Have you seen the new Behringer X AIR range?

It’s a small 4 mic and 8 line digital mixer with MIDI and USB you can control with a tablet over for $299. There’s also a 16 input version for $499.

Downside of both of these is that only the stereo mix goes out over USB. There’s also the X AIR XR18 with has 12 busses and can send all of its 18 input channels over USB. That one is listed for $699 though.

It’s a shame that the smaller versions don’t at least add 2 aux busses in addition to the main outputs.

Oh wait, looks like the small ones do offer aux busses; I just needed to click “more”. Hm…

Now the X-Touch Series makes sense…. but if you choose the XR18 for 699$ and add a X-Touch for 599$ you are with 1298$ right next to the X32 Producer with $1499……

I guess you’d want the x-touch when you use these in a more traditional performance situation, but for small gigs and/or home studio use the iPad (that you might even already own) would work just fine as a control surface. Also, the form factor is really attractive for those of us who are space-constrained.

More choice is always welcome. These and that snazzy looking new AVID controller seem nice for some hybrid computer/digital mix down recording setup.

Now if we only could get some DAW software without the traditional suckage that seem to come a part of that particular bag of hurt.

Sounds like a Job for MI aficionados: “NonSucking™ DAW”

Well, I was thinking it could be the good parts from Bitwig and Live, add AU support and Rewire, plus the good elements from Logic, Cubase, DP and others. I’m not going to list the troubles since they seem to be slightly different depending on which DAW you look at; from lackadaisical Sysex support, horribly cluttered workflow, flaky plugin support and what have you. There’s room for improvement here and there :slight_smile:

However, running Bitwig or Live with something like the Push controller is nice for real-time arranging and remixing on the fly. I suppose I should take a fresh look at things plus have more hands-on controllers around when looking at DAW software these days.

This would be remotely doable for a one-person team if you keep it OS X-only.

Are there other OS that can do tight MIDI timing? Last time i checked i wasn’t that convinced and thats only 3 Minutes ago……

The reason to keep a project like this OS X-only is that it has good frameworks for dealing with audio and MIDI with solid timing. If you make something cross-platform you’ll need to do a lot more plumbing before you can get to the interesting bits.

@fcd72 Try Numerology if you want to see an example of tight timing on a present-day general-purpose OS.

Well, Reaper works just fine and is made by a small time (at least it was last I checked). It’s tight and runs on Linux too, just like Bitwig does. I wouldn’t say that OS X is the only game in town, but it certainly makes developing stuff like that easier.

I’m holding out for someone to get their poop in a group instead of taking this kind of project on.

Yeah, but Bitwig has been done by the same developer who did the MIDI part of Ableton.
And guess what: Bitwig seems to have the same wiggly MIDI timing as Live…

@jojjelito According to the team page on their website, reaper is 2 people full-time, 3 part-time-ish. Can’t easily find the team size for Bitwig, but you can count at least 5 people in the office on their support page and they’re still hiring.

Reaper runs on Linux though Wine which doesn’t exactly makes me feel confident about the level of tightness and integration it provides on that platform. Mind you, I haven’t tested it, so I could be entirely wrong about that.

I’m certainly not saying OS X is the only platform for making music in any way, but it is the platform with the best built-in frameworks for this kind of stuff.

Well, DAW software being what it is makes a great case for pushing the general-purpose computer a bit further in the background.

@nightworxx: Yeah, that and the lack of Audio Unit support plus lacking Rewire has made me put Bitwig in the “promising start” heap. My resort to all that stuff when working with Ableton has been to freeze everything to audio, then to keep working within the clip-based workflow exclusively with audio.

On the other hand we have other DAWs that feature more or less working MIDI but the workflow aspects of some of them makes me think of very disturbed people getting off on abusing other people.

@t2k: I’ve been seeing and hearing things of a Linux-native version of Reaper, but it’s quite possible that it will remain vaporware for a long time.
The issue with OS X (which I’m running myself) isn’t in the audio and MIDI handling aspects, it’s rather the feeling that it too has some deficiencies that go unaddressed for ages.

Yeah, freezing to audio is probably the only sane way to integrate external MIDI synths into a DAW workflow. And let’s face it, the number of people who want to integrate more than maybe a single external MIDI devices into their DAW workflow is tiny compared to the DAW market as a whole. Supporting more than the “basics” of MIDI is pretty much a waste of development resources.

Reaper would be recommendable, if they finally would support more control surfaces and AU under MacOSX. What i really like, is that is not blown up and fully customizable. DAW on a stick is a really cool feature, but then a control surfaces patch for Logic Control only available under Win7 is the summit of perversion…

@nightworxx I think that’s actually one of the hard things about developing this kind of software these days; there’s always one more control surface or plugin technology or some other thing you’d like to integrate with…

Yep, but it should be understandable that professional customers recommend to fully stick to system standards like HUI/Mackie or AVID protocol. They are the base of most pro control surfaces, and even their cheaper clones. Getting things only partial done leaves a bitter taste, as workflow is a main concern here.
My main hope is that Harrison Mixbus, someday incorporates the MIDI features of Ardour V2. Then i may be on the route i want to be…

Apparently, when it comes to audio jitter, linux performs even better than osx. Not that audio jitter can’t be heard by anybody, and jitter-free audio on linux also involves some customization of the OS, but it’s showing how far you can push the system. I’d also say that linux works very well with MIDI out of the box, with most applications like Ardour.
I haven’t been very happy with the usability of most floss audio packages, though I like Renoise (which runs nicely and natively in linux).

Sometimes I get the feeling that discussions about MIDI timing are abit like people discussing about final masters being better at 24bit than 16bit: i.e. discussions about imaginary parallel worlds.