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A control surface is a hardware interface that allows users to control various parameters of a software application. In the case of Pro Tools, a control surface provides an alternative way to control the software, as opposed to using a mouse and keyboard.
There are a variety of control surfaces available on the market, each with its own set of features and price point.
Panorama P6 is an incredible keyboard controller instrument with the most intuitive workflow you have ever seen. A spectacular, deep Reason implementation and vast programming options,puts the spotlight on performance and creativity.
Keyboard and pads are dynamic, sensitive and balanced carefully with a solid feel that allows for complete expression. All this, combined with 93 real-time controls available at any one time, makes Panorama P6 the definitive keyboard controller for Reason.
I had a bit of a configuration issue when I first got my P6. Thankfully, Nektar support are patient and responsive, so after a few nights of waiting for time zones to allow support messages to pass back and forth, it is now working well.
I’m using Reason on Win10-64 and it integrates very nicely. The semi weighted keys have a nice and responsive feel. The colour display is clear, the knobs and sliders feel smooth and durable and overall quality appears high.
The specialty feature of the Panorama series is the synchronised and mapped integration of the controls, the device display and what is going on in your DAW. On reason it does this well enough that you can do a lot of your composition and mixing at the keyboard without having to switch to using the computer too often.
Given the complexities of achieving this, it’s an impressive feat. My favourite aspect of this is that it makes this control surface feel like less of an appendage loosely coupled to my music setup, and more like a central hub that actually belongs in the system as much as the computer or DAW itself.
I have a few small niggles. The mini-usb connection used to power the motorised fader feels like it provides a flimsy and tenuous connection (a second full size USB port would be a lot sturdier). In my case, the installer chose the wrong virtual midi ports to assign to the instrument devices which produced confusing behaviour until support worked through it with me – hopefully Nektar will have a closer look at their install scripts.
Other than that, I would recommend this as a premium midi control option for the DAWs where advanced integration is provided.
The various gaps between the keys are annoying. The keys faded yellow after a few months, the potentiometer coating is a sticky rubber that dissolves A total turn of the virtual potentiometer is one and a half in the controller.
The build quality is poor. The faders clearly rub against the plastic housing For everything to work fully, we need to connect 3 cables. Two USB power for the keyboard and to power the motorized fader we take two ports on the computer.
Compared to the competition, it has large dimensions. It is very deep and tall and heavy.
I am a Logic user, and have been frustrated / disappointed with the shallow integration offered by other big keyboard brands. This keyboard has completely solved that problem, and then some. First, the keys themselves are a little noisy, so may not be appropriate for mic’d in-studio recording.
But they are drop-weighted, and bring a lot of the ‘real piano’ feel to a slim profile keyboard. The configurable velocity sensitivity is awesome. For me, the real value is in the deep integration Nectar provides with Logic (similar, as I understand it, to a variety of other DAWs).
I have only had a couple weeks to dive into it, and what I can do with the DAW directly from the keyboard is astounding. It will still take some time to get comfortable with all the controller capabilities, but with what I already can do, the learning curve is well worth it.
Also, with the motorized fader, I pretty much have no need for any other outboard controller. If you work from a keyboard, this baby is almost magical.
Presonus Faderport 16n – This item is lightly used, fully boxed and will be despatched to you within 24 hoursn – Presonus Faderport 16 is a 16-Fader Control Surface features 16 touch-sensitive, 100 mm long-throw, motorized fadersnn – Work Faster and Smartern – The Presonus Faderport 16 Control surface offers precise tactile control over mix and automation functions, including complete transport control.
Rather than having to revise your mix the Faderport 16 offers the user a way to get what you want at your fingertips to make your workflow faster and smarter. It features 16 touch-sensitive, 100mm long-throw, motorised faders that provide precise control over mixing parameters.
The ability to control the level of 16 channels with your fingers ensures a quicker mixing session, whilst the 89 buttons, covering 102 functions allow you to quickly edit and navigate around your session, adjust tempo with a simple tap, modify plug-in parameters, AUX mixes, level control and more.
* Some of the features that stand out about this board is it’s size. It’s not much wider than a computer keyboard, but has 16 motorized faders and a navigation area that is backlit! * What I like about the mixer is its color and back lit buttons.
Makes it easy to work in dark areas. Plus, there are a variety of colors displayed; just not your standard electronics colors of red, green, or orange. What I don’t like about the mixer is the round buttons.
I would much prefer the buttons be square. * I have owned the PreSonus Faderport 16 for about 7 months now. * Overall, the PreSonus Faderport 16 meets my expectations and I am happy with it. Having the motorized faders with memory lock is what I was wanting.
Also, having something fairly portable is helpful also. I apprciate PreSonus for making this product!.
For years I searched for a decent mixing controller that lets you do volume rides on multiple tracks simultaneously. I’ve owned or looked at literally everything; from iPad apps to analog mixers, finally settling on the Faderport 16.
The “16” part is important, because the 8 channels offered on other controllers will fill up faster than you’d expect. After using this for a while it has completely changed my workflow. Things that were a major headache before, like recording automation on 3 tracks while also balancing some aux groups, are amazingly simple now.
I set this up in Reaper via MCU (there is also apparently a CSI script that offers tighter integration), and it works well for all the main functions, with the exception of a few utility keys (which I don’t use anyway).
The faders are very nice and responsive, the only issue being that they have a small 50ms or so sensor lag, so very fast jumps might not register. For normal mixing/automation work though, this isn’t an issue.
I do not use this for controlling plugins, so cannot comment on that. But If you are the kind of person who has one hand permanently resting on a fader while you’re working, I can’t recommend this enough.
Just wish the design was a little more minimal and less swooshy.
