Frontier Design AlphaTrack Las Cruces NM

Although the AlphaTrack also has a motorized, touch-sensitive, 100mm fader (which doesn’t require an external power source), apparently it accounts for less of the overall cost, allowing more resources for other features—several of which are significant.

Flowers & Hubbard Inc./ Dba Hubbards
(575) 526-8884
108 Wyatt Dr
Las Cruces, NM
 
Mountain Music
(575) 523-0603
824 S Solano Dr
Las Cruces, NM
 
Whites Music Box
(575) 526-6677
200 S Downtown Mall
Las Cruces, NM
 
Mesilla Valley PRO Music
(575) 526-8777
919 N Valley Dr
Las Cruces, NM
 
Guitar Center #410
6001 Menaul Blvd Ne #b
Albuquerque, NM
 
Tom Lepinski Piano Tuning
(915) 203-2566
1200 North Solano Drive
Las Cruces, NM
 
Mmjs Pawn LLC
(575) 526-9053
2215 N Main St
Las Cruces, NM
 
Hubbards Music N More
(575) 526-8884
108 Wyatt Dr
Las Cruces, NM
 
Guitar Center Albuquerque
(505) 889-6300
6001 Menaul Blvd. NE Suite B
Albuquerque, NM
Store Information
Mon-Thur: 11-8
Fri: 10-8
Sat: 10-7
Sun: 12-6

Grandmas Music & Sound
(505) 292-0341
9310 Coors Blvd Nw
Albuquerque, NM
 

Presonus FaderPort vs. Frontier Design AlphaTrack

Presonus focused on the fader, opting for a motorized, touch-sensitive, 100mm Alps unit with an impressive 1024-step resolution. (Unfortunately, it requires a wall wart for power.) A dedicated Pan knob and Mute, Solo, and Record buttons are located along the top of the unit, and five standard transport controls are located along the bottom. Midway are buttons for Channel Select, Fader Mode (including a handy Off button), Window View, Shift (which doubles the functionality of six buttons), and Undo, along with a User button and a few multi-function buttons such as Loop/Marker. There’s also a footswitch jack for punching in/out.

Frontier Design took a different tack. Although the AlphaTrack also has a motorized, touch-sensitive, 100mm fader (which doesn’t require an external power source), apparently it accounts for less of the overall cost, allowing more resources for other features—several of which are significant. There’s a 32-character backlit display that provides lots of information—including track and parameter names. There are three touch-sensitive rotary encoders that can be turned, pushed, or both, and operate in five Modes—Pan, Send, EQ, Plug-in, and Auto—along with a Flip button that swaps the fader for one of the encoders. There are four (eight with Shift) user-assignable buttons. And there’s an ingenious Touch Strip that enables you to jog, shuttle, and jump between markers using one or two fingers. A footswitch jack for punching in/out is also provided.

I detected a slight but appreciable difference in speed and precision between the FaderPort’s fancier fader and the fader on the AlphaTrack, and if ultra-high resolution is critical to your work that may be a deciding factor. You may also be happy to trade deeper features for ease of operation and a lower price. But for me, that slight loss in fader precision is more than offset by being able to see what I’m doing on a display, touch or tap the strip to jog/shuttle and navigate position markers, grab a knob to change multiple settings, and so on. In the end, the AlphaTrack’s more robust feature set, and the fact it doesn’t require the use of an external power supply make it the better option. In fact, it is so impressive that it receives an Editors’ Pick award.

Frontier Design AlphaTrack
Kudos
Many innovative and well-implemented features.
Concerns Slightly cramped and indistinct controls that aren’t illuminated.
Contact Frontier Design Group, (800) 928-3236; frontierdesign.com

Presonus FaderPort
Kudos
Smooth, precise fader. Clearly visible buttons (some illuminated). Handles all basic transport and fader-automation functions.
Concerns No display. No dedicated jog/shuttle capabilities. Limited user programmability. External power supply needed.
Contact Presonus, (800) 750-0323; presonus.com

Click here to read the rest of the article from Guitar Player


Guitar Player is a trademark of New Bay Media, LLC. All material published on www.guitarplayer.com is copyrighted @2009 by New Bay Media, LLC. All rights reserved