When Pro Tools 11 was announced to the public back in what seems like many moons ago, we were also told of a list of hardware that would either no longer be “supported” but may work”, or would just flat out no longer work - for anyone wanting to make the jump to this new version. (see the article we posted at the time with links to supported list here)
Since hearing of this news, and the actual release of Pro Tools 11, a portion of the Pro Tools user community have become somewhat frustrated and upset with Avid’s decision to drop the functionality of the Pro Control and Control 24 control surfaces.
After seeing other hardware that was originally on the “won’t work” list (such as the 002 series) given a second chance, and come back into the world of the working, there was a glimmer of hope for these much-loved and ubiquitous control surfaces could make a comeback too, after all the C24 using the same protocol is still supported and working - how hard could it be?
A thread was started on the DUC by users to air their views (at what has been dubbed a short-sighted decision by Avid) that has now turned into one of the biggest threads I’ve ever seen on the forum. It is now pushing some 84 pages, You can read it all here. In the thread are some very strong arguments for the continuation of functionality within PT11 - from the apparent similarity in implementation to the C24 as mentioned above, to the fact that this is the first time Avid have actually discontinued a large format control surface, after all, these units were the first that Digidesign/Avid produced.
These controllers have been around for a very long time, and while reading this you may think “yeah they are old and out of date, of course they should be killed off”, but when one considers that the functions they perform are still as valid and usable in everyday work flows by some of the biggest producers and engineers on the planet , you’ve got to ask why that is.
These consoles do what they are supposed to do, they are a controller for software and they allow the user to interact with Pro Tools in the one of the most transparent and tactile ways possible. Furthermore no matter which version of Pro Tools comes along their task is still just as valid as in any version before. These controllers would continue to work as designed in Pro Tools 11 if the software driver was available.
Some believe that Avid are making a statement of intent here, that no hardware is safe and the plug may be pulled at any time in upcoming Pro Tools revisions, which has certainly thrown the cat amongst the pigeons. Many users citing that they simply cannot move beyond PT10 because they need their Pro Control or Control24 as much as they need Pro Tools itself and that if this decision was to stand they could no longer comfortably recommend Avid hardware to friends as a future-proof option moving forward.
The DUC thread is huge and although perhaps elongated with arguments back and forth there are clearly many strong opinions of this somewhat ‘landmark’ decision by Avid, that is rather tough to swallow.
If you are a Pro Control or Control 24 user, or if you believe like many others in not locking hardware out for what appears to be any valid reason beyond ‘planned obsolescence’ then I’d urge you to read the DUC thread - get involved in the conversation and share your views both here on this page and on the DUC. An “Ideascale” post has also just been created where users can show their support with a vote which can be found here.
So head over there too and tell us what you think.
If there’s anyone interested in upgrading their surface to a newer model there is exchange/upgrade pricing in place coming from Pro Control, control 24 or any other control surface or Mixer.
This is the UK Pricing (see your local Avid dealer for pricing in your region).
C|24 Exchanges MSRP
9935-55144-06 Control|24 to C|24 £4.199,00
9935-55144-05 Third-party control surface or analogue/digital mixer to C|24 £4.999,00
D-Command ES Exchanges MSRP
9935-58789-28 Any Mixer to D-Command ES Main £9.899,00
9935-58789-27 Any Mixer to D-Command ES 24 £19.199,00
9935-58789-29 Control|24 to D-Command ES Main £8.599,00
9935-58789-30 Pro Control to D-Command ES Main £8.599,00
9935-58789-31 Pro Control + 1 Fader Pack (or Edit Pack) to 24 Fader D-Command ES £17.199,00 9935-58789-32 Pro Control Main + 2 Fader Packs (or 1 Fader Pack and 1 Edit Pack)
to 24 Fader D-Command ES £15.899,00