I am a mouse and keyboard shortcut guy. I work faster sitting in front of a LCD screen than in front of a hardware mixer. If your an Ableton Live user I highly recommend opening Live, go to the Help menu and select Read the Live Manual… Next, head directly to Chapter 26 “Live Keyboard Shortcuts” and start memorizing.
For those of you who still want to touch some knobs there is an interesting new device from Vestax that was announced at NAMM. The VCM600 was designed in partnership with Ableton and it’s specific use is Live.
There are lots of controllers out there and almost all of them will work Ableton Live but this one is in my radar for a few reasons. First off, it’s designed for Live. Second, Vestax is a on a roll lately. Have you seen the VCM-100/VCI-100? Highly gearlustable DJ controllers that match Apple’s Macbook Pro line perfectly. The third reason is: metal. These things are made of metal. The faders sit and slide in a metal chassis. Lastly, check out the sides of the unit. From underneath the curved edges is a row of white LEDs that light up the face of the unit in the dark. Wicked!
If you buy a hardware controller it’s for how it looks and feels. The new Vestax makes me want to touch it. That said, I’m still sticking with my Matias Tactile Pro Keyboard and Apple Mighty Mouse.
Check out a video of the VCM600 from NAMM:
Do you use an external controller for mixing?