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Old 03-13-2019, 08:31 AM
TheFilterLab TheFilterLab is offline
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Minneapolis, USA
Posts: 18
Default D-Command to D-Control

Hey everyone,

Wanted to get your thoughts on doing an upgrade from a 24 fader D-command to a 16 fader D-Control.I've noticed that D-Control prices have been dropping pretty quickly recently. I've been on the D-command for about 3 years and have really loved the experience with it. I mostly mix music and the quick access to the automation features is such a huge part of my work flow now that I really miss using pro tools with out it. Also, having VCA spill and eq and dynamics control makes for so much less mouse/screen time. It has been a way more pleasant pro tools experience

It seems like the extra encoders on channel strips and the expanded eq and dynamics section would be a great improvement in flexibility. To me that would be the biggest benefit. I mostly only use plugins that map well to the eq and dynamics sections (Avid, Sonnox, PluginAlliance) but it would be nice to have more encoders to create custom maps for specific plugs.

So all that being said is it worth it? Are there any other D-command users having similar thoughts? or D-Control users that don't think it's worth the upgrade? Anyone want to talk me out of it?

There also the question of how much longer Avid will continue to support the ICON line. I currently go back and forth between a PT10 system and PT12 system and at some point will probably just sit on wherever they end support.

Thanks for your thoughts,
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:34 PM
LDS LDS is offline
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 615
Default Re: D-Command to D-Control

If you love the hands on nature of the D Command it really only gets better and better with the D Control. More dedicated knobs, less paging over to find parameters that you want. Even with 8 fewer faders, it's a beast of a machine.

Pro Tools Ultimate 2018.12. OSX 10.13.6. HDX. Avid Omni. Mac Pro 5,1 12x 3.33Ghz. 64Gb. 4x mSata SSD Drives + 4x HDD. Blackmagic Intensity PCIe. ATI Radeon HD5770.

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Old 03-14-2019, 09:33 AM
TheFilterLab TheFilterLab is offline
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Minneapolis, USA
Posts: 18
Default Re: D-Command to D-Control

Yeah, that's what I've been thinking. That sounds like a go for it vote. I just want to make sure I'm not jumping into something that I might regret.

Thanks for your input.
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Old 03-18-2019, 02:44 AM
kosmokrator kosmokrator is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 28
Default Re: D-Command to D-Control

The D-Control is a great thing.
One thing though that is not to be underestimated though is how big it is.

That's the main thing I didn't like about it.
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Old 03-18-2019, 03:51 AM
Will Russell's Avatar
Will Russell Will Russell is offline
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Newfield, NY (Ithaca)
Posts: 944
Default Re: D-Command to D-Control


I've been using a D-Command for a decade and love it! I too have seen prices on D-Controls drop and have considered the same question. My concerns are:

The D-Control is a lot bigger than the D-Command and I have talked with some long time D-Control users who complain about how far a reach it is to get to the top of the console.

Less faders-
I am quite accustomed to 24 faders, dropping to 16 would take some adjustment

Longevity and parts-
Buying a used D-Control that is no longer supported by Avid means a shrinking supply of parts available as time goes on. I'm already collecting and stockpiling faders and other spare parts for my D-Command as some parts are already becoming harder to find.

So I personally am sticking with my D-Command. But let us know what you decide to do!
Will Russell
Electric Wilburland Studio
12 core 3.06Ghz MacPro, OS 10.13.6, PT2018.12, HDX, D-Command
Retina 5k iMac OS 10.14.2, PT2018.12, MBox3
Retina MacBook Pro OS 10.14.2, PT2018.12
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Old 03-25-2019, 02:03 PM
TheFilterLab TheFilterLab is offline
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Minneapolis, USA
Posts: 18
Default Re: D-Command to D-Control

Yes size is definitely a concern that Iím looking into. Thatís one of the details thatís making wait for now. I do know of one d-control in my area and hopefully I can get some time in front of it

The one positive aspect of the d-control for me is the width. I have a producer desk on the right side of my d-command that has my keyboard mouse and monitor on it. So I have a really wide d-command. So a 16 fader d-control is actually less wide and would allow for the d-control to push up pretty close to my speaker stands. So I would be about the same distance from my speakers with the d-control as I am with the d-command. However, the depth of the d-control does concern me a bit. In some of the pictures Iíve seen it looks like you almost have to stand up to get to some of the top encoders. That obviously isnít ideal. I need to sit in front of a d-control and actually work with it to test the erganomics.

I hear you about the faders, Iím kind of on the fence of how much that would be a loss for me. When I use the faders a lot Iím usually using them with VCAs and itís rare that I have a VCA group that doesnít fit easily across 10 or 12 faders. And I can usually get around easy enough that I donít for see having lotís of issues nudging or banking to quickly find things. You make a good point though and I should really give it some serious thought because I might be taking for granted having 24 and I might really miss them once theyíre gone.

Obviously, parts is going to be a concern in the not too distant future. I have to say Iím really impressed with the build quality of my blue d-command. Iíve replaced power supplies and faders and thatís it thus far (I bought it in rough shape needing faders and power supplies). I thought maybe I was having encoder problems but after cleaning ribbon cables all of those problems disappeared. I am a little concerned about the encoders buttons and LEDs but Iíve yet to really have any problems. So knock on wood hopefully that continues. What kinds of failures have you run into Will?, and what are you stockpiling?

I donít know if the d-control is prone to more maintenance issues maybe it runs hotter?
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Old 04-02-2019, 06:24 AM
andrej770 andrej770 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 432
Default Re: D-Command to D-Control

I have a D-Control and its been basically worry free for years. I've had no faders or meters go bad. I have had my LED PSU go out in one fader pack. So I bought new PSU's for all units and replaced them all at the same time. No other issues whatsoever. Yes its old tech, and No, AVID does not support it in any way, shape or fashion. But...Its a control surface. It's a great to have, but if mine went out I'm skilled enough to get everything done in PT. Additionally, there are companies that service these and will for the foreseeable future. Unless you are rough with the console and mistreat it and or don't do an adequate job protecting it, power and elements, it will work beautifully. Size does matter here, however. LOL. But I will tell you, I have a mental (and skill frankly) advantage over other studios due to the sheer size and mental "weight" artist place on me having and operating one of these massive boards. Knowing how to use every function requires expertise and attention to detail. If you have the space and the spare change to buy a used one, move immediately to the D-Control. You'll have bigger muscles (from lifting it) and a better studio experience in the end.
Mac 8 Core 6,1 - OSX 10.13.6 - 32GB RAM - Pro Tools 2018.10 - 8x8x8+8 ch DA Card (x2) - HD OMNI - ICON D-Control 32 - Sync I/O - Sonnet xMac Pro Server w/HDX x 1, Blackmagic Intensity Pro 4K
Protools 2018.10 HD Native in 1 project suite
Eristopher Music
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