6 Channel Volume Controller

Hello All,

I’m learning to mix in surround using Nuendo 5.x with a M-Audio Fast Track Ultra interface.

Does anybody know of a reasonably priced volume controller which would take all six discreet outputs from my audio device, then feed 6 discreet outputs? It’s a pain to have to always control volume from within the devices control panel, one output pair at a time. Sometimes it would be nice to just grab a knob and turn things down.


As said in your other post, read up on “Control Room”.


Or just pull the 5.1 Master Fader down.

Yeah, these are good options when working with Nuendo, but I’m looking for a knob that I can physically grab and turn down (particularly when I’m NOT using Nuendo, but auditioning sounds etc. through my audio interface).

Found a couple, but they’re pricey:




Experiences with any of these would be greatly appreciated. I’m leaning towards the SPL or the MPatch 5.1, but would like to know if they work as advertised.


SM Pro audio knob is passive, a bit confusing to use, but works. The switches however do not have redundant polls built in so it is very susceptible to crackling when switched, even on a new unit.

Chinese quality at it again (no offense).

We have 3 different in our studio’s: The Coleman, the SPL and the Martinsound.
I absolutely hate the intercom within the Coleman, but the rest of the unit is OK.
The SPL is very KISS and the Martinsound is the absolute flagship.

As in most things, and most certainly when it comes to audio gear, the quality is directly related to teh money you pay.


Don’t touch the master fader!!! Use CR instead.

I had (do not use) an SPL surround controller - the baby one - but no longer trust it as it went DC and blew a monitor system completely (thank the gods for insurance!!)
Avoid cheap!!!

I’m using Control Room with the knob of my Steinberg CC121 mapped to control room out and it works great. Allowed me to stop using my Tascam DSM 7.1 as a surround volume knob. Though I do miss some things about it. I’ll sell it to you if you want :slight_smile:

If you learn control room, you could use the CC121 as your volume knob and also have the rest of the control surface as an added benefit.

Get a JBL speaker system

Comes with a remote control

via the remote you can solo any speaker, adjust EQ, DIM, and of course volume.

Bass management and SUB Xover control all in a hand held remote.

LED light on the front act as SPL benchmarks that you can always return too.


As a relative audio noob, what does it mean that your SPL monitor controller ‘went DC’ and destroyed your monitors? I assume it just went bad and you sent full signal to your speakers? Is there any way to prevent that from happening again? You’ve got me scared now, because I’m looking at buying an SPL surround controller.


I own and use the SMC SPL since 2003 and it is absolutely reliable and sounds completly neutral.
There is no active circuitry in the signal path just a six-level potentiometer. How this can do DC (?) …idk.
If you like the format of the box, I can only recommend this device.

Yeah, since the attenuator has 6 discreet channels, it seems if one of them went bad, it wouldn’t necessarily lead to the others going bad, right? Even a direct short would only feed the master output to the monitors. I think I’m still going to get one.


After reading this post, I decided to implement my surround controller again. I just missed some things about it. I have to admit that practically all of it (mute, solo, downmix, bass mgt, etc. could be accomplished with control room. But I’m an old dog I guess :unamused: Besides I HATE the way the (continuous) knobs on the CC121 respond. I have to turn them many times to get the desired result, while the knob on a generic midi controller makes more sense. Hope this gets fixed via software update as many have complained.

Just turn the knob more slowly.


I’ve used the spl monitor controllers for 4 or 5 years…both the stereo and the surround versions. They are fairly good, but at low levels on the attenuator (which is stepped) the levels in each speaker do NOT match well. Also, at high attenuation levels, the audio quality suffers. Once you reach the third or fourth step, things begin to behave much better… I actually tested this with spl meter and spectrafoo… I thought I might just be making things up, but it turns out (at least on the 2 units I tested) there were very measurable differences at these very high attenuation points. I got around it by using attenuation on the speakers, so I’d rarely go to these very low levels on the m/controller. Then, about 18 months ago, I set up the control room in Nuendo properly, and got it to play very nicely with my metric halo I/O. Have not looked back. Use a knob on my euphonic to control the volume, which, although the knob is poor quality, is very very usable. I’ve replaced the small diameter knob with a larger one, which makes it much easier to use accurately.

YMMV. Brendan.

What SPL is that? I do not have any stepped attennuators on mine.
Neither do I notice any difference in sound from max to min volume.
SPL would be absolutely stupid to put a cheap uncalibrated potentiometer as center piece in the SMC.

Steppednis the wrong word. Detented maybe? Man - is my memory THAT flakey? I’m in India a month, so far far away from my studio to check, and look for the test results. But I will when I get back… I’m interested in “remembering” better. But I certainly know the very start at max attenuation had audible and measurable differences in levels between l & r.

Cheers! B.

my spl 2608 works very fine since 3 years now - very “grabby” (big knob) - and it has the indispensable Mute-Switch, which avoids any speaker damage during switch and boot operations. It’s my prolonged right hand now…

@ Fredo: I tried turning the knobs on the CC121 slowly, very slowly, fast, very fast, medium, etc. and did not notice a difference. Though kind of clunky, I’m enjoying have my volume knob back in my loop.

The value knob is not speed sensitive, the AI knob is. I have my CC121 set up this way too. You can press down on the Value Knob to mute, but volume changes are otherwise patiently achieved.

The biggest problem I have with going full blown Nuendo Control Room is what to do when using other surround apps like Wavelab, etc - maybe some RME preset and controller solutions - have not looked into it too much yet.