Pros: Hands-on fader control, ergonomic layout of transport is excellent. It sped up my workflow considerably, and I’m only in the composition stage. When i start mixing it will be even better. I am also using it in conjunction with my Push 2, excellent pairing, really.
Cons: Although the integration with Ableton is pretty good, it could be even better. Would like to see a magnetic ‘template’ overlay, such as Arturia provides for their controllers, that matches the different DAWs.
Fully functional Nektar Panorama T-61 (61 Keys) USB Midi Controller. Purchased new from Sweetwater in late 2021. All keys, knobs, faders, pads, still fully functional and working like new. Comes with a USB B charging cable.
Unit is devoid of physical damage, though may come with a bit of dust here and there. Picked this one up due to its easy setup with many DAWs, I was using Studio One at the time. Works great with the Nektarine software, which came with automatic mapping for many virtual instruments.
Overall, this was a solid controller with a lot of versatility, just putting this on market since I intend on downsizing to more compact gear.
Expand and command your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) by adding true tactile control via USB2. 0. The all new QCon Pro X is a control surface designed to get you out of the box of your computer and into your music.
Record and mix without always having to point and click. QCon Pro X puts the functions of your DAW at your fingertips by providing you with nine (9) full sized motorized faders, eight (8) rotary dual-function encoders, two (2) large backlit LCD screens, LED volume metering, a jog wheel and plenty of buttons to press.
Adjust multiple volume or pan levels simultaneously. Mute or solo numerous tracks on the fly. Use the transport section to conveniently play, stop, fast forward, rewind, record, loop, zoom, punch in and punch out of your compositions.
Spin the nicely sized jog wheel to scrub through tracks and address areas of special interest. Dedicated buttons also allow you to access your entire mix by banking across tracks in groups of 8 or 1 track at a time.
Overall: What is extremely challenging for me in the audio tech industry is the collaboration of tech companies and hardware companies. Its almost like a monopoly. I said that to say this. I had an issue with my meters not being responsive or glitchy when i first start my session in Logic Pro.
I put a ticket in @ iconproaudio via help desk, thinking that my board was defective. I also compose tracks in Reason’s Propellerhead and I saw that the meters were responsive without the glitchy-ness that I was having with Logic Pro.
I also noticed that preset- mapping for all the functions were different as well. Three days went by and I got a response from Icon’s help desk and they explained to me that the Mackie Protocol/ script for Logic causes the boards meters to function in a way that was totally out of their control.
I asked if they could reach out to these different DAW manufacturer companies to make a script specifically for their hardware. Reluctantly, they stated the only company that allowed them to customize and give maximal functionality was Bitwig.
I told Icon Help Desk, ” I know you are going to have issues with AVID ( PRO TOOLS) because they make there own control surfaces that they sale and they would make sure they have full functionalty before anybody else.
” This sucks because this is a GREAT Controller and affordable for my budget. But the down side to it is that the controllers functionality is DAW dependent. I wouldn’t want to spend thousands of dollars for something I could get at a fraction of the price.
LCD Screen is amazing Fader Touch Sensitivity is perfect I do not have use my mouse anymore and I feel like I’m in the music when i mixing.
An awesome DAW controller with motorized faders. Very sturdy, built like a tank. It’s an excellent shape The only issue is that the right zoom button is missing. This has been accounted for in the price.
Integrates perfectly with all DAWs. You can use it to control your faders, transport functions, automation and more, you can even map the buttons to your favorite plugins. I mapped the faders to the group VCA channels so I could quickly change the volume and pan groups of instruments.
Works great for that. If you haven’t mixed with a quality controller like this coming or missing out. This will really speed up your game and make it more enjoyable. I’m only selling it because I’m mainly tracking now and not mixing as much so I have to let it go.
Solidly made, this does almost all the things I do on my Logic Control surface, but at a third of the price I paid. Essentially, this offers a set of transport controls, jog wheel, zoom, and channels with mute, select, solo and pan, with infinite rotaries for the pan and motorised faders for the volume.
It works fine. This has got less features than the Mackie units (though it uses the same protocol), but I actually found that I rarely used those features, mainly because it was too far to lean over to get to them.
So, on this device (unless I missed something) you can’t adjust effects parameters, set function keys or set latch/touch automation, but, realistically, I wasn’t using those anyway. They are all much easier to control with the mouse.
In return for the simplicity, this gives me a controller which fits on the desktop. My other, other controller is an Avid Artist Mix (the 8 channel one). With the optional (and, really, essential) display, this does most of what I use the Artist Mix for, without having to buy into EUCON which can create its own problems.
I was looking for a simple motorized fader control surface. I required touch sensitive moving faders, pan, solo, record and select on each channel plus bank / channel controls. The Icon Platform M+ has that plus a few more items that I initially wasn’t interested in.
I could not locate a Canadian dealer with a unit in stock. The transport controls are of little interest to me because I use a computer keyboard in conjunction with the control surface (Platform M+).
However, the shuttle (jog) wheel turned out to be a pleasant surprise. It works well as a shuttle (forward / rewind). one push on the wheel and it’s a jog (scrub) control. Two zoom buttons just above it when activated turn the wheel into a horizontal / vertical zoom wheel.
very handy. The touch sensitive faders each have an LED indicator when a fader(s) is touched. good to know when you’re rewriting automation. The Mixer button shows / hides the mix window. nice. There are Read / Write buttons for the selected channel.
Very quick and handy. I have my qwerty keyboard with these key commands but this is visually quicker. The small footprint is important to me (slightly less than 16 x 8 x 3 inches. w x d x h). The sales service was absolutely excellent.
I ordered on a Tuesday, was given the price. free shipping and the option to pay duties / taxes up front. The quote was in $Cdn which I requested. Very reasonable considering our lopsided exchange rates.
