AlphaTrack Quote

“Wow!” “Cool!” “Now that really looks nice.”

First words out of some music retailers' mouths when seeing AlphaTrack

Quick Facts

  • Optimized for fast, high-quality DAW mixing and editing in a small footprint
  • Intuitive, innovative, and powerful controls in an attractive package
  • 100mm touch-sensitive, high-resolution (true 10-bit positions) motorized fader
  • Three touch-sensitive encoders ... context-specific feedback appears on the 32-character backlit display
  • Innovative touch-sensitive jog and shuttle strip for fast timeline control
  • 22 buttons and 21 LED's for track-specific and global functions
  • Works with Pro Tools®, Sonar™, Cubase®, Reason™, Digital Performer®, Nuendo®, and other DAW software applications
  • Works on Windows XP and Mac OS X computers (Mac OS 10.3.9 or later), including Intel Macs
  • Footswitch input on back panel
  • No external power adapter required ... single USB connection and small size make it great for laptops!
Computer Music Performance Award iXBT Original Design Award 2008 Remix Technology Award 2008 Editors Choice Award

AlphaTrack Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does it work with laptops?
  2. What's that horizontal strip under the transport buttons?
  3. Can I use more than one AlphaTrack with my DAW?
  4. How far can the AlphaTrack be from the computer?
  5. If I unplug and replug the AlphaTrack on the Windows machine, why do my applications no longer find it?
  6. How large is AlphaTrack?
  7. What is the philosophy behind using continuous-turn, touch-sensitive encoders?
  8. Where should I put the AlphaTrack? To the left of my keyboard? To the right of my mouse? In between them?
  9. Compare and contrast TranzPort with AlphaTrack.

Does it work with laptops?

Does it ever! Since AlphaTrack is a small, lightweight device, and since it is powered over its USB cable (with no external power adapter required), it is the perfect companions for laptop musician who need to work on the go.

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What's that horizontal strip under the transport buttons?

That's our unique touch-sensitive jog and shuttle strip. It can detect when it is touched by your finger, and can also determine if you are using one finger or two (spaced slightly apart). It is typically used to control the project timeline, much like a jog/shuttle wheel, only faster. Put two fingers down on it and you're ready to shuttle. Slide them a bit to the right, and you shuttle slowly to the right. Slide further right and go faster, or left and slow down and even go backwards. Now lift one finger, with just one finger touching, and you directly control the timeline. Scroll left or right to place the “now” time precisely where you want it.

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Can I use more than one AlphaTrack with my DAW?

Sorry, but no. You can use just one AlphaTrack on a given computer.

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How far can the AlphaTrack be from the computer?

While it comes with a 6' (1.8 m) cable, you can use any approved USB cable with it. Standard USB cables of up to 16' (5 m) are readily found, and active extension cables can take you even farther.

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If I unplug and replug the AlphaTrack on the Windows machine, why do my applications no longer find it?

Bet you’re not using Service Pack 2, right? If so, we strongly recommend that you get this upgrade which includes a fix for this operating system bug, along with many other useful fixes.

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How large is AlphaTrack?

Smaller than a breadbox. In fact it is about 8.5" x 6" x 3" (22 cm x 15 cm x 7.5 cm) and weighs just over one pound (510 grams).

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What is the philosophy behind using continuous-turn, touch-sensitive encoders?

We were hoping someone would ask! (OK, so this ain't a Frequently Asked Question, but we wish it was!) Many music-oriented computer peripherals have rotary knobs for control. Our three rotary knobs are attached to continuous-turn encoders, not limited-turn potentiometers. They can instantaneously be mapped to different parameters and turned to increment or decrement those parameters, as opposed to limited-turn pots. When they are mapped to a different parameter and turned, the system puts out a fixed value corresponding to the knob's position, and the parameter typically jumps, inelegantly, to that value.

With AlphaTrack we've “kicked it up a notch,” or two, by providing a display right above the knobs for parameter name and value feedback, and by making the knobs touch-sensitive. Just put your finger a knob and the system can respond by instantly showing more detailed name and value information on the display, showing a large bar graph or a more precise numeric value or a longer name. It's just plain easier to use!

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Where should I put the AlphaTrack? To the left of my keyboard? To the right of my mouse? In between them?

After extensive research and testing, we have determined the optimal location of the AlphaTrack. It is wherever you want it! Seriously, it seems like everyone who tries it has their own way of using it, and they are all correct. Some folks even like to sit back in the speaker sweet spot with the AlphaTrack in their lap while fine tuning their mixes. “It's all good.”

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Compare and contrast TranzPort with AlphaTrack.

What are you, my high school English teacher??? Actually, it's pretty easy. TranzPort is wireless and is designed to help you record tracks from anywhere in your studio. AlphaTrack is designed to speed your editing and mixing workflow, -- by giving you maximum control over your tracks, effects, and instruments, while consuming a minimum of desktop space.

You know, it might just make sense to have them both.

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