Laptop Studio — Music software reviews, news and info for computer music

20 August 2005

Big Knob studio controller

Filed under: Hardware at 11:06 am (1 comment)

Do I really need to explain why I’m writing about this? The Big Knob is a controller from Mackie that features, well, a big knob. It looks more geared to the pro user that to people like me, but I want one anyway just so I can invite people over to my house to see my Big Knob. Oh, the hilarity.

More details from Mackie’s website: The Big Knob is a simple yet powerful desktop audio control center that lets musicians and engineers get right to the business of making music in four major ways: Level Control, Studio Monitor Selection, Input Source Selection and Talkback & Headphone Control.

Precise Level Control
Using a big, convenient volume knob, Big Knob lets you adjust volume levels the way our ancient audio ancestors (Analogus Engineerus) did – with a simple, intuitive knob, not with a mouse and screen. The end result is a higher degree of precision and much quicker level adjustments.

Monitor Selection
When it comes to mixing, pros know it’s best to get a second, and third, opinion. So Big Knob lets you quickly switch between 3 pairs of studio monitors, or 2 studio monitors and a subwoofer, or studio monitors and a home stereo, or any other combination of powered speakers.

Source Selection
On the input side, Big Knob lets you connect up to 4 stereo input sources at once. This means you can simultaneously connect to your computer/DAW outputs, CD player, cassette deck and even a turntable using the premium onboard RIAA preamp. You can even connect keyboards, guitars, drum machines, samplers – anything you’d like to hear – through your monitors. This makes Big Knob great for comparing your mixes-in-progress to your favorite CDs, for archiving your old LPs, jamming along to your favorite tune, and lots more.

Talkback Section & Headphone Control
With its built-in Talkback mic and spring-loaded activation switches, Big Knob lets you quickly communicate with musicians in both the studio and tracking room – no more hand signals through the glass! Big Knob also sports two high-powered headphone outputs with a discrete headphone mix bus, solving the communications needs of most computer-based studios.

All the Right Connections
Although its shiny silver knob is a head-turning feature, Big Knob’s rear panel is equally impressive. There you’ll find three distinct Monitor outputs with individual level control; 2-Track A and 2-Track B stereo outputs with level selection switches; a DAW stereo output for your computer; a Studio output with level control; a Phones Mix input with level selection switch; 2-Track A and 2-Track B Stereo Source inputs with level control; a DAW Mix input from your computer with level control; and even a Phono input with level control for direct connection to your turntable.

Sound Quality
Because Big Knob plays a crucial link between recording output(s) and studio monitors, we placed the utmost importance on pristine, no-compromise sound quality. For this reason, Big Knob features ultra low-noise op amps, extremely low-tolerance components and state-of-the-art surface mount technology. All of this ensures superb sound in critical listening environments and long-term reliability – even under daily, and nightly, studio use.

1 Comment
  1. […] Stylus RMX from Spectrasonics is a music production environment, or “real time groove module” as they call it. It looks good for putting together music quickly, in a GarageBand/Acid kind of way — the timestretching capabilities don’t look as advanced, but it does have some nice features (including a huge library). There’s an emphasis on realtime improvisation and performance. And as you look at the feature list below, notice the “Easy Edit page with Big Knobs”. The Big Knob concept is the way of the future for electronic instruments, both hardware and software. […]

    Stylus RMX real time groove module on 31 August 2005 at 8:39 am

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