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Old 04-07-2018, 09:45 AM
ramonetl ramonetl is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Seattle
Posts: 217
Default Hardware Control Surface Recommendation

Hi all, I spent many hours last night googling, reading reviews, threads, forums you name it trying to make a decision about getting a control surface. Some back story first though: I used a pair if echo audio firewire 12s with a TAC Scorpion. Once that unit burned up I started in a new direction. Initially I replaced the Console with a A&H QU-32 which was really cool and allowed me to sell the 2 FW units and go pretty much direct. However I was unable to fully bypass the pres etc and I ultimately discovered and invested in an Apollo 8p. Over time I picked up a Twin quad and I also have a quad Satellite so I have a decent amount of DSP power. I also bought a year ago a 6core Mac Pro which I upgraded ram to 64GB and the SSD to 1TB and have been super stable (no more crashes) and very happy with. I ultimately sold the QU-32 to pay for the apollo stuff since I didnt really need it anymore.

So with the evolution of my studio I have been extremely happy but I am missing a few things such as the ability to use a foot switch bc when I am tracking my instruments this is a PITA to time sometimes and being in the other room is out. I also found I miss the feel of faders and mixing multiple tracks at the same time without really staring at the screen constantly.

So enter the Control apps and the new ProTools Dock. It looks like it fills a nice niche and the S3 looks bomb. I dont need Preamps or monitor outs etc so i am not looking for a unit that has all this. I also have limited space in my desk so the form factor looks really ideal. But this is where I get into a dilemma and that is between the S3 which looks and seems amazing but it super expensive or getting a dock and then do the artist mix still connect to it physically as they did the older unit. I found a couple of pictures where it appears so and I wonder am I better off just getting a couple of used mixes and maybe later down the road switch to a S3, just figure out a way to get a used S3 (I do see a few) which financially presents a dilemma at the moment or just get a dock and leave it at that for now? Sorry if I am not clear what I want but I am trying to make some decision and i feel like the googling has painted my brain into a corner. My gut says get a Dock and a couple of used Mix units and maybe down the road sell em if I get my hands on a S3. That they added VCA spill as an option seems to address on big complaint. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Peter

Oh I almost forgot! When you join the artist mix do they share a single power source? I never found an answer to that but a plug running from each would be messy.

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Old 04-07-2018, 07:30 PM
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EddieJones EddieJones is offline
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Santa Cruz
Posts: 2,122
Default Re: Hardware Control Surface Recommendation

Hi, I should be able to answer your questions. The Dock can work with either 1 x S3 or up to 4 x Artist Mixes. Power supplies are all individual bricks.

Whilst I would try and push you to an S3 with its better build, extra row of knobs and soft keys etc....2 old Mixes and the Dock for now, might give you a great intro to EUCON.
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Old 04-10-2018, 12:56 PM
ramonetl ramonetl is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Seattle
Posts: 217
Default Re: Hardware Control Surface Recommendation

Thanks Eddie. I certainly love the idea of the S3 but its not really budget friendly. :) I am thinking for now a couple of used Artist Mix will do nicely. BTW what is the forecast if eventually supporting multiple S3 units? I saw your other post that it would take some work. Something likely to happen or just wishful thinking?
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Old 04-14-2018, 06:50 PM
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reichman reichman is offline
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: New York
Posts: 2,108
Default Re: Hardware Control Surface Recommendation

As a big Artist series user, I would advise buying a Dock first and then add whatever you can afford. But don't but a Mix without a Dock. That would be a drag.
Nathaniel Reichman
Supervising Producer – Re-recording Mixer
Dubway Studios
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:02 PM
ramonetl ramonetl is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Seattle
Posts: 217
Default Re: Hardware Control Surface Recommendation

Originally Posted by reichman View Post
As a big Artist series user, I would advise buying a Dock first and then add whatever you can afford. But don't but a Mix without a Dock. That would be a drag.
Yep I agree and I did. I got the dock as a open box from MF for about 825. I just got a avid mix from ebay that is on its way for 500. Should give me a good start. One day I think it would be nice to get to an S3 but this will do nicely and I can always add another mix unit later. Thanks for the advice. The dock is super cool and I love it and suddenly I have a purpose for that old Ipad2! Peter
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Old 05-02-2018, 08:04 AM
philgrab philgrab is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: California
Posts: 128
Default Re: Hardware Control Surface Recommendation

If you want to go really cheap just get an ipad mini and the control app (free) and you have an 8 channel mixer. It will operate off any existing wireless network and you can control protools from any room in range. It's actually pretty amazing. But, if you need those faders, you can't beat the artist mix. Enough to run a decent mixdown, 8 faders and assignable buttons.
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