I was using the Platform M+ on Friday of the same week. not a penny more than quoted. Can’t say enough how pleased I am with the quick responses to my questions (pre-ordering) and the super fast – free delivery to Canada.
I’ve owned them all, even rare ones like SAC 2. 2, C4, Motormix,. I run LPX. 5. 1 on Mojave. I have the Platform M+. X+ with dual D2 Displays and B+. The MCU is clunky and eats up desk space. Icon Platform works the same and has better organized buttons without the annoying click sound.
Support has been pretty good. I’m looking forward to see what Platform modules come out next!.
The Nektar Impact LX61+ is designed to provide you with complete control over your favourite digital audio workstation, providing you with everything you will need plus added extras that will improve your workflow and overall experience.
The Impact LX61+’s ergonomic design is utilised to give you everything you need on the keyboard itself, minimising the need to drift between software and hardware to achieve the sound or effect you desire.
The 61-note velocity sensitive keybed provides you with enough keys to span over six octaves. There is more to the 4 Octave & Transpose buttons than meets the eye. 4 functions are selectable on the fly so you can make important changes at any time, even while you play.
A key combination makes assignment quick and easy. Choices include sending out MIDI Program Messages, change the Global MIDI Channel or select any of Impact LX+’s 5 user presets with either the Octave or Transpose buttons.
The 4 color LED illumination not only looks good but also indicate which pad map is currently loaded and can even tell you which type of MIDI message each pad sends.
I really feel good about this purchase. 🙂 I did tonnes of research for the best controller (with price in mind) and I believe this one is perfect for me. I’m glad I didn’t get a 25 or 37 key keyboard because I would have found hand positioning too cramped and awkward, whereas 49 keys is just perfect for my desk and provides plenty of range for two-handed playing.
I use mine with Reaper and the integration software was a breeze to setup. I haven’t explored anywhere near all of the ways to control Reaper with the keyboard, but the obvious buttons for start/stop, etc.
work as expected. I’d like to work out how to get it to select plugin patches soon. Having actual pitch and modulation wheels was a good choice too as they’re solid and accurate – I didn’t want the unintuitive slider alternatives.
The other really pleasing factor is the key weighting/spring. It feels much more like a real piano than the synthesizers I have which makes me want to play more piano sounds. You can’t get the level of subtlety with the average synth type keys as you can here.
It just feels much more expensive than it is! Hats off to Nektar for producing a stunning product in this price range.
Take control of your DAW with the Nektar Impact LX49+ USB MIDI controller. Based on their award-winning Panorama, Nektar’s Impact LX49+ uses intelligent mapping to give you hands-on control over your session immediately.
Switch between Mixer, Instrument, and Preset modes for a fast workflow. The labeled faders and encoders show default instrument parameter assignments, helping you keep your eyes off your computer screen.
The Impact LX49+’s 49 synth-action keys give you a smooth, precise feel, as do its pitch and mod wheels. In fact, all controls on the LX49+ – including the knobs, faders, and performance pads – feel great.
Lay your hands on your music with the X-TOUCH Universal Control Surface. This brilliant controller has everything you need for your home studio or live setup yet can grow as your needs expand. When it comes to integration the X-TOUCH has you covered with the most widely used protocols in the industry.
With included support for HUI* and Mackie Control you can be sure it will work seamlessly with all compatible music production software allowing you to focus on what counts. the music. Features. Universal DAW Remote Control for Studio and Live applications.
9 fully automated and touch-sensitive 100 mm motorized faders. 8 dynamic LCD Scribble Strips for instant overview of track names and parameters. Ethernet interface for RTP (Real-Time Protocol) MIDI and future BEHRINGER X32 remote control.
8 rotary controls with LED-collars for on-the-fly adjustments of your favorite parameters. 92 dedicated illuminated buttons for direct access of key functions. 8-segment LED meters per channel for precise level control.
Large jog/shuttle wheel and tape-style transport controls for intuitive operation. Built-in 2×2 USB MIDI interface for direct connection to Mac* or PC computers and one external MIDI device. 2 dedicated footswitch connectors and one foot controller input for external remote control.
2-port powered multi-TT USB hub for connecting additional controllersSpecifications. Weight: 17 lbs.
1 x network (RJ-45) – rear 2 x USB (4 pin USB Type A) – rear 1 x USB (4 pin USB Type B) – rear 1 x MIDI input (5 pin DIN) – rear 1 x MIDI output (5 pin DIN) – rear 2 x foot switch (phone 6.3 mm) – rear 1 x expression pedal (phone 6.3 mm) – rear
Reviews From Real Customers
I wanted a means of having physical faders to control my X18 mixer. The X-Touch has a built-in mode that does exactly that. Plugged them both in, added the midi cabling, followed the instructions when firing up the units – and they both talked to each other perfectly, first time of trying.
Not only the faders, but the various rotaries also add good hardware interfacing with the mixer as well. They can deal with EQ, dynamics, FX, groups, aux or monitor outs, mutes – everything you could reasonably want.
The scribble strips show you exactly what’s going on. Brilliant! Love it!.
Engineered to be an all-in-one controller solution, the Akai Professional MPK249 is a performance pad and keyboard controller that combines deep software integration, enhanced workflow, and core technologies from the iconic line of MPC workstations.
Each member of Akai Pro’s MPK series comes fully loaded with a comprehensive interface for manipulating virtual instruments, effect plugins, DAWs, and more. MPK249 features 49 semi-weighted keys with aftertouch, 8 assignable knobs, faders, and switches, 16 MPC-style pads with RGB feedback, and onboard transport buttons.
