Behringer B-CONTROL FADER 2000

Behringer B-CONTROL FADER 2000 (BCF2000)

Introduction

The Behringer B-CONTROL FADER BCF2000 is a MIDI controller box with 8 motorized faders. An USB and a standard MIDI interface is provided for connections to your computer or other MIDI capable devices. The USB interface is class-compliant which means it works out of the box on operating systems which implement the USB audio classes (like Linux). The device is self-powered, so a power chord is always needed, even if USB is used primarily.

Physical Hardware

Dimensions are 300 mm x 330 mm x 100 mm (WxHxD) and weight is about 2.6 kg. Most of the top space is taken up by the 8 vertical motorized 100 mm faders. Above each fader are two keys (which makes for a total of 16) and above the keys you find the 8 infinite rotary encoders which also have a push capability. On the right hand side you have two vertical rows of keys which are divided into groups. From top to bottom, the first group of 4 keys is used to select the current rotary group. On the BCF2000, the 8 rotary knobs can have 4 different meanings which are determined by this rotary group setting. Below the rotary group keys, you find another group of 4 keys which are dedicated to editing the MIDI commands/values sent by the individual control elements. Below those are two keys which are used to select the current preset. And the last group of 4 keys at the bottom right hand side are additional generic keys which can be used just like the 16 keys above the sliders.

On the backside you find two footswitch jacks, standard MIDI in, out and thru jacks, an USB client port, a standard power cable jack and the global on/off switch.

The motorized faders do react very quickly to incoming value changes which makes the BCF2000 nice to work with. You have to make sure though that you don't touch the sliders while they readjust, since they have a mechanism built in which makes the motors give up immediately if they can't move the sliders.

The controls on the top of the BCF2000 are spaced such that quite a lot of space is inbetween them. You certainly wont get a cramped feeling, rather the opposite. For instance, between each fader there is at least a 15 mm distance.

Drivers

As already mentioned, the USB interface of the BCF2000 is class compliant. So there are no device specific drivers necessary as long as your operating system supports USB devices in the audio/MIDI class. I personally tested it only on Linux with the ALSA USB drivers and it worked out of the box without any problems.

Pros and Cons

The motorized faders are the real killer feature of this device. Since the knobs are infinite and can be set from the application side, there is no problem of suddenly jumping values just because you moved a knob a little bit and its idea was way off from the setting currently being used in your application. These two facts are very nice in practice. The 8 rotary encoders do feel a little cheap, I have yet to figure out if this is just a suspicion or if they will start to fail after some time of heavy use.

For mobile setups in combination with a laptop it would be nice if the BCF2000 could optionally be powered via USB. This is not possible. You always need a standard power jack to use it.

Last Modified: 2004-09-25 14:57:32
You can view the Source Code of this page