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In-depth Feature:  Kenton Control Freak Studio
Rob G writes: .

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External Inputs
As well as the sliders and buttons mentioned so far, the Control Freak also supplies two external inputs. These can be used in one of two ways:

1. Using an external foot pedal (available from Kenton) as a replacement for a switch or fader.
2. As a CV/Gate input for CV-to-MIDI conversion.

Not all configurations of CV/Gate input are supported, so check with Kenton if this is essential to your requirements.

Your reviewer was unable to check either these options, lacking suitable hardware.

Conclusion
When integrating a MIDI Controller into your set-up for the first time, you may well be surprise how much it transforms the process of creating music. Almost every piece of music equipment and software available exposes functionality through MIDI messages, and the ability to automate these through a simple hands-on interface is indeed a liberating experience. Many pieces of otherwise studio-bound equipment suddenly become useable in a live situation, while within the studio the process of editing MIDI, automating sequencers and software synthesisers makes the entire process of making music simpler and more enjoyable.

For the Control Freak in particular, one facility made the unit stand out - the Learn mode used while editing really does save a lot of work. The results do sometimes need a bit of tweaking to get exactly right, but this feature gets you up and running quickly for custom functions. Having tried the same kind of programming on a MIDI controller with almost identical features, I shudder to think of having to hand this one back on the strength of this feature alone.

The supplied manual is generally good, although could have explained the manual editing system a bit more clearly. This is especially a shame as the facilities offered are so good.

The bottom line is that the MIDI Controller is fast becoming an essential piece of equipment for a modern musician. Once you have created profiles for your favourite synthesisers, sequencers, samplers, et al. you will enjoy an unprecedented creative freedom to experiment with your hardware.

The Control Freak is as simple and accessible a MIDI controller as you're likely to see without sacrificing flexibility.

Note: A new ROM version has been released which offers several enhancements.

  • 256 scene memory locations to store fader snapshots for later recall
  • Soft thru function switchable
  • Access to parameters and program changes via control channel. Buttons may be remotely activated via note on/off.

    Web Site:

    http://www.kenton.co.uk

    Price:

    £255.30 Plus taxes

    More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • Kenton's Website
  • mail the author
  • The Virtual Freak Software Editor for Windows PC
  • Control Freak New Profile Downloads
  • Midi Controllers @audioMIDI.com

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