PreSonus Faderport v2/2018 (single fader)

I got one of these yesterday and it’s working very nicely. There were a few snags in setting it up, which I was able to get past with some web searching, so thought I’d share them here for anybody else in the same future boat. Plus some quirks I’m still not sure about or could be wrong about below.

Firstly, thanks Ardour team for the dedicated control surface option! Brilliant.

  1. Firmware Upgrade:
  • Out of the box a firmware upgrade was needed. Its manual says this and sure enough it simply didn’t work without one. Strange but there it is.
  • Download and install their Universal Control (UC) application. Sadly no Linux version so upgrading needs doing from a Windows/Mac machine. Registration isn’t needed at any point, despite what the manual says.
  • Follow the manual’s instructions on how to use UC for a firmware upgrade. Internet connection is not required for this step (nor for installing), only for downloading UC in the first place.
  • Once the upgrade is complete the device needs to be placed back into Studio One mode - the manual explains how to do that: turn off, hold Next while turning on, hit Solo. Without this step the device is just blinking multiple buttons at you.
  1. Ardour/Mixbus:
  • Use the “PreSonus FaderPort2” Control Surface. When you open its settings you’ll see by the image that this is indeed the “FaderPort v2”.
  • In its settings, set the “Incoming and Outgoing MIDI on” dropdowns to the PreSonus device.
  • Save the session so it remembers the above settings. The other settings in there (F1, etc.) seem to be remembered (are global) across all sessions but the Incoming/Outgoing settings need to be set up (and saved) for each session. Also, if the device is off/disconnected when a session is loaded, or during a session, then those two settings are lost and need to be re-set. (NOTE: This whole bullet point is likely standard Ardour Control Surface behaviour, not specific to the FaderPort - not sure, I’ve never used a control surface before.)

Instructions on how to use is a combination of the device’s manual and the Ardour manual. Presently the Ardour manual doesn’t have an entry for this v2 model but it does have one for the FaderPort 8 which is almost the same thing in terms of the buttons it has, as opposed to the FaderPort entry which is for v1 and vastly different to the v2.

The device only needs mains power for the motorised fader. If you don’t need that then the USB connection is enough to power this thing.

I am finding that the SHIFT button operations are a bit hit and miss. E.g. SHIFT + SCROLL buttons puts it into ZOOM mode, as advertised in the device manual, but the SCROLL/ZOOM button is not lit in any way at this point, so no indication of what mode you’re in. I don’t know if this is a device problem or an Ardour interface problem. I’ve seen videos showing these buttons lighting up as expected for other people/systems/DAWs.