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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

LiveControl LC-11 Hands On Review

The new LiveControl LC-11 controller surface for the TriCaster and VT is now shipping and I just spent a couple of hours putting one through it's paces. The LC-11 is a step up from the RS-8/VM controller that's been around for years. The most obvious difference is the eleven inputs rather than the eight of the original.


VT owners might ask why eleven inputs and not twelve? Eleven corresponds to the number of inputs on the TriCaster Studio and Broadcast. All three buses are now accessible from the controller which is an important consideration to those using either LiveSets or a TimeWarp. Below the three rows of inputs you'll find the Auto and Take buttons and to the the right the aluminum and plastic T-bar.

Also in the Transition section in the center we have buttons to choose between a cross-fade or the selected DVE, a knob to adjust the auto transition speed and one to select a DVE from the current bank. This second knob can be pressed to enable the reverse function so that transitions are played backwards so that a fly-in becomes a fly-out.

Next are a Fade to Black button a button labeled Alt that is for "future expansion". And below these are the Fade All and Take All buttons that do both a transition between the main and preview buses while simultaneously fading or taking the overlay. Previously you had to do this with a keyboard command.

On the left we find the overlay section of the controller with it's large Fade Overlay and Take Overlay buttons, buttons for selecting the overlay source and three knobs. Two knobs for controlling DDRs and a third for title templates. These let you scroll through the clips or CGs you have loaded or by pressing the knob in you can preview the clip. Above these are two joy sticks one is, again, for future expansion and the other acts as a shuttle wheel for the selected DDR.

I was never all that enamored of the RS-8/VM because it just seemed to be missing some of the functions I like to use like the Fade All and the ability to easily go between a fade and a DVE. These are now integrated in and it really makes the thing really useful. One thoughtful ergonomic touch is there are actually two USB connections on the box. One on the back and a second one on the bottom to make it easy to inset the unit flush into a desk top. As on the TimeWarp, the edges of the case are a little sharp but NewTek assures me this will be addressed in the next production run.

Cosmetically the unit is an improvement over the RS-8. The face plate is brushed anodized aluminum and the t-bar has been anodized a matte silver color. The whole unit is well built with no cheap plastic bits to break off in the heat of battle. While the buttons are of course plastic they are well made and should hold up to a reasonable amount of punishment.

On a side note NewTek is renaming the VM as the LC-8 to reduce confusion.

LC-11 are available now at www.Digarts.com
Update: Actually placed the pictures . Doh!

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