Super Quick Review: Samson Conspiracy

As you all know, Resolume stacks layers vertically. To us, it always felt a bit weird to control those layers with a midi controller that puts its faders horizontally. So we got this little guy in the office because we liked the vertical fader layout, and wanted to see if it was a good match for Resolume.

The good news is that the Samson Conspiracy is a regular USB midi controller, so it pops right up in Resolume and works out of the box. Even the XY pad can be assigned to do fun Kaosspad type of stuff.

The rotaries are the same faux endless controls that most midi controllers have these days. They send out regular 0...127 midi cc data, but can be spun endlessly. They don't respond to midi feedback though. This sucks when using layer focus mapping to map the same rotary to different controls. For instance, you could map it to the active clip speed. When you then switch between clips, the control won't update to the speed value of the current clip in Resolume. So when turning the knob, the speed value will jump to whatever value is set to.

A great thing is that the rotaries are velocity sensitive. When you turn them quickly, you can cover the whole range of 0 to 127 in one turn. But when you turn slowly, the sensitivity increases, and you can very precisely adjust the values with increments of 1. Pretty nifty.

After doing a couple of mixes with it, I get why most controllers put their faders horizontally. This may be a personal thing, but my mixing style is mostly fading layers in and out rhythmically, while occasionally triggering effects with the pad. I quickly found myself turning the controller 90 degrees to get the faders horizontal again. Somehow, it feels more natural to my hands that way.

Even then, theres is a set of rotaries between faders and pads, very close to the end of the fader. This is both annoying when fading all the way up, as well as when switching from fader to pad and back. Also, most of my show compositions are built up of 8 layers of content, composited together with alpha channels to create the particular look I need for that stage. 4 faders is just not enough control for me.

All in all it's a great controller, but not my style. I guess we'll just have to make Resolume with a horizontal layer layout instead :)

Posted by Joris on Friday October 7, 2016 at 12:45 Tags: conspiracy * midi * review * samson
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