The Tranzport was a great unit â€“ we filmed the wireless DAW controller in action at NAMM last year. But theyâ€™ve bettered the design with the new Alphatrack which combines several intuitive controls together with some of the more familliar components of the Tranzport.
I must say it looks just the ticket and I for one will be itching to get my hands on it..
Together with LCD feedback from your DAW of choice, you get a a high-resolution fader, true 10-bit resolution for smooth and precise level control. AlphaTrack also has three touch-sensitive encoders, a feature previously found only on high-end gear costing thousands of dollars. These let you adjust track and plug-in parameters while the 32-character backlit display shows detailed feedback in response to your touch. The encoders provide quick control of pans, sends, EQ, plug-ins, and automation.
Where Frontier Designs have broken with the norm of a jog-wheel, is its touch-sensitive jog and shuttle strip. Slide one finger across its surface and your projectâ€™s timeline scrolls in response. Drop a second finger onto the strip, and now your fingers control the timelineâ€™s shuttle speed. Zoom through your project with two fingers, then just lift one finger and slide to quickly set the precise position you want. Sounds great, but weâ€™ll have to see it in practice to be able to comment.
AlphaTrack also has a set of 22 buttons and 21 LEDâ€™s, including standard transport controls, per track record, solo, mute, and automation indication, and encoder mode control. When supported by the computer application, a set of buttons can also be customized with user-programmable functions.
AlphaTrack connects to your computer using just a single USB cable. This makes it quite portable, easy to connect, and compatible with laptops since no additional power supply is needed. AlphaTrackâ€™s backpanel also includes a footswitch jack for easy punch-in recording.
AlphaTrack works on Windows XP and Mac OS X (including Intel Macs) with applications such as Pro Tools, SONAR, Reason, Cubase SX/SL, and Nuendo. Support for more applications will be added regularly.
Expected January 2007 at around $199