Three banks expand the number of knobs, faders, and switches (up to 24 each), and four pad banks expand the number of pads (up to 64 total). Plus, MPK249 is optimized to interface directly with your Mac or PC with USB power and plug-and-play connectivity.
The keys on this keyboard feel great. So do the pads. The arpeggiator and tempo sync felt a bit off. Integration with Ableton Live 11 was a bit lacking, it did not give me the red box which shows which tracks are currently being controlled by the faders.
All in all it was a decent keyboard, but not quite working with my setup the way I wanted so I returned it. But as always it was a smooth process working with DJ Techtools, and the price I paid for the keyboard here compared to the price at some of the big box stores made up for the price in having to ship it back.
Plus the price of the extended protection is much cheaper through DJTT.
This item was great as far as the top portion. The pads, the DAW controls and everything work perfectly on that top section. My issue is with the keys. They are very long throw and don’t respond until pushed half way down.
The one I received had bad keys. I returned it. Some of them didn’t respond. But I’ve tested other ones and they all have that long throw feel and don’t respond immediately to the light pressure. You can adjust the settings and that does make it a bit better.
But you never will get that full and accurate velocity range. If you’re getting it for the drum pads, controls, durability, aftertouch and to play some keys, I think this is a great choice. One of the best out there.
But if you’re looking for a dynamic and full velocity curve on the keys, get something else. Like the MPD226 for controls and pads, and then a key only controller like a Nektar or something.
I’ve been out of the market for some time. (Out of practice a long time!) While I’ve played professionally, now this is a pure hobby. Didn’t want a toy; wanted full-size keys; wasn’t prepared to splurge.
VERY picky about keybed feel & build quality as a classically-trained pianist. The MPK series occupies a highly-competitive space: Nektar in particular for newer twists and deeper out-of-the-box DAW integration.
But I liked the firmer key action and the build quality: this thing will take a beating. Truly a performance model. I was leary given its 5-years on the market – a lifetime in the e-music world. After living with this for a couple of weeks, can flatly state I ***couldn’t have made a better decision***.
The MPK249 is worthy of Akai’s legacy of innovation and focus on working-musicians. It’s many features as salient today as 5 years ago. Highest-quality, most responsive pads. WIDE keyboard curve adjustment range (-50 – +50).
Can even adjust relative touch between white and black keys – unexpected. My playing style is firm and sometimes hard after years on nice pianos. Took full advantage of both adjustments and am quite pleased – especially since this is just a semi-weighted keyboard.
While I’m sure I would’ve been happy with a comparably-configured Nektar, the only true step up would’ve been to Native Instruments – now they’re pushing the envelope with crazy-cool features and even higher-quality keybeds.
Would’ve doubled the budget too! There are plenty of less-expensive, decent-quality options if pro-quality build, shear # of control surface sliders, knobs and buttons aren’t as important. But if these things matter to you, invest the extra money in yourself and your craft.
Taking a cue from PreSonus’ FaderPort 8 and 16, the upgraded 1-channel FaderPort offers tightly integrated, optimized workflows and expanded DAW compatibility. Take control of your mix with a touch-sensitive, 100mm long-throw, motorized fader and 360-degree push-button encoder.
Speed up your productions with convenient transport and automation controls. Enjoy seamless, native support for Studio One, as well as compatibility with Logic Pro X, Cubase, Live, and more via Mackie’s Control Universal emulation.
Pro Tools users will also benefit from tight integration via the Mackie HUI emulation. If you’re searching for a way to maximize your workflow, the FaderPort is a great solution. Cables are included.
It is a compact powerful controller synonymous with DAW integration on Mac and Windows, and delivers powerful functionality not even found on more comprehensive controllers. The Nektar Daw Support functionality makes the user experience more transparent when you combine the power of your computer to Impact GX61 Controller.
For the price it is a great deal. The keybed is fine for MIDI players, quite smooth not too springy. The LX88+ integrates really well with Cubase but also many other DAWs as Nektar have written software that makes it work out of the box, you can edit the MIDI cc as well if you wish.
For an 88 key MIDI controller you cannot go wrong at all as well as all the additional functionality you get with the Nektar. The drum pads are very sensitive which is helpful. I upgraded from my first MIDI controller which was a Nektar SE49.
You can pay hundreds of pounds more for very little functionality over the Nektar LX88+. Those that haven’t got a huge budget to splash on an 88 key MIDI controller should get one now, far better value than an M-Audio non hammer action controller or many others that are quite a chunk more expensive.
If you’re looking for a semi weighted 88 note controller keyboard with a good action, look no further. The action of the keyboard is perfect for me, not too heavy and not too light either. It’s easy to map the controls to your DAW, and in fact it’s compatible with many straight out of the box.
Unfortunately Ableton Live is not one of them, although they do provide a basic script. However it’s easy enough to map it yourself. Even this slight annoyance doesn’t prevent me from giving it 5 stars, mainly because its so nice to play!.
The Nektar Impact GXP 61 MIDI Keyboard lets you delve into an eclectic, versatile, and powerful world of sonic possibilities. It has no limits. From the moment your fingers touch the 61 semi-weighted keys with velocity and aftertouch, you’ll know you’re in the presence of something magical.
Experience ultimate control over your sounds by activating DAW Integration, it allows you to be in complete command without needing to reach for the mouse. Better still, explore never-ending rhythmic possibilities thanks to the Repeat Engine.
There will always be something new to discover. In just one sleek design there is so much potential. The GXP 61 offers connections for up to three pedals, so you can take your sound to new heights without anything holding you back.
This MIDI keyboard is compatible with an extensive range of software (see specifications for details), meaning that whatever way you like to work, the GXP 61 will meet your every demand. And going one step further, it comes with licenses for Steinberg’s acclaimed Cubase LE Music Production Software and Retrologue 2 VST synthesizer, allowing you to get started immediately.
