Is Faderfox’s new UC44 universal controller too pricy?
Lots of faders, buttons and knobs, and a case to carry them in - but is it too pricy?
The Faderfox UC44 is a MIDI controller board supplied in a rather nice attaché case. It’s the kind of thing James Bond would use to hack into an evil DJ’s performance set. Unfortunately, we’re talking Roger Moore rather than Daniel Craig.
They call it a universal controller as it will control anything, well anything that responds to the data generated by a MIDI controller. It has 8 physical knobs, 16 faders and 35 buttons. The encoders can be switched into 32 groups giving the UC44 potential control over 512 parameters. That’s a lot of knob fiddling.
Each of the knob encoders has a two-digit LED read-out to show values and programming data. They are also 14-bit resolution making them suitable for more than the regular 128 MIDI values. It’s all extremely programmable and serious. There’s a template for Ableton Live that will get you controlling everything you need. Honestly, other than the case, it leaves me a bit cold.
I have a dislike for 60mm faders. It seems really crowded in there. The buttons are featureless, packed in and a bit squashed. Even the potentially cool LED displays kind of give it a retro look but in a bad way, in an 80’s way when technology lacked any kind of style or design.
It’s €599 inc VAT which is a lot! The Behringer X-Touch controller is about the same price but for motorised, touch sensitive 100mm faders, jog wheel, Mackie control and a much better layout. So i’m unconvinced by this controller in a Fader box UC44.
More information available on the Faderfox UC44 webpage.
Well, I do respect this opinion-review, but based on my experience I disagree. I’ve been using Faderfox PC and UC 44 for more than a year and they are the most useful controllers I’ve ever had. Depends what you’re using them for.
I tour a lot. First of all, aluminum enclosure with included lid lets me drop them in my suitcase without caring too much. That is an amazing feature. Really, my friends carry their controllers with way less features around in heavy flight cases. I’ve traveled to 10+ countries with lots of shows with my Faderfoxes and they look like brand-new.
I agree – faders are packed together, but you get used to it after a while and now it feels very “natural” to me. Encoders are great. Buttons provide tactile feedback. I like them a lot.
Btw, you get good at what you practice, right? I see that a lot of people constantly buy new gear with the hope that it will make them perform better. Ok, won’t go into that.
Long-throw faders are good, I love 100mm faders and I’ve even built controllers with 250mm custom-made faders, but there are cases where shorter faders are better for the application. Again, it depends.
Build quality is exceptional, it’s simply “the best” and this controller is the most flexible one I’ve ever had (I’ve had many).
Now, we land at the problematic price. Mattias (faderfox) does not make mainstream controllers. He designs them with love and passion and does not necessarily try to tailor them to the needs of constantly-complaining mass of amateur users to sell as many units as he can. Faderfox is a boutique product with boutique price. I’m not rich, not at all, but I saved up a bit and bought my controllers. It’s an exceptionally-well-made product that lasts forever (know from my colleagues), bombs you with features and is easily reparable.