External Controller Recommendations for A4

I’m looking to have simultaneous access to main track controls in T1-T4 of the A4mkII.

I’d like access to;

  • Vol
  • Pan
  • Filter Freq
  • Resonance
  • Dly Send
  • Rev Send

I know I could probably build this out in the Perfomance section, but I think having it dedicated would be best for me.

I feel it’s pointing me to the FaderFox units… but which one would be best?
I’m looking at the PC12 as an option that I could also swap ‘setups’ to use on the AR and OT.

Is anyone else doing this? Controlling the A4 tracks externally?

Following this one :slightly_smiling_face:

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  • Sliders for volume (personal preference) Can be used for the 6 parameters you require.
    +Great feeling knobs and DJ style fadercaps.
    -Encoder caps have a tendency to fall off, better glue them.

  • Fairly cheap im comparison to faderfox
    -Not exactly compact. Bit heavy to carry around. Wish they made this with just a fader section and more compact.

  • You can program the pads to do program changes. I have mine setup so you can use the 16 pads to change to patterns 1-16. 8 presets are used to switch between banks A-H.
    +Pads have good options built in for midi command programming. can be used for more than just (drum)notes, but you get that option.
    +You have 6 knobs on the right with a great sturdy built but smooth action.

  • I appreciate there’s enough room for custom labeling for the faders and knobs. Instrument/midi makers should pay more attention to this.
    -No room for labeling the pads. Labeling rubber pads not really possible.

  • Special tip: You can set a fader to control aftertouch. Aftertouch can act like a performance macro in that it controls multiple parameters. But the macro doesnt have to be set in a performance page/kit , so its like having an extra morph option for (every) sound in your kit, that never resets (across pattern/kit changes) unless you move it.
    Not trying to discourage a faderfox to be clear, never tried one and they seem appealing. Wish there was a cheaper middleground, like a simple faderbox with dj style fadercaps.

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I think I might have figured out a ‘thinking outside the box’ solution that’s right under my nose…

I have a BeatStep Pro.

If I use the ‘Control Mode’ section of that I can set up the rotary’s and buttons, and pads, to all work across the 4 midi channels I need for the A4. Boom.

So it gives me 4 rotary knobs per channel, so I’ll have to make allowances… but, I get a bunch of pads I can use too.

Another bonus, I can have each unit I want to control (AR, A4, OT, etc) set up as dedicated Projects in the BeatStep Pro that I can pre-map.

:upside_down_face: :+1:

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That looks like a good solution for problems that aren’t mine… the main issue I come across with the A4’s controls as they are is that it doesn’t let you (easily, quickly) adjust 2+ pan positions, 2+ filter freqs… and I do a lot of this on the fly (spreading 2 tracks left and right, or lowering one filter freq while raising another, transitions, etc).

You’re right; the MPD does not allow you to assign multiple parameters simultaneous across multiple midi channels, under a single knob or fader. It needs to adress an A4 performance macro or Aftertouch sound config already set up in A4 to do that.

I will argue from personal experience that a DJ Style fader is pleasant to morph macros quickly, as opposed to doing it with a knob on A4 (or beatstep). That’s something you might agree on and want to consider when looking for a controller that suits your needs. A Faderfox MX12 with those caps could be great but I have no experience using that. I’m not clear if it will allow the use of a single fader/knob to adress multiple midi values (over multiple channels).

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Your question is interesting and got me thinking how i could set it up myself, to work around the limitation of the 1 value p/knob of my MPD. To set up something like you want, using my Midi Solutions Event Proccessor. MIDI Solutions Event Processor Plus; 32 Event MIDI Event Processor
I havent tested it but i suppose you could program the Event Processor to generate multiple CC values from a single knob, from any controller hooked up to it. The included image shows how i would try to set up the controller to generate such a midi macro from its IN port to OUT. I have not tested it yet.