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In-depth Feature:  Kenton Control Freak Studio
Rob G writes: .

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First Impressions
The Control Freak Studio Edition comes with 16 sliders, 16 mute-style buttons, a set of 8 function-style keys (pre-programmed but user-definable ) and a data-entry wheel. The standard Control Freak comes with 8 sliders and 8 mute-style buttons, but there appears to be little other differences between the two versions.

(Control Freak Studio Edition has 64 program locations, whereas Control Freak Original has 128. This is however the same number of slider/button assignments – 2048, not counting f-keys)

At power-up, the Control Freak is in Play mode. In this mode moving the sliders or pressing the "mutes" sends whatever MIDI message has been assigned to that control. The system comes supplied with a number of pre-defined profiles selected using the data wheel, described in the following section. The default power-up set, for example, assigns sliders to volumes on MIDI channels 1-16 and buttons to mutes on the same channel, effectively providing a convenient MIDI mixer.

The 4-customisable function keys are also programmable, for play mode, to transmit any string of MIDI data. These assignments are global and do not change with the programs. Each key can have two assignments associated with it - one used when pressing the button on its own (F1 to F4), the other used when pressing the button in conjunction with a Shift key (F5 to F8). The default assignments are as follows:

Key Description
F1 Internal Clock – Continue
F2 Internal Clock - Stop
F3 Internal Clock - Start
F4 Internal Program - go to Program 0
F5 MMC Rewind
F6 MMC Stop
F7 MMC Play
F8 MMC Fast Forward

Moving a slider or pressing a button (mute or function) displays the name stored with the patch for that slider, making it quick to learn a particular configuration. It is also possible to suppress MIDI signals while moving a slider or button - handy for checking slider/button assignments.

Pressing "Store" while in Play mode instantly sends the current positions of all 16 channels over MIDI.

Some of the pre-defined profiles or custom profiles will operate on MIDI channels 1-16 (for example volume/mute). Others, such as synthesiser parameters operate on a global MIDI channel. (MIDI channels can be defined at three levels – global, which is the default, program, or individual slider/button, which is the highest priority and will override any previous MIDI channel)

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More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • Kenton's Website
  • mail the author
  • The Virtual Freak Software Editor for Windows PC
  • Control Freak New Profile Downloads
  • Midi Controllers

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