Following on from our article, Avid Quietly Discontinue Their Pro Tools HD Native PCI-e Cards and studying the Avid End Of Life article, we noticed that a number of Avid products pass their End Of Support Dates during 2018 including the Mbox Mini and all the black-faced D-Control And D-Command control surfaces. What should you do? We offer some help and advice.
Avid Mbox Mini (3rd Generation)
The first of the 3rd Generation Mbox interfaces passed its End Of Support date on 22nd April 2018. Its bigger brothers the Mbox will pass its end of support date on 30th August 2019 and the Mbox Pro will pass its End Of Support date on 1st March 2020.
It would seem Avid has chosen to leave the bottom end of the interface market to 3rd party brands like Audient and Focusrite. See our article Low-Cost Audio Interfaces For Pro Tools You Can Buy For Under £250 to learn more about your options.
Avid D-Control And D-Command Control Surfaces
The black-faced D-Command ES Fader, D-Command ES Main, D-Control ES Fader, D-Control ES Main and D-Control ES Surround Panner all pass their End Of Support dates on 30th August 2018. This means that you will no longer be able to get technical support for these consoles, and there will be no reliable Avid stock of replacement parts if something fails on your D-Command or D-Control.
Why Should I Upgrade My Icon To An Avid S6?
While Avid say that future versions of Pro Tools will still work with ICON for the foreseeable future, they do not plan on adding new features or functionality to the family, and any new issues that arise may not be addressed.
So perhaps the most compelling reason to make the switch is that, should something go wrong with your ICON setup after August, getting back up and running to deliver that critical project on time will become a lot more difficult.
Other reasons to consider the upgrade on an Avid S6 are...
- Get better visual feedback with extensive metering, scrolling waveforms, and more
- Experience the most efficient hands-on Dolby Atmos mixing workflows in the industry
- Customise and scale the modular surface for your mixing preferences and needs
- Mix faster and more intuitively with full touchscreen control, custom layouts, and programmable soft keys
- Take control of Pro Tools, Logic Pro X, Cubase, Nuendo, and other DAWs simultaneously
Product expert at Jigsaw24 Saxon Greenep adds...
The S6 gives you more control over Pro Tools – the ICON’s a great piece of kit, but it’s fairly limited in terms of what you can achieve with Pro Tools. With the S6, you have direct access to things that are almost at a settings level in Pro Tools.
Everything about the S6 is conducive to a faster mixing process. Its customisability is really exciting. You can start with an eight-fader system and scale up, like you did with the ICON, but the S6 allows you to move different modules around to suit whatever project you’re working on, so everything you need is in arm’s reach. You can also use Layouts to set up templates for up to 48 sessions, and do really convenient things like putting VCA spills anywhere on the desk, or monitoring up to 32 tracks directly on the S6’s display rather than having to split your attention between the desk and Pro Tools.
How To Upgrade My Icon Control Surface
Like any technological investment, upgrading your console needs to be done with one eye on the future – there’s no benefit in investing in equipment that will become obsolete just a year or two down the line. It’s crucial to give proper consideration to futureproofing your setup.
This is something you should do hand in hand with an Avid Elite Reseller. Find your nearest Avid Elite Reseller or alternatively, there are 3 Elite Resellers that support this site,
They and any of Avid's Elite Resellers can advise on this, and provide you with all the tools you need to build your ideal audio setup as well as install and support it if required as well as advise you on how to integrate the Avid S6 into your existing systems and workflow.
Trading in your ICON
Until June 15th, Avid is offering trade-in details for anyone who wants to replace their D-Control or D-Command with an Avid S6. If you want to stay at the forefront of professional music and audio mixing, you can greatly expand your capabilities and opportunities with Pro Tools S6. Even better, they are offering a generous ICON trade-in program, so not only can you get better ergonomics, expanded DAW control, and surface customisability with S6, but great savings too.
You can save up to $19K when you trade in an ICON towards Pro Tools S6 M40 control surface until June 15, 2018, which equates to 31% savings, but you haven't got long. If you want to take advantage of this offer any Avid Elite Reseller will be able to help or you can contact Avid Sales directly.
The Future Of Pro Tools Control Surfaces
The end of the ICON control surfaces will mean that the only Avid approved control surfaces for Pro Tools still supported will be the Artist Mix, Dock, S3 and S6 control surfaces and begs the question, what next for Pro Tools compatible control surfaces?
Should Avid make replacements for the Artist series? They have already discontinued all the Artist series except for the Artist Mix and they are regularly running special offers on the Artist Mix making me wonder how long before they discontinue the last model in the Artist Series.
Currently, any 3rd party brand who want to make a Pro Tools compatible control surface is restricted to the outdated and restricted HUI protocol. I believe the best solution for the Pro Tools community, Avid and 3rd party partners would be for Avid to open up the Eucon protocol so that 3rd party manufacturers like JLCooper could produce Eucon based Pro Tools compatible control surfaces. What do you think?