I’ve played piano since childhood and now I’m getting older I can’t handle fully weighted and even some semi-weighted keyboards. This keyboard is very easy to play and is up there with the Fantom 7 semi-weighted and Korg Kronos 88 LS key beds (both of which I own) in terms of playability particularly in long sessions or performances.
It is USB powered and will run (with its onboard features including MIDI out) off a USB power supply without needing a PC. This keyboard also has aftertouch which few if any of its rivals in the price range have.
Buyers should be aware that it generates significant keyboard noise as your hands race up and down the keyboard, but if you have speakers even at a modest volume level, or headphones, you won’t be troubled by it.
So, especially if your more of an organist or synthesizer player than a pianist this is a good buy.
What really struck me about this keyboard,is not only the layout of the controls & compact design. but mainly,the sheer weight of it( 18lbs). that spells quality! The key-bed has an exquisite action(a smooth & responsive semi-weighted action.
but not stiff & super springy like the LX-series. ) A perfectly balanced keybed for my style of playing( a solid feel for subtle piano pieces & yet,light enough to shred during a synth solo. ) I’ve had this beautiful piece of gear for about 2 weeks & I am in love with it.
the keys have such a good tactile quality to them,that it inspires me to play. I cannot speak for all of the controls( as I have basic needs. just the keys and the transport controls are all I care about.
but all of the knobs,wheels & buttons feel great to the touch. For the price,the GXP88 far exceeds my expectations and in my opinion,this is hands down,the best midi controller keyboard that Nektar makes.
The Akai Professional MPK261 is the latest addition to the ever-popular MPK range and features 61 full sized keys, a slimmer design and new RGB pads lifted straight from the MPC Renaissance. Experience expanded control of your VST instrument and effect collection with MPK261 and VIP3.
Im a new musician taking the time during this pandemic to dive into a long time passion. After much research, I couldn’t be happier with this product. Why? It has a very firm build which gives me confidence it will be a staple in my journey.
Strong keys and quality, functional features. Also, as I was looking to find what software to build with I saw that you get a free license to Abelton Live Lite. Not the full edition, but definitely powerful enough for a beginner to explore and create.
Not to mention the Official Akai soundpacks that are free as well. If you are looking for a place to start, I definitely recommend taking the leap and getting this with American Musical Supply’s 0% interest payment plan!.
I love it and have recommended it to many others. I must be responsible for selling at least a dozen of these things. A true workhorse midi controller. I use the pads, the transport, the faders, the encoders, the 5 pin in and outs daily for 3 years.
Very solid build, and looks so cool. Now, a piano player will say it doesn’t feel like a piano, and that’s true–it is intentionally “synth action” like nearly ALL midi controllers and synthesizers. Faster and more sensitive than piano keys.
Pads are the best of any midi controller on the market. If you finger drum or use MPC’s, you already know these–just the best. I have made controller presets for several of my analog synths and it’s awesome.
(Already cpomes with 15 DAW presets like logic, cubase, ableton, studio one, etc etc) Everything from old sequential circuits and roland gear to newer complex Elektron stuff–all the modern analogs take very well to this.
GX Mini features our newly developed velocity-sensitive keybed with 25 mini keys. Despite their miniscule dimensions, you can play them expressively with a defined and firm feel. You can also adjust the keyboard response to your playing style by choosing from three velocity curves.
Decent product. Directly connects to garageband on IPAD without hassle. Lightweight. Key feel is okay i guess. I’m not a professional keyboardist, so cannot say much about the key feel. looks compact and beautiful.
Can be an ideal instrument for amateur recording. Can also be used to learn scales and improve on the piano. Definitely not the best for live performance. Not very suitable for electronic music n stuff.
Personally, I returned it as I wanted something suitable for live purpose. Bajaoo has 14 day return policy if not satisfied, was kind enough to take it back but I was charged for the return shipping which was a considerable amount.
Bottom line is, go for it if you dont want basic controls and you dont mind using the controls on your Mac or Ipad.
Nice sized keys, but not too large, works and controls FL studio seamlessly. The bitwig software was a bit of a disappointment which was the reason this keyboard was the one I purchased – for additional instruments! The instruments contained are basic to say the least.
But if you didn’t have any DAW this would definitely be a plus for you. All in all, the keyboard has plenty of functions and has a great manual for setting up the keyboard. Also, registering the product was very simple and definitely added an extra feel of warranty for added peace of mind.
Definitely a 5 star purchase, even without the additional instruments I was hoping for.
Behringer X-Touch One The Behringer X-Touch One is a great way to take command of your mix. Writing automation is easy with its touch-sensitive motorized fader. A rotary encoder and 34 illuminated buttons provide direct access to key functions.
An LCD scribble strip and 8-segment LED meter give you a birds-eye view of your project. You also get a large jog wheel and tape-style transport controls for easy navigation of your DAW. Compatibility isn’t an issue for the X-Touch One — it supports HUI and Mackie Control protocols with presets for every major DAW.
Thanks to the X-Touch One, you’ll never have to mix with a keyboard and mouse again. Supports HUI and Mackie Control for near-universal compatibility You need a control surface that allows you to make high-precision changes to your DAW, instruments, and effects with a minimum of hassle.
The X-Touch One supports HUI and Mackie Control protocols to work with virtually any professional audio production software imaginable. As soon as you take the X-Touch One out of its box, you can plug into a spare USB port and start tweaking — no setup required.
Beyond that, you also get a 2-port powered USB hub for connecting additional controllers. Touch-sensitive motorized fader allows for precise, dynamic control Getting your hands on faders has always been the preferred way to mix.
