Got Bit by the Controllerism Bug!
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  1. #1
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    Default Got Bit by the Controllerism Bug!

    So after getting my MPK mini, and testing the pads with Traktor (and failing because AKAI's editing software is FAIL and the pads don't put out the CCs I tell them to and run through the knobs...) I am hooked. I am getting rid of the mini, getting a legit 61 for my composing, and a separate controller for making mixtapes and (eventually) doing live stuff.

    What is recommended as the best all-around controller these days?
    I am on a budget, but I can save up if it's worth it...

    These are what I could think of:

    MIDI Fighter (obviously, but expensive, and I don't need anything cool or durable yet =D)
    Novation Launchpad (this seems the obvious choice so far...)
    NI Maschine (price, but is the software worth it? or go Live or Traktor?)
    APC20/40 (the 20 is down to the same price $130 as LP on amazon!)
    X1
    MPD (or 3 or 4 LPD8 or Korg NanoPads attached to eachother :-) )

    Seems a lot of choices to me, not sure if I missed any, but it seems to be coming down to LP, Maschine, or APC (I could be wrong!) the only thing about the LP that's getting me is on the MPK I mapped one of the knobs to XFader bc I don't have a mixer. I don't really do normal mixes, but it's nice to have a tweakable X somewhere...

    I want to be able to do everything I need with one controller (I never use platters, I'm not a scratcher, when I do live stuff I prefer to fade to a new song, then clone the deck, and set up loops and/or cue points on one of them to mix a song with itself... but I'm kind of new to this!)

    Thank you incredibly so much for any advice you can share!!

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor ranzerox's Avatar
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    sounds like your looking for a bunch of buttons and not jog wheels or anything..

    all i can say out of that list is: i have an X1 and its amazing. if i could have sex with it i would. i also have an LPD8 and its pretty great. definently usable as long as you spend some time with the mapping to make sure your using all of its ability.
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  3. #3
    Tech Guru Onimode's Avatar
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    The APC40 is a solid piece of equipment. I bought mine last week and I'm pretty damn sure I won't regret buying it. Ever. Ableton is great for making loops and cue points, before the show, of course. The crossfader is a great addition as well. But I'm an Ableton whore, I have no place among the Traktor fanboys. :C

    The LP, on the other hand, is just buttons. It's very restricted, although you can do some fancy stuff with Novation's Automap software. And the Maschine... I wouldn't be able to tell you about that from personal experience. :/
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  4. #4
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    I've probably said this like 1000 times, but I love my APC40. It's a really solid and quality piece of equipment.

    Maybe get a novation launchpad and an X1?

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor nuke5's Avatar
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    I have an apc 40 and i really love it! everything about it is great...

    i also have an x1 and mpd32...if i could have sex with the x1 too i totally would...that thing is perfect! as for the mpd32 it is pretty cool but im going to be trading it in for the maschine because the maschine is better suited for production and i can use it for live shows
    Production: HP G62 2.6 dual core, 8gb ram | Live 8 | APC40 | MPD32 | MPK Mini | NI A2 | KRK Rokit 6 G2s | 6pack of Rolling Rock
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  6. #6
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    If I use a computer for live shows, would maschine still be better than an MPD32? (or 26?)

    And the LP seems the least limited, since there are pages and pages and pages of buttons... the thing has 64 + 8 (x4) that's a lot of buttons. Even more if you use the 'scene launch' buttons for modifiers for the other 64... then you have 4 pages of 64x8 buttons. That's 500 right there. That's a button overdose.

    I just wonder how the LP buttons feel compared to APC (I suppose Maschine and MPD pads feel similar to eachother? Same as the MPK mini pads?)

    What would you guys get if you could only have 1 controller to start with?

