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Producer, guitar player, composer and maker of noise.

Pots and Sliders, DJ MIDI Controllers

Posted on | November 10, 2006 | 4 Comments

the_un_globe.jpgI have a hard time using rotating knobs as the volume control, especially when doing DJ mixes… It seems I could never get a nice feeling of smooth changes, especially when pushing down one channel and up another one. It might also depend on my current Novation Remote 25 LE that I use temporarily as my controller — while waiting for the perfect DJ MIDI controller to arrive.

I’ve been looking through the current controllers out there. Behringer BRC2000 is a rotary one, the BCF2000 looked OK, but I think the price is too high for what you get, especially as it only has eight rotary controllers — I would like to get three per channel, for a combination of either DJ eq, or with a switch using other effects.

If someone made a MIDI controller similar to the Ecler Nuo4, that would be what I would purchase in a jiffy. Alas, Nuo4 only has volume MIDI controls for two of the four channels.

I suspect that M-Audio will release something similar later, the new X-Session Pro is cheap, has four channels, but somewhat limiting, but it might do the job for the time being until better controllers show up.

I also looked at the Novation Remote SL Zero, my biggest gripe with that one was that the slider ranges were very short, I really want very long slider ranges, with precision… Then again, maybe that’s another compromise I have to live with, as I liked the rest of the design.


4 Responses to “Pots and Sliders, DJ MIDI Controllers”

  1. jube
    November 14th, 2006 @ 11:07 AM

    The BCF2000 has 8 rotary knobs but it also has 4 buttons that control banks, giving you a total of 32 rotary controls that are very easy to swap between.

    I have send controls mapped to each channel on the first two banks with scene select on rotary 8 so I can scroll through my tracks quickly. I have bass eq mapped to bank three and high eq on bank four. A passthrough filter is mapped to rotary 8 on bank three so I can do filter sweeps while bringing in a new bassline.

    All these controls are on preset 1 of the BCF. You could go even farther and map additional rotary controls on new presets, that might be overkill but it is an option. Right now I use preset 2 to swap track visiability and do live looping but I am not super happy with this setup and may just use hotkeys on the keyboard for these functions.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post but I thought you might be interested in how the BCF can be used for live mixing. It’s a good piece of gear, just requires some patience and mapping.

  2. tricil
    November 14th, 2006 @ 6:49 PM

    why not the UC33

    no horizontal x-fade, but still 7 long faders.

    or, the new M-Audio dj controller… x-session pro

  3. Kent Sandvik
    November 17th, 2006 @ 12:36 AM

    Yes, I think Behringers make the best DJ-centric Ableton Live MIDI controllers just now, the BCR2000 and BCF2000 units.

    ANd yes, UC33 is also Ok. I’m just curious to see what January NAMM brings in, as the DJ-centric MIDI controller world is exploding due to Torque and Ableton Live (and Traktor) being used more and more. And the existing controllers are not aligned as DJ mixers, i.e 2/4 channels, and eq pots above the channels.

    If someone made a MIDI controller similar to Ecler’s Nuo4:, then I would be really happy!

  4. Zachary Stowasser
    November 28th, 2006 @ 12:16 PM

    I can’t wait so I’m buying the UC-33e, hope it will do what I want. I currently use a m-audio firewire 410 to connect into my allen & heath mixer but I’m looking for an alternate setup that is easy to transport and setup!

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