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  #1  
Old 05-25-2019, 10:06 AM
rogerogrant rogerogrant is offline
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Default Noob control surface questions!

Hi y'all!
There doesn't seem to be a "3rd party control surface" area and I'm a rank beginner, so this seemed to be the most logical place to ask these questions, but please move this to the appropriate sub-forum if I'm mistaken....

As stated, I'm a novice with regard to Pro Tools. I actually use Media Composer professionally, so I have some passing familiarity with aspects of PT, but no hands-on experience until now. So with "hands-on" being the key phrase, I'm researching control surfaces.

My ideal choice would be an S3, but although I could sort of justify the $5,000 price tag insofar as I could use it with MC, that's still a pretty hefty chunk of change. I'm a little hesitant about an Artist Mix for two reasons: the first is kind of trivial but is part of my decision making process nonetheless - my spidey-sense tells me that Avid may be revamping it in the near future and I'd totally have buyer's remorse if I dropped $1,000 on one only to have a new and improved version released shortly thereafter. The second is that I've had some issues with Eucon in the past when using an Artist Color. Now, admittedly, that was a while back on an older Media Composer system, so it may be irrelevant, but it's still in the back of my mind...

I'm looking at the Icon Qcon Pro G2, and it seems like a pretty great compromise between price, features, and size (bearing in mind that my Pro Tools work at the moment is strictly as a bedroom hobbyist). My only reservations about it are that it's USB-2 and some uncertainty about how tightly it will integrate with PT.
I currently have a 2016 Macbook Pro running OSX 10.12.6 Sierra. I think it's sort of an open secret that there are problems with USB-2 devices and that version of OSX, and I've experienced a few myself (specifically with USB-2 hardrives falling offline, and a wireless mouse that connected via a USB-2 dongle not working properly). I haven't updated to the current OS because I haven't gotten around to verifying that all of my applications are qualified on it, but I can do that if it helps resolve those problems. I haven't managed to find any info online about whether or not that's the case though.

At any rate, does anyone have any experience with that Icon surface, or any other recommendations?

Thanks so much, and I'm glad to be here and have the opportunity to learn from you all as I begin my Pro Tools journey!

-Patrick
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  #2  
Old 05-25-2019, 01:03 PM
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Ryan Young Ryan Young is offline
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Default Re: Noob control surface questions!

I don't have experience with the Icon Qcon Pro G2, but if you're wanting an entry level and cost-effective control surface, I'd highly recommend getting a second-hand Artist Series.

I have many Artist Mix as well as multiple Artist Controls. This in conjunction with the FREE iPad PT|Control app is truly a fantastic combo and VERY powerful.

Once you get super comfortable with EuCon and the hands-on approach to mixing, THEN I'd suggest getting the S3 or something bigger and better. You really can't go wrong with the Artist Series, IMO.
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Old 05-25-2019, 04:20 PM
musicman691 musicman691 is offline
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Default Re: Noob control surface questions!

The problem with USB2 and Macs is that they can have issues with USB3 ports on said Macs. One of the remedies is to use a powered USB hub between the device(s) and the computer. One of the most well-known issue is iLoks and USB3 ports.

USB2 port for a hard drive? That's nonsense at it's highest level. You'll never get the performance you need for smooth work in PT with such a setup.

The problem isn't with whatever OSX is being used but with what I wrote above. No open secret or any other voodoo
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Old 05-25-2019, 04:23 PM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: Noob control surface questions!

I would also go used. Artist Mix can be found for $500-600 and S3 can be had used for around $3K. Depending on your real needs, you might get away with some even cheaper options(Behringer X-Touch and expanders, or maybe Presonus Faderport)
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Old 05-26-2019, 09:21 AM
AlexLakis AlexLakis is offline
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Default Re: Noob control surface questions!

I scooped up a like-new Command|8 on eBay for less than $200. Works perfectly with 2019.5.
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Old 05-26-2019, 09:45 AM
rogerogrant rogerogrant is offline
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Default Re: Noob control surface questions!

Quote:
I would also go used. Artist Mix can be found for $500-600 and S3 can be had used for around $3K. Depending on your real needs, you might get away with some even cheaper options(Behringer X-Touch and expanders, or maybe Presonus Faderport)
Yeah, I looked at the Presonus Faderport too...kind of reminiscent of a Command|8.
I hear y'all re: the Artist Mix and I'd prefer an Avid branded product for the piece of mind that would bring in terms of integration with the application (and support). But again, I had a prior experience in which Eucon was kind of sketchy (but also again, that may be irrelevant now) and the Faderport and Icon products basically offer more bang for less buck in terms of transport controls, assignable buttons, etc.

Thanks for the responses y'all!
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Old 05-27-2019, 12:44 PM
Tweakhead Tweakhead is offline
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Default Re: Noob control surface questions!

Some thing to think about when considering an Avid control surface . . .

Here are some design flaws in the Avid S3:

1. The Record Arm and Track Select buttons are in-between the faders, making it impossible to do a multi-finger selection/arming of several tracks when the faders are in that area of travel. It's easier to do it with your mouse.

2. The software meters in the Pro Tools Mix Window are on the right hand side of the fader for each channel, yet the hardware meters on the S3 are on the left hand side of the fader for each channel. This mind-numbing design mistake is compounded by the fact that the meters are equidistant between the faders, so in the middle of the console you really don't know what channel meter you're looking at.

3. The Mute and Solo buttons are not centered on the fader, unlike the S6 (even though the S6 still has the dumb "meters on the left" design flaw).

I don't know who is responsible for these basic design flaws, but Avid certainly cannot be consulting any professional engineers with their prototypes.

Last edited by Tweakhead; 05-27-2019 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 05-28-2019, 06:51 AM
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junkgear junkgear is offline
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Default Re: Noob control surface questions!

I run a Faderport 8 with PT and it works pretty well for general control of the program. The only area that isn't great is that the scribble strips are small, don't show much of the track name text and the metering is only in the scribble strip.

The faders, pan controls and various solo, mute buttons work fine. The transport works nicely. The jog wheel and nav buttons also work well and give you some nice control over PT.

It's a pretty new product and there has been active support/updates for it. I guess the down side is that HUI is an old protocol and you are limited to what it can do.
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Old 05-30-2019, 09:26 AM
rogerogrant rogerogrant is offline
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Default Re: Noob control surface questions!

Thanks for the feedback y'all. It looks like no one (or at least no one planning to respond to this thread) has any experience with the Icon products, so I'll report back if I decide to go ahead and pull the trigger. Which I am currently leaning towards doing.
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Old 05-30-2019, 10:24 AM
BScout BScout is offline
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Default Re: Noob control surface questions!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerogrant View Post
Thanks for the feedback y'all. It looks like no one (or at least no one planning to respond to this thread) has any experience with the Icon products, so I'll report back if I decide to go ahead and pull the trigger. Which I am currently leaning towards doing.
I have Icon products. Poorly made knobs/caps. Bad support (software promises for years before basic functionality was there.)

Integration with Pro Tools is at HUI standard. No more or less. So as much integration as the the early '90s. (because it is using HUI to talk to Pro Tools)

[To be clearn, this is not about the ICON D-Command/D-Control products which are/were great.]
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Last edited by BScout; 05-30-2019 at 01:52 PM.
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