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  #11  
Old 02-02-2020, 01:41 PM
Cheesehead Cheesehead is offline
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Default Re: Control Surface v. Mouse and Keyboard

I know where you're coming from, I felt the same myself for a long time.

4 big reasons I use the PT app and S1 as well as a mouse.
The surround panner follows my track selection with the app and can be panned by touch, this is massive for me and there's no other way to achieve it without using a 3rd party panner plugin.
Automation preview/ write to selection shortcut macros. These save me hundreds of extra mouse clicks a day.
Having an actual fader for adjusting long form material. Holding a mouse down on a virtual fader is painful for long periods.
RSI!
I've been using PT with a mouse day in day out for years and it takes a massive toll on your arm, fingers etc. The same tiny movements over and over. Anything that gives me a break from that, or a different way of achieving the same result is a bonus!
Other than those, I think you're right, the mouse is quicker. Until you get in to writing Macros for repetitive tasks but maybe you don't need that functionality for what you're using PT for?
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  #12  
Old 02-02-2020, 08:00 PM
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BobbyDazzler BobbyDazzler is offline
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Default Re: Control Surface v. Mouse and Keyboard

Its only Macros and Faders on a surface for me, everything else I can't see the point of.
I'd personally like to see the DAW evolve into something that doesn't hark back to analog workflows.
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  #13  
Old 02-03-2020, 06:26 AM
its2loud its2loud is offline
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Default Re: Control Surface v. Mouse and Keyboard

“However, having read thru the manuals for the S1 / S3 / C|24, all editing, inserting, routing, etc. seems clumsier than point and click.( Although the C|24 seems to have less levels to work thru to accomplish a task).”

Let’s break this down into two categories

1. Editing and session setup
2. Mixing

Re: #1. Avid has tried to incorporate editing capabilities into their consoles but IMHO, they have always fallen short. Too many button pushes required to achieve the same goal a mouse click or keyboard shortcut would achieve. This aspect of Pro Tools has always been mouse and keyboard based. The only DAW to ever achieve true hardware based editing was Fairlight. Therefore, I agree that if you are primarily editing tracks, then a surface will not improve your workflow.

Re: #2. This is where the console comes in to shine. Being efficient on a control surface comes down to two things: understanding a console layout and muscle memory. Once you have achieved both of those, there is no way, again MHO, you can mix faster with just a mouse and keyboard. Even controlling plugin parameters is faster on a surface, once you know where to go to control the parameters. I’ve never been fast on a new surface at first, but once I understood the lay of the land, and my brain had a chance to absorb the info, efficiency was the name of the game.

Therefore, I believe the use of Pro Tools is a combination of all of the above. You CAN do everything “in the box”. It was designed for this purpose from day one. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Now that control surfaces like the S1, S3, S4, S6 have graduated to a common similarity, dancing between them has become a breeze. Become efficient on an S1? Jumping to an S6 doesn’t seem so daunting. One has to evaluate their primary focus on the DAW to determine the need for a control surface. You also have to be willing to break old habits and learn new tricks. Once you do, you will be rewarded.
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  #14  
Old 02-03-2020, 01:20 PM
Ellis Beckwith Ellis Beckwith is offline
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Default Re: Control Surface v. Mouse and Keyboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by its2loud View Post
“However, having read thru the manuals for the S1 / S3 / C|24, all editing, inserting, routing, etc. seems clumsier than point and click.( Although the C|24 seems to have less levels to work thru to accomplish a task).”

Let’s break this down into two categories

1. Editing and session setup
2. Mixing

Re: #1. Avid has tried to incorporate editing capabilities into their consoles but IMHO, they have always fallen short. Too many button pushes required to achieve the same goal a mouse click or keyboard shortcut would achieve. This aspect of Pro Tools has always been mouse and keyboard based. The only DAW to ever achieve true hardware based editing was Fairlight. Therefore, I agree that if you are primarily editing tracks, then a surface will not improve your workflow.

Re: #2. This is where the console comes in to shine. Being efficient on a control surface comes down to two things: understanding a console layout and muscle memory. Once you have achieved both of those, there is no way, again MHO, you can mix faster with just a mouse and keyboard. Even controlling plugin parameters is faster on a surface, once you know where to go to control the parameters. I’ve never been fast on a new surface at first, but once I understood the lay of the land, and my brain had a chance to absorb the info, efficiency was the name of the game.

