Mbira

DAW controller or mixer in the sub $5K range?
« on: January 15, 2017, 05:41:34 PM »
Hi guys,
I'm curious what peoples thoughts here may be.  I imagine most of the folks reading this will be using PT in their studios, but I use primarily Cubase.  I've been investing heavily (for me) in my personal studio and I'm really missing working with faders for mixdown.  I have an Apollo 16 for my interface, and a few DIY external pres for mics.  I do about 90% of my production ITB, so I'm not really needing a console with a ton of pres or even EQ.  But, DAMN the midi controllers that I see are so expensive (Nuage)-or just look like they will only take over maybe half of my keyboard and mouse duties. 

But then again I do a ton of automation within the DAW, and pretty much all my processing is done with UAD and other plugins.  So I wonder if I'm really just stuck needing a controller instead of a real console. 

What would you do?
Joel Laviolette

Rattletree   |  https://www.rattletree.com
The Rattletree School of Marimba | https://www.learnmarimba.com


shot

Re: DAW controller or mixer in the sub $5K range?
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2017, 07:34:55 PM »
Since this is diy forum, I'd give you semi-diy solution!
I would get used Mackie d8b, buy "hacked" firmware for it, and run it like a huge midi controller!

I remember few years ago reading that someone completely reverse engineered this thing to write new firmware in order to get it to perform like triple mackie control/hui surface. If I was to go into controllers, I'd investigate this!
Plus it's eye-candy for the studio!

:)

Luka

Mbira

Re: DAW controller or mixer in the sub $5K range?
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2017, 08:48:53 PM »
It's funny you mention the D8B.  I always liked them back in the day, and just yesterday I came across that hack you mentioned.  Well-it may be a different hack as now that I'm googling I'm seeing there seem to be a couple of them.  Hmm....I'm on a 2012 Mac Pro Tower.  I will look in to it...
Joel Laviolette

Rattletree   |  https://www.rattletree.com
The Rattletree School of Marimba | https://www.learnmarimba.com

Andy Peters

Re: DAW controller or mixer in the sub $5K range?
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2017, 09:10:38 PM »
What would you do?

I have been using a Mackie Control Universal with Logic (now on Logic X) for many years and it's great. I can do most functions from the controller. I don't have the eight-channel expander, just the 16-channel main guy.
"On the Internet, nobody can hear you mix a band"

Mbira

Re: DAW controller or mixer in the sub $5K range?
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2017, 11:12:10 PM »
I just the 16-channel main guy.

16 channel?
Joel Laviolette

Rattletree   |  https://www.rattletree.com
The Rattletree School of Marimba | https://www.learnmarimba.com

Rocinante

Re: DAW controller or mixer in the sub $5K range?
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2017, 11:48:30 PM »
If i were you? Not get anything remotely close to 5k. Damn id go as far as to stay below 1k. Not sure where the mixer part comes in. You dont want a nice mixer is what i kind of got from it.
As far as diy daw control;
You should check out midibox. The stuff those guys are doing is just incredible.
 Ive recently been building silly daw controllers using teensy but i have a lot to learn about code and in the end i have this need to put an op amp or transformer on something, and spending even more time in front of a screen is just not what i need right now.
You could also hack a bcf which i did several years ago. Lots of support groups for bcf users too.
If you dont feel like building something and gearslutz isnt giving you the info your looking for the mackie control, xtouch, or artist mix are all excellent daw controllers and i use my mouse about 75 % less because of them but it takes routine. I've never felt like a daw controller made the daw or plug ins feel more hardware like though. Which isnt necessarily bad. Just different.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2017, 11:55:01 PM by Rocinante »
If there's a harder way to do this, I haven't found it yet.

Humner

Re: DAW controller or mixer in the sub $5K range?
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2017, 11:58:03 PM »
Have you seen the Tascam US-2400?  24 Channel DAW controller. Native HUI as well so no hacking.

Should be an easy find under $1k used in the US market.

tmuikku

Re: DAW controller or mixer in the sub $5K range?
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2017, 02:24:02 AM »
Allen &Heath QU range digital mixers can do DAW control, apparently. They are rather cheap and can do double duty on live events!:) I don't have more knowledge about them since I don't own one. Google finds info about it.

Mbira

Re: DAW controller or mixer in the sub $5K range?
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2017, 07:07:17 AM »
I have a QU-16 which we use with the band.  I like it, but it only goes to 48K.  Also, it only has very basic midi functionality-basically faders, mute and solo if I remember correctly.  Great for our live needs but not something I want to work with in the studio-plus it is all racked up in a case. 

Let me reframe my question....

What large format used ANALOG board would you look at these days for under $5K?
Joel Laviolette

Rattletree   |  https://www.rattletree.com
The Rattletree School of Marimba | https://www.learnmarimba.com

shot

Re: DAW controller or mixer in the sub $5K range?
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2017, 10:05:25 AM »
I don't know if it fits under 5k, maybe if you snatch used one, but you should check out Allen&Heath GS-R
It sounds great and also has midi functionality. You can use it as a regular analog board, but it can also double as a midi controller. Has transport controls, assignable midi encoders, jog wheel...
I work in a school where we have one of those consoles fitted with converter option and I can tell you it's a good console!
Some say it's unofficial successor of Soundcraft Ghost since the same person designed it.

:)

Luka


Andy Peters

Re: DAW controller or mixer in the sub $5K range?
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2017, 11:55:47 AM »
16 channel?

