Good control surface?

Discussion in 'Consoles / Control Surfaces' started by shortymcsteve, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. Okay so for a while now ive been wondering whats the best control surface to buy, or even if im needing one exactly!

    My current set-up is basic, i have an emu 0404 for pluging in 2 mic or 1/4 connection and space for midi connection also.
    Then im running various programs on my macbook (soon pro tools too) and i have a few different things i plug in, such as a midi keyboard style controller.

    Im really looking for something to give me more of a studio feel, and something that im of course going to benefit from.
    Really what im looking for is something with faders and a bunch of buttons/knobs, preferably something that reflects a full blown studio mixing console.

    So what im wondering is, what is the best options out there? id like to know all prices but id ideally like to spend as little as possible but in doing so ensuring i buy the best as possible.
    Ive seen a bunch of different things out there from £50 (Korg
    nanoKONTROL) to things that are far more expensive and way more, automated features!
    Also at some point i would be wanting to have a lot more inputs available to me (at least 8 ) so im wondering do i buy something like a PreSonus FireStudio or do i find a console that has already built inputs?
    I guess i need something quite versatile and something that will last!
    Im currently studying in my first year of sound engineering at college, so i figure i have a lot of purchases ahead of me! ahhh

    So yeah, any help would be great and also if you guys could tell me what you use and also what products to stay away from.

    Thanks :)
  2. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
  3. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    The cheapest decent control surface I know of is the Mackie Control Universal Pro. I think however that you're really looking for a digital mixer that doubles as a control surface.
  4. well like i said id like to spend as little as possible so i can save money to spend one some other gear but really id say a few hundred but really id like to see anything up to about £800 so i know the options, and if the unit is really worth it id put my cash to it.

    I dont mind going down the second hand road to save some money.. in the past ive bought some great stuff from people that was just like new and works perfect.
    Also is it worth looking at older models of things to save some money?

    Also is it worth looking at digital mixers that double as control surfaces?
    Whats the flaws/benefits of that?
  5. AwedOne

    AwedOne Guest

    My Tascam FW-1083 does what you say you need, and are pretty cheap used. I got mine 3 years ago for $300usd.
  6. Do you mean the FW-1082?
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    The EMU 0404 is a better interface than the preamps etc of the Tascam. I don't know about the quality of the "control surface" portion. It will definitely be significantly cheaper than the Mackie MCU Pro.

    I understand wanting to spend money on groovy gear like microphones and preamps and outboard but if you then run that nice gear through a less than stellar bottleneck of an interface/control surface you haven't gained anything. For a quality piece of gear that does what you describe in your original post, I think the most economical route will be a digital mixer.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying used. The only caveat other than the usual caveat emptor is to read all the documentation you can get your hands on and try/test it out before you purchase (or be able to send it back within the first week of receiving). Very little of my gear is "new" when I buy it. Much of it looks and functions like new however. My rule of thumb is to never spend more for a piece of gear than I can resell same gear on the quick used market-ebay or otherwise.

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