Academy Dashboard Forum Production Mixing Did a control surface change your experience?

  • This topic has 7 replies, 8 voices, and was last updated 8 years ago by Jared Sherman.
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    David Case

      Hey all, I've been a total mouse & keyboard guy since I started learning how to do all of this wonderful stuff but I'm wondering if using a control surface will open up the way I work and make it a more productive, creative and flexible process? I'm thinking about the Avid Artist Mix - any other things I should investigate? I don't think I want to go as high as the S3 right now, but I'm open to other suggestions. I use Pro Tools 12.x 95% of the time, but Logic Pro X at times...

      I'm going to try out the iPad app, but I think I already want a physical interface...

      Thanks, all!


        I was using the mouse, keyboard stuff as well but then I bought a Raven MTI 2,that truly changed the whole game. im not thinking about a computer anymore and focus on the music, not to mention work time increased because of using the Raven.

        Andrew Mckenzie

          When I'm trying to get more control on panning or fader levels, sometimes I'll assign a rotary or slider control from my midi keyboard and find it easier that way....especially smooth fast panning from left to right etc. Using a mouse is not a deal breaker but it works for me on occasion to record automation with a physical control. 🙂


          Guido tum Suden

            I've got Logic Control but have to admit I that I seldom use the faders.
            I do use the transport buttons all the time and also the scrub wheel for going back and forth in the song.
            I have the arrow buttons setting on zoom and use those buttons for zooming.

            I am thinking about the Raven for some time now. Especially after I had to move my two monitors nearer to see anything 😉
            So, Cigar, do you have the 27" one with Full HD resolution? Is that enough? I've been using two monitors since I don't know how many years and cannot at the moment think I could work if I had not the Arrange Window on one and the Mixer on the other monitor.


            Steve A

              I have had the Digi 003 for a while now and it is very useful and a time-saver too boot.
              The thing about a control surface is the initial learning curve, as buttons, knobs, faders etc. are almost always non dedicated, and multi-function, once you get past the learning though, like I said, great time saver.
              Since you are on Pro Tools, you could always look for a used Command 8 or an 003, just a thought..

              chris massa

                I drank the Avid cool-aid. I use the Artist Mix, love it. I mix by fader as that was how I was brought up.


                  I bought the Presonus Faderport this week after I saw tutorials from Andrew Scheps, Chris Lord-Alge & Jacquire King stressing the importance of fader rides and automation. Bit of pain to setup in Logic 9, but it works (for now…)!

                  Jared Sherman

                    I just recently got an Avid S3, and it is nice. However, I was never much into control surfaces for a very long time as I had a Digi 002 (control surface version) and rarely used the surface. Want to know why? I actually found that any time I used it, it was keeping me from learning Pro Tools better. I ended up selling it and got an 002 Rack instead.

                    Therefore I would say that if you aren't already an expert at your DAW, a control surface would just become a crutch that keeps you attached to your control surface as opposed to being able to run your DAW in a mobile environment or in someone else's studio.

                    That said, it is very nice to have at least one fader for automation rides (like the FaderPort). Nothing is better than having a real fader for volume automation.

                    In conclusion, it's possible that a control surface may change your world, but you should ask yourself if you know your DAW well enough for that world change to be a positive one or if it is really just a crutch that makes you less useful when you are away from that surface. On the flip side though, if you never intend to work away from that control surface then I suppose that is fine, but I would still highly recommend being an expert at your DAW first.

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