Author Topic: DJ-Tech Kontrol One (small review from Sonar perspective)  (Read 3355 times)

Offline azslow3

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DJ-Tech Kontrol One (small review from Sonar perspective)
« on: May 01, 2015, 11:04:05 PM »
Well, controls are controls, so I decide to give this device a try as Sonar Control Surface. And here is my impression.

The device is build like a metal brick. DJ style. It is not something you want to put on the table when you sit. But there is an information the device is almost empty inside and the height can be "cut" down to 2cm. I have not checked that. For me the final destination for this device had to be "live" (at home) use near my piano.

  • 4 endless encoders (with LED rings), pushable, not touch sensitive
  • turn table (from computer perspective, yet another endless encoder), touch sensitive
  • one "heavy" slider, with "click" in center position, not motorized, not touch sensitive
  • 22 buttons, it looks like all (except 2 small) have LEDs.
  • one 4 position switch, change MIDI channel on which all controls are working
As you can guess, I am not interested what all that controls "do" in DJ software, so labels and "seamless integration" have no value in my case.
On near all pictures in the Internet (and on the box) buttons have fancy colors. On device they are white (which is good).

And now the point I decide to give it a try: under 40 euro (in Germany). I have not seen any other device with such specification around that price. I also have (used) Nocturne (which is also DJ controller at the end), but I do not like Automap and its kind of "cheapest possible" feel once you touch it.

Quality. It is good. Unfortunately the device I have received had bad "Play" button, but all other controls was ok. Everything is "solid", "big" and "hard fixed".

I have not found something extremely bad in general, it is just that device was not thought for my needs:
  • - Buttons are loud. At the level of loud computer keyboard with "click" (they are mechanical and have the click).
  • - LED and rings are not bright. In the dark they are nice, but under sun light not usable at all.
  • +- Encoders are "slow". I mean one "tick" is long. For MIDI range (pan left to pan right) there are several 360 degree turns. And the signal is not "accelerated" (skipped ticks are not counted). But that is more toward "sometimes good".
  • + I was fascinated by the turn table. It seems like DJs knows how to operate time line fast and precise! I have also tried to use it for parameter adjustment and automations, thanks touch sensitivity that also works close to perfect. It is easy to touch it while operating other controls in case you are not above the device.
  • + It is for live use. You do not need to look at it to operate since controls are big as well as the distance between them. Also "stip" buttons have different form.
  • + Class complaint, no drivers needed. Works with any (also future) versions of Win/Mac/Lin.
  • + Made for possibility to glue another controls meaning (labels are not on buttons).

My preliminarily thoughts about mapping:  hardware switch to switch between Mix, EQ, ACT, lower buttons are "Rec" "Stop" "Play/Pause" in both modes. In Mix mode, 4 strips with encoder on Volume/Pan (shift), solo, mute, rec, still 6 buttons for some commands/functions, turn table as jogger. In ACT mode 4 Sliders/ Rotaries (shift) and 4 buttons. Turn table as "ACT Speed Deal". In EQ encoders control gain, Turn table frequency from band selectable by buttons and band on/off buttons.

Conclusion. The device can be used with Sonar. For the price I paid the functionality is unbeatable. No dependency on proprietary drivers. Because of the form factor it should be placed lower than table or "size moded". LEDs are useless in light environment.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2015, 03:15:57 PM by azslow3 »