CONTROLLERS - replacement for Avid Artist Series???

I have been using an Avid Artist Control & Transport, but am finally at my wits-end due to continual communication problems over the years. I may start a thread for help on that, but for this thread I would like to explore suggestions for a controller(s) to possible replace my Artist controllers. I love the transport and the Cubase commands implementation of the Artist series and hope to find something close to that. I am so angry that Cubase has no real nice desktop controller. Any suggestions?

Thanks! :smiley:

If it fits your budget I’d say the Avid S3. I got one very recently and it’s brilliant. I’ve had various controllers in the past (I’ve owned Mackie Control Pro, Avid Artist, Steinberg CC121, Steinberg CMC and also had brief experience working on an SSL Nucleus and an Avid D-Command) and I can say that with the exception of the D-Command (which is WAY more expensive and does not work with Cubase) this is without shadow of a doubt the best one. The Eucon protocol is far superior to MCU. Just the fact that MCU is limited to 6 characters for a track name makes it so irritating to use as far as I’m concerned and besides that, Eucon is just better integrated/more flexible and powerful.

I had a few connection issues with the Artist series (I run Windows 8.1 FYI). Perfectly workable but It would occasionally lose connection and I’d have to quit Cubase or sometimes restart the computer. The S3 has been rock solid. The only times it’s lost connection is when I’ve been editing Soft Keys in Eucon but if that happens you can just restart the Eucon driver and connection is restored within about 10 seconds (no need to restart Cubase). It’s not lost connection at all aside from that, including switching between different sessions/applications frequently. This improved stability may be due to the updated Eucon software that came out the day I got my S3, I’m not sure.

If you like the general working methods of the Artist series, you will love the S3. Same general style but just much better. Having two rows of control knobs/LED screens means that you can control lots of stuff at once. e.g. you can have all the sends displayed on one row at the same time as having all the parameters of a plugin displayed on the other.

The multi colour LED’s alone probably make it worth the extra cost over the artist series. A simple feature but it makes the controller so much more useable. I always colour my channels the same way. e.g. drums are red/orange. Synths are green. FX channels are purple etc. It’s much quicker to find the channels you are looking for with the coloured LED’s when you have a very large project.

Also, for the upper row of coloured LED’s, which allow you to select EQ/Inserts/Sends etc… I have changed my Cubase colour preferences to match the S3 colour scheme. e.g. my Cubase EQ curves show in purple, the inserts are turquoise, the sends are yellow. Not necessarily the prettiest setup but it does save your brain a fraction of a second each time you see something on screen and want to access it on the controller. It’s these kind of details that make you want to reach for the controller rather than thinking ‘it’ll be quicker with my mouse’.

The compact form factor is also a plus. Having the 16 faders all together is better than having 2 x Artist Mix, with a big gap between the 8 faders. I have my computer screen directly behind the S3 and you can zoom the mixer so that 16 channels on screen line up with the 16 faders of the S3 so you have a wealth of visual feedback and control.

I’d say this is the best Cubase controller out there unless you can get into the price league of Yamaha Nuage Avid S6 which means putting an extra zero on the price tag.

The one thing I dislike about the S3/Artist series is that when you hide channels on the Cubase mixer, they still show on the controller. If Steinberg could change this, it would really add to the power/speed of these controllers. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll sort it out in the next Eucon adaptor update. :slight_smile:

For something a little different, note that Devil Technologies have just released D-Touch multi touch software for Cubase. Works on cheap consumer touch monitors (27" minimum recommended) or with PQ labs type overlay if you wanted to make up a 40" or larger screen.

They have also just announced they are currently working on a physical fader pack to integrate with the software.
This could make for a very interesting affordable package with mixing on physical faders and using the touch screen for plugs and editing.

See threads at Gearslutz for more info.

Yes, I’ve read about that and it definitely sounds like an interesting option. Obviously a lot cheaper than an S3. Didn’t know they’d announced a fader pack. I’ve never tried a touch screen for DAW work, but in my mind, I kind of feel like physical controls still offer a little more precision but I guess it depends on the precise implementation of the touch screen tech.

Didn’t know they’d announced a fader pack

Well it started as a teaser comment yesterday but Silvano didn’t take much convincing to give details.
Just checked again & he posted later last night it will be 22 motorised faders the width of a 27" monitor.

I’ve never tried a touch screen for DAW work, but in my mind I kind of feel like physical controls still offer a little more precision

I guess you’d have to work with one for a while to know if this is only in your mind :slight_smile:

Did they ever release the Grande?


Did they ever release the Grande?

I have no idea and with the likely price of that thing no interest either :wink:

I am still blown away that Yamaha hasn’t come out with a great cubase controller for project users

24 channels motorized faders, mute, solo, record, pan, full transport section, job wheel, master fader, maybe even meters?

i had an N12 before my swtich to the apogee symphony and while it was more than a controller its was beautifully made and so rock solid that working cubase was a JOY

eucon and my artist series are always problematic.

Yamaha could and should do this, amazes me they havent. with Studio One and Presonux releasing the really nice controller for live mixer and Studio One, i am even more bummed that the best DAW andone of the best mixer companies cant team up and fill this HUGE gap in the market for us users

Cakewalk has one built by Roland, Studio One now has one…c’mon Yamaha…get your %^#& out of your %&^ and build one! :imp: