Question on midi controller modes

Looking to get a midi controller, mainly for recording EWQL instruments that require various faders to control expression, mod, vibrato, etc. With units like the Faderport 8, XTouch, Platform M+, it seems these all have similar capabilities when assigning CC’s to faders, but what I’m not clear on are the “modes” (ie midi mode, daw mode, etc). If I’m in midi mode does that mean I can assign CCs to different faders and manipulate the data as I’m playing (recording) it in real time, using the units transport controls? And is daw mode mainly for mixing, recording audio, etc? Just trying to make sure these devices can do what I need before I buy. Thanks in advance for any help here.

Usually daw mode means its scripted to work with a specific daw, and has very few if any user editable commands. Midi mode means the buttons just send out a midi message.

So exactly what you thought!

Thanks Steve. I was confused because I was reading about some units that require you to power off/on to switch modes. Not sure what drives the need to switch modes as most of these units seem to work great with just about any daw. But anyways, seems like midi mode will handle what I’m trying to accomplish, just need to make a decision on the model…

It’s just pulling the parameters from different registers in its eprom, most likely.