The X-Session is aimed squarely at digital DJs, but it can also serve as a perfectly good control surface for other musicians. The front panel contains one horizontal slider (for crossfades and scratchin’), a funky blue illuminated LCD display, 16 rotary controllers (of the end-to-end rather than endless type) and 12 buttons.
Both USB and MIDI interfaces are provided, and the unit can be host-powered when connected via USB or from an external AC adapter on other occasions. The device is big enough to give you comfortable access to all the controls, but not so large that you couldn’t take it out and about with a laptop. The X-Session is class compliant, which means that no drivers are required in Windows XP or Mac OS X. In other words, this is a genuine plug ’n’ play device.
Up to ten configuration presets can be saved in non-volatile memory. This is probably enough for the majority of users, but those who feel they might require more should clearly look elsewhere. Reason 3 provides native support for the X-Session -- you can use it to switch rack devices, flip between rack unit presets and, of course, control any of the rack units without performing any tedious setup chores.
The controller ships with cutdown versions of Ableton Live and Arturia Storm. The X-Session’s build quality is pretty good, though the buttons don’t have a very positive feel when you push them. It has obvious appeal for anyone with an interest in computer-based mixing, but it shouldn’t be discounted by those who just want a basic but solid control surface at a reasonable price.