MIDI Control Surfaces

This post is mostly for my own reference, but putting it out there for anyone else looking for MIDI control surfaces that can be used with VT5 by way of dhomas’ MIDI-VT software. Much discussion on the NewTek forums here. Primary objective is physical control (as opposed to on-screen) of the VT5’s internal audio mixer, with secondary objectives being able to easily control some remote camera parameters like iris/gain/shutter/focus as well as DDR and capture transport controls.

Here’s what I was able to round up so far — I’m starting to understand why keyboard people are gadget freaks (and often broke):

PreSonus FaderPort, $130. Looks like this would be a great controller for both DDR and Capture modules. Despite not having any MIDI ports, this is in fact a MIDI device, which presents itself to your computer as an independent USB MIDI controller. This could potentially pose a problem if you start getting a lot of these. Price is very attractive.

Novation Zero SL MkII, $400-$500. This one just looks cool. Lots of great feedback features, but I’m not sure the plugin can take advantage of them. Good blend of buttons, knobs, and faders.

Akai APC40, $400-$600. Holy buttons! I want one of these just to program the blinkenbuttons. I’m sure I could find a use for all those buttons.Did I mention buttons?

Korg NanoKontrol, $60. Not a lot of buttons on these, but they’re dirt cheap and you can have a bunch of them for different stuff.

Behringer BCF2000, $150. This offers huge bang for the buck, and the VT5 people love it. It also has a cousin with lots of knobs, the BCR2000. Offers USB MIDI controller as well as traditional MIDI ports.

Evolution UC-33, $150-$200. Can’t seem to get much manufacturer information on this one, wondering if it’s discontinued. Looks similar to the Behringer.

Livid Ohm64, $600. This is just a thing of beauty. Buttons and faders and blue blinkies, oh my!

Any others that you MIDI freaks out there have used and like?

Live Streaming on a Budget (Part 4) – How it works

We started streaming to iPhones today. Huge success, way easier than it ought to be, now that the iPhone does HTTP streaming and Wowza’s V2 software supports everything needed to stream to the FruitFone. All we had to do was shell out $250 to MainConcept for their AAC encoder plugin for Flash Media Live Encoder. (Although we subsequently discovered that there is a bug with the MainConcept encoder that cause audio sync problems on iPhone, so we’ve moved iPhone encoding off to a separate machine)

There are a lot of layers to this onion, so I put together a block diagram that links everything from the cameras to client.