That’s why the X-Touch One boasts a fully automated and touch-sensitive 100mm motorized fader that responds to your every movement with amazing accuracy. With the X-Touch One control surface, all the automation you write is reflected in the movements of the fader in real time, in perfect sync with your DAW.
You’ll never have to adjust a fade to match its on-screen value, giving you the feel of mixing through a real console.
I love the X Touch One, it is the best answer to the Alphatrack that I have lost dude to it being old and no new versions were made. The X Tounch One I have discovered that the encoder knob does function the LPF, and being so in Reason 10.
1 I probably will be able to do other functions. The Aesthetics of the XT1 is sleek, and it looks very nice. The buttons light up, and are very soft to the touch, and the great thing is they don’t make any clicking aggravating noises.
The 100 millimeter fader is awesome! I love the number set up on the fader and the design. The fader feels so good to the touch and feels like you’re on an SSL board, I mean it really feels good. Feeling this way makes you want to work.
Coming from the Alphatrack to the XT1 is night and day. The beautiful lit up toggle/scrub button looks great in a dim light room, I wasn’t expecting that, when I first turned it on, I was shocked that it lit up.
I didn’t see that in any of the introductions to this machine. You get the read out of bars or time is your choice. You don’t get that on the Alphatrack nor FaderPort V2. You also get an 8 bar level next to the fader to let you see if you’re clipping (going into the red) or not which I think is the best.
Basically I can look at the machine instead of the screen. Reason 10. 1 functionality. I am very happy! I will have it at 90% working with Reason as I go on. Right now it does basically what I need it to do, the fader is absolutely important.
Solo and Mute works perfectly. I didn’t show that in the video. Master fader works gorgeously. Though when I am mixing I don’t touch the master fader when I am mixing. Forward and Rewind works, stop, record all work effortlessly, as it should.
🙂 Going from one track to the next works with the channel buttons and with the 5 button below it. As you saw in the video, the scrub/toggle big knob can scrub in small increments or large increments which is very nice.
You can use either your finger or grab it to turn. It moves in subtle clicks which feels really good. Behringer put some thought into this machine like no other. It doesn’t come with a Reason overlay but it doesn’t mean it won’t work with Reason.
So all you Reason guys, this is basically for you. I am very pleased. I have to say Behringer has a nice machine on their hands and I am so glad that I didn’t buy the FaderPort V2, no offense but it’s not up to par with my standards coming from the Alphatrack.
This is a very professional piece to add to your mixing desk. It’s bigger than the other single faders but not that big whereas it takes up a lot space. It’s built very well, that’s what I was skeptical about but not anymore.
I am pleased with the weight of this machine. Again it’s sleek and feels very good. The many options it has to work with other DAWs is pleasing! And in this case Reason 10. 1, makes me love this machine even more.
The only down side to this which I have adjusted to and it’s cool is the fact that you can’t just cut the XT1 off. I loved the Alphatrack for being powered by the computer with the USB cable. But it’s ok.
The Mackie MCU Pro is a 9-fader (eight channels plus one master) USB/MIDI control surface that provides mixing, editing, automation, and navigational control for any supported digital audio workstation.
It supports Mackie Control, HUI, and Logic Control modes to allow it to communicate with various software applications. Connect the MCU Pro to your computer via USB or MIDI.
When Avid dropped support of their C24 and Control 24 the units were worthless overnight. So was the furniture that housed it. I decided to drop Avid hardware completely. I checked out an MCU Pro V3.
0 about a year ago and hated the feel of the faders. I think at the time they used P&G. The updated 4. 0. 3 MCU Pro now has Alps faders which are every bit as smooth as sensitive as the Avid/Focusrite faders and the unit is clearly sturdier than Avid Artist Mix.
ProTools 11 setup takes literally a few moments. It AMAZES me how Avid drops support for their own hardware, but continues support for third-party hardware. MCU also integrates perfectly with Studio One 3, my new production DAW.
This unit is a winner. DON’T BUY USED. The older ones (V3. 0) have resistant, noisy faders which can’t be swapped. Avid forced me to change my style of production – for the better. Thank you, Avid, for encouraging me to shop elsewhere.
The SL Mixface is a complete controller which combines style and simplicity with a powerful engine. Designed for mobility, you can bring it everywhere and use it with total freedom thanks to its ability to host and auto-map to major DAW apps.
Its connectivity and the internal batteries make it a perfect portable device that can also be used on your desktop. Press a button and switch the control from the DAW environment to your favorite instrument and vice versa.
All the Transport functions are always ready to go, while you can edit any sound parameter of the instrument or mix the tracks of your song. The SL Mixface is able to host any keyboard, turning it into a full 4-layer Midi controller.
Thanks to its connectivity ports, it communicates with any computer as device via Bluethooth and USB simultaneously.
The X-TOUCH MINI ultra-compact universal USB control surface puts the power of your production software right at your fingertips! The user-friendly and extremely versatile X-TOUCH MINI gives you take-anywhere, hands-on control of all popular DAWs, instruments, effects and lighting applications.
Let your creativity run wild when you get your hands off your mouse and onto this nifty little controller!.
I’ve had or used many controllers over the years and this is the most functional yet as an adjunct to the computer keyboard. Just a quick glance in the peripheral vision is enough to select controls: So it fits in seamlessly with keyboard shortcuts: You can concentrate on the main monitor with a lot less mouse and two handed shortcuts: Rotary knobs and fader are so much nicer for adjusting plugins, faders or virtual instruments.
It’s ideal in that you can easily access often used controls without the visual clutter and desk space needed for a full blown mixer. The default MC (Mackie Control) setup is pretty darn close to ideal: Transport functions are great: easy access on the bottom row with a solid feel.
The upper button row changes the mapping of the rotary controllers as banks from volume to pan and other major functions. Other than reassigning the main fader so its always adjusting the selected track, I like the defaults.
