Can I get a recommendation on a new trackball mouse?

Want to talk about music hardware or software that doesn't include Reason?
loopeydoug
Posts: 135
Joined: 11 Oct 2018

Post 13 Oct 2021

I recently had to switch over from an old Logitech trackball to the basic mouse that came with my computer. I'm loving having a scroll wheel back in action for sequencer window navigation/zoom but I really dislike how inaccurate the movement feels compared to even my cheap old trackball. Can anyone give me a firsthand recommendation for a new (wired)trackball mouse with a dedicated scroll function? I'm on Windows 10. My old trackball claimed a secondary function that would allow for scrolling with the trackball itself, but it never worked(I think this was due to the fact that it was such an old production model). Thanks ahead for any insight you can offer.

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guitfnky
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Joined: 19 Jan 2015

Post 13 Oct 2021

I have two Kensington Orbit trackballs, which I like. had a scroll ring (which is why I upgraded to those from my old Logitech. it’s a fingertip-controlled trackball, too, so might be a good option if that’s what you’re used to.
I write bad music for good people

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joeyluck
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Post 13 Oct 2021

I know you're looking for a trackball, but have you considered a trackpad?

loopeydoug
Posts: 135
Joined: 11 Oct 2018

Post 13 Oct 2021

joeyluck wrote:
13 Oct 2021
I know you're looking for a trackball, but have you considered a trackpad?
I had not. I know in my laptop days I very quickly decided in favor of a traditional mouse over the trackpad, but those laptop trackpads are pretty small. Can you recommend one for use with Reason? Do you feel you get pretty precise movement from it? How's the sequencer navigation/zoom with it? What about any fatigue?

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joeyluck
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Post 13 Oct 2021

loopeydoug wrote:
13 Oct 2021
joeyluck wrote:
13 Oct 2021
I know you're looking for a trackball, but have you considered a trackpad?
I had not. I know in my laptop days I very quickly decided in favor of a traditional mouse over the trackpad, but those laptop trackpads are pretty small. Can you recommend one for use with Reason? Do you feel you get pretty precise movement from it? How's the sequencer navigation/zoom with it? What about any fatigue?
I'm on a macbook so I don't know how that compares. So all I could suggest is the Apple magic trackpad. I've been on a trackpad for 15 years. It's amazing for navigating the rack, sequencer, and mixer. I can swipe two fingers in any direction to move around the rack freely. No modifier key needed and no grabbing onto rack rails. And I do get very precise movement on it.

Are you on Windows or Mac? I would assume that by now there are other trackpads that have the same benefits of multi gesture support? I agree many pc laptop trackpads are awful and tiny...and then there's the ones that only have that vertical strip to function as a scroll wheel up/down, but no multi gesture support to navigate freely. But I assume there is something comparable to the Apple trackpad?

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Noiserunner
Posts: 74
Joined: 26 Sep 2018
Location: Munich, Germany

Post 14 Oct 2021

I am using a Logitech MX Ergo at home and I am happy with it. There are also a few knobs you can configure per software. It's the device I use with Reason.
At work I use a simple and cheap Mod-It trackball (with cable), which works fine, too.
Both have dedicated scroll wheels.
(MacBook Pro 13", Big Sur, Reason 12 (sometimes Ableton, Logic Pro X, Reaper), some soft- and hardware)

loopeydoug
Posts: 135
Joined: 11 Oct 2018

Post 18 Oct 2021

For anyone interested.

Keep in mind, the main reason behind my search is to speed up navigation/workflow. A scroll wheel is primary to navigation and programmable buttons are primary to workflow. I've tried three trackballs so far, and these are my findings:

Elecom Huge- I tried this one first. It has everything I need and feels good in the hand. I thought my search was over as soon as it started. And then, after only 3 hours of testing, the scroll wheel stopped working. So much for the Elecom Huge.

Kensington Expert- After the bad taste the Elecom left I figured I should move directly to the highest rated(and most expensive) mouse of the bunch. It has less assignable buttons. No biggie. More importantly, I didn't like the layout, considering the maneuvers required to navigate in Reason. One of the buttons has to be held while using the scroll wheel. This combination is going to be pretty much the same on any mouse in the context of navigation in Reason. On the Expert however, it's just too awkward a position/maneuver for me to want to stick with the mouse long term. On to the next one.

Kensington Pro Fit Ergo Vertical- This one has one less(I think) assignable button than the Elecom Huge. No problem. It also has a different layout than what I'm used to(it is a thumb ball as opposed to a finger ball). No problem. I'm sure I can get used to that. Feels fine in the hand. I think I'm going to stick with this one.

I also got a Kensington Orbit to try, based on it being a cheap, decently-rated trackball, with a scroll wheel. However, it doesn't have any assignable buttons. For that reason I don't think I'm going to even bother with trying it out.

I also want to address common complaints I've read in reviews, in order to offer a DAW-user's perspective(as opposed to gaming, etc.).

Trackball tracking/movement- Some people complain about ball resistance and cursor tracking in reviews for most of these units. They all felt totally fine to me. I have to assume complaints about resistance are all coming from exceptionally critical users or something. I just didn't notice anything approaching resistant. Also, they all make use of software to help you tune their functionality/speed to your liking.

Ergonomics- again, no issues on my end, aside from the awkwardness of the Kensington Expert(in light of the maneuvers required to properly navigate with it).

Build Quality- Ultimately, only time will tell on the Kensingtons. But I can say from experience that there does appear to be some certifiable truth in the complaints I read regarding the quality of the Elecom Huge. Again, I wanted that one to be the guy. It was so sweet on all fronts. I just can't order a new one in good conscience, knowing that it shit the bed in one of the exact ways that I read complaints of online. And in 3 hours, no less.

That's my story. I hope it helps the next Reasoner.

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mcatalao
Posts: 1565
Joined: 17 Jan 2015

Post 04 Nov 2021

I use a Kensington Orbit Trackball in the studio and at work. Really nice for the wrist and if you have a small space in your table.

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BRIGGS
Posts: 1704
Joined: 25 Sep 2015
Location: Orange County California

Post 04 Nov 2021

I haz this one:

Image

The scroll ring is a bit rough, but I make do. :puf_smile:

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