Controller: pads AND knobs

I’ve been checking at different controllers these last days, for an OT but also for external synths as a bonus.

At first i was interested by the Minilab and the Launchpad Mini as i would like to stay as compact as possible but they both don’t have a 5pin Midi, so it’s a clear no.
For the moment i was given a Launchkey mini but it’s more of a toy when using stand alone than a serious contendent for live use.

Faderfox has pricey but apparently quality stuff and i got interested by the EC4 (a way to name controls is more than welcome).
Thing is that i don’t really see how i would connect a keyboard and keep the handshake with the OT to get the update for the knobs values. I ended up checking back launchpad but only the Pro model has a MIDI 5pin connector and can be used quite fully in stand alone.
I think both can send to different midi channels at once although i don’t know if they are both able to send multiple CCs at once.

So far and if i’m correct:

Pros>> compact, good reputation
quality build and solid, « made » with Elektron machines in mind, naming of functions, update of values

Cons>> no keyboard functionality, pushing encoders sending global values, one nasty cable to get

Launchpad Pro
Pros>> can maybe replace keyboard functionality, fingerdrumming, more interesting functionality i ignore (scales, arpegiator? Although i use the OT one), visual feedback (maybe not as practical as names), faster to use?

Cons>> bigger footprint, quality build seems light years from a Faderfox, can’t update values (IIRC), need of a computer to change the configuration

Anyone has had experience with both in terms of controls?
Knobs or pads? Can a Launchpad Pro kind of replace a keyboard (basic functions)+controller +fingerdrumming?

The LPP is able to send CC with those Buttons, but that’s far from what you get out of knobs. If you mainly look for a Controller so change Synth/FX parameters, don’t go LPP. If you look for a kind of Keyboard that is also able to send a CC value here and there (and its okay for you to not have that precise control of them), LPP is cool. The Buildquality of mine is awesome, the pads are great and I have not touched any keyboard since I got it.

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Can you elaborate? Not as practical/precise?

Would you throw it in a backpack without being afraid to damage it?

They way you can send CC values is by placing “Faders” on the Pads. So you got a fader out of 8 pads. LPP is able to not let them jump, if you use them correct, but you only have 8 Values you can rest on.

I don’t see any problem with throwing it into a bag, until you don’t have some metal sheets in there too. Should be, due to pads vs knobs, more robust there, then the faderfoxes.

I have both, EC4 and Arturia Keylab, i thought about using the controller from keylab, but the mpc one, has so much possible controls, that having labels is an absolute killer feature. I would recommend the EC4, and if you really like to play keys, make that an extra purchase.

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So you basically can’t send a CC with one pad? And need to sacrifice 8 of them? That makes it a 8 CCs controller per page :pensive:
How is the faderlike feeling compared to knobs? Not too dodgy?

I don’t understand that part.

Yep but then it looses in compacity… :thinking:
But indeed that might be an important factor of choice.

One more thing: how do you feel in practice with the visual feedback of the pads? Happens to forget what they’re controlling?

I don’t use it as CC Controller ever, because I have tools that are made for it.

That’s 8 faders with 0 at the bottom and 127 at the top, 4 with values, 4 at zero. You can give them different colours and you can also have faders with a middle zero for something like panning.

Edit: Image is rotated, so the bottom of the device is on the left side of the screen.

For my optioning this might be useable for controlling volumes, or have some raw changes, but nothing I would use for sound design or performance, I use highly precise knobs for that on my

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Just to be clear: no LPP bashing here, I love the pads, they are awesome to play, their aftertouch is useable and I really really love the sequencer, because it has a random direction. :stuck_out_tongue: but it sucks as MIDI Controller :slight_smile:

Why not both? Or all 3?

Edit: Why I can only find these in the .EU is beyond me

I have an EC4, haven’t used it much yet, but the ability to control levels or filter cutoffs (for example) for 8 OT tracks and 8 Rytm tracks from one tiny box, and have updated values on screen is pretty useful!

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It looks a bit big and cheap plastic TBH.
For that size i’d rather be able to replace a keyboard.
I also don’t need a sequencer but i’ll try to get more info on the model (damned midi 3.5mm but at least it’s not USB only).
At first sight a big drawback is the 6V power (standard USB being 5V) which mean a proprietary adapter to carry.

For once…

USB powered. 6v is for standalone use.
and your after the pads and 8 sliders for the 8 tracks…not the sequencer

Yep i want to use stand alone only. Still the footprint puts me off that’s bigger than the OT!

There’s that new behringer thing in the works, no idea on the size, but it might suit your needs.

MPDs are killer, but yes, spacious.

So you recommend MPD’s quality?

Someone told me about this BCR32. I have to admit i have bad image of Behringer but he said he was very happy with the BCR2000.

Definitely. The old ones are absolute Tanks. Basically bombproof. Ive had 2 original MPD 26, and I now have an MPD218. I have used a MPD232.

The newer ones (MPD2) are lighter and slimer, but the built quality is the same. There is a difference in the pads. The MPD2 line uses different sensors to the old MPDs. If that bothers you.

As standalone midi controllers- I can definitely recommend them.

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We’ll be on mars before the BCR32 gets released.

I edited the title as it seems i am more interested into a controller with pads and knobs as well. Why having to choose?

The fact i don’t play keyboard means i don’t need the keys and could replace it by pads. The Atom SQ would have been a good choice but alas… once again no 5 pins Midi. Dammit.

The Torso T1 factor is interesting as well but the pads don’t send CCs.
Maybe a Beatstep although it looks quite basic.

Theye been around for a bit, but I know exactly 0 people with one, so I’m not sure what it’s shortcoming might be. I think it’s standalone functionality is limited for hardware.

Beatsteps are kinda the most bang for the buck, but I’m not a huge Arturia fan.