ddddyyyyy wrote:

I agree with comradec

On which point?

My TranzPort arrived today and I'm pleased to report that it's absolutely brilliant.  The USB receiver is actually rather smaller than I'd expected so it's no bothered to keep tucked out of the way with the laptop set-up I'm using.

Configuring it with Ableton Live 8 was no problem at all.  Just a matter of choosing the TranzPort from a drop-down menu and ticking a couple of boxes.  Far easier than other controllers I've tried - and tested quite a few, believe me, including Korg's nanoKONTROL, M-Audio's Axiom and Edirol's PCR300.  Only Akai's MPD32 has been as easy to configure, but that has the major design flaw of omitting a loop control button, which is vital for using Live.

One thing that the TranzPort doesn't have, which I'd have quite liked, is less 'clicky' buttons.  There are, of course, advantages in buttons with a clear and satisfying click - such as providing certainty that you've actually pressed them - but quiet buttons can be useful too, especially in situations where you're messing around with a laptop DAW in a 'social setting' while others around are doing other things, like watching the television.  I guess that rubberised buttons might help achieve that, but then there's usually a greater degree of hit and miss with buttons of that type - sometimes they need pressing twice.

Maybe that's a future product idea for Frontier Design - a MIDI controller you can use quietly without annoying your partner?  Hey, we could sneak a controller like that into the office at work then too.

Oh well, it wasn't such a vital issue for me as I've just ordered myself a Tranzport, which should arrive tomorrow.

A micro-receiver, along the lines used in Logitech's recent mouse/keyboard products, would have been more convenient for my situation, but I accept that's not necessarily the case for all users, whose needs may be different.

I already use an AlphaTrack with Ableton Live 8 on my main desktop computer and will be using the Tranzport with my laptop.

I won't need to use it at great distances from the laptop, let alone inside recording booths and suchlike, but the flexibility offered by wireless connectivity will be very convenient when I'm chilling out on the sofa with my DAW set-up on a little laptop table.

I have one of those Korg nanoKONTROLs at the moment but, despite the attractiveness of its layout, it has turned out to be quite a disappointment in practice.  It's been very fiddly to set up with Live - no templates built in, unfortunately - whereas I know from my experience with the AlphaTrack that Frontier Design controllers are extremely easy to set up with Live.

I'll use it alongside a nanoKEY and nanoPAD, though, as they're pretty good products.

I'm quite interested in the Tranzport but the USB receiver unit seems rather cumbersome.

It's the sort of design one expected to get with a wireless keyboard/mouse combo a few years ago, but these days such devices tend to be even smaller, more like a USB memory stick/pen.

That size would be more convenient for use with a laptop than the current design.

Are there any plans for further miniaturisation?

Thanks.  That did the trick.  Not sure what version of the Cubase plugin I had already but replacing it with v1.07 got it working.

I've recently bought Cubase 5, having previously used my AlphaTrack mainly with Ableton Live.

One thing I've been having problems with, however, is the loop function.

Pressing the loop button on the AlphaTrack causes the loop button on the Cubase interface to change colour, as if it's been activated, but it goes back to normal as soon as I let go of the button on the AlphaTrack.

If the loop function is already activated in Cubase and I press the loop button on the AlphaTrack, this switches off the function.  But it doesn't work the other way round: I can't switch on the loop from the AlphaTrack.

I'm using the unit in AlphaTrack Native mode.

My gear ...
Steinberg Cubase 5; Native Instruments Kontakt 3; MusicLab RealGuitar 2, RealStrat; Sony Sound Forge 9; Extreme Sample Converter 3.  Red Submarine desktop with Intel Core2 Duo E6600 @ 2.4GHz, 4Gb RAM; Microsoft Windows XP SP3 and Vista SP1.  Edirol FA-66 audio interface, M-10DX digital mixer; Lexicon MX200 multi-effects; Zoom H2, Shure SM58 & Marshal Electronics MXL 990 mics; Samson Resolv 50a monitors.  Alesis Fusion 6HD, Micron & ControlPad; Roland Fantom-G6; Waldorf Blofeld; Frontier Design AlphaTrack; M-Audio Trigger Finger.