TranzPort Quote

“There are very few ‘must have’ studio accessories at the moment, but if your studio is based around a compuoter, this has to be one of them!”

Paul White, Sound On Sound, July 2005

Quick Facts

  • Wireless DAW control: operate your computer-based digital audio workstation from anywhere in your studio
  • Compatible with Mac® and Windows®
  • Supports Pro Tools®, Logic®, Cubase®, Digital Performer®, Sonar™ and other DAW software applications
  • Two-way interface: get timecode position, track name/number, track volume, pan settings and more via backlit LCD display and LED indicators
  • Uses high-frequency RF technology: no wires or line-of-sight required, and no added interference
  • Dedicated buttons for often-used functions, including transport controls, marker/locate buttons, track control (level, pan, solo, mute, record arm) and more
  • Operates on AA batteries
  • Small, lightweight design
  • Footswitch input
  • Microphone stand mount, custom padded carrying bag, and standard footswitch are available from the on-line store
Pro Audio Review PAR Excellence Award Mix Certified Hit Award EQ Exceptional Quality Award Special Innovation Award Keyboard Key Buy Electronic Musician 2006 Editors Choice 2006 EEC Award Nominee 2007 Remix *Simple Genius* Technology Award

Rarely do I review a product and know I'll be buying it within the first five minutes, but the TranzPort wireless DAW controller from Frontier Design Group is one such gem.

What I like most about the TranzPort is that it provides a lot of functionality beyond basic transport/locator functions for a very large list of diverse applications...

...one of those rare products that's an instant must-have after trying it. Anyone using a computer for audio in the studio or on stage will want one...

Fett, Performing Songwriter, May 2007

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The TranzPort by Frontier Design is incredibly useful, and an unbelievable bargain. This can greatly increase your productivity -- it did for me in just the two sessions I used it in. I normally don't get too excited about accessories -- some are hype, some disappoint in performance or durability, and some simply cost too much for me to get too excited about. But the TranzPort blew me away.

Joe Shambro, About.com: Home Recording, April 2007

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The functions and programming capabilities outlined here should give you a sense of the power nestled within the TranzPort’s diminutive enclosure, but there’s more—lots more—and I heartily recommend you explore its capabilities for yourself. This is truly one of those “why didn’t anyone think of this before” innovations.

Barry Cleveland, Guitar Player Magazine, October 2006

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Receives Spencer Critchley's rare "Flow Award"

Basically, I love it. But given that I'm working with a free review unit here, let me pause to put myself in the imaginary position of having paid for it. The TranzPort would have cost me about $200.

Still love it.

Spencer Critchley, O'Reilly Digital Media, July 2006

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The highly recommended TranzPort is one of those "what-if" products that somebody finally created. The low priced, reliable unit looks and feels totally professional and offers a host of intelligent features in a simple, ergonomic fashion.

Frontier is very active in adding new features to the TranzPort's drivers and expanding its DAW support-a great sign of a company standing behind its product.

Jason Scott Alexander, Remix Magazine, April 2006

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Receives "2006 Editors' Choice" Award for MIDI/DAW Control Surface.

Want to get away? Now you can—with a wireless remote control surface.

We love products that provide a distinctive and elegant solution to a common problem, and TranzPort certainly fits that description. That's why it was one of our favorite new studio tools in 2005.

Electronic Musician Magazine, January 2006

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Given the Key Buy award.

Slick as all get-out.

There's really nothing to recommend against the TranzPort; if you find yourself in need of a way to control your musicmaking computer from afar, this is as close to ideal as I can imagine for the price of just two bills.

It's excellent.

Ken Hughes, Keyboard Magazine, November 2005

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The installation was a breeze and I was up and running wire-free in a matter of minutes

The more I use it, the more I like it. The TranzPort simply makes studio life easier.

Anytime I can drastically improve the performance of my studio and only spend 200 bucks, I'm game. This is definitely the case with the TranzPort.

Russ Long, Pro Audio Review, October 2005

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Overall, the TranzPort offers an elegant and unique solution for remote recording at an incredibly low price.

It’s convenient to have such a compact device-especially one that’s wireless-with many functions screened right on the controls.

One of the TranzPort’s most valuable features is its excellent multisegment LCD level meters.

TranzPort’s overall reliability was solid

Michael Cooper, Electronic Musician, October 2005

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Bottom line: This box is a must have.

If you use a DAW, this is one gadget that is going to make your life a whole lot easier.

... Nothing else out there does what the TranzPort does, and it sells at a price anyone can justify. ... That makes it a no-brainer for the EQ Exceptional Quality Award.

Phil O''Keefe, EQ Magazine, October 2005

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Freedom at last for DAW users for under $200.