A/ B modes were easy to reassign in Logic to accomplish my priority tasks: I assigned A mode to various automation and editing functions, and B mode I setup as an instrument and plug-in controller; It is so fast and easy to map or remap the rotary knobs on the fly for virtual instruments or plugins to Logic’s Smart Controls.
Normally I’d dock it a point for not having a Mac editor, but, I won’t; because its so well set up, I didn’t need an editor to customize it for my needs in Logic. I expect any other DAW that works well with MC should be workable as well.
Overall, a very well thought out and solidly built device. If a full blown digital mixer/controller is overkill, if you are on the go with a laptop, or just prefer doing most of the work with keyboard shortcuts: this is a real asset.
At the price, it’s worth it just for having a dedicated transport.
Excellent as a lightroom controller! I customize it using Midi2LR and assigned all the functions i use and then some to the 2 layers of all controls e. g. Knob 1 controls exposure in layer 1 and Clarity in layer 2.
The concept of layers sounds complicated but really its like SHIFT or CTRL key on your keyboard. When you use the controls with layer A button selected, they perform primary functions and when you click layer B button, its like you are now holding SHIFT or CTRL key and all the controls on the dock will activate secondary functions.
Of course there are no predefined “functions” per say but you define them using the Midi2LR plugin yourself. I did discovered that the plugin is a performance hog and it brought lightroom to its knees when running! I sadly had to disable the plugin and hence no longer using the deck.
Need to research if there is a setting to change the polling time for the plugin or maybe try another plugin. Appreciate if you have any feedback in this regard and could leave in a comment/reply. This product itself is top-notch.
Communication is the basis for any great relationship. That’s what makes Mackie Control Pro Series controllers the perfect match for your music production software. Thanks to their unique proprietary communication protocol, Mackie Control Pro Series controllers know just how to sweet-talk your software, and your software knows just how to respond.
You get deep, intuitive control of mix and plug-in parameters, real-time visual feedback, and setup is plug and play – no MIDI mapping head games! Mackie Control Pro Series controllers make it easy to grow the relationship, too.
The Universal Pro control surface, Extender Pro control surface extension and C4 Pro plug-in and virtual instrument controller all seamlessly integrate, so you can put control of all your software parameters right at your fingertips.
Employees are more flexible than ever. So is Surface Pro 8. Write in laptop mode, present with multiple screens in desktop mode, or sign a contract on screen in tablet mode. Surface Pro 8 is a 2-in-1 business laptop built to adapt.
Microsoft released the 1st Gen Surface Pro X in 2019. I was intrigued by the sleek new fanless design, sharp PixelSense display, always-on connectivity, Slim Pen, and battery life so I bought one. However, I found the device to be too cumbersome based on all the software incompatibility issues at the time.
Fast forward a bit and we now have the 2021 model. I’m surprised that very little on the hardware has changed. In fact, it is the exact chip I previously had which is a bit disappointing when you consider the amazing power and efficiency Apple has accomplished with its M1 ARM processors recently.
This new version basically denotes that it comes with Windows 11, as most of everything else remains unchanged. One change I would have expected is an upgrade to 5G but instead cellular functionality was removed from the base model entirely.
Huh? With a mobile-class CPU and the LTE option, the Surface Pro X made a lot more sense for more people. Yes, they’ve knocked the price down a bit for this omission, but with so little changes the price should have come down naturally without making any concessions.
Having mobile-like always-on cellular connectivity in such a compact package was a fair compromise to the app compatibility and performance issues you might encounter. To make matters worse, since the chip has not been updated for this year you are stuck with Wifi 5 when other premium tablets have moved on to Wifi 6.
As far as the physical device itself, the Pro X is still sleek and certainly premium, but this same design has now been adopted by the Surface Pro 8 lineup which is a much more powerful tablet. The Surface Pro 8 also got a 120hz display option which is missing here.
Despite these downsides we do now have Windows 11, which greatly improves but doesn’t completely solve the app compatibility problem. The Qualcomm designed Microsoft SQ1 System on a Chip (SoC) in this tablet is basically what you would find in an Android phone – just supercharged a bit.
Applications that are built for the ARM64 architecture are going to perform at their best, while Intel-based applications (x86 or x86_64) will have to be emulated, which results in slower performance and chews more battery.
For example, if you like to use Google Chrome as your default browser, you may be disappointed to know they do not currently offer a version of it compiled for ARM. Windows 11 will emulate it and for the most part it’ll look, feel, and behave just like Chrome but the pre-installed Microsoft Edge is going to outperform it every time because it is a native ARM app.
Despite all that said, there’s still a lot that you CAN do with this machine. Apps that work great on mobile phones will work nicely here provided the developers have created a version for ARM. Minecraft works wonderfully on this device even though this isn’t a gaming machine.
On the flip side, the Epic Games Store will not run at all. This is how life is with the Surface Pro X. You are completely reliant on the developers of your favorite apps to support the Windows on Arm platform.
Microsoft has made some great advancements here such as making ARM applications and dev kits more accessible for developers, their own apps like Office and Teams compatible, and convincing heavy hitters such as Adobe to make their apps like Photoshop native.
However, there’s always the risk the app you want to run can only be emulated and you may find it to feel sluggish or slow, or not run at all. At the time of this review you need to be on a Windows Insider Preview beta build to run Android apps (from the Amazon Appstore) and there are very few available, but I can verify it does work and will likely get better over time.
Battery life will vary greatly depending on what you are doing. The Snapdragon is most efficient when running native ARM apps that are compiled for Windows. If you’re using Microsoft Edge and Office you will likely see very close to the advertised 15 hours.
