Aside from the Mackie and look/work alikes (with motor faders), It seems
there are already some of the ideas I had, out there and being used.
http://lividinstruments.com/hardware_baseii.php uses touch faders in some
interesting ways. First, they are sunken faders as I had thought would
give the best feel as it would keep the finger on the fader. Second, it
includes an LED bar for visual feed back (something I might not have
added). The third thing is probably what makes it the most interesting,
though it is not fully unique to a touch fader. This is the options for
how it is used. It can be used the same as any rotary encoder, showing
width, offset from center, or level. It is interesting to note that a
motor fader with a LED strip could do these things too, I have seen a row
of motor faders that in one mode default to center for graphic eq control.
An encoder is incemental in any case, and the touch fader can be set up to
be as well, that is, it could be set up to work the same as the belted
encoder. The motor fader could be set as incremental... so that it centres
when the finger is lifted without changing the value it gives, but I think
that is probably outside the best use of a fader where the knob give
The touch fader _can_ also work in the traditional fader way where the
finger position matches the level. This can work in two ways: a
semi-inteligent setting where the actual level would not change if the
finger was not right at the current level position until the finger moved
and then it would change the level more incrementally (what the mind would
expect). The other way would be to jump to where the finger is. (the video
show this) So it could go from full scale to no scale with one touch. (One
hopes this sends a slope from one level to the next and that the rate is
This particular unit is not designed as a DAW controller. It could be used
that way, but in my opinion it is over priced and awkward for that to be
it's main use. However, the faders and how they are used are interesting.
Personally, I would want my faders to have no buttons etc. below them, but
for the use this controller is made for (drum pads etc.) it probably makes
The cost for a membrane fader is about 75% compared to a motor pot and
still requires a LED strip if position indication is required. SO there is
no cost saving over a motor pot that I can see. The user has to want
something the membrane fader offers that can't be done with a motor fader.
- incremental use.
- less damage prone when thrown in a bag etc.
- Maybe last longer? (maybe not too)
For DAW control use, motor faders seem to be the better deal.
I do want to try the rotary encoder though. either with a large wheel
(actually 2-3inch is not that big) or belt with no LED strip. The on
screen fader position should be good enough.
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