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In-depth Feature:  JL Cooper CS-32
Nick B writes: .

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In Operation

Null indicator
If you’ve read any of my other reviews, you’ll know how I feel about small pieces of equipment – they appeal to the blokey gadget freak side of my personality - lets face it, you must know what I’m talking about or you probably wouldn’t even be visiting this site. The thought of being able to control my software so completely from such a small unit is most appealing. To be honest, the transport control and Jog/Shuttle wheel alone are almost a good enough reason to own one but add to this the extra functions and surprising amount of visual feedback you’ll find this a handy item to pop in the laptop bag along with your micro USB or FireWire audio interface for that portable setup.

To get the full benefit of CS-32, you’ll need to dedicate a separate MIDI bus (in and out). Primarily because the Null LEDs give you the feedback to show where your fader is in relation to the value of it’s software counterpart, assuming that your software supports this – ProTools of course, will and Nuendo and Cubase SX – although I was unable to verify this. This is no great hardship, with most of the current control surfaces having this requirement – Mackie, Houston etc. Once I had hooked the unit up to ProTools, it was a simple matter of selecting the CS-10 under the peripheral menu and I was off. Fader control, mute, solo and pan all worked fine so I found it pretty straightforward to setup a quick balance. The NULL LEDs are very handy in a setup where the Mixer screen is not totally visible as you can figure out which direction you need to push the fader to reach your start point. The fader values are only transmitted when you pass through the Null point. Fader grouping also displays on the CS-32, when you select one of a fader group, all corresponding channels light up their select LED.

Jog and Shuttle also worked fine, with fine control of audio scrubbing possible. The only real downside I could find was the fact that the faders are so small that the plastic ends are quite pointy and cause a little discomfort on repeated use. Maybe a plastic cap like the old Electro Harmonix micro-synth would soften the ends a little for a long session, or perhaps I’m being wimpy and repeated use will harden up my office boy fingers..

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • JL Cooper Web
  • Download the manual (PDF)
  • CS-32 Direct
  • CS-32 Direct

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