Therefore, I believe the use of Pro Tools is a combination of all of the above. You CAN do everything “in the box”. It was designed for this purpose from day one. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Now that control surfaces like the S1, S3, S4, S6 have graduated to a common similarity, dancing between them has become a breeze. Become efficient on an S1? Jumping to an S6 doesn’t seem so daunting. One has to evaluate their primary focus on the DAW to determine the need for a control surface. You also have to be willing to break old habits and learn new tricks. Once you do, you will be rewarded.
Thanks for your insights. I am beginning to see that a console type controller can be of value when it comes time to mix. I have been researching all that are available, either new or older used ones. I've pretty much ruled out all the older ones because of repair / maintenance issues. I've tried out (bought and returned) Artist Mix, Faderport 16, and Slate Raven and found them all to be clumsy for instantiating and tweaking plug-ins, setting up routing, and pretty much everything except mixing on the faders. It's too bad Avid doesn't make a box with just 24 faders, Transport, plus Select, Mute, and Solo switches to mix on and nothing else.
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  #15  
Old 02-03-2020, 01:31 PM
Lynn Gräber Lynn Gräber is offline
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Default Re: Control Surface v. Mouse and Keyboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellis Beckwith View Post
found them all to be clumsy for instantiating and tweaking plug-ins, setting up routing, and pretty much everything except mixing on the faders.

I don't disagree with you. BUT, once you have your workflow and your sessions and layouts set up, mixing on a surface brings some joy back to mixing. Further, if you have assistants to set it all up, even better.

Something that has worked for me, especially on larger sessions, is VCA spill. I have a Layout programmed for my master section. When I open a session immediately I have access to all my VCA's and some group masters. My assistants have already assigned the VCA's for me, so I can pop in and out of sections of the mix VERY quickly and get balances.
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  #16  
Old 02-03-2020, 01:56 PM
Ellis Beckwith Ellis Beckwith is offline
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Default Re: Control Surface v. Mouse and Keyboard

Assistants??

Sorry, I should have mentioned I don't make money doing this. Strictly a retirement hobby.
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  #17  
Old 02-03-2020, 02:42 PM
Lynn Gräber Lynn Gräber is offline
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Default Re: Control Surface v. Mouse and Keyboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellis Beckwith View Post
Assistants??

Sorry, I should have mentioned I don't make money doing this. Strictly a retirement hobby.
I wasnt implying that you need one, was trying to give you insight on how people work.

Really, if you cant see any use for a surface, don't get one.
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  #18  
Old 02-04-2020, 09:30 AM
Cheesehead Cheesehead is offline
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Default Re: Control Surface v. Mouse and Keyboard

Quote:
I'd personally like to see the DAW evolve into something that doesn't hark back to analog workflows.

I totally agree with Bobby here. All too often Daw's are harking back to how things worked in the old days with massive banks of faders etc.
Often you only need one fader in practice. Or at least I'm happy with just one attentioned fader, 8 at the most.

I'd love to see clip FX enhanced and rolled out to all plugins, not just EQ and dynamics and things like being able to drop one clip on another and an option for them to automatically mix together, more stuff in that vein.

Things that simply weren't possible in linear formats.


Anyhow a bit off topic sorry.
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  #19  
Old 02-04-2020, 10:06 AM
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EGS EGS is offline
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Default Re: Control Surface v. Mouse and Keyboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesehead View Post
I totally agree with Bobby here. All too often Daw's are harking back to how things worked in the old days with massive banks of faders etc.
Often you only need one fader in practice...
+1.

In the old days, I'd be rolling my chair from one end of the board to the other all day long... Patch in some outboard gear, and I'd have to turn to face it while adjusting the sound...

Now, I keep my ears dead-center by using a trackball, keyboard shortcuts, and a 1-fader control surface. My pres & monitor controls are racked directly in front of me.
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  #20  
Old 02-07-2020, 07:18 AM
RyanC RyanC is offline
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Default Re: Control Surface v. Mouse and Keyboard

IMO the biggest issue with control surfaces in a modern workflow is more in the implementation/support department, then in value of one in a raw sense.

Consider an S3. If it had full surface plugin mapping, you could map an EQ so you have gain on the fader, freq on the first knob row, and q on the top. You could have 5-6 bands and still have a lot of surface left.

If then you could also store a channel strip preset plus mapping, to where you could also map your favorite gate, comp, and even put some sends with send pans etc all on one "channel mode" flip of the surface. Then throw in macros, layouts, vca spill, and a small enough surface that you can stay in the sweet spot (things it has now) and IMO you would have something really useful.

But can you do all that? No.

The closest I've seen is D-command (too big for me, but you get dedicated eq/dyn sections). I really like Softube Console One as well, and am eyeballing this-

https://modernidiots.com/

Not out yet, but if it lives up to the videos this will tick a lot of boxes for me, with a console one nearly all of them. It's amazing, and somewhat sad, that one guy working by himself who figured out how to hack into the MCU->Studio One control link might be the first to give us everything many of us have been asking for in the last couple decades.

To me it shows how overwhelmingly deaf all the Daw developers/control manufactures have been on this. The eucon team here has been saying custom plugin mapping (likely only 8 parameters for S1 and 16 for S3) has been "on their radar" for years now...
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