Knobs vs Sliders

Peak has envelope sliders, it’s quick to see what values are on.


Alpha dial. We deserve to suffer.

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I’m a knobs guy myself; I find that even longer, better quality sliders lack the precision of a knob - I’d quite like a rotary mixer too…

Sliders make sense for visualising stuff like EQ and ADSR but I feel like it sacrifices ergonomics, personally.

Yes please, gimme! :joy:


Only controllers I’m aware of are the Akai ones or the Fader fox UC4

there are some problems with sliders:
– they take more space
– they are harder to operate when making subtle/precious changes

and yes, if soneone makes SH-101 in desktop form factor (no keys) and with knobs instead of sliders – i’ll buy four or five.
but only two Odysseys :tongue:

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Inspired by @Aevai I did a little digging into 16N devices for slider-based MIDI controllers.

Turns out there are a few “pre-made” options based on the 16N platform. The one that looks most promising is this controller by Michigan Synthworks:

Cool features of the above:

  • USB C powered and/or MIDI over USB
  • MIDI over TRS mini jack
  • CV outputs
  • Browser based configuration tool

So it appears it can be integrated into any hardware or software setup. There’s a Eurorack based version as well if that’s your thing. You can order 'em direct from MSW or Perfect Circuit carries them as well (yay frequent 10% discounts)


Wouldn’t that be mitigated by having longer faders/sliders?

To some extent definitely, but I think the ratio is unfavourable, and the quality becomes super important too. Pots tend to be a lot smoother in my experience, even cheap ones - it’s rare that they catch or jump. I like the faders on my XONE - but they’re like 60mm (ish?), they take up the same amount of space as 3 knobs which are just as precise. The advantage they have in a DJ Mixer context is that they’re quick-throw and similar to a studio mixer you can more easily manipulate multiple faders at the same time, which is more difficult with knobs. So there is definitely a use-case!

But if it’s a cut-off control or almost anything else in a synth context I’d rather have a nice smooth knob. Stop laughing!


in a 6ths grader’s giggle

You said “nice smooth knob”



I think it’s easier for knobs to feel cheap, especially a concern if you’re gigging around and putting things in bags haphazardly (whoops). Had a knob shear off my octatrack the other day! But if it was sliders only, it wouldn’t be the OT.

It would also be very very large.

Or the sliders very very small.

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I said stop laughing! Damn you kids


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Cascadia may have converted me, or atleast put me back into likely both equally. Really nice resistance on them, although the center dented ones are hard to dial in super tiny amounts with from the center point, still feel amazing though. I have a rotary mixer that I love also. I always felt like the envelopes being sliders being more visual was a bit odd though, considering the average envelope is 3 timing based parameters and a level based parameter… technically would make more sense if attack decay and release were sideways sliders and sustain was vertical.


Yea I have the same gripe with centre detented knobs tbf - I’d find my LaunchControlXL a lot more useful if they hadn’t done that - not so bad on stuff with chunky resolution but anything that demands fine control it’s quite annoying.

Jealous of your Cascadia I’m still gassing hard for one…

OMG yes, this would be chefs kiss

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When i play a synth i need a knob for the filter. Controlling a slider with one hand while playing a solo doesn’t feel precise enough for me.
But for the adsr i prefer sliders. It’s way easier to see what’s happening.
So if i had to chose i’d take knobs over sliders all day but a combination works best for me.

Yeah rotary controls are definitely better for rapid and precise tweaking, most of the time, except for the tiny ones, sliders are great for ADSR and mixing.

I agree, there’s something about sliders that make it easier to move a few at time to get where you want be.

the 101 and the Cascadia are the examples I’m working with here.

I do like different sized knobs to indicate, from a UX perspective, things like importance or playability.

Its real

Roland gave birth to your nightmare

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since S-1 is released, and it supports CC messages – yes, i will.