  7. #7
    Tech Mentor ajrindy's Avatar
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    Why run a machine if you are DJing? if you want a bad controller with more useful MIDI control, go for the MPD 24. Also, why on earth would you get a launchpad over an APC20 if they cost the same? that's just mindboggling, because the LP doesnt have real faders and the APC20 does, so end of story.
    If you're using traktor, dont buy either of the APCs unless if you are adept at MIDI mapping, because their layout is the least intuitive thing for mapping with traktor. I created a mapping for Traktor for my APC40 that I personally love to death, but I'm sure many others would dismiss it was LOLSUX. then again, the popular mappings for the APC40 found here are weird and not intuitive TO ME.

    I personally hate questions about "what gear should I get" because it's a very personal issue that depends entirely on your own personal mixing style. do more research on each controller and its native mappings, as well as how you could potentially re-map it, then make the decision yourself

    if you want instant and effective mapping to traktor for simple DJing without beathmashers and hard-mapped effects out the ass, the Kontrol X1 cannot be beaten. if you want something that can be heavily customized, APC40.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajrindy View Post
    Why run a machine if you are DJing?
    I do a lot of production work, and was thinking that it could double /shrug and I saw it on NI's youtube http://youtu.be/Y6bapWp-4k0 I guess that's not so applicable for most parties and such, though?

    Quote Originally Posted by ajrindy View Post
    I personally hate questions about "what gear should I get" because it's a very personal issue that depends entirely on your own personal mixing style.
    I know, and I feel the same way, but I was thinking more of button feel, size, weight, and looking forward I know that all of you know more about DJing than I do, so I might think that the LP is exactly what I want with all the buttons (which are bigger than APC buttons, right?) and straight away you tell me that faders are important - I didn't really know (and still don't really know why, but I'm sure I will learn why at some point!)

    Thank you everyone for your input. I am leaning towards the APC40 right now, or maybe a LP combined with some sort of SL or something that has knobs and faders (figured I might be able to use some columns on a dif page of the LP for faders for vol, EQ, and maybe even an XF but that might need a real one...)

  9. #9
    Tech Guru zestoi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LmnLm3 View Post
    What would you guys get if you could only have 1 controller to start with?
    depends on if you just want the max number of pads to map or you want rotaries too.

    an lpd8 is the cheapest and with the note+cc modes gives you direct access to 4x4 pads and 8 rotaries.

    buying two would be the same price as a single LP which ofc has more pads but no pots. LP pads are very different to the lpd8 ones. the LP ones arent velocity sensitive (not important just for dj'ing tho) and you actually have to push them in - compared to the "drum pad" touch sensitive pads on the lpd8.

    an apc20 would give you the best of both worlds but imho is just too big - i'd prefer the form factor of the lpd8 and LP.

    so the short answer is i'd probably buy 2 lpd8's or one LP.

    automap should give you multiple pages/layers on the LP but i dont use it so can't say much about that.

    edit: the lpd8 also have 4 build in pages/layers if you really want them but to use those you have to press 3 buttons to change a page/layer so i dont use them.

    edit2: if you're using traktor in internal mixing mode you'll get bored of having no pots or faders to control eq's and levels pretty quickly if you go for the LP. tho i picked up a cheapo djtech djm101 for 20quid that solves that issue.
    Last edited by zestoi; 08-20-2011 at 06:43 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Thanks, Zesty :-)

    I just took a little road trip to my not so local brick&mortar music store, and convinced the guy to let me feel them for a second.

    My impression of the LP buttons was MUCH better than the APC40, but the xfade and knobs are SEXY. I like both better than the LPD I have decided :-)

    I'd rather get an extra LPD8 if I ever want to do drum stuff (though I still for the life of me can't configure the mpk mini properly....driving me mad)

    I really love the feel of the LP (felt the maschine, not my thing. Good riddance, and my wallet thanks me). The MPDs felt a LOT better than the LPD, but for that price I should rather get the LP.

    So I'm between the LP ($130) or the APC40 ($250) I like the LP pads better - can I get knobs and faders like the ones on the APC40? If so, that's my plan.

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