Best interface for SW synths w/ a Mac?

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Best interface for SW synths w/ a Mac?

Post by cjgrier » Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:59 pm


After weeks of diligent research on this topic, I am actually more confused than when I started, if only because I now know about more options but don't have the hands-on experience to evaluate them.

I have a Mac and a bunch of softsynths. But I'm a dedicated hardware person. I like my knobs and faders, y'know?

So what's a good interface to plug into my Mac to give me a lot of knob-and-fader action for my software?

I strongly prefer one knob/button/fader-per-function interfaces. It's why, for example, I like my Moog Rogue better than a lot of the fancy-schmancy stuff. I'm a performance-oriented guy, so I really don't dig the whole push-and-twist-and-hunt-for-the-preset type thing.

Surely, there have to be some strong opinions on this in this here joint.

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Re: Best interface for SW synths w/ a Mac?

Post by thealien666 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:40 pm

You want my strong opinion ? I've tried them, but never liked software synths. I'd rather have a roomful of finicky old hardware machines than hear imitations of those on a computer.
Moreover, the lack of resolution of MIDI CC messages makes it a poor experience at fine tweaking of virtual knobs, even via external hardware MIDI controllers.
Some software emulators offer very high resolution of their knobs on screen, but I've never felt comfortable using them.

I'm on a Mac too, and I don't even own a MIDI interface for it, even though I have several MIDI capable hardware synths. I record everything the old fashion way: track by track, via the stereo audio input, in Audacity at 96khz 32 bits float, and convert down to 44k 16 bits when exporting.

So as for the best interface for SW synths on a Mac, I'm sorry but I can't be of much help there...
Moog Minimoog D (1975)
DSI Prophet REV2
Oberheim Matrix-6
Ensoniq SQ-80
Korg DW8000
Behringer DeepMind 12
Alesis Ion

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Re: Best interface for SW synths w/ a Mac?

Post by sunny pedaal » Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:29 pm

the korg ms20 legacy hardware usb controller maybe ?
lots of knobs and controllerpots to steer your minimoogV .
only midic/127 steps, but don't cost a lot either

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Re: Best interface for SW synths w/ a Mac?

Post by johnll » Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:44 pm

I've used an ancient M-Audio Oxygen 25 for years. I used the 25 because it was portable, but it only has 8 knobs, plus mod and pitch wheel. Also, they aren't endless rotary. I use this with the G-Force Oddity (an Odyssey emulator). Works fine.

You could try the 49 which give you some sliders as well, but it's a longer keyboard.

If you look on the Phatty forum, I think you'll find a posting on the Slim Phatty that says that this Novation Rig is useful for mapping to a lot more knobs: ... rs/sl-mkii

If you like the boutique and made-in-the-USA crowd, maybe this would give you the look you like:

Hope that helps!

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Re: Best interface for SW synths w/ a Mac?

Post by Wesley » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:27 pm

I am using an M-Audio Axiom 61 to control soft synths and hardware synths. It has faders, rotary knobs, buttons and pad controllers. It has 20 programs that can be set up to provide control over different parameters in each program. I am happy with the unit.

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