dbx 286s Mic Preamp/Processor Review

dbx 286s Mic Preamp/Processor Review

The dbx 286s Mic Preamp/Processor provides outstanding value and professional quality audio in a 1U form factor. The 286s includes…

More...
Nvidia Quadro P4000 Review

Nvidia Quadro P4000 Review

We like the single slot GPU because it allows us to use all the available PCIe slots in our system,…

More...
JBL 306P MkII Powered Monitor Review

JBL 306P MkII Powered Monitor Review

The JBL 306P MkII Powered 6.5" Two-Way Studio Monitor is a bi-amplified reference monitor that packs good sound at a…

More...
Yamaha MSP5 Studio Monitor Review

Yamaha MSP5 Studio Monitor Review

The MSP5 studio monitor from Yamaha has been around forever and we still think it's an excellent studio monitor that…

More...
Best Router and Cable Modem Combination for Distance Learning and Work

Best Router and Cable Modem Combination for Distance Learning and Work

For great performance at a reasonable price we like pairing TP Link routers with Motorola cable modems. For example, the…

More...
Original Pancake House Apple Pancake Recipe

Original Pancake House Apple Pancake Recipe

Mmm...tasty Apple Pancake. Nothing makes me feel more like Homer Simpson than a giant baked Apple Pancake. When I was…

More...
Other World Computing Dual Bay SATA Drive Dock Review

Other World Computing Dual Bay SATA Drive Dock Review

This USB 3.1 Gen 2 SATA drive dock is one of the better made USB docks we've tested that can…

More...
KRK 8s V2 Subwoofer Review

KRK 8s V2 Subwoofer Review

The KRK 8S V2 subwoofer is a fairly compact powerhouse with myriad connectivity options at a reasonable price making it…

More...
FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor RNC1773 Review

FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor RNC1773 Review

The Really Nice Compressor or RNC1773 from FMR Audio in Texas is just that, really nice. FMR has been making…

More...
SampleTank 4 Max Review

SampleTank 4 Max Review

SampleTank 4 Max is packed with instruments and effects wrapped in a workflow that is simple to understand and inspiring…

More...
iZotope RX 8 Advanced Review

iZotope RX 8 Advanced Review

Izotope's RX series has been an essential part of our post production process for many years. Since RX 3 we've…

More...
Crucial MX500 1TB 3D NAND SATA 2.5 Inch Internal SSD Review

Crucial MX500 1TB 3D NAND SATA 2.5 Inch Internal SSD Review

The Crucial MX500 is a 2.5 inch SSD designed to be installed inside a notebook computer. We tested it by…

More...
Best Hard Drives for your NAS or DAS and Video Editing

Best Hard Drives for your NAS or DAS and Video Editing

Yes the world is moving to SSD but when it comes digital content creation and video editing you're going to…

More...
Simply Speakers Foam Speaker Repair Kit for JBL 4408a Monitor Review

Simply Speakers Foam Speaker Repair Kit for JBL 4408a Monitor Review

A lot of our production and broadcast friends have these JBLs 4408a monitors and a Hafler P3000 in the rack.…

More...
A Good, Basic Office Chair for Working From Home

A Good, Basic Office Chair for Working From Home

The ÖRFJÄLL swivel office chair from IKEA is a good chair and good value at $49. We recently tested everything at…

More...
Secret Lab Throne Gaming Chair Review

Secret Lab Throne Gaming Chair Review

Secret Lab makes a variety of gaming chairs. These are essentially very nice office style chairs with attractive and ergonomic…

More...
Genelec 8030C 5” active monitor Review

Genelec 8030C 5” active monitor Review

The Genelec 8030C 5” active monitors are a very good choice for transparent and accurate monitors for post production. Our…

More...
G-Drive Mobile SSD R-Series 1TB Review

G-Drive Mobile SSD R-Series 1TB Review

The G-Drive SSD R-Series includes a USB-C port and is USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 3 compatible. It includes a couple…

More...

Frontier Design Group AlphaTrack Review

Frontier Design Group’s AlphaTrack combines a high-resolution fader, multiple knobs, buttons and a ribbon controller for hands on operation of your digital audio workstations (DAW).

These days music can be recorded, mixed and mastered completely in the box, meaning the entire process no longer requires a large mixing console and racks of outboard gear. Instead everything can be done using a DAW to capture, manipulate and master the audio. Whether it’s Pro Tools, SAWStudio, Sonar, Nuendo or some other flavor of your favorite DAW the user experience can always be improved with actual physical controls versus a mouse and keyboard.

The AlphaTrack is an entry level control surface, basically a 1 channel unit that can be toggled between a multitrack project. Perhaps the most important task is simply riding the fader while working on the mix one track at a time. Any decent DAW package will allow complete automation of the most important features. Using a keyboard or mouse for these subtle changes is tedious and impractical to do in real time.

The AlphaTrack does not require an external power supply and gets all its juice from the USB port. The Fader, knobs and other controls (22 buttons and 21 LEDs combined) have a quality consistent with what you would expect to find in a $200 piece of gear. However, we would like to see a more ergonomic feel to the buttons. It’s not a deal breaker but there’s certainly room for improvement here.

We tested the AlphaTrack with one of our favorite DAW packages, SAWStudio. The Alphatrack was easy to setup, literally less than a minute and we were live with a fader in SAWStudio. The SAWStudio template for the Alphatrack provides direct access to the most common tasks. This makes it more convenient to listen to a mix from a remote location or start and stop the recording process from behind the drums…etc., but we primarily used it as a fader. If Frontier Designs improved the feel of the buttons and knobs on the Alphatrack we would be more inclined to use other features and probably the maximum experience out of the device but as it stands the other knobs and buttons are a bit fatiguing to use because of the poor ergonomic feel.

The fader portion of the AlphaTrack combined with a few knobs does make for a handy accessory we just hope that have Rev 2 in the works that improves the feel. Still worth considering if you’re looking for a basic control surface in the $200 price range.

Visit Frontier Design Group for more information on the AlphaTrack and to see if it’s compatible with your software.

Reviews

Entertaining

Rush - Spirit of the Radio

Oct 28, 2020 Music Mix
Default Image
It's been a tough year in so many ways. This tribute to Neil Pert and some of the DJs…