As I said in the previous post regarding the X-Touch Compact, my first attempt at controlling Mixbus with an external MIDI controller didn’t go so well. I went ahead and ordered the larger X-Touch and got a slightly used unit on eBay. The seller posted a photo of the very latest version (with colored buttons) but he shipped an earlier version. It wasn’t a huge deal… I actually prefer the earlier version, as all the pretty colors makes the latest X-Touch look kind of toylike.
My new-to-me Behringer Xtouch controller running Mixbus. The earlier and less-colorful version looks slightly more upscale.
But the biggest question was, “will it work?” The short answer is- oh Hell yes. The darned thing works great straight out of the box. Kudos to Ben Loftis and the other folks on the Mixbus team for their programming efforts. Most of what you need to know about setting up and using this controller is covered in their videos. Their application of Mixbus to this particular controller is very intuitive, nearly all of the commands follow the printed legends on the controller, and you can get to just about every adjustment you’ll want to make via the controller. You’ll still need the keyboard and mouse to open files and name tracks- a laptop riser like this is on my radar, or perhaps a sliding tray shelf- but once I hit “play,” I rarely need to reach for the mouse.
While I’ve only been using this thing for a few days, I’m already hooked/spoiled. I can’t imagine running Mixbus without it. It makes adjusting parameters much faster, and I can concentrate more on the music and less on operating the program. The little rectangular “scribble strip” displays under the top rotary encoders are a huge help… the control surface can scroll through different sections of the program, and these displays tell me at a glance where I’m at and what each encoder does.
A big plus is the price point. I got mine for about $360. I’m sure an Avid S3 would be much cooler, but since music mixing is done more for fun that money these days, I’m like many musicians and am forced to keep costs under control.
I haven’t gotten the chance to see if this controller will work with any of my other programs, but that doesn’t really matter to me since Mixbus is where I need this most. I’ve wanted a controller that works with Mixbus since version 1.1, and finally I’ve got one that works well. And while I haven’t mixed on a real Harrison console for many years now, this will probably be as close as I’m ever going to get. Thanks, Harrison!
I’ve just taken delivery of a new Behringer XTouch compact controller to help with the mixing duties on my DAW. I tried this some years ago with an early version of Mixbus, but I never could get the program and the computer to work together. I ended up selling the controller and resigned myself to mouse-mixing, which I don’t particularly love, but since I don’t have access to my analog mixing setup, it’s mouse-mixing or nothing. Then I stumbled upon this video that Harrison posted outlining the setup procedure for Mixbus 3.4 with this same controller. Looks like Harrison has done a lot of work to the program to make controller integration fairly easy. I haven’t set it up yet, so it remains to be seen if it actually works in real life as well as it does in the videos, but I’m fairly confident that it’ll work.
I bought the smaller “compact” version of the X touch, since space is somewhat at a premium and the additional controls found in the larger version are mainly transport functions. I don’t mind using the mouse and keyboard for that… it’s been forever since I used a jog and shuttle wheel to locate edit points, and a mouse feels faster and more accurate. But we’ll see- I can always sell this one and get the larger version if I feel I need more buttons.
I’ll add a more comprehensive post once I’ve used this setup for awhile, so stay tuned.
UPDATE… And as usual, I’ve learned that while this unit works, my choice wasn’t the best choice for Mixbus. It allows fader control, pan, mute/solo/record ready, and transport buttons, but no EQ control. The larger, more expensive X Touch is a far more capable unit, plus it has the added bonus of label displays for the rotary encoders, so you can tell exactly what you’re controlling- important because the unit has several layers, so depending ot the setting, the rotary encoders control pan, individual channel EQ, or individual channel compressor dynamics. So this unit is currently listed for sale on eBay, hopefully I won’t lose TOO much money on it.
A new Behringer X-touch controller, just off the truck!
Working in Chattanooga this week with Dan Jacobs and Humanaut on an Organic Valley campaign.
Here are a few videos I worked on last fall for a band called Spinster. Three sisters, all classically trained, living in Chattanooga, Portland OR, and Costa Rica until recently. They’ve all relocated to Chattanooga to concentrate on the band for a year. I’m hoping that we can get some more songs recorded in the coming months.
We used several microphones that I built on this recording, and we used the Watts Polyribbon on vocals and upright bass. I was quite pleased with the way it turned out, though I could’ve gotten a little bit crazier if we’d done some overdubs and added a few more tracks. This performance was recorded with six tracks, straight to “tape” (straight to CF card, actually) using my Sound Devices 664 recorder. Minimal post processing, it was mixed using Harrison Mixbus with Universal Audio’s EMT140 plate reverb and LA4a compressor plug-ins, though most of the reverb is coming from open mics in the burned-out house where we recorded. Noise reduction was provided by Izotope RX5 Pro processing suite.
After many years of living in the Chattanooga market and working in the Atlanta/Nashville/Knoxville area, I have relocated my base of operation to a new house in Tybee Island, GA., just outside of Savannah. I can now work as a local in Savannah, Jacksonville, Charleston S.C., and Columbia, S.C.
While I’ll still be available to work with clients in Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville, I can’t do this for single-day shoots- the driving distance is just too far. If you really want me for a single day, I’ll have to charge two travel days and a room in addition to my normal day rate. Multiple days are negotiable.