The ultra-compact but loaded Faderfox controllers have a cult following among lovers of Ableton Live and Traktor DJ. They’re the rare controllers that actually seem to have been designed around software, with smart buttons for triggering Live scenes and clips, a slick X/Y joystick, and the essential knobs and faders just where you want them.

They’ve been nearly impossible to get outside Europe, though, until now: Robotspeak has picked up US distribution. And if that weren’t enough good news for Faderfox fans, new models are on the way.

Faderfox at Robotspeak, San Francisco

Lucky Californians with their awesome music stores, while we have to make do with Guitar Center and Sam Ash in New York. Anyway, they’ll be happy to ship around the U.S. These controllers will cost you US$300 each, but it could be worth it: as Robotspeak says, they’re “much higher build quality and feature some really well thought out features which, we feel, make them worth the money.” You can blame the fact that the dollar is so weak against the Euro.

Robotspeak also ships internationally, so if you’re not in the US or Europe, you might want to compare to get the best deal.

More good news: if you’re longing for new and improved features, more Faderfoxes are coming later this year. I had lamented the lack of a crossfader on the updated Live controller (the first-generation model had one); it’ll be back in an updated model, or you can combine the Live and DJ controller if you can’t wait. Mathias of Faderfox tells CDM:

a new version of LV2 named LC2 is in the development pipeline and will be available in december. LC2 will have a crossfader instead the upper button row on LV2.

else you can try the combination LV2/DJ2 to have a LIVE-DJ-controller-set. a setup file for this team is in the package.

another new babies are LD2 with 16 push encoders, also a LIVE extension controller and SY2 synth controller with 4 push encoders + led crown, 4 pots, stick, minikeyboard. the synth controller will have a one octave mini keyboard with led’s for each button so you can see which notes are currently held.
it’s similar to the keyboard on LX2 except the led’s. all will be available in december (before christmas)

And all the current and future controllers will be fully compatible with Ableton Live 6. I say August is never too early to add to your Christmas list. In the meantime, you can vote in comments: should I review the current models for CDM right now, or wait for the next-gen models?

Related:

  1. David Cross’ Retro-Styled DJ MIDI Controller for Ableton Live
  2. Jason Kramer’s Custom MIDI Control Box
  3. Monodeck II: Ableton Live Controller by Monolake
  4. Control Live with your PSP
  • http://www.iteratemusic.com/ Steven Jarvis

    Why wait? The current generation is fantastic! I have the LV2 and the LX2. The LV2 has revolutionized how I use Live, both live and in the studio. The LX2, it turns out, doesn't work as well for the way I use Live. I use more scenes than individual clips. I imagine I'll replace the LX2 with an LD2 or SY2 (or both!) when they arrive.

    I say review the current ones now then review the new ones when they come out — the best of both worlds.

  • http://www.iteratemusic.com/ Steven Jarvis

    And I forgot to mention: Mathias (Mr. Faderfox) will ship to the US, too. If you order more than one unit or also order accessories, it makes the shipping costs less damaging. RobotSpeak is good, too, though. You can't go wrong either way.

  • http://www.rolandreinke.com roland

    I have the first generation Faderfox LV1 and LX1 and couldn't do without them anymore. They're great – I love the 8 faders on the LV1 as opposed to just 6 on the new version.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Yeah, it's disappointing that the LV2 ditched two faders and the crossfader — I think the more substantial faders just wouldn't fit.

    On the other hand, I have a Novation Remote SL which handles basic fading nicely. So I'm actually thinking about the DJ controller with the LX2.

    Thanks, Roland!

  • http://www.short-b.us/ maz

    I ordered the DJ2 from robot speak the moment I got my new job. Lucky for me they're just a hop skip and a jump away from me. (I was living in the Tenderloin, they're located in lower haight).

    I absolutely love it and plan on picking up a LV2 when I have the extra cash, but think operator and simpler would be a better purchase at the moment.

  • Pingback: Create Digital Music » Circuit-Bent Glitchy Teletubby with Games in His Belly

  • http://unrecnow.com/hiddennoise marc

    I'd love it if they made usb faderfoxes… ones that were bus powered + transmitted MIDI.

    i am on a mission to eliminate cord clutter!

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Well, for power you can run for a long, long time off batteries, so it's mainly the MIDI connection. There are ways of reducing cables even with the MIDI connection.

    I'm getting the DJ2 + LX2, so stay tuned to see how that works out.

  • cobalt

    Peter, it would be interesting to hear more about Faderfox itself, plans for US distribution, potential market for Live- and Traktor-specific hardware, collaboration between Faderfox and Ableton around the new product releases, etc. It seems that Faderfox is discontinuing the first generation, so I'd vote for waiting for the new models before reviewing them.

    As for MIDI or USB, I'd rather skip USB and head straight for OSC. That would facilitate all kinds of things, including much easier ways of creating interaction between musicians on a very basic control and audio processing level.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    For now, US distribution = Robotspeak. I know the Ableton guys like the Faderfoxes and you can even buy a bundle now; I don't know if there's any real collaboration beyond that.

    I'm a big fan of OSC, but for use with Live it'll require the efforts of both Ableton and a hardware maker. I think they also have to see a killer app to convince them its worthwhile. Something like the Faderfox has pretty fixed assignments and works just fine with MIDI. What could be the killer app? Not sure yet; even the Lemur is used with Live via MIDI.

    The units I just got shipped are the second-generation units. The "third generation" will include the new models Mathias talks about above, one of which will supplant the current LV2 (the others will just supplement existing models, as I understand it).

    Hope this is helpful.

  • gbc02

    Now, the question is, who does the Canadian distribution, Rephlex Audio? JK James.

    Actually I have been interested in the FaderFoxes for some time, I just want to know if I can get them in Canada or I should wait something similar from Reflex Audio since I like to buy local.

  • http://www.rolandreinke.com roland

    The price of these things in the US is actually mind-blowing. I paid something in the region of 150 € – big difference! ;-)

  • http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk Rob

    Dolphin Music can supply these units form stock. We have been working Mathias for over a year now and our customers really love his products!

  • http://myspace.com/tricil tricil

    i want an LV2… bundled with live 6 now