Well this thing looks amazing! The BitstreamX3 MIDI controller from CME Professional. Features 74 input controllers including 8 faders, a ribbon controller and an X-Y joystick controller and a cross-fader. Absolutely perfect for use with Ableton Live. It arrives out of the box with no less than 13,000 templates for audio software including the major sequencers and softsynths. I think I may have found the solution I need to get some really decent hands on controller over live. The Faderfox controller I have now is ok and comes in a really neat and small package but it leaves me feeling a little ‘out of the loop’. Whereas this beasty is totally feature rich, the screen promises some really nice extra feedback as to what is actually going on inside the box. This is an area that controllers really usually fail on. The worst culprit I have used for that was the old Peavey thing that they made for Cakewalk – The Studiomix. Can you imagine getting your hands on a mixdown project involving 60+ tracks with only 8 hardware faders and no way to directly link which faders are controlling which tracks in the software? No, it quickly becomes a hindrance in the workflow and at worst you end up altering parts of you mix unintentionally. I’m especially intrigued by the expansion port and the fact that the system is easily user flashable with a new OS.
Hardware – 35 knobs, 8 sliders, Ribbon controller, Analogue joystick, Cross-fader, 28 push buttons, 21 Groups, 100 scene memories, Fully programmable, Direct access to MIDI channels, MIDI I/O, USB, Footswitch, SYNC24, 2 RISC processors inside, Expansion port, MIDI merger and filter, Self-powered by USB, Backlight graphic LCD, Rock solid 4U metal case. Software – Advanced arpeggiator, Programmable LFO, 8 tracks motion sampler, Dedicated MIDI processor, no latency, MIDI over USB compatible, Plug and Play, no extra driver required, Dedicated configuration software, Firmware upgrader software, All software are available on Mac & Windows.
This is a seriously nice bit of hardware, the two RISC processors also suggest that this thing is going to have plenty of grunt to deal with lots of controller traffic on the MIDI side of things. The motion sampler also sounds very interesting, shame that it doesn’t appear to have motorised faders but to be fair that would push the price up significantly and at £230 this is definitely a good buy. For comparison the studiomix i mentioned above did have motorised faders and clocked in at release at £800 nearly three times the price and ended up being no-where near usable enough.
You can get more info here at the Wave Ideas web site.