Its a funny thing that after having spent a good few hours comparing different MIDI controllers (far too much ruddy time in fact) that I came up with some ways of making more use out of the controllers I already have in the studio, case in point being the Novation Nocturn. I had considered buying a controller with motorized faders and an LCD screen (last weeks post ala ICON Qcon series) but having looked at the intro video for Avids Artist mix I saw how you can create ‘mixer sets’ (basically customizable sets of channels you can bring up with the click of a mouse). This is something I can do with the Nocturn and Cubase’s built in mixer presets and it also ties in with what I’ve been reading in Mixing Secrets for the Small studio about starting to mix using only the most important elements and adding more as you go. This is a real benifit to using computers, we dont need large desks, its possible to view only the tracks you are currently mixing. I really like the small footprint this method has on the desktop and the fact it uses no moving (machine) parts.
The second case in point; the Nocturn having only dials and a crossfader I considered picking up one of these so I could make use of a channel fader if needed but the crossfader on the Nocturn can be used as a fader when grouped with Cubases’ built in Quick Controls :)
Finally in another related studio efficiency issue I decided not to go ahead with building the pop-up live room in the bedroom adjacent to the studio (see here for details). I’d really only be using it for the occasional session musician and recording some of my on instrument playing but I can do both of these using the corner in the studio the drum kit is currently idling away in, as each situation arises (I’ll call it the session corner or some such shit to satisfy the OCD demons in me…).