worried about my purchase

hi there,

for a while iv’e toyed with the idea of getting the 121 but the price always put me off. i saw one for cheap so i jumped on it but now that iv’e pulled the trigger and looked into it a little more deeper i see there is no way to use the fader for writing any other automation than channel volume.

i currently have an alphatrack which needs the fader for writing pan and send levels as the knobs are not suitable, it feels more like turning a mouse wheel than say the pots on my evolution mk25 keyboard controller so it takes a few turns to get from start to finish,

so my questions are:

1, does the cc121 knobs have the same feel as the alphatrack and is this what the request for the scaling is all about.

2, is the AI knob suitable for writing pan and sends automation or does it suffer from the same mouse wheel clicking feel as the other knobs

3, have i missed something and the fader can control other parameters

4, when writing automation with the alphatrack i sometimes get jumps where i need to go into the automation track and delete the peaks, is there any odd behaviour from the cc121

i really want to be happy about this purchase but think i would rather use the alphatrack with its cheap feel and little quirks than use the less functional cc121

any help here is appreciated but quick responses would be especially welcomed because i’d rather not even open the box if i decide to return it.

many thanks


can i just clarify here that my main concern is the ai knob, if its an acceptable tool for writing automation for pan and sends where the other knobs may fail then all is good, if not then how does cc121 users go about writing automation for these parameters.


The fader does just the faders unfortunately, it can’t control other parameters.
There’s a dedicated pan-knob which is of the clicking endless rotary type, just like all EQ knobs. The AI-knob too btw.

The problem we have with the knobs (not the AI knob, but the other ones) is the way acceleration is implemented. What Steinberg did is the faster you turn the knob, the bigger the increments. This is clever, because it lets you do very precise settings when turning slow, and still allows you to cover the entire range of a parameter in a single sweep. The problem is that the acceleration happens too fast. With what feels like a normal turning speed you already cross the entire parameter range really quickly, so you are forced to always carefully turn them to get where you want.

The acceleration scaling on the AI-knob is much better in my opinion, but it’s still a clicking, ‘discrete’, knob. I never noticed any weird jumps or other erratic behaviour, other than the previously mentioned acceleration. Note how you can use the EQ knobs to control send levels too, you don’t need to use the AI knob for that.

hi strophoid,

i got my cc121 this morning and have been playing with it for a few hours now, what can i say -

i really really like this thing AND i really really hate this thing, having it side by side with the alphatrack and i now think the AT feels pretty bad, way more resistance than the 121, so much so that my finger slips of the controls when applying the same pressure, not sure if its the fader itself or the fader cap (the cc121 has a much deeper concave where your finger sits more comfortable), same with the knobs, the AT has stiffer smaller knobs (excuse the expression :laughing: ) that are also cone shaped so a tight grip is required to turn them.

everything about the feel and quality of the 121 is superior and i really like using it, if i got this 6 months ago i would have been very happy indeed- but 6 months ago i never used automation (im not that experienced), and thats where this falls on its face, if you have the time listen to this

http://soundcloud.com/thehornyscotsman/where-ever ,

at around the 1.20 mark i have a backing vocal on 2 tracks with a delay, i use the pan automation to sweep the delay from left to right on 1 track and right to left on the other (possibly known as a cross over, again excuse my inexperience) then at the end just before the guitar solo i automate the send level of the reverb to go from around 25% to 95%, this type of automation is not possible with these clicky knobs so the AT knocks the 121 on its ass here through the simple flip switch to swap the fader with the corresponding knob.

i understand the flip switch may not be as easy to implement on the 121 , the AT has 5 buttons - pan, send, eq, plug in and automation, when in pan mode the fader switches with pan knob, when in send mode it swaps with the send level of the selected send fx, so when in these modes im guessing the fader knows what its supposed to swap with. not sure the 121 would know what parameter to swap with since it has no particular mode as it has dedicated controls

i also dont like the quick controls, well i do - but i dont , i think a better approach would have been like this:

there are 8 transport buttons - there are 8 insert slots

instead of going into quick control mode by pushing eq type and eq bypass together give the transport alternate funtions of selecting insert 1-8, which ever insert you select you can assign the 12 knobs to, this way we have 12 knobs per insert instead of 8 per channel, then while in this mode and you push the bypass button (usually for sends 5-8) the Q and F rows of knobs could be sends 1-8, that leaves the gain knobs to spare, knobs can also be set to toggle so you could use these to turn the motorised fader on or of, switch the fader to pan, switch the fader to send level and scroll through sends 1-8 so the fader knows which send its controlling.

i’m really on the fence about this, i really like using it but its what i cant use it for thats the problem, suppose i’d rather have a working renult in the drive than a ferrari that just sits there looking pretty, but then again its a ferarri in my drive :confused: :confused:

I know your feeling, it’s what most of us have. It’s a great unit with great potential, but not implemented to it’s fullest.
I can live with the automation thing because it works fine for rough automation, and I finetune it later using just the mouse. Still much quicker than doing it all by hand.
Can you use the cc121 and the alphatrack side by side?

i can use them both side by side and i am leaning towards this option, its against my better judgement as im paying for something i already have but yeah i think im gonna keep it, proberly regret it when the creditcard bill comes in but so be it, suppose i’ll just join the ¨come on stienberg get your finger out your bum parade¨ :slight_smile: