at all.

so it's precise enough to control positions and angles. 7 bit midi is just enough for colors.

its somewhat below 200 euros. you should keep in mind that most behringer stuff doesn't last too long :-)

added on the 2009-01-25 14:32:08 by chaos chaos
Well, yesterday I've had a small debut performance with Traktor. I will probably buy a Novation Remote Zero SL, but until then I would have to use what I have, so to control Traktor I've used an M-Audio Oxygen8 v.2

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I put stickers on keys to mark what each key does. And every key is used - they start/pause decks, jump to cue points, sync, loop, etc Knobs are used to seek position and for volume control of each of the four decks.

I've used the transport buttons to set loops, but it isn't working well as these special buttons are unreliable - sometimes you need to double click them in order to make things work which is an ass during a live performance. So eventually I set loops with a mouse and it was very fluent.

Anyway, Traktor is a great piece of software and I am really enjoying working with it.


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