As the line between producing and DJing becomes more obscure, companies like Vestax are creating products that are aimed at filling the grey area. With its traditional-style mixing console layout and excellent build quality, the VCM 600 makes it possible to bring the studio to the club and comes with its own mapping tucked inside Ableton Live. It’s easy to set up and use for both studio applications and live performances, so let’s take a closer look and see if it might be right for you.
Built Like an Armory
Throughout the years, Vestax has set the standard for build quality. The line faders are the perfect tension for precise adjustments but not too stiff for quick cuts, while the crossfader is classic and light. The knobs are small but rubberized and fine for studio work, though a little tight for my tastes. The controller feels heavier than its 11 pounds, but that translates into a durable product that should last a long time.
The Set Up
Pulling this out of the box and plugging it in took no longer than going into Ableton’s MIDI preferences and selecting VCM 600 as a control surface, about 2 minutes total in four steps.
- Select VCM 600 as a control surface in the preferences.
- Then set up 6 channels and drop an EQ 3 on each channel.
- After playing a full set with it, I decided to remap the pans to the lows of an EQ 8 and give myself a four channel eq on the VCM. This was as easy as clicking MIDI Learn in Ableton and turning the knobs.
- The last thing you will want to do is drop some effects on the A and B sends. After that, it’s done and ready to rock.
Who Needs Another Controller?
If you use Ableton as your primary production DAW and want to play out with it, this controller will fill both those needs. I loved the build quality and layout of everything on this surface. The black version of the VCM 600 is one of the most stunningly dressed controllers on the market. From a pure performance perspective, I found the buttons were too small to find and press quickly while performing and the knobs were a tad too stiff for quick EQ changes. Overall though, it’s a well-made controller that lends itself more to some great Ableton studio work. – Nisus