Our top five announcements of NAMM continues with this black beauty from Livid…
What: 8×4 pad controller with capacitive touch strips, multi colour feedback, and lots of MIDI capability
When: March 2013
Touch strips replacing faders isn’t new new, but this year looks to be the one where everyone gets on board. Livid’s brand new Base controller is one of the new breed, and it looks absolutely awesome. There are bound to be a few comparisons with Ableton’s forthcoming Push controller, but in reality it doesn’t strike me as that similar. You get velocity sensitive pads with multi colour LED feedback, but head-down text feedback is out and traded for head-down visual feedback of what the ‘faders’ are doing. With multi colour leds on the capacitive strips and buttons, using the function buttons on the unit to switch functionality will keep the Base controller and the software you pair it with in harmony and – hopefully – allow you to blaze through fader and knob based control tweaks without having to worry about physical positions or remembering which page you’re on. Imagine having pages, accessed through coloured function buttons, that switch the touch strips colour for increased recognition and function for improved workflow speed. Track level, pan, and EQ bands across eight channels, or perhaps a full compliment of high pass, low pass, and two fully parametric mids on the armed channel (with channel arming set to a pad, even), all dynamically switching and providing feedback directly on the controller.
At $399 Base isn’t cheap, but it’s also got stacks of potential – potential bolstered by Livid’s understanding of the importance of making MIDI input and output as open as possible, extending to MIDI changeable character display. My mind is racing with all the possibilities for head down, quick workflow (16 pads on the left to control note values on the armed channel, 16 on the right for transport, channel selection, insert selection…) so for us, this might just be the biggest thing at NAMM this year. Maybe we’ll have to do some OD awards next time.
Also, is it just me or does the picture of Base create a weird optical illusion that makes it nearly impossible to count the eight columns? I keep getting nine. It’s probably just me.
More: Livid Instruments