After decades of using the mouse on the faders in the mixer to record VSTi automation, does anyone recommend a hardware fader so that I can use that instead?
Is the Presonus Faderport any good?
Your best bet is probably browsing the Cubase and Nuendo sections as well as Gearslutz.com.
I have the Presonus Faderport single-fader unit. I think it’s good enough, meaning that it’s worth the money to me and is solid. The negatives are that I’ve had it for a long time now and the fader certainly isn’t quiet (I often work using “trim” automation and that means the fader isn’t moving anyway so not a problem), and I also find the buttons to be too firm. The pan knob is also detented and feels a bit ‘rough’ for lack of a better word (I almost never use it, so again, no problem).
But other than that it does it’s job, and you can also remap some or all of the controls (buttons) to other functions. I have mine set up to control automation modes and punch-outs for example.
I also work on Euphonix and Avid Artist Mix controllers, but mainly with Pro Tools. I think they have better feeling and better moving faders, but ironically may have worse quality considering the price. They’re discontinued and quite frankly it’s probably still the best value controller you can get since they’re on sale until they run out of stock.
Their new controller s1 that takes its place had better feeling faders in my opinion, and is also more expandable by adding a tablet. Integration is better using Eucon protocol rather than one of the Mackie protocols. The one big exception with Eucon is that the controllers aren’t following show/hide of channels in Cubase/Nuendo, so you have to work around that.
PS: I just re-read your post and notice that you wrote VST-instrument automation, not just level or whatever. I honestly don’t know then what you’re looking to do. If you’re looking to record something like a filter you want to sweep then that’s something I never do. I would record automation of VST instrument tracks maybe but just the fader levels… but you mentioned the Faderport so…
Thanks for this. I am looking to control the faders so your advice is useful.