However, if you are using ANY 32-bit or 64-bit Intel apps the battery life will suffer as these applications have to be emulated. It’s great that you can charge it via USB-C and in fact I haven’t even removed the Surface charger out of the box.
Pros Premium, Sleek 2-in-1 Major improvements with Windows 11 on ARM Windows Hello Completely Quiet (Fanless) USB-C and charging support 13” “PixelSense” display at 2880×1920 Resolution Upgradeable Storage (only supports M.
2 2230 PCIe) Kickstand Very good Rear and Front Cameras Cons Not a super powerful device – two year old chip Need to purchase the keyboard and pen separately LTE card slot not available in this version No headphone jack No 120hz No Wifi 6 Overall – I still really like the Surface Pro X.
It is a great tablet that works fine for anyone who wants something lightweight to use for notes, web browsing, streaming, reading, listening to music, etc. It doesn’t have a fan, it doesn’t get hot.
However, now being two years old I don’t feel it is a great value considering the quirks you may encounter with the ARM architecture and the lack of LTE/5G. It’s too close in price to the Surface Pro 8, which is more powerful and now shares the same design.
I still recommend it but can’t help but feel that next years iteration is going to be the huge 2nd gen upgrade I was hoping for.
If I were a high school or college student, if I were starting out in my career and needed a good workhorse laptop that I could trust to do my daily work, or if I was looking to replace an older, clunkier, heavier laptop, this would be my computer of choice.
The Surface Pro series has been a welcome addition to our family: my son’s first school computer was a Surface Pro 7 and it was so versatile that it’s the device we all lean on a bit in our house for different things.
The new Surface Pro 8, especially in combination with the keyboard with slim pen is almost the perfect computer/tablet combo. I say almost perfect because the kickstand is still the thing that gives me the most grief and most utility at the same time.
Don’t let that stop you. just saying that if you arrive at the Surface Pro 8 without having seen/felt/tested it at Best Buy first, and your expectations are that it’s going to sit nicely on your lap as you bingewatch your favorite show on the couch – you’re going to have a bit of a wakeup.
On a desk or lap desk, hands-down, it’s an amazing experience. You can shift it, adjust it, etc. angles less than 90-degrees are a bit trickier because there’s no hinged keyboard — this is most noticeable when your kiddos get squirmy during homeschool and the whole thing slams shut – so there’s still something to be desired there.
As an aside: this is something of a forced dichotomy in the Microsoft Surface family. The Surface Book is detachable but too heavy to be a serious tablet, and there’s nothing to do with the base/keyboard when detached, and also presents an awkward profile when closed.
The Surface Laptop doesn’t have a rear-facing camera, so despite solving the hinge issue, you still lose functionality. anyone with kids in hybrid (virtual at home/part-time homeschool) recognizes the need for a rear-facing camera for turning in assignments.
What’s really clear is that Microsoft has done a TON of work to provide very specific markets with very specific tools and very specific workflows and when your workflow and functionality needs line up with the device, it’s magical.
The Surface Pro 8 is super light, charges very quickly, and seems to have decent battery life even while video conferencing at high brightness. The thunderbolt ports are a nice addition. The screen is very bright and clear, the built-in speakers are clear and deliver good range on music and shows or even just your Zoom chat with David from HR.
The bezels are very thin for a laptop of this size, to the point where accessing the slim pen sometimes triggers the touchscreen – though this is mostly an affect of big fingers. The touchscreen is accurate and responsive (especially when in notes mode with the slim pen), and taking notes is a pure joy (yes, even compared to an iPad Pro + Apple Pen setup).
Make no mistake, though: you absolutely want the keyboard and pen. As a tablet, it’s a fine device, but it really shines with a keyboard attached. While 256GB of storage is nowhere near enough to tackle serious projects and surely requires augmentation from external drives, 16GB of memory seems to serve this particular setup well and the Intel Evo i7 delivers when it comes to games (I tested using Minecraft Dungeons).
The Windows 11 experience is zippy launching any of the big Office365 suite products. Audio editing in Reaper seemed to work really well and the Adobe suite ran as expected. My previous experience with the pen + touchscreen combo inside Illustrator on the Surface Book was matched here: it’s every bit as delightful to design/draw directly on the Surface Pro (though depending on how MUCH or how LONG you need to draw, you may want the non-slim version of the pen).
OneNote really lives up to its potential here. On the software front: Windows 11 + Office365 + OneDrive (or if you prefer, Dropbox) is just so slick. Everything about getting stuff done on the Surface Pro 8 is optimized.
Within 15 minutes of unboxing, I had my entire productivity suite ready to roll and everything I needed ready to go to do serious work. The new features for gridding out your desktop (that is: you move an app window to one edge and Windows pops up with options for how to lay out the other open apps) and even just hovering over the “Maximize” button giving you options to segment your screen.
I just love it. The redesigned Windows menu will be familiar enough to folks coming from iOS and the functionalities that Windows gives you with the Windows key combos are wonderful timesavers. Having a built-in copy/paste history is a godsend, screenshots, settings, dictation, search.
so many useful things at the press of two keys. Overall: I’ve gleefully added the Surface Pro 8 to my tech lineup. It’s a versatile, useful device that screams productivity, and thanks to the advent of the slim pen and keyboard combo, adding the creativity in is a joyful experience.
It’s rare that (outside of a maxed out, fully LED-kitted gaming machine) a computer can inspire joy, but Microsoft may have hit the winning combo here of great software, powerful hardware, great physical form, and useful accessories all in one device.
The conclusion of the control surface for pro tools is that it is a great way to control your pro tools software. The touch screen is very responsive and makes it easy to navigate your way around the software.
The faders and buttons are also well laid out and easy to use. Overall, the control surface for pro tools is a great addition to your studio.