Believe the hype. This is the shizzle. If you have a DAW, you should run, not walk, and order a TranzPort. The TranzPort is too cool for school. This is a no-brainer, must-have for anyone with a DAW, and an indispensable tool for the 21st-century studio.

The TranzPort has been awarded Studio Reviews' "2005 Product of the Year."

Dan Richards, Studio Reviews Magazine, August 2005

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TranzPort is freedom in a box. It lets you operate your DAW from a distance—without having to worry about annoying cables—has comprehensive and well-labeled controls and adapts well to different software.

It doesn’t take long to find the TranzPort indispensable, especially if you sing or play an instrument other than keyboard. It gives you the ability to position a mic away from a noisy computer, get your guitar or bass away from the monitor, play drums along with your tracks, or simply untangle yourself. Even if you choose to remain close to the computer, the jog wheel and function buttons are faster than typical keyboard/mouse operations. TranzPort is a very well-executed and useful device that more than lives up to its mission.

Emile Menasché, Future Music Magazine, August 2005

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The TranzPort is one of those rare items that is both in the “Why hasn’t this existed before?” and the “Everyone needs one of these!” categories.

I can’t say enough about the TranzPort. It’s extremely easy to use and has way more features than I would ever ask for at this price. Even the industrial design is nice—a solid piece of equipment that you wouldn’t feel embarrassed about handing to a client. Everyone needs one of these.

Jeff Robbins, Tape Op, July/Aug 2005

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Ever since I first saw the prototype TranzPort, I knew that I needed one. When I visit music trade shows, I tend to evaluate products by how likely they are to have my credit card levitating out of my packet, and in this case I had to climb up and drag it back from the ceiling!

For anyone using one of the supported DAWs who needs a simple hardware transport controller, the TranzPort is ideal, but its remote capabilities make it much more useful than a simple desktop controller. It does exactly as claimed without fuss, and the designers seem to have covered exactly the right key features required for general control and overdubbing, without falling into the trap of making the unit too complicated or too expensive. I’d recommend it to anyone – but not before I’ve bought one for myself!

Summary: There are very few ‘must have’ studio accessories at the moment, but if your studio is based around a computer, this has to be one of them!

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Another cool workstation controller was at Frontier Design Group's booth. This company is best known for low-cost format converters and PCI audio cards, as well as helping Tascam design its FW-1884 DAW control surface. Frontier's TranzPort is a 1-pound, 6×7-inch wireless box with about two dozen buttons, a two-line LCD screen, a plug for a foot switch and a big wheel. “When you're sitting at the drums and ready to do a take, the last thing you want to have to do is get up and go over to your computer and put it in Record,” said one of the demonstrators. “So now you can do it with this.” It uses 2.4GHz radio signals for communication, not infrared light (and not Bluetooth, either), which means it can go through walls, and claims a typical range of better than 30 feet. Data flows in both ways, so the unit will display things like timecode numbers and track names.

Support for Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, Digital Performer and Sonar is already onboard, with other applications coming soon (Reason and Live were mentioned) and there's some customize-ability built in. The receiver unit, which is smaller than a business card, hooks up to the computer via USB. TranzPort uses four AA batteries, and its makers boast that it's so energy-conservative, it doesn't need a power switch, although there is an automatic power-down sequence. The company hopes to ship it by the end of January at a price of around $200.

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The Frontier Design Group was demonstrating a prototype of the Tranzport (price TBA), a wireless DAW controller that was one of the coolest products of the show. Designed to control popular DAW software such as Digidesign Pro Tools, MOTU’s Digital Performer, Apple’s Logic, Steinberg Cubase, and others; Tranzport features controls for transport, locate, track control, track arm, and more. It uses high-frequency radio-wave technology that allows you to control your DAW from anywhere in your studio without any line-of-sight issues. The Tranzport should be available in sometime early 2005, and the company hopes to bring it to market with a list price around $200.

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The most talk about “new toy” was the Tranzport wireless DAW remote control. What part-time couch potato can resist this? Compatible with either Macs or PCs, the Tranzport works with most any software DAW application like Pro Tools, Logic, Sonar, Cubase, Digital Performer and more. The unit uses an RF link not infrared so it works all around your studio and through walls.

This is a two-way interface with a backlit LCD display that shows timecode position; a single track and name; track level; pan position and more. You can punch in/out, drop markers, solo, mute, and operate all the DAW transport controls from anywhere within range of the small radio transceiver connected to a USB port back at your DAW computer. If you add wireless headphone monitoring and a talkback button and you really could “phone it in!” (Maybe the next version?)

With footswitch input, stand mount and small size, Tranzport will be an instant hit for any musician working at home. And at $199 MSRP, look for this one to be a big sensation at Winter NAMM 2005!

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