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Habitual EQ Knob Twister Needs Advice...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Daweenis, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. Daweenis

    Daweenis Guest

    Since moving to mixing in my DAW flavor of the day (currently DP but my soon to accomplish os X port might change my choice) I find myself missing the old days of closing my eyes and EQ'ing with my ears not my eyes. Paragraphic EQ's can be a wonderful ancellary visual tool but a dangerous distraction as well. Likewise having to use a mouse to tweak virtual knobs does not allow me the freedom to truly listen like back in the days where touch and sound were king. I cannot get fully used to this method of operation.

    I have looked at control surfaces...even demo'd one or two a few years back....but the implementation specifically for controling EQ plugs seemed lacking in resolution (the jumps are too big), feel, response, etc.

    I want to be able to grab a pair of pots, close my eyes and return to the days of "touch and sound". Can anyone give a recommendation for a reliable solution to this problem ? I know external eq is an option but I do wish to utilize an oxford EQ, per se, or some other eq in the box the old fashioned way.

    It's been a few years since demo'ing control surface boxes. Has anything changed/advanced ? Is anyone currently using a setup with positive results which addresses these issues...?

  2. I'm interested in this topic and would like some opinions as well so I'm posting so I get informed of any replies...
  3. Daweenis

    Daweenis Guest


    Since no one is interested or is able to comment, I guess we're left up to buying and returning....again.

    Here's an interesting product I was unaware of...


    have you checked it out yet...? Looks like it's just for Logic "out of the box" as of now. If it's implemented right It might be a viable option. I imagine support from other DAW's is just a matter of time.

    Any other ideas fellow boardmates ? I have done a search read the other threads on control surfaces btw.....they just don't address the specific issues of EQ and rotary pot control of plug in parameters. Again....I found in the past that the control was not smoooth or graduated enough to be of practical use....perhaps a sensitivity control to increase/decrease the rotation to tweak ratio or something might address this. Just looking for answers...anyone...?
  4. Daweenis

    Daweenis Guest

    Hey...one more try....simple....

    Has anyone found an external interface which controls their favorite EQ plug-in smoothly and to the full resolution of which the plug is capable....no big jumps in freq. values, etc. Something that approaches the smooth, detailed control and resolution of analog EQ....? Someone in this forum has gotta have had some positive experience with some method or interface....c'mon peoples....I shouldn't have to beg...but I am...so...
  5. The hardware controllers you have probably used would be MIDI based, with the inherent limitation of 7 data bits = 128 steps. Newer units that use USB or do tricky double byte things with MIDI have much better resolution, which is what I think you are looking for. Look for something with at least 10 bit resolution for the dials and with good support for whatever software you are using so that it can control the plugins with a minimum of faffing about..
    EQ is one of those areas that software is still a fair way behind the top end. A basic EQ 'curve' is easy to emulate, but the way a high-end EQ shapes the sound is very subtle and difficult to analyse or emulate. Very few plugins EQ's can even approach the quality of a good hardware EQ.
    What I was interested in finding in this thread was some other people's opinions on how to get that 'hardware' style interaction of closing your eyes and listening as you turn one or 2 controls. It is impossible to do with a mouse and not quite the same with a hardware controller, you have to keep looking at the screen, which I find really blows my auditory focus, with the brain switching back to visual mode.
    As much as I would love to have a rack full of outboard gear, it isn't going to happen, hopefully we can get a few more opinions on how people relate to their gear, how do you keep the focus on listening without being distracted by the bright flashy screen? Can it be done with a good hardware controller? How should your studio be laid out to make screen editing easy but so you can ignore the monitor when mixing? Any more opinions on 'audio focus' and 'gear operating relationships'?
  6. Daweenis

    Daweenis Guest

    Yep...exactly....I want the same thing...close my eyes and turn knobs and listen. Resolution is just another important part because if the steps are too big, closing my eyes and listening to big jumps will be useless...We're looking for the same thing...thanks for the tips on what to look for bit-wise...cheers
  7. Sidhu

    Sidhu Active Member

    Mar 22, 2004
    New Delhi, India
    Behringer recently laucnched a rotary controler. Cheap.


  8. Daweenis

    Daweenis Guest

    awesome....I'll definitely check it out and the fact that it is usb is a good sign. I wouldn't trust Behringer with my audio needs normally but since this is just a controller they might have the functionality I need without damaging my audio....Thanks Sidhu :cool:
  9. cleamon

    cleamon Guest

    My system (vs2400cd) besides having dedicated controls for many features and allows using the BIG knob for fine adjustments, also allows me to assign a fader to just about any other function as well as send midi messages. Covers all the bases.

  10. badbear

    badbear Guest

    I use the trusty Peavey PC-1600x for controlling everthing from softsynths, B4's drawbars, automating pan and volume curves in Sequoia; you name it. If there is a MIDI parameter, you can control it.
    The PC=1600x has 16 faders, 16 buttons and a data knob. Another cool feature is that it changes it's setup based on the app you're running.
    Oh yeah, and the price is nice, too.
  11. It's these type of MIDI based controllers that we decided don't have the required resolution for careful tweaking. Midi is based on 7 bit data bytes which gives 128 steps, which on audio fader controls and EQ is noticable... they are great for controlling softsynths etc that are built around MIDI, but fall a bit short for audio.
    It seems that the behringer controllers are very promising, you might not want to take them on the road too much though. I've been trying to find out the resolution of the B controllers, it seems that it's all MIDI over USB, but it does aupport double byte data if your software does... It's all a matter of assigning the correct parameters.
  12. sndo

    sndo Active Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    Ottawa, Canada
    Home Page:
    My biggest problem with the on-screen controls is that they are often jumpy. Usually, though, there is a short-cut key that will decrease the sensitivity of the knob. When you use the shortcut in conjunction with a click on the knob, you can close your eyes and move it without worrying that it will slip or move drastically up and down.

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