HAH, whoops, sorry, this is what happens when you post at night after a couple of the local IPAs (Dragoon), and the controller is on the shelf in another room.

It's eight channels plus a master. I really should look around for an expander, though.
"On the Internet, nobody can hear you mix a band"

Mbira

Re: DAW controller or mixer in the sub $5K range?
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2017, 03:58:03 PM »
It's eight channels plus a master. I really should look around for an expander, though.

I know you're on logic, so it may apply differently, but are you able to set up hot keys so that you can easilly switch faders to be audio channels, groups, fx, etc?

I was reading about in the past there was an issue where if you hide a channel in the DAW it still shows up in the faders.  Is that an issue for you?  THat may be a Cubase specific issue.
Joel Laviolette

Rattletree   |  https://www.rattletree.com
The Rattletree School of Marimba | https://www.learnmarimba.com

Andy Peters

Re: DAW controller or mixer in the sub $5K range?
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2017, 04:12:00 PM »
I know you're on logic, so it may apply differently, but are you able to set up hot keys so that you can easilly switch faders to be audio channels, groups, fx, etc?

Those hot keys already exist, with the "Global View" buttons.

Quote
I was reading about in the past there was an issue where if you hide a channel in the DAW it still shows up in the faders.  Is that an issue for you?  THat may be a Cubase specific issue.

Honestly, I don't remember this being a problem.
"On the Internet, nobody can hear you mix a band"

totoxraymond

Re: DAW controller or mixer in the sub $5K range?
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2017, 04:48:46 AM »
Hi,

I use a Icon qCon Pro controller with Nuendo. It's basically a mackie control unit but cheaper.(600€ for main unit / 400€ for extender) http://iconproaudio.com/product/qcon-pro/

they recently released an upgraded version which looks interesting. http://iconproaudio.com/product/qcon-pro-x/

It integrates well with nuendo, should be the same in cubase.

Recently, i completed it with an iPad/TouchOsc and that's almost perfect for me.

I mix a lot of TV fiction / animation with this setup.


Thomas


Mbira

Re: DAW controller or mixer in the sub $5K range?
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2017, 11:50:49 AM »
I've been looking closer at that Allen&Heath GS-R24M.  It's a really nice looking board....but it looks like they discontinued it.  Shame!
Joel Laviolette

Rattletree   |  https://www.rattletree.com
The Rattletree School of Marimba | https://www.learnmarimba.com

sr1200

Re: DAW controller or mixer in the sub $5K range?
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2017, 01:12:23 PM »
I know ill probably get poo poo'd on for saying this, but, I love my slate raven.  It's not the same feel as a fader, but at the end of the day the actual fader on a controller isn't doing anything for the sound as it might do on an analog desk and the resolution  is whatever your daw can handle.  The nice part of the raven is that you're only limited in channels by your DAW, so you have 105 tracks, you have a 105 faders on the controller... hardware you're stuck with the amount that you physically have.  The simplicity of automating workflow on the Raven is another key point.  You have to be patient with it at first as its quite a change in workflow, but it does get your hands off the mouse and keyboard.
MEI Studio - Long Island, NY: http://www.meirecords.com

totoxraymond

Re: DAW controller or mixer in the sub $5K range?
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2017, 01:37:27 PM »
Touchscreen is nice for a lot of stuffs, but you don't have the physical return of the fader. You always have to keep your eyes on your fingers. I prefer to keep my eyes on the movie i'm mixing.

Imho it doesn't work really well for surround panning either.

As for quantity i'm fine with 24 faders. You just have to bank through the layers when needed and more faders would force me to move my chair.

The A&H GS R 24 always looked very attractive to me, never had the money to get one. And another drawback is that it only does fader controls (plus some transport). To me it lacks some solo/mute, pan-pots, flip options etc...

In the end, i think it depends on everyone's needs.

Rocinante

Re: DAW controller or mixer in the sub $5K range?
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2017, 01:37:37 PM »
I've read mostly good things about the gsr-24 with the worst being that the preamps were vanilla. It being discontinued puts a damper on it as they are not cheap.
If your leaning that way ive only heard good things about the yammie dm2000. Or 02r96. Ive had my eye on both.
If there's a harder way to do this, I haven't found it yet.

Re: DAW controller or mixer in the sub $5K range?
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2017, 06:56:03 AM »
I've read mostly good things about the gsr-24 with the worst being that the preamps were vanilla. It being discontinued puts a damper on it as they are not cheap.
If your leaning that way ive only heard good things about the yammie dm2000. Or 02r96. Ive had my eye on both.

Dislike GSR-24. Used it extensively for 2 years at the audio production school I was teaching, and it's just so so..

Have also used both DM2000, O2R96, and Sony DMX-R100 a lot in the past, and they're so much better than GSR-24, especially the later one.

Mbira

Re: DAW controller or mixer in the sub $5K range?
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2017, 12:04:19 PM »
At the end of the day it seems like all the controllers are a compromise with serious drawbacks EXCEPT the Nuage....which would cost about $24,000 for a master section and fader bank.  I'm not willing to pay the cost of a downpayment for a house on a controller at this point, so I think I'm just going to go with a little single Presonus Faderport since it gives me transport as well as a fader for automation (covers about 80% of my control surface needs) plus the single user assignable button will let me change monitors in Cubase's control room.  Then I can use the $23, 850 that I save towards outboard gear. Ha!
Joel Laviolette

Rattletree   |  https://www.rattletree.com
The Rattletree School of Marimba | https://www.learnmarimba.com