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Microphone Month 4

Ocean Beach Digital DB-1 Drawbar Controller Reviews

4.0 stars based on 9 customer reviews
  • Todd
    from May 1, 2014

    Great Product

    I use this with my Hammond SK2 to give me control of both manuals simultaneously. The set up was very easy and I like that it can be customized to the Nord Stage 2 and the Korg Kronos (it can send sysex commands). It's built like a tank and the built-in battery will apparently last two years because of the low amount of power the unit requires, it will also run without the battery off most midi outputs. The benefit to using the battery is you to only have to plug-in one midi cable when you're setting up for your gig. I'm sure many other uses for this very customizable gadget.

  • Bobbo
    from United States October 8, 2013Music Background:
    touring musician, studio engineer, other stuff

    Makes the NORD come alive

    I love things that are plug in and play ready. This is that thing. 2 cables in, 2 cables out. Piece of cake.

    It improved the playing of the NORD by at least 100%

  • Ben Allen
    from Winston Salem, NC May 14, 2012Music Background:
    Worship Leader, Musician, Producer

    Using with Korg CX-3 and VB-3 Plugin.

    I called sweeter to see if this would work for my set up. My Korg CX-3 was not responding right with the software I use (VB-3) so I needed something that would. As always, the folks at Sweetwater were helpful, and gave me all the information I needed, including the number for the guy who makes these things! I am blown away by how well this works, the construction quality is TOP-NOTCH. I don't think I have anything in my rig that is built this well besides my motu gear. Outstanding. Butter smooth response, and you don't have to be afraid of grabbing the draw bar sliders and getting rough with them!

    You can't go wrong with this little box, and for this price, its a no brainer. Put it this way, based on construction quality alone, if Ocean Beach Digital ever builds a keyboard, I will be the first to buy it!

  • Mark Alpaugh
    from Jamestown, NY November 21, 2012Music Background:
    Educator, Hobbyist


    The DB-1 is great addition to my Electro 3. The look is beautiful and the construction is rock solid. The Electro recognized it right away when I plugged it in. They really invite on-the-fly drawbar alterations in mid-song
    to make those sweet timbral alterations a keyboardist wants. My only complaint is a small one: I wish there was a bit more resistance in the play of the sliders. They move easily and stay in place but I'd just like something that felt more meaty.

  • jim chrzan
    from chicago August 9, 2012Music Background:
    weekend grateful dead/bob dylan cover band

    solid built/easy to use

    Agree with another review that a little resistance to the bar sliding would feel good, but the unit has expanded the playability of my Nord rig in live situations.

    What more could you ask for?

  • Kevin
    from Conway, AR April 26, 2012Music Background:
    Church Musician, Keyboardist, Organist

    Outstanding addition for an Electro

    This unit has made B3 stuff on my Electro 3 a lot easier. I configured the DB-1 to handle the upper manual, and I can use the drawbar buttons on the Electro to handle the lower manual (connected MIDI keyboard or controller). It makes I much easier to make precise changes on the fly.

    The stick-on feet work pretty well. Aggressive players may want to use some Velcro, but I haven't had the unit slide off yet. Even if it did, it's built like a tank. I love the fact that the MIDI bus can provide the power it needs, so no battery needed!

  • Customer
    from Lake Tahoe July 30, 2012Music Background:

    A Perfect Addition to the Nord Electro 3

    A very useful addition to the Nord Electro 3. Installation was simple plug and play. The fact that the unit gets its power through the midi line is great. The current Electro 4 has sliders built in, so it's unknown how long this product will be available. If you want physical sliders for your Electro 3, I say get one while they last.

  • Robert Freer
    from Milwaukee WI August 29, 2014Music Background:
    Pro/Semi=Pro Musician. Been playing for over 40 years

    DB 1 Positives and negatives

    I got the DB-1 from Sweetwater in record time. Great shipping.

    Positives: Gives me more control with he organ setting in my Nord Electro 2. QUick change capability. I like the idea of having sliders instead of those buttons. Nice size, not bulky, I have it sitting on the left side of my keyboard. Easy to hook up. On the Electro 2 it was "Plug-N-Play..did not have to mess with the DIP switches.

    Negatives: Sliders are really loose. No notches like on the real Hammond or a lot of Hammond clones. easy to accidently change the setting just by a slight touch. Rubber pad feet are supplied with the unit. They work great if the keyboard is flat, but if the board is on an angle and you're playing aggresively, the unit has a tendency to slip a little. Like to see suction cups supplied. Maybe a couple of VELCRO strips would be better.

  • Phil Brown
    from Silver City, NM July 31, 2012Music Background:
    Recording engineer, pro player

    Nice unit, horrible sliders

    I can't for the life of me understand the other reviews. I've NEVER felt sliders on any equipment ever- even cheap-o consumer electronics that felt this flimsy. It feels like you could just blow on them and they would move. Hard to describe in words how cheap and flimsy they feel in use, and for the hefty price of this unit it's really surprising, They feel NOTHING like any B3 or even other brand clonewheel organs. I would return this but unfortunately there are no alternatives that I know of, and as bad as it feels it's still more organ-like than Nord's buttons and LED system on the Electro 3.

    Having said all that, I'm not saying the unit is cheaply made, as it is quite heavy and other than the sliders themselves, it appears to be solidly made and does work as advertised. Only time will tell if the sliders hold up under normal use.

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