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Frontier Designs AlphaTrack Compact Control Surface

Optimized for fast, high-quality DAW mixing and editing in a small footprint. (14) Read 5 reviews for this product | Rate and review this product
Ships to: Can ship to United States
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Product Description

Frontier Design Group's new AlphaTrack combines a set of intuitive tactile controls in a compact and attractive package. Ride a high-resolution fader, turn real knobs, scroll and shuttle with the touch of your fingers, all with a control surface that fits your desktop and the way you work. AlphaTrack lets you work more productively and creatively without giving up a lot of desktop space.

AlphaTrack includes a 100mm, touch-sensitive, motorized fader which provides true 10-bit resolution for smooth and precise level control. AlphaTrack also has 3 touch-sensitive encoders, a feature previously found only on high-end gear costing thousands of dollars. These let you adjust track and plug-in parameters while the 32-character backlit display shows detailed feedback in response to your touch. The encoders provide quick control of pans, sends, EQ, plug-ins, and automation.

One of AlphaTrack's greatest innovations is its touch-sensitive jog and shuttle strip. Slide one finger across its surface and your project's timeline scrolls in response. Drop a second finger onto the strip, and now your fingers control the timeline's shuttle speed. Zoom through your project with 2 fingers, then just lift one finger and slide to quickly set the precise position you want. And you can also just tap on the left or right ends of the strip to navigate through your project's markers!

AlphaTrack also has a set of 22 buttons and 21 LEDs, including standard transport controls, per track record, solo, mute, and automation indication, and encoder mode control. When supported by the computer application, a set of buttons can also be customized with user-programmable functions.

AlphaTrack connects to your computer using just a single USB cable. This makes it quite portable, easy to connect, and compatible with laptops since no additional power supply is needed. AlphaTrack's backpanel also includes a footswitch jack for easy punch-in recording.

AlphaTrack works on Windows XP and Mac OS X (including Intel Macs) with applications such as Pro Tools, SONAR, Reason, Cubase, Nuendo, Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack Pro, and Reaper. Support for more applications will be added regularly.

zZounds is an authorized dealer of Frontier Designs products.
Requirements: Windows XP (Service Pack 2 recommended) or Mac OS X (10.3.9+) operating system

Computer Interface: powered full-speed USB 2.0 or USB 1.1 port (unpowered hub connection not recommended)

Power: From USB port; no external adapter required

Included Items: AlphaTrack control surface, 6 ft. (1.8 m) USB cable, CD-ROM, Quick Start Guide

Size: 8.5 in. x 6 in. x 3 in. (22 cm x 15 cm x 7.5 cm)

Weight: 1 lb. 2 oz. (510 grams)
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 800-928-3236
Customer Reviews
4 out of 5 (14 ratings) Rate and Review This Product
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us. This review has been selected by our experts as particularly helpful. "Alphatrack is a winner"
Sound: This is a control device which does not directly generate any sound. Feature: This thing blows the faderport out of the water. The display shows track, pan, EQ, FX, & other data as you select which track and attribute to control. Rotaries up top give you quick access and fast control, press them down for finer control, or you can hit the FLIP button to momentarily allow the fader to control your plugin/pan/eq/whatever. The ribbon control allows you to jump through your project or shuttle through depending on how you use it. Programmable keys can be set to whatever function you want to add. Ease of Use: I tried it in Sonar 5.2 and it was up and working in minutes. Install disk, plug in. Inside Sonar, select it as a control surface and make sure the in/out ports are also selected in the midi screen. Then any project you load will immedialy work with alphatrack. If you have producer edition, the EQ control operates the sonitus per-track EQ. If not, use the PLUGIN control to control any track or bus plugin. Some plugins are easier than others to navigate, depending on the number of and order of controls therein. Quality: Seems solid, the only gripe i had was the little rubber feet were a little wobbly when i got it so i pulled two of them off and switched them around and now it sits flat. The fader & encoders are very nice, and the display is crystal clear and very useful. Value: Compare to other units out there, the "ready-to-go" integration with major software is a HUGE plus. Without going to a larger MUCH more expensive control surface, this is as good as it gets. Manufacturer Support: Frontier has been outstanding with their support & updates, new functions were added to the Tranzport unit which i also own. The alphatrack software has been updated from 1.0 to 1.1 as of now so get the newest drivers & DAW plugin for your system. The Wow Factor: When i saw the video demos showing how slickly the alphatrack integrated with Sonar i knew i was getting one. The built in display is very cool. Overall: I've had it for around two weeks and I'm already hooked on using it. I would certainly get another one if i broke or lost this one. For owners of the Tranzport unit, this is a very nice addition. Where the Tranzport becomes essential for tracking, the Alphatrack is THE tool for mixing.
Style of Music: Alt, Blues, Rock, Techno
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zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us. "Finally, an inexpensive but very capable mixing controller for the project studio market."
Overall: There is often a desire in the project studio market for a control surface that will relieve the difficulties associated with using the keyboard and mouse for mixing. The Alpha Track is the fulfillment of that desire. It is an inexpensive, well designed, comprehensive mixing control surface that is compatible with all of the major sequencer programs. With a single touch-sensitive fader, three rotary encoder knobs that also function as buttons, a dedicated and intuitive transport section complete with user assignable buttons as well as the unique transport strip, the Alpha Track is well equipped to accomplish most of your mixing needs. Kudos to the Frontier Design Group for making it bus powered as well, thus, eliminating the need for extra cabling. All of the power and information transfer goes through the single, included USB cable. Another great feature is the LCD display which is a big plus for this unit as it allow you to keep track of parameters without having to rely entirely on your monitor screen. The only real down side is the necessity to use the Alpha Track's shift button to access alternate assignable functions for the buttons. It can be tedious having to remember all of the functions that each button has assigned to it and constantly shifting between button options, but this is one of the natural drawback to any small mixing control surface. It's perhaps best to think of the Alpha Track as a way to augment the keyboard and mouse, not completely replace it. As one becomes familiar with the unit however, it becomes clear just how much easier it is to navigate and mix a project with the Alpha Track than without. For it's price and with it's small size it's not a problem that it doesn't make the keyboard and mouse obsolete. Basically with the Alpha Track you are getting great functionality at a fraction of the cost associated with larger control surfaces. In a world of overpriced mixing control surfaces at $200 the Alpha Track is a hands-on, project studio or professional on-the-go engineer's dream come true.
Style of Music: Many
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