Following on from our very popular article Do You Still Use Your Control Surface? Be Honest Now we thought it would be interesting to see what control surfaces you use.
What Control Surface Do We Use?
To start you off, the team uses a broad range of control surfaces...
Mike Thornton - Avid Dock - It is no secret that I have tried a number of control surfaces over the years including the Command 8 and an Artist Control and they have all been pushed aside to gather dust and then eventually sold. The DNA Music Labs Hot Key Matrix has been the longest survivor so far but it looks as though I might have found my solution in the Avid Pro Tools Dock with my iPad using Pro Tools Control.
Dan Cooper - Avid C24 - For the past 13 years, I have exclusively used control surfaces when working with Pro Tools. I started using Pro Tools in with the Digidesign Control|24, through to Digi 002 Factory, M-Audio Project Mix, Digi 003 Factory then finally settling on my current Avid C|24 control surface.
Julian Rodgers - Keyboard & Mouse - I have used, and importantly taught the use of several control surfaces, from hybrids like the SSL Matrix to dedicated controllers like the D-Control and they all have to compete with the mouse and keyboard and In my experience a control surface has to be really excellent to tempt typical users away from their beloved mice and keyboards.
Alan Sallabank - Avid D-Command with X-Mon - The 8-fader D-Command that I currently have at 8dB Sound is, in reality, a stop-gap. When I moved studios earlier this year, I gained a voice recording area, so needed some form of talkback. Until then I had been using a combination of an Avid Artist Control, the Avid Pro Tools Control app on an iPad and Neyrinck V-Control on an Android Tablet.
James Ivey - Slate Raven MTi (Mk1) - Since returning to Pro Tools many moons ago (yes believe it or not I was a MOTU Digital Performer user back in the day) I think I have tried, owned and sold on most of the desktop-based Digidesign / Avid controllers. I started off with the Command 8, then got my grubby mitts on an Artist Control and Artist Mix pairing and now I'm using the Slate Raven MTi (MK1).
Russ Hughes - PreSonus FaderPort 8 and Console 1- I've never been a huge fan of control surfaces for a number of reasons, in most cases some of the implementation has been sketchy which means I end up back on the mouse and the keyboard - which to my mind is self-defeating. However, the Presonus Faderport 8 has changed my thinking, for a number of reasons. Secondly, I also use a Softube Console 1, which is not strictly a control surface but as it is the first unit ever to get me mixing with the screen off I think it counts. Softube Console 1 review.
Read more about our choices of control surfaces in the article Pro Tools Control Surfaces - What We Use
What Control Surface Do You Use?
Avid and many other control surface manufacturers have spent an awful lot of time and money bringing us hardware with an unprecedented amount of surface feedback and control, allowing you to stay in the sweet spot and mix using your hands and ears.
In the poll below you can vote for up to 3 different control surfaces as we acknowledge that some of you use more than one, whether it is an Artist Series combination or using one type at work and another one at home. So you have up to 3 options to choose from and they include 'Do not use a control surface', for those who prefer to use a keyboard and mouse, and 'Other' for a control surface you use that isn't on the list. If you check the Other option please do share what you use and why in the comments below.
Please be aware that in this context a control surface is a device with at least one fader, whether it's a hardware fader of a touch fader on an app like Avid Control.
Update - Avid S6 Added To The Poll
We somehow managed unintentionally to miss out the Avid S6 off the poll but we have rectified that and also added a couple more that had popped up in the comments.