Category: Control Surfaces

Avid’s S6 Looks Impressive, but Who’s Going to Buy It?

That giant hole I mentioned a while back in the control surface market? Still there.

Avid’s S6 is state of the art. Modular. Beautiful. And brutally expensive. A big row of quality faders is 95% of what I want in a control surface, and the least expensive S6 costs $2,750 per fader. That’s crazy. Any way you dress it up, the S6 still just a big mouse. A sleek, black, shiny mouse plastered with OLED displays—but a mouse nonetheless.

Yes, Hollywood movies will be mixed on these. And big fancy studios will buy one to impress their clients. For my own needs, however, I will restate my former wish list: Don’t give me mic preamps, extraneous I/O, or digital mixers. Same goes for touchscreens, a rainbow of scrolling waveforms, or a separate button for every last Pro Tools keyboard shortcut. (Just because we can have these things, doesn’t mean we should.) Give me 24+ faders, a handful of knobs for panning and sending, and a simple master section, and I’m happy. Sell it for an affordable price, and I’m sold.

Avid Teases a New Control Surface

There’s been a giant hole in the control surface market for the last 10 years, exemplified by Avid’s own product line: It offers 8-channel control surfaces that, while handy at times, aren’t a comprehensive solution by any means; 24-channel surfaces with a bunch of preamps that no one wants to pay for; and overpriced, $100,000 monsters with two billion knobs and cutting edge features such as six-character scribble strips.

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