The Avid Pro Tools C|24 control surface is coming to the end of its life. As we mentioned in our comprehensive History Of Pro Tools, Avid announced the end-of-life date of the much-loved C24 as 31st December 2017, with an end of support date 5 years later as 31st December 2022.
Over the last ten years, the C|24 has been pretty much in a class of its own in the Pro Tools control surface sector. There has not been any serious "like for like" rivals from other manufacturers to match the C|24's feature set and/or price point.
Its 10-year lifespan was certainly better than its predecessor the Digidesign Control 24 which was a current product from 2001 to 2007. However, any Control 24 owners have been thrown a lifeline by Neyrinck as both the Contol 24 and Pro Control legacy control surfaces will now work with current versions of Pro Tools using V-Control Pro from Neyrinck.
Still Listed As A Current Product
Although the Pro Tools C24 is still listed on Avid's website as a current product, throughout the year it has become harder and harder to buy one as dealer's stock is depleted.
Avid defines the Final Sale Date is the last day a product is available for sale, which in the case of the C24 was December 31st 2017. Whereas the last day Avid will offer support for the C24 is 5 years later on December 31st 2022.
Is It Still Worth buying a C24?
The simple answer is yes. As we have said on many occasions, there is nothing to touch it in terms of bang-for-buck. Its 24 faders and deep integration with Pro Tools has so much going for it. Check out Dan Cooper's excellent premium video tutorial in which Dan shows you the features he uses on his C24 control surface his daily Pro Tools workflow.
The C24 is still supported with Pro Tools 2018 in Avid's current compatibility documents and likely to remain supported for a while yet as Avid defines the End of Support as the date from which all forms of service and technical support for a product cease, which in the case of the C24 is 31st December 2022, so there is still some life in the old dog yet.
Looking at the 2018 Pro Tools compatibility documents, we can see that even products that have past their end of support dates like the 3rd Generation Mbox Mini are still listed as supported by Pro Tools 2018. Let's take a closer look at all the Avid interfaces and control surfaces listed in the Pro Tools 2018 compatibility documents and see what we can learn...
|Supported Interface with Pro Tools 2018||Final Sale Date||End of Support Date|
|MBox 3||August 30th 2014||August 30th 2019|
|MBox Mini 3||April 22nd 2013||April 22nd 2018|
|MBox Pro 3||March 1st 2015||March 1st 2020|
|Eleven Rack||Current Product||Current Product|
|Pro Tools | Quartet||31st December 2016||31st December 2021|
|Pro Tools | Duet||31st December 2016||31st December 2021|
|Fast Track C600||11th February 2013||11th February 2018|
|Fast Track C400||11th February 2013||11th February 2018|
|Fast Track Duo||25th May 2014||25th May 2019|
|Fast Track Solo||25th May 2014||25th May 2019|
Things may change when all the 3rd generation Mboxes pass their end-of-support date, and similarly, with all the Fast Track interfaces, we will have to wait and see.
Moving onto control surfaces...
|Supported Control Surface with Pro Tools 2018||Final Sale Date||End of Support Date|
|S6||Current Product||Current Product|
|System 5 & S5 Fusion||March 31st 2016||March 31st 2021|
|S3||Current Product||Current Product|
|Pro Tools | Dock||Current Product||Current Product|
|Pro Tools | Control||Current Product||Current Product|
|Artist Control||June 30th 2016||June 30th 2021|
|Artist Mix||Current Product||Current Product|
|Artist Transport||January 1st 2016||January 1st 2021|
|Artist Color||December 31st 2017||December 31st 2022|
|D-Control ES||August 31st 2013||August 31st 2018|
|D-Command ES||August 31st 2013||August 31st 2018|
|C|24||December 31st 2017||December 31st 2022|
What Can We Draw From This?
It is clear that Avid is honouring and exceeding software support and is continuing to support products that have passed their end-of-support date when it comes to Pro Tools support, so even if you get a new C24, based on Avid's current track record you should get at least 5 years usage from it.
What About The D-Control ES And D-Command ES?
Whilst we are looking at end-of-life and control surfaces what about the last of the Icon control surfaces, the D-Control ES and D-Command ES? Their end-of-support date is August 31st 2018 but it would seem that Avid is currently continuing to support them with Pro Tools, even though they are now end-of-life. How long for, is not information we are privy to and the D-Control ES and D-Command ES were the last of the Icon control surfaces and there is now no guarantee of hardware support and spare part availability, so when a moving fader wears out you may not be able to get a replacement.
So maybe we are a little premature to say farewell to the C24 control surface, it may now be difficult to buy a new one as stocks dwindle but looking at Avid's record on support of end-of-life products there is still a good few years life left in the Pro Tools C|24 control surface.
Even when Avid does eventually discontinue software support for the C24 working with a future version of Pro Tools the developments Neyrinck has made with V-Control Pro will probably mean that there will continue to be a way of using a C24 with Pro Tools.