Old 04-28-2019, 03:52 PM   #1
HIO
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Below is how this is now being advertised even at Sweetwater no less. My question, is the below advertisement true, false or somewhere in between when it comes to Reaper?


"The X-Touch supports HUI and Mackie Control protocols to work with virtually any professional audio production software imaginable. As soon as you take the X-Touch out of its box, you can plug into a spare USB port and start tweaking — no setup required!"
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Old 04-28-2019, 09:36 PM   #2
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While Reaper out of the box does feature a "Mackie Control Universal" setting for "Control surface", I'm not sure what kind of workflow this forces.

But while "CSI" might help to define any wokflow with (m)any surface(es), the more hard criterion regarding X-Touch is resolution. I do have an XTouch Compact and same features only 7 bit fader-resolution while the Mackie provides more (10 ? ). I understand that 7 bit resolution (128 steps) is too few for volume faders. I don't know what resolution the "big" Xtouch (and the "One") offer.

-Michael

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Old 04-29-2019, 04:26 AM   #3
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Thanks Michael for your time and commentary
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Old 04-29-2019, 03:00 PM   #4
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If that is true only 124 steps of resolution for volume automation then that is a deal killer right there. Massaging the tracks on mixdown like an instrument is part of my work flow and how anyone who has done this and then left without is beyond me and my pay grade.

Geoff, what say you? Paging Mr. Waddington! Can you give us a brief overview of your findings and in summation of what exactly is going on over there in that thread that lives on for all eternity that you started over 2 ½ years ago.

I am time constrained and would prefer to not have to read a very large novel or even encyclopedia Wikipedia.
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Old 04-29-2019, 03:10 PM   #5
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I did check with the "Compact" -> 7 Bits as well in Native as in MC mode.

I don't have a "USB" nor a "One", so please somebody else might do a definitive research. AFAIK, both only feature MC mode and hence a Native mode (that is pure standard Midi CCs and hence is bound to be 7 bits) would not potentially hamper higher resolution in MC mode.

We also discussed using the X32 as a surface controller. Same seems to feature 7 bits in a kind of "Compact"-alike native mode. It does not have an MC Mode, but it does send and receive OSC. Up till now we don't know if it works with more bits over OSC.

-Michael
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Old 04-29-2019, 04:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIO View Post
If that is true only 124 steps of resolution for volume automation then that is a deal killer right there. Massaging the tracks on mixdown like an instrument is part of my work flow and how anyone who has done this and then left without is beyond me and my pay grade.

Geoff, what say you? Paging Mr. Waddington! Can you give us a brief overview of your findings and in summation of what exactly is going on over there in that thread that lives on for all eternity that you started over 2 ½ years ago.

I am time constrained and would prefer to not have to read a very large novel or even encyclopedia Wikipedia.
AFAIK, the X-Touch is 14 bit protocol, just like any other MCU clone.

The actual physical limitation is the motorized fader -- usually about 10 bit -- 1024 steps.

The X-Touch Compact uses 7 bit protocol -- 128 steps.
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Old 04-29-2019, 05:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Waddington View Post
AFAIK, the X-Touch is 14 bit protocol, just like any other MCU clone.

The actual physical limitation is the motorized fader -- usually about 10 bit -- 1024 steps.

The X-Touch Compact uses 7 bit protocol -- 128 steps.
Awesome, 1024 steps would be fine, I will check on this and I appreciate the heads up.
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Old 04-29-2019, 09:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Waddington View Post
AFAIK, the X-Touch is 14 bit protocol, just like any other MCU clone.
The actual physical limitation is the motorized fader -- usually about 10 bit -- 1024 steps.
The X-Touch Compact uses 7 bit protocol -- 128 steps.
Of course in MC mode, the protocol is defined to be 14 bits, but I tested that with the "Compact" the lower bits are not used (details see appropriate message in the other thread). As the other Behringer products supposedly use the same hardware for the faders (-> https://www.thomann.de/de/behringer_x32_motor_fader.htm: just $ 16 a piece ! ), it might be that these are limited to 7 bits. But maybe just the "Compact" firmware is crappy. That is why a decent research is necessary.

-Michael
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Old 04-30-2019, 01:57 AM   #9
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My research has been so so with the limited amount of info out there especially with those using it with Reaper so I am probably going to just order it later today and see how she behaves when I can get my hands on her.

I will get some shut eye first and check back later in case someone can change my mind before I make that call
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Old 04-30-2019, 07:10 AM   #10
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It's easy to see what she sends in the Midi Monitor window provided by CSI.

So let us know what you find...
-Michael
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:53 AM   #11
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well, back to the OP question, I would say YES this all works right out of the box with Reaper using the stock MCU config. With limited functionality, but it will work well enough without any other steps.
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Old 04-30-2019, 03:10 PM   #12
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Thanks guys for the support; I purchased it and expect to receive it within a week and will test the waters.

I also like that it has dual footswitch connectors, external foot controller input and a three year warranty.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:01 PM   #13
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I was up and running in Reaper in about three minutes. A few settings on the controller and then I found a few settings in Reaper for the X-Touch itself. The build quality is outstanding for $383.00 and much better than expected or what some YouTube videos epitomized.

I was the guy over a decade ago using several Yamaha boards like the 01V96 as a control surface but in a limited capacity and when I switched to Reaper I requested that the Cockos developers support it which they didn’t.

I totally understand and can’t help myself in my promotion of Reaper on other forums to the degree one might think I own stock in Cockos. Not! Not possible! I guess it is never too late thank the Devs for an awesome DAW along with the best audio engine in the business.

The X-Touch works great with Reaper in a ton of ways right out of the box and what isn’t programmed you can customize. I checked every fader and 92 illuminated function buttons using MIDI-OX and everything is putting out MIDI data.

Just a few minutes ago I hooked up Reaper to one of the footswitch inputs on the X-Touch and set an Action for it.

Two thumbs up for the X-Touch but realize there is no manual and no phone support so you are pretty much on your own.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:06 PM   #14
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Thanks a lot for your report !
Did you use the "Mackie Control Universal" setting in Reaper ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HIO View Post
I checked every fader and 92 illuminated function buttons using MIDI-OX and everything is putting out MIDI data.
Could you post the output of a small slow fader move to let us see resolution it sends ?

Thanks again,
-Michael

Last edited by mschnell; 05-09-2019 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mschnell View Post
Thanks a lot for your report !
Did you use the "Mackie Control Universal" setting in Reaper ?


Could you post the output of a small slow fader move to let us see resolution it sends ?

Thanks again,
-Michael
You are very welcome. I will try to get you a slow and complete fader move as soon as my time allows. It is around 2:30 AM here and it is bedtime for bonzo.
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File Type: png X-Touch.PNG (57.4 KB, 83 views)
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:34 PM   #16
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My screen video capture is not working and I don't have the time to figure it out just yet so here is a quick, down and dirty taken via smart phone.

When you see a green input that was from me touching the fader to a slow and complete fader rise from the lowest it can go to the highest and then you will see the green input again. Hope this helps and let me know if this works for you. For some reason I had to view this from my android devices both cell and tablet while Windows was giving me some quirks.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GiN...ew?usp=sharing
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIO View Post
My screen video capture is not working and I don't have the time to figure it out just yet so here is a quick, down and dirty taken via smart phone.

When you see a green input that was from me touching the fader to a slow and complete fader rise from the lowest it can go to the highest and then you will see the green input again. Hope this helps and let me know if this works for you. For some reason I had to view this from my android devices both cell and tablet while Windows was giving me some quirks.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GiN...ew?usp=sharing
Yup, you moved the Master Fader and yes it is 14 bit.

E8 means Master Fader.

The next number is the fine movment.

The next number is the coarse movement, notice how it starts at 00 and steadily goes to 7f, while the fine movements go round and round within each coarse number.

Absolutely standard MCU implementation, you are good to go.
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:30 PM   #18
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Thanks Geoff, you are absolutely correct it was the master fader and I appreciate you giving us more of the finer details.
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:36 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Waddington View Post
Yup, you moved the Master Fader and yes it is 14 bit..
That is very unlikely. The hardware might do 10 or 11 Bits, but not more. The protocol of course provides 14 Bits, but some of those bits might be dummy.

We would have hoped for 9 or 10 bits resolution -> 1/4 % or 1/10 % of the full fader path. (I once tested that the XTouch Compact in Mackie mode only provides 7 but resolution).

But even if values with higher resolution are sent, this does not verify the fader resolution. The firmware might calculate a timed ramp between the values it gets from the fader hardware. To test this, it would be necessary to try some really tiny moves of a fader (less than 1% of the full path) and see if the final values sent always differ by appropriately small amounts.

But anyway: if it indeed is more than 7 Bits the firmware of the "Compact" - which very likely uses the same hardware - is decently flawed. Does anybody konow if there is a more appropriate firmware for the Compact out right now ?


@HIO:

To see how many relevant bits are coming though we just need a screenshot (or ASCII cut and paste) of some 20 the HEX lines resulting from some tiny steps. A video is not necessary.

ASCII would be best to allow for doing calculations with the values in a spreadsheet.



Thanks, anyway,
-Michael

Last edited by mschnell; 05-10-2019 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 05-11-2019, 02:27 AM   #20
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Hope this helps.
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Old 05-11-2019, 04:33 AM   #21
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Quote:
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That is very unlikely. The hardware might do 10 or 11 Bits, but not more. The protocol of course provides 14 Bits, but some of those bits might be dummy.
Well, the answer is right before us in the data.

If you look at the video and watch the third value (the msb) and note how it changes, you will notice that, at first the value changes after 2-4 lines(as in the .png in the previous post), but as you get into the "critical zone" -- the Zone from say, -10db to +10db, the lines with the same value for msb repeat more often, meaning more resolution.

The repeating line count never goes above 8, so 8 * 128 = 1024 = 10 bit resolution where it counts and less resolution down around say, -30db and below where it doesn't matter near as much, sounds like a reasonable design decision to me

This is an absolutely standard MCU implementation, no mystery here
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Old 05-11-2019, 05:56 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Waddington View Post
The repeating line count never goes above 8, so 8 * 128 = 1024 = 10 bit resolution where it counts and less resolution down around say, -30db and below where it doesn't matter near as much, sounds like a reasonable design decision to me
Yep. 10 Bits (but not 14 Bits). This is good news for XTouch "USB" owners. I am rather sure that the "One" will come with a very similar implementation. (Verifying if the lower bits in really tell the fader position and are not interpolated by a time ramp, supposedly needs quite some research effort.)

So it's confirmed that buying a "USB" for it's very reasonable price - and including the scribbles - is a very valid recommendation.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Waddington View Post
This is an absolutely standard MCU implementation, no mystery here
Yep. But now it's hard to understand why the XTouch Compact in MC mode only send a resolution of 7 Bits (low 7 "dummy" bits are constant). I understand that the "USB" and the "Compact" use the same fader hardware.

Moreover the X32 supposedly also uses the same hardware as the XTouch, and I do know that X32 users would like to use it as a Control surface for Reaper. Now I seem to remember that the X32 ony sends 7 Bits (in Native mode - AFAIK it does not feature an MC mode) via Midi. We still have to learn whether or not the X32 provides more bits via OSC.

-Michael
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Old 05-18-2019, 02:31 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIO View Post
My screen video capture is not working and I don't have the time to figure it out just yet so here is a quick, down and dirty taken via smart phone.

When you see a green input that was from me touching the fader to a slow and complete fader rise from the lowest it can go to the highest and then you will see the green input again. Hope this helps and let me know if this works for you. For some reason I had to view this from my android devices both cell and tablet while Windows was giving me some quirks.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GiN...ew?usp=sharing
Finally someone has done that! Thanks!

So they are encoding into 12bits (lowest from 14 are always zero, the the range is from 0000 to 7ffc).
And it seems like they are using more then 7bit from the hardware (since it looks like you have managed to move "inside" 1/128 with a "stop" in between).

Do they use 10bits? (not 11 or more... I am not aware of any fader+related electronic which provides more then 10).
That is still an open question (note the same is true for original MCU, I have not seen any reasonable tests which prove how much from initial hardware 10bits they are sending throw MIDI).

Toward the end of the video, when you move relatively fast, we observe up to 8 changes per 1/128. So 10bit precision changes. But at the beginning, when you move slowly, there are at most 5. That make me believe they are using 8 or 9 bits plus interpolation.

-----------

You can try the following test: looking at the output, try to move the fader so you get just one message. So as small change as possible. Pause for 1-2 seconds between moves. Try to achieve many such "steps" inside 1/128, so when DATA2 number stay the same.

If you can managed to move just once and that is stable ( so DATA2 is changed every second move), they use 8bits.
For 9bits, you should be able to make 3 "steps" till DATA2 changes. For all 10bits that should be 7...
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:00 PM   #24
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Thanks! I appreciate your input and I am finding the fader resolution totally adequate.
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