DJ Craig Wood Finds Faderport, Creative Utopia Follows
[This just in from DJ Craig Wood, thorough wordsmith and PreSonus advocate. He recently got a FaderPort, and apparently it has changed his life. I recommend going to the kitchen for a minute and making a sandwhich, as in the Twitter-era, this is War and Peace. Not to mean it’s long. I mean it’s a literary classic!]
Hey PreSonus! Below you’ll find my review of the omnipotent controller that is the PreSonus FaderPort. Feel free to publish, post, tattoo, etc!
Having spent several years working “in the box” with Apple Logic 9, my production partner began to view it as a bit of stagnant piece of software in terms of both its functionality as well as its ability to get our creative juices flowing. We decided to jump ship to PreSonus Studio One after having been told by many of our colleagues that we’d be in for a treat. To sweeten the deal, the timing of our new purchase coincided with a PreSonus promotion offering a FREE FaderPort. After spending many hours over the course of a week with this baby, I’m wondering how I could ever live without it.
After many years of hands-on time playing guitar and DJing, there’s nothing I appreciate more than being able to incorporate a bit of tactile response within my little basement studio setup. There’s something refreshing about being able to press the keys of my MIDI keyboard, hit the pads on my Maschine MK2 or turn the knobs of my beloved Virus B module. PreSonus’ FaderPort has certainly found a spot in my “Hall of Things to Touch in a Non-Creepy Way.”
What installation? Seriously. I simply connected the USB and AC power and I was running! I couldn’t get any easier than this. In the interest of full disclosure, I didn’t try FaderPort with my other DAWs, Ableton Live 9 and Logic 9/10… and why would I? Studio One is the sh*t! But I digress.
On the Surface
The controller itself is easy enough to figure out, and comes with the essentials which I will conveniently breakdown in bullet-point fashion to prevent a wall of text from forming:
- A touch-sensitive, silky-smooth motor-controlled (YES, motor-controlled!) fader that makes about as much noise as rubbing your hands together (you’re doing that right now, aren’t you?).
- The standard array of transport/channel buttons (Play, Mute, Solo, etc.) in addition to a bonus “User” button to define your own actions and a “Shift” button to obtain secondary functionality with the transport buttons.
- A row of buttons dedicated to quickly access different window views (goodbye “F” keys!).
- A row of buttons dedicated to navigating the tracks of your mixer…that consequently results in your motorized fader adjusting to match the volume of the respective track. In other words, less screen starting and more fader moving!
- An “endless” pot control for the respective track channel’s balance.
Let me make this perfectly clear: if you own Studio One, you need to own FaderPort. Personally, I like to work fast when inspiration strikes. Being able to keep one hand on my trackpad with the other hand on FaderPort has me working at speeds that would make the Flash bow his head in shame. The ability to quickly access interface windows and physically adjust the volume on any given track is an incredible time-saver. The buttons have a satisfying”click” to them.
While reading this review you may feel as though my tone is a bit shill. I assure you I’m no salesman, just an excited music maker who has taken a strong liking to a simplistically brilliant piece of hardware that works straight out of the box. By eliminating the need to constantly hunt for keyboard shortcuts, I can apply that time saved to the one thing every producer–no matter how famous–strives for: more opportunity to be creative.
About the Guy Who Wrote This
Craig Wood is a nerd who has surrounded himself with technology and music throughout his 32 years on this Earth. He’s one half of the EDM production group that goes by Stepchild. (Shill: Debut EP available on Heavy Artillery Recordings!) He enjoys heavy basslines, drop-kicking mannequins, and writing review bios in the third person. He will not rest until he unleashes his revenge against the six-fingered man.