Midi controller with endless pots and visual feedback, Novation Nocturn?
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Old 24-09-2013, 07:32 PM   #1
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Midi controller with endless pots and visual feedback, Novation Nocturn?

Hi All,

I'm searching for a small Midi controller with endless pots and visual feedback to perform live with Ableton Live.

You may know that it's possible to have live automatically map the 8 buttons of any selected devices on a midi controller. I use this technique intensively in my live-set. I use my launchpad to select devices, then I use my Korg nanoKontrol to control the device macro buttons. The ideal to do this would be endless pots, and the must would be to have visual feedback of the current value on the controller.

The Novation Nocturn seems the perfect fit for that task, but it's quite old, and many forum posts from 2008-2010 says that the build quality is really bad and the pots starts to behave weirdly after a while.

So my questions are:
- Do you know if the nocturn build quality has improved after 2010?
- Do you know an alternative Midi controller with endless pots and visual feedback? Not too expensive

Thanks!

Luc

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Old 24-09-2013, 07:40 PM   #2
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Re: Midi controller with endless pots and visual feedback, Novation Nocturn?

I know it's not small but...you can't have a thread about endless pots and visual feedback without bringing up the BCR2000...

Something you'd consider or is it way too big/overkill for your needs?
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Old 24-09-2013, 07:43 PM   #3
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Re: Midi controller with endless pots and visual feedback, Novation Nocturn?

The build quality's not bad. I used to use it with this script for Live: [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]


The only thing I didn't like about it was that it requires a separate Automap Server software to be running in order for it to be used as a MIDI controller.

Novation should have made the Launch Control with endless encoders with LED rings.

Last edited by magavan; 24-09-2013 at 08:02 PM..
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Old 24-09-2013, 07:48 PM   #4
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Re: Midi controller with endless pots and visual feedback, Novation Nocturn?

Yes, the bcr2000 looks nice, but it's really too big and seems quite heavy. I want to fit my laptop, my launchpad and the other controllers in one single backpack. The bcr is bigger than a launchpad...

Happy to hear that the nocturn is not crappy; and many thanks for the script. Are you sure you cannot use the nocturn without automap? I know it's possible to use th launchpad without automap...

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Old 24-09-2013, 07:58 PM   #5
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Re: Midi controller with endless pots and visual feedback, Novation Nocturn?

The newer Behringer controllers are much smaller than BCR2000 and bus-powered but still not very portable compared to Nocturn:
DJ Tech tools are supposed to be coming out with their design contest winner controllers MIDI FIGHTER TWISTER/MIDI FIGHTER MACRO-MASHER:
but no indication at all of when.
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Old 24-09-2013, 08:01 PM   #6
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Re: Midi controller with endless pots and visual feedback, Novation Nocturn?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucky one View Post
Are you sure you cannot use the nocturn without automap? I know it's possible to use th launchpad without automap...
Yup. You still need to be running their darn Automap Server software even when you're not even using their Automap feature and just using it as a regular USB MIDI controller (which needs to be set up in the Automap Server to be used in that mode anyway). It's too bad because if the Nocturn was a class-compliant USB controller like the Launch Control, that wouldn't haven't been the case and I could have also used it with my iPad.
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Old 24-09-2013, 08:09 PM   #7
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Re: Midi controller with endless pots and visual feedback, Novation Nocturn?

Yes, the new br stuffs are not so sexy. And the midi-fighter looks very thick. All the designers certainly thinks that everyone has a roadie to carry his gear

I will certainly buy the nocturn then, and test this script (with AUtomap ).

Thanks everyone for the info!

Cheers,

Luc

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Old 24-09-2013, 08:33 PM   #8
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Re: Midi controller with endless pots and visual feedback, Novation Nocturn?

Using the nocturn with automap is actually a plus because you can customize your layout nicely.

For instance, you can change the CCs for each control, change the behavior of the buttons (toggle / momentary), etc.

Also you don't need a custom script anymore to automatically control macros in live, but there are some out there that provide more functionality.
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Old 24-09-2013, 09:46 PM   #9
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Re: Midi controller with endless pots and visual feedback, Novation Nocturn?

That Nocturn script I linked to above is actually quite brilliant, and it's fairly easy to customize too once you get your head around how it works together with the automap software. It can even pitch/transpose audio and MIDI clips.
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Old 24-09-2013, 11:56 PM   #10
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Re: Midi controller with endless pots and visual feedback, Novation Nocturn?

Quote:
Originally Posted by magavan View Post
That Nocturn script I linked to above is actually quite brilliant, and it's fairly easy to customize too once you get your head around how it works together with the automap software. It can even pitch/transpose audio and MIDI clips.
Yeah, the stock nocturn script is only set up to control macros, you can then add as many extra pages as you want for manual midi mapping. It's quite sufficient for a basic performance setup, but the one you posted looks much more useful for production.

As far as the build quality is concerned, I think it's quite decent for the price.
The knobs do take some getting used to, as they behave differently than some control surfaces but they seem to perform pretty well. You can also adjust the "encoder acceleration" in Automap to change the sensitivity.
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Old 25-09-2013, 04:43 AM   #11
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Re: Midi controller with endless pots and visual feedback, Novation Nocturn?

I have the BCR2000 myself and love it..not heavy but it is a bit big.If you only need a few pots you can still find the BCN-44 for around 50 US new or cheaper on Ebay.I have 2 of them that I have mapped out for verious plugins ( LA-2A,LA-2A 1176 etc) great little controller no USB so you would need a MIDI IN port but they can be battery powered which is something i thought was a nice treat. Just some fuel for the fire..

Cheers

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Old 25-09-2013, 05:14 AM   #12
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Re: Midi controller with endless pots and visual feedback, Novation Nocturn?

Midi controller [Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
reporting in.

I'm thinking of spending my future budget on Push and a bunch of these. They're pressure sensitive, and originally made to replace the pitch/modwheels on a keyboard. They're not knobs, but I can't see why you couldn't use them for performing live. Unless you like twisting knobs, that is.

They're also a fair bit more expensive than the Nocturn, which goes for $99, when these are $50 each.

But fuck if they're not awesome.

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Old 25-09-2013, 10:30 AM   #13
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Re: Midi controller with endless pots and visual feedback, Novation Nocturn?

I like the look of them Vmeters..
Could we be entering the modular controller age
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Old 25-09-2013, 07:29 PM   #14
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Re: Midi controller with endless pots and visual feedback, Novation Nocturn?

@[Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
: Thanks for the good input! I will but the Nocturn tomorrow and test all that

@[Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
: Waouw This is just awesome, I would love to have that kind of toy! I would need 8 of them... and a USB hub to plug everything How much, 400$? Maybe I will wait

Cheers,

Luc

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Old 25-09-2013, 08:07 PM   #15
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Re: Midi controller with endless pots and visual feedback, Novation Nocturn?

I have the Nocturn, and it's awesome, if a bit fiddly. You don't want to be throwing it around or getting too energetic with it. I find the knobs to be a little too sensitive, if I touch off them slightly it can turn them, but I'm awkward and have stupid hands.
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Old 25-09-2013, 08:30 PM   #16
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Re: Midi controller with endless pots and visual feedback, Novation Nocturn?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucky one View Post
@[Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]
: Waouw This is just awesome, I would love to have that kind of toy! I would need 8 of them... and a USB hub to plug everything How much, 400$? Maybe I will wait
A bit over $400.

They also send note on/off message. Get 88 and make a keyboard. (That's not velocity sensitive, but is aftertouch sensitive.) This is completely not a horrible waste of money, when you could get a Continuum instead. EDIT: This feature does allow playing one like a ribbon-synth, with the position linked to pitch, however.

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Old 05-11-2013, 03:06 AM   #17
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Re: Midi controller with endless pots and visual feedback, Novation Nocturn?

So MIDI Fighter Twister is looking close to being released:
[Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]

Hopefully it's not overpriced but then again the existing MIDI Fighter controllers